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Jan 12, 2024

6 min. read

Chef Taylor McMeekin knows how to serve up Toronto. The executive chef at The Drake Hotel previously helmed kitchens at The Chase and Mildred’s Temple Kitchen.

Formerly with Newfoundland’s Fogo Island Fish, McMeekin now brings his deep passion for local sourcing, sustainability, regenerative agriculture and community support to The Drake’s menus.

Here, chef McMeekin shares his favourite eats and things to do in the place he calls home.

What are you reading when you have a minute? I’m reading Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work—a book by husband-and-wife chefs H. Alexander Talbot and Aki Kamozawa.

Where should visitors dine and drink in Toronto? As far as restaurants go, I would say Dreyfus, which is a French eatery. My favourite bar is Civil Liberties, and the coffee shop would be the café at The Drake. I like Ethiopian cuisine, so I often go to Lalibela, which is in my area.

Where do you take out-of-town guests? I like taking people around Evergreen Brick Works. There are a lot of different things going on there. The Distillery and Toronto Islands are also must-sees.   Any recommendations for day trips or weekend getaways? **Visit wineries in the Niagara region. There have been a few openings in Hamilton that are making it more of a culinary destination. The Scarborough Bluffs are underrated.

Where is your favourite place to buy fresh food in the city? Affinity Fish is doing some great things in our freshwater fisheries right now. They have a shop on Dundas West that sells sustainably caught fish from Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Georgian Bay.

Since life in the kitchen doesn’t leave much free time, where do you like to decompress outdoors? I really like High Park. I enjoy hanging out at Dovercourt Park as well.

Dine in or take out?

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