Irene Matys – The Spicy Olive – Oakville, Canada

For me, not only is food fuel & simple nourishment but the centerpiece of family gatherings; the glue that brings and holds people together. Food means family. Growing up in Cyprus and being a refugee, money was scarce for my parents. So, growing their own food was a way to provide for their family. Aunts,…

James Kayser, Butcher and the Vegan, Hamilton, Canada

What does food mean to me? It’s a question that evokes childhood memories, as well as serious inquiries into the origins of different dishes. It’s about what makes us different and what makes us the same. If you eat like a king, are you, at that moment, the same as a king? Is that why…

Melanie Da Silva, Brazil Bakery & Pastry, Toronto, Canada

Food can mean an array of things. The biggest, survival! But beyond the ‘slap in your face, duh!’ reason, food to me is family, tradition, and culture. It’s a language on its own. For myself as a member of a family-owned and operated bakery, food is my life. It’s not only my livelihood but it is…

Marc Perreault – NomNomNom Poutine + Crepes, Toronto, Canada

To me, food is comfort. From the moment we are born, we are nourished by it. It becomes such a fundamental part of us that we are comforted by its mere mention, sight, smell or even sound.  It reminds us of all those happy moments shared in the kitchen and dining rooms when growing up….

Gurratan Singh – Grand Trunk Road, Toronto, Canada

As a Sikh, the earliest memory I have with food is at our spiritual centres. We have a tradition called langar. The idea of langar is to create a space where anyone from any background and creed can come together and take part in food. And it’s a very communal aspect of exploring food. The…

Hidde Zomer – Carbon Bar, Toronto, Canada

Food to me means family and the moments you share. My first memories of food looking back was my Mom and Grandmother cooking together. I think I was always very fond of cooking and it became very natural for me to become a Chef. It wasn’t my first decision but I was always in the…

Hans Vogels – Momofuku Noodle Bar, Toronto, Canada

Tough question. Food has always been the root of survival. My grandfather was a farmer in occupied Holland during World War Two. The German soldiers showed up on his farm as he was out in the fields working and they told him that he was now in occupied Holland. He asked them if he can continue farming. They…

Craig Wong – Patois, Toronto, Canada

I have a really deep, personal connection with food and it started when I was really young. I was always cooking with my grandmother and she really showed me what food was about; bringing families together. That’s when I knew that I really wanted to do this because there’s nothing that I could do to…

Andres Marquez – Oasis Rooftop Taqueria, Toronto, Canada

I have the unique privilege of making people happy with my craft. Food to me means happiness. It means giving a little bit of myself with every single dish and it makes people happy. I was very fortunate to grow up in a family full of culture. My grandmother was one of those ladies who…

Michael Blackie – NeXT Restaurant, Ottawa, Canada

Food to me is about memory. In my whole career, the people I always love to interview the most are Chefs who’ve worked in seniors homes who have cooked for people who have 50, 60, 70 years of food memories. When we’re little kids, we don’t like certain foods but as we get older in…

Rudy Guo – Pearl Diver, Toronto, Canada

Food to me is about childhood memories.  I grew up in a family business with a lot of food, mostly Chinese food since I was really young.  As I grew older, I experienced different food so it became a lifestyle and a passion. Food it’s an every day want and need. I’m really happy that…

Patrick Suksaen – Jatujak, Toronto, Canada

My definition of ‘food’ is that it’s one of the four basic human needs, in addition to shelter, medicine, and clothing. Food fuels the body that provides me with the energy to live, work hard, be creative and enjoy life. I was born in a family where Mom cooked the meals everyday and everyone in our extended family joined us nightly for dinner….

Giorgio Taverniti – Frank’s Pizza House, Toronto, Canada

Food is our life source.  It’s fuel we need to get us through the day-to-day grind of life. Simply put we require food to survive. But can it mean more than just survival? My European background and culture (half Italian and half Portuguese) deem food to have a much more important and vital meaning than…

Eoin Ramsbottom – Farmhouse Tavern, Toronto, Canada

Food to me has always been about experiences. Growing up in Kilkenny, Ireland and being part of a large family, food has always been part of shaping and sharing an experience. From baking brown bread with my grandmother Joannie who taught me to cook with a smile, I learned that food for me was not just…

Caleb Cullen – Murgatroid, Toronto, Canada

Food is the last magic. All of us need food every day. Our highly industrialized society makes it easy to overlook the intimacy of our relationship with food, because it is so easy for us to obtain packaged, ready-to-eat, factory-produced food items. We must eat to live; what we eat affects our health and well-being….

Rony Goraichy – Tabule, Toronto, Canada

Born and raised in Lebanon during its Civil War, the importance of being able to share a meal with family and loved ones was essential. Eating together was not only an expression of love, but was a setting of security and harmony created by sharing, conversing and laughing.  My mother always tried to make each of…

Maurizio Mascioli – Maurizio’s, Parry Sound, Canada

Food has become an integral part of our society. Regardless of where we may live in the world, food is part of our identity as a people. Similarly, some cultures share some of the same food passions as others do.  Such as an excellent wine, cheese or pastas to name a few. Yet, each culture has its unique…

Lisa Labute – The Goods, Toronto, Canada

Food is at the root of everything, we build relationships, cultures and communities around it. The food we have access to directly affects the way we live. If we have access to little or no food we’ll starve. If we have access to nourishing real food we’ll thrive. If we only have access to processed…

Tony Vastis – Restaurateur, Toronto, Canada

As a restaurant owner, I see food very differently from your average non-restauranteur. It’s mainly from a business perspective. However once removed from the everyday business of the restaurant, I can truly tell you what it means to me. In one word it means LIFE. My life’s most memorable moments have revolved around food. From our yearly family…

Jesus Morales – La Bella Managua, Toronto, Canada

To me, food is the most significant aspect of my life. It not only makes me happy but has also shaped the person I am today. It has also caused me to further appreciate every meal that I prepare for myself and others. For more information about Jesus, please visit La Bella Managua!

Mandy Kan – Dessert Lady, Toronto, Canada

For me, food means fun, happiness, joy, adventure, energy and togetherness. For more information about Mandy and her inspirations creations, please visit The Dessert Lady!

Fred Naggar – Delysees, Toronto, Canada

Be exquisite at everything you create, assemble & serve. By providing the highest level of customer service, it will allow you to have an opportunity to attest to all the hard work our entire team has worked so hard for.

Davis Urdaneta – Dufflet Pastries, Toronto, Canada

Food could mean a lot of things to everyone. Primarily the right foods are a main source of nutrition that give us nourishment and helps us to stay healthy. Food can also satisfy someone’s cravings. In a social gathering, it opens up a good conversation among people and creates better understanding between different cultures around the world….

Stephanie Duong and Bruce Lee – Roselle, Toronto, Canada

To us, food is one of the great gifts of life. It is one of those beautiful things that is better off shared with others. Bruce and I have worked in 3 different continents and it’s amazing to see the universal power of food to bring people together. Our fondest memories of our time spent…

Fred Luk – Fred’s Not Here + Red Tomato, Toronto, Canada

Growing up in Hong Kong my mother was a very good cook. My parents exposed my sister and me to cuisines from different regions of China, countries of Korea, Japan, India and France as we dined out often as a family. As teenagers I remember my sister and I traveled by ferry to the Kowloon…

Brad Long – Cafe Belong, Toronto, Canada

Food is Fuel. Food is Medicine. Food is Love. Sound kinda all over the place?  Nope.   We, as an extremely hearty species, can survive on most anything as long as we have water, so the fuel thing references the simple fact that we need it to get up off our haunches and be functional….