Shelf Life. Your Ultimate Food Court Is Now In Session. Your Ultimate Food Court Is Now In Session.

Sean Clayton

Sean Clayton, The Ballroom’s Chef de Cuisine, leads the kitchen in this edgy and fun new restaurant/bowling alley concept in the heart of downtown Toronto, Canada.  Boasting a menu of whimsical “pub grub” but with a serious dedication to local and sustainable products; a new and mouthwatering twist to old bar stool favourites.  But Clayton has not always been the passionate chef he is today.

Born and raised in the suburbs of Toronto, Clayton’s introduction to the world of food was not your typical chef story.  Growing up, the kitchen was not necessarily the heart of the Clayton’s household.  Dinner time was simply for the process of eating, rather than an amazing, life altering culinary experiences.  Large family dinners were a regular occurrence at the Clayton household, but food wasn’t necessarily the highlight of the evening.

On a gut feeling Clayton decided to attend George Brown for culinary arts.   Midway through he decided cooking wasn’t for him, but finished the program.  After working in various kitchens for the pay cheque he decided to take advantage of the fact that you could travel and find work easily in the industry.  He moved to Whistler, British Columbia and took on a first cook position at the Westin Hotel.  A fateful encounter with a duck confit, and the recipe for a lifelong love affair with food was born!  Stagiers with Chef Robert Clark of C Restaurant and at establishments such as West and CinCin in Vancouver, B.C., helped to further strengthen this growing love for the food industry.  Returning to Toronto in 2006, Clayton accepted the role of Sous Chef at Urban Restaurant and was faced with the challenges of running a kitchen.  Later moving to rewarding positions such as Garde Manger at Susur under the guidance of Chef Lee, Clayton continued to develop a strong set of management skills and a deeper culinary passion.

In 2007, Clayton embarked on a career changing move and assumed the position of Sous Chef at the Inn at Bay Fortune, in Prince Edward Island, Canada.  It was the blend of a locally driven philosophy towards food and the leadership style of Executive Chef, Warren Barr that captured Sean’s attention.  Daily changing a la carte and tasting menus, centered on the product grown in the garden and featuring local farmers, producers and fishermen, was the inspiration Clayton had been seeking.  “The flavours of fresh product far outweighed the convenience of ordering from the worldwide market”, said Clayton when recounting his time in P.E.I.

In order to be closer to his family, Clayton moved back to Toronto in 2008 and he brought with him this new found inspiration and desire for fresh and seasonal product to all his positions.  Late in 2010, Clayton assumed the role of Chef de Cuisine of The Ballroom, teaming up with Tawfik Shehata; an ideal place to continue to explore the true beauty of simple, seasonal and uncomplicated food.

Outside of his professional kitchen, you can find Chef Clayton in his home kitchen cooking up a storm for friends and family.  “My most memorable personal experiences with food are meals served family style on large platters filled with seasonal foods, eaten sloppily with your hands.  A great glass of wine (or two or three) and good company”

“I look forward to my future as a Chef and bringing to life, on a daily basis, this passion for food I discovered and developed through my travels across Canada”.