Success Stories

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  • Chef Q&A: Neil McCue, Whitehall Restaurant, Calgary

    August 1, 2017
    Education: Professional chefs diploma Career path: Michelin-star establishments Years of experience as a chef: 25 What are your earliest memories of cooking? The smell of my mom chopping furry mint, which grew just outside the backdoor for roast lamb for Sunday lunch. Why do you think you were drawn to a culinary career? Both my parents worked when I was a ...
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  • Canadian trailblazers: Christian Mena and Lino Oliveira, SABOR Restaurant, Edmonton

    July 5, 2017
    By Sean Moon In many ways it is a uniquely Canadian success story: Two hardworking childhood friends from immigrant families, growing up in the melting pot neighbourhood of North Edmonton and eventually realizing their dreams decades later thanks to a common passion for Latin food, music and culture. Christian Mena and Adelino (Lino) Oliveira, co-owners of an ...
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  • Canadian Trailblazer: Peter Fowler, President and CEO, SIR Corp.

    May 29, 2017
    By Sean Moon For a company that prides itself on an ability to deviate from the norm when it comes to service and hospitality, SIR Corp. has been developing a successful, results-driven culture led by its CEO president Peter Fowler since the firm grew out of the amalgamation of several restaurant groups and eateries over 25 ...
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  • Chef Q&A: David Lee, Executive Chef, Planta, Toronto

    April 20, 2017
    We spoke with David Lee, executive chef of Toronto’s Planta restaurant, on the challenges of opening Planta and his philosophy about the foodservice industry. Education: UK Hertfordshire School Years of Experience as a Chef: 20 years What are your earliest memories of cooking and why do you think you were drawn to a culinary career? My earliest memories are ...
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  • King Street Food Company: Buca, Jacobs & Co., Jamie’s Italian

    March 20, 2017
    By Sean Moon For the King Street Food Company, the recipe for success has been a unique combination of three equal parts Mediterranean heritage, a company-wide commitment to sourcing only the best local, sustainable ingredients and a passionate interest in people. As the three principals of an ever-growing presence on Toronto’s critically acclaimed food scene, Managing Director ...
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  • Chef Q&A: Vittorio Colacitti, Born and Raised, Hamilton; The Good Son, Toronto

    February 21, 2017
    Education: Bachelor of Commerce in Hotel and Tourism Management, University of Guelph Career Path: George, Lucien, Didier, Via Mercanti, Stagiaire at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon. Years of Experience as a Chef: 12 years What are your earliest memories of cooking? I have really vivid memories of my Nonna making gnocchi in her home in Toronto. She had an incredible garden ...
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  • Q&A with Chef Jeremy Charles, Raymonds Restaurant and The Merchant Tavern, St. John’s, NL

    January 31, 2017
    Education: St. Pius Culinary Institute, Montreal Career path: Professional Fly Tier Years of experience as a chef: 18 What are your earliest memories of cooking? My earliest memories of cooking were working on traditional Newfoundland dishes with my grandmother at her summer house in a small fishing village in Newfoundland called Old Perlican. Also splitting codfish with my grandfather ...
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  • Leadership legacy: Al Jessa, President, Joey Restaurant Group

    January 19, 2017
    By Sean Moon It is a long road from washing dishes in the trenches to a respected place in the executive suite of a successful restaurant chain, but Al Jessa, President of JOEY Restaurant Group, is living proof that anything is possible if a person learns to make the most of the right opportunities at the ...
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  • The road less travelled: Brent Poulton, CEO, St. Louis Bar and Grill

    December 12, 2016
    By Sean Moon Most people would think that success in the foodservice industry can only be achieved through culinary education, related business experience or having a lifelong passion for food. Brent Poulton has come a long way towards proving them wrong. As CEO of Ontario-based St. Louis Bar and Grill restaurants, Poulton is the first to admit ...
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  • Q&A with Chef Grant van Gameren

    December 5, 2016
    By Marian Staresinic Grant van Gameren’s rise towards becoming one of Canada’s most celebrated chefs began sizzling shortly after opening the Black Hoof in 2008. With personal memories of family dinners at the helm of his creative inspiration, he launched several ambitious and controversial menus at the Hoof, inviting guests from all over the world to ...
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  • Q&A: Carl Heinrich, Chef/Owner, Richmond Station, Toronto

    November 21, 2016
    Education: Stratford Chef School Graduate (2005) Career Path: Sooke Harbour House; Rundles; Daniel Boulud (New York City, Vancouver); Cowbell; Marben; Stages throughout New York City, France, and Monaco; Richmond Station Years as a Chef: 17 years; 6 years as Executive Chef What are your earliest memories of cooking? I have so many early memories of being in the kitchen ...
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  • Q&A with Chef Luis Valenzuela

    October 31, 2016
    By Marian Staresinic Originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, Chef Luis Valenzuela developed a passion for food at an early age. Luis immigrated to Toronto in 2001 to study the culinary arts at George Brown College where he quickly developed his own unique style and flair, embracing traditional methods while staying true to his Latin roots. He went ...
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  • Success on tap: Nicole Barry, PEG Beer Company, Winnipeg

    September 27, 2016
    By Sean Moon After a decade working in senior financial management and accounting positions, Nicole Barry certainly has the pecuniary pedigree to help grasp the finer economic aspects of starting and running a restaurant business. What Barry is really banking on, however, is that her love of craft beer and entrepreneurial spirit can add up to ...
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  • Mentorship: A key ingredient in the kitchen

    September 22, 2016
    By Liana Robberecht My first unofficial mentorship began early on in my life. An elderly Japanese man took me under his wing and taught me how to use chopsticks and fight with a noble spirit. Mr. Miyagi didn’t know it at the time, but together, he and I would inspire millions. While it may have started with ...
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  • Five questions: Justin Leboe

    September 13, 2016
    By Marian Staresinic Justin Leboe originally hails from Vancouver, B.C, where he started his culinary journey. Starting at Umberto’s when he was only 13 years old, Leboe eventually became one of the original cooks to open the restaurant C in downtown Vancouver in 1997. Justin has a natural talent when it comes to the culinary industry. He ...
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