Toben Koachman and Sam Crignano, at Backstge  prest centre Photo Tom Sandler

In a food-focused city like Toronto, it seems that the traditional brick and mortar restaurant will no-longer satisfy our increasing appetites for the next best culinary experience. Now that we have food trucks of every gastro-focus roaming around the city, pop up restaurants are becoming another increasingly popular way to bring new food to new people.

Chef Toben Kochman of Toben Food by Design is one of the latest hot chefs in the city to ‘pop up’ with a temporary restaurant. Choosing the location of 2nd Floor Events on King West, Chef Toben’s TWISTED by TFBD is the new sister company to his well-known catering company.

I caught up with Chef Toben to ask him about his latest culinary endeavour, the TWISTED pop up restaurant.

GC: What made you decide to create a pop up restaurant?

TK:  This summer I decided to open up a sister company , called Twisted to our catering and events company, Toben Food by Design Inc. It’s inspired by my travels throughout the last few years;  I was truly amazed by the street foods all over Asia, the West Indies and South America.


GC: What can a pop up restaurant experience offer patrons that a more traditional restaurant can’t?

TK: Food without any inhibitions.  It is a complete reflection of me as a chef and world traveller.  It’s fun, less pretentious, and it’s very reasonable so you won’t blow the bank for an exciting food experience! Even the drinks are priced well below market value just so people can try all our amazing specialty cocktails as well.


GC: What can people expect from your very first pop up restaurant?

TK: A really fun, taste bud tantalizing, experience.  Lots of dishes with surprises and amazing cocktails.  Great music and a fun crowd.


GC: Why did you choose the location of 2nd floor events?

TK: 2nd Floor Events is a space where we do a lot of functions.  They have a full restaurant style kitchen, an amazing space with lots of exposed brick, earthy wood elements and perfect natural lighting.  It was the ideal canvas for us.


GC: Will we be seeing more pop ups from you in the future?

TK: Absolutely.  I’m considering doing these about 3-4 times a year.


GC: Are pop up restaurants and food trucks the future of the restaurant business?

TK: I think there will always be traditional restaurants but we will see more and more pop ups and food trucks as time goes on.  Chefs are always looking for unique environments to practice their craft.  That’s kinda why I love catering so much.  Each event and service is unique…very similar to a pop up!


GC: How would you describe your food in a few words? What are you best known for?

TK: Progressive global food with classic undertones and techniques.  We are best known for bold flavours, exciting presentations, and using a huge majority of local/seasonal/artisanal products.   We make everything from scratch; our bacon and guanciale have been celebrated as some of the best people have ever consumed.


GC: Who should buy tickets for your pop up?

TK: Everyone who has a love for exciting food, good music and yummy cocktails!  This will be a very unique experience in a fantastic venue in the heart of the King West strip.


GC: What are you favourite types of foods/dishes to eat?

TK: Pizza and Ramen/Japanese are my favourite foods by far!  But I love almost every type of cuisine.



For more information and to book tickets for a seating click HERE!



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