The Chef Upstairs

Posted : November 3, 2020

Our blog is chock full of great ideas for fun things to see and do in York Durham and Headwaters. We are always adding new content and updating old posts, but sometimes you might stumble upon something from our vault. If this article has inspired you to hit the road, be sure to double-check that the featured stops in this post are still welcoming visitors.

The Chef Upstairs
555 N. Rivermede Rd., Vaughan

Videography by Barry Best

So, we’ve grown all this great, fresh, local produce in YDH… now what do we do with it? Why, we learn how to cook, of course. For over a decade, The Chef Upstairs has been helping participants of all ages improve their cooking skills while spending time with friends and family in an interactive environment. Proud to be Toronto’s allergy aware hotspot, the team offers a 100% nut and peanut free environment.

Chef Julian Pancer, who co-owns the business with partner Greg Heller, is passionate about food and what can be done with it. Having trained at George Brown College in Toronto, he has worked in restaurants and hotels throughout North America and Europe. The original location opened in Toronto, and was so successful that a second location was opened in our rapidly urbanizing City of Vaughan—to great enthusiasm.

Chef Upstairs plating a dish

The Chef Upstairs is all about teaching people how to have fun in the kitchen. Two studio spaces in the Vaughan location allow for an overall capacity of approximately 90 people in typical years. To keep participants cooking with the advent of COVID-19, The Chef Upstairs has moved into the world of virtual instruction so that families and friends can continue to learn and grow together. The virtual cooking classes have opened up an entirely new demographic of participants. It has been so popular that they are considering making this method a permanent addition to their programmes. The Chef Upstairs is open for in-person classes as well, and have taken the necessary safety precautions to ensure a safe experience for all.

One of the things that puts The Chef Upstairs amongst our best culinary attractions is that they use fresh, local, and organic ingredients. Though Vaughan is an up-and-coming urban centre, we are proudly surrounded by family farms that fuel our region with quality, sustainable produce. That’s the power of partnership!

Story by Katherine Ryalen

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