Savoury: Not a chef's table

Chef Corbin prepares pan seared crispy Atlantic salmon with horseradish creme fraiche and warm fingerling potatoes, with help from Gillian.

Chef Corbin prepares pan seared crispy Atlantic salmon with horseradish creme fraiche and warm fingerling potatoes, with help from Gillian.

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TORONTO—Next month, the Westin Harbour Castle will open an intimate new restaurant where 10 guests can dine on five-course meals designed and prepared by celebrity chef Corbin Tomaszeski.  But although the news release on the subject bills Savoury as a chef's table, Tomaszeski told reporters at a media event that it is not.

“Twenty-six years ago, the idea of a chef's table was exciting—it gave an inside view of the chef's table. Now my aunt says she has a chef's table—but it's really just her counter table in her kitchen. At Savoury, we want to bring special back with small plates, as if I was inviting you into my kitchen and we're in my home. It speaks to what I want to do. I'm going to cook and you will love it!  A chef's table is not special—but intimacy, exclusivity and talking with the executive chef is special.

“It's not about me having my back to you and cooking.  You'll be sipping a fantastic wine from Riedel glassware—it will be really cozy.”

The five-course tasting menu starts at $250 per guest. Bookings are for one group at a time—the communal table idea doesn't work in Canada, according to Tomaszeski. “You're not just a number—you have this room for the night.”  The room can be booked for a table for two, for example, but is subject to the minimum room price of $2,500.

Although Tomaszeski normally cooks the same meal for everyone, he can accommodate allergies and food preferences, drawing on the resources of the hotel's extensive kitchen facilities. For example, if someone is allergic to dairy and doesn't like chocolate, that person might have a special meal for every course. “But his food will be as beautiful and tasty and delicious as everyone else's.”

Tomaszeski says he will not be doing the cooking all the time. “We have fantastic people in this [hotel]. If the food's horrible—that can't happen. It has to be consistent. We want to pass the batons off to our apprentices and young cooks who want to be an executive chef.”

He stresses that food will not be complicated or complex; that diners will leaved satisfied but not stuffed. Some of the dishes hearken back to childhood, such as the British classic, boiled eggs and soldiers—soldiers being thin strips of toast. “You're dipping the toast in eggs like you do on Sunday morning in your jammies,” Tomaszeski said.

Chef Corbin’s influence is present throughout the hotel,
having worked with the Food & Beverage team to complement the existing menus
for the hotel’s outlets. Menus at Mizzen Restaurant and the Chart Room Bar and
Lounge now feature signature Chef Corbin items, including his “best burger ever.”

“We are thrilled to have added Chef Corbin to the culinary
team at The Westin Harbour Castle,” said Tim Reardon, general manager at The
Westin Harbour Castle. “With the addition of Savoury with Chef Corbin will
elevate our culinary offerings to the next level. His focus on healthy, fresh
ingredients and eating well perfectly align with Westin’s Eat Well pillar.”

Westin general manager Tim Reardon (left) with Chef Corbin Tomaszeski in Savoury restaurant.

Westin general manager Tim Reardon (left) with Chef Corbin Tomaszeski in Savoury restaurant.

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