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Quarantine, for a lot of us, has meant an overwhelming amount of free time and as it appears, a significant number of people are taking advantage of said free time by brushing up on their cooking skills. From sourdough starters to multi-day cooking projects, people are tackling the greatest of kitchen feats -- ones we had previously left only to the professionals. So if you find yourself brushing up on your knife skills or are simply trying to get reacquainted with your tiny condo oven -- a multitude of Toronto chefs are here to offer you recipes, tips and tricks to navigating the kitchen.
Many of these chefs have fully embraced their new cooking environment and are sharing glimpses into their home lives via Instagram and other social media platforms. We have compiled a list of Toronto chefs who have been exceptional at creating content during the lockdown and sharing some of their cooking adventures with their followers. The meals are homey, delicious and entertaining for home cooks to follow along or gain inspiration from. This list includes celebrity chefs, head chefs and restaurant owners of some of Toronto's best restaurants.
Location: His Lorne Park home
Chef Massimo was born in Italy and started his culinary journey at the famous Trattoria dall' Amelia in Mestre near Venice. He came to Toronto in 1982 and worked at several restaurants before opening Capra’s Kitchen in Mississauga in 2016. Chef Capra gives wonderful tips and tricks on how to make delicious Italian meals like Pasta e Fagioli and mushroom ragu. He also takes followers on adventures with him as he learns new recipes like Lo Mai Gai (sticky rice with chicken, shiitake mushroom and Chinese sausage). Follow him @chefcapra.
Location: His Toronto home
Markovitz is an Israeli chef who impressed the city with his cooking at Parallel, a Middle Eastern restaurant on Geary Avenue known for its mind blowing tahini and herbaceous falafel. Markovitz has since moved on from Parallel and is set to open his own space in Hillcrest Village dubbed Dalpak. You can find Markovitz' recipes and cooking tips in his stories, in-feed posts, highlights section and on links posted on his Instagram page to other platforms like Insiders Project. Follow him @tomermarkovitz.
Location: Cottage in Muskoka
Chef and owner of La Palma on Dundas West, Harding has been spending quarantine at his cottage since social distancing was implemented. Chef Harding has been using Instagram's live feature to share recipes and tips in the kitchen. From things like pesto to homey classics like franks and beans (hotdogs and beans) or gnocchi. Follow @chefcraigharding to see what he gets up to in the kitchen.
Location: His East York home
Duffy -- a Professor and Program Coordinator at Centennial College -- has an extensive culinary background and is sharing his expertise on Instagram. On special occasions -- in his cooking videos and pictures -- followers get cameos from his adorable daughter. From sourdough, challah, babka and focaccia -- if there is dough involved, Chef Duffy has the best tips and tricks to success. His Instagram highlights also include content from pre-quarantine days so it can be equally fun to look through his archived stories for inspiration. Follow him @matthewjamesduffy.
Location: His parents’ house in Richmond Hill
Chef Devan Rajkumar was formally trained at Toronto’s George Brown College for Honours Culinary Management. He honed his culinary skills under local Chef Adrian Niman of The Food Dudes catering company. Chef Rajkumar then worked as an Executive Chef at Luxe Appliance Studio, a multi-million dollar showcase kitchen for his favourite brands Bosch, Thermador and Gaggenau. Now like many other chefs, he is showcasing a wide range of his favourite dishes. Rajkumar has made some delicious brunch dishes, vegan meals and even homemade hot sauce. Follow @chefdevan to track his cooking adventures.
Location: His Toronto home
David Rocco is currently in Toronto (though is usually found globe trotting) and is cooking at home and giving followers a peak into his life. David is a celebrity chef and author of three popular cookbooks: David Rocco’s Dolce Famiglia, David Rocco’s Dolce Vita and Made In Italy. He is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades including a Gourmand Award, a Taste Canada Award and has been named one of “Canada’s Top Ten Style Makers” by Flare magazine. Though his Instagram is mostly for quick cooking tips and tricks and not fully elaborated videos and recipes, followers who want to cook with Chef Rocco can watch his youtube videos or explore his website. Follow his instagram @davidroccosvita.
Location: Her Toronto home
Chef Cushing uses multiple platforms to share her recipes and tips with her audience. Most recently, she was part of the extraordinary cast of Canadian chefs on a new show for Food Network Canada that premiered earlier this year in February. She is also the host of Confucius was a Foodie on PBS and is a resident chef on The Marilyn Denis Show . Her website has several recipes you can follow and she shares links from her latest Youtube videos on her Instagram page. In her quarantine kitchen, Chef Cushing shows us how to make comfort food -- Roman pasta, chickpea soup Greek style or Greek chicken gyro. Follow her at @ccfearless.
Location: His Hamilton home
Matthew Sullivan is the corporate chef of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE). He was on Top Chef Canada Season 6 and was a Chopped Canada Champion in 2015. He is taking care of his small children in quarantine but that has not stopped him from posting a few recipes for his followers on his Instagram account. He has made some fun dishes like cacio e pepe, BBQ congee and fried fish with sauce on his Instagram feed. We sure hope we see more videos from him in the future. Folllow @matthewsullychef.
Location: His St. Clair West home
Chef Romain was a judge on Top Chef Canada All-Stars and also competed on Chopped Canada. He has been featured in multiple food, lifestyle, home and fashion magazines. In 2017, Chef Romain created his own company “Romain Avril Inc”. He is currently working towards releasing a vegan cookbook. Follow him on instagram at @chefromainavril to watch him make some of the most beautiful desserts that we have ever laid eyes on.
Location: His Toronto home
Keith Pears is originally from Vancouver but moved to Toronto where he was promoted to Executive Chef at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto. He is also the Chopped Canada winner of season 3 and thankfully, for all of us, he has been active on Instagram throughout the quarantine. He has been making delicious meals on IGTV and his Instagram feed, from crispy fried chicken, to oven roasted pork and a gold leaf chocolate confectionary. Check him out at @keith_pears.