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Photos by Jennifer Roberts for The Globe and Mail. Read Chris Nuttall-Smith's full review of The Berlin here.
Jonathan Gushue, who is 45, has one of the best résumés in the business. He trained at Toronto’s Four Seasons Hotel, and then at a high-end resort outside Tokyo, before moving on to the two-star Michelin dining room at London’s Berkeley Hotel. Back in Canada, he was the chef at Truffles at the Four Seasons, at a time when it was one of the most important restaurants in Toronto. He stayed for three years before decamping to Langdon Hall, where his kitchen nudged itself onto the all-important World’s Best Restaurants list.
A great old space in downtown Kitchener, near the offices of Google, Facebook and Square. It has 20-foot ceilings and a working kitchen and room for 120 customers, as well as space for 70 more upstairs. The price for that space was practically a song compared to similar ones in Toronto.
Mr. Gushue’s cooking here is German, roughly, but lighter and more vegetable-forward than you might expect. It is executed a lot of the time with skill and judgment that are impossible to fake. And nearly every dish is in some way touched by his kitchen’s roaring grill, a two-grate number with crank-wheels for raising and lowering – almost every bite twigs campfire memories.