One day in Toronto: Top Chef Canada competitor Elia Herrera

Executive chef of Los Colibris on her favourite restaurants in Toronto

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Photo credit: Food Network Canada

Many chefs will tell you that their interest in cooking started in the home, from memories of being in the kitchen with their mothers and grandmothers. Chef Elia Herrera is no exception, only that her grandmother also had an extraordinary career in culinary arts, starting her own catering company when she was in her early teens, and growing her list of clientele to eventually included celebrities, presidents and even Kings of Spain.

Born in Cordoba, Veracruz Mexico, with deep roots in culinary arts, it’s no surprise that Herrera pursued the interest and went on to study at the The Culinary Institute of Mexico, graduating as an executive chef with specialization in pastry arts.

Herrera travelled extensively in Europe and has worked with some of Barcelona’s top pastry chefs.

Since coming to Canada in 2003, Herrera has evolved from pastry chef to executive chef at Los Colibris in downtown Toronto. Now, she's ready for a new challenge, competing on the newest season of Top Chef Canada. You can tune into Top Chef Canada on Food Network Canada starting Sunday, April 8 at 10 p.m. ET/PT

When Herrera is taking a break from working in the kitchen, she likes to head to the following places for favourite eats and drinks.