TORONTO — The Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association (ORHMA) members gathered at Toronto’s Palais Royale ballroom for the inaugural ORHMA Toronto region chapter restaurant awards, last night, Jan. 24.
The evening’s winners included Tom Brodi of Toca at the Ritz-Carlton, Toronto, who was named Chef of The Year; Velma Pascual of Pickle Barrel, Sherway Gardens, who was awarded favourite server of the year; and Masoud Ahmadifard of The Pilot Tavern who was chosen as favourite bartender. Restaurant of the year went to Fabarnak.
Upon accepting her Restaurateur of the Year award, Ruth’s Chris Steak House operator Lana Duke gave an inspiring thank you speech. Meanwhile, Ruth’s Chris Steak House was also named winner of the ‘plate of the night,” for its 6-oz. fillet steak with beurre blanc, shrimp and mash.
Food was served by various sponsoring restaurants. The Corner Place restaurant was popular with its ahi tuna tartare cornets; Il Fornello served a choice of gnocchi — gorgonzola or sugo dominia sauce — while the Palais Royale impressed with butter chicken and sticky rice. Beer and wine makers, including Mill St. Brewery, Amsterdam Beer, Diamond Estates, Chateaux de Charmes and Sandbanks Winery, offered drinks.
Proceeds raised during the event will benefit an endowment fund for students of The Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts at George Brown College.