If your taste buds are craving a culinary experience that is chock-full of flavours bite after bite, your search is over.
Prepare your palette for eclectic flavours as one of Canada’s most well-known chefs and judge on CTV’s MasterChef Canada, Claudio Aprile (Origin, Colborne Lane) invites you to experience a cooking style like no other at Copetin Restaurant and Bar.
Aprile has created a new concept with Copetin, located at the corner of King Street East and Church Street in Toronto, which features three spaces – a main dining area with an open kitchen, a bar and a patio. Inside, the space seats 80 guests, with an additional 12-seat private dining room for special events and custom menus. Copetin draws on many inspirations and genres of cooking and offers guests a thoughtful, elevated menu that is sure to leave you awestruck with each dish.
“It’s a return to what dining was like before the city shifted to more of a casual style of cooking – a place where you can kind of lose yourself in the entire experience, in the meal,” says Aprile.
“I want it to stop the conversation people are having when the food comes out, I want people to take notice,” he continues. “I’ve always been attracted to the very big, bold, electric flavours, so that’s what you can expect. I’m known as a chef who creates signature flavours that at times can be a bit polarizing.”
The name for this new venture came from Aprile’s mother who suggested he call it Copetin, a Latin-American word meaning “drop-in, aperitif, community and social,” according to a news release.
Copetin’s menu was inspired by Toronto neighbourhoods and its vibrant food culture. It’s a more elevated style of cooking, one Aprile explains has been designed for guests to be able to experience a whole multitude of different flavours.
With a cooking career that spans over three decades, Aprile has passed through some of the most renowned kitchens around the globe including Bali Sugar in London, England, which earned him outstanding reviews as a young executive chef. But it was while working at Senses in Toronto that wowed critics and diners alike with his innovative use of experimental cooking techniques.
Aprile is drawn to Spanish, Italian and Asian cuisines, a complexity of flavours that really inspires and resonates with him. This is what he plans on injecting into Copetin’s menu. He explains that in many ways Copetin will be like a workshop – a place where he can experiment and explore new techniques and flavours.
“I like trying things that are new and revealing new flavours to other people – food that creates a very deep response in your mouth, in your mind,” says Aprile. “It’s such a privilege to be in a career where we get to do something that is creative. You have to love what it is that you do everyday and don’t be afraid to take risks.”
Copetin is a collaboration between Aprile and Henry Wu, who’s behind some of Canada’s most creative culinary concepts including Luckee by Susur Lee, Wahlburgers, Fring’s, Senses, Susur, Diva At The Met, Lee Restaurant, Lai Wah Heen
and Lai Toh Heen. Aprile and Wu worked together for six years when Aprile was the executive chef at Senses.
“Henry is a really interesting person, he knows what’s going on in his city … our deal was fast but it felt right – it feels right, now,” he says. “I have a lot of respect for Henry. I’ve known him for almost 20 years and I’m really excited to jump on out and partner with him.”
Aprile promises Copetin will be a highly social place, that it will be focussed, delicious, unpredictable and that it is Toronto.
“It’s a Toronto restaurant. I think that’s the most uncool thing we do in Toronto, is to try to be New York. We are not New York, we are Toronto and we’re just as cool in our own way. I mean we have Drake,” he says with a laugh. “I just feel Copetin is going to take on a life of its own.”
So whether you’re going out on a date or you simply want to enjoy some good food with a group of friends, make sure you grab a table at Copetin.
Copetin Restaurant and Bar opens today. For more information or a sneak-peek at the menu, visit Copetin.ca.
Copetin’s Current Hours:
Tuesday-Saturday, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.; lunch service to start in August
Tuesday-Sunday, 12 p.m. to late
Tuesday-Friday, 12 p.m. to late; Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to late