About Grace

The Name

Grace is not your average fine dining restaurant. Named after Grace Murphy, grandmother of Executive Chef Angie Murphy, Grace is a new kind of intentional restaurant that prioritizes not only beautiful, seasonal, local food but also community, social responsibility, and industry fairness.

“My Grandmother was a hospitable, kind, smart, and funny woman who loved to dance. Early morning in the kitchen was a sacred time for the two of us while my brother slept in and my grandfather was already out for the day. It was in that kitchen where she taught me to line dance, to do an Irish jig, and to poach, scramble, fry and boil an egg,” remembers Grace’s granddaughter Angela Murphy. “When I told Grace I was going to become a chef she told me, with her signature wit, that it was a great idea because the only people that always have a job are cooks and undertakers.”

Grace restaurant is inspired by this vivacious and incredible woman. She was the life of the party. She put everyone at ease. She was inclusive and understanding. She wanted to do things the right way. She passed her values down to her family; Help your community, be kind to your neighbours, support your friends, and do the absolute best with what you have.

The Building

Our home, 215 Dundas Street, is a gorgeous heritage building that is full of character. Known as the Duffield Block, it was built in 1871 and featured a 663-seat concert hall on the second floor. The building has been home to a variety of business and organizations, including the London Philharmonic, J. Gammage and Sons florists, a jeweller, an artist, a pharmacy, the Knights of Pythias, the Women’s Morning Music Club – and now – Grace!

The People

Our team of passionate professionals demonstrate an intense commitment to excellence in bringing farm fresh products to the table with sophistication. Informally informa­tive, should a guest wish to know more about the food at any time, Grace’s versatile combined service and kitchen staff make food culture easily accessible and never alienating.

Brought together by our love and passion for good food, good drink, and good friends, Grace is staffed with experienced, and established professionals including a highly skilled chef with a local reputation for excellence, a sommelier with extensive knowledge in fine service and a passion for curating incredible wines, a renowned pastry chef and baking teacher with connections to players in the current Canadian food scene, as well as a commitment to developing a thriving food community in London for his students. It is staffed with carefully selected cooks that will fit into the positive work culture, bring passion and enthusiasm to the project, and help to define the future of food culture in our city.

ANGELA MURPHY

EXECUTIVE CHEF + PARTNER

Chef Angela Murphy is a Red Seal certified chef with over ten years of experience working in fine dining restaurants born and raised in London, Ontario. After graduating from Stratford Chef School, Angela worked at several fine dining establishments in Stratford before moving back to London to operate a catering business. Most recently Angela was the Executive chef of a conference centre, hotel and fine dining restaurant in north London. She managed a kitchen staff of 18 and was part of the senior management team of a complex business. Chef Angela has developed a reputation in the London community for food excellence and commitment to farm to table, local food advocacy. Angela has established strong community bonds and relationships in the restaurant community. This year, for example, she has been involved with the Forest City Cookbook project, is running a pop-up restaurant dinner for Avona women’s charity, and volunteered for the Meal, an evening in support of diabetes research. Angela is equally passionate about providing hospitality, cooking incredible beautiful food and building a strong community to share it with.

PETE ANNSON

SOMMELIER + PARTNER

Pete Annson has worked in restaurants for 17 years – everything from cleaning ashtrays at a punk bar to conducting tasting seminars at a linen tablecloth restau­rant with a Wine Spectator Award of Distinction. He has years of experience with accounting, scheduling, training, HR, inventory management, programming point of sales systems, graphic design of menus and posters, designing and maintaining a profitable wine program as well as all the minutae of service in fine-dining. His certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers came after years of self-directed study. He is on a mission to demystify wine and make the city of London as excited about it as he is.

LAUREN FITZGERALD

BAR MANAGER + CICERONE

Lauren is a professional server and bartender who has been working in the industry for over ten years. She has worked in a variety of different settings which give her a unique perspective when it comes to service. Lauren took a hiatus from serving to get two university degrees; one in English language and literature and visual arts, and another in teaching. She travelled to England to teach for a year but returned to London, ON to work in the industry she is most comfortable in. Lauren fell in love with beer working at Beertown and became a homebrewer. She left Beertown to work at the less corporate Pub Milos and while working there achieved her status as a certified Cicerone or beer “sommelier”. Lauren is currently spend­ing time at Okazu and The Red Rabbit in Stratford, ON to learn more about management and business structures. She is thrilled to be joining the Grace team where she will be able to implement her creativity and management skills while curating a dynamic cocktail and beer program. Lauren is a perfectionist with a precise attention to detail, a brilliant creative mind and is an invaluable addition to our management team.

ROGER PORCELLATO

BAKER

Roger has balanced a consistent lifelong passion for baking with his interest in sociology and social justice. Roger has worked as a psychosocial rehabilitation counsellor, as a pizza chef, as a social research analyst, and as an artisanal bread baker. Roger’s core ethics have at times made it difficult to thrive in a broken industry which is why he is so excited to become part of the Grace restaurant team and build a new restaurant culture. Roger has worked at some of Canada’s top restaurants including The Church in Stratford ON, The Berlin, in Kitchener ON, and The Fogo Island Inn, NL. In London, Roger worked closely with Executive Chef Angela Murphy at Restaurant Ninety One helping to develop a robust bread and pastry program. Roger has been sought to head the pastry department at Grace due to his uncompromising perfectionism in the kitchen, but also because his core values align so naturally with our own.