Sam Gelman

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Gallery: 30 top Toronto chefs at FoodShare’s annual Recipe for Change fundraiser

Recipe for Change

The north building at St. Lawrence Market was filled to near-bursting on Thursday as food-loving philanthropists gathered to support FoodShare, a non-profit organization that endeavours bring healthy eating to all Torontonians. Recipe for Change, now in its fourth year, has become one of the city’s pre-eminent foodie fundraisers, with 400 patrons paying $125 to nibble on plates that tended to follow FoodShare’s devoutly seasonal philosophy (root vegetables were everywhere). Among the big name chefs supplying those plates were Aaron Joseph Bear Robe of Keriwa Cafe, Brad Long of Café BeLong, Pizzeria Libretto’Rocco Agostino and Momofuku Toronto’s Sam Gelman and Hans Vogels. Between the ticket sales and the silent auction, FoodShare raised $42,000 to support its food literacy initiatives—educating Toronto students about not just nutrition but the entire food system, from seedlings to table to compost and back again.

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Openings

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Introducing: Momofuku Toronto, David Chang’s new four-in-one restaurant megaplex

Introducing: Momofuku Toronto, a guide to all four of David Chang’s new restaurant concepts

(Images: Renée Suen)

A full 18 months after it was first announced—18 months of salivating over the thought of pork buns and ramen and worrying about sounding over-eager for pork buns and ramen—the Toronto outpost of David Chang’s Momofuku group is now open. Or, rather, the Toronto outposts. The three-storey Momofuku complex, which is adjacent to (but not part of) the new Shangri-La Hotel, actually houses four different “concepts”: Noodle Bar, home of the pork buns and ramen; Nikai, a second-storey bar and lounge; Daishō, which serves “large-format” meals; and Shōtō, whose 22 seats are reserved for tasting menus.

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Openings

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Introducing: Momofuku Noodle Bar, the Toronto outpost of David Chang’s New York original

Introducing: Momofuku Noodle Bar

(Image: Renée Suen)

New York’s Momofuku Noodle Bar was the restaurant that started it all for David Chang’s mini-empire, so it’s only fitting that the Toronto version was the first to open. The least expensive of the four Toronto concepts, it takes up the complex’s entire ground level, with entrances along University Avenue and through the Shangri-La. The room itself is wrapped in textured white oak walls and bordered by blackened steel bridges and a wooden staircase. Echoing the vibe of its American sibling, the 70-seat space has an open kitchen bar along its west wall, rows of communal white oak benches and a Steve Keene painting called Rust Never Sleeps that depicts Neil Young and Crazy Horse playing Madison Square Garden in 1978 (not to mention a carefully crafted playlist).

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Restaurants

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Acadia’s Matt Blondin to join Momofuku’s Toronto team after all

When Matt Blondin announced (via Twitter, naturally) that he’d be stepping away from Acadia, the molecularly tinged Southern restaurant he helped launch last summer, he set the rumour mill spinning about where he’d land. Yesterday, he put those rumours to rest in an interview with the Star’s Amy Pataki, in which he revealed he has signed up with Momofuku to be the executive sous-chef at Daisho, which will apparently serve communal meals for groups of four or more. He’ll be working under Sam Gelman, who was previously chef de cuisine at Má Pêche, the midtown New York outpost of David Chang’s Momofuku empire. Blondin, it turns out, will be in charge of hiring and training the kitchen staff and overseeing daily operations—no small responsibilities for such a hotly anticipated restaurant. Chang’s praise for Blondin in the Star article was characteristically wry: “He’s well entrenched in the Toronto food scene. He can help with things like, which is the better garbage disposal company?” Read the entire story [Toronto Star] »

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