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One of Canada’s best-known chefs and restaurateurs, Grant Van Gameren is self-taught and first rose to prominence as co-owner and head chef of The Black Hoof. He now owns six restaurants and bars in Toronto. Overbudget Inc. is the parent company of popular Toronto-based restaurants Bar Isabel, Bar Raval, El Rey, PrettyUgly, Harry’s Char Broil, and Quetzal.
The Overbudget Offices was a complete rebuild renovation combining modern Japanese and Scandinavian design influences. Grant van Gameren worked closely with Studio Junction Architect and Design Studio to design the space to be a creative platform and a central hub for all partners and employees under the Overbudget Inc. umbrella.
The primary functions of the multi-use space are to conceptualise and test new recipes and drinks and also to hold group meetings and launch events, meaning that functionality had to be balanced with striking design. Ultra-compact Dekton® and Silestone® quartz surfaces play a significant role in the design and are used throughout as worktops, splashbacks and wall cladding, allowing van Gameren and his team to work in a durable environment that offers resistant to stains, heat and scratches.
Dekton® in Glacier was used for the kitchen island, the ideal choice of surface for professional chefs. It also features as the bar top as well as the bar prep area worktops and splashback, where it offers resistance to stains for easy maintenance. Silestone® in Charcoal Soapstone was installed as the kitchen worksurfaces and splashbacks, creating a striking juxtaposition between the kitchen and the rest of the open space.
Interview with Grant van Gameren
Q: What is the purpose of the Overbudget Offices?
A: Our main objective is to provide a space where our chefs, bartenders, servers, owners, marketing, public relations and accounting teams can collaborate in a creative and vibrant environment. It’s a space where we can meet to further develop our existing projects and be the birthplace of new ideas and businesses.
Q: How does the renovation meet your needs?
A: It is both functional, beautiful and is adaptable to our day to day needs. It can easily transform from a space of recipe development and marketing meetings to a catered event for an important client. We have selected durable surfaces that can hold up to being utilised daily without sacrificing on design.
Q: What was the inspiration behind the design of the Overbudget Offices?
A: Our main inspiration was for the space to be bright, airy and clean. A typical restaurant office can be dark and depressing. We wanted a space that was both inviting and productive – a space that makes you happy to come to work each day and perform to your fullest extent. With every restaurant, we design based on creating a feeling for the end user. In this case, the feeling we wanted to create for our office is one of inspiration and productivity. We love natural materials. When working with beautiful stone and wood, you don’t have to do much. We wanted the rich warmth from oak and walnut and the clean and bright feeling of Cosentino countertops.
Q: Why did you decide to incorporate Dekton® and Silestone® into the project?
A: When contemplating countertops, we needed something both resilient and beautiful. Very rarely do you see both of these qualities in the same product. Dekton® has the durability of a man-made product with the beauty of a natural stone. Its heat and scratch resistance is second to none. We chose to do our splashbacks with Silestone® in Charcoal Soapstone, a beautiful option that looks like natural soapstone but without the upkeep and fragility you encounter with natural stone.
Photography: Larry Arnal, Arnal Photography