Love Chix
By YP Contributor

Sharing Food and Stories

Paul Marshall loves food. Not just preparing and eating it, but everything that good food and drink represents: warmth, comfort and the coming together of friends, family and even strangers around a table to share stories.

That’s what Love Chix is all about. Paul opened his funky resto/bar on Dupont Street in the Junction on July 1, 2016. He’s there every day from morning to night, larger than life– at over six feet tall, he is a presence – ready to personally greet his customers, get to know them, share his stories and listen to theirs.

Paul discovered the magic of food while working in the kitchens at Queen's Landing Inn at Niagara on the Lake. After three weeks as a dishwasher, he moved up to garde manger, happily preparing and plating salads and appetizers. The energy in the kitchen as the team worked to produce good food hooked him in. “That was the start of the connection of what food actually is,” says Paul. “Food is probably, globally, something everyone can agree on– sitting around a table with family and friends enjoying good food; that is an awesome time.”

I love what I do. That’s why love is in the name. - Paul Marshall, owner

A Culinary Journey

Paul’s appetite to learn more about food sent him on a culinary journey that began in Ontario and continued on in New York, Australia, Vancouver and back to Toronto. “Every time I got through one thing, my eyes were on something else. I was hungry to learn more,” he says.

It was a fast, furious and energy-filled experience, each success building on the next. After seven years in Vancouver, Paul and his wife, Michelle, took stock of their lifestyle. “It was time to put family first,” says Paul, who has two children. “So we moved back here.”

And while he easily found a job and did well, his old energy was gone; he came to the conclusion that he no longer wanted to work for someone else. “I realized I didn’t want to settle,” says Paul. “I like challenges and there’s nothing more challenging than owning your own business!”

Love Chix is a funky bar/restaurant on Dupont Street in the Junction that features oven-roasted and fried chicken, creative side dishes, draft beer, wine and a 40-seat outdoor patio.

A Moveable Feast

Almost a year after opening, the resto/bar is much more than a place that specializes in oven-roasted chicken and, according to Paul, it’s still evolving. “It’s not the grab-and-go chicken place I thought it would be,” says the chef. “It evolved from there. I can’t just settle on one thing and I don’t want to be defined. I want an open mind, to have options.”

Paul manages all aspects of Love Chix, from cooking to front-of-house duties. He also has help from chef Punit Sehgal, with whom he has been working for more than three years. And while you can still find juicy, brined roast chicken, crispy fried chicken and the incredible fried Brussels sprouts (with lemon and Grana Padano Parmesan cheese) from the original menu, the list has grown to include creative sides, fresh fish, burgers, weekly specials, weekend brunch and more. Paul also stocks what he calls the best Toronto has to offer in craft beer and a “nice, simple wine list.”

As for the name, Love Chix, it gets a lot of attention.  “It’s a great name,” says Paul, “but some people think it’s silly. At the end of the day, people remember it.” More to the point, with him working 11 to 14 hours a day, six to seven days a week, the name is profound: “I love what I do,” says Paul. “That’s why love is in the name.”

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