The Botanist Wild a state of mind

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Nick Liu

Nick’s Story

Toronto, Canada

As Executive Chef/Partner at the critically acclaimed DaiLo and Little DaiLo in Toronto, Nick is renowned for his delicate handling of bold Asian flavours with traditional French techniques. An authority on New Asian Cuisine, he is a sought-after guest speaker, TV personality (including Iron Chef Canada) and culinary pundit.

Having worked at Michelin Star restaurants and owning one of Canada’s top restaurants, Chef Liu has earned numerous awards and accolades for his contributions to the culinary world.

Nick’s philosophy is that thoughtful and high-quality ingredients lead to better lives and more delicious meals. He has incorporated ingredients foraged from around Toronto into his New Asian Cuisine. On top of the benefits of including this produce in his meals, Nick is passionate about the benefits that immersing yourself in nature can bring.

“We’re always trapped in these fluorescent lighting situations, no windows, in the deep dungeons of the basement. One day a week if you get outside it’s a great way to spend a day. When you make time to do it it’s such an amazing experience, so therapeutic. I love it!”

At the heart of Nick’s menu is a love and respect for the dishes he ate growing up as the son of Hakka parents in Canada, but importantly, they are the dishes his ancestors have been eating for hundreds of years. Ancient favourites are augmented by Liu’s signature flair and updated to suit the western palate and the modern demand for local and sustainable ingredients.

“Foraging has been self-taught, then you get into it and start getting books. When I first got into it was all the regular ingredients, then it infects you a bit and you want to know everything!”

Finding Toronto: Nick Liu

A popular choice on the snack menu is a handcrafted steamed dumpling designed to replicate the taste of a Big Mac. It’s taken Nick a while to get this comfortable with all his influences; he describes a rebellious adolescence. Being at school with the ‘hockey jocks’, he hated having foreign leftovers rather than peanut butter and jelly sandwiches…

Five short films

Showcasing members of our global Botanist forager network.

Film 1/5

Roshuanna Gray

South Africa
Roushanna Gray

Film 2/5

Vijay Mudalier

Vijay Mudaliar

Film 3/5

Nick Weston

Nick Weston

Film 4/5

Philip Stark

Philip Stark

Film 5/5

Nick Liu

Nick Liu


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