First Look: Savoury at the Westin Harbour Castle is an intimate dining experience by Corbin Tomaszeski


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Image: Yvonne Tsui

The celebrity chef has inspired thousands to enroll in culinary school in hopes of becoming the next Food Network star, but once they've “made it” many find themselves working outside the kitchen. Such is not the case for Corbin Tomaszeski who has appeared on Restaurant Take-Over, Dinner Party Wars and currently stars on the Food Network’s The Incredible Food Race.  

Tomaszeski partnered with Toronto’s Westin Harbour Castle two years ago to oversee their food program. While it is a common perception that hotel restaurants are mediocre, at best, Tomaszeski counters that “star chefs like Joel Robuchon started entire empires in Europe at hotels.”

When asked about his partnership with Westin he says it’s “all about the experience. Wellness and play.” and that it “envelops comfort and prestige without the snobbiness.”


(IMAGE: YVONNE TSUI)

 

Their newest project, Savoury at the Westin Harbour Castle, is somewhat of a dinner and a show – where you can get an elevated private chef experience.  

Savoury has actually been operational for about a year now, mostly used to entertain internal business clients and ink deals. Sabrina Bhangoo, Director of Public Relations for Marriott International which owns the Westin says “no other Westin-branded hotel in the world allows their chef to build their own private kitchen.” She adds “outside of his celebrity status, he is unknown for his culinary perspective for consumers.”  


(IMAGE: YVONNE TSUI)

 

“Great food, great company and a memorable experience are the only rules,” says Tomaszeski. 

The gist is simple. You can book an experience at Savoury where Tomaszeski will create a tasting menu (that is always changing, never repeated) that “mimics home – a chef experience featuring seasonal and local ingredients.”  


(IMAGE: YVONNE TSUI)

 

There are different menus and packages to choose from and you’ll have to pay a slight premium if you want Tomaszeski to be the one cooking for you. Otherwise, one of his capable sous-chefs such as Ryan Lamothe who’s worked at places like the Savoy and the Fairmont Chicago will play host.

The space itself is a bit of a “hidden gem.” I am taken through the hotel’s kitchen, which services the entire 970+ room hotel from room service to the dining room. It’s a little bit Alice In Wonderland-esque as you go from a busy, loud, and bustling service kitchen through two double doors You will know you’ve arrived when you see the marble countertop that wraps around to allow chef to cook tableside and play the role of host and cook. The space itself can be described as “commercial meets residential” with all the commercial-grade kitchen equipment needed to produce a restaurant-calibre meal in the comforts of an intimate, home-like setting.  


(IMAGE: YVONNE TSUI)

 

Tomaszeski hopes that Savoury will give guests an experience that leaves them “dying to come back,” he loves the face-to-face conversation, both verbal and non-verbal like “that’s the best soup I’ve ever had” to someone licking a plate because it was so good. “It’s my escape, why I got into cooking to begin with.”

Savoury at the Westin Harbour Castle, 1 Harbour Sq., booksavoury@westin.com 

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Yvonne is a freelance food and drink writer and the Director of Brand Experience at U-Feast, which curates unique, off-menu dining experiences.  Always in search of delicious. Decor and service be damned, food is king. Follow her @life_of_y and @u_feast.  Warning: don't look at her "feed" if you're hungry.

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