Restaurant Takeover

Restaurant Takeover

Cast Bios

Corbin Tomaszeski

Corbin Tomaszeski Raised on a farm outside of Edmonton, Corbin Tomaszeski was born to be a chef. One of his earliest memories is the smell of baking bread in his grandmother's kitchen. Coming from a large Polish Canadian family, preparing meals was not an easy task for his mother. Corbin worked alongside her, creating wonderful meals such as the heartwarming soups that have become one of his many trademarks.   
 
Corbin is very passionate about family and food. He is also very loyal to his food service team who he constantly coaches and mentors while still having fun. His creative spirit is woven into everything he does and he has established a strong following from hosting shows such as Dinner Party Wars, Restaurant Takeover and Crash My Kitchen on Food Network Canada and HGTV Canada.
 
Corbin's many fans include chefs, customers and viewers alike. All wish to hone or expand their cooking sills and enjoy Corbin's general demeanour. A born storyteller, Corbin's personal philosophy is that great food is a means to an end. Food has the ability to connect us all in our daily lives.

Massimo Capra

Massimo Capra Italian expatriate Massimo Capra is the chef and co-owner of Mistura and Sopra Upper Lounge, two well-known restaurants in Toronto offering fine contemporary Italian cuisine and live music respectively.
 
Born near Cremona, Italy, Massimo studied at the National Culinary Institute in Salsomaggiore, Parma.  He began his career by working in some of Italy's finest restaurants and hotels, including Trattoria dell' Amelia in Venice, widely considered one of the best restaurants in Italy at the time. He also spent several years in various hotels, such as Hotel Royal, Val d'Aosta, Hotel Savoy, and Drei Tannen. Finally, Massimo worked for Gallia Hotels, owners of the famous Excelsior Gallia Hotel, Cavour Hotel, and Rio Envers Hotel.
 
Yearning to work overseas, Massimo boarded a plane for Toronto in 1982. He began working at Archer's, a restaurant owned by one of his relatives. Massimo used his time at Archer's to master the English language and improve his culinary skills.

In 1989, Massimo met Michael Carlevale of the famed Prego della Piazza. He and was offered the chef position and Prego became one of the most well known restaurants in Toronto during his nine-years there. While working with Michael Carlevale, Maassimo developed the concept for Carlevale's Black & Blue Restaurant and Byzantium. 

In 1997, Massimo merged forces with Paolo Paolini, formerly of Splendido. Mistura was opened shortly thereafter in October, 1997. The exclusive Sopra Upper Lounge is the latest addition to Massimo's long list of restaurants list. Since 2006, Sopra has been a favourite among Toronto's live music lovers.

Andrea Nicholson

Andrea Nicholson Andrea Nicholson has always been obsessed with food: as a creator, teacher and connoisseur. She is a Red Seal certified chef who received her culinary training at George Brown College in Toronto.  Her professional experience includes positions at respected Toronto restaurants and culinary institutes such as Great Cooks, Via Allegro, The Fifth, Humber College, George Brown College, 35 Elm, Trattoria Nervosa. Moreover, Andrea has travelled the culinary globe, working with internationally acclaimed chefs and the world renowned 6 star cruise line, Regent Seven Seas. 
 
 Andrea also trained in New York City under Roberto Caporuscio and now holds a diploma from the A.P.N. of Naples, Italy, distinguishing her as a certified Pizzaiuoli.
 
 Andrea's passion for food is evident in her masterful creations, which celebrate local and seasonal produce and support Canadian farmers.  
 
 Andrea was a contestant on Season One of the Food Network program, Top Chef Canada. She is currently an expert chef on the Marilyn Denis Show and owner and creator of Killer Condiments, an artisan condiment line.

Derek Minkensky

Derek Minkensky Born and raised in southern Ontario, Derek is a self- trained Chef who began his culinary journey in a backwoods of western New York. Here he spent his childhood summers hunting, fishing, growing vegetables and preparing food with his grandparents as they imparted upon him their back to the land philosophies. He carries these ideals with him in all that he cooks, understanding that the best dishes come from an intimate knowledge of ones ingredients, where they originate and how they are traditionally prepared.

Having worked in some of the top restaurants in Toronto Derek now combines his respect for simple time-honoured food preparation with influences from South America, Asia, Western Europe and North Africa. For Derek, cooking began as an expression of love and respect for his family and the land in which he grew up. He remembers this even when cooking for a dining room of over a hundred guests or revamping restaurants with the Food Network.

Adam Hynam-Smith

Adam Hynam-Smith Adam Hynam-Smith is Chef and Co-owner of El Gastrónomo Vagabundo, Ontario's first gourmet street food truck.  Nicknamed "El Gastró" by those that eat there, Adam's truck was recently featured on the Food Network's Eat St., and his menu has been dubbed the best street food in Ontario. Hynam-Smith's pioneering chef techniques has garnered him a reputation for reshaping the standard street food cuisine in Ontario. According to Acquired Taste Magazine, "what Momofuku master chef David Chang is to New York, El Gastrónomo Vagabundo is to Toronto's food truck culture."
 
Hynam-Smith was raised in the historic gold mining regions of Central Victoria, Australia. Childhood lessons on the importance of community, friends and food stayed with Adam when he moved to Melbourne to train under some of the best chefs in Australia, including Cath Claringbold and Jacques Reymond. Since 2006, Adam has been travelling the globe, cooking in Morocco, France, England, Thailand, and now Canada.  
 
Adam is a passionate believer in knowing where his food comes from and the people that supply it. His cuisine draws on his global experiences, with flavours from Southeast Asia, North Africa, the Mediterranean and of course Australia.

Richard Andino

Richard Andino As an executive chef for over twenty years, Richard Andino has created many sophisticated, bold flavored dishes. He was born in the Phillippines and moved to Canada with his family in the 1970's. Richard's cuisine is rooted in his ancestral heritage that has been passed down from grandmother, to mother, and finally, to Richard. He pays homage to his Filipino background through spices and flavours that give local Canadian ingredients an added element. 
 
Richard studied Culinary Management at George Brown College in Toronto. Upon graduating he began working for a number of well-established restaurants, and was eventually offered the position of Executive Chef at North 44. 
 
Richard is continually upgrading his menu, educating guests about the multi-faceted ingredients and earning the diner's trust. He loves creating a wonderful setting through beautiful food. His attitude is evident in his dishes, which retain a sense of fun and a bit of spice!