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.
Highlights include working at Dodin Bouffant, one of New York’s finest French restaurants; studying at Paris’s famed La Varenne Cooking School; as chef at La Bottega del Vino in Verona, Italy; opening chef in the kitchens of two luxury hotels in Zihuatanejo, Mexico; working in San Francisco, cooking at legendary restaurants Stars and Chez Panisse; and in Santa Fe, at the iconic Coyote Café.
Chris 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 opening chef de cuisine at Centro, a project that introduced the emerging California cuisine to Toronto; as 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. Following this, Chris was the Executive Chef and President of the award-winning Cava Restaurant for nine years where he brought rustic modern Spanish cuisine to Toronto
Chris resides in Toronto, Ontario.