Summerlicious is coming to Toronto’s best-kept culinary secret.
The Met Dining Room, formerly RU Dining, is operated by Ted Rogers Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) students at Toronto Metropolitan University. Located on the seventh floor of the Ted Rogers School of Management building, the Met is led by executive chef Tommy McHugh, a third-generation chef who has worked in some of the best restaurants in London, England and Toronto.
For the first time, the university will be participating in Summerlicious, the annual Toronto food festival that brings discounted prix-fixe meals to more than 200 restaurants. The popular foodie event is now back after a two-year hiatus. From August 12 to 26, the Met will be serving $27 three-course lunches on weekdays
“I love the idea that we are cooking food for everyone, and for students who have told me that this is something that they couldn’t normally afford,” said McHugh. “But with Summerlicious and the Met Dining Room, we offer restaurant-quality food and service at a fraction of the price.”
The Met Summerlicious menu features nine options of Canadian and European cuisine:
- Taleggio arancini
- Treacle-cured “bap” salmon
- Chilled Ontario pea soup
- Arctic char kedgeree
- Ontario corn risotto
- Sous-vide chicken breast
- Banoffee pudding
- Milk chocolate and raspberry budino
- Poached pear and coconut crumble
Amirah Malek, an HTM student entering her fourth year, has been working closely with McHugh, sous-chef Chris Galos and food service operations supervisor Evelina Kalantzi since June as part of a course-related job placement. McHugh told her about the Met’s Summerlicious plans on her second day.
“It’s so exciting to see how everything’s going to come together in the middle of August,” said Malek, who has been helping prepare for Summerlicious for weeks.
McHugh views Summerlicious as another opportunity for students to gain real-world experience in an industry he is extremely passionate about.
“Here we are talking about Summerlicious but it’s more than that,” said McHugh. “It’s showing students that this isn’t just an entry point into the industry. This is an entry point into an incredibly varied field, and that’s what I really like.”
Malek, for instance, has received a well-rounded business education so far, not necessarily limited to hospitality and tourism.
“I learned so many things, not just about events, catering, tourism,” said Malek. “I’m also learning HR, finance, marketing, so hopefully when I graduate I get to work anywhere in the business industry.”
Summerlicious lunch reservations can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: “Summerlicious at The Met Reservation – (date)”.
Photography by Andy Lee.
A version of this story appeared in The Final Word podcast on August 5.