As the story goes there are many chefs in the city who are making a mark at one restaurant and have left their mark at many others. I want to introduce you to some of the names that are floating around out there. As you begin reading more about restaurants and the food culture in Ottawa, in general, these names will become much more familiar to you. For now, let me start by saying that in a profession like cooking it is natural for a chef to move on to a different restaurant so they can gain all the skills necessary to become an executive chef. It is necessary for a chef to learn the skills, take these with him/her and partake in a completely new venue to broaden their scope of hands-on skills.
I have begun to realize that while it will be utterly impossible to follow all of the executive, chef and sous chefs of each restaurant there are clearly some names that have made such an impact in this city already that with a simple google search you will be able to track them down with no problem. I do apologize if I have missed anyone (I am continually working on this list) but for now here is an introduction to some of the most powerful chefs in the city.
In no particular order…
John Taylor – Domus Cafe, Taylor’s Genuine Food and Wine Bar
Chef and Owner John Taylor has had a lifelong love of cooking.
His passion for food was nurtured from his earliest days by his mother and grandmother; whose influence is evident in much of his current practices as Chef & Owner of Domus Cafe.
Born in Lynn Lake, Manitoba, in 1967, John recalls the regular trips to small, local, family-run farms in pursuit of the freshest ingredients: all destined for use in the Taylor matrons’ kitchen. In a continuation of those traditions, Chef Taylor has made it domus’ mandate to help preserve the family and small farm operations that practice organic and sustainable farming practices and candidly attributes many of his own cooking successes to the basics taught him through his grandmother’s teachings.
John first started his cooking career at the age of 14, where his humble origins found him preparing pizzas and donairs in the West Edmonton Mall. After moving to Fredericton in 1987 and graduating from Fredericton High School, John secured a job in the kitchen at the Lord Beaverbrook Hotel.
It was on this very first day of work in a full-service kitchen that John was inspired to the realization that cooking was to be his life’s pursuit. John moved to Ottawa in 1989 to work at the yet unopened Novotel under Chef Norbert Chabot. John’s early skills in the kitchen caught the attention of Jean-Pierre Challet, who hired him as an apprentice for the Relias Châteaux Inn at Manitou.
John spent two seasons at the Inn and it was here where he met his future wife, Sylvia, who was finishing her first year at the Stratford Chef school. After returning from a one-year cooking tour of the Barbados with Jean Pierre, John was hired into his first Chef position by Jim Sorenti, for the Westover Inn. This opportunity saw the start of John’s grassroots Canadian regional cuisine influence.
After four truly inspirational years and one son (Cameron Alexander) later, John and Sylvia left Westover Inn and pursued a number of unique dining ventures, each involving equal measures of challenge and success. In 1995, John returned to Ottawa for a position with Chantilly Haute Cuisine. Later that year, two significant events took place: the birth of a second son – Graham Andrew – and the introduction of John Taylor to domus. In 1997, Chef John Taylor took full ownership of domus and has relentlessly pursued his vision of establishing a truly unique Canadian Regional Seasonal Cuisine establishment.
Now, and for a long time to come, Chef Taylor invites you to share in the domus experience.
“Finding the right suppliers and building the right relationships has taken many years and is an on-going pursuit. I invite you to join me in the experience of defining and growing the concept of Canadian Regional Seasonal Cuisine as each new discovery leads to its own unique rewards.” – Chef John Taylor
Michael Blackie - NEXT
Born in Leicestershire, England and raised in Montreal, Michael has been cooking for over 22 years on 3 continents. Chef Blackie loves to push the limits of cuisine. He is a multiple medalist at the prestigious Gold Medal Plates culinary competition and placed 2nd at the national Canadian Culinary Championships event which was featured in Mark McEwan’s television show “The Heat”. Michael was the opening Chef of Brookstreet Hotel, and is now the executive chef of the National Arts Centre. He is also a host on Chef Off aired on the Food Network.
