TORONTO – April 1, 2008
Designer, manager and head contractor Igor has appeared in every episode of the hit television series Restaurant Makeover since the beginning. Now in its seventh season, Igor has renovated over 80 restaurants. Fan groups on Facebook and the online foodie community Chowhound constantly ask, “where can we see more Igor?”
Igor is popular with viewers, not only for his skill with a jigsaw, but also for his sense of humour, rugged good looks and the blunt, pragmatic style he uses to keep the high-strung designers in check.
He was discovered by the Restaurant Makeover team after working on a project for Style at Home magazine that ended up on the cover. Igor was brought onto the show’s pilot episode as a contractor, but his experience, knowledge and dedication quickly led to him being promoted to leader of the construction crew.
“On our very first restaurant, I stayed overnight to do the kitchen floor tiles, when nobody else felt like they should do it,” says Igor. “So I’m the only one to survive every single restaurant makeover.”
His job has grown exponentially since then. Today, Igor organizes construction, runs the job and the crew, deals with suppliers and sponsors, organizes and delivers everything on location. This is no small task, especially when he is working around camera crews and dealing with designers whose grand plans don’t always fit in the space or the budget.
Born and raised in the Ukraine, Igor came to Canada in 1999, looking for better opportunities than what his home country provided. The married father of two fell into construction because it was one of the few jobs that allowed him time to settle into his new home and learn the language.
While he has a great deal of experience working in both residential and commercial spaces, Igor doesn’t prefer one space over the other.
“Residential and commercial are different, but at the same time, they’re not,” says Igor. “The idea is the same; it’s all about people. I like seeing strict safety rules and regulations moving into the residential world. I like to use a home-like design approach in commercial spaces. After all, we live in both worlds.”
Available for interviews: Igor
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