Chances are you’ve eaten Chef Craig Harding’s food. He is the owner and Executive Chef of the California meets Italy inspired, La Palma, was the brain behind the beloved gem, Campagnolo, and has recently created his latest outpost, Constantine, inside Toronto’s chic new boutique hotel, The Anndore House. Craig’s passion and talent jumps off every plate which is why, in a city where restaurants come and go on the regular, his have endured and outlasted his competition.
His restaurants have landed him on the most acclaimed restaurant lists from Canada’s top 100 to Toronto Life’s Top 10 and Enroute magazine’s Best New Restaurants in Canada. But Craig’s talents aren’t limited to back of house, he’s also a star in front of the camera appearing on Food Network’s Chef in your ear, TLN’s Chef’s Bar and TLN’s Opening Canada in celebration of Canada’s 150th Birthday. He has also recently wrapped production on his 7th season of the “Opening” series travelling to distant and remote locations throughout Sicily to find the most authentic food possible.
It’s no wonder the Toronto Star named Chef Craig a Torontonian to watch. Craig is also a skilled public speaker, spokesperson, and brand ambassador for companies such as American Express and BMW. He has appeared many times on shows like Breakfast Television and The Global Morning Show, as well as having longstanding partnerships with Banana Republic, Tennis Canada, and Delissio just to name a few.
Canada's premier cheese expert and owner of the Cheese Boutique, Afrim Pristine has over 24 years of experience in the art of cheese making. From studying with some the world's greatest cheesemakers like Luigi Guffanti, Stefano Sarti, and Carl Schilt, the world's most renowned dairy farms, his father, and his family business of 48 years, Cheese Boutique.
Bestowed as Canada's first and one of the world's youngest "Maitre Fromager" by the France based Guilde Internationale des Fromageres, an exclusive association representing more than 5000 dairy professionals worldwide. This title is awarded to those who demonstrate exceptional cheese knowledge and are recognized within their community. Prior to that achievement, Afrim was also the youngest Canadian recipient of the "Chevalier", a distinction from the Confrerie des Chevalier du Taste Fromage de France (2007), following an upgraded state to "Officer du Fromage" (2010). He was also awarded with Top 30 Under 30 in the Food Industry by Ontario Hostelry Institute.
Afrim's media appearances include the Marilyn Denis Show, City TV's Breakfast Television, CTV's Your Morning, Food Network, and expert consulting for Top Chef Canada, Masterchef Canada, Chopped Canada and more. Most recently, he was honoured as top 50 Most Influential People in Canadian Food by the Globe and Mail (July 2016) and named top 10 Most Influential People in the Food Industry by LCBO Food & Drink Magazine.
Educated with a background in biological and environmental sciences, Jen spent over 10 years advising, developing and managing environmental, sustainability and corporate social responsibility initiatives for global corporate clients. Specializing in optimizing projects using green initiatives and positive community partnerships, she was able to deliver beneficial economic outcomes for her international clients, while staying true to her core principles of sustainability. Jen has also consulted various brands from restaurants to hair care products on ways they can take responsibility and contribute to change for the greater good. Jen is also the founder of the sustainable, vegan, clean beauty company: Spoil Me Beautiful.
Director of Research and Development
Polina is a Chemical Engineer with over 6 years experience in the manufacturing and product development industry. She specializes in reversible polymers and her technology was implemented in both the nutritional and medical fields. Since the pandemic, Polina invented various safe and GMP compliant sanitizing products as part of the national response to COVID-19 by ensuring sufficient supply to battle the spread of the virus.
Culinary Team Lead
John has over 13 years experience as a chef on both a national and international level. Beginning his career in Toronto at the renowned North 44, Chef John was later selected for the opening team at the prestigious french restaurant Café Boulud, founded by Daniel Boulud, located in the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto. He later relocated to Melbourne, Australia to join the culinary team at Cutler & Co. Most recently, Chef John helped develop the plant-based cheese & butter program at Vegan restaurant Planta, part of the Chase Hospitality Group. Chef John has also worked under Chef Craig Harding at his highly recognized restaurants Constantine and La Palma.