Eaton Chelsea hails caesars

TORONTO—When the former Delta Chelsea rebranded as The Eaton Chelsea in July, James Cushinan, food and beverage services manager, was charged with closing, renovating and recreating two of the hotel’s restaurants.

By Colleen Isherwood, Editor

TORONTO—When the former Delta Chelsea rebranded as The Eaton Chelsea in July, James Cushinan, food and beverage services manager, was charged with closing, renovating and recreating two of the hotel’s restaurants— T|bar and Market Garden.

Cushinan, who was named one of Ontario’s top 30 under 30 for 2013 by the Ontario Hostelry Institute, and has worked at Toronto’s Thompson Hotel and Silvertip Resort near Canmore, AB, also had another task. 

Each T|bar lounge at the four Eaton Hotels around the world has a signature cocktail. Cushinan’s job was to create one for the Toronto location.

Using a Canadian classic—the caesar—he worked to take the beverage to a new level by making the clamato portion from scratch. He did a good job, according to hotel general manager Ron Pellerine, who participated in the process. 

James Cushinan prepares a classic caesar cocktail.

James Cushinan prepares a classic caesar cocktail.

“We used all local ingredients, except for the clams”,  Pellerine told CLN. “It took the better part of two months to develop, bottle and pasteurize and did we ever taste some zingers. People think it’s just clamato and tomato mix—but no, it’s not.”

The result was not one, but five clamato cocktails—the classic, the T|garden, the latin dancer, the waaasabi and the checkout, which includes bacon strips, a pickle spear, half a hard-boiled egg and a cherry tomato. Guests can also purchase the homemade clamato mix. 

Part of a $3.5-million renovation to the former Delta Chelsea’s restaurant and banquet areas, T|bar, formerly the Elm Street Lounge, is “modern, trendy and vibrant,” said Pellerine. “It’s a good place for the traveller to unwind with a cocktail in the evening.” During the day, T|bar features an Indian lunch buffet.

Executive chef Brian MacAskill heads up the kitchen at the 49-seat restaurant. 

The Eaton Chelsea has also added 800 square feet of space to its Market Garden restaurant, providing a new take on the concept popularized in the ‘80s, with coffee, espresso, gelato, pastry and hot foods. 

One specialty is grilled cheese sandwiches, for example, Mumbai grilled cheese with tandoori chicken, or a dessert grilled cheese with banana, strawberry, chocolate sauce and marscapone on a brioche. 

Seating include tables of four, high bar-style seats, and soft chairs. Market Garden, along with the whole hotel, has free WiFi so that guests can plug-in while they dine. 

The Eaton Chelsea also renovated its 24,000 square feet of meeting and event space, and has attracted a number of large events next year including the Hotel Association of Canada Conference, Canadian Tourism Marketing Summit, Canadian Hotel Investment and Canadian Restaurant Investment Summit.