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The Dish on Dish

After more than nine years of dishing it out to the city’s well-heeled foodies, Toronto’s queen of entertaining is throwing in the towel—or, rather, passing it on. Trish Magwood, founder and owner of midtown’s Dish Cooking Studio (the catering company/cooking school/café/kitchen store), has sold her business. A new owner took over June 1.

Magwood, who recently won the 2008 James Beard Award in the cookbook/entertaining category for Dish Entertains, continues to appear in reruns of her two-season Food Network show, Party Dish, and in the U.S. on Slice, a show that airs on Fine Living. Her reasons for the big change: a growing family (she has three children between the ages of eight months and six years), and the growing demand for media appearances, as well as corporate and product endorsements in Canada and the U.S.

Taking over Dish is Pam Pridham, who has been the school director for the past five years. “It’s kind of scary going into it in this environment,” Pridham says, referring to the economy. She plans to stay open for June and July and then close in August for renovations. She also plans to scrap the catering part of the business. “There are so many caterers out there, and the margins are so low compared to the cooking school,” she points out. Instead, she’ll put more energy and resources into prepared foods, known as Dish-to-Go. “I think that’s where things are at.”

Dish café customers who are madly addicted to the scones will be relieved to hear the café will stay open, and the chef, Elena Embrioni, is sticking around to bake them.