Michael Stadtländer, Chef

One of Canada's most maddeningly elusive chefs just got a little more accessible. Star chef Michael Stadtländer left Toronto in 1993 and moved to Eigensinn Farm, two hours outside the city, where he made dinner twice a week for just a dozen diners a night. But it's easier to get a place at the table now that he's opened Haisai, a 28-seat restaurant and bakery down the road.

Stadtländer's daily set menu is an ode to self-sufficiency. It might include red-wattles ham from a beast more boar than pig; he raises the animal, butchers the meat, then cold-smokes it for six months and air-dries it for five more. Stadtländer designed and built much of the solar-powered restaurant himself.

With the help of his sous chefs, he made the tables and chairs from local wood and hand-tossed all the pottery using local clay. "I'm at the point where I know who I am, and I'm happy with it," he says; pilgrims come for a chance to share his vision.

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Known for his haute Colborne Lane in Toronto, Claudio Aprile goes more casual at this brand-new place serving Asian- influenced dishes like a Thai beef salad.

Cabane à Sucre
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