Supporting the Community
Catering and Events
Executive Chef - Ricky Casipe
Hawthorne’s Executive Chef Ricky Casipe joined Hawthorne 3 years ago. Casipe is a 25-year old Torontonian with Filipino roots and has achieved a lot at this young age. He is passionate about the concept of “Farm-to-Fork City Food”, and wants to be a part of the movement that is changing the way we source our food. His academic culinary training took place at George Brown College, although his own signature style of cooking evolved in the years he worked with socially responsible chefs at Hawthorne. Before he assumed the duties of an Executive Chef himself, he dabbled in working for catering companies and other restaurants and returned due to his wish for working in a smaller restaurant that gives back to the community.
Ricky believes that a huge responsibility comes with being a Chef and it is important to create food with sustainable practices and treat our proteins with the respect they deserve. Moreover, to him, nothing makes more sense than eating what is grown locally. Ricky loves his city, his province and his country. His “Farm-to-Fork City Food” reflects his support for Ontario and celebration for Toronto. He uses every culture and neighbourhood in the city as an inspiration to create his dishes. In addition to his regular duties as an Executive Chef, Ricky trains HWTC trainees, both Front and Back of House at Hawthorne.
Sous Chef - Olivia Simpson
Olivia Simpson is excited to join the growing team at Hawthorne Food and Drink as a sous-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 - Ian Scally
Ian graduated from George Brown College in 2012 and started working for a catering company as a cook. After Hawthorne Food & Drink acquired the company, Ian decided to stay on as a Line Cook and has been with us ever since. He grew up in Scarborough, which has extremely diverse food influences – something that has shaped his preferences as a cook. A man of very few words, Ian is passionate about all skilled trades including wood and metal work.
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.
Communications Manager - Soofia Mahmood
Soofia works for Hospitality Workers Training Centre as Communications Manager and supports Hawthorne for all Marketing and Communications needs. She has over 12 years experience in Marketing and Creative Communications. Her scope of past experience includes managing corporate brands, advertising, and providing development sector communications solutions. She is passionate about working for non-profit organizations and social enterprises and has been associated with UNICEF and USAID in Pakistan in various creative and communications capacities. Her two true loves are photography and writing.
For any media/communications enquiries, feel free to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 647.930.9518 x 305.