Mother-daughter chefs take creative approach to menu

 In Business

A mother-daughter team with a shared love of cooking have partnered in a new restaurant in Stayner, Kitch’n Savvy.

The name is a playful nod to the second generation chef in the family, Savana Toppazzini, who her mother Emaan Toppazzini explains sometimes goes by Chef Savvy.

Savana is a Culinary Management Program graduate and she and her mother have now realized their dream of having a restaurant together.

Kitch’n Savvy is for the most part a take-out restaurant, but it has tables and chairs for eating in. It is located in the plaza on Highway 26, when heading north from the downtown. The Toppazzinis live in Collingwood and they chose the location because they love Stayner and found it to be conveniently located on the route between skiing destinations and the city. They are also hoping to become a destination of choice for people living in the area.

Emaan said the reception has been great so far but they are still working to spread the word about their business.

“The people have been wonderful,” she said, adding that she has enjoyed introducing new foods to patrons, and watching them get hooked on their new favourites. She said once diners taste her toum, a very garlicky spread, they are hooked. “People are calling it crack,” jokes Emaan.

The menu is inspired by foods from the Mediterranean and revolves around the roasted chicken that is cooked to perfection in a special oven. That chicken is the basis for the soups, sandwiches, bowls and mains – chicken muffuletta, shawarma, and butter chicken. Emaan says everything is homemade, from the bone broth to the sauces.

There are many vegetarian and vegan options available as well, including falafel made from scratch.

Emaan said her mission is to make everything with lots of flavour, with fresh and healthy ingredients. She said people shouldn’t have to feel they are being punished by choosing fresh and healthy. “You definitely don’t feel like that here,” she said.

Emaan is of Lebanese and Palestinian descent and grew up cooking Mediterranean food at home with her mom, who she said is a perfectionist in the kitchen.

“Everyone loves her food,” said Emaan.

She said she believes it is the freshness of the lemon juice and garlic that makes the Mediterranean diet so popular.

“It’s the little things that make the difference,” she said.

Emaan used to work as director of menu innovation at Topper’s Pizza, a family business, and says what she absolutely loves about the joint venture with her daughter is that there are no rules. She said they are loving the freedom to be as creative as they want.

Kitch’n Savvy is also available for catering and has frozen meals available to go that aren’t on the take-out menu, including soups, chili, sauces, rice dishes and pastas. It is located at 7423 Highway 26, Stayner, Unit 2. Visit www.kitchnsavvy. ca or call 705-517-9502. Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays and noon to 7 p.m. on Sundays. The restaurant is licensed and has alcohol available for take-out.

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