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Meet the Chef

Thomas Carey of PEI’s Redwater Rustic Grille

By Waheeda Harris

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island chef Thomas Carey began his culinary journey in his native Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, with culinary trade programs. From there he worked his way into some great kitchens, including Spring, in Stockholm, and Chicago’s Tru, under Rick Tramonto. (more…)

Luigi Clementi of Coco Pazzo in Mont Tremblant, Quebec

By Waheeda Harris

An Italian heritage and the influences of the Quebecois food culture of Montreal lured Luigi Clementi into the kitchen from an early age. Clementi’s parents always had an abundance of vegetables and fruit growing in the garden, prosciutto and sausages curing in the wine cellar cantina as well as aging wine barrels and homemade wine vinegar. (more…)

Chef Michael Potters of Hockley Valley Resort—Orangeville, Ontario

By Waheeda Harris

Inspired by the burgeoning food scene in Prince Edward County, Ontario, Chef Michael Potters moved there in 2003, opening the Milford Bistro and then the award-winning Harvest Restaurant (now closed) in Picton.

Now, after a stint at Angéline’s Restaurant and Inn in Bloomfield, Potters has become the head chef for Hockley Valley Resort, and will oversee the opening of its newest dining establishment, cabin, which opens December 24. (more…)

Luc Boissy of Domaine Château-Bromont in Quebec’s Eastern Townships

By Waheeda Harris

Executive chef of the four restaurants (Les Quatres Canards, La Trattoria, Bistro at the Hôtel and Les Terrasses) of the Domaine Château-Bromont resort in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, Luc Boissy has spent his career devoted to La Belle Province and its distinct cuisine. (more…)

Jonathan Gushue of Langdon Hall Country House Hotel in Cambridge, Ontario

By Waheeda Harris

Despite receiving almost 50 rejection letters at the beginning of his career, Chef Gushue—a native of Newfoundland—was named one of Canada’s top 10 rising stars in 1999 by Food Service & Hospitality Magazine, he has been the executive sous chef at Vancouver’s Wedgewood Hotel and at age 32 was selected to oversee the Four Seasons Truffles Restaurant in Toronto (closed in 1999), earning him the distinction of being the youngest Five Diamond chefs in North America.

Honoured by Relais & Châteaux as a Grands Chef in 2009, Gushue continues to receive accolades and awards from the who’s who of travel and dining for his work at CAA/AAA Five Diamond Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa in Cambridge, southern Ontario. (more…)

Local-Food Luminary Jeff Van Geest of Mirado, in BC’s Okanagan Valley

By Waheeda Harris

Born and raised in St. Catharines in the heart of Niagara’s wine region, Jeff Van Geest learned the benefits of local ingredients early on from his grandparents, who were farmers. In 1992, he moved across the country to work as a cook in Vancouver, where he completed culinary training, did an apprenticeship at Bishop’s and in 2004 opened his first restaurant, award-winning, local-food-focused Aurora Bistro, which was fiercely adored by locals. (more…)

Dishing with Chef Jeremy Charles of Raymonds in St. John’s, NL

By Waheeda Harris

Newfoundland is not known for its culinary prowess. The “Rock” is more often associated with its own distinct variety of caloric comfort foods like cod tongues, scrunchions (pork rind topping) and jigg’s dinner (salt beef boiled with vegetables) than with anything cutting edge.

Enter Chef Jeremy Charles, who is changing the face of Newfoundland cuisine. His Raymonds restaurant in St. John’s is imagining local mainstays in new ways: you might find smoked moose tongue on the charcuterie plate, for instance; and rather than fried with chips, cod is pan-seared and served in cassoulet with mussels, white beans and fingerling potatoes.

Raymonds was named Canada’s best new restaurant of 2011 by enRoute magazine, and Charles won second place in the 2011 Gold Medal Plates national championship. He opened Raymonds with general manager/sommelier Jeremy Bonia in 2011.

(more…)

Executive Chef Daniel Tobien of Fairmont Tremblant Resort

By Waheeda Harris

Born in France’s Alsace region, Chef Daniel Tobien has gastronomy in his genes. From his mother, he acquired a profound loyalty to local products and from his father, a native of the Burgundy region, he learned his appreciation of good wines and a natural way with people—all which he believes are essential ingredients for making a true chef de cuisine.

(more…)

Aaron and Bronwyn Linley of Bijou Restaurant, Stratford, ON

By Waheeda Harris

Aaron and Bronwyn met at Stratford Chefs School where they both graduated in 1996. They then worked, travelled and worked some more before returning to Stratford, Ontario, to open Bijou and raise their two children, Liam and Hazel.

Inspired by the neighbourhood bistros of France, the Linleys set out to create an atmosphere of comfort and originality, offering simple cooking at unimagined heights. Bijou’s menu—modern French with some Asian and Italian influences—is crafted by Aaron; it changes daily, enabling him to incorporate seasonal ingredients and concentrate on bringing the best possible food to the table. Bronwyn is the pastry chef, and has an equally watchful eye for detail.

What specialty dishes or local items do you recommend to visitors?

Aaron: Any product from Soiled Reputation, Montforte Dairy and elk products from Lyle Renecker

Bronwyn: Pork! Especially in Perth Country.

What’s your favourite place for a meal under $10 in Stratford?

Aaron: Perth County Co-op

Bronwyn: Pearl Sushi

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Glenda Burt of PEI’s Home Place Inn & Restaurant

By Waheeda Harris

A native of Kensington, Prince Edward Island, Glenda Burt discovered her love of cooking as a child, working in her parent’s restaurant and bakery. She attended Holland College’s culinary course where she received her Red Seal. In 1997, Burt opened The Home Place Inn & Restaurant in a beautiful 1915 house. Her menu reflects stylishly presented traditional Island dishes using local produce, seafood and beef. Chef Burt provides fresh meat pies to Alantic Superstores and Sobeys on Prince Edward Island. She was the recipient of the coveted People’s Choice Award during the PEI Fall Flavours Festival in 2008.

How do you feel about the local-food focus on Prince Edward Island?

I love the focus on “buy local”. My cousin has a certified organic farm in Pisquid. He and his family raise turkeys, beef, pork, geese, lamb and grow many vegetables, herbs and fruits. It’s amazing the work that they put into their farm. They are so passionate about what they produce, much the same as I [am] with the food in my restaurant.

What local PEI specialties do you recommend to visitors?

I always recommend the preserves at the PEI Preserve Company located in New Glasgow. Bruce MacNaugton took an old creamery and turned it into a jam-making business. The Clyde River flows alongside his restaurant/preserve company and the location is very beautiful!

(more…)