For those who are active on social and follow Toronto’s food scene, they you may have heard of the name, Chef Grant Soto. But who exactly is Chef Soto? Well, for starters – he’s not a real chef. The always satirical and always painstaking on-point Chef Grant Soto is a fictitious character developed by longtime restaurant worker-turned-screenwriter Taylor Clarke. His colourful commentary on the Toronto restaurant scene and all of its players has made him fairly famous around these parts, with publications like the National Post, Toronto Life and The Toronto Star dedicating ink to him.
So what have been some of our favourite times that Chef Grant Soto called out the restaurant industry? We list them below (in no particular order).
The infamous 416 Snack Bar Hand Salad
Grant titled it #SaladGate and it blew up. A person on Twitter complained about how 416 Snack Bar didn’t provide cutlery for a deconstructed salad they were serving. As you can imagine, comments and opinions ensued with the salad making waves in as far as the UK and people continue to tag Chef Soto in photos of themselves eating the salad at 416 Snack Bar.
When La Carnita told patrons to “grab her by the taco”
When Donald Trump made the classless joke of “grabbing her by the pussy”, many folks rolled their eyes and called him a sexist pig. When La Carnita used the wording on their social media to sell tacos (a slang word for pussy, don’t cha know) – you better believe that Chef Soto clapped back and people listened.
That time El Furniture Warehouse was cancelled forever for making transphobic remarks
Toronto restaurants suffer from a lot of serious toxic bro mentality. Case in point: El Furniture Warehouse and their deeply misguided and super transphobic social media post referring to Caitlyn Jenner. While Caitlyn Jenner herself is super problematic (for a variety of other reasons), Grant Soto came at them with a one-two punch, which ended up getting his original post deleted and has him on a perma-block list from all of the Warehouse Group’s restaurants. Damn, someone sounds salty. How’s this: don’t do super problematic things and you won’t get called out.
That time Momofuku chef David Chang got caught using Tinder in Toronto
During the very first Taste of Toronto which David Chang was invited to in 2014, Chef Soto’s friend caught the illustrious Momofuku chef making swipes on Tinder. So naturally what did he do: ask him about it on social media of course. Hilarity ensued and the rest is history.
When brands kept working with Toronto sex offender and club promoter Mark Holland
When former club promoter Mark Holland was arrested in Toronto for sexually assaulting an under-age model, Chef Soto saw certain brands and agencies were still working with him. So naturally, he called it out. Rather than answering Chef Grant publicly, the images quietly disappeared from their social media feed.
That time Locals Only thought used a pro-rape joke as signage
Another example of toxic-bro syndrome. Chef Soto was one of the first to point out to point out the downright disgusting sign Locals Only not only had up in their bar, but on their Instagram page. The sign read, “No means yes & yes means a***?” Shortly after the King St. bar was exposed, the image/sign was taken down and an apology was issued.
The Bent-Lee’s: enough said
If you have ever watched one of Chef Soto’s Instagram Stories about Chef Susur Lee or his sons Levi Bent-Lee and Kai Bent-Lee, well then, you don’t need any convincing from me to know it’s good. But seriously, he pokes fun at these two sons of Susur’s and points out all their privileges and roasts them. So much so that employees of Fring’s and Bent have commented and thanked him for doing the people’s work.
Did we miss any of Chef Grant Soto’s best moments? Sound off in the comment section or tweet us at @ViewtheVibe.