I had the chance to dine at Toronto’s Momofuku Shoto restaurant last night with the Phaidon books team and two of their authors, celebrated chefs with new books coming out this fall. Alex Atala of D.O.M. in São Paulo, Brazil, and Daniel Patterson of Coi in San Francisco were both in town as part of a global book tour with Phaidon. Atala’s one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2013 and his restaurant is currently #6 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, and Patterson has received five James Beard nominations and two Michelin stars for his work.
Our small group, which also included award-winning local chef Jonathan Gushue (formerly of Langdon Hall in Cambridge), enjoyed a delicious multi-course meal at Shoto. The tasting menu included everything from chicken sashimi to lobster with lobster mushrooms, and it was so interesting to observe the interactions between the chefs and the young and enthusiastic kitchen crew at Shoto. I loved seeing which dishes had Atala pulling out his iPhone, and hearing the questions they had for the staff about everything from specific ingredients on the menu to the furniture at Noodle Bar. Conversations revolved around food trends, the restaurant business and global travels highlighted by memorable meals around the world. I left the evening with a list of restaurants and dishes to try in far-flung corners, and a greater appreciation of the collaborations and projects that top-level chefs always have on the go (and with each other).
Coi: Stories and Recipes and D.O.M.: Rediscovering Brazilian Ingredients are available at The Cookbook Store