A while ago, I had the opportunity to sit down with Yannick Bigourdan, a man who’s many things, but you may know him best as the man behind many of Toronto’s upscale offerings. Carbon Bar. Union Chicken. Amano Pasta. Even LodinG, his foray into offering something that’s not delicious food!
In my quest to tell more great Canadian stories, we sat down over some of Carbon Bar’s signature apps as I delved deeper into the story of a French man who fell in love with our true north strong and free. He tasked me with doing his words justice, so without further ado, I present—An Evening with Yannick!
Who is Yannick Bigourdan?
He’s a Dad—he spends time with his hands in numerous pots, but he fights hard to stay involved and be present for his two kids. He falls in love with new ideas very quickly, juggling fifty passions at a time while actively trying to add fifty more. You can find him playing ping-pong, skeet shooting, downhill skiing and more, but he’ll always make time for a great game of hockey!
This man who’s developed four thriving businesses from the ground up wouldn’t even be in Canada if it wasn’t for his work with the Four Seasons Los Angeles!
No stranger to the hospitality industry by then, his work saw frequent travel to Toronto to both further the Four Seasons brand with his Canadian counterparts and take in everything Toronto has to offer as a bustling multicultural city. Well, one thing led to another (as often happens when you’re constantly associating with the movers and shaking of the world), and Yannick eventually found himself face-to-face with the opportunity to take over Splendido, a fine dining establishment deeply entrenched in Toronto lore. Exactly the sort of place one might transition to if already familiar with what delivering stellar customer service looks like thanks to the Four Seasons!
So, armed to take another massive shift in his life—something he’s all too familiar with as you’ll soon discover—Yannick put every dollar he had into developing Splendido. Literally. He was so invested in making it a success that his wife took care of the rent for six months while he figured out the groundwork!
But Splendido’s just the beginning of the story. Without Splendido, Yannick would’ve never even considered becoming a Canadian citizen, and that’s when everything changed.