Panel Discussions

ticketed events

2-day series Mondays & Tuesdays

Day 1  | Panel Discussions  |  Open to the Public

Day 2  |  Ticketed Culinary Events  |  Open to the Public

Past Panel Discussions

All attendees must register via e-mail to participate in all Panel Discussions: 

Jennifer Hunter  |  |  t: (613) 476 1811  ext.5 


Monday November 28th

The Art of PASTRY

Where: The Waring House, Waring Hall

from: 1:00PM to 2:30PM

Price: Free


What does it take to become a pastry chef and how does the role differ in terms of hours and recognition than other chefs? What are the pros and the cons?
Lesley Chesterman, a former pastry chef herself will moderate a panel posing these questions and many others related to this fascinating culinary vocation.
Chesterman is a food and media rock star in Quebec, in both English and French. Apart from her twenty years of influential and informative restaurant reviews in the Montreal Gazette, she had a weekly reporting gig on Radio-Canada for a decade and continues to make countless other radio and television appearances as judge, commentator, and reporter. Lesley is so well known and so respected in French-speaking Canada that Chez Lesley, the award-winning French edition of her recently released cookbook, sold more than 20,000 copies thus far (The English edition is called Make Every Dish Delicious).
Joining her with their insights are some of the country’s most revered pastry chefs, Toronto’s Joanne Yolles, Montreal’s Patrice Demers, and Prince Edward County’s Michael Sullivan.
Chef Joanne Yolles is about as OG as it gets having started her career 40 years ago attending cooking school at Tante Marie’s in San Francisco. She is also the creator of Scaramouche’s legendary coconut cream pie, still the best-selling menu item some 30 plus years later.
Chef Yolles cites a major career highlight as baking for Julia Child.

Chef Patrice Demers is Montreal Pastry Chef royalty and was named Best Pastry Chef in Quebec in 2018 by the Lauriers Gala. In 2019, he was selected by Ladurée to collaborate on a Christmas Collection that was sold worldwide and also developed dessert programs in some of Montreal’s top restaurants creating desserts where fruits and acidity played an important role. Chef Demers, along with his wife, opened his pastry shop, Patrice Pâtissier, near Montreal’s Atwater Market in 2014 and hosted his own television show called Les Desserts de Patrice for five seasons on Canal Vie, and published four cookbooks, the most recent being Parcours Sucré in 2019.

Chef Michael Sullivan has been the head chef at Merrill House for over 18 years and has come from some Toronto’s finest kitchens such as Auberge du Pommier and The Fifth. With an affinity for French cuisine and pastry, his menus have evolved over the years to reflect the terroir of Prince Edward County. Inspired by recent culinary tours in France and the UK, Chef Sullivan continues to innovate whilst respecting the heritage of his dishes.

A light reception with local food and drink will accompany the session.

Jamie Kennedy’s Farm, Hillier, ON

Sunday November 13th

The Art of Cooking with Fire

11:00AM to 3:00PM

Are you captivated by staring into an open fire? Does the smell of cooking outside joyfully ignite all your senses? And are you willing to step outside your comfort zone and let nature run its course?

For the 6th event in the Partnership for Excellence series, the spotlight will shine on one of the world’s most ceremonial eating, drinking and gathering experiences—the authentic Argentine Sunday asado (asado de Domingo).

The Argentine wife-and-husband duo, Alejandra De Miguel and Coco Gaona of Cultura Tiempo, are famous for bringing fire to special events and parties across Ontario.

This will be the first time they have been given carte blanche to recreate the authentic Sunday asado for a limited number of guests.

The morning will begin with a suggested arrival time of 11AM, where mate will be passed. From there the day will flow without a strict attachment to time—just like in Argentina.

A mate circle, craft cocktail by Kinsip Distillery, and a Barolo and a Dolcetto from the portfolio of Gibson Family Wines will make up the beverages for this event. You are also invited to bring your own wine.

Top Chef Canada judge, writer, and former food critic for The Globe and Mail, Chris Nutall-Smith will host this event and enliven the experience by engaging Cultura Tiempo with questions and remarks on all things fire. 


This experience will run as true to form as if you were gathering in Argentina on a Sunday. Please come prepared with clothing layers as there will be a lot of gathering around the fires outside, whilst watching the meat cook.

We invite you to bring your wine to share. Empanadas and salami and cheeses will be served at the beginning and then we will be at the mercy of the fire for the remaining meat courses which should be ready at approximately 1PM.


Monday November 7th

The Art of Cultural Collegiality


Journalist Sarah Martin, host of the critically acclaimed podcast, Home Cooked, will moderate an enriching discussion around questions such as how six chefs with different backgrounds, family and culture, come to the table together. 

