With the excitement of summer in the city returning, we are thrilled to announce the appointment of The Drake Hotel’s new Executive Chef, Laura Maxwell. With a winning combination of passion, experience and creativity, Chef Laura is looking forward to working in locally sourced and sustainable ingredients onto her menu, so be sure to stop by, say “hi” the next time you’re in the neighbourhood. Now for the fun part, some quick fire-round questions (first answers only!)
- Describe your cooking philosophy in three words.
Local – Tasty – Shareable
- Top three kitchen tools you can’t do without?
Sharp Knife – Mandolin – A Good Blender
- Go-to comfort food?
A nice selection of charcuterie or a warm bowl of Gamjatang (Korean pork bone soup) preferably from The Famous Owl of Minerva 😀
- Ideal dinner date?
For me, it’s about the company, that component is what can make or break the experience. So, with that in mind, I’d say catching up with good friends, eating and drinking great food, wine + cocktails and keeping the positive vibes going.
- Tea or coffee?
Coffee. Lots of coffee.
- Sweet, sour or savoury?
- Cocktails, wine, beer or cider?
Cider, a cool dry cider always goes down treat, which is why I love a funky fermented French apple cider. If I were to choose a wine, it would be light and summery and the same goes for the cocktails. I’m not a huge fan of beer.
- Tell us about The Drake Hotel’s new menu.
The menu offers up fresh, tasty, locally sourced plates that are built to be shareable. We’re elevating the food by moving away from fried dishes and really bringing it back to that dining experience. What’s equally fun is that we’re not sticking to a particular region or cuisine, so I’m able to incorporate not only the diversity of the city but influences from my personal travels around the world. For instance, the Bircher Muesli on the Grab N’ Go and Brunch menus are influenced by a stay in a hostel in Switzerland many years ago, while the Mushroom Pâté, on the Lunch + Dinner menus is done in a hummus/Mediterranean-style but inspired by my French travels.
Creatively, there’s just so much to explore and as we grow, the seasonal menus will evolve and this is something I’m very excited about!