Chef Chris McDonald

Chef Chris McDonald is one of Canada’s most respected chefs, known for a creative, first-principles approach to cooking, and an exceptional knowledge of the intricate relationships between food and wine. Much of this knowledge was derived from a 15-year educational odyssey of learning both the spoken and culinary languages of the world’s great cuisines.
Chris McDonald has been influential in bringing his experience to several acclaimed projects in Canada, acting as chef at the VIP lounge of the Ontario pavilion at Expo 86 in Vancouver; as chef de cuisine at Centro, a project that introduced the emerging California cuisine to Toronto; as opening chef at Santa Fe Bar and Grill in Toronto, a highly successful project showcasing his southwestern and Mexican culinary skills; and at Massimo Rosticceria in 1990, which drew on an intensely personal vision that grew out of his experience in Italy. In 1995, he opened Avalon restaurant in Toronto, an 11-year project investigating the culinary boundaries of urban fine dining. Today, Chris is the Executive Chef and President of the award-winning Cava Restaurant and Xococava.


View Photos <Questions_Answers> Your fave kitchen utensil/gadget? The sandwich press I brought from Mexico. No-name; I use it for everything.
<Questions_Answers> What would we typically find in your fridge? Milk, beer, cheese, guanciale, butter, filtered water from Cava, bomba, duck fat, eggs, Tio Pepe, Guindilla peppers and anchovies.
<Questions_Answers> Your signature dish? Eggs with some of the above.
<Questions_Answers> What are your must have kitchen layout requirements? Good lighting
<Questions_Answers> What is your biggest kitchen splurge? I really want a good stove. If I come across someone who wants to offer me one at a discount — this will be “my biggest splurge”.
<Questions_Answers> Where did you get your love for cooking? As my mother was a child prodigy and never learned to cook, I had to fend for myself to feed myself well. It’s turned into a pretty good hobby.
<Questions_Answers> Your guilty food pleasure? Croissants
<Questions_Answers> Food aversions? I don’t like meat sauce except baked in lasagna.
<Questions_Answers> Fave cookbook authors? Richard Olney, Ada Boni, Elizabeth David.
<Questions_Answers> Complete this sentence: People would be surprised to find out… That I am not as scary as I look.
Chef Chris McDonald in his Home Kitchen in Toronto
Chef McDonald lives in a charming ’50s bungalow in North Toronto, a home that’s been in the family and holds sentimental value. The kitchen hasn’t yet been violated by the current reno craze, and as Chef McDonald has stated in the past, “…all you need to cook is food and a heat source.”

Chef McDonald’s Home Kitchen
No fancy stove hood but there’s the butcher block island again! Chefs do love themselves those butcher block countertops.—-016.jpg

Kitchen Detail
Good light is another common requirement.—-012.jpg

Flavour Arsenal
Recognize anything you use at home?—-0717.jpg