Chef in Residence Program
We’re Turning the Restaurant Business Model on its Head with Innovative Chef-in-Residence Program!
The Gladstone Hotel launched the first Chef in Residence Program of its kind in Toronto on July 11, 2017. Mirroring how the Hotel works with artists, the Gladstone will be incubating professional Chefs to realize a creative vision and unique food concept with a curated experience in the Gladstone Hotel’s Cafe.
“This idea has been simmering in my mind for more than 10 years,” says Christina Zeidler, Gladstone Hotel Founder and Creative Director. “As part of the collaborative program, we’ll be partnering with established Chefs ready to take on a culinary risk, as an artist would when beginning a new body of work. I believe that as a true art hotel we should be about putting forth the voices of more artists and connecting our guests more directly and authentically to Toronto’s diverse food cultures.”
Under the mentorship of the Gladstone Hotel’s Chef de Cuisine Rudy Boquila, each resident Chef will be fully supported by the Gladstone’s talented team. Resident Chefs will share the Gladstone’s commitment to producing sustainable dining experiences while collaborating with the Hotel’s cultural programming team and network of local artists and curators.
The Gladstone’s first Chef in Residence was Suzanne Barr, owner and executive chef at Leslieville’s popular Saturday Dinette. Barr is best known in Toronto for the fresh comfort food and eclectic vibe that she has been serving up at her own restaurant since 2014. Chef Suzanne wrapped up her residency in October 2017 and our next Chef in Residence will be arriving in summer 2018!
ABOUT THE CHEF IN RESIDENCE PROGRAM
This is not business as usual. Our Chef in Residence program is aiming to create a new model for restaurants. We are an art hotel and we believe that as a true art hotel we should be about putting forth the voices of more artists and connecting our guests more directly and authentically to Toronto’s diverse food cultures. And as an openly feminist and anti-oppressive space we are rejecting the narrow hierarchical model where there is only one creative culinary voice at the Hotel and embracing a model of collaboration. To be a creative in support of other creatives, just as our Director of Exhibitions supports other curators and artists. Our kitchen team lead by Chef de Cuisine Rudy Boquila is also eager to have ongoing opportunities to work with and be inspired by the artistry of other chefs coming in and out of our kitchen. We are aiming to change the conversation around food and art and ways of working in the restaurant business. For the Gladstone, this is the only way.
The Chef in Residence program supports creative risk taking for professional Chefs by providing an opportunity to bring their unique food style and to realize a “dream” concept as a short-term temporary project outside of their regular practice. This is a unique model which is different from a “Pop Up” time limited takeover of a space with pared down operations and set ups. The Gladstone puts the full backing of the hotel’s food and beverage operations, cultural programming and marketing teams behind the chef for an extended period of 2-3 months creating a supportive environment for the Chef to take this creative risk. The Gladstone’s programming team connects the Chef with other artists from different disciplines as collaborators to bring music, art and other artistic programming into the dining experience. The Chef can stay focused on telling a story and/or trying something new and not have to get bogged down in the minutia of establishing and operating a full-on restaurant business. The Gladstone takes the creative leap with the Chef/artist.
When we talk about hospitality, creativity and social justice this is what we mean. Creating a model for business that does it different. We think that there are a lot of people out there who will connect with the idea and take the risk with us to be part of something that we believe is unique worldwide.
Here’s how it works:
The chef in residence will take over dinner service in our Café from Sunday to Friday 5:30 p.m. – 11 p.m throughout the summer months. Outside of that the Hotel’s regular a-la-carte menus will be available during regular hours of business in the Café and in the Melody Bar.
The Chef in Residence will be present in the kitchen and running service during these hours of service for their menu. Their special a la carte dinner menu will be focused on small plates and local food will be exclusively offered in our Café for the duration of their residency.