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5 questions to Bar Le Germain’s chef Johnson Wu
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5 questions to Bar Le Germain’s chef Johnson Wu

Food / torontomls / Apr 29, 2019

Johnson Wu has been the executive chef at Bar Le Germain, located in the Le Germain Hotel Maple Leaf Square in Toronto, for over two years now. Interview with a cook who likes to spice things up!

What is the difference between cooking for big hotel chains versus boutique hotels?

I’ve worked in many big hotels in Toronto before coming to Hotel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square. What I really enjoy about boutique hotels is that I can offer more personalized service and actually get to know some of our regulars.

How would you describe the menu at Bar Le Germain?

Our guests come here for drinks and we want to offer a casual but refined dining experience. Last April, we transitioned from a full dinner menu to a small plates style menu that offers more variety. It’s quicker for guests and much easier to share.

The menu is very international, it will appeal to a variety of people, whatever their background is.

For lunch we try to highlight more fresh and light items like great salads or seared ahi tuna.

What is your culinary style?

Simple, bold, with a variety of flavours. I don’t know if it’s because of my background, but I love to mix sweet, savoury, spicy, umami. I don’t like to have too many ingredients on a dish but include a great bold sauce, for example. With the freedom to do so, I’ve been able to develop my style a lot here at Bar Le Germain.

Which plate is a must to try?

We do a 24 hour slow cooked miso marinated beef short rib served with house made kimchi! It represents that combination of flavours I referred to earlier. Our biggest seller on the lunch menu is a mushroom tartine, again simple, no fuss, but bold flavours.

What would you say to someone who has never been to Bar Le Germain?

It would be nice if people looked past the hotel concept. We are not a regular hotel restaurant. In fact, we’re not even a restaurant, we’re a lounge. Give us a try!

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