For his last meal chef Richard Andino would eat a 34-oz bone-in rib eye steak, fingerling and marrow mash, chili garlic egg rice, butter poached lobster and foie gras.
“It’s a dinner I thought to myself what am I going to do if ever I was to be asked what I would have for my last meal,” Andino says from his newly opened restaurant Dyne, which features the dish listed as the chef’s last meal for $325. “What I’d like to have as my going away before I go, that would be that meal.”
The menu at Dyne, which took over the space from the former Maléna restaurant at Avenue and Davenport roads in January, features Spanish, Portuguese and Filipino cuisine. Aside from the aforementioned meal, Andino strives to offer a variety of hot and cold plates, which are mainly under $20, along with meat and fish options so customers can try as many dishes as they desire.
“I just want to showcase what the food’s all about,” he says, adding he tries to source ingredients from a 100-mile radius. “I just want you to come in and really sit down and enjoy the food, enjoy it because I’m trying to do something a little different. The way you eat here is how I would love to eat, just keep ordering stuff until I don’t want to eat anymore. I want to see all the flavours, I want to see how different things go together.”
Andino, a former executive chef and partner at Flow Restaurant, where he worked with Dyne’s chef de cuisine Julie Marteleira and developed his signature style, also has 10 years of culinary experience at Mark McEwan’s North 44.
“I guess the defining moment was lately, not that I could do this for a living but it justified my 20 odd years of cooking,” he says. “Like yeah you’re doing this now because you know how to cook. It’s my wife, I have three kids now, they justify why I’ve been cooking for so long because it does take a toll on you.”
Although he’s been cooking since he was a kid, his love of preparing meals for his kids led him to study culinary management at George Brown College.
“My parents always said you’ve got to become a doctor or a lawyer or … dentist, I just didn’t want to be one,” he says. “And then I just starting cooking and I’m like hey I’m going to become a chef and that was it.”
Even though he knew he wanted to open a place of his own, he spent three years searching for the right location and once he did, had only two weeks before opening his doors. Although initially nothing looked like the vision he had in his mind, he says, it’s slowly coming together better than he planned.
“I love my industry,” he says. “I love my family, that’s first, but a really close second is this industry and I want to keep going at this industry as long as I’m able to stand, as long as I’m able to do things, I want this to be my industry.”
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