Splendido chef de cuisine Patrick Kriss to take over the kitchen at Acadia

Splendido chef de cuisine Patrick Kriss to take over the kitchen at Acadia

Patrick Kriss at Splendido’s pass (Image: Renée Suen)

If you haven’t heard a lot about Patrick Kriss yet, you will soon. Owners Scott and Lindsay Selland have revealed to Torontolife.com that Kriss will be stepping into the role of chef de cuisine at Acadia when Matt Blondin departs for Momofuku Daisho at the end of the month.

Kriss’s maturity and refined style are a product of the exacting standards he picked up in a number of high-profile kitchens. The George Brown–trained chef started at Auberge du Pommier before moving to New York’s Daniel—the flagship restaurant of celebrated chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud, who’s set to open up shop here this year—where he worked for three years before taking on the role of sous chef. During his time at Daniel, Kriss also staged at France’s illustrious La Maison Troisgros and Régis et Jacques Marcon. Having honed his culinary chops at three Michelin–starred establishments, Kriss then came back to Toronto, working most recently as chef de cuisine at Splendido (where he oversaw our 12-hour stage).

Although the reserved chef has stayed out of the spotlight, he’s well regarded in the culinary community. However, this will be the first time Kriss heads a kitchen of his own, and he’ll no doubt lead Acadia into some uncharted waters. While Scott Selland assures us that Acadia’s focus will remain on modern interpretations of Lowcountry cuisine, patrons can expect a more “soulful” take on the food, what he calls “cooking from the hip.” We’re told that management has also taken note of all the feedback they’ve received since the restaurant’s opening: Kriss’s menu will include more house-made items like smoked bacon, and feature a greater selection of products from quality purveyors like Anson Mills and Benton’s. And while the refined flavours and beautiful plating aren’t going anywhere, the dishes should be a tad more approachable, with more substantial portion sizes to boot.

The transition is taking place as Acadia readies its patio (it opens today), which seats another 38 and is outfitted with a small menu of its own. As the weather warms, the space may also host an outdoor crab bake or crawfish boil or two. As Selland puts it, “this is a step forward for Acadia.”