Chef Blackie has hosted a number of events at the NAC in 2011 and hopes to kick off this year’s Celebrity Chefs of Canada second annual event.
In 2013 Chef Blackie resigned from his position at the NAC and is now co-founder/Executive chef/General Manager of a West-end restaurant called NEXT, a venue that will offer casual dining, catering and meeting spaces.
Steve Mitton – Murray Street
Steve Mitton is already well known in the Ottawa culinary community for his straightforward and uncomplicated regional fare. A graduate from the Canadian Culinary Institute in Prince Edward Island, Chef Mitton, in a twist of fate, began his chef career in the same building that Murray Street is now housed. He has always looked for the season’s best from local farmers and suppliers that he has researched, and brings them unselfishly to his plates. Chef Mitton states that “In addition to a full kitchen, at Murray Street we’re excited to introduce Ottawa’s first charcuterie bar, which offers diners a great selection of locally and in-house produced boards of artisan meats, cheeses, terrines, pates, chutneys and breads.” Chef Mitton is thrilled to be the first to bring this concept to the Capital and adds that “This type of fare is great for sharing and again, there’s something authentically Canadian about that.”
Michael Moffatt – Beckta, Play Wine and Food
Michael Moffatt is the Executive Chef of both Beckta, and its critically acclaimed sister restaurants Play food & wine, and the new Gezellig. Michael’s cuisine has been described as “consistently inventive and delicious”. He spent many years working in renowned kitchens including The River Café, one of New York’s most iconic restaurants as well as the CAA 5 Diamond Award winning kitchen at the Rimrock Resort in Banff, AB. Michael is a proud Algonquin College Culinary Arts Graduate and now chairs the Advisory Board for the Culinary program. Michael began his tenure at Beckta as Sous-Chef in 2003, before taking over the reins as Chef in 2006.
Marc Lepine – Atelier
After 3 years of culinary school, Marc Lepine began working in the finest kitchens of Toronto, France, and Italy. Upon his return to Canada in 1998, he accepted his first executive chef’s position with Bartlett Lodge in Algonquin Park, where he stayed for 4 years. Marc decided to move to Ottawa in 2001 with the intent to eventually open a restaurant. He received his sommelier certification from Algonquin College in 2002 and spent 6 years working as executive chef for the Courtyard Restaurant, where he was twice named ‘Ottawa Chef of the Year’ by the Canadian Culinary Federation. In January of 2008, Marc decided it was time to open Atelier. While the restaurant was preparing to launch, Marc went to work with one of his favorite chefs, Grant Achatz, at Alinea Restaurant in Chicago, where he saw first-hand the logistics of running a tasting menu restaurant. Marc is a member of the Research Chefs Association, the National Capital Sommelier Guild, and has worked as vice-president of the Canadian Culinary Federation – Ottawa branch.
Ben Baird – Urban Pear
Ottawa native Ben Baird has been a chef for 16 years, having ventured westward for his training before returning home to open The Urban Pear eight years ago.
Ben professes a love for any locally-sourced ingredient, particularly vegetables. A big kid at heart, he loves playing Polly Pockets with his five-year-old daughter.
Participating in Duelling Chefs 2011 appeals to Ben because it is a great way to help charities and a good excuse to see other industry people.
“Plus, my staff enjoy getting out of our restaurant for a night,” he adds. What is Ben most looking forward to? “Winning. I change my menu every day so I’ll be ready to jump when the secret ingredient is revealed.”
Arup Jana – Allium
Head chef Arup Jana established his career in Saskatoon where he apprenticed at “Calories” and moved on to become the head chef at Geraldo’s in Ottawa.
Arup brings his expertise to Allium, where his passion for fresh, local ingredients translates into the creation of a new monthly menu featuring fresh and unique dishes.
Allium’s modern and comfortable atmosphere, fresh new menus every month, and array of well-priced wines present a relaxed and satisfying dining experience.
