Aerial view of people toasting together

Niagara’s culinary talents are transforming the region’s food and drink sector

A high-calibre culinary arts industry has long been present in Niagara. Recently however, Niagara has been attracting more culinary stars with international reputations. And these top chefs, top restaurants, and top culinary employers are making headlines across Canada. If you haven’t been checking the news, here are the highlights.

Top Chef Canada

From Niagara-on-the-Lake, Tania Ganassini trained at top restaurants like Canoe and Cafe Boulud in Toronto, and the Michelin-starred Arco Antico in Rome. She not only co-owns a plant-based, nutrition-focused meal delivery business, Staff Meal Niagara, but also happens to be on the current season of Top Chef Canada. Having already been a finalist on Chopped Canada, Tania is gaining more national attention for her plant-based meals and high level talent.

Canada’s Best New Restaurant

Jordan Station is where you’ll find The Restaurant at Pearl Morissette, the champion of Canada’s Best New Restaurant 2018 handed out by enRoute magazine. Pearl Morissette co-chefs Daniel Hadida and Eric Robertson trained in Parisian hotspots and Michelin-starred restaurants in Belgium before coming to a unique and unusual co-chef partnership in Niagara.

Leading the way on living wage

In St. Catharines, Australian chef Adam Hynam-Smith is best known for reshaping the standard of food truck cuisine in Ontario with El Gastronomo Vagabundo, and related cookbook Curbside: Modern Streetfood from a Vagabond Chef. Trained under some of the best chefs in Australia, Hynam-Smith has also studied and cooked in Morocco, France, England and Thailand. Now, he has moved on to open the highly anticipated dining experience at Dispatch with partner Tamara Jensen, and is reshaping the wage standard for restaurant staff. Dispatch is the first full-service restaurant in Ontario to offer their staff a living wage.

Food driven brewery 

And in Niagara Falls, Joe Sartor has started something a little bit different with business partner Greg Gnys – a chef-driven food program at Counterpart Brewing. Sartor is a homegrown talent, starting at Treadwell, before training at Michelin-starred kitchens, and working at some of Vancouver’s top restaurants. At Counterpart, brewing craft beer simply wasn’t enough – it was important to have a standout food menu and to build community through great craft beer and food.

Top Talent

The influx of top talent to Niagara continues to transform the food and drink sector. Leading chefs are making Niagara their inspiration and home, and the choice is easy because of the location, direct access to local farms and produce, and lower costs for starting a business. Find out why Niagara is a great place to invest and start a business.

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