Open Kitchen Toronto Launches Dinner Series to Support Women Entering the Industry

From Left: Afrim Pristine, Ivana Raca and Cory Vitiello

TORONTO — Restaurateurs Stacey Patterson and Jennifer Coburn, and chef Ivana Raca have launched Open Kitchen Toronto — a new collaborative dining series to fund two annual George Brown scholarships for budding female chefs.

As leading figures in the Toronto restaurant industry, the founders saw an opportunity to inspire and support women entering this challenging field. With assistance from friends, sponsors and the George Brown College Hospitality & Culinary Arts Program, the dining series was developed as a collective concept where chefs across Toronto can lend their culinary skill, time and resources to raise funds for the Open Kitchen Toronto Female Culinary Scholarship.

The organization celebrated its official launch with its inaugural dinner held on March 5 at Raca’s restaurant Ufficio. The three-course dinner featured dishes by Raca, as well as Afrim Pristine (Cheese Boutique), chef Cory Vitiello (Flock), Sarah Keenlyside (CXBO) and bartender Sandy de Almeida (The Drake).

The evening represented a strong start for the initiative, raising enough to fully fund one scholarship.

The second instalment in the series will be hosted by chef Donna Dooher at her restaurant Mildred Temple’s Kitchen on April 18, followed by an installment on May 14 hosted by chefs Lora Kirk and Lynn Crawford at Ruby Watchco. With its growing roster of talent, including chefs Alida Soloman (Tutti Matti) and Elia Herrera (Los Colibris), Open Kitchen Toronto aims to foster inclusiveness and support between women in the culinary industry and inspire future female chefs.

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