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Apr 9, 2008 05:44 AM

Heat- Chef Mark McEwan

Has any one else caught this show on the Fine iving Network? I watched two shows the other night. No idea if they are re-runs or not but the show was very good. Finally a show that gives a more realistic insight to the way a professional kitchen runs. If you haven't seen it yet it's worth a look.
Does any one besides me miss the PBS series Chef's Afield?

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  1. Is it just me or does anyone else not know who Mark McEwan is? I checked out the link and it talked about this infamous, successful celebrity chef and I've never heard of him! Where are his restaurants?

    6 Replies
        1. re: Docsknotinn

          Ah, that would explain my ignorance! Thanks for the info...I checked out the websites and the menus do sound intriguing.

          1. re: Docsknotinn

            He also owns a restaurant called "ONE" in the Hazelton Hotel, in Yorkville.

            1. re: CIRCLES_SQ

              I just found that out today. I'm only about four hours away so we are thinking about giving it a try for dinner in the next month. We really enjoy Yorkville and Toronto is a nice change from Detroit.

          2. re: sibeats

            i just love the show Mark is awesomely professiional and very creative.

          3. I think he is a bit too cocky to watch sometines. But you're right about the insightful look at a professional kitchen. Have you seen one of the ones where he caters something? I find them incredible. It's one thing to pull off a 12-top, but 300? Wow.

            3 Replies
            1. re: miss_bennet

              Yes that's the episode I saw with the catering. The most realistic look into a professional kitchen I have ever seen on TV.

              1. re: miss_bennet

                I think almost every Exec. Chef can come across sometimes as cocky, but I actually know Mark, and he's a nice guy, but even more important I know that his staff really like working for him, and similar to Ramsay he retains a lost of his staff. Really smart guy.

                1. re: miss_bennet

                  i would love to be able to pull off his talent. i would also be happy to attend one of his events it he would cater something locally.

                2. Amazing how calm Mark McEwan is, with amazing focus. I've been watching him on Food TV Canada for some time now. Kinda balances out Ramsey.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Alacrity59

                    I saw an episode and like the show for the same reason, "an insightful look at a professional kitchen."

                    It has a professional tone similar to the documentary "Trouble with the Menu" about Gordon Ramsay and team's preparations to take over the restaurant at the Connaught. (No yelling or screaming.)

                    1. re: Minger

                      I think I missed that one. :(
                      I'll have to watch for it.

                    2. i just saw somewhere he signed on for 3 more seasons of HEAT.
                      Great show, wish we had more like them.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: nemis

                        I just came across this show (Seen the one shows where he caters a young daughter's b-day party with Mexican food, the Bymark "thank you" party", the opening of the Four Seasons Opera House, and the 7-course dinner at a gallery for the corporate big wigs at TD).

                        I don't find him cocky at all. He seems proud of his success and can be tough at times on his staff, but that why's he where is he at.

                        How do you describe his cuisine? Seems like he has a similar philosophy Charlie Palmer. Seems like his dishes aren't too complex to the point where his staff can easily put out that same high-quality product each night.

                        Is he going to do three more seasons?

                        How do Bymark and North 44 compare?

                        1. re: Eastwind

                          Yes, I think Charlie Palmer is a good comparison. Perhaps even Michael Mina, is an also close comparison. Probably McEwan would call it contemporary Canadian, but contemporary American seems to be a better descriptor. His restaurants are sophisticated, yet still comfortable. Not ultra formal. And every Chef is cocky. You have to be to believe that your food is good enough to have people pay you for it. But in my book, you need it and it's a good thing. When you have a healthy sense of ego, it comes out on the plate. You'd be surprised that when paying attention, you can tell if a Chef is confident with his/her craft, or if they are still trying to find their way....

                          As for McEwan, he's one of the best Chef's in Toronto with a great business sense, as well as dining sense. Although Boulud was the first to give us the ultra $$$ burger, McEwan didn't take long to follow with his $40 - it's a favourite with the Bay Street types (Wall Street types for our American friends).
                          McEwan is also in the midst of opening up a gourmet grocery store in the next few months. Should be interesting.

                          I did recently hear that he has signed on for another season of Heat, not sure about 3. I tend to enjoy Bymark more than North 44, although both are very good quality. There's just something about bymark that does remind me of contemporary American in the Charlie Palmer/Michael Mina path that I find exciting.

                          1. re: Raquel

                            Charly Palmer is a great comparison. I hope to see another season of this show. It was a great departure from the reality shows and a nice inside look at a true working chef.
                            I thought he seemed a lot more confident than cocky.

                            1. re: Raquel

                              The Bymark burger actually seems like it's a real burger (gourmet and rich, of course) instead of just being loaded up with expensive items and calling it burger (Boulud's burger-a sirloin burger stuffed with braised short ribs, foie gras and black truffles). Never had either, so I can't comment on how good they are.

                              I hope to get up to Toronto soon. How do North 44, ONE, and Bymark differ in terms of the cuisine/menu, and setting?

                              I agree with Fritter in him being a lot more confident than cocky. It seems like he puts a lot of pressure on getting the best out of his staff, but he also seems to believe/trust in them as well.

                              I wish I could find DVD's of both seasons here south of the border.

                              1. re: Eastwind

                                it is my new favorite show -- if anyone knows where to get the DVDs in USA let me know...

                                1. re: Eastwind


                                  Food Network Canada is the network that debuted the series. They state a new season will debut in 2010. There are all sorts of speculation and rumours about the financial state of his restaurants in light of the gourmet market venture. Then again, that can apply to most high end eateries in Toronto as we've been hit with an awful slump of late. Two of the best in the city have recently announced major changes (Perigee, Splendido).


                                  A piece on the burger, which does indeed live up to its reputation.

                                  I would say his restaurants cater to the corporate crowd. He offers reliably good food, although doesn't take much risk in terms of ingredients (primal cuts). He knows his market well, and most importantly, has a knack for networking.

                                  Bymark btw is in the underground concourse of the TD Tower, one of Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe's last buildings. It is the bastion of the corporate suits, but in these lean times......

                          2. i watch the Heat with Mark Mcean monday thru friday and love it. I just love how he runs his operations and i would love to be able to share the fun and do a party. i have a dreamed about doing something like this, i love how they take a room and put it together for a party and everything is so perfect because he's a perfectionist. omg if her were in Hollywood/Beverly hills.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Cindi01

                              I agree his show seem more genuine as there doesn't seem to be much fluff. His restaurants are good (among the best in Toronto) but I can't really compare to Michelin 3 Star or even 2 star places. I don't know if they are showing it in US but the current season focuses on his opening a grocery store (high end) and gives an interesting look behind the scene. I learn a lot watching him conduct business.