21 Questions with Angela Lawrence, Chief Culture Office, Gusto 54 Restaurant Group

Angela Lawrence

We ask our favourite restaurant personalities 21 questions to get to know them in a different light.

Up first is Angela Lawrence, the Chief Culture Officer at Gusto 54. Angela is the Project Development Lead for Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen. She leaned on her Jamaican heritage and passion for its cuisine to ensure that every aspect of Chubby’s building design and customer experience is made of memorable moments. For her, Chubby’s is an opportunity to honour her family heritage and the richness of Jamaica that has spread around the world.

1. Where were you born?

London, UK

2. Where did you grow up?

Toronto

3. Biggest inspiration?

My parents. They have lived in four countries and have always been supportive of everything I do. They made me believe anything is possible.

4. Top 3 ingredients in your pantry?

Nutmeg, olive oil, West Indian hot sauce

5. What do you make for a lazy supper?

Frittata – onion, spinach, tomato, avocado on top

6. What’s your guilty pleasure?

Lemon Blueberry scones from Baker and Scone

7. Favourite vacation spot?

Zanzibar

8. Favourite food city (outside of your own)?

New York City

9. Favourite item on your menu?

Slow-Baked Jerk Wings …and all the desserts

10. What’s the last [Netflix] show you binged?

She’s Gotta Have It

11. Favourite Instagram account?

It’s a toss up between singer Amara La Negra and relationship expert Tracy McMillan – both very inspiring for different reasons

12. Go-to lunch spot in Toronto?

Gusto 101

13. Favourite restaurant to celebrate a special occasion?

Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen

14. Toronto’s best coffee…

Not a big coffee drinker, but Chubby’s special blend is delicious

15. Toronto’s best-kept secret?

The ROM on a Monday afternoon

16. What’s your favourite thing to do outside of work?

Discover new restaurants

17. What food trend needs to go?

Overpriced gourmet donuts

18. Name 3 guests at your ideal dinner party?

Barack Obama, PK Subban, Ava Duvernay – if I could have a fourth guest it would be Trevor Noah. Bet you thought I was going to include Oprah, lol. Everyone says Oprah.

19. 3 things you’d tell a new restaurateur?

1. Customer and employee feedback is a gift. Always request it and act on the consistent themes
2. Never let an unhappy customer leave – best to address concerns in the moment and turn that frown upside down
3. Consistency is key – be prepared to always be tweaking your food and service

20. What would be your mediocre superpower?

Boxing – I love it and I’ve been told I’m good, but not good enough to get the ring or hurt anyone, lol

21. Who should we interview next?

Gusto 54 executive chef Elio Zannoni

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