In The Kitchen + Menu Tasting w/ Chef & Entrepreneur Danny Hassell

Danny Hassell is the Executive Chef and Part-Owner of Parcae, an elegant downtown Toronto restaurant located inside of The Templar Hotel.  He welcomed Trep Fuel into his kitchen to provide insight into his culinary process and to taste a select few of his dishes.  Hassell is not the most verbose entrepreneur, he does not over sell his product, but get him in his element where he can work his craft and he becomes fully alive.  The menu he’s created at Parcae reflects his unconventional and artistic nature.  For instance, “Cervelo” is a dish on the dinner menu that features deep fried lamb brains, an option unfamiliar to most North Americans.

Hassell prepares three dishes for us.  He uses vinegar to give each plate a little extra shine.  There is not as much storage and refrigeration as you might expect back of house because fresh ingredients are delivered daily.  This allows the cooking area to remain clean and orderly.  The kitchen has a private Chef’s table that seats two and is a convenient place to watch Hassell work.

The first dish is soft shell crab and purslane mustard espuma, which is inspired by a sauce his mother made growing up.  The entire crab is lightly battered, deep fried then seasoned.  It pairs wonderfully with the flavorful and fluffy espuma.  

“Super simple and delicate.”

Next up…

Mussels Ragu – prepared with iberico lardo, tomato and spring vegetable ragu.  Made with a variety of fresh vegetables including lima beans and ramp all of which are produced locally.

Lastly we have….

Stuffed Squid – Pork and fennel sausage, squid and spicy tomato.

The squid is lightly char grilled on each side, seasoned, dressed and ready to eat. Quite delectable.

Parcae is a unique, meat-centric dining experience hidden in the core of the city. Executive Chef Danny Hassell chose the culinary arts to express his creativity; he is not the typical entrepreneur, rather an artist who wants the focus to remain on his creations.


Camera + Editor - Brione Wishart
Interviewed By Joel Grannum