If you live in Toronto, chances are you’ve heard of Cory Vitiello, the dashing co-owner and chef of Toronto’s popular restaurants, The Harbord Room, and FLOCK Rotisserie + Greens, and star of Food Network Canada’s new show, Chef In Your Ear. Needless to say, the Ontario-born culinary dynamo has a lot on his plate, most recently revamping the menu of stalwart downtown hotspot, THR & Co. Still, the man about town made time to tour us through his Toronto, letting us in on his best kept secrets, from where he shops for his girlfriend to where to find a butter curler.
EAT – Take Out: Sud Forno
Owned by the lauded Mammoliti family, the people behind Toronto’s Italian food empire, Terroni, this Queen St. bakery not only has incredible breads but offerings that range from freshly baked thin crust pizza slices to beautiful grain salads to irresistible custards and desserts. “I split my belly equally between their gelato, pizza and pastries,” states Vitiello, “and from a design point, it doesn’t get prettier than this spot.”
STYLE: Garrison Bespoke
Owned and operated by one-time Holt Renfrew stock boy, Michael Nguyen, this downtown Toronto shop is a sartorialist’s dream come true. Known as Canada’s best bespoke tailor shop, this custom suit store dresses everyone from big-wig bankers to television characters and even A-listers such as, rapper Drake, NBA star LeBron James, actor Ryan Gosling and of course Mr. Vitiello. He, however, is in it for their custom shirts. Says Vitiello; “I hooked myself on their custom shirts years ago. I even cook in them now.”
Currently situated in artsy Queen West and Yorkville, Toronto’s answer to New York’s Upper West Side, this well curated bag and accessories shop, featuring pieces that are modern without being trendy and edgy without going over the top, is right at the cusp of blowing up. The owner, Zane Aburaneh, even has developed his own line of jewelry, to which Vitiello is partial; “ZANE is my go-to for everything from personal accessories to luggage and gifts for my girlfriend. His own jewelry line being my favourite.”
SHOP: DIY – Cumbrae’s
With 4 locations across Toronto, the indulgent Cumbrae’s Butcher Shop has carved itself a level of quality so high that any other butcher would be hard-pressed to even attempt to reach it. As Vitiello mentions, “You simply will not find a better butcher shop. The dry-aged beef has such an intoxicating smell and flavour so uniquely theirs.” Although the meats are the store’s most impressive offering, it also features a quality of prepared foods that is equal to any high-end restaurant.
If you aren’t familiar with this chef’s dream-store it’s easy to miss it, located smack-dab in the middle of Toronto’s dizzying Chinatown. Featuring aisles and aisles of kitchen supplies, from well-priced sushi dishes to chafing dishes large enough to serve an army and EVERYTHING in between, it’s easy to get lost in the aisles of this adrenaline rush of a kitchen store. The good news is: If you make your way down there, you may just run into Chef V himself. “I’m in this store more often than any other in Toronto. It can be madness trying to navigate through the endless stock and people in general, but it’s very well priced and a good spot to bump into chef pals.”