Dinner with Bob Blumer, Rob Gentile, Martin Juneau & Joe MacLellan (Inspired by the film The Empire of Scents)
This dinner inspired by the screening of The Empire of Scents. Ticket includes wine pairings, gratuity and tax.
Proud born and raised Canadian (turned Californian), gastronaut, artist and seven time Guinness World Record holder Bob Blumer is the creator and host of the television series The Surreal Gourmet and Glutton for Punishment, and host of World’s Weirdest Restaurants.
Known for transforming ordinary ingredients into wow-inspiring dishes through simple cooking methods and whimsical presentations, his creativity has become his culinary trademark. As an artist, Blumer recently created a show featuring 25 surreal wine glasses and decanters that he exhibited in Napa, California, and designed a Surreal Gourmet Suite for Toronto’s legendary Gladstone Hotel.
He is the author of five acclaimed cookbooks and is co-author of the best-selling Pizza on the Grill (just released in it’s second edition). His culinary Inventions du jour can be found on his Instagram page, @bobblumer.
A first generation Canadian, born to Italian parents, Rob Gentile’s earliest memories are from his grandmother’s garden and kitchen, where he soon learned that food was what fascinated him most. When challenged by his mother at age 12 to choose a job that he could love forever, he inherently knew it would need to revolve around food. After working in restaurants from the age of 13, Rob entered George Brown’s Culinary School and joined the kitchen at Grazie in 1998. Soon after, he found his first role in a professional kitchen at North 44. After ten years working in Mark McEwan’s celebrated restaurants, Rob was ready for a new challenge. He was introduced to Peter Tsebelis and Gus Giazitzidis of King Street Food Company and joined them to take the helm of Buca. The restaurant opened in September of 2009 to rave reviews and soon became one of Canada’s most celebrated dining destinations, not to mention its most sought-after dinner reservations.
In addition to his enthusiastic search for the exact ingredients needed for each recipe, Rob made his mark for his disciplined craft and innovative, artisanal approach to Italian cuisine. Regular trips to Italy continue to fuel inspiration and refine his skills in his family’s homeland. Diners and critics alike have taken note of his commitment to excellence and creativity, resulting in awards and accolades such as Toronto Life naming Buca Osteria & Bar (Yorkville) Toronto’s Best New Restaurant of 2015, and honours from Ontario Hostelry Institute with 2015’s Gold Award for Independent Restaurateur, as well as recent opportunities to cook with and earn the praise of culinary icons such as Alain Ducasse, Massimo Bottura, and Mario Battali.
After success as Executive Chef at Buca (King Street), Bar Buca, Buca Osteria & Bar (Yorkville) and the soon to open Jamie’s Italian (Yorkdale), Rob still feels the passion for food he has had since childhood. This, coupled with a determined, detail-oriented and thoughtful approach to his craft, ensure there is much more to come in his culinary story.
Martin Juneau is well-known on the restaurant circuit for his ever-changing list of accolades. In 2011, Marting won the Canadian Culinary Championships, Gold Medal Playes, before becoming a judge on the Québec Masterchef-style reality-show Et que ça Saute! for two seasons. Proud of his Québec culinary tradition, he was the ideal choice to host Les Prix Juneau in 2014, where he traveled the roads of the province in search of the best classic recipes. His latest show with Steven Raichlen, La Tag BBQ, is now airing weekly.
And that’s not all! He’s also a restaurateur. In 2012, Martin and his business partner, Louis-Philippe Breton, opened their award-winning restaurant, Pastaga, named fifth best new restaurant in Canada by EnRoute Magazine. In their the up-and-coming neighbourhood of Mile-Ex, the two promote natural wine, in the spirit of purity and quality, to go with the simplicity of the food. The duo recently opened an ice cream truck, Mr. Crémeux, a neighbourhood grocery store called Le Petit Coin (a perfect hybrid between the small French market and a general store there once was in Québec) and CUL-SEC (the first real caviste in Montréal).
Rooted from rural Nova Scotia, Joe Maclellan recently found himself returning home after spending time in the Canadian Rockies, Toronto and New Zealand. Calling Marc Thuet and Lorenzo Loseto his major influencers, Joe says they have shaped him into the chef he is today. Known as a creative mind who wants to embrace ingredients of Nova Scotia using old techniques with new ideas, he now coks and forages in the season, trying to preserve what he can for the colder months.
Progression and respect for ingredients are his deepest motivations. This will be highlighted at “The Kitchen Table”, coming this fall to Halifax’s North End, which is an expansion of friend of the fest Frederic Tandy’s very successful Ratinaud charcuterie.