Supporting the Community
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Catering and Events
Head Chef - Olivia Simpson
Olivia Simpson is excited to lead the growing team at Hawthorne Food and Drink as a Head Chef. After working and learning in restaurants such as Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Dirt Candy and Mission Chinese Food, she is inspired to bring back what she has learned and cook seasonal food with sustainable and local Ontario ingredients. Olivia graduated from George Brown College, and has worked in many Toronto kitchens, for companies such as Oliver and Bonacini and Buca. She has also worked with Toronto magazines in recipe development, food styling and photography.
Line Cook - Malefia Abebe
Malefia came to Hawthorne as a Kitchen Helper trainee under the Investing in Neighbourhoods program by Toronto Employment and Social Services. She hails from Ethiopia and was a technical football coach for women’s national team in her past. She has embraced her new country and the new profession with love, dedication and hard work and has recently been hired full-time at Hawthorne as a Line Cook after 8 months of training under Chef Ricky’s wing.
Talent Development Manager, Front of House - Adrian Proszowski
Adrian has lived and worked in Toronto on and off for over 20 years. His main profession has been acting, but his wish to give back to the community and a strong sense of responsibility drew him to Hawthorne about a year and a half ago. His experience in “boutique” restaurant service for many years has taught him to respect, take pride in and appreciate every job involved in making a restaurant run successfully. It is this respect he feels is most crucial to impart to the trainees working through the Front of House program at Hawthorne.
Front of House - Dominic Chin Cheong
Trinidadian born and raised, Dominic has been working in the hospitality industry for over ten years. With experience ranging from casual to fine dining and fast food service, he has a wealth of knowledge about the sequence of service through systems, policies and procedure development for a well orchestrated front-of-house performance. Prior experience in senior management roles provides him with the ability to pursue integrity and excellence in his current work. His chosen career path has made him into an extraordinary restauranteur who has been provided with the opportunity to share his knowledge with HWTC trainees. Dominic possesses a diploma in Food and Beverage Management from George Brown College and a certification from the Wine Spirit and Education Trust.