At the age of two Brandi Greenwood followed her grandfather, a former Canadian Air Force Chef, around the kitchen as he transformed ingredients from his one-acre garden in rural Alberta into heartfelt dishes she still remembers.
Greenwood later left behind Alberta at 13 to pursue a modelling career that took her across the globe—a career that further fueled her love for food. While travelling she remained connected with her grandfather through hand-written letters where they shared stories of their shared travel experiences and the culinary delights found in each new destination.
Coming back to Canada in her early 20s, Brandi jumped right in to a new culinary career. She opened and managed a successful catering company before attending culinary school at age 26. Now after years of experience in restaurants across North America, Greenwood is a female role model in Toronto’s restaurant scene. In 2018 Brandi was featured in an exhibition by the 86 Common Collective, an amazing group who work to “86” (meaning to eliminate, in hospitality industry slang) gender inequality experienced by women in restaurants through art, collaboration and shared stories.
Supporting local farms has always been part of Chef Greenwood’s passion for food. Greenwood was inspired by the Gladstone Hotel’s commitment to the local and sustainable food scene, especially their annual Harvest Wednesday program. She wanted to bring that farm to table experience into our Café EVERY DAY!
Over the last month, Chef Greenwood has sampled and researched dozens of Ontario farms in order to find the best fit for her new dishes. “If you’ve never tasted arugula from Ontario’s New Farm or Cod from Fogo Island Fishery you’re in for a mind-expanding experience!” says Greenwood.
The Hotel’s founder and creative director Christina Zeidler is thrilled to see our menus evolve with a shared commitment to sustainability and creativity at the forefront: “A few weeks ago, I brought Chef Greenwood cherries I had collected from my farm near Peterborough, wondering how we could extend their season. She grabbed them right away and pickled them—an idea for a new dish already brewing in her brain. It wasn’t until she released the new menus that I tried the Grilled Duck Skewer: the combination of rich grilled duck breast on a refreshing fennel and radish slaw and of course those delicious pickled cherries!”
Always making connections between growers and our dinner plates, Greenwood adds “once I researched King Cole Duck’s story, I thought this was really something I wanted to promote, and the Gladstone Hotel is the perfect platform to promote farms like this.”
Collaboration, risk taking, creativity and culinary innovation is an ongoing process for Chef Greenwood, and there’s no slowing down. Having so recently launched this summer menu, she’s already exploring new possibilities for what the next season has in store. A basket of beautiful heirloom tomatoes just arrived at the hotel from yet another Ontario farm, and we can’t wait to see what colourful bites Chef Greenwood creates with them!
Read more about the sustainable suppliers from the new menu here.
The Gladstone Hotel’s new Lunch and Dinner menus are available seven days a week in the Café. See full menus here.