Musical kitchen chairs: Fat Duckling Matthew Sullivan is Maléna’s new head chef

Musical kitchen chairs: Fat Duckling Matthew Sullivan is Maléna’s new head chef

Sullivan ferries food across Queen Street West to The Mascot during his Boxed pop-up (Image: Natalie Castellino) 

Last week we reported that Maléna had lost executive chef Doug Neigel to Mercatto after its head chef Rob Rossi split to open his own place. Neigel’s replacement, Matthew Sullivan, is now in his fourth week and has made a few alterations. “The menu’s changed completely,” he told us. “There’s not one item that’s the same. The concept, the suppliers, the presentation are all different.” Sullivan previously completed a stage in the U.K. at the three-Michelin-starred Fat Duck under celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal, before moving to Spice Safar in Toronto. More recently, he garnered some buzz with his erstwhile roving pop-up operation Boxed Toronto (it popped up only once, at The Mascot on Queen West).

When we spoke to him, Sullivan was particularly excited about the Perth pork, a shoulder and belly dish that requires some considerable effort in the kitchen. “It is a farmhouse sort of dish,” he said. “We’re using harder cuts, but with technique we’re really elevating it. We’re not interested in pork tenderloin.” Still, the menu doesn’t look like a completely radical departure to us so far (Jon Sufrin took a tour of it over at Post City). Sullivan is also in talks with a yet-to-be-named local chef about running a new pop-up dinner this winter.