Self taught chef, Jefferson Alvarez left his home country of Venezuela at age 16 for Ottawa, where he attended Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Institute. His wanderlust and ambition shortly took him to Toronto to work at Centro under illustrious chefs David Lee and Mark Thuet.

Determined and hard working, chef Alvarez decidedly absorbed as much knowledge around Toronto and had experiences at Pangea, Adega and Scaramouche, Canoe under famed chef Anthony Walsh, Aquavit and Morimoto. Alvarez took his first Executive Chef role at Tomi-kro.

Chef Alvarez has now become synonymous with amazing creativity and culinary expression, creating unique dining experiences, full of imagination and passion. In 2013, Jefferson was elected as Secret Location’s new Executive Chef where he joined pastry chef Kira Desmond to create 300 dishes in 30 days.

“I like to be unique, and I like to experiment and push boundaries,” chef Alvarez says. “I believe cooking has no limit and, for someone reading my menu and paying for my food, it should be an experience from beginning to end.”

FOUR Questions with Jefferson

Describe your culinary philosophy in 5 words…

Playfulness, unique, experimental, imagination andhumility(because it doesn’t matter how many times it goes wrong if the end product is correct).

Is a Michelin star your aim?

I would love to be one of the first in Canada to be awarded a Michelin star. It would be a life time accomplishment. However, there is not yes a Canadianrestaurant that has been given the award yet.

What is your greatest insipiration?

Besides my mother, all the chefs that have created a path for the next generation. Nature is another great inspiration. The way fresh ingredients grow together is a playground for taste and texture combinations.

What three things would you take to a desert island?

A 9 inch knife to butcher, a rope to hunt and family picture to have wonderful memories.

  • Chef of the Year 2013 – Eater Awards

Secret Location

One Water Street



Canada, V6B 2H9


Jefferson Alvarez