When I was eight years old I decided that I wanted to try cooking.
I made an omelette with canned ham and apples, my poor mother was my taste tester, but to both of our surprise she liked it. Now that I’m older it makes sense, because of the sweetness of the apple and salt content with both ham and cheese, which always turns out to be delicious – but at 8 years old I thought I was a culinary genius. It was at that moment I decided I wanted to be a chef — creating things that made no sense, but some how worked in this harmonious way that became something beautiful on your tastebuds. For the remainder of my elementary school life, I made all sorts of creations – I even had a cheesecake business at one point, I made zero profit but always made enough to get more ingredients.
Little did I know this was the life of a chef at any age!
At 18, I went to culinary school at Ballymaloe in Ireland.
Ballymaloe Cookery School is on 100 acres of organic farming land and focuses on fresh produce and respecting ingredients. Each day I would be in the gardens memorizing herbs, picking vegetables or just sneaking peas out of the greenhouse. Working on the farm gave me a deeper appreciation for ingredients and simple flavours, showcasing something like a fresh carrot as opposed to hiding it in a dish.
Shortly after culinary school, I went back to Newfoundland to work at The Reluctant Chef. There, we would create a 5 course tasting menu that changes bi-weekly. I worked directly under the chef for a year in a kitchen the size of a closet, learning a wide variety of cuisines and delicious courses. This fantastic hole in the wall taught me to think on my toes and focus on anything from a vegan, to someone that strictly eats meat and no vegetables.
After a year at The Reluctant Chef, I accepted a job in Tuscany Italy, working at Villa Bordoni up in the hills. This beautiful Villa focused on classic Italian dishes with a modern twist. We would spend hours making pasta and focusing on the perfect sauces, picking Fresh Figs and Lemons in the back yard, tasting the varieties of olive oil, picking Rosemary like weeds.
After experiencing the authenticity of food culture in Europe I couldn’t stop travelling and cooking in various countries. In the past few years i’ve been a private chef or catered dinners in Canada, Italy, France, New York, Croatia, etc. working with the local produce and local recipes — I intend on growing this list of culinary destinations until i lose my taste buds.
Food has taught me that things don’t always have to make sense to be beautiful. With good farmers, balance and passion – that perfect one bite can always be achieved. The culinary world is a never ending learning experience. We constantly discover new edibles when we forage; mushrooms, shrubs, weeds, herbs, flowers. Wether it means being knee high in a river picking mint or covered in dirt and tree branches hunting for Chanterelles; passion is the driving force.
In Between travels I am a personal chef and Caterer, using all my experiences to create a unique dining experience!
Join me for a dinner that will bring you to that small restaurant off the side streets of France.