Chef Thomas Bellec was raised in coastal Concarneau in Brittany, France and trained in the classical tradition – at a Michelin one-star in his hometown. He then worked in a few French restaurants before being recruited to Canada by the Inn at Manitou. In 1999, he began a career with Four Seasons Hotels, with postings first in Toronto, then in Carmelo, Uruguay, Lana’i, Hawaii, and Boston. He became the Executive Chef at Four Seasons Toronto (21 Avenue Road) earlier this year.
What inspired you to become a chef?
I was inspired to cook by my grandparents, who ran a renowned bakery in Brittany.
What is your favourite dish at the restaurant where you cook and why?
Born and& raised in a coastal town in Brittany, I love to cook seafood; my favourite dish right now served in Studio Cafe ia a pan-seared scallop with green apple and celery salad served with a warm bacon vinaigrette.
Three ingredients you couldn’t live without and why?
Bread, cheese and wine….. simply being French.
On your day off – what are you cooking at home? If you’re eating out, where do you go?
I don’t need to cook at home, my wife is a fantastic cook! I love eating out and discovering all the different ethnic restaurants that Toronto has to offer.
What is your favourite thing about the food scene in Toronto?
It’s very competitive, with lots of young new talent. This keeps you on your toes to be the best.
What’s coming up?
Our new prix-fixe dinner menu at Studio Cafe for $35 has been met with great success. I’m very much looking forward to the Toronto International Film Festival when you’ll see some new signature items on our menu at Avenue where guests will have the opportunity to sample ‘Tini Tasters’ which will be a special tasting menu to compliment our TIFF cocktails. Also, I’m very much looking forward to introducing the fall harvest menu and working with some of our suppliers to showcase Ontario’s best locally sourced ingredients. We have an incredible pastry Chef, Philippe Valladares, who also recently joined Four Seasons Hotel Toronto and I’m looking forward to working with him to celebrate the 16th anniversary of Studio Cafe with a Sweet 16 dessert menu.