Brooke McDougall: The Taste of Bay Street

How long does it take to go from line cook to Top Chef?

Just ask Brooke McDougall.

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It only took McDougall, Executive Chef at Bymark, a handful of years on the line at North 44 to prove his worth as one of the most capable chefs in the city.

He credits his success in part to a background in farm life. Harvesting fresh ingredients from the field had him exploring his passion for cooking by the time he was 20.

As for working with Mark, McDougall echoes a lot of other top chefs in Toronto: “Be efficient.” Preparation for anything and everything is the hallmark of all McEwan kitchens, and McDougall’s approach is no exception.

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Bymark has become a Bay St institution; a delectable go-to for the bustling financial district serving everything from quick lunch breaks to private functions and full-scale corporate events. Its rich brooding ambience perfectly complements McDougall’s luxurious signature dishes like Lamb & Goat Cheese Ravioli, and an exceptional line-up of dry-aged steaks and chops.

Designing his menu requires two distinct approaches:

“The lunch menu is designed for speed. Fresh salad, protein, great sandwiches.”  Since a lot of Bymark customers have to get back to the office in an hour, McDougall takes a “pan to plate” approach to midday fare. Think “Lobster Grilled Cheese”.

The dinner menu is where McDougall and his team have room to exercise more refined tastes. The inspiration itself is a group effort, and sous Chef Andrew Halitski is often present for what McDougall says is, “a lot of trial and error, and a constant review of what’s new and happening out there.” A good introduction to McDougall’s world would be the signature Bymark P.E.I. Burger with brie de meaux and porcini mushrooms.

Brooke McDougall studied culinary arts at George Brown College before being discovered by Mark in 1996. See why he stood out from the crowd, and book a table at Bymark today.