Adam Baxter was born in Montreal but grew up in Burlington, Ontario. Throughout high school and university he cooked to make ends meet with a career in the hospitality industry far from his mind. Upon graduation from university he couldn’t really land a satisfying job so he returned to the kitchen and has not been away from the stove since. He moved to Toronto in 2007 and has been the executive chef at Fire On the East Side (6 Gloucester Street) since 2009 where his love of southern-inspired Canadian and French comfort food plays out on his menu, focusing on seasonal, sustainable ingredients.
What inspired you to become a chef?
Growing up, our family dinners centred upon simple, straightforward food and working in restaurants allowed me to discover new ingredients, tastes, and flavours. I’m not going to lie, the pretty waitresses and free beer after work didn’t hurt.
Fire on the East Side
6 Gloucester Street
Brunch for two with all taxes, tip and coffee: $40
There’s a renewed interest in southern food these days – fried chicken, collard greens and even grits are showing up on restaurant menus. But for the past few years, one restaurant just steps off the Yonge Street strip has been quietly serving up some classic southern-inspired fare. We reviewed dinner at Fire on the East Side a few years ago, back before Chef Adam Baxter took over the stoves, but figured it might be time to stop by for brunch.
Like most Torontonians, we enjoy brunch, and doing a column about brunch means we’re always looking for something out of the ordinary. You can only eat so many omelettes, yanno? So we were pretty delighted to arrive and find a selection of classics with unique southern-flavoured twists.