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Food & Drink

Roger Mooking sells stake in Nyood to focus on family, new album and cookbook

Toronto chef and R&B singer Roger Mooking is streamlining his life—again. In 2010 he sold his first-born restaurant, Kultura Social Dining, to nightclub impresario and actor Frank Nyilas, and a few weeks back he parted with his beloved Nyood, selling his share to yet another Clubland fixture, Mary Filigno (BLVD Room, Blurr).

With a new baby at home—that makes three little girls clamouring for Daddy’s attention—and with big plans up his chef coat’s sleeve, the time was right. “My focus now is on my babies, and I’m working on a select few charity projects—Cooking up Justice with World Vision, for one—as well as a cookbook and an album.” Anything else will have to remain as secret—for now. (Although the cat is out of the bag regarding Mooking’s upcoming battle on Iron Chef America against Michael Symon, set to air later this month.)

Asked if he has plans involving a new restaurant, Mooking is cagey. “Entertainment is my life and food is a major, major part of that—always has and will be. I may just open another place some day, but nothing is solid as of this exact second. But hey, things change.”

Meanwhile, Nyood’s new executive chef is Dan Duckett, Mooking’s old chef de cuisine at the resto-lounge, who’s still dishing up Mediterranean tapas. Forty-year-old Duckett (Centro, The Fifth, Rosewater, Tundra) is also curing his own duck proscuitto and bacon, making sausages, pickling and canning, all in house. And though the vibe on Friday and Saturday nights is decidedly clubby after 11 p.m., we’re assured that Duckett is as serious about the food as Mooking was.

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