A Toronto Premiere: The First-Ever
Four Seasons Pop Down

Celebrity florists, Michelin-starred chefs and other global masters of craft are pushing signature Four Seasons experiences beyond hotel walls.

by Scott Pierce

The Toronto International Film Festival is known as the kickoff of the film industry’s awards season and has introduced countless movies that went on to earn global acclaim, including American Beauty, Slumdog Millionaire and The King’s Speech. But this year, the buzz was about a different kind of premiere: the first-ever Four Seasons Pop Down, a new global series of immersive experiences that will bring the brand’s legendary service to unexpected places.

Upon their arrival, visitors entered through an archway of draping orchids created by celebrity florist Jeff Leatham (Artistic Director, Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris). Inside, they discovered an empty concrete retail space had become a downtown Toronto refuge blooming with lush floral installations and a floor-to-ceiling herb garden, assembled by the production team.

Witness the transformation here.

Photo courtesy of Sam Santos/Getty images
Photo courtesy of Sam Santos/Getty Images
Photo courtesy of Sam Santos/Getty images

Guests were then spirited away with dramatic cocktails – Step into the Green, for example, literally set aflame a combination of gin, pine cone, manuka, honey and fresh herbs from the garden wall – by award-winning mixologists Mica Rousseau (Fifty Mils, Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City), Lorenzo Antinori (Charles H., Four Seasons Hotel Seoul) and Michal Maziarz (Rotunda, Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square).

Lorenzo Antinori (Charles H.) mixes a White Sand Gimlet, made with London dry gin, coconut oil, coconut water, pineapple cordial, clarified lime, absinthe and orchids. Photo courtesy of Jenna Wakani
By the end of the night, more than 200 bottles of Dom Pérignon had been popped. Photo courtesy of Sam Santos/Getty Images
Michal Maziarz (Rotunda) fuels the flames of a Step into the Green, a cocktail topped with a pine cone and herbs from the garden wall. Photo courtesy of Jenna Wakani
Mixologists Mica Rousseau (Fifty Mils), Michal Maziarz (Rotunda) and Lorenzo Antinori (Charles H.) Photo courtesy of Jenna Wakani
Lorenzo Antinori (Charles H.) serves up a Mediterranean Cliff Hanging, a cocktail made with olive oil vodka, elderflower, freshly cut herbs and Champagne brut. Photo courtesy of Jenna Wakani
Mingle in the Jungle – Pisco, beetroot juice, pomegranate molasses, pineapple juice, cardamom leaf, Szechuan buttons and glitter, from Lorenzo Antinori (Charles H.) and Michael Maziarz (Rotunda). Photo courtesy of Jenna Wakani

With top Four Seasons chefs visiting from around the world, culinary treats showcased a range of global influences. Michelin-starred Chef Vito Mollica’s (Il Palagio, Four Seasons Hotel Firenze and La Veranda, Four Seasons Hotel Milano) star dish was smoked aubergine cream with tomato coulis and scampi, while Sylvain Assié (Café Boulud,
Four Seasons Hotel Toronto) provided an impressive spread of house-crafted charcuterie and cheeses.

The end of the culinary journey was a sweet send-off in the Cherry Blossom Dessert Forest. Guests plucked their choice of desserts – including chocolate orbs filled with rose and lychee mousse, by Joaquin Grimaldi (Elena, Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires), and freshly spun floral beehive cotton candy, by Chris Ford (THE Blvd, Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills, A Four Seasons Hotel) – from birdcages and other whimsical décor elements.

Pastry Chef Joaquin Grimaldi (Elena) making one of his favourite desserts: framboise crémeux with infused melon cylinders. Photo courtesy of Jenna Wakani
Cheeses, courtesy of Cef de Cuisine Sylvain Assié (Café Boulud), lined tables at the first-ever Four Seasons Pop Down. Photo courtesy of Jenna Wakani
Guests could not resist chocolate boxes filled with black forest and roti apricot. Photo courtesy of Jenna Wakani
At the event, guests plucked desserts by Joaquin Grimaldi (Elena) from birdcages suspended beside a floor-to-ceiling cherry-blossom wall. Photo courtesy of Jenna Wakani
Pastry Chef Chris Ford (Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills, A Four Seasons Hotel) prepares Apples in Thyme. Photo courtesy of Jenna Wakani
The team from Café Boulud at Four Seasons Hotel Toronto Photo courtesy of Jenna Wakani

Stay tuned for information about the next Four Seasons Pop Down.