Alberta – Paul Rogalski, Rouge, Calgary
Calgary born, Paul Rogalski is renowned for his passion for exceptional cuisine created from homegrown and sustainable food. He is co-creator of acclaimed Rouge Restaurant, ranked as one of the “World’s Top 100 Restaurants for 2010” by the prestigious S. Pellegrino awards and “Restaurant of the Year 2010” by Avenue Magazine. Rouge exemplifies reliance on fresh ingredients from local purveyors as well as from the restaurant’s own summer garden. In 2009 Paul received special recognition “For Leadership and Support of Organic and Sustainable Cuisine” from the Monterey Bay Aquarium for his work as a Seafood Watch Ambassador. The New York Times claimed Paul’s tasting menu as one of the highlights of Calgary’s new dining scene. In 2008 Paul was a finalist in The Canadian Culinary Championship.
Paul’s work in the community and his dedication to his craft and restaurant industry have helped him become one of Alberta Venture Magazine‘s “50 Most Influential People in 2011”, one of the “Twenty Business Leaders Of Tomorrow” by Business in Calgary Magazine for 2011, “Independent Restaurateur of the Year for Canada” by Food Service and Hospitality Magazine. Most recently, Chef Paul Rogalski was invited by Eric Ripert, along with some of the world’s finest chefs to participate in the celebrated “2012 Cayman Cookout”, a four-day epicurean event.
British Columbia – Ned Bell, YEW Restaurant + Bar, Four Seasons Hotel, Vancouver
“Food doesn’t need to be complicated, but it is important to know where it comes from.” ‘Farm to table’ is an essential mandate of Ned Bell, Executive Chef of Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, including YEW restaurant + bar. Quick to make his mark, YEW was given high-flying reviews in the Georgia Straight and Vancouver Sun this spring, and was dubbed Vancouver’s premier seafood restaurant in a stellar review by the Globe & Mail’s Alexandra Gill in February 2012. A good portion of Ned’s life was spent growing up in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, instilling a lifelong passion for fresh and locally sourced cuisine. At 12, Ned began making dinner for his brother and sister igniting his love of cooking. Bitten by the restaurant bug early, Ned got his first job at 15, washing dishes at Kerrisdale’s Avenue Grille. His culinary studies began at Canada’s prestigious Dubrulle Culinary School, where instructor Rob Feenie inspired Ned to follow him to Le Crocodile. Flourishing as an apprentice under Feenie and Vancouver culinary legend Michel Jacob, Ned next moved up as Sous Chef for the opening team of Lumiere, a restaurant that put Vancouver on the global culinary map. Looking to broaden his culinary horizons, Ned moved east to the helm of Toronto’s Senses Restaurant (where he received considerable critical praise) and gained celebrity status with a program on Food Network Canada while working in Ontario’s Niagara wine region. A few years later, things turned a ‘little bit country’ when Ned heeded the call of the west and was soon awarded the “Best Overall and Rising Star Award” from WHERE magazine after opening Murrieta’s Bar and Grill in Calgary. In 2007, Ned fulfilled a dream and returned to his Okanagan roots to become co-owner and chef at the Kelowna lakeside favourite Cabana Bar and Grille, where he was soon ranked one of Western Living magazine’s “Top 40 Foodies Under 40.” Outgoing and passionate about his craft, Ned has energy, enthusiasm and passion for cooking. Naming his own food philosophy “globally inspired and locally created,” he begins with premium ingredients, sourcing the best of what is available locally and seasonally, and then focusing on flavour at YEW. When the apron is off, Ned can be found running and riding local trails, hitting golf balls and spending time with family. He is passionate about making a difference to cuisine in British Columbia, loves being part of the vibrant food scene and is particularly smitten with local farmers markets and BC wine country.culinary celebrities.
Manitoba – Alexander Svenne, 7-1/4 Bistro, Winnipeg
Alexander’s earliest food memory is standing on a chair running livers, bacon and onions through his mother’s old Braun meat grinder. Much of what he has learnt about cooking was in his mother’s kitchen. Alexander has worked in a variety of Manitoba restaurants – cooking Mediterranean at Tap & Grill, banquets at Green Gates, Cal-Ital at Pasta La Vista and farm-to-table Manitoba cuisine at Pineridge Hollow. Alexander and his wife Danielle opened Bistro 7 ¼ in March 2006 serving his own take on French Bistro Cooking. Their little bistro has been packed every night since opening. Recently the bistro was renovated and expanded to include a lounge and private room. Alexander has participated in national food events such as the Prairie Scene in Ottawa and The National Cheese Festival in Picton. Alexander’s refers to his style as “Luxurious Comfort Food”, simple food with big flavours.
