About Parallel

THE PARALLEL BROTHERS

Parallel brings together the experience and background of the three Ozery brothers, Alon, Guy, and Aharon, to create this unique space and product.

Alon and Guy founded and built Ozery Bakery in 1996. Since then, they have been inventing alternatives to traditional bread products that are made from hearty whole grains, fruits, and seeds.

Aharon is an accomplished installation artist, having had solo shows in Israel and Germany. His art specializes in large-scale installations usually involving movement and repetition, and combining low-tech materials with new technology. His background and vision is what brought Parallel’s unique space together; an artistic expression in itself.

“We grew up in a home where sesame butter (tahini) was consumed regularly alongside flavourful Mediterranean cuisine. Parallel was born from our history and love for sesame butter. It’s part of our culture and upbringing, and we want to share that with you.

There are few ingredients that are as versatile, nutritious, and just as damn tasty as sesame butter. That’s why we decided to make it in all its forms: try it in our dressings, salads, dips, bowls, and our famous homemade halva, and seed what is possible.

The three of us share a passion for simple meals with fresh ingredients, bold flavours, and innovative techniques. That, along with our love for good coffee, art, music, and community, is what shapes the Parallel experience.”

Alon, Guy & Aharon Ozery

Parallel Brothers

“We grew up in a home where sesame butter (tahini) was consumed regularly alongside flavourful Mediterranean cuisine. Parallel was born from our history and love for sesame butter. It’s part of our culture and upbringing, and we want to share that with you.

There are few ingredients that are as versatile, nutritious, and just as damn tasty as sesame butter. That’s why we decided to make it in all its forms: try it in our dressings, salads, dips, bowls, and our famous homemade halva, and seed what is possible.

The three of us share a passion for simple meals with fresh ingredients, bold flavours, and innovative techniques. That, along with our love for good coffee, art, music, and community, is what shapes the Parallel experience.”

Alon, Guy & Aharon Ozery

Parallel Brothers

“We grew up in a home where sesame butter (tahini) was consumed regularly alongside flavourful Mediterranean cuisine. Parallel was born from our history and love for sesame butter. It’s part of our culture and upbringing, and we want to share that with you.

There are few ingredients that are as versatile, nutritious, and just as damn tasty as sesame butter. That’s why we decided to make it in all its forms: try it in our dressings, salads, dips, bowls, and our famous homemade halva, and seed what is possible.

The three of us share a passion for simple meals with fresh ingredients, bold flavours, and innovative techniques. That, along with our love for good coffee, art, music, and community, is what shapes the Parallel experience.”

Alon, Guy & Aharon Ozery

Parallel Brothers

Parallel is the alchemizing of quality raw materials to form something unexpected and remarkable.

The Team

Tomer Markovitz, Head Chef

My passion for food began at a young age in the kitchen with my grandmother in Israel. Watching her cook inspired me to start a culinary career and learn everything there is to learn about food, the kitchen, and creating beautiful dishes.

I got my first job as Garde Manger for an Italian-French bistro in North Tel Aviv. From there, I was offered an internship at a one-star Michelin restaurant in Nice, France. There, I learned about going to the market at 6am to source the best ingredients, the technical skills required to prepare intricate French dishes, and gained a deep respect for the passion and dedication it takes to run a successful restaurant.

I’ve spent time cooking around the world, and working in some of Tel Aviv’s top restaurants. At the age of 27, I moved to Canada to explore Toronto’s vibrant culinary scene. Here, I met the Ozery brothers, and we immediately bonded over our love and passion for tahini. It’s one of the staple products that I grew up on, and has an immense influence on Israeli cuisine.

When developing the menu and dishes for Parallel’s restaurant, I went back to my roots. I drew on inspiration from my maternal grandmother, who was born in Libya but grew up in in the south of Italy. My paternal grandmother came from a tribe of Jewish Turkish and Russian gypsies, and the flavours in their food are as diverse as their travels.

When I cook, it’s from the memory of love and flavours that my grandmothers taught me. I’m so excited to be sharing this cuisine with you, that transcends borders and respects the ingredients above all else. Our dishes combine traditional techniques with new flavours, but are always grounded in Parallel’s sesame butter. I hope you enjoy our food as much as we’ve enjoyed preparing it!

Aneta Dymerska, Product Developer

My background as a Product Developer started with a Biology degree from the University of Waterloo. From the moment I started developing food products, I fell in love with combining the technical, scientific aspects of food with the inventive, artistic, element of cooking for those you love.

Most of my career has been at larger companies, creating delicious products that make their way to grocery shelves and homes across the continent. Most recently, I have spent my time working at Ozery Bakery, focusing on developing natural bread and bakery products that have a longer shelf life.

Working to develop Parallel’s sesame butter has introduced new challenges and exciting opportunities that come with making raw, fresh products. I’ve learned about the deep history of sesame butter, and focused on honouring the traditional method of making it while introducing modern techniques and flavours that we hope you’ll love.

