The 2017 Fellows of the Ontario Hostelry Institute have been announced.

Steven Salm and Michael Steh open The Chase, May 2013.

Steven Salm came to Toronto from New York in 2010 to be the opening manager at e11even restaurant. His work for the Maple Leaf Entertainment group earned him a distinction as one of the Ontario Hostelry Institute’s Top 30 Under 30 in 2011. Two years later he opened The Chase, with Chef Michael Steh (who was named a Fellow in 2010, when he was the chef at Reds). From the success of that high-end seafood restaurant he’s built a Toronto fine dining empire of six restaurants known as The Chase Hospitality Group, while still in his early thirties. I interviewed Salm when he opened The Chase in the spring of 2013, and I remember asking him why he chose to stay and put down roots in Toronto, when he had enjoyed a successful career in Manhattan. He pointed out the window of The Chase’s top floor dining room and said, “I see all these cranes and I think there’s opportunity.” He has certainly proven himself right and has become one of the most influential and trend-setting restaurateurs in the city. It’s no surprise, then, that Salm is on the list of new Fellows of The Ontario Institute, announced this month by OHI Chair Dr. J. Charles Grieco.

Salm is indicative of the tenor of this year’s list of new fellows. (Full disclosure: Jamie Drummond and I are also fellows.) The twelve women and men chosen to be honoured for their contribution to the hospitality industry in Ontario this year are not particularly flashy or likely to pop up on the Food Network any time soon. Instead they bring solid reputations for building their industry and, of course, making their customers happy.

The 2017 Ontario Hostelry Institute Fellows are:

The Fellows will receive their honours at a special ceremony before the Ontario Hostelry Institute’s Gold Awards Dinner, on April 20th at The Four Seasons Hotel, Toronto. For more information and tickets, visit