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Publicist, CTV Networks
MasterChef Canada (Home Cooks)
Once Upon a Time
The Amazing Race Canada
This is Us
Publicist, CTV Networks
Canada in a Day
MasterChef Canada (Judges)
The Marilyn Denis Show
Communications Coordinator, CTV Networks
Michael Bonacini, Chef and Restaurateur
Celebrity chef Michael Bonacini is the co-founder of one of Canada’s leading fine dining restaurant companies, Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants, operating 11 unique and innovative restaurants in Ontario. Born and raised in Tenby, South Wales, his North Italian father and Welsh mother both had a huge impact on their children’s culinary upbringing – his sister is also a chef. Bonacini spent his youth helping out with the family-run hotel business, where he learned the ins and outs of the hospitality industry.
Bonacini trained classically under Chef Anton Mosimann at London’s Dorchester Hotel, before immigrating to Canada in 1985 and partnering with veteran restaurateur Peter Oliver in 1993. His first restaurant collaboration with Oliver was a New York style bistro named Jump. Nineteen years later, their operations have grown to include à la carte dining, quick service, catering, group dining, and special events, as well as an artisan bakery and chocolate shop.
Bonacini was among the first chefs to showcase regional Canadian cuisine with his ground-breaking restaurant Canoe. In 1996, he was awarded the Ontario Hostelry Institute’s first ever Gold Award in recognition of his significant contribution to culinary excellence in Ontario. He was the host of COOK LIKE A CHEF and has been a recurring guest chef on daytime talk shows including CTV’s THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW. Bonacini is also the host of the new four-part series 24 HOURS OF FOOD available on Fibe TV1, channel 1, and the Fibe TV app where he discovers and experiences the best places to eat in Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal. In 2010, Michael released his first cookbook, 3 Chefs: The Kitchen Men, a collaborative effort with fellow television chefs Massimo Capra and Jason Parsons.
Michael’s restaurants include Jump, Canoe, Auberge du Pommier, Biff’s Bistro, Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill (four locations), Luma, O&B Canteen, Bannock, and the all-new America Restaurant (in collaboration with INK Entertainment). The company’s private dining and events division, Oliver & Bonacini Events, manages a number of large scale event facilities, including Malaparte at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Toronto Region Board of Trade, Arcadian at Hudson’s Bay Queen Street, Windermere House on Lake Rosseau in Muskoka, and the Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto. Oliver & Bonacini credits its success to the development of a strong corporate culture, where excellence of food quality and service are valued above all else.
Alvin Leung, Chef and Restaurateur
With his trademark blue-streaked hair, cross earrings, and revolutionary approach to the culinary art, Chef Alvin Leung is the enfant terrible of Hong Kong’s dining scene. As owner of the acclaimed modern Chinese restaurant Bo Innovation, Leung has single-handedly created a new taste sensation and established himself as one of the world’s top culinary innovators. Born in London, England, Leung grew up in Scarborough, Ont. He remains a dedicated hockey fan and Toronto Maple Leafs supporter.
The self-proclaimed ‘Demon Chef’ began cooking professionally in 2003 at a private restaurant, which evolved into Bo Innovation. Contrary to his ‘rock and roll’ image, Leung is a professionally trained engineer who takes a methodical approach to every dish he presents. Bo Innovation features unique “X-treme Chinese” cuisine and has retained its three Michelin stars for three straight years in 2015. The restaurant has wowed diners and critics by re-inventing centuries old traditional ingredients and recipes with modern techniques and flavours.
In addition to Bo Innovation, Alvin owns a second Michelin star restaurant in Hong Kong called MIC Kitchen, offering a unique twist on modern comfort food. In 2015, Alvin, along with MASTERCHEF CANADA Season 1 winner Eric Chong, opened R&D (Rebel & Demon) in the heart of Toronto’s Chinatown.
In Asia, Leung is known for his 2011 food show, THE MAVERICK CHEF and WOK STAR. Canadian viewers may also be familiar with Leung for his guest appearances on shows such as ANTHONY BOURDAIN’S NO RESERVATIONS, RHODES ACROSS CHINA with Gary Rhodes, THE HAIRY BIKERS, and TOP CHEF MASTERS.
Claudio Aprile, Chef and Restaurateur
One of Canada’s most celebrated and visionary chefs, Claudio Aprile is the owner and creative force behind the growing Orderfire Restaurant Group, which includes Toronto’s acclaimed Origin brand restaurants. Aprile was born in Uruguay, grew up in Toronto, and has travelled, lived, and worked internationally. He has spent his professional life in kitchens working through the ranks becoming the successful restaurateur that he is today.
Throughout his 30+ year career, Aprile has passed through some of the most renowned kitchens around the globe. Bali Sugar in London earned him outstanding reviews as a young executive chef, where he received local and international critical acclaim. Upon returning to Toronto in 2000, Aprile cemented that reputation at Senses in Toronto, where he wowed critics and diners alike with his innovative use of experimental cooking techniques.
Aprile’s first restaurant, Colborne Lane, opened to immediate success. Colborne Lane was lauded as one of the best restaurants in the world, and Aprile was named one of the most innovative chefs working in Canada. Central to Aprile’s success is his dedication to creativity, and drive to expertly deliver the unexpected. With Colborne Lane offering beautifully crafted, precisely plated cuisine, he switched gears with Origin restaurant. Launched in 2010, Origin offers fast, fresh, and accessible food, delivered to guests sitting right across from the chef in the open kitchen. Toronto Life magazine and Now magazine voted Origin the #1 restaurant in Toronto. Origin restaurant has two locations throughout Toronto, and Aprile has created a brand of cuisine recognizable by expertly crafted, culinary combinations.