Apres Noir, an entertainment behemoth unique to Toronto, unique in the world, is the brainchild of Carlo Parentela, President and GM of Le Jardin Conference & Event Venue.
Parentela’s global imagination is as boundless as his infectious enthusiasm.
Each month, Apres Noir brings together world-class chefs, musicians, artists and fashion to one venue, for one incredible night in Vaughan. There is nothing like it anywhere else. Apres Noir brings Wow Factor to Toronto. Everyone must experience this.
What was your motivation for Apres Noir?
Carlo Parentela: I’ve always wanted to be a producer. I love what the Mirvish family has done. I’ve always wanted to express myself in that kind of medium. My family has been in the culinary world since the 1960’s—in catering and hospitality—I have restaurants here and in Mexico, and a private box catering at the Hershey Centre, so I have expertise in all types of hospitality. We’re building a hotel on the Château Le Jardin property called Château Le Jardin Hotel, Conference, Spa and Life. I thought about combining it with the event space. Maybe I could provide what I would want as a guest. Right now I’ve got to go to Las Vegas or New York to see a show. I’ve got to go to Dubai if I want to be invited to a private princely party. If I want great food, I’ve got to fly here or there. So, why don’t I combine it all here for people in Toronto who don’t have time to go three days, hop on a plane, go through customs, and get rushed? Why don’t I make a nice evening on a Thursday? I don’t want to infringe on anyone’s weekend. We can do it once a month, and bring to them what the world has to offer. That’s what I would want. I want to source great ingredients, bring in great chefs and combine that all with great entertainment.
How will you fulfill the great expectations of your clientele?
CP: There’s a cocktail period at the beginning, followed by a beautiful dinner. There is projection mapping where a computer maps out all the different elements of the room and makes you feel like you’re somewhere else—the Bahamas, a jungle with flowers blooming in front of you, or a piazza in Rome—and it changes throughout the evening. After dinner we end around 11/11:30pm with the main show, but then we continue with a band, an orchestra. For the first event we have Robin Thicke and then Mark Kingswood with a ten-piece swing orchestra from the UK.
Where have you sourced your wines?
CP: We’re showcasing beautiful French wines from Halpern Wines. There will be three tiers in which our elite clients can choose from $500 to $1000 wines like Dom Perignon, Cristal, and Moet & Chandon.
How have you integrated art and fashion into the evening?
CP: We’re bringing the whole thing to you: fashion, art, music, food and wine. During cocktails, and throughout the evening, someone is actually painting, so you can observe the process and experience that as though you’re in someone’s studio. I want our guests to discover the process not just the end result.
There are people coming from all over the world for these events, from New York, LA, Australia, and Italy. How do we purchase tickets?
CP: There is one event per month, and you can buy a pass for all twelve events, or purchase quarterly, semi-annual or annual tickets from our website. Our plan is to take this all over the world. We want to sell shares in this and take it to Miami, LA, Dallas, New York, Chicago, San Jose, London and Milan. Then we can have a tour. Also, 5% of the net proceeds are for charitable donations, beginning with the Sunnybrook Hospital.
What will your guests experience?
CP: I want them to experience many trips in one evening. As if they were going to a vineyard and the winemaker was talking about the wine; and they were going to a gallery and seeing the artist painting; and Bobby Flay is going to come up on stage and talk about how we created the menu. So it’s not just about presenting something, it’s about showing our guests, “this is how we prepared it and please now try it and enjoy it.”
Apres Noir events pair Roberto Cavalli, Chef Bobby Flay and Robin Thicke (May 17); Versace, Chef Walter Martino and Jennifer Hudson (July 26); Vera Wang, Chef Lidia Bastianich and David Blaine (August 23). For more information, and to get tickets to these spectacular events, go to www.apresnoir.com.
Adam Waxman is an award winning travel journalist focusing on food, wine and well being. As well as an actor in film, television and formerly, the Stratford Festival, he is the Associate Publisher and Executive Editor of DINE and Destinations magazine.