Adam Colquhoun, Oyster Boy
Treasurer & Ontario Liaison
Adam Colquhoun is the owner, operator and the “boy” behind Oyster Boy, a restaurant, catering and wholesale company dedicated to bringing mollusks to the masses. Adam’s roots trace back not to the seashore, but to the Uxbridge, Ontario countryside. Working on a mixed farm and later at a local restaurant, Adam became fascinated with both good food and the people who produce it.
Adam was introduced to oysters in the 1980s when a friend taught him how to shuck. He soon mastered the art, earning the Ontario Oyster Shucking Championship title three times and the moniker “oyster boy”. In 1992, Adam launched Oyster Boy catering and wholesale service. By bringing choice mollusks from Canada’s oyster producing provinces to the city, Oyster Boy built a loyal following with oyster connoisseurs and Toronto’s top chefs.
Oyster Boy’s popularity grew and in 2001, Adam opened the Oyster Boy restaurant on Queen Street West. Driven by the philosophy that a business’ most important resources are human resources, Oyster Boy has been home to some of the top shuckers in Canada (including the Canadian Oyster Shucking Champion) who shuck up to a thousand tasty bivalves to patrons every evening.
Adam has spearheaded numerous programs to promote the Canadian shellfish industry, from introducing B.C. oysters to Toronto to launching Shuck U, an interactive educational program that teaches participants how to choose, shuck and serve oysters. His goal: that the oyster will be the chicken wing of new millennium.
Adam serves on the steering committee of the Toronto Slow Food Convivium and he also sits on the Editorial Advisory Council for the Ontario Restaurant News.
Event Sommelier & Prince Edward County Liaison
Andrew Laliberte is one of Canada’s most recognized sommeliers having worked in Toronto restaurants such as Fenton’s, Nekah and Chiaro’s at the King Edward Hotel.
In 1992 Andrew Laliberte was one of the first graduates of the International Sommelier Guild course at George Brown College. Andrew became very active with the Sommelier Guild and helped it through its formative years, later teaching at Humber College.
Andrew was an early supporter of Niagara wines and continues to be now. While at Nekah, Andrew organized both the Great Canadian Barrel Tasting and the Hybrid Invitational, two events that promoted the Niagara wine industry. Andrew has appeared as a guest sommelier on ‘The New World Wine Tour’ on CTV, and on CBC’s ‘Marketplace’.
Andrew has traveled to Europe and visited many wineries in France, Germany, Spain and Portugal which has lead to promotional work for various international wine associations, conducted seminars for the LCBO and assisted in drafting the curriculum for the current ISG professional sommelier course.
After twenty years in the restaurant business in Toronto, Andrew moved to Prince Edward County and has been involved in a number of local initiatives including Artevino, Prince Edward County’s first comprehensive wine award and auction program.
Originally from Chile, Carolina is the Chef Concierge at the InterContinental Toronto Yorkville hotel. She presently holds the position of National Secretary for the prestigious worldwide concierge association, Les Clefs d’Or. Prior to being a concierge, Carolina worked for 18 years as a professional Stage Manager in Canadian theatre and abroad. She has crossed our country on numerous occasions both for pleasure and for work and is thrilled to have the opportunity to work on a project that will unite and celebrate Canada’s culinary strengths. She lives in Toronto with her husband Chef Masayuki Tamaru and little daughter Josephine.
Julie Gibb and Christian Morrison, Pantry Press Inc.
Julie Gibb and Christian Morrison are graphic designers first and custom printers second. They started their design firm in 1990, specializing in art books for Museums and Art Galleries, for which they won several awards. They have always loved the tactile quality of letterpress printing. They purchased their first letterpress in 1994 and put it in the pantry of their home. It is here that Pantry Press was born. They quickly began designing and printing stationery of all kinds and have continued to keep the art of letterpress alive for the past 14 years.
In 2006, Morrison and Gibb worked collaboratively with Michael and Nobuyo Stadtländer, and designed and art directed the Eigensinn Farm Heaven on Earth book project. In 2007, they worked together again to design the packaging and accompanying book to the Islands Project documentary DVD – filmed by their son Elia.