New Brunswick – Karen Mersereau, Hotel Paulin, Caraquet
Karen Mersereau is Executive Chef and co-owner of Hôtel Paulin with partner Gérard Paulin, since 2003. She is a graduate of the University of New Brunswick with a Bachelor of Education in Food & Nutrition. In 1986 she founded Food Talks, a niche food marketing agency in Toronto. As creative director, Karen provides a wide range of services to the food industry from creative concepts to executing large-scale promotions including design, print and food photography. She was actively involved in the Toronto restaurant-culinary scene for over 17 years and served on several professional boards including President of the Toronto Culinary Guild, consultant to the Ontario Frozen Food and Chilled Food Association and George Brown College. Now based in New Brunswick, Karen’s extensive marketing and culinary background have contributed to Hôtel Paulins’ success – transforming a quaint seaside historical hotel to a top rated luxury boutique hotel. Karen creates individualized culinary vacation experiences year-round focusing on wild foods harvested along the Acadian Peninsula and locally farmed products. They have received international recognition for their unique fine cuisine, personalized services and exceptional quality of their accommodations. Her love of good food, her passion for wild foods, seafood and the locally farmed products is all part of the dining experience that Karen offers up.
Newfoundland / Labrador – Todd Perrin, The Chef’s Inn, St. John’s
Canadian foodies know Todd Perrin as the burly, entertaining, larger than life Newfoundlander who made it to the top 8 in The Food Network’s hit series Top Chef Canada 2011. Todd graduated from The Culinary Institute of Canada at Holland College in PEI and went on to work at The Lodge at Kananaskis in Alberta and then at a private hotel near Zurich, Switzerland. In 2001, he opened Two Chefs, a fine dining eatery in St. John’s that in its first year, was listed as one of the country’s “Top 50 New Restaurants” in enRoute Magazine. In 2008, he opened The Chef’s Inn, a B&B in downtown St. John’s, Newfoundland where he sources the freshest local ingredients from his own backyard, neighbors’ farms and his root cellar, practicing farm-to-table whenever possible.
Todd’s latest project is a new restaurant at Mallard Cottage, in Quidi Vidi Village, St. John’s. Having just recently purchased this 18th century traditional Irish cottage, Todd and his partners plan to restore and convert the cottage into St. John’s most unique dining destination opening later this year.
Northwest Territories – Pierre LePage, Le Frolic, Yellowknife
Born and raised in Quebec, Pierre began his culinary career at the age of 15 as a cook’s helper at the Hotel Loew’s Le Concorde and then to the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa. From here he went to Strasbourg, France to begin formal training in the career that would become his life-long passion. After a rigorous three year training program, Pierre received Cordon Bleu Certification with Distinction.
He has worked in restaurants in Lyon, France, Murren, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Orlando, Florida, Vancouver and Whistler, BC.
In 1994 Pierre moved to and settled in Yellowknife where he became chef for the Yellowknife Inn, Territorial Catering, and L’Atitudes Restaurant. During this time he has also opened a jazz and blues bar and restaurant in addition to working as a Food Service Consultant. He has travelled to 32 countries and five continents to learn about the foods and cultures of the world.
He is presently owner and operator the following: Le Frolic Bistro/Bar, Bush Pilot Café, Chef Pierre’s Catering, Chef Pierre’s Wholesale Bakery, Le Stock Pot Deli & Bakery, and Aurora Conference Centre for which he has won numerous awards and distinctions, including most recently “Awards of Excellence” from Wine Spectator (2002 through 2011), been awarded 3 stars in Where to Eat in Canada (2002 through 2011) and “NWT Entrepreneur of the Year,” 2008.
Nova Scotia – Martin Ruiz Salvador, Fleur de Sel, Lunenburg
Martin Ruiz Salvador was born and raised in Nova Scotia. He is co-owner and chef of Fleur de Sel. Martin’s journey began in the two-year Le Cordon Bleu Program at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute in Arizona; then a year apprenticing in Dublin’s Michelin-starred Commons Restaurant. With a desire to hone his skills and mastery of French cooking, Martin then moved on to the source…the culinary Mecca of Lyon…where he did back-to back stints at Michelin 2 starred Restaurant Lyon de Lyon with Chef Jean-Paul LaCombe, followed by an inspiring term at Caro de Lyon under the tutelage of renowned Chef Frédérick Côte. Before returning home to Canada, Martin explored the culture and culinary traditions of Marseilles and Corsica, experiences that have influenced his own cooking style.
