The AGO has a culinary muse

“I don’t dig very fussy, highly manipulated plates.”

— Anne Yarymowich

Ask Anne Yarymowich for the most memorable meals she’s ever eaten, and the Executive Chef of the Art Gallery of Ontario will take you first to the Mediterranean and then to an unglamorous quarter in a world culinary capital.

At a Turkish outdoor, seaside café, she orders a striped bass plate that comes cured, like graavlax, to which she matches a glass of rosé. “The flavours,” reminisces Yarymowich, “the ambience, stopping there by chance — it blew my mind.”

In Paris she comes across a working-class cantina called Le Roi de Pot au Feu, the “king” of the humblest of everyday French meals. “They plop a bottle of wine on the table, a gamay, whether you want it or not,” says Yarymowich, and then came the specialty of the house. If you want something else, surmises Yarymowich, the message is clear, “Piss off! … Brilliant!” she laughs….more