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Kitchen Mastery Achieved at InterContinental Toronto Centre

Experience the Master Chef Difference

InterContinental Toronto Centre boasts many exclusive features that set it apart from other hotels—a prime downtown location, steps away from major attractions; direct access to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre through a sliding door; and the unsurpassed hospitality it offers guests in luxurious, world-class accom­modations. However, the latest feather in its cap—having a Certified Master Chef (CMC) at the helm of their food and beverage service—takes the hotel experience to a whole new level.

Shawn Whalen has the distinction of being one of only five chefs across the country to have received the prestigious CMC designa­tion under the Canadian Culinary Institute. It is the highest attainable culinary designation in Canada, and the InterContinental Toronto Centre is the only hotel or resort in Canada to have a CMC as their Executive Chef.

The CMC designation was developed by in­dustry master chefs and faculty from the Ca­nadian Centre of Culinary Arts and Science at Humber College in Toronto. This challenging program is comprised of theory testing and an intensive five-day, practical examination that includes a gastronomic tasting menu and a garde manger and pastry buffet for 12 people composed of 19 different prepared dishes.

Over his 30-year career, Chef Whalen has won more than 50 gold medals and trophies, and at age 25, he was—and still is—the young­est chef in Canada to receive his Certified Chef de Cuisine designation. Attempting the CMC, he says, just seemed like a natural progression. “I have a competitive nature with the need to al­ways learn, grow and be at the top of my game. From early in my career, I realized that to be a successful chef, I must surround myself with the best of the best. The only way to attract the most qualified cooks is to have something to offer, like education, knowledge, notoriety and cutting-edge food.”

This dedication to his craft and elevated lev­el of pride that comes with the designation is reflected in the quality of the dishes this team prepares for Azure Restaurant & Bar, 24-hour room service and the hotel’s 18,000 sq. ft. of event, banquet and meeting space. “I have ex­tremely high expectations of my culinary team,” he says, “my standards of quality are trained and engrained in every team member’s mind.”

This dynamic culinary crew is both ap­proachable and very flexible, consistently striving to exceed the expectations of clients. “Customized menus are at the forefront of our business and we love to create new and innova­tive cuisine, however, our culinary and service teams also had extensive training in cooking and serving our published banquet and cater­ing menus.”

As a CMC, Whalen’s extensive knowledge of nutritional and vegetarian cuisine has allowed him to design menus that accommodate guests with the most common dietary restrictions, such as gluten- and dairy-free, ensuring that ev­eryone is able to enjoy a great food experience.

While a few of the dishes that Chef Whalen prepared for the CMC examination will make an appearance on the hotel’s menus, he notes that “the real signature for planners is that we put a tremendous amount of effort into all the food that we prepare, with intense pressure and expecta­tion to cook and perform at a high level, providing an exceptional culi­nary experience at our hotel.”

We have the ability to personalize our offerings to diverse markets.
We cater to heads of state, celebrities and small to very large groups,
serving menus to meet all dietary needs and personal preferences.
We provide a worry-free culinary experience.
—Executive Chef Shawn Whalen


Cognac and Dill Cured Atlantic Salmon
Avocado Sour Cream, Quebec Maple Syrup and Mustard Remoulade
Salad of Compressed Watermelon, Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, Soy Beans
Woolwich Goat Cheese, Seedlings, Balsamic Glaze, Olive Oil

Sous Vide Ontario Lamb Loin
Morel Lamb Sauce, Root Vegetable Pavé
Plum Syrup Poached Tomato

Lime & Orange Marinated Scallop Ceviche
Corn Bavarois, Olive Oil Compressed Fennel
Spinach Puree Lime Gel, Avocado Sour Cream

Flourless Chocolate Cake
Fresh Raspberries, Raspberry Fluid Gel
Vanilla Ice Cream, Chocolate Crumble
Strawberries, Almond Tuile