Michael N Dixon, Commissary Cuisine
Public Relations & National Liaison
Michael Dixon has been cooking professionally for 11 years. Michael began a tenure at Jamie Kennedy Kitchens in the fall of 2003 spanning 4 years. He was hired as Sous Chef of Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar, a position he held until he was promoted to Chef de Cuisine at the Gardiner Museum. Spending almost two years at the Wine Bar under Kennedy, Michael developed his technique and passion for local, responsibly produced cuisine.
During the fall and winter of 2002 Dixon lived and worked with the Stadtlander family at Eigensinn Farm, considered by many as the country’s finest culinary experience. Michael’s experiences at Eigensinn opened his eyes to a discipline of cooking embraced by both Kennedy and Stadtlander that have cemented their reputations as pioneers in this country’s culinary landscape.
After accepting the position of Chef de Cuisine for the Gardiner Restaurant in the summer of 2005 a position he held until May 2007, Michael left the Wine Bar embarking on a ten month sabbatical spending time in the kitchens of Fergus Henderson at St. John Restaurant and Bar in London, England and Alice Waters at Chez Panisse in Berkely, California. Chef Dixon has recently formed his own company, Commissary Cuisine, focusing on catering and private chef services.
Paul F. Harber
Paul discovered his interest in culinary at an early age while he used to spend his time watching his grandfather cook instead of playing with his friends. Paul later turned his passion into his career and started to cook in the kitchen of the Hillebrand Winery Restaurant, under Chef Tony DeLuca. After Hillebrand Paul enlisted and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America. While Paul was at the Institute he completed an apprenticeship at Cafe Boulud in New York City with Chef Andrew Carmellini. Upon graduation Paul accepted a job at A Voce Restaurant, once again training under Chef Carmellini. Due to complications with his work visa Paul was forced to return home to Niagara. A month after returning to Niagara from New York Paul secured an apprenticeship with Chef Michael Stadtländer at Eigensinn Farm. Paul is now currently working at his family’s winery (Ravine Vineyards Estate Winery) and the attached bakery. In the fall Paul will be moving to Stuttgart, Germany to train with Chef Vincent Klink at Restaurant Wielandshohe.
Michael Stadtländer, Eigensinn Farm
Born in Germany, Michael Stadtländer began his professional culinary training while still a teenager. After immigrating to Canada in 1980, he and colleague Jamie Kennedy made their mark on the Toronto restaurant scene at Scaramouche. As Chef at the world-renowned Sooke Harbour House, and at his pioneering Stadtländer’s and Nekah in Toronto, he continued his unique and innovative approach, working to elevate Canadian food culture. In 1993, Stadtländer and his family moved to a 100-acre farm near Collingwood, at the top of Ontario’s Niagara Escarpment, where they could live on the land. For several nights a week throughout the year, the Stadtländers welcome guests to their home to enjoy his food. Eigensinn Farm has become an internationally celebrated destination for gourmets.
Michael Stadtlander’s recent projects include Eigensinn Farm: The Heaven on Earth Project which was a summer-long project that included a crew of apprentices from three continents who together built monumental sculptures to accompany a series of ten course meals served on the farm through the month of August 2005; and The Islands Project which featured seven dinners on four B.C. islands where he was joined by chefs, artists, farmers, oyster cultivators, environmentalists and loggers during the summer of 2006. Both projects culminated with the publishing of a book and the Islands Project with a DVD that had its premiere at Toronto’s Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival in November 2007.
Stadtländer is actively committed to promoting sustainable food and has been recognized for his achievements in support of organic food and localism by the Canadian Organic Growers with the 2007 Organic Food Hero Award, and by Earth Day Canada’s 2007 Environmental Achievement Award. Michael and his wife Nobuyo are in the process of opening a restaurant and bakery in Singhampton, Ontario. Haisai will be an extension of Eigensinn Farm’s philosophies and practices using locally raised and foraged ingredients.