One of my favorite seasons of the year — and I think the same can be said for many Torontonians and Canadians — has to be the Fall. The weather begins to cool, foliage changes, and for me as a chef, I’m always excited about what the Fall harvest has to offer. Autumn, in short, provides a pleasant and needed cushion for the colder, harsher winter months.
As Executive Chef of Branca, a traditional Argentinian inspired restaurant in the rapidly evolving Parkdale are of Toronto’s downtown, Kanida leads the kitchen staff, while also creating menu dishes centered around the restaurant’s unique concept of cooking over live fire. Branca also features an in-house smoke room where the restaurant’s selection of locally sourced meats are prepared.
Opened in 2014, by childhood friend James Bateman and Kanida Branca’s authentic approach to traditional cooking has garnered the trendy restaurant acclaim and notoriety.
In the few years that Branca has been open the first upscale Argentinian restaurant of its kind has already garnered numerous accolades and awards including, Toronto’s Most Romantic Restaurant, Toronto’s Top New Restaurant in the West End, as well as, Top New Restaurant.
Kanida can also be found at another local restaurant that is much different than Branca. At Broncos, a trendy spot in the Boho chic Queen and Bathurst area, Kanida and staff serve up a long list of scrumptious sliders, decadent brunch dishes, affordable cocktails and cold beer. Using Americana as inspiration Broncos has developed an almost cult following with their pop culture movie events and month long themed celebrations.
Kanida’s culinary career kicked off, shortly after the chef graduated from George Brown College, a post-secondary school in Toronto known for its comprehensive culinary arts program. From there the new chef went on to Flow Restaurant and Lounge, where he got to put his education in practice through the numerous positions he held, including Garde Manger, Entremetier, Poissonnier, Saucier, Grillardin, Junior Sous Chef, Sous Chef.
In the years following, Kanida continued to build his culinary knowledge through executive positions at Rose Water Supper Club, Origin Restaurant and Ink Entertainment. During this time Kanida also strengthened his managerial skills which he has utilized extensively at Branca, the restaurant he opened with his close friend.
Before opening Branca and his work at Broncos, Kanida served as Chef De Cuisine, Executive Sous Chef and Culinary Director for Icon Legacy Hospitality, a full service international hospitality company headquartered in Toronto. Icon Legacy Hospitality owns, operates and manages a group of cocktail lounges, signature restaurants, bars and special events facilities.
In the years that Kanida worked alongside the team at Icon Legacy Hospitality, the well-known international company received award in the following categories: Top New Restaurant for 2013 & 2014, 10 Best Restaurant in Toronto and Toronto’s 25 Hottest Restaurant 2014.
Kanida’s life-long passion of global cuisine extends past the restaurant sector, during the summer months Kanida can be found at the multicultural city’s many cultural events showcasing ethnic cuisines from around the globe.
The Toronto native is also passionate about community and often spends time volunteering at local soup kitchens and food banks.