Adisa Glasgow Builds on His Grandmother’s and Father’s Trinidadian Cooking As Inspiration.
Toronto chef’s take on a Trini staple swaps the roti for a crepe
Born in the coastal community of South Oropouche in Trinidad and Tobago, Glasgow says he was inspired by his grandmother at a young age.
“She was blind yet she knew her way around the kitchen. I was very impressed with that. That got me,” he said.
After his parents separated, Glasgow moved to Vancouver with his father at the age of 12.
“I learned how to cook here; how he stewed chicken, how he marinated.”
Glasgow’s interest in cooking developed over time and he found himself working in French and Italian restaurants.
“That’s where I started to tweak my cooking and refine the edges.”
Glasgow moved to Toronto after meeting his girlfriend, Erica Blesa. By day, she’s a teacher; by night, she manages Glasgow’s food enterprise.
“I fell in love and moved to Toronto,” he said.
Prior to launching his pop-up, Glasgow worked at a number of restaurants throughout the city from Keriwa Cafe to Grand Electric. Tried the doubles at 416 Snack Bar? Glasgow had a hand in perfecting the version that is currently on the menu. Glasgow says he’s had a dream of “bringing Trinidadian food to the masses” and Young Animal was born after Blesa encouraged him to start a pop-up in 2015.
Glasgow’s pop-up toured through the Greater Toronto Area farmers market and event circuit over the years, serving a slightly refined style of Trinidadian cooking.
“What I cook is not necessarily what you’ll see at restaurants in Trinidad. I’m cooking home food and street food. I take these old family concepts and I tweak them a little to give it my own style,” he said.
Recently, he announced that he had found permanent residency in the kitchen of Laylow Brewery, one of Toronto’s microbreweries.
“The owners and I have been friends for a few years, and we have done many pop-ups together since they opened. A partnership was formed and now Young Animal has a home.”