Meet the owner

Doug McNish has always loved food, and everything that goes into making it.

“I stepped foot into a restaurant kitchen when I was fifteen and I loved it. I loved the craziness, the yelling and screaming, the flames. You’d go from quiet to 200 orders all at once,” he explains. Now that he’s running his own kitchen, things are still crazy and busy, but you wouldn’t know it. Doug’s Public Kitchen is a peaceful, if popular, home for organic vegan cuisine.

Doug’s cuisine is all his own. Classically trained at George Brown, he was schooled in the basics of traditional fare. He went on to work the grill at the Air Canada Centre, sometimes cooking over 250 steaks a night. Doug didn’t just prepare the snacks for sportsfans, he ate them too — steak, chicken fingers, fries — and his weight went up to 270 lbs. At the same time, he started watching online videos about what goes on in a slaughterhouse, and really started to question his eating habits. Happily for him, the Leafs lost that year, his contract ended early, and Doug was free to change his lifestyle take the plunge into veganism.

Read the story of Doug McNish's Public Kitchen

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Appears in 4 Smart Lists

Editor’s Pick
The best vegan and vegetarian brunch in Toronto

The best vegan and vegetarian brunch in Toronto

Toronto Chef Doug McNish is on a mission to prove vegan food can be nutritious, hearty and delicious, and brunch at Doug McNish’s Public Kitchen is just that. This elevated menu totes vegan food that sustains with smoothies, tofu scrambles, and tempeh bacon on offer. The go-to choice here is the scramble platter with tofu, black bean chili, toast with sunflower seed miso butter, home fries and tempeh bacon. The prices here are a bit higher than your standard eggs and bacon, but the portions are huge and justify the extra coin. Doug keeps his menu organic and local as much as possible, and lucky for you, accepts Sunday brunch reservations.

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Best Restaurants for Meatless Mondays in Toronto

Best Restaurants for Meatless Mondays in Toronto

Chef Doug McNish creates organic, vegan, and gluten-free dishes that never make you feel like you’re missing out. Open until 6pm on Mondays, you can get freshly made soup, salads, desserts, dips and sauces, as well as dishes made for pickup, delivery or drive-thru. This week’s menu includes a Raw Tostada, Gluten-Free Cheesy Baked Squash Mac & Cheese (for 1-4 ppl) and a 4-pack of Veggie Burgers. A burger? Mac & cheese? Sounds like you haven’t had to give up a thing today.

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Best Restaurants for Vegan Fare in Toronto

Best Restaurants for Vegan Fare in Toronto

Being a vegan chef, Doug McNish is fiercely commited to health and organics. At his Public Kitchen, you not only can shop ingredients, you can get an finely comprised and delectable organic, plant-based meal while you’re at. For brunch, try the Vegan Peameal Benedict ($19) with gluten free English muffin, sautéed white wine garlic spinach, slow roasted tomato, brined cornmeal crusted tofu, soft poached "egg" and of course, hollandaise sauce.

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