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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!

What’s your tip for a place to have a local meal under $10?

I would go to Mary’s Bake Shoppe in Kensington for a soup and sandwich. Everything there is made from scratch. The bakery was created by my mother, Mary Hickey. They use all her recipes and it is well-known on the Island.

What’s your favourite place to eat on Prince Edward Island (other than your own restaurant)?

My favourite place to eat is the Dune’s Studio Gallery & Café in Brackley Beach. Chef Emily Wells does a wonderful job of making everything taste so good, so fresh, so unique.

What do you love to eat that is simple to make?

What I love to eat that is simple to make is pasta. You can choose so many variations. Creamy, rosé, olive oil plus the add-ins are endless. Not to mention pairing it with a great glass of Sauvignon Blanc or Shiraz Cabernet.

Is there a food trend or style that you’re happy to see disappear?

I don’t pay much attention to food trends. I stay within my own traditions and deviate slightly, looking for something different for my menu. I choose foods that I feel would appeal to Islanders because the local people are my main clientele.

What’s your idea of a perfect day off?

Taking a blanket, a book, an umbrella and going to the beach on the North Shore. I’d go for a walk, read a little and then take a nap while listening to the water. All the while saying to myself, “I’m living the dream”. But in my 14 years of business I haven’t done this once.

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