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Chef Bites 2016 with Tyson Liebrecht

By Patricia Noonan

Chef: Tyson Liebrecht

WhereAngolino

Describe your current food style: Classic Italian, rustic, focus on local ingredients and suppliers.

Training: George Brown College, Culinary Management Diploma 2009-11, Italian Culinary Post Graduate Program 2011-12, ALMA International School of Italian Cuisine, Colorno, Italy 2011.

Places you have travelled to inform your culinary skills: Italy: Emilia Romagna, Piedmonte.

Restaurants you've worked: Most recently Bosk at the Shangri-La Hotel Toronto for three years. I worked at the Michelin starred Antica Corte Pallavicina while in Italy, and here in Toronto I’ve worked at Vertical, and Paganelli’s. I was on the opening team at Real Sports while I was in school.

Biggest culinary influence: I came to Toronto for the Italian program at George Brown College. The program offered the opportunity to travel to Italy to study and that is the experience I was seeking having come from a design background. Definitely my chef and mentor Gabriele Paganelli who I met and worked for during school has been the biggest influence on my current style and outlook. He produces the best salumi I have ever tasted.

Fantasy meal: While staying Tuscany, we came across a small, unassuming restaurant in the hillside town of San Donato. The space was cozy and inviting, reminiscent of my grandmother’s dining room. Traditional salumi made from their own animals, fresh pasta with wild boar ragu, a perfect risotto made with radicchio, and roasted guinea hen - all paired with an endless supply of their house made red. Desserts full of booze like an amazing zabaglione made with Marsala and poured over gelato encased in a crunchy meringue. Locally raised, fresh ingredients, treated with respect, and made with love.

Favourite food/wine pairing: A hearty wild boar ragu and a tasty Valpolicella.

Junk food passion: I like making my own, but Popeye’s fried chicken!

Comfort food: Sansotei Ramen, unless Mom’s in town and she’s making cabbage rolls.

Fave Toronto resto: So many choices, but at the moment I have to say my favourite meal has been from Boralia.

Fave Toronto bar: My favourite bar serves up amazing food - Thoroughbred on Richmond Street.

Cookbook you cannot live without: Anything by Ruhlman, but lately I’ve been studying Keller’s Bouchon Bakery, and Flour + Water by Thomas McNaughton.

Most important tool in the kitchen: A good sharp knife.

What’s exciting about the industry for you still: It is constantly changing but there’s always a place for everyone. What entices me most about this career is that it offers a life long education if you are up for it.

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