Meet Our Team
We’re assembling a list of some of Toronto’s best to help our Pop-Up Kitchen participants learn the ropes. Check back often for updates on our advisors.
Ian Kwan has been working in the hospitality industry for nearly 30 years. As a Toronto native, Ian began his career at Starbucks, where he opened 15 locations as their operating trainer. Years of experience in the restaurant industry led him to brands such as Cara Operations, Alice Fazooli’s, Brant House, The Work’s Burger and The 3 Brewers.
Franco Stalteri, Founder, Charlie's Burgers
Franco Stalteri is the founder of Charlie’s Burgers here in Toronto. Charlie's Burgers is a series of private dining events. Each dinner event is hosted by a different high-profile chef and is held in a different location. Charlie's Burgers has collaborated with chefs recognized by The World's 50 Best Restaurants, The Michelin Guide and Relais & Chateaux, in Canada, England, France, Belgium and the US. In 2010, it was ranked by Food and Wine Magazine as number 3 on its list of "100 Best New Food and Drink Experiences in the World".
In 2013 Charlie's Burgers launched "The CB Wine Program", where members are sent different wines every month. These wines are sourced exclusively for members and are not available in any store. Over the past 8 years, spectacular wines have been served at Charlie's Burgers dinners. The focus on wine has been as important as the Chef and their menu. The CB wine team sources unique and interesting wines from near and far.
Juanita Dickson, President, Gusto 54 Restaurant Group
Juanita Dickson, the President of the Gusto 54 Restaurant Group has been with Gusto since 2014 starting as their VP. She is responsible for establishing the Gusto 54 brand and transitioning the company from owning a few restaurants in Toronto to becoming a global restaurant group. Building on the success of Trattoria Nervosa, Gusto 101 and Pai Northern Thai Kitchen, the expansion that is underway includes the launch of Kiin, Felix Trattoria (Los Angeles), Chubby’s Jamaican Kitchen (Toronto), Gusto 501 (Toronto) and a few other projects that will round out the international expansion plan. Prior to joining Gusto 54, Juanita spent over 15 years at Bond Brand Loyalty as their Director of Event Marketing & Communications, Strategic Accounts and Healthcare – with a focus on branding, customer experience, consumer loyalty and employee engagement solutions. Her educational background from Ryerson University and the Schulich School of Business has served her career well.