A Taste of Taste: Chef Steve Gonzalez

Fort York will soon be filled with foodies.

From July 24 to 27, Taste of Toronto will be taking over the historic space to feature the culinary creations of some of the city’s most notable chefs. It marks the North American debut of the world-renowned food festival.

And yes, we’ll be there in all our diet-breaking glory.

But we decided you should probably know some of the chefs who’ll be backing this monumental festival if you want to get a better idea of what you’re in for. So that’s why we’ll be profiling a different one each week leading up to the event. And hey, if knowing a thing or two helps you score free seconds, we’re happy to help. 

We kicked it off last week with Chef Cory Vitiello, the culinary creator behind Toronto staples The Harbord Room and THR & Co. Then it was Anthony Rose of YP hot spots Rose and Sons, Big Crow and Fat PashaLast week, we learned more about Chef Geoff Hopgood of Roncesvalles Village’s Maritime-inspired hot spot Hopgood’s Foodliner.  

Now, we get to know Steve Gonzalez of Valdez

What can we expect to see and taste from you at Taste of Toronto? 
A taste of Latino street food with some Valdez favourites.

What is the best part about participating in a food and drink festival? 
Getting out there and connecting with people who like what we are doing.

What is the best part about the Toronto culinary scene?
Best is I can get whatever flavour I want at most times of the day and night. This could also be a problem at 3am.

What’s always in your fridge?
Green Jell-o, bread, eggs and cured meat.

What city or country would you visit/move to for the food alone? 
Peru. I was there in January and the food culture runs deep. Great ceviches, and lots of different flavours and ingredient I’ve never seen.

What’s the biggest mistake you can make as an up-and-coming chef? What lessons have you learned? 
Listening to too many people. Stay true to yourself and your vision. But never stop learning.

What makes you come back to a restaurant after first visit? If it wasn’t all you expected, would you try it again? 
I need to feel comfortable, welcomed, and don’t piss off my girlfriend. Something has to be great or I probably won’t be back.

What is your favourite way to spend a Sunday in Toronto? 
Hanging in Kensington market. It’s my hood and everything I need is there.

What now closed Toronto gem (restaurant, store, etc) do you miss the most? 
Perigee. I worked there and I learned so much about myself and food. Lots of great meals were had there.

Who is the most notable person to eat your food? Any celebs, etc? 
Celebrities don’t do much for me. I treat everybody the same.  

Predictions for Toronto’s culinary scene in the next five years? 
Fine dinning with ambitious, avant-garde menus. Back to tablecloths and proper service.

Stay tuned next week for David Chang from Momofuko.


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