Growing up in Kingston, Jamaica with two grandmothers who owned and operated a restaurant, Adrian Forte learned at an early age the value of cooking with passion, authenticity, and conscience.
After immigrating to Canada, it didn’t take long for Forte to pursue his calling as a chef, and after attending George Brown College in culinary arts, Forte quickly emerged as one of Toronto’s brightest culinary prospects.
At the age of 24, Forte opened his first restaurant. Gangster Burger established itself as an A-list celebrity destination, and although it may have closed before its time, Forte continued to pour his heart into his craft, partaking in multiple pop-up dinners, launching Dirty Bird Chicken and Waffles in 2015, and AF1 Canteen in 2017, all the while staying true to his roots and spreading his love for the food his grandmothers introduced him to.
As early as 2015, chef Forte started to appear on shows like Chopped Canada, Canada’s Chef in Your Ear, Hogtown BBQ on Bell, and began providing a number of demonstrative appearances on various national networks, which helped him expand his brand on a national level.
Shortly thereafter, Forte launched Chef du Jour, a chef consulting company that provides private and personal chef services, catering, consulting, and chefs for media appearances.
Since appearing on Top Chef Canada, Forte has continued to use his platform to champion the history and importance of Afro-Caribbean cuisine, and has been an integral voice in the hospitality industry’s recent movement toward a more equal and inclusive future.
We recently had a chance to chat with the multifaceted chef, restaurateur, and T.V. personality, to find out where he likes to go for food and drinks in his homebase of Toronto.
Diwan (Aga Khan Museum) - One of the best restaurants in the city, in my opinion. They do African cuisine really, really well. I usually order the fufu and beef to start (ridiculously flavourful broth) and then the curry chicken and jollof rice. The ambience also helps elevate the entire dining experience.
Á Toi - This place does speakeasy right. Sleek dark finishes on the interior, low lights, really delicious and strong cocktails. It’s hidden in the back of an upscale oyster bar (I won’t give away the name) They have strict rules about no photography. It’s the perfect spot for someone who wants to be low-key.