Michael Farber – Farbs
Chef Michael “Farbs” Farber has been cooking professionally for about 11 years, but declines to give a full culinary pedigree, claiming instead, “I’ve worked all over the place, but either I’m not proud of them, or they’re not proud of me.”
In truth, he spent three years at Domus Café prior to establishing Farbs Kitchen & Wine Bar in 2008.
With his slightly irreverent nature, it’s little surprise that his favourite ingredient is Jack Daniels and he counts having memorized all the words to Snow’s “Informer” as among his hidden talents.
While he professes not to like competitions, Farbs is pleased to be a participant in this year’s Duelling Chefs. He says his success will depend upon how he’s feeling that day and how pretty his chef Anna March looks.
Derek Benitz – Benitz Bistro
Chef Derek Benitz is a well known chef in Ottawa. He has won many awards and accolades including: Gold Metal Plates & 2007 Chef of the Year
He has also made numerous appearances on Ottawa’s local television station, the NewRO to share some of his cooking savvy.
Derek was brought to Ottawa in 2000 to open Social Restaurant, and went on to be executive chef at Luxe Bistro.
He has a reputation for fantastic, flavourful bistro fare using only the finest local Ontario and Quebec products.
What the Critics say about Derek Benitz:
“The emphasis is placed on superb food” (Ottawa Sun)
“The meal was as memorable as a first romance. Taste, presentation and service were all the products of (a) master…” (The Ottawa Citizen)
” Excellent, imaginative food” (LeGazette)
“Chef Derek Benitz is…passionate about using the freshest local and domestic ingredients in puruit of innovative culinary excellence…Benitz describes his work as “honest food;” served straight-up rather than stuck up.” (Ottawa Life)
In 2011 Benitz Bistro closed to the public and we anticipate the news of where Chef Benitz will continue his journey.
2012 brought the closure of Benitz Bisto but we await for Chef Benits’s new endeavors.
Yannick Anton – Signatures
Originally from the South of France, Chef Yannick Anton, received his training at the Lycée Hôtelier de Nice. He began his career with Chef Michel Devillers, of L’Ane Rouge, awarded the highly coveted Michelin star. It was there where he perfected his skill in the preparation of seafood, learning the most advanced culinary techniques. He continued in the region at the celebrated Hotel Martinez in Cannes and then in 1994 he came to Montreal, where he accepted a position as sous-chef of the restaurant Le Globe with Chef Martin Picard. He eventually relocated to the Ottawa area where he assisted in the opening of Le Baccara in what was then known as the Casino of Hull. In 2000 Chef Anton worked at the Westin Hotel with Executive Chef Philippe Wettel, as well as at Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. In that capacity, he prepared State Dinners for world leaders such as Vicente Fox, former President of Mexico, George Bush, former President of the United States and Wu-Jin Tao, President of the People’s Republic of China.
Chef Anton was appointed Executive Chef of Le Cordon Bleu Signatures Restaurant in November 2006, where he showcased local ingredients such as game, foie gras and seasonal produce. In 2006, Signatures was recognized by the CAA/AAA as a Five Diamond restaurant. It was the only restaurant in Ottawa with this distinction, and the only restaurant with this classification operated by a culinary school.
Rene Rodriguez – Navarra
Born in Ottawa, Rene lived in Mexico with his family and first started cooking at the tender age of 12 while working at his uncle’s restaurant around delicious food and tantalizing Mexican aromas.
Six years later René returned to Ottawa and started working as an apprentice cook. He spent the next six years working in various restaurants in Ottawa exploring his passion for food and building a career for himself in Canada.
At the age of 24 he enrolled in Le Cordon Blue cooking school program and then went on to complete his Red Seal Certification and culinary courses at Algonquin College.
With his education behind him, René mastered his skills working as a Sous Chef at a few of Ottawa’s trendy hotspots: Ironwood café and Luna Bar and Kitchen.
In March 2001 René accepted an invitation to do a stage at the Fifth Floor Restaurant in San Francisco, under the tutelage of Executive Chef George Morrone.
