When travelling, it’s one of those things you’d like to take for granted: finding a world-class restaurant in the hotel where you are staying. Because whether you’re enjoying a romantic dinner à deux, or meeting colleagues for drinks and a brainstorming session, your hotel’s preferred dining options should be stellar ones. Look for a warm environment, an innovative menu and of course, an avant-garde chef.
Look no further than the Intercontinental Toronto Yorkville.
Savour marvellous cuisine and stylish settings within each of the restaurants and bars at this acclaimed Toronto Yorkville hotel. Choose from the award-winning Signatures restaurant, which features seasonally inspired International and Mediterranean fare served in a sleek, colourful atmosphere; the swanky, see-and-be-seen Proof Vodka bar; and SkyLounge, an outdoor patio tapas restaurant which was selected as the best patio in Toronto.
And what do the three eateries above have in common – besides their convenient location inside the Intercontinental Toronto Yorkville? The restaurants are all under the watchful eye, talented hands and culinary artistry of Chef Andrew Frastacky.
Pictured above: Marinated octopus and tomato salad, with black olive crumble, baby basil and olive oil. The octopus is tender, melt-in-your-mouth divine with the correct amount of acidity for a perfectly balanced bite. I’ve dreamt about this dish at least a few times per week since our visit in March. Chef Andrew prepared a tasting menu for the #FamilyTravelCA crew, and I’m pleased to take you through some of my favourite dishes today, all of which will be featured on their NEW Spring/ Summer 2015 menu.
Chef Andrew Frastacky is the total package. Witty, intelligent and charming, his kitchen pays homage to a simpler time – local ingredients, slow food and comfort dishes – which are then effortlessly heightened with trendy gastronomic touches.
Pictured above: Watermelon “salad”. Frozen watermelon popsicles with feta… honestly, I can’t recall the rest of this divine, savoury and sweet offering. Because he had me at watermelon popsicles.
Finding a chef de cuisine who can command a kitchen, produce inspired, scrumptious dishes AND make it convenient for guests of the esteemed Intercontinental Yorkville Toronto? It’s almost too predictable to call this a recipe for success.
Picture below: I’m currently into avocado-everything. So, it’s completely fortunate that Chef Andrew had the foresight to present his crab salad, delicately wrapped in avocado, and placed atop an artful dollop of jalapeno guacamole. Finished with crispy, salty je-ne-sais-quoi.
Heard at the table: Chef Andrew spends more time crafting his radish salad than most of us spend on preparing our entire meals – including the part where we load it in the oven and wait for 30-35 minutes. One of their “signatures”, radishes are prepared in at least six different ways, served with creme fraiche. There is just too much pretty to handle, wouldn’t you agree?
For a review of the sublime main course selections, visit Stephanie or Andrea’s websites.
Last year, Chef Andrew was awarded the opportunity of a lifetime; to visit The InterContinental Doha in Qatar on the occasion of the National Flag Day of Canada. Excerpt from The Qatar Tribune:
Like most chefs, Frastacky’s passion for the culinary world started early. As a boy, he would be in the garden, helping his grandmother weed, water and pick fresh vegetables right off the plants for a meal. “I remember waiting for my Dad to come back from hunting rabbits or game birds or fishing, so we would have an awesome dinner to eat.”
The chef says that he is what he is today because of the experience he garnered working under great names in Canada, who were willing to teach him the tricks of the kitchen. “The first chef I worked under in Toronto was a classical French one, he taught me the fundamentals of cooking, the raw technique and finesse,” he said. Following this, he completed a two-year apprenticeship under Michael Steh, who was a rising star on the Toronto food scene. “He introduced the slow food movement, along with molecular gastronomy; he had a bag of tricks that was never-ending,” Frastacky said.
After mastering flavours and techniques, he decided to move to the hotel scene.”These were uncharted waters for me and I knew that I wanted to conquer the unknown. I started off at Trump Tower, Stock restaurant, where I worked for a gruelling yet excellent two years,” he explains. Following this, I was hired as Chef de Cuisine in 2014 by Chef Chris Perera of the InterContinental Yorkville.”It was finally time to show Toronto and the world that I was ready to break out and put myself on the map,” he says.
If you are a guest of the Intercontinental Toronto Yorkville, take advantage of the convenience, comfort and charisma of their host restaurants. Now that I’ve found Chef Andrew Frastacky, you can be sure I’ll be following.