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Chef Stories: Meet Gourmet Chef La-toya Fagon

We are delighted to introduce you to yet another gourmet chef that manjya  has the privilege to work with.  Chef La-toya Fagon exudes determination and confidence in everything she does.  She is passionate about every aspect of food; how it is grown, how it is harvested, details in the preparation and in the exquisite presentation of food.

latoyaNo wonder she and her culinary excellence have been highlighted on media outlets such Rogers Daytime and the Marilyn Dennis Show.

La-toya is a culinary management graduate from Toronto’s George Brown College.   From there she worked her way around the city of Toronto working for free, just to have the experience of working with many of Toronto’s gourmet chefs.  She wanted to learn the trade by working hands-on.  She says she learns best by doing, as opposed to being told how to do something.

To enhance her training, La-toya and a fellow chef travelled back and forth to the home of her ancestors, Jamaica.  She wanted to become entrenched in all aspects of food and cooking.  She and her friend dove into learning all there was to know about agriculture, and how food is grown.  This was the start of La-toya’s passion for farm to table cooking.  This type of learning complimented La-toya’s creative and artistic mind and her need to learn by seeing and doing.  This is the type of passion for her art that launched her to be the gourmet chef she is today.

La-toya’s home base has always been Scarborough, Ontario.  Upon settling down back at home, one of her teachers from George Brown College approached her with the opportunity to apprentice at one of the Loblaws cooking schools.  And what an opportunity it was…  By the age of 24 La-toya became the Loblaws cooking school co-ordinator and was instrumental in opening 14 of their cooking schools in Southern Ontario.

In 2009, with the blessing on her supportive parents, La-toya finally felt ready to go out on a limb and began to work for herself.  Her personal chef and catering company was taking flight.

A huge break for La-toya came when she took a gig with the Toronto International Film Festival and caught the attention of American film producer Harvey Weinstein via food she had prepared for Lifestyle Entertainment.  He loved the food she had created.  Lifestyle Entertainment then asked her to be an executive chef at the Sundance Film Festival in Salt Lake City in 2014.

Today La-toya continues to be a star feeding the stars.  It was recently announced that she will be one of the hospitality partners at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

La-toya’s focus at the moment is centred on an upcoming opening.  She is about to open her first ever commercial space in Scarborough which will be the base of her business.  This location will house her commercial kitchen, catering and prepared meal program, and cupcake and cake business.  Manjya wishes her the best of luck.

La-toya humbly admits that working for yourself has its highs and lows.  In order to survive, she surrounds herself with people who lift her up and keep her high.

La-toya loves the relationship she has built with manjya.  She says, “The whole platform is awesome”.   She told manjya, “time is too precious to align yourself with things that don’t make sense, and manjya makes sense.  It gives us chefs the possibility of jobs when we might otherwise not have a job”.

La-toya plans to add more manjya cooking gigs into her schedule due to the fact she now has a solid team working right along-side her.  Learn more about Chef La-toya Fagon on manjya.


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