Meet Chef Paul Harding with a vision to follow cyclical menus that fires up an awe and respect for local foods demanding connections' and conscious planning. Read more
Chef Paul Harding
Meet our feature Chef Paul Harding from Granton, Ontario who grew up on the CBC T.V. diet of “The Urban Peasant”. It was television host and cookbook author James Barber’s good sensibilities advising “Cooking food is the fundamental connection to people”, that resonated with Harding. This made good cooking so available that Paul chuckles at the endless meals his family experienced while he was growing up. It sparked his passion and respect for food.
Trained in the George Brown Culinary Program Harding moved to Toronto to gain working experience in the top new restaurants including JOV Bistro and the exquisite French restaurant Auberge du Pommier that was rated 60 out 6927 by TripAdvisor. It was here Harding learned getting the freshest ingredients is about seasonality and supporting people, producers and farmers directly. This is where the best food is.
When Harding relocated to London in 2007 to become a restauranteur it was with almost instant recognition. En Route magazine dubbed “Only On King” as Canada’s 6th Top New Restaurant in 2008. “When I moved to London I realized I already had connections with producers and farmers so it was the right thing to do. Every year I meet more and more.” The Only On King was opened to fill a void of farm to table restaurants and that earned Harding yet another award by the London Business Association as one of London’s “Top 20 under 40”. “There was nothing like it before”, says Harding, “and now they are popping up here and there.” His vision to follow cyclical menus fires up an awe and respect for local food that demands connections’ and conscious planning. A consistent serving of fresh quality fare has netted The Only On King recognition from 2009 to present in Canada’s oldest independent dining out guide, “Where to Eat in Canada”.
The Charred Leeks with Garlicky Romesco is “Simply put.”, Harding says, claiming, “charring the leek completely and cooking it by steaming in its own juices and then peeling is the best way to eat leeks.”
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