Sarah has lived, worked and eaten in Hanoi, Prague, Paris and Mumbai. Whether pho for breakfast from the woman in the alley in Vietnam, masala dosa from street stands on Nariman Point, or the radio assignment that got her a complete dinner at a renowned three-star Michelin restaurant in Paris, local food is Sarah’s perfect appetizer for an interview. Reporting for the CBC, NPR, New York Times and the Voice of Vietnam, she has always worked to pair personal stories with a larger audience. 

Tomer Markowitz representing Israel, DaiLo Toronto’s Nick Liu representing his Hakka-Chinese background, Sally and Bobby Ramsaran of Sally’s Roti Shop in Kingston of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamoy Nicola and Joshua Blake representing Jamaica, and Alexandra Feswick showcasing her Ukrainian roots, will join Sarah to share their stories and musings about their experiences cooking in Canada.

A light reception with local food and drink will accompany the session.

2-HOUR Seminar at Waring House

Monday, August 22nd



Lesley Chesterman, Montreal-based journalist and restaurant critic, who has covered the local and international food scene for many years, will moderate this panel titled The Art of the Tasting Menu where she will dig into a myriad of points relevant to this theme.

Is there still a big appetite for tasting menus post-Covid? Are they really the best way to experience a restaurant’s opus? How many courses should they be and why? 

Further questions like how to design the ultimate tasting menu to accommodate the seasons and defining what farm-to-table cuisine really means will also be up for discussion. 

Joining her with their insights are Chefs Jason Bangerter (Executive Chef at Langdon Hall and Cookbook Author) and Zach Littlejohn of Littlejohn Farm. Both are esteemed Canadian chefs well-versed in the subject.

Adding an alternate perspective to the theme is eighth-generation farmer Vicki Emlaw from Milford who started Vicki’s Veggies back in 2001. Vicki is one of The County’s OG farmers and has been a huge supplier of exceptional produce to many acclaimed Toronto chefs and restaurants over the years. Many of her offerings have appeared on the tasting menus of the country’s top restaurants.

A light reception with local food and drink will accompany the session.


Monday, June 13th

The Art of Hospitality


Top Chef Canada judge, food writer, and ex-national food critic for the Globe & Mail, Chris Nuttall-Smith will moderate an educational discussion around such questions as ‘what are the top ways to create the ultimate hospitality experience for diners?’ and ‘what are some of the world’s utmost legendary dining destinations for hospitality?’. 

Joining him with their insights are Chefs Tobey Nemeth and Michael Caballo of Toronto’s Edulis, enRoute magazine’s Best New Restaurant 2013. The 10-year-old beloved restaurant is widely considered one of Canada’s premier hospitality experiences by both the public and industry professionals. 

The Royal Hotel’s GM Sol Korngold, the mastermind behind the hotel’s design and overall point-of-view, Executive Chef Albert Ponzo, and Director of Operations Niall McCotter will also join the discussion. 

Participants are encouraged to come with questions! 

A light reception with local food and drink will accompany the session.

2-HOUR Seminar at Waring House

Monday, May 30th

The Art of Women-Owned Restaurants


One of the country’s first and legendary female restauranteurs, Donna Dooher (Mildred’s Temple Kitchen), will moderate this timely panel discussion centred around the topic of women-owned restaurants. Dooher has been a prominent part of Toronto’s restaurant scene since she opened the much-adored Mildred Pierce Restaurant in 1989 on Sudbury St. Also a celebrated cookbook author of Out to Brunch and Market to Table Cookbook, Donna starred in the popular Food Network show, Cookworks, and lays claim to introducing dining out for elevated boozy brunches to Toronto. 

Donna will be joined by Chefs Amanda Cohen (Dirt Candy NYC), Leah Marshall Hannon (Stella’s Eatery), Charlotte Langley (Scout Canning), Samantha Valdivia (La Condessa and Koenji) and Stella’s Restaurant owner Cristina Meillon.

A light reception with local food and drink will accompany the session.


Tuesday, May 17th

The Art of Curating the Perfect Wine List and Cooking with Wine


Edinburgh-born, Ontario-based sommelier, writer, judge, educator and Good Food Revolution’s Editor, Jamie Drummond, will moderate an educational discussion around such questions as ‘what goes into creating the perfect wine list?’ and ‘what are the must-haves for any wine list?’. One of the world’s top sommeliers Véronique Rivest, and Adega’s double-certified sommelier Thierry Alcantra-Stewart will also speak to these questions. 

The Governor-General award-winning locavore Chef Jamie Kennedy will also share his tips and tricks around cooking with wine. 

Participants are encouraged to come with questions!

A light reception with local food and drink will accompany the session.