A Q&A with TL Insider founding member Adrienne Giroux

A Q&A with TL Insider founding member Adrienne Giroux

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Toronto Life Insider is a membership club that connects you to the city. With your membership, you get an upgraded subscription to Toronto Life and FASHION magazine, invitations to workshops and one-of-a-kind cooking and cocktail masterclasses, promotions from top brands like a $50 Tiger of Sweden gift card upon signing up—and more.

We caught up with Adrienne Giroux, founder of Chef in the House, to discuss the perks of being a member, some of her favourite events, and her hopes for Toronto post-pandemic. 

Tell me about your relationship with the city.

I was born in Toronto, but I’ve been lucky enough to live in a couple of other great cities as well. I spent three years of my childhood in Paris, and I lived in London, England, for a few years post-university. It’s clear that there’s a very unique vibe here in Toronto. Toronto has always been my home, and since I moved back, I’ve seen the city grow in ways that really inspire me, especially the way it’s become a cultural and culinary hub. I live off of Ossington now and consider myself spoiled because I have some of the city’s top restaurants practically at my doorstep—Côte de Boeuf, Manita and Foxley to name a few. It’s also been a great spot to support local businesses during the pandemic.

How has the city inspired you?

It was here in Toronto, during the pandemic, that I chose to take my love for food and pair it with my passion for entertaining to create Chef in the House, a culinary concept that serves up an intimate dining experience in the comfort of people’s kitchens. I’ve partnered with some incredible Canadian chefs, including Craig Harding, Miriam Echeverria, Alida Solomon, Rob Rainford and Nick Liu. Chef in the House is also inspired by my time in France, where my parents hosted chef-led demonstration dinner parties, so it feels like a really nostalgic throwback to that. But at the same time, the way Toronto’s food scene is expanding in such exciting ways, I couldn’t imagine doing this anywhere else.

Why did you decide to join TL Insider?

I’m a long-time subscriber of Toronto Life, so I was immediately interested when I heard about the launch of Insider, and I’ve been a member since day one. Toronto Life always has its finger on the pulse of what’s happening across the city, so I knew there would be some really unique opportunities to explore with the membership.

What have been some of your favourite virtual experiences?

One favourite was a ragu alla bolognese cooking class with chef Lauren Mozer of elle cuisine—it was amazing. My seven-year-old daughter joined me for the whole two hours, which surprised me. I also joined the garden brunch and floral design demonstration with my mother. Both our birthdays are in May, so it was a fun gift for us to enjoy together.

What has TL Insider taught you about the city?

I’ve learned that Toronto is very resilient, and we are certainly going to come back from this pandemic stronger than ever. Through TL Insider’s Future of Downtown series, I’ve witnessed a lot of optimistic Torontonians speak about their plans and expectations for the city, and it’s left me feeling very inspired.

How does membership fit into your busy schedule?

It can be hard to take breaks when there’s so much more happening in the home now. But virtual events are a great way to carve time out for myself and escape from everyday stresses. I’ve done what I can to make it work, and with so much variety in the scheduling, there are a lot of options to choose from.

What Insider perks have you enjoyed most?

I’ve definitely tried to make the most of the membership from all angles. I love shopping the TL Insider Chef’s Pantry, for example. Exclusive events, especially the pop-up and in-person events (when permitted), offer really great networking opportunities as well.

What type of in-person events would you like to attend again in the future?

I really love the intimate conversations—it’s a hard atmosphere to beat when you add the food and drinks. Returning to a theatre and supporting the arts is another scene I’m eager to get back to. I worked at TIFF for 10 years, so I hope the buzz of Festival can make a comeback this year. I think we’ll see slow signs of reopening over the summer, but I’m feeling really optimistic about a resurgence of life in Toronto come fall, and I’m excited to access so much of it through TL Insider.

Experience TL Insider for the special rate of $75 (reg price $95). Sign up here.