In June 2001 René was appointed Chef de Cuisine at ARC the Hotel where for two consecutive years he captured a two star rating from the dining guide “Where to Eat In Canada” and during that time ARC lounge was voted among best new restaurants in Canada by En Route Magazine.
In 2002 and 2003 René was invited as a Chef Host for Canada’s Food Network Show Cook Like a Chef. At the time Cook Like a Chef was nominated by the James Beard award for best foreign cooking show in 2003.
After two years at the helm of the kitchens at ARC, René worked at Social Restaurant as Chef de Cuisine until April 2004. Over the past 3years, René has been Chef de Cuisine at the Black Cat Café. The Black Cat was voted one of Ottawa’s Best Restaurant by Ottawa Magazine in 2006 and won 2 stars from “Where to Eat in Canada” in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
In November 2005 traveled to La Havana, Cuba to do cooking demonstrations in conjunction with Agriculture Canada and Canada Pork International to tech Havana’s top Hotel Chefs how to cook Canadian pork and Alberta Beef.
René Rodriguez took the position of Executive Chef at Luxe Bistro in August 2007 and worked there for 9 months and during that time Rene was chosen among the top 10 chef in Ottawa to participate in Gold Metal Plates 2008 at Hilton Lac Lemy.
Rene has been traveling to Spain every year since 2005 for about 2 weeks every January to keep learning more about cuisine and to work with other chefs to share ideas and philosophies about great food and wine of this amazing country.
The time has arrived for Rene to open his much anticipated Basque Restaurant Navarra at 93 Murray St. in Ottawa.
Patricia Larkin – Black Cat Bistro
Patricia Larkin is enjoying her first year at the Black Cat Bistro.
Now a professional chef, she spent ten years gaining experience at restaurants such as Beckta and Domus.
Hard-pressed to name just one top ingredient, Trish cites Malden salt, pine nuts and lemon as among her favourites.
Like many chefs, she has an artistic side, confessing that, “if I wasn’t cooking I’d probably have pursued a career in the musical world instead.”
Trish says she is looking forward to the competition and helping the charities.
“I think Duelling Chefs is a great chance to work in a fun environment with other chefs I don’t normally interact with every day. I expect I’ll learn a few things from them, but I also believe we’re also going to kick butt. I’m excited to go in there and show them just what a female chef and her team can do.”
Norman Aitkin – Juniper Kitchen and Wine Bar
Norman Aitken was born in the small town of Souris and raised in Bay Fortune, Prince Edward Island, Canada. At 14, working under the guidance of Chef Michael Smith, of the food network, he began his apprenticeship in the kitchen at the Inn At Bay Fortune. From his experience working with Michael Smith, Norman developed a profound understanding and respect for local, fresh ingredients.
Norman attended the Culinary Institute of Canada. Following his graduation from the Culinary Institute of Canada and years of experience at the Inn at Bay Fortune and other local restaurants, Norman move to Ottawa to take the position of Sous Chef at Juniper Kitchen and Wine Bar, working with Chef Richard Nigro.
After three years at Juniper, Norman went to work in Ireland as the Chef of the award winning Delphi Resort and Spa in County Mayo with a handpicked Canadian brigade. Upon returning to Canada Norman became part owner of Juniper Kitchen and Wine Bar with Richard Nigro.
With Juniper having two chef /owners there is a drive to creating a distinctive regional and seasonal New Canadian Cuisine.
In reviews, Juniper has been critically acclaimed as one of Ottawa’s top tables
Michael Hay – Back Lane Cafe
Michael Hay is a Kingston native and credits his expertise to “training the old school way, apprenticing with great people,” as well as studying at culinary school. He has worked at Gusto in Kingston, Deerhurst Resort, the world-renowned Moto in Chicago, and under Chef Rene Rodruiges at Black Cat here in Ottawa before becoming Executive Chef at the Courtyard in 2008. Proud to be part of a group of young Ottawa chefs interested in sustainability and environmental issues, Michael Hay notes that “chefs have a responsibility to ensure that people eat well both literally and figuratively.”