Our beautiful kitchen and test area is my culinary playground. I’ve had the pleasure of developing a lot of the products we serve at Parallel, including our sesame butters, halva, organic pitas, and fluffy focaccia breads.

One of the products I’m most excited for you to try is our homemade halva. We were inspired by the fresh halva that’s sold at Israel’s traditional markets. Vendors there display the different flavours openly, it’s virtually impossible to walk by without trying one. Our halva pays homage to the flavours of Middle Eastern markets, but our rotating selections like cookie, matcha, and coffee will appeal to today’s trends and palettes.

We’re developing even more recipes that feature our sesame butter, like salad dressings, hummus, dips, and maybe even ice cream! Parallel has been an amazing experience to be a part of, and my hope is that it becomes a place for you to play, enjoy, and create your own dishes with our fabulous sesame butter.

You’ll have a hard time separating Paralell’s space from our food. The space provides the ingredients we use in our kitchen, and we can’t wait for you to see the impact it has on the flavours.

The Food

Our sesame butter goes into everything from smoothies to poached eggs. For instance, Parallel’s Pure Sesame Butter is the foundation for our staple hummus dishes. We bake the Smoky Sesame Butter into the Lamb Kebab Pita – a distinct, unforgettable flavour. The Beet Sesame Butter is the base for the sweet, tangy Parallel Salad dressing.

We use our sesame butter to make Parallel’s halva as well. It’s a sweet dessert like no other, with a fluffy texture reminiscent of cotton candy, but the deep sweet, nutty flavour of sesame. Meanwhile, the garden on our second level grows all the herbs and greens we use in the restaurant; it’s hard to get more local than a few feet.

The Location

Parallel is located at 217 Geary Ave. in Toronto’s Wallace-Emerson neighbourhood. The Canadian Pacific Railway tracks run just behind our building – one of the many reasons we were so attracted about the space.

Like our stone mill, the train tracks were built in the 19th century, and are still used by freight trains today.

As our name suggests, we chose to embrace our proximity to the railway. We cut a rectangular opening on the mezzanine of the building, so that on a quiet afternoon, you can enjoy a view of the railway and the work of Toronto’s graffitti artists. When the freight train passes, however, Parallel is filled with the energy and movement it was really built for.

The Interior

Everything in our space is created with raw materials: cement, wood, metal, and even old shipping container panels.

We’ve developed a raw, open, transparent environment where all your senses will be surprised the moment you enter. The ancient stone mill, pouring out fresh sesame butter; the sudden passing of a freight train, filling the whole space with colour and motion; and the cooking of fresh, mouth-watering dishes that are energizing and satisfying.

To tie it all together, Aharon brought a piece of artwork that is most fitting to Parallel’s setting. The piece hangs above the barista bar, and its parallel circular motion is reminiscent of the stones in our mill used to create sesame butter.

About Sesame Seeds

The sesame, a small but mighty seed that packs a savoury punch to all you favourite foods.

The sesame seed is the most ancient oilseed crop known to humanity, having been grown and used in food for over 3500 years.

Small in size, the sesame seed is a mighty super-seed; it is rich in iron, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorous. It has a distinctly rich, nutty flavour that is used in many cuisines around the world.

While sesame seeds are especially popular in most parts of Asia and the Middle East, they aren’t as widely used in North America (unless you count the sprinkles on a hamburger bun). Having grown up with this mighty seed as children, it’s important for us to reintroduce it in North America, and to help popularize its use in daily cuisine.

About Sesame Butter

Sesame butter, or tahini, is made from toasted, ground sesame seeds. While sesame butter can be made with most types of sesame, Parallel begins with the world’s best sesame seeds from Humera, Ethiopia. Humera’s climate and soil is ideal for producing the sweetest, highest-quality sesame seeds.

All the sesame butter used at Parallel is produced on-site, with our ancient stone mill. From there, the possibilities are endless. Enjoy the purest form of sesame butter on its own, or add to dressings, soups, salads, dips, bowls and much more. Seed what is possible.

Special Thanks to Adam Fullerton

I began my own venture in custom metal fabrication for commercial and residential projects after moving to Toronto from London, England in 2015.

I built my craft around working with independent restaurateurs and retailers looking to bring their concepts to life. I specifically love working with these entrepreneurs to actualize their vision, and creatively solve design challenges that help these business owners achieve their own unique look and feel.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with businesses across the city including Sweat & Soda, 18 Waits, La Carnita, Brickyard Bistro, The Pie Commission, and Paris Paris.

Working on the Parallel project brought unique challenges that I was excited to take on. Parallel a large, open space with many different sections, but it was always important to maintain an open, warm, industrial feel. I constructed the metal fences, railings, shelving, and table bases with that vision in mind, using straight lines that are reminiscent of train tracks.

One of my favourite pieces of metal work at Parallel is the ladder, railings, and entire construction that holds the green garden on the second floor. It’s utilitarian in nature, but when you’re overlooking the garden from the mezzanine and see the rest of the restaurant buzzing, everything comes together so nicely.