Immigrants are an example of resilience, motivation and ambition. Here are a few immigrant chefs who have majorly contributed to the Canadian cuisine and their success stories.
Abena Offeh-Gyimah – AddaBlooms
Want to learn more about African ancestral foods? Abena is a food expert, entrepreneur, and artist who will teach you everything you need to know. Her IG feed will give you an exciting glimpse into traditional Ghanaian cooking methods, farming practices and more. Plus, her business AddaBlooms brings African superfoods to Toronto so you can support African farmers while incorporating nutritious and tasty African grains and ingredients into your cooking routine.
Victor Ugwueke – Afrobeat Kitchen
Victor’s Afrobeat Kitchen pop up will have you hooked on West African street foods. His innovative takes on Nigerian classics like his smokey suya steak and his new creations like his Naija hot chicken have made waves with foodies across Toronto and landed him a spot at the new Smorgasburg market. Look out for his next pop up event for Nigerian dishes with a modern twist and authentic flavour!
Ozoz Sokoh – The Kitchen Butterfly
Ozoz is known as the Nigerian food explorer, and one quick scroll through her Instagram will show you why. As a food writer, expert and researcher, Ozoz shares a wealth of knowledge and inspiration for everyone with a taste for Nigerian cuisine. Her content is as eclectic as her taste and includes everything from traditional Nigerian recipes to her foodie experiments and product recommendations. Her content is not only informative but fun and her deep appreciation for food is truly contagious!
Culinary expert Massimo Capra came to Toronto in 1982 and worked at “Bowmen”, a famous restaurant possessed by a relative. In 1989, he turned into a culinary specialist at “Prego della Piazza”, where he worked for a long time. In 1997, Chef Massimo Capra united with Paolo Paolini, some time ago of Splendido Restaurant to open Mistura Restaurant. Sopra Upper Lounge, opened in 2006, a new food place with lot of fun and entertainment for the customers.
Chef John Higgins
Chef John Higgins has cooked for the Queen at Buckingham Palace, on the Royal Yacht Britannia, for heads of state in Washington, D.C., and for celebrities around the world. Like many of his colleagues, Chef Higgins brings years of worldwide experience to George Brown College, mentoring the next generation of talent. Beginning his career as an culinary apprentice at the Michelin Star Restaurant in Glasgow, Malmaison, John then worked at the five star luxury hotel in Scotland, Gleneagles. Upon immigrating to North America, John worked at the Four Seasons Hotel in Canada and the United States, before his final role in the hotel industry at the King Edward Hotel in Toronto.
Susar was born in Hong Kong, the youngest of six children. He served his culinary apprenticeship at Hong Kong's renowned Peninsula Hotel. He immigrated to Canada in 1978 and met and married his first wife, Marilou Covey, the same year. In 1983, Susur and Marilou had decided to move to Hong Kong, but Marilou died as a passenger aboard Korean Air Lines Flight 007 that was destroyed by a Soviet jet fighter. Susur married Brenda Bent in 1991, with whom he has three children: Kai, Levi, and Jet.
Susur worked his way to executive chef status at a number of restaurants and eventually became an entrepreneur. His eclectic culinary style is described as fusion cuisine. He is especially well known for "Singapore Slaw", his take on a Lo Hei salad, which is traditionally eaten during the Chinese New Year.
Canada's foundation from the beginning is based on immigration. All of us are visitors and guests here with the exception of the indigenous peoples. Some of the best cooks and chefs I have had the pleasure of learning from, are immigrants. be kind to our new friends, it's the Canadian way, EH?
Have a great hump day, and remember, keep your stick on the ice, we are all in this together! New to Canada, or looking for information on immigrant work visas, click the link below for more information. Cheers!