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
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.
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.
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.