From an early age, Chef Tomer Markovitz knew his career path would lead him to the kitchen.
“I was always drawn to food and wanted to open my own restaurant one day, so I started working to know every position, role, nuance there is to know in the hospitality industry,” says the culinary force behind Mossop’s Social House, a new downtown Toronto restaurant, cafe, bar and social hub steps from the Financial District and Commerce Court.
Spanning the first floor of the hotel and extending into the lobby’s lounge spaces, Mossop’s is a welcoming spot to gather, socialize, rest and refuel. The menu is focused on Levantine-inspired cuisine, with day-to-night offerings ideal for everything from quick eats to celebratory dinners.
After building the foundations of his career in his native Tel Aviv, fate brought Markovitz to Toronto in 2016. “My then-GF, now wife, lived in Toronto, and we wanted to grow our future and decided to live here,” Markovitz explains.
Markovitz became determined to introduce Toronto to his hometown’s culinary scene, which he describes as “160 cuisines blended into one, with techniques chefs learned from the top fine dining restaurants from Europe.”
He adds: “The flavours, the usage of spices, the freshness, the cultural ‘soup’ of the culinary scene is really mind blowing.”.
He kicked off his stint in Toronto with a bang, heading up the kitchen at Parallel Brothers, a west-end café that became just as renowned in the local food scene for its fresh takes on Middle Eastern fare as it was for its top-tier housemade tahini.
Markovitz eventually began shifting gears to consulting and private chef work in search of more balanced hours, but he couldn’t stay away from restaurants for long.
“Restaurants are my existence,” he says.
“I love hospitality, I love the dynamic of a restaurant, the vibe, the immediate gratification you get from guests trying your food.”
In early 2023, he opened Romi’s bakery on St. Clair West. Named in honour of his young daughter, Romi’s specializes in challah, rugelach, babka, and—naturally—hummus and falafel.
The falafel, Markovitz’s signature recipe, also takes a starring role on the menu at Mossop’s. “It took me about five years to create this recipe to get it to the perfect flavour and texture. It will forever be my baby,” he says.
The menu also features French toast (made with Romi’s own Nutella challah), tangy shakshuka, pita sandwiches, stuffed bourekas, and hummus bowls loaded with custom toppings.
The menu is a culmination of Markowitz’s career thus far—and every kitchen role and lesson, however small, plays a part.
“I’ve always treated this profession the same way as a doctor, lawyer, or financial advisor would look at his job,” he says. “I read, I tried, I experimented, I made sure to take notes. I made sure I kept learning from every person I worked with—from the lower positions to the high management/ownership.”
He advises young up-and-coming chefs to do the same: “Be open-minded and keep your ears always open to every comment, criticism and compliment,” he says.
“Always be dynamic, always be creative, and love your craft.”