By Colleen Isherwood, Editor
TORONTO — The Royal Ontario Museum. The Bata Shoe Museum. The Royal Conservatory of Music. The Yorkville Shopping District. The Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art. All of these Toronto cultural icons are a short walk from the InterContinental Toronto-Yorkville located at 220 Bloor Street West.
On June 27, Ronald Hoogerbrugge, GM of the InterContinental Toronto-Yorkville, hosted 11 of his Toronto GM colleagues at a luncheon where he unveiled the hotel's plans to celebrate the Bloor Street Cultural Corridor.
The hotel has been undergoing a guestroom renovation since the beginning of the year, and should be complete in mid-August. But the changes at the hotel are not limited to the guest rooms.
“We decided to work with our unique location right in the Bloor Cultural Corridor,” Hoogerbrugge told CLN in an interview. “We have integrated the presence [of these cultural icons] with a display case on each floor. For example, there will be the Gardiner Museum floor, the Bata Shoe Museum floor, etc. We are preparing to bring this to life in September.”
As part of the celebration with fellow GMs on the 27th, executive chef Chris Pereira and restaurant chef Emmett Brett prepared culturally themed food stations, decorated to suit the theme of each place.
The starter celebrated Yorkville with Beausoleil oysters on the half shell presented in a Tiffany-inspired box.
The main course featured upscale University of Toronto student food such as Lobster Mac and Cheese and Beef Sliders with Fois Gras Mousse.
The other main course, at the Royal Ontario Museum station, presented Canoe Cut “Dinosaur Bones” filled with spring pea mash, topped with Grilled Lamb Chops and Glazed Beef Short Ribs.
Dessert was French pastries with a Royal Conservatory of Music theme.
Guests were entertained by Nakwon Choi, a student teacher and concert master at the Royal Conservatory of Music, who played five songs on the violin. A representative of the Royal Ontario Museum delivered a keynote speech to underpin the importance for cultural institutions to partner with hospitality organizations.
“The best dishes will be put on our menu,” Hoogerbrugge said. “We can also use the whole concept as a theme for events at the hotel. Food stations are much more interactive than a two or three hour lunch.
“We are delighted about the support we have received from our local partners to bring this concept to life.”
The luncheon was also something of a farewell to Hoogenbrugge, who will be heading to Frankfurt to start his next posting with InterContinental. “It's bittersweet,” he noted. “I have had a great time here and a great team — and we are nearly through with the renovation.”