Sebastien Centner, in his words, has been coined a serial entertainer by Toronto’s journalist of all things fabulous, Shinan Govani. He is a regular on the Marilyn Denis show and has taken a catering business that started as an offshoot of The Bloor Street Diner (his parents creation) to new heights. He oscillates from launching the BMW M3 series in Istanbul to creating smoked salmon chandeliers for elite weddings. Just back from Saint Tropez, Sebastien stopped by the William Ashley store to download his newest adventures and give us the scoop on all his favorite things.
“I used to spend summers in St Tropez when I was young,” says Sebastien explaining that his French mom, who recently passed away, was the key to entertaining in the family. “It was second nature to her,” he says, as we pass by the Hermes dinnerware, discussing his recent Valentine’s Day present to his wife, Sheila. The Balcon du Guadalquivir pattern by Hermes, with its iconic red and white motifs, was a surprise gift from Sebastien. “It’s her favourite, but I prefer, myself, the Mosaique pattern in silver, it’s cleaner in design.”
We make our way to the kitchen section of the store. “Now this I love,” he exclaims pointing to the Nespresso coffee machines. “Our new condo came with a built in (politely censored brand name) coffee machine in the kitchen, it’s expensive and looks great, but no way as good as the Nespresso.”
Down at the casual glasses, he compliments us on our interview with Mr. Riedel. We explain that the “O” glasses by Riedel are part of the MOMA’s permanent collection and he shares a super idea. “I once served a whole dinner in these glasses. In French they call it Des Verinnes, ” he says, picking up the cabernet sauvignon glass. “O.K. so you are expecting an appetizer or a cold soup or even a dessert but we took the Magnum glass and served the entrée as well, thin slices of steak over a pea puree.” This is the entertainment factor Centner believes we can all achieve at home.
“Marilyn Denis is a true class act,” he says when we ask, how he became a celebrity guest. “It’s all P.R.,” says Sebastien, complimenting his agent. “The key to doing a segment is to take a crazy idea that I could do for an event and bring it down a notch, so anyone could do it.”
He explains that a favourite presentation is a smoked salmon chandelier. Yes, you heard that right. Whole smoked salmon are strung with cable over a table and carved a la minute by a chef. “Now you can do the same type of thing by stringing crostini over two frame racks that are easily bought at a local store,” says Centner, “it’s all about preserving the idea.”
Here are a few of Sebastien’s favorite things.
Loop Coffee Set– Cuisipro Molds– Hermes Mosaique Platinum
Sebastien with his family in Saint Tropez.