TORONTO — Shen Ousmand is the new chef of the Aga Khan Museum’s restaurant, Diwan.
Trained in classical French cuisine and North-American techniques, the Sri Lankan-born chef has been with McEwan Group since he was a young cook and most recently served as executive chef at McEwan, running the grocery store’s kitchen and overseeing the catering division.
Ousmand has launched a new sharing-plate focused menu inspired by his passion and experience. The chef’s new dishes build on Diwan’s Middle Eastern, North African and South Asian-inspired cuisine with items such as the Sizzling Takka Platter with chicken or shrimp, yellow, green and red peppers, onions, cilantro and ginger lemon ($20 to $22); whole boneless Mediterranean sea bass with tomato chraimeh and mint-lemon tapenade ($28); and Chef Fatoush Salad with Ontario grapes, Colombo carrots, cilantro cucumber, mint yogurt and tamarind reduction ($17).
“In Sri Lanka, we always eat family style, with everything on the table and everyone sharing and getting a bit of each dish,” says Ousmand. “It fosters that social interaction you want when you’re at the table, even when you’re an invited guest rather than a family member.”
In addition to the new standard lunch menu, Diwan is also introducing prix-fixe menus that can be ordered in advance.