David Chow of STOCK Restaurant

Computer Engineer turned Pastry Chef, David Chow of STOCK Restaurant, uses skills obtained through his Science degree to create plated desserts and handcrafted chocolates with unique and delicious flavour combinations – like chocolates infused with apricot and wasabi, or aged balsamic vinegar and orange confit. His background, though uncommon, provides Chow with the sought-after ability to have flawless attention to detail and precision, skills that have allowed him to stand out amongst his peers and receive recognition for his wonderful craft, including his nomination as Top 30 Under 30 from the Ontario Hostelry Institute in 2007.

Chow’s love of food began at an early age when he was assigned the task of cooking for his family after his mother’s unfortunate cancer diagnosis. Beginning as a chore, Chow discovered the immense pleasure he received from providing comfort to his family, by cooking and baking for them during a difficult time. Though his success and interest in Maths and Sciences led him to pursue a degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Waterloo, he was attracted to the ‘finicky’ nature of pastry and enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu, in his hometown of Ottawa, after receiving his undergraduate degree. Chow admits that his family was somewhat surprised initially to hear of his career change, but notes that “At the end of the day, you have to do what you love, and this is what I love.”

Sampling Plate includes: peanut croquant; white/dark chocolate mint; hazelnut and macadamia nut dragees; apricot/wasabi; tonka bean caramel; caramel flavoured with aged balsamic vinegar and orange confit.

Chow is grateful for the leap of faith that Chef David Chrystian and Pastry Chef Heather Pollock took by giving him a job as Su Pastry Chef at The Drake Hotel soon after his graduation in 2003. He cites Pollock as a significant influence and wonderful mentor, whose pastry techniques and interest in local and sustainable ingredients continue to guide Chow in his career today. The acclaim and recognition Chow has received from his work makes him want to continue to improve and grow, “to live up to that name,” he says. After receiving praise for his gorgeous and mouth-watering cakes at The Drake, Chow worked at The Albany Luxury Resort in Nassau, and now resides as the Executive Pastry Chef at STOCK Restaurant on the 31st floor of the Trump International Hotel & Tower. There he was trained, along with his staff, by a French chocolatier sent from Valrhona Chocolate, and also self-taught through practice and experimentation. In addition to the beautiful chocolates, Chow’s plated desserts are exquisite, including fan-favourite ice cream sandwiches. With combinations such as French macarons filled with Sicilian pistachio and dark chocolate sorbet, and raspberry cheesecake sorbet in a red velvet whoppi pie, there’s sure to be something on the menu to suit all sweet-tooth fanatics.

Chocolate Cart

When asked about his future plans, Chow replies that he is satisfied where he is at the moment, and doesn’t think he is mature enough as a chef, businessperson, or an author to embark on any new endeavours, like opening his own shop or writing a cookbook. However, he is not willing to write off those options permanently. In the meantime, Chow continues to learn and push the boundaries of his creations, and is currently preparing for the Toronto International Film Festival as well as the opening of STOCK’s online chocolate store aimed to launch before Christmas time. Wherever Chow’s future may lead him, it is certain to include his own unique vision of classic treats.

STOCK Restaurant

STOCK Restaurant is located at 325 Bay Street, 31st Floor stockrestaurant.com

Rebecca Feigelsohn is a Toronto based editorial intern for Good Food Revolution. She recently completed her BA in English at McGill University and loves all things sweet. Follow her as she profiles Toronto pastry chefs @GoodFoodRevInt