En hommage à sa mère coréenne et aux grands maîtres japonais
“Montreal is a city for everyone,” chef Antonio Park once told radio presenter Meeker Guerrier during an interview on Radio-Canada’s show Montréal en portraits. According to chef Park, its great vitality is what makes the Quebec metropolis so attractive, and it’s the reason he chose to settle here.
“That and because it rains too much in British Columbia, where my family and I immigrated to after we left our native Argentina in 1990,” he remarked, only half in jest.
The chef has wonderful memories of the country of his youth. It was there that his mother introduced him to cooking. “She taught me everything,” he said. But she was a demanding teacher—he’d get an earful from her if he didn’t peel garlic properly.
The Park family had some animals, but, especially, a massive 47,000 square foot garden full of produce. “That’s why today I only work with top-quality,fresh ingredients,” said Park, who got his start in the restaurant business as a dishwasher. He worked his way up to the position of chef in kitchens in Toronto, Montreal and New York,then left for Japan to learn ancestral culinary techniquesfrom the source. He trained under the bestJapanese masters and returned to Montreal, a master in his own right.
Today, Antonio Park runs five eateries in Montreal. Park, Jatoba and Flyjin showcase the creative and subtle flavours of Japanese cuisine, and Kampai Garden offers a fun, hip beer garden experience.