All stories relating to Doug Neigel

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Restaurants

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Musical kitchen chairs: Fat Duckling Matthew Sullivan is Maléna’s new head chef

Sullivan ferries food across Queen Street West to The Mascot during his Boxed pop-up (Image: Natalie Castellino)

Last week we reported that Maléna had lost executive chef Doug Neigel to Mercatto after its head chef Rob Rossi split to open his own place. Neigel’s replacement, Matthew Sullivan, is now in his fourth week and has made a few alterations. “The menu’s changed completely,” he told us. “There’s not one item that’s the same. The concept, the suppliers, the presentation are all different.” Sullivan previously completed a stage in the U.K. at the three-Michelin-starred Fat Duck under celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal, before moving to Spice Safar in Toronto. More recently, he garnered some buzz with his erstwhile roving pop-up operation Boxed Toronto (it popped up only once, at The Mascot on Queen West).

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Restaurants

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Doug Neigel—of L’Unità and Maléna—appointed Mercatto’s new head chef, following Rob Rossi’s departure

After losing Top Chef Canada finalist Rob Rossi a few months ago, the Mercatto group of restaurants has announced its new executive chef: Doug Neigel. While not (yet) as famous as his predecessor, Neigel has worked his way through some top Toronto kitchens. He started his career with the Park Hyatt Hotels, including a stint as chef de cuisine at Annona and the Roof Lounge, before moving on to Maléna and L’Unità, where he was executive chef. Neigel’s creations will begin to appear on Mercatto dinner menus next month.

The Dish

Features

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Fisherman’s Friends: Chris Nuttall-Smith reviews Maléna and The Atlantic

The season’s most anticipated openings are two seafood-centric spots

Maléna at Av and Dav (Image: Ryan Szulc)

Toronto is a raw bar town. We’re over-served by excellent oyster houses, and we probably consume more sushi per capita than any city east of Vancouver. But cooked fish is a problem here; we’ve never had a standout seafood spot. This spring, Nathan Isberg, of Czehoski and Coca fame, opened what early adopters described as a nose-to-tail disciple’s take on the life aquatic on Dundas West. And in Yorkville, a neighbourhood that’s desperate for a few more decent places to eat, front-of-house kings David Minicucci and Sam Kalogiros launched Maléna, a flashy fish spot. It looked like Toronto might finally turn into a seafood town.

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The Dish

Openings

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Just opened: Malena, by the restaurateurs who brought L’Unità to Yorkville

(Image: Karon Liu)

Yorkville’s own little Little Italy—that block of Avenue Road where Sotto Sotto and L’Unità have stood these past few years—just got an added taste of the home country. Malena opened last week, setting itself apart from its neighbours with a focus on seafood from the Ionian Sea. “We believe that the more restaurants the better. The more people it brings in the better,” says co-owner David Minicucci, who is also a co-owner of L’Unità. “They might come here one night, see Sotto Sotto next door and decide to go there next time. We’re all friends here.”

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