Yannick Bigourdan


Born in the idyllic South of France to a family deeply rooted in the culinary world, it comes as no surprise that Yannick has carved his own path in the industry. The legacy began with his great grandfather, who established a thriving family business in the late 1890s, enchanting delis across Europe with their homemade pâté and other delectable delicacies. Inspired by this success, Yannick’s grandfather emerged as a celebrated Chef, passing down his expertise to Yannick’s father and uncle, who became distinguished culinary leaders themselves.

After completing his education, Yannick embarked on a transformative journey across Spain, Germany, and ultimately Ireland. It was at the illustrious Five Star Relais-et-Chateaux Hotel, Dromoland Castle, where he honed his skills. Returning home, Yannick joined the prestigious Swiss Hotel School of Lausanne to pursue a degree in Hotel and Food and Beverage Management. With dedication and diligence, he graduated with honors, catching the attention of industry leader, Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts. His journey with them began at the iconic Regent Beverly Wilshire in Los Angeles, where he excelled as the Dining Room and Bar Manager. Two years later, he was transferred to the legendary property in Yorkville Toronto, assuming various roles, including Truffles Manager, Studio Café Manager, and eventually, Director of Restaurants and Bar.

In 2001, seeking a new challenge, Yannick partnered with like-minded individuals to acquire Harbord Street Restaurant, Splendido. Over the following eight years, the restaurant received numerous accolades, such as Toronto Life’s “Best Restaurant” in 2005 and Wine Access’ top spot on the Annual List of the Top 100 Canadian Restaurants in 2007. In need of new adventures in 2009, Yannick and his business partner David Lee decided to sell Splendido.

In August 2008, Yannick unveiled his new venture, Nota Bene, an expansive 7,500 square foot space situated at the bustling intersection of Queen and University in downtown Toronto. Nota Bene achieved instant acclaim and garnered rave reviews, earning the coveted titles of “Best New Restaurant” from both Toronto Life and Air Canada “enRoute” Magazine. Yannick sold his interests in 2014.

In December 2013, Yannick added another success to his repertoire with the opening of The Carbon Bar, which quickly became one of Toronto’s most sought-after dining destinations. In 2021, Under Yannick’s guidance, The Carbon Bar introduced a line of Ready-to-Eat and Consumer Packaged goods, showcasing their exceptional BBQ, sauces, and spices. These products can be found in esteemed grocery stores like Pusateri’s, McEwan, and launched in 36 Longo’s locations. Boosting over 45 food products, Yannick saw an opportunity and founded Slice Baby Slice to oversee all retail and wholesale operations. An e-commerce platform facilitating B2C will be launched in the Spring of 2024 offering 7 days deliveries in the GTA and weekly deliveries in all Southern Ontario.

Continuing his pursuit of new ventures, Yannick joined forces with Chef Mike Angeloni and Adam Teolis to establish Union Chicken, with three locations in the GTA, Amano Trattoria, Amano Kitchen, both presenting a contemporary twist on Italian cuisine, and two branches of Mike’s Smash Burgers. In April 2023, Yannick sold his interests in Union Chicken and Mike’s Smash Burger, acquiring a significant stake in Amano Trattoria located at 9 Church Street. The Trio is currently working at a new 5000 s/f restaurant concept called The Berczy Tavern set to open June 2024 at 69 Front Street in Toronto.

In 2023, Yannick has opened an exquisite fine-dining French restaurant at 100 Yonge Street, in the heart of Toronto’s financial district called Lucie. Paying homage to his late Grandmother, Lucie, the 4000 square feet establishment will offer a gastronomic journey, exquisite hospitality, and an opulent, intimate ambiance. Lucie is already getting rave reviews and is quickly becoming a must-visit in Toronto’s vibrant dining landscape.

In late 2023 Yannick launched an event and Catering Company, The Social Catering & Co. that is already thriving and has established key partnerships with great organizations such as the likes of the Canadian Opera Company, Toronto’s Union Station and Allied Properties.

Recognized for his exceptional contributions to the hospitality industry, Yannick received the Ontario Hostelry Institute’s Gold Award in the Independent Restaurateur category, acknowledging his remarkable journey.