Episode 1: Grant Van Gameren
The pilot episode of CHEF TO CHEF with Mark McEwan features acclaimed Toronto-based chef Grant van Gameren. Mark visits Grant at his restaurant, Bar Isabel, before a busy service. The chefs sit down in the quiet dining room for an honest and real discussion on what it took to open five restaurants before the age of 35.
Grant takes Mark on his journey as a chef and entrepreneur, describing his early life, his tough decisions on the road to success and the importance of the right team. We even get a sneak peek inside his newest restaurant. Together, the chefs venture into the kitchen to try some of Grant’s favourite dishes and discuss their most memorable culinary experiences.
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GRANT VAN GAMEREN
Chef Grant van Gameren started his career at the very bottom, in the trenches, and went on to co-found the acclaimed Black Hoof restaurant. After many successful years, Grant ventured out on his own to establish himself as the Executive Chef & Owner of: Bar Isabel, Bar Raval, El Rey, Pretty Ugly and Harry’s Char Broil & Dining Lounge.
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EPISODE 2: ANTONIO PARK
Chef Mark McEwan visits featured Chef Antonio Park, ‘The Tradionalist’, at his newly opened restaurant Pick 6IX, who he’s partnered with Drake and OVO on his first Toronto establishment. With 10 Montreal businesses operating under the culinary umbrella, observe how each cuisine defines Chef Park and pays homage to his upbringing from South America to Korean heritage. Chef Park’s unique and creative background inspired him to highlight and create food that’s humble, family-orientated, celebratory and traditional. Observe technique, respect for tradition and adaption, all with the same stroke as Chef Park opens his doors to highlight a peek into his world.
Antonio Park’s tutelage as a world-renowned chef started in his mother’s South Korean kitchen, in Argentina/Paraguay. Thanks to a fresh garden that spanned acres, and his mom’s insistence on creating everything from scratch, the drive for perfection, sustainability, and farm-to-table cooking became his raison d’être. This mantra carried him through years of training under Japan’s most revered cooking masters, fed his ambition to work his way up from a dishwashing station to running two of the most noted restaurants in Montreal, and moonlighting as a judge on one of Food Network Canada’s top-rated programs–‘Chopped’.
In 2012, Park launched Restaurant PARK in the heart of Montreal, where he aimed to present the purity of Japanese sushi emboldened with the South Korean and South American flavours of his heritage. His insistence on cooking with organic and sustainable produce saw Park procure private seafood and Wagyu/Kobe beef import licences (rarities in Montreal). This respect for the produce and animals, along with his creativity, vaulted PARK to critical acclaim, as the restaurant was recently named one of Canada’s top 100 restaurants also top 50 best Canadian restaurants and was also chosen as a global selection by Diner’s Club World’s 50 Best Academy.
In 2014, Chef Park opened Lavanderia as an homage to his Argentinian roots, blending his obsession for fresh produce with the rich and sumptuous flavours of charcoal grilling. The restaurant has its own rooftop garden, offering clients the freshest produce possible during the capable months.
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