Executive Chef Suzanne Barr Strives to Empower Women in the Restaurant Industry

Executive Chef Suzanne Barr Strives to Empower Women in the Restaurant Industry


When you’re talking about food culture and heritage, they’re one in the same. I think culturally we have an opportunity in this city to be influenced by so many things because of the broad background of all the people that live in Toronto. We as culinary artists can then take that into our test kitchen and create dishes that really tell those stories. My name is Suzanne Bar and I’m the Co-Executive Chef at the Gladstone Hotel. To be the first chef in residence at the Gladstone Hotel, being the history of this hotel and what it represents it was an opportunity of a lifetime for me as a chef, being invited to come in and create a menu that’s so specific to my life, a personal approach on Caribbean food was for me something I will never forget. So I used my Jamaican heritage specifically for the chef-in-residence menu, I think because I was pulling from something that was true to me. It was a time for me to be able to reflect on how can I make a statement in the city and how can I be remembered. To put that food that means so much to me on a plate, personalize it in a way that it would tell a story that anyone and everyone in
this city and outside of the city can really relate to and understand. So to share with you guys some of my favorite dishes that I was excited about for creating for the menu I’ll start with the Plut Burger, So it’s like a rundown, so a cook up of vegetables cooked down with coconut milk and it’s something that you would have amongst like, within a feast. The other dish that I made was the Junkanoo slaw. Junkanoo is their version of the the carnival, and that’s exactly what the Junkanoo slaw is all about. It’s got the height, we’ve got the colour, it’s got the texture. So the Dinettes Program is a chef’s training program with women to gain hands-on training within the hospitality industry. Being a mentor is one of the most important parts for me and why I became a chef. Being a mentor now to young women
in the kitchen is something that I think I’m thankful for every day because being a woman in the kitchen is a position of power. It’s a position of joy. It’s a position of leadership and it’s a position of the future.

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