Eating at The Chefs House – the year-old training restaurant for George Brown College’s budding chefs, sommeliers and hospitality students – is my idea of being a guinea pig at its absolute best.
I recently had lunch at this beautiful, spacious restaurant located at 215 King St. E. in downtown Toronto, steps away from the college’s main campus, with one of may favourite people: chief chef/instructor at the college, John Higgins.
As he spoke Glaswegian and nibbled on Cranberry Quinoa Salad followed by Madras Lamb Curry, I relished luscious Mushroom Soup and a superb entree of perfectly prepared pappardelle pasta laced with juicy braised duck, crunchy toasted pine nuts and lashings of shaved parmesan.
Meanwhile, we could watch the fresh-faced students working away under the tutelage of their chef mentors in the big open kitchen.
There were quibbles about the service (it was slow) and the too-large size of my companion’s curry – all passed on by chef Higgins to the manager/instructor at this lively learning emporium.
However, the excellent ergonomics of the comfy chairs perfectly matched to the height and size of tables (an annoying problem in most establishments), the uplifting vibe in the room and the students’ palpably positive energy all made the meal experience memorable.
What better way to learn the restaurant business than by working in one – from cooking the food to serving it?
What’s more, the price is right – from $18 for 2 courses to $25 for 4.
No wonder this culinary classroom is always packed. For more info and, with any luck, a reservation, check www.thechefshouse.com.