TORONTO — Chef Chris McDonald is stepping away from the helm of Cava Restaurant in mid-town Toronto. The executive chef is handing over the reigns to his business partner, Doug Penfold, on Dec. 1.
McDonald previously spent 11 years at the now-defunct Avalon restaurant in Toronto before partnering with Penfold to open Cava, a tapas restaurant featuring Spanish and Latin American cuisine, more than eight years ago. “It’s been a great ride,” the chef says. “Toronto embraced the concept of shared plates, tapas and all things Iberian. Now it’s time for me to explore and pursue my other culinary passions.”
Under McDonald’s leadership, the team at Cava has hosted winemaker dinners, guest chefs and a Groundhog Day competition, which saw chefs from across the city compete to cook the best pork-based dish. Now, he is entrusting Penfold to keep the vision alive. “Cava has grown and evolved in the past eight years, and I am confident that through Doug’s dedication and hard work, Cava will remain a significant destination in Toronto’s restaurant culture in the coming years.”
The chef is hosting a farewell eight-course dinner Nov. 26 with a group of his former colleagues.