Since 2011, Executive Chef Takashi Ito has led the culinary teams at Inn at Laurel Point and AURA waterfront restaurant + patio. The food philosophy throughout the Inn focuses on using sustainable, local and seasonal ingredients. AURA, known nationwide for its culinary dream–team and unique Pacific Rim menus, offers dining far beyond the norm.
Previously, Ito worked as Executive Chef for The Fairmont Empress in Victoria, B.C. as well as Calgary, Alberta’s Fairmont Palliser. It was here he developed a unique style of Japanese‐influenced cuisine focussing on celebrating the true flavours of fresh, local ingredients.
Born in Sendai, Japan, Ito was introduced to complex and delicious foods at a young age by his father, who had an appetite for both travel and cooking. During his childhood, Ito spent long, joyous hours in the family kitchen, listening to his father’s stories of exploring North America and Europe sampling delicacies like foie , blue cheese and pâté (foods that were practically unheard of in 1960s Japan).
In his early 20s and halfway through Law School at Tohoku University, Ito reawakened his passion for all things culinary by enrolling in classes at the local cooking school. After Ito graduated in 1980 with a law degree and a diploma in cooking, he packed his bags and headed for Canada with hopes that he would achieve his dream of becoming a chef.
Now an active member of The Canadian Federation of Chefs and Cooks (since 1985) and La de la des (starting in 1995), Chef Ito worked hard to get where he is today. Ito started his Canadian career at the Ottawa Radisson Plaza, where he mentored under Frits Marechal – a passionate chef who emphasized the importance of developing strong leadership skills in order to lead a solid culinary team.
Today, Ito remains passionate about creating exquisite culinary offerings with the utmost of care. His unique passion for mentoring and supporting his team, has played an immensely important role in creating the dynamic team at AURA.