The Man Who Ate Toronto: Memoirs of a Restaurant Lover


357 pages
Contains Index
ISBN 1-55199-025-3
DDC 647.95'092




Julie Rekai Rickerd is a Toronto-based broadcaster and public-relations


This delightful overview of the history of dining out in Toronto takes
us from the early days of banquet burgers and roast beef with Yorkshire
pudding to the present day, with its multitude of exotic international
food options. The author, whose background includes stints as an actor,
waiter, dishwasher, and “occasional cook,” has been Toronto Life’s
food columnist and restaurant reviewer for the last decade.

Ever since he first arrived in Toronto as a member of his godfather’s
(i.e., Robert Morley’s) theatrical company, Chatto has been involved
in Toronto’s dining-out scene. His book features wonderful interviews
with those who create and control what, where, and how we eat. The
establishments include both the defunct (e.g., Winston’s, Three Small
Rooms, Le Baron) and the still-thriving (Centro, Scaramouche,
Carman’s, Barberian’s, among many others). Chatto goes behind the
scenes of the food industry, exposing us to the politics, gossip, and
drama in the kitchens. He traces the evolution of dining fads and the
rise of young chefs to superstardom (their relationships, rivalries, and
partnerships, it turns out, are as changeable as the weather).

Chatto’s relationship with his subjects is obviously one of empathy,
but like all good journalists he maintains his objectivity. This
wonderful book entertains as much as it whets the appetite.


Chatto, James., “The Man Who Ate Toronto: Memoirs of a Restaurant Lover,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 24, 2024,