If you feel like you’ve seen Toronto based chef Edward Furlani somewhere before, you might be familiar with his modeling work for plus size men’s clothing brand, Parker & Pine. When it comes to style, Ed is a man of many talents – he can effortlessly pull off a variety of looks, all the while rocking his own urban street roots. We chatted with him about life as a Toronto chef, how he got the Parker & Pine gig, and some of his favorite places to shop.
Tell us about yourself I’m Edward Furlani, a 33 year old Italian/Dominican sous-chef of a new restaurant opening here in Toronto. I was born here and I love the city.
How long have you been cooking? I’ve been cooking on and off for 12 years. Right now, I’m working on a new project here in the city. We’ll be doing Italian food, which is a specialty of mine. I also love working with the Caribbean food I grew up eating.
Can you tell us anything about this new restaurant? The new place is called Oretta. It will be located on King St., and it’s a very, very well designed restaurant.
What’s a dish you’re really into? My favourite thing to eat is mofongo, which is mashed plantain with pickled onions and fried eggs. Now that it’s getting cold I’m loving braised foods. Angolotti with smoked parsnips and braised rabbit is a recent favorite dish of mine – it came out great.
How does your background influence your cooking? Being of two different cultures, I grew up around a lot of flavors. I have a big family, spread all over the world, which allowed me to travel at a young age, and introduced me to a huge variety of cultures and influences, which I think translates directly into my cooking.
What do you love about Toronto? What’s not to love about Toronto? Being such a vastly multicultural city is beautiful. There is so much food, and variety to enjoy. People in Toronto love to travel and bring things back to share here in the city.
How would you describe the Toronto culinary scene? Diverse. Very diverse. There are a lot of young chefs in the city who are willing to try new things, and a population that’s ready to enjoy it all.
How would you describe your style? I spend most of my time in my chef’s uniform. When I’m out and about, I try my best to keep it fashionable. My staples are jeans with a button down or graphic tee, and one of my many pairs of sneakers. Comfort is key. I usually buy my jeans long and get them hemmed, giving them a more customized look.
Where are your favorite places to shop? The majority of my shopping is done online. I usually use Karmaloop, but also a good amount of retailers carry larger sizes it’s just looking for the right section. George Richards has great options for jeans which I almost always purchase in store.
Many of our readers know you from your modeling work for Parker & Pine. How did happen? The owners of Parker & Pine saw my picture on a mutual friend’s Facebook page. They reached out, we all had dinner and went from there. When we spoke about the vision they had, it was to do a shoot with a guy outside doing regular activity. I said, “If you are making underwear, let’s do an underwear shoot.” It was fun and different. The rest is history.
What advice would you give readers who are trying to put together a unique style of their own? Colors are your friend, shoes are important and as funny as it sounds, accessorize where you can. Be confident in what you wear.