TORONTO – The future leaders of the foodservice and hospitality industry were feted yesterday at the Top 30 under 30 reception at George Brown’s hospitality school.
Organized by the Ontario Hostelry Institute, the event attracted more than 100 industry execs and guests who were present to toast and acknowledge 30 young hospitality leaders representing the breadth of the foodservice and hospitality industry — from restaurants to hotels and suppliers.
In addition to celebrating this year’s crop of future leaders, the event also paid homage to Charles Grieco, who passed away six weeks ago at the age of 86. Grieco, along with Bruce McAdams, assistant professor at the University of Guelph, co-founded the Top-30 program almost a decade ago.
McAdams gave an emotional speech, touching on Grieco’s legacy. “In all my time with Charles, since I got to know him very well, he was always a restaurateur — it never left him. When I was manager at Jump Cafe in Toronto, I still have memories of him calling me to the table to tell me what wasn’t working that day,” said McAdams. “In reflection, he was always right. I owe him gratitude for that.”
McAdams went on to explain how Grieco gave so much of his time and efforts to the good of the greater hospitality industry. “He did many things, he helped build this institution (GBC)…he worked with government on apprenticeship programs but the two things Charles was known for was being part of the CHF and the Ontario Hostelry Institute. The number-1 goal of both institutions was to raise money for students. In the 30 odd years that the institutions have been around, the CHF has raised $300 million for students,” said McAdams.
This year’s winners include:
- Alex Bruce, owner/director, The Lark
- Alicia Kumagai, sales manager, 100KM Foods Inc.
- Alla Kim-Shamashkin, senior sales manager, Novotel Toronto North York
- Andrea Peters, PR and Marketing, Wine Marketing Association of Ontario
- Andrew Craig, outlet manager, Fairmont Royal York Hotel
- Arashasp Shroff, Restaurant Services manager, CN Tower
- Brandon Cebulak, general manager, Compass Group Canada
- Brooke Gregoire, catering manager, University of Toronto
- Chris Palivan, co-owner/event director, Toronto Cider Festival
- Daniela Alhanova, assistant manager – Sheraton Executive Club Lounge, Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel
- Danielle Nyholt, Human Resources manager, Granite Club
- Emily Lim, food scientist, Food Innovation and Research Studio, George Brown College
- Emily Snider, Marketing manager, Imago Restaurants Inc.
- Haley Mumby, Wedding & Special Events manager, Deerhurst Resort
- Jonathan Mann, general manager, Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality
- Josh Kelly, sommelier/manager, Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality
- Kylie Walters, executive meeting manager, Fairmont Royal York Hotel
- Laurie Oakes, pastry chef/sous chef, CIMA Enoteca
- Richelle Castillo, sous chef, Fabrrica
- Marty Demesa, Food and Beverage manager, Drake Commissary
- Matt Johnny, operations manager, The Other Bird
- Rahil Hoque, director of Operations, Gare de l’est
- Sahad Kassam, president, Hospitality, Food & Tourism Management Student Association, University of Guelph
- Shauna Jaskot, Business Travel Sales manager, Hilton Toronto
- Spencer Gibbons, executive chef, LaSalle Park Retirement Community
- Sztella Muzslai, Special Event sales manager, Chase Hospitality Group
- Tania Ferlin, Sales manager, Hyatt Regency Toronto
- Travis Traini, consultant, fsStrategy Inc.
- Wesley Bernard, executive sous chef, Drake Commissary
- Zac Kvas, estate mixologist, Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery & Distillery