Wings Magazine

Toronto Pearson cooks up innovative dining program

April 11, 2012, Toronto - Today, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) announced its plans to bring the very best of Toronto's culinary talent and restaurant scene to Toronto Pearson International Airport, furthering its commitment to enhancing the guest experience and becoming North America's leading international gateway.

April 11, 2012  By Carey Fredericks

The new dining program at Toronto Pearson developed by OTG, will feature prominent names such as Mark McEwan (North 44) and Guy Rubino (Ame), together with five other well-known local chefs, a brewer and a master sommelier who will make dining at the airport a true reflection of Toronto.  With 13 new chef-driven locations for Terminals 1 and 3, the dining experience at Toronto Pearson will be transformed.  The new locations will open later in 2012 with the majority opening in 2013.

"Toronto Pearson serves as the first and last impression of this region for nearly 34 million air travellers annually and we're making our dining options part of the positive Toronto experience," said Pamela Griffith-Jones, Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer for the GTAA.  "Our guests have told us they want more variety of dining options both in terms of pricing and ethnicity. Our OTG partnership is part of our commitment to deliver on that requirement and to enhance the guest experience.  The introduction of true culinary diversity will help differentiate Toronto Pearson from other North American airports. "

The full line-up of concepts by the nine Toronto-based chefs and restaurateurs will not only serve cuisine inspired by local talent, but also ingredients farmed and sourced from the region.

"I think in a way the airport gives the traveller a deep expression as to what to expect when dining in that city," said Guy Rubino, Canadian chef and host of Food Network Canada's Made to Order. "This is why I am excited to be a part of the exposition of Toronto Pearson airport and the city's culinary talent."


The new concepts include:

Acer: Serving Terminal 3, Acer offers guests the best in Japanese dining. Chef Guy Rubino has composed a modern Japanese menu that celebrates fresh ingredients and traditional technique.

Apropos: In Terminal 1, two engaging cocktail bars, both named Apropos, flank the concourse, offering guests a vibrant and energetic open space to enjoy a light meal and cocktail before flight. Brewer Brock Shepherd, master sommelier John Szabo, and OTG concept chef Michael Coury have collaborated on this innovative offering.

Corso: Situated in Terminal 3, Corso is a lively trattoria featuring traditional Italian cuisine with a modern translation. The menu developed by ChefRocco Agostino highlights rustic Italian flavors and features fresh-made pastas, pizzas, salads and antipasti. Chef Agostino's Pizzeria Libretto andEnoteca Sociale restaurants have been recognized as serving outstanding Italian cuisine in Toronto.

Cibo Express® Gourmet Markets: Located in Terminal 1, these markets feature a wide assortment of freshly prepared products and bottled beverages, including more than 1,000 different offerings. Cibo Express Gourmet Markets are also a great opportunity to introduce travellers to local products and feature specialty items by artisan purveyors in the Toronto area.

Fetta Panini Bar: Serving Terminal 1, Fetta Panini Bar is a lively spot offering guests a delicious selection of paninis, salads and small plates. The menu was developed by Chef Mark McEwan. Fetta's design evokes a sense of spring, anchored by a maple wood structure to add a traditional Canadian texture.

Heirloom Bakery Cafe: The Toronto Pearson Experience includes two Heirloom Bakery Cafe locations – one in Terminal 1 and one in Terminal 3. Baker and entrepreneur Devin Connell composed the menu of light entrees including soups, salads, sandwiches and baked goods. From healthy options, like the Detox Salad, that is not only delicious but also "full of things that are good for you", to decadent chocolate brownies, all Heirloom menu items are made fresh using the finest local ingredients.

Marathi: Serving Terminal 1, Marathi offers a menu of Indian "street food" and other delicacies.  The menu was developed by Toronto chef Hemant Bhagwani, whose unique approach to Indian cuisine will bring well-known Indian dishes to Toronto Pearson diners.  The restaurant also offers a hearty Indian-inspired breakfast menu, sweets and beverages.

Nobel Burger Bar: Serving Terminal 3, Nobel Burger Bar features gourmet burgers, from the classic to the inventive. This lively dining option, created by famed Toronto chef Mark McEwan, allows guests to build their own burger or choose from a variety of chef-created options. The activity of the open kitchen is the center of the space creating an inviting energetic vibe.

Trillium: Serving Terminal 3 is Trillium, a global tapas restaurant and bar. Chef Claudio Aprile, known for his inventive cuisine at Origin, developed the menu for Trillium and has incorporated flavours from the world's best cuisines. The offerings include snacks and small plates as well as raw bar selections, salads and open-faced sandwiches. Breakfast includes custom omelets and global offerings such as Thai banana pancakes.

Vinifera: Located in both Terminals 1 and 3, is Vinifera, a spirited wine bar. OTG is working with master sommelier John Szabo, who is known throughout the region for his expansive knowledge of wine. The menu, developed by OTG concept chef Michael Coury, features small plates, salads and paninis. Ingredients and products are sourced from the region. The wine list, with over 85 wines, will celebrate the best of Ontario as well as provide global offerings.

In addition to the new dining options at Toronto Pearson, over 2,500 Apple iPads will be integrated throughout the gate areas of both terminals for guests to enjoy. Guests can order food, browse the web, and stay updated with real-time flight information via a custom suite of applications. Toronto is the first international venue for OTG that will feature this technology; similar offerings were put in place by the company at LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy airports over a year ago.

"The Toronto Pearson experience will truly be something special," said Rick Blatstein, Chief Executive Officer for OTG. "Through wonderful dining options, beautiful design, and the convenience of technology, this program has been developed to give guests a welcoming and relaxing experience."

OTG is a prime food and beverage operator in the travel space, known for harnessing the best of the local dining scene in various markets, and leveraging design and technology in each of their concepts.

To create the look and feel of each unique concept, OTG is working with architect and Toronto native, Lionel Ohayon of ICRAVE.


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