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Renée Suen

Renée Suen is a food loving freelance writer and photographer based in Toronto. Her insatiable appetite, curiosity and camera are often found travelling around the world in search of memorable tastes and the stories behind the plate. In another life, she is a PhD candidate in Cardiovascular Sciences.
Renée Suen has written 32 posts for Narratives

Victor Barry

Just as Kobe Desramaults announced the closure of In de Wulf in December 2016, closer to home, I received rather upsetting (though understood) news: my favourite restaurant in Toronto, Splendido, was closing. In an exclusive for the Globe & Mail last month (A Splendido run: Chef Victor Barry closing Toronto fine-dining institution), chef-owner, and industry friend, Victor … Continue reading

Grant van Gameren: Past, Present and Future

Many years ago, when a cook by the name of Grant van Gameren took over the stoves of this tucked away space on Dundas West (gasp!) which didn’t take reservations (double gasp!), few would have guessed that he would lead the next wave of independent chef-owners in turning Toronto into a culinary destination. In no … Continue reading

Is Toronto world-class for food?

Earlier this week, the really nice people at CBC Radio’s Metro Morning reached out to ask if I could come on air to speak about a topic that had recently come to the producers’ attention. The crowd-sourced guide, Zagat, had taken to social media to ask whether followers thought Toronto was a world-class restaurant city. … Continue reading

Toronto’s New Sweets Brigade: David Chow, Stephanie Duong, Christinn Hua, Cori Murphy, and Sanober Motiwala

When I was in university I said, “I just want to retire and open an ice cream shop.” But I didn’t have to retire to do it. Haha. I always joked about it with my friends. I was obsessed with the idea of opening up a liquid nitrogen ice cream shop seven years ago. A … Continue reading

Patrice Fortier & La Société des Plantes

While chatting with chef Normand Laprise of Montreal’s Toqué recently about an upcoming trip I was taking to his hometown of Kamouraska, on the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region of Quebec, I was encouraged to take time to visit La Société de Plantes. Chef Laprise mentioned that I should … Continue reading

Corey Lee

The modern diner, Lee says, isn’t just looking for a meal, but rather, an experience. It means his competition has stratified: smaller establishments, too, are thinking beyond appetizers, mains and desserts, so a fixed price menu can cost $50 just as easily as $500. The question for diners (aside from an assessment of his or her … Continue reading

Follow Up: The Sights & Sounds from Taste of Toronto 2015

A short post – in words – to follow up on the previous share about a few conversations I had the pleasure of hosting at the past weekend’s 2nd annual Taste of Toronto event. For those who were unable to attend or catch the live broadcast with chefs Alvin Leung (R&D, Bo Innovation, Bo London), … Continue reading

Behind the Scenes at Taste of Toronto: Stories from the Chef’s Table

Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians, and those who are Canadians at heart. Those familiar with the style of Narratives might be aware that there are always different approaches to stories. Sometimes through anecdotes or direct storytelling, others as art-forms or expressions, often times involving food (in one form or another). There’s also direct interaction. Which … Continue reading

View from the Vacay.ca Top 50 Restaurants Chair: The Lessons, The Challenges, The Results

Disclosure: I am the 2015 Vacay.ca Top 50 Restaurants in Canada Chair, which means it’s my responsibility to ensure that the voting guidelines are adhered to, help and manage our team of excellent regional chairs as they work with our judging team. I provide assistance to the Executive team in ensuring that this special project … Continue reading

Terroir 2015’s Culinary Mission to St. John’s: An Update

It’s largely accepted that a dish – and arguably the chef creating it – is only as good as its ingredients. In a package looking at the cod stock and Newfoundland’s fishing industry in this week’s Globe & Mail (hinted in last week’s post) both writer Sasha Chapman and I wrote about things we learned during … Continue reading

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