In 2012 we saw Chef Hay take over the Back Lane Cafe kitchen as Executive Chef.
Serge Rourre – Le Bacarra
Serge Rourre has been perfecting his craft for more than 30 years.
After occupying various positions in his native France, he crossed the Atlantic and worked his way
up to the position of Head Chef.
In 2001, he took the reins at Le Baccara and has since become recognized as a figure of distinction in Ottawa’s thriving culinary community.
Serge looks forward to meeting his colleagues in spirited competition while supporting the philanthropic mission of Duelling Chefs. He believes that by remaining true to himself and by taking advantage of the wonderful products at his disposal, he will be up to the challenge.
In fact, he believes that other chefs may be surprised by his ability to adjust to Juniper’s cooking environment. When asked what his favourite ingredient is, he responds in typical French fashion: “Le foie gras, bien sur!”
Chris Deraiche – Wellington Gastropub
Perhaps appropriately for a chef, Chris Deraiche of the Wellington Gastropub counts martial arts among his leisure activities.
His fifteen-year culinary career has included stints at numerous restaurants in Western Canada and two years as Executive Chef at Restaurant e18hteen in Ottawa prior to opening the Wellington Gastropub in 2006.
in his constant quest to deliver fresh, inspired fare, Chris lists cauliflower, olives, vanilla and bacon among his favourite ingredients.
He is participating in this year’s Duelling Chefs because he wants to become more involved in helping the wonderful local charities that will be the recipients of this year’s proceeds.
“I am most looking forward to cooking with some of my talented Gastropub cooks outside of our home kitchen,” says Chris. “We are going to have a lot of fun in this competition.”
Glen Sansome – Petit Bill’s
Chef Glen “Skip” Sansome has twenty years of restaurant experience. He honed his knives and skills in Toronto prior to arriving at Petit Bill’s Bistro where he delights in dishing up a blend of fine French food married with traditional Newfoundland hospitality.
Having earned his nickname as a teenager thanks to his resemblance to the character Skippy on Michael J. Fox’s television show Family Ties, Glen says his favourite ingredients are fresh herbs.
He is participating in this year’s Duelling Chefs for the thrill of the competition and is looking forward to sharing and learning new concepts from the other chefs. “It’s going to be tough going up against Juniper’s team, but I hope to win.”
Jonathan Korecki – The Sidedoor
Chef Jonny spent most of his highschool years cooking in various kitchens in his hometown of Caledon, Ontario. When moving to Ottawa to attend Le Cordon Bleu he worked part time at the Ritz on Elgin street. Shortly after graduating he returned to Toronto to work alongside Chef Susur Lee and thereafter continued their relationship one year later when chef Jonny returned to Ottawa and participated in the Susur Lee guest dinner hosted at Restaurant Eighteen.
Following shortly after, Chef Jonny took a position as sous chef in the Restaurant Eighteen kitchen and participated in the 2009 Gold Medal Plates. Winning gold in the regionals he traveled to compete in the Nationals in Vancouver, BC. In 2011 chef Jonny helped create an Asian-fusion sharing style restaurant at Sidedoor Ottawa and is now chef of Sidedoor kitchen.
“I also run mise en gear, making badass silkscreened bandannas for cooks. I don’t sleep much but I smile every time I see a cook I don’t know wearing one.”
Brian Vallipurum – Grill 41
Sri Lankan-born Chef, Brian Vallipuram began his Canadian career at Oliver’s Bistro in Toronto in 1987 followed by a position at Mark McEwan’s prestigious North 44, where he remained for 9 years first at Sous Chef and then as Executive Chef. In 1999 Chef Vallipuram ventured out on his own to open Axcess Restaurant which was recognized at one of Toronto’s top ten fine dining restaurants and won Vallipuram many Canadian Fine Food Awards. Axcess Restaurant eventually outgrew its space and moved to become 1055 Restaurant and Catering, again recognized as one of Toronto’s top fine dining restaurants. As a proprietor, Chef Vallipuram supported and participated in a number of charity events, raising funds for Red Cross for the Tsunami Relief, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), Toronto Child Abuse Centre and The Heart and Stroke Foundation. Since then, Vallipuram has gained experience as Head Chef at the impressive White Witch Restaurant at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Rose Hall, Jamaica and as Resort Executive Chef for Panorama Resort in Panorama, British Columbia.
