President, AnthonyMair.com, Toronto, ON. Born: Jamaica.
Chef Anthony Mair completed his culinary training at George Brown College in Toronto, Ontario. It was there that he refined his cooking skills by competing in chef competitions across North America, garnering numerous gold and silver medals in the process.
Always looking for new challenges, Anthony accepted a Sous Chef position with the Tolemac Group, a Toronto-based parent company to some of the city’s more popular establishments, such as Pavilion Royal Reception Facilities, Senator on the Square Restaurant, Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club and the Atlantis Entertainment Complex. After only six years, he was promoted to the position of Corporate Chef for the entire conglomerate. He later accepted the Executive Chef position at Joe Badali’s Italian restaurant where he remained for almost four years, instituting new food programs.
From there, Anthony moved on to Paris, Ontario where he was given the opportunity to re-outfit the 150 year-old Arlington Hotel dining room and lounge facilities, and created a fine dining room that would rival any, as well as a cigar and scotch lounge, a basement bar and a state-of–the-art conference/meeting room. In 2001, Anthony opened his own restaurant, Mardi Gras, in Toronto’s Bloor West Village. Shaped by his vision, Mardi Gras gained notoriety for its Cajun/Creole menus and for successfully exposing Toronto’s food lovers to Soul Food.
Fueled by a desire to share his menu and take on new challenges, Anthony moved to Kiev, Ukraine in 2005, where once again, he opened his own restaurant. For three years, he successfully planted Soul Food on European soil, until he returned to Toronto and embarked on a partnership with Harlem Restaurant owner, Carl Cassell. Together, they successfully revived Harlem Restaurant and rebranded what was formerly known as the Irie Restaurant, into the Harlem Underground. The restaurant has attracted a loyal fan-base which continues to grow exponentially. Good Soul Food will do that.
Favourite book? Stephen King’s, The Shawshank Redemption. I liked the demonstration of perseverance along with the friendship that developed between an unlikely pair. The book was all about the journey that the characters had to take, as we all do.
Favourite quote? “You are what you do, not who you say you are.” – Isadore Sharp
Given the chance, what would you do that you have not done yet? Run a marathon.
Why do you do what you do? Because it makes people happy.