Martin has harmoniously melded his classical French training with his own Nova Scotian roots and locale. He specializes in local seafood and using whole animals. With his Spanish heritage, he is a lover of eating and making fine charcuterie as well as the salting, smoking and curing of fish.
Nunavut – Josef Szakacs, Frobisher Inn and Conference Centre, Iqaluit
Bio coming soon.
Ontario – Jamie Kennedy, Jamie Kennedy Kitchens, Toronto
For over three decades Jamie Kennedy has been instrumental in shaping the culinary landscape in Canada. His innovative approach to gastronomy, commitment to sustainable agriculture and advocacy of local food have been unwavering. He uses his role as Chef to strengthen the vital links within our community of artisans, farmers, wineries and fellow chefs, while providing his audience with an educational and nourishing demonstration of the bounty and excellence possible right in our own backyard.
Jamie has applied the slow food philosophy in every aspect of his acclaimed restaurants and his flourishing catering business. His seasonal methods of cooking and involvement with the local food movement continue to inspire progress in agricultural and gastronomical communities across Canada.
In 2010, Jamie was honoured for his contributions with two major appointments; with Chef Michael Stadtländer, he was awarded for his leadership at the inaugural Governor General’s Award in Celebration of the Nation’s Table, and soon after he was appointed to the rank of Member of the Order of Canada.
PEI – Michael Smith, Food Network Host, Nutritional Activist, Food Media Producer
Chef Michael Smith, one of Canada’s best-known chefs, is a passionate advocate for simple, sustainable home cooking and an inspiration for families creating their own healthy food lifestyle. Michael is Prince Edward Island’s food ambassador, an award winning cookbook author, and host of Chef at Home on Food Network Canada. His web video production company is breaking new ground online and his Twitter feed is Canada’s top choice for foodie fun.
Although Michael is a true chef at large his favourite role is Dad, home on Prince Edward Island with his partner Chastity, her daughter Ariella, his son Gabriel and their new baby on the way! Michael is an avid map collector, long-time windsurfer and novice kite sailor.
Quebec – Derek Dammann, DNA Restaurant, Montreal
Born to an Italian mother “who loved to cook,” Derek says he has always had a keen interest in food, although he admits that until his late teens, said passion was more about consumption than actual preparation. Nevertheless, his talent and delectable dishes enabled him to score an enviable gig working as Chef de Cuisine at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen in London, England. His others experience include stints as Sous Chef at Zambri’s in Victoria and Malaspina Culinary School on Vancouver Island.
Derek takes great pride in serving sustainably grown and harvested produce, meats and seafood ‘because food tastes better when its ingredients are the product of thoughtful stewardship.’ He has a whole animal philosophy at DNA and always has one or two dishes featuring offal on the menu because it preserves an overlooked part of our culinary heritage.
Saskatchewan – Daniel Walker, Weczeria, Saskatoon
Chef Daniel Walker was born in Selkirk, Manitoba and grew up in La Ronge, Saskatchewan. Having attended the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts in Vancouver Chef Walker has cooked throughout western Canada for the past seventeen years. In 2010 he won Gold Medal Plates in Saskatchewan. He founded Weczeria Food and Wine in Saskatoon in 2006 and centres his culinary philosophy on locally grown foods and is a huge advocate of grower-consumer relationships.
Yukon – Brigitte Kollner, Yukon College, Whitehorse
Brigitte Kollner is European trained and began her Canadian career with Canadian Pacific Hotels in Ontario. From Ontario she moved west and worked with Delta Hotels in British Columbia, opening the Delta Prince George. After her time at the Delta Prince George, Brigitte opened her own restaurant and cabaret, specializing in European cuisine and flambé table-side cooking.
Brigitte worked for the College of New Caledonia for several years as the culinary arts instructor before moving to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory to continue her chosen career as an instructor in the culinary arts at Yukon College. In 2007 she was offered the position as Coordinator of the Culinary Arts & Manager of Cafeteria Food Services which includes a dining room training facility.
At present she is in the process of developing curriculum for a camp-cook/line-cook program, targeting skills for employment, life skills, and health and wellness training. The start date for this course is early spring.
This post is also available in: French