Toronto Pearson Welcomes Celebrity Chefs and New Restaurants

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Toronto is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world, and soon Toronto Pearson will welcome travellers with even more culinary experiences that reflect the exciting, diverse dining this city has to offer.

Global restaurateur HMSHost, in partnership with Toronto’s own celebrity chefs Lynn Crawford, Susur Lee and Roger Mooking, among additional award-winning chefs, will transform Toronto Pearson’s Terminals 1 and 3 into a foodie hot spot, with the opening of more than a dozen new dining locations that will take travellers on a gastronomic journey representative of such a city. The new restaurants will open in three phases, beginning in summer of 2014.

Some of the highlights HMSHost will be bringing include The Hearth, in partnership with Lynn Crawford; Asian Kitchen by Susur Lee, in partnership with Susur Lee; Twist, in partnership with Roger Mooking; Paramount, in partnership with Paramount Fine Foods and CEO Mohamad Fakih; and Caplansky’s Deli and Caplansky’s Snack Bar, in partnership with Zane Caplansky. HMSHost will also open Bar 120: Cuisine Transformed with a menu developed by Modern Culinary Academy chef John Placko.

“We’re thrilled to welcome these incredible culinary talents to Toronto Pearson. Delivering a world-class food program and creating memorable experiences for travellers is our focus at Toronto Pearson,” said Janine Gervais, Associate Director Retail and Food Programs with the Greater Toronto Airports Authority. “Together with our long-time partner HMSHost, we will deliver an exciting range of restaurants featuring ethnic cuisine, comfort food and halal options that are sure to delight our passengers. With completion of this project in 2015, Toronto Pearson will have an extensive collection of dining experiences with the greatest number of chef-inspired restaurants of any airport worldwide.”

“HMSHost is extremely proud to be partnering with the most renowned group of chefs from Toronto, and soon we’ll be able to introduce travellers to the most amazing dining experiences that exemplify this diverse and exciting city,” said HMSHost Vice President of Business Development Renee Tedesco. “The kind of talent and unique style these chefs bring will create a culinary experience beyond compare for travellers.”

Celebrity chef and celebrated cookbook author Lynn Crawford is partnering with HMSHost to open The Hearth, featuring Chef Lynn Crawford’s flavourful creations of hearth-fired flatbreads, fresh salads, sandwiches and small plates. Lynn is chef-owner of Ruby Watchco, a market-inspired, comfort food restaurant in Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood which has garnered critical acclaim as one of the best new restaurants in the country. Lynn was the first Canadian female invited to participate in the Food Network’s Iron Chef America, and continued the competition on Top Chef Masters Season Five. Lynn also stars in the Food Network Canada show, Pitchin’ In, nominated for a Gemini Award in 2010 and 2011, and makes regular appearances on such shows as Restaurant Makeover, Top Chef Canada, Chopped Canada, and The Marilyn Denis Show, among numerous others.

Internationally acclaimed Master Chef Susur Lee, praised as one of the “Ten Chefs of the Millennium” by Food & Wine magazine, is joining HMSHost to open Asian Kitchen by Susur Lee. Known for his range of unique techniques from classical French to traditional Chinese, Susur will marry his famous culinary creations to develop bistro style entrees with modern Asian and French influences. Winner of the CAA Five Diamond Award, Cannes, France; the American Academy of Hospitality Services 5 Diamond Award (selected as one of the “World’s Best Chefs”); and countless other recognitions; and featured on shows Top Chef Canada, Top Chef Masters and Iron Chef America, among other fan favourites, Susur will be a major attraction at Toronto Pearson. Travellers from all over the world will recognize his work from having experienced his street side restaurants such as Bent and Lee, both in Toronto, and TungLok Heen at Hotel Michael in Singapore.

