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.