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Canadian chefs

Spotlight on Muskoka Chefs: Andrew Dymond

By CRAIG MOY

As executive chef at Taboo Resort, Dymond heads up the luxury property’s lauded Elements fine-dining restaurant, tasting-menu-oriented Culinary Theatre and casual Boathouse eatery. Having cooked at distinguished hotels in southern Ontario and Europe, he crafts globally inspired cuisine based on the freshest available ingredients.

LOCAL BOUNTY

Grenville Farms and Four Seasons Greens provide Dymond and his staff with a wide variety of Muskoka-grown produce, while Windermere’s Winding Fences Farm is his source for naturally raised beef and Berkshire pork.

Spotlight on Muskoka Chefs: Randy Spencer

By CRAIG MOY

Chef Spencer has been a gastronomic standard bearer in the Muskoka region for many years. With his wife, Karen, he owns Spencer’s Tall Trees, a venerable restaurant in a century-old house overlooking Hunter’s Bay.

LOCAL BOUNTY

Spencer’s menu balances classic and contemporary elements in dishes that are at once cosmopolitan and clearly Canadian—rack of lamb with mint-infused spaetzle and hoisin-glazed baby back ribs are among its recent offerings. In summer, vegetables are sourced from Brooklands Farm in Bracebridge. A significant portion of the restaurant’s award-winning wine list is composed of Niagara vintages, while its own house-made pies are a sought-after delicacy distributed by a number of Muskoka retailers.

Spotlight on Muskoka Chefs: Shaun Crymble

By CRAIG MOY

Toronto-trained chef Crymble manages the culinary operations of two restaurants, a bar, a poolside café and room service at The Rosseau, crafting continental and Italian-influenced menus for the resort’s discerning guests.

LOCAL BOUNTY

A rooftop herb garden supplies some subtle flavours and aromas for summer offerings—basil is particularly favoured for pizzas and fresh breads, while The Rosseau’s bartenders clip mint for mojitos. Tasty, too,
are the Ontario cheeses that Crymble plans to use this season. Cranberries from Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh in Bala are also a staple.

Spotlight on Muskoka Chefs: Rory Golden

By CRAIG MOY

A longtime proponent of the Savour Muskoka culinary initiative, Deerhurst Resort executive chef Rory Golden is committed to filling his menu with seasonal ingredients found close to home. In summer he also highlights the power of the barbecue with lots of grilled meats and vegetables—even grilled desserts.

LOCAL BOUNTY

You’ve heard of the 100-Mile Diet. At Deerhurst it’s more like the 100-metre diet—herbs, mushrooms, honey and maple syrup are all on site. Farther afield, Golden sources Ontario ingredients such as omega-3-enriched pork from Willowgrove Hill farm near Stratford. The chops are given a maple glaze and served with a tomato and locally made Big Ass Garlic “jam”.

Spotlight on Muskoka Chefs: Christine Bib

By CRAIG MOY

With her eponymous company, Christine Bib Catering, Chef Bib creates simply prepared, seasonal menus for all manner of clients in both Toronto and the Muskoka region.

LOCAL BOUNTY

Trout is a favourite ingredient; Bib often serves Milford Bay smoked trout, for example, on a potato latke with crème fraîche and dill, and grills fresh trout—farmed off of Manitoulin Island—on a cedar plank with a citrus-soy marinade. Later in the summer she takes advantage of Ontario’s fruit and vegetable harvest, from tomatoes and corn to peaches, pears, apples and wild blueberries.

Spotlight on Muskoka Chefs: James Brown

By CRAIG MOY

Originally from Niagara-on-the-Lake, chef Brown has spent more than two decades cooking in wine-and cottage-country kitchens (he moved to Parry Sound in 1993). At Kudos Kuisine (one of Where’s best new restaurants of 2011), he combines the skills he developed in Niagara with culinary influences from Northern Ontario, including traditional inspirations from the Shawanaga First Nation.

LOCAL BOUNTY

Georgian Bay pickerel is marinated in maple syrup, crusted in cornmeal and pan fried, while wild shiitake mushrooms are incorporated into a sauce for the restaurant’s AAA striploin steaks.

Canadian Rocky Mountain Chefs’ Winter Inspiration

Bison Gnocchi at The Juniper

Snowy peaks might not bring to mind abundant local produce, but many Canadian Rockies chefs incorporate the bounty of Alberta’s agriculture year-round. From free-range meats to relish made from fall squash, conscientious diners can choose cuisine made with ingredients grown nearby. (more…)

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…)

Guided by Locals: Sea and Spirits in PEI with Chef Michael Smith

Clam digging in PEI. Photo courtesy of Tourism PEI/John Sylvester.

By Kat Tancock

It’s no secret that Prince Edward Island, Canada’s tiny eastern island province, produces some of the best oysters on earth. But did you know you can dive for your dinner? Or that PEI has two homegrown distilleries? Local chef and national TV personality Michael Smith fills us in. (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…)