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    5 Questions With: Executive Chefs Laura Maxwell And Amanda Ray On Our New Spring Menus

    Executive Chef Laura Maxwell in the City and Executive Chef Amanda Ray in the County have been cooking up something good with new seasonal menus at The Drake Hotel and Drake Devonshire launching later this month. With bold new flavours, local ingredients and hometown interpretations on international dishes, there’s lots to be discovered between the two menus.  

    Celebrating the new season, both Chefs are inspired by the local produce around them. At The Drake Hotel, the new menu features rib eye steak from Guelph and a spring gnocchi that will be topped with seasonal ingredients like ramps, morels and greens. 

    But there’s still international flair to be found. Chef Laura’s Iberico Pork Ribs come from Spain, but get a homey twist with a grape and chili glaze, a nostalgic nod to her memories of family meals of crockpot pork meatballs with grape jelly. 

    Similarly, at Drake Devonshire, Chef Amanda introduces a Spanish tapas-inspired octopus and chorizo salad, served with a romesco sauce that includes locally grown Gernika peppers. 

    Chef Amanda says she’s been particularly inspired by the farmers in the County community, including those who she knows personally, who work with her to grow produce specifically for her recipes. 

    For both chefs, the new menus are all about putting the winter behind us, celebrating greenery growing around us and lighter, fresher fare. Find your new favourite dish and take a tour of the new flavours when spring menus launch.  You can reserve your table now, and hear more from our Executive Chefs in our 5 Questions below:  

     

    Favourite new menu item?  

    Chef Laura: The rib eye. It’s got an Italian spin, a French spin. I’m really happy with it. It’s a really good solid steak. 
     
    Chef Amanda: It’s like picking a favourite child! For dinner, salmon tartare or our scallop crudo for its fresh and bright flavours. And also the lamb sirloin. 

     

    Favoruite classic menu item? 

    Chef Laura: The Drake Burger is great. It’s a good, tasty burger. Sometimes I surprise myself with how much like it. I like to add lettuce to it. 

    Chef Amanda: I really like our new Caesar, it’s a twist on The Drake classic.  

     

    Best seat in the house?  

    Chef Laura on The Drake Hotel:  The raised part of the lounge for people and dog watching out on the street. I love the Sky Yard when the weather’s nice. It’s my favourite spot. I have a lot of great memories up here. The booths are cozy as well. Those are my three favourite places.   
         
    Chef Amanda on Drake Devonshire: In the daytime, the corner table on the lower section. At night, there’s a round table in the top section.   


    What’s a drink that feels like spring to you?
     

    Chef Laura: A green protein smoothie because I’m trying to get my health back on track in the spring. Greek yogurt and lots of green goodness. That’s pretty much spring.  

    Chef Amanda: I’ve been lately crushing black currant syrup and soda water with lime. It’s a syrup I used to drink as a little kid called Ribena.  


    Next foodie destination you’d love to travel to? 
     

    Chef Laura: Chicago I’d really like to go there. And I’d like to go to Japan. My husband and I have been talking about that trip for many years. Once Covid is in the rear-view mirror, we’ll make another big trip like that. 

    Chef Amanda: Spain and Costa Rica. 

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