Andrew Ellerby was born in Toronto and grew up in Burlington, Ontario where at the age of 17 he started as a cook in a small local restaurant. He went on to study Culinary Arts at George Brown College in Toronto and upon completion, began working as a cook at a well known fine dining restaurant in Hamilton. Within nine months, he became the head chef.
His career flourished and he became employed as a Junior Sous Chef at Monsoon in Toronto, then in the late 1990’s he moved to Nova Scotia where he worked at The Upper Deck restaurant in one of the historic properties of Halifax as the Sous Chef.
In 2002, Chef Ellerby returned to Ontario and began working under Mark McEwan as the Executive Sous Chef at Bymark and in 2007, McEwan appointed Andrew the Executive Chef at One in the Hazelton Hotel. At One, Andrew managed at kitchen crew of 55 cooks and was responsible not only for the dining room and patio but also the 24 hour room service for the boutique hotel.
In early 2009, Chef McEwan pulled Andrew out of One and they began to work together on the launch of McEwan, a groundbreaking 23,000 square foot gourmet food store in the Shops at Don Mills focused on bringing restaurant dining home, with prepared meals based on the widely successful dishes from the restaurants.
Once McEwan was up and running, Mark asked Andrew to once again stand beside him and help build Fabbrica, also in the Shops at Don Mills where he strives to bring the exacting standards of Mark McEwan to rustic Italian cuisine.
Ellerby is quick to attribute his own success to the values of people that he works with. “I’m fortunate to work with a professional team of people that have a real passion for food”… “this organization values quality, we place consistent emphasis on using the finest ingredients and preparing them with skill and dedication”. It is his positive attitude and calm, kind nature that make Andrew such a pleasure to work with and is why Mark McEwan has appointed him Executive Chef of One, Fabbrica and McEwan.
As if he didn’t have enough on his plate, Andrew was a key player in the formations of recipes for both “Great Food at Home” and “Fabbrica”, Mark McEwan’s best-selling cookbooks. He was also the driving force behind menu consultations for two new concept restaurants (Fetta and Nobel) that will be opening in 2013 at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport as well as a full offer of ‘grab and go’ items that will be sold in 12 kiosks throughout the airport’s terminals.
In addition to overseeing One, McEwan and Fabbrica on a weekly basis…Andrew now travels with Mark throughout the world. From Barbados Food Wine and Rum Festival to cooking demonstrations in Asia, Ellerby is up to any task that The McEwan Group poses to him. He is an extremely integral part of the company and will continue to aid in its growth.
Chef Ousmand was born and raised in Sri Lanka. While working as a sales executive for a pharmaceutical company, Shen had the opportunity to come to Canada to study accounting as an international student. While working in a kitchen as a dishwasher to support himself in Toronto, Shen found his true passion.
In 2002, after one semester of studies in accounting, Shen decided that a change was in order and enrolled in the Culinary Management Program at George Brown College. As a co-op student, Shen had the privilege of working under Executive Chef Brooke McDougall at Bymark. Upon graduating, Brooke did not want to lose Shen and hired him full time, taking him under his wings where he quickly learned the tricks of the trade.
When McEwan opened in the spring of 2009, Shen was promoted and moved from Bymark to his new home in the Shops at Don Mills as the Executive Sous Chef working under Chef Andrew Ellerby. In 2012 Shen had proved that he had the skills, knowledge and ability to move up in the ranks again and was promoted to Executive Chef. He implemented several new systems to the operational side of the business and was able to create efficiencies that enabled him to keep up with the high volume and demand of the store. In addition to running the kitchen at McEwan, he also oversees the McEwan Catering division and the grab and go program to Pearson International Airport.
Shen leads by example and is often humorously referred to as the “spreadsheet chef” for his ability to organize his office, staff and products, while continuously pushing boundaries with his creations and expertise in international cuisine.
Growing up in Shelburne, Ontario —a small town outside of Toronto—Kris Topping began his career in the restaurant industry at the age of 16 working in a co-op placement. His skill in the kitchen was apparent and he was quickly hired on after his internship was completed.
Kris proceeded to move to Toronto, a city he was always intrigued by, to pursue a degree in Culinary Management at George Brown College. From there he journeyed to France to complete his Apprenticeship at La Cloche au Fromage.
Upon his arrival back in Canada, Kris worked in Vancouver restaurant Oritalia, an Asian-Italian fusion restaurant, where he was able to hone his creativity. Back in Toronto, Kris began a circuit of high-quality restaurants in the position of Sous Chef, including La Maquette and GMB Kosher Catering.
In 2009, two weeks before McEwan at Shops at Don Mills opened, Kris was hired on as a senior cook to help Shen Ousmand with the development of the project. Once the project was off the ground, Kris headed to Fabbrica to help with their opening. There, he was able to use his indispensable skill of teaching cooks and developing new recipes to get the restaurant running smoothly.
His ability to help create the highest quality of restaurant possible is due to his patience and love of the chaos of the back of house. Once Fabbrica was off and running, Kris returned to the family at the Don Mills location.
Kris’creativity and determination in the kitchen has made him an imperative member of the The McEwan Group Restaurant, he is currently the Chef de Cuisine at McEwan’s second store located at the TD Centre downtown where he organizes a staff of 20-25 members. On a daily basis he creates mouth watering and creative specials, as well as ordering for the production of the kitchen and conducting bulk orders for both locations.
Born and raised in Toronto, Eric McEwan was introduced to the restaurant industry at a young age. Eric began his foray into the business by bussing tables during summer vacation, after trying his hand at various front-of-house positions he settled into a management role.
Immersed in the world of restaurants, Eric knew that it was a path he wanted to pursue full time and decided to fully commit to growing with The McEwan Group Restaurants. Customer service was where Eric found his knack, which has led him to manage various restaurants within the group since 2010. He leads with a passion for food and hospitality that is apparent to everyone who walks in the door at McEwan’s second store located in the TD Centre, where he is currently working.
The fast-paced and evolutionary nature of the food industry drives Eric to succeed, building his family business to it’s full potential in Toronto and onwards. He believes that for this to become a reality, the restaurants must be managed with leadership and determination, both qualities he possesses.
Eric’s mantra of working hard and bringing The McEwan Group Restaurants to their full potential is replicated in his personal life, where he believes that life should be lived to the fullest and without regrets. He spends his free time at the cottage or the golf course to unwind, often with his family by his side and continues to avidly explore new restaurants to keep on top of the culinary scene in Toronto.
George Bachoumis began his career as a stock clerk in 1986 with bigger goals in mind. Completing each task with pride and focusing on pursuing his long-term goals led him to the position he has now, as General Manager for McEwan.
Born and raised in Toronto, there is no other place George would rather be. He began working at grocers such as Pape IGA, Bruno’s and Pusateris. Dabbling in many other grocery stores around the city, he quickly realized that his interest was in the fine food business.
From store clerk to general manager, George has a knack for the food retail business. His exceptional organizational skills and ability to seal a deal make him an excellent leader and essential member of The McEwan Group.
As the General Manager, George is in charge of running the day-to-day operation, from strategic planning and recruiting, to coaching managers and staff, he does it all. George loves to challenge himself; he is constantly on the look out for new products and trends that he can bring into the store for the McEwan customer. Detail-oriented, he pays special attention to the way products are displayed and is known for his constant “face-up!”approach.
On his days off he spends his time with his two daughters, Michaela and Nikelle and his wife Tina. You can find them at the beach and travelling to new places. George is an avid chess player, which he cites as helping his concentration, strategizing and planning skills. He continues his passion for food in his free time by exploring new restaurants around town.