Mediaplanet: What are your thoughts on the local food scene in Ontario?

Mark McEwan: I love the Ontario culinary scene and it all starts with Ontario produce. We grow phenomenal fruits and vegetables, have fantastic farmers, and make delicious wines and cheeses. We also have wonderful diversity in Ontario so we have great ingredients and a variety of culinary influences. This mix makes for a unique food scene with international flair.

MP: What are some easy ways people can sneak greens into their diet?

MM: Microgreens are vibrant, delicate, and give dishes a gorgeous visual appeal and a huge burst of flavour. They are concentrated in nutrients and absolutely delicious! They can be used in a variety of ways — day-to-day, they can be added to sandwiches, salads, used to garnish dishes or be added to smoothies. The flavour of microgreens is usually intensified so use the varieties you already like to eat!

MP: What inspired you to pursue a career in the culinary arts?

MM: When I was really young, I was drawn to the energy of the kitchen. It’s so fast-paced and intense. Kitchen teams are like families and everyone works really hard. George Brown is where I created a solid culinary foundation and truly began to appreciate the artistry, skill, and time that goes into building a dish. It’s a challenging field and I love a challenge.

MP: What keeps you inspired?

MM: I’m inspired by the young chefs entering the culinary scene as well as the guests that visit my restaurants and grocery stores. I’ve seen some real talent coming out of Canada (especially through Top Chef!) and am always looking at how young chefs approach new techniques and experiment using different ingredients. I’m also always pushing myself and the McEwan Group chefs to deliver the best food to our customers. Diners today have discerning taste and truly appreciate what it takes to run a restaurant. Our guests always inspire me to deliver memorable experiences.