Meet Mark Cheese, if you please. (And you certainly should.) He’s not only a new, friendly face in our bakery, he’s the head cheese. A master of sweets, treats and pastries, too. Mark joined us in early December of 2016 as Head Pastry Chef. Although he’s new to us, he is an old hat (and celebrated name) in the world of decadent baking.
Mark’s been exciting taste buds and triggering sweet tooths in Canada since the early 90s. He trained in the culinary arts in England (where he’s from) and then made his way to France where he found his true pastry calling. Toronto, however, is where he eventually landed and now it’s home sweet home.
The first thing Mark fell in love with at Ricarda’s was our restaurant’s big, open architecture—both inside and in the 134 Atrium. “It’s a brilliant fantastic place,” he says. “It’s hard to describe until you see it, but when you do – wow – there’s nothing like it!” He loves the open kitchen concept because it allows customers to see the artistry behind their order and it drives the behaviour of the restaurant. Mark says that the beauty of the space means that his desserts have to live up to the décor. Mission accomplished, Mark.
Mark’s favourite dessert (and one we highly recommend you try) is the Beet Goat Cheesecake. Based on a simple idea for a salad, he created this unusual and delicious treat. “Using vegetables is becoming more popular in desserts,” says Mark. “This cheesecake has a beautiful colour. It’s a little bit sweet with a walnut crust and warm caramel apple.” It’s a recipe he’s used before—the one that won him Toronto Life’s cheesecake competition a few years back. And while he was pleased to win, he was slightly disappointed that Toronto Life missed a prime opportunity to connect his name and the winning creation with a pun.
Stop by our bakery and say hi to Mark. He answers to Mark, Mr. Cheese and Monsieur Fromage!