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A Chef's Eye View of Ontario's Local Bounty

Publish Date: 22-Jun-2006

Thursday, June 22, 2006

“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.”- Henry David Thoreau

TORONTO, Ontario, June 22, 2006 - To squeeze or not to squeeze the tomato?  That is the question. This and many other shopping questions will be answered during this season’s “Shop With Chef” weekend event. This culinary shopping package is now available every weekend in Toronto at The Fairmont Royal York, located at 100 Front St. West, until December 29, 2007.

The award winning kitchens of The Fairmont Royal York combine to make up the largest hotel culinary operation in Canada. But The Fairmont Royal York’s new Executive Chef, David Garcelon, is also proud of the hotel’s close connections with some of the smaller producers of local product. Many of these producers are conveniently based out of the neighbouring St. Lawrence Market. It is through his “Shop With Chef” package that guests will be provided with answers to many of their questions surrounding the selection of quality local products. During the process guests will experience an insider’s tour of Chef Garcelon’s local culinary contacts.

Guests of The Fairmont Royal York’s “Shop With Chef” package will spend their Saturday morning shopping in St. Lawrence market and their Saturday evening enjoying a six course menu in EPIC, The Fairmont Royal York’s signature Four Diamond restaurant. The morning’s shopping tour begins with a fuel up on the perfect cup of Illy java at Pasta Mia. The culinary tour will allow guests to see where many of the ingredients for their evening’s dinner originate. The tour also provides a unique opportunity to get to know producers like organic farmer, John Rowe of Rowe Farm Meats; Rick Blackwood at Mike’s Seafood to select a fresh fish; Alan Graziano’s to taste some rare organic produce, while also surveying Golden Orchard Fine Foods’ freshly picked Niagara fruit. Finally, a visit to the market would not be complete without a Peameal Bacon sandwich, prepared by Maurice and Robert of Carousel Bakery. Once the Chef has quenched the tours’ appetite for shopping information, Toronto’s expert historian, Bruce Bell will take the reigns of the shopping cart, steering the group into a one hour glimpse of the 200 year history of The St. Lawrence Market. 


  • Two Night accommodation (Friday and Saturday) in a Fairmont Room, based on double occupancy
  • One hour Culinary tour of St. Lawrence Market (Depart Saturday at 8:30 a.m., from lobby with a Chef from The Fairmont Royal York) 
  • Coffee for two at Pasta Mia, St. Lawrence Market
  • Sample tasting at Golden Orchard Fine Foods
  • Peameal Bacon Sandwiches for two at Carousel Bakery (vegetarian option also available)
  • One hour walking tour of the St. Lawrence Market with historian Bruce Bell
  • Six Course dinner for two in EPIC (reservations for a Friday or Saturday seating from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 should be made at least 24 hrs. in advance)

The weekend rate for “Shop With Chef” is $589 CAD/approximately $524 USD for two nights, plus taxes and is based on double occupancy.  Package reservations may be made for  weekends through to December 29, 2007 by booking on line at or by calling 1-800-441-1414.

Executive Chef Garcelon is pleased to present this new shopping package to guests throughout 2006 and 2007. The “Shop With Chef” package will be available from the time the Niagara orchards are bursting with their bounty, to the fall harvest of Ontario’s fertile soil and through the holiday season when the best of free range poultry and festive meats are in demand.  This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to meet one on one with some of the people who produce the best food possible in Ontario.


For more information, please contact:Melanie Coates
Regional Director Public Relations
Central/Eastern Canada
Tel: (416) 860-4556
Fax: (416) 368-8817