At Torino, the art isn’t hanging on the walls. It’s displayed on plates.
Since opening the Ferndale restaurant last May, owner Noah Dorfman and chef Garrett Lipar have wooed critics and changed what it means to dine in metro Detroit.
Lipar, the 26-year-old chef behind Torino’s creative and seasonal cuisine, got his first gig in a kitchen when he was 14 years old. For the past six years he’s bounced between professional cooking jobs in Chicago, New York, Sweden and Scandinavia. Now he cranks out artful dishes with the help of a tweezers in Torino’s 9-by-15-foot kitchen.
“At the end of the day, it’s got to be a beautiful presentation… we eat with our eyes first.”Garrett Lipar
“The most important part of designing a dish or a menu is balance,” Lipar said. “Finding balance in flavors, textures, portion and temperature can lead to a truly enlightening meal.”
“I’m really inspired by nature and the product itself; looking at a vegetable or fruit and seeing its color or vibrancy, and the nice lines or shapes it has. Hearing the stories of how an animal was raised can inspire the look of a dish immensely too,” Lipar said.
“[The dish] is a culmination of the memories and ideas I have: the love of art and being able to create, and the really amazing products I get a chance to smell touch and taste,” Lipar said. “It doesn’t matter what comes first, the look or the ingredients, it just has to make sense.”
“At the end of the day it’s got to be a beautiful presentation because we eat with our eyes first,” Lipar said. “Plus, it makes us happy to create a dish we think is sexy, but it’s still food and it has got to taste better than it looks.”