About me.. In high school I started spending a lot of time in kitchens and working with my love of food. I am dedicated to the speed, pace, people, environment and to providing satisfying customer experiences. I started at my local Swiss Chalet franchise where I learned so many of the basics I take to the kitchen today. I learned to properly temp food, food safety, and health and safety. At Swiss Chalet I worked with a diverse team of people where I was always able to learn something from each colleague.
Upon graduating high school I immediately enrolled in Algonquin College taking the Culinary Management program. After two years I graduated with honors and learned so many new techniques that will have made me who I am today.
A longer drive to the Rideau View Golf Club was my first "from scratch" kitchen job. This was when I first learned the amount of time, effort and care that goes into making one dish. I took the initiative to be trained on all stations as I always like to learn all aspects of a kitchen. This way I could keep busy either by helping others when my work was done or by helping out when something happened as it always does in a kitchen. This kitchen offered weddings, private functions, weekend table d'hôte menus and pub style service all season long.
I flew to England and stayed a year for one of my best experiences working at The Coppid Beech Hotel west of London. The Coppid Beech is a four star hotel with an award winning restaurant. I was able to learn the veg section in two days, which held sixty percent of the menu. I caught on quickly and after several months I started to learn sauce. In my last few months I was in the pastry department learning to make breads, cakes and fine desserts. Living for a year in England gave me the once in a lifetime opportunity to easily visit neighboring countries like Ireland, Scotland, Italy, the Czech Republic and France.
Moving back home to Ottawa, I was very excited to jump into the downtown scene. I started working at Common Eatery a very lively restaurant/bar attached to a clothing store. They are also a coffee shop during the day. A very small kitchen crew of 4 people doing 50+ covers a night with two different menus. An awesome experience working with local farmers and suppliers. During that time I was an on-call event cook for Parliament Hill.
I have now relocated to Cold Lake, Alberta! I started my winter by working at Kinosoo Ridge Resort as the kitchen supervisor. The season has brought many experiences and knowledge about the area, outdoor winter dining, people, culture and events such as Snojuhla. I enjoy supervising very much but still am very active in cooking while in my role.
I than took my summer on the move working for Bushmens Smokehouse in Bonnyville. Travelling to oil field camps serving up to 300 people our amazing pulled pork sandwiches. Working on a food truck was something new for me and was a lot of fun. A team of two working longs days serving great food. The challenges it brought on long weekends working with suppliers and vendors is something I will never forget. That summer brought me to Fort McMurray, Bonnyville, Cold Lake, the Vermillion Fair, residential properties and the oil fields.
Looking to expand my knowledge in food coordination I volunteered as the Food Director for the Alberta 55 Plus Winter Games. This committee was joined by Cold Lake Mayor, Craig Copeland. My role was to organize catered lunches daily for 3 days to over 7 different locations across the city. Finally the closing ceremonies provided a dinner for 500+. Working along side a popular local caterer to serve a plated dinner in 30 minutes with 40 serving staff. What a thrill and great success!
Back to the world of hotels but in a different role and in the midst of a pandemic. Working at the Lakeland Inn Hotel as the Head Chef of four restaurants, banquet hall, external catering and two kitchens. Learning a new role during a pandemic with short staffing, low sales and high inventory proved to be challenging.
I successfully reduced their inventory by 1000's, worked with suppliers to create beneficial rebates, launched an online portal with ordering available to room service, takeout and home delivery. Along with improving my own costing skills and menu development. This role has put a lot of growth into my career.
With 15 years of industry experience, I have returned to the newly named restaurant The Ridge at Kinosoo Ridge Resort as the Food and Beverage Coordinator. My first year back continued to encounter struggles with COVID-19 and low staffing. As well as helping plan and design a kitchen and concession renovation. This renovation involved planning for new spaces for prep, adding new equipment such as a steam kettle and covection oven. A full new design for the front counter and cash area to suit a concession while serving a full restaurant. Now time to focus on FOH and building the best service in the Lakeland.
I try and introduce as many local suppliers as possible into our menus. With the resort moving into a full year, four season operation the opportunities for more local suppliers and services are endless. From weddings, corporate functions and glamping to come!