HMSHost has partnered with Toronto celebrity chef, television host and cookbook author Roger Mooking to present travellers with Twist, a “global twist” on locally sourced North American comfort foods with menu items created by Roger such as Splat Scones, made with Devonshire cream, lavender honey, and peameal bacon; and the Roasted Cornish Hen—Moroccan spice rub, charred lemon and arugula. Roger is host and co-creator of the internationally broadcast television series Everyday Exotic, and has published an award-winning cookbook based on the show. He is also co-host of Heat Seekers on Food Network and host of Man Fire Food on the Cooking Channel. Roger has amassed multiple accolades such as The Maverick Chef Award and Premiers Award, as well as numerous “Best Of” lists. His extraordinary culinary talent has also secured him a spot as a recurring judge on Chopped Canada, and lead appearances on The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Marilyn Denis Show, Top Chef Canada and Iron Chef, as well as food and wine shows globally.

The new culinary lineup continues with HMSHost and Paramount Fine Foods presenting Paramount, a Middle Eastern restaurant featuring the freshest Ontario barbeque grilled halal meats, and favourites such as shawarma made with exotic spices, freshly baked pita bread, hummus, sandwiches and pizza, among additional Middle Eastern dishes. Paramount brings to the group the expertise of its CEO Mohamad Fakih, who has led the brand’s successful expansion to now also include Paramount Butcher Shop and Fresh East, with a total of six restaurants. Paramount at Toronto Pearson will be featured at two locations—one in Terminal 1 pre-security and the second in Terminal 3 post-security.

Not only will Toronto Pearson soon serve halal meats, a unique offering in any airport, HMSHost is also partnering with Zane Caplansky to open Caplansky’s Deli, a traditional Jewish deli offering breakfast plates, heaping deli sandwiches and home-style dinner entrees, as well as Caplansky’s Snack Bar, featuring simmering hot sandwiches made-to-order and other grab and go snacks. Both locations will feature a bar serving local beers and wines. Zane started Caplansky’s Deli in 2008, and it has been credited as Toronto’s first pop-up restaurant. Zane has come a long way since then, with a busy College St. location, as well as a booming catering business. In 2011 Zane launched Thunderin’ Thelma, Toronto’s first modern food truck. In an online poll, NOW Magazine readers recently voted the Deli and Thunderin’ Thelma “Best in Toronto” honours. Zane’s culinary ventures have led him to appearances on CBC’s Dragons’ Den and Food Network Canada’s You Gotta Eat Here, among other popular shows. Zane is currently a host judge on Food Network Canada’s Donut Showdown.

HMSHost will work very closely with these celebrated chefs and restaurant owners, sharing a long term partnership as menus are developed, restaurants are opened, associates are trained, and operations of the locations continue forward. This partnership will continue through the life of these restaurants at Toronto Pearson.

To add to the exciting dining transformation at Toronto Pearson, HMSHost will launch its exclusive new Bar 120: Cuisine Transformed, with menu development by Toronto’s renowned modernist chef John Placko.  John, known for his molecular gastronomy expertise, will create a dining experience for travellers featuring recognizable food with a twist of modern molecular cuisine that incorporates new techniques, flair and creativity. John has competed at the world’s most prestigious culinary competition, the Bocuse d’Or in France, and earned multiple gold medals at culinary competitions including the Culinary Olympics in Germany. John’s kitchen magic has been featured on CBC’s Steven and Chris Show, Canada AM, The Space Channel, Rogers Toronto and at Toronto’s Luminato Festival. John also teaches molecular gastronomy at Humber College and has his own culinary business, Modern Culinary Academy, where he teaches some of Canada’s top chefs about this new avant-garde cuisine.

HMSHost will round out its new offerings with its own restaurants The Local and Farmers Market, both featuring quick and healthy grab-and-go items, including gluten free, made with fresh, local ingredients; its recently created favourite, Barcuterie, featuring a fine array of cured meats, cheeses, along with craft cocktails, local beers and wines that combine to make the perfect pairing; and travellers’ favourite coffeehouse, Starbucks.