TORONTO — World-renowned chef Daniel Boulud is Toronto-bound as he prepares to helm the restaurant in the city’s new Four Seasons Hotel when it opens next summer.

While the hotel management was trying to keep the news under wraps until Oct. 27 — when it’s holding a media event — speculation regarding Boulud’s involvement fuelled industry buzz that led the luxury chain to confirm rumours. “We were trying to keep it secret, but it was leaked,” confirmed Don Schreifels, the Four Seasons’ marketing director.

Schreifels explained that the chef will be directing a lounge on the hotel’s lower lobby with the restaurant located directly atop it. “The entrance will be off Yorkville,” explains Schreifels, “with a grand staircase leading up to the restaurant. It’s going to feel like an independent and will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It will also feature an outside patio in the summer,” he said, stressing that guests will not need to save for three months to afford dinner.

“This is big news for the hotel and for the city,” said Schreifels. “We’re excited about the dynamic new restaurant. It will bring a new level of sophistication for the hotel and the city.” While the hotel team is keeping mum on many details, Schreifels did say the resto will be the only one in the hotel. “These days it’s hard for hotels to support two or three different restaurants,” he said.

More details will follow when Boulud visits Toronto next week to unveil the restaurant’s name, concept and menu. But, this is not the first Canadian restaurant experience by Boulud. The renowned chef ran two restaurants in Vancouver — Lumière and db bistro, both of which closed after two years in business. Boulud is also expected to open Maison Boulud, boasting casual upscale French cuisine, at the newly renovated Ritz-Carlton in Montreal early next year.

The Four Seasons restaurant opening will correspond with the hotel launch in summer 2012. Leading up to that, in March, the Avenue Road location will close, leaving the city without a Four Seasons hotel for several months. “This is unique for Four Seasons,” admits Schreifels, “We’ve never closed one hotel in a city only to open another one a few months later. Our corporate customers are saying “where do we go now?”

But, adds Schreifels, “the wait will be quite worth it.”


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