By Jamie Drummond
Last night The Drake Hotel revealed their plans for the coming year of their Dining Roadshow concept to a select group of Toronto’s food folks.
Notable faces included The Cookbook Store‘s Alison Fryer and Josh Josephson, Bonnie Stern, Lucy Waverman, Amy Rosen, Jacob Richler, and err.. CBC’s Jian Ghomeshi.
The Drake plans to change to the concept (decor/menu/ambience/philosophy) of their main dining room space quite drastically, and repeatedly, over the course of the next 12 months… expect Chinatown and Mexico to appear somewhere along the line.
Right now the theme is comfort food, Canadian Summer Camp stylee… something that could easily be a disaster in less-experienced hands.
And how on earth does one successfully combine comfort food and what many refer to as “fine” dining?
Many stumble and falter when taking on this challenge.
But I think that The Drake, for the most part, nails it.
I have been an insatiable fan of Rose’s cooking for a long time… and yes, transparency here, The Drake are one of our sponsors.
I thought that the food was good, and in some cases it was exceptional… the menu was certainly playful.
Chef Rose knows his shit, and the way that he chooses to address fine dining in his particular situation is something that many a Toronto Chef could learn from.
Hotel XXXXX and their ilk are going to have to raise their game if they want to garner any dining customers outwith that sad geriatric (albeit monied) hotel crowd… oh wait, I forgot about all those professional athletes.
Follow the Cooks and Servers… if you see them hanging out in a place then it’s normally a good sign.
Living close to The Drake, I hang out there a lot… you should too.
I promise I won’t bother you… unless you come over and ask me to.
Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… and he looks forward to the coming incarnations of The Drake’s Dining Roadshow
I love that second photo of Anthony (5 from bottom). It’s got to go viral. How was the entertainment?