Geoffrey Morden – Ottawa Convention Center
Executive Chef Geoffrey Morden returned to Ottawa and Fairmont Chateau Laurier in 2008, continuing a longtime association with the Fairmont Hotels – he is back where he began as an apprentice following his graduation from the Stratford Chef School. Whether in Wilfrid’s Restaurant, Zoe’s Lounge, La Terrasse or for a catered event, the Chateau’s frequently changing menus “reflect the Fairmont’s commitment to environmental stewardship and contain locally sourced, organic, or sustainable items when possible”. Geoffrey particularly notes his association with Ocean Wise, a Vancouver Aquarium conservation program created to educate and empower consumers and restaurateurs regarding the issues surrounding sustainable seafood
Chef Bear – Kitchen Inspired catering
Ottawa born and raised, Chef Bear began his culinary career late in life. While always being in the kitchen growingup and learning from his grandmother, his original career path was geared towards the IT world. It was after meeting his wife, that he thought about pursuing his passion and love of cooking.
His first stint was working at La Porto A Casa in Barrhaven, and after that realized he had made the right decision to join the world of the kitchen. After a number of years in other restaurants in and around the city, Chef Bear decided to create his own catering company called Kitchen Inspired.
After handpicking a skilled team of food-lovers, who are dedicated to creating outstanding culinary experiences, Chef Bear went out to create a catering company that was unique in not just food but in customer service and by providing our clients with a culinary adventure. Originally opened in 08, Kitchen Inspired is fast becoming one of Ottawa’s favorite catering companies, and has been named one of the top 5 caterers in 2010 by The Sweet Life magazine. He is known as the caterer, who does a palette assessment for each of his clients, before creating a customized menu simply for them, which involves creating and preparing mouth-watering traditional menus, with imaginative contemporary twists, and serving them with style.
When Chef Bear started Kitchen Inspired, his goal was to build a company based on quality ingredients, customized menus and food prepared with passion, but he also wanted to ensure that his clients, family, friends and the Ottawa public at large always had access to a knowledge base to ensure their own culinary adventures. With that in mind, Chef Bear created a blog called The Food Rescuer, dedicated to helping any and all have an amazing experience when in the kitchen, when buying ingredients, or simply when you just want to talk about anything food related.
Currently he has completed work on a Men’s only cookbook called Grin N’ Bear It “A Men’s Guide to Surviving the Heat of the Kitchen”. The book is meant for the times in a man’s life when he should be cooking, such as Mothers Day, Anniversary, Superbowl Party etc… along with recipes for each scenario.
Another area he is extremely passionate about is giving back and getting others excited about cooking whether it be for themselves or their family and friends. He teaches culinary students as a visiting educator at La Cite College, and can be found two days a week teaching adults a variety of courses through the Continuing Education program.
Katie Brown - Gizellig
Katie Brown started her career at age 13 as a dishwasher at a pub in her hometown of Brockville, ON. Being promoted from dishwashing to prep cook, Katie managed to work her way through every station in the kitchen and front of house before following her true passion and enrolling in culinary school at Algonquin College, where she graduated with Honours and made the Dean’s list. Since then she has worked at an upscale Italian Bistro, as well as holding down a sous-chef position at Smuggler’s Run, an upscale destination restaurant in Gananoque, ON. Katie then came back to Ottawa to work at our acclaimed sister restaurant Beckta where she impressed the chef and earned a spot with our opening management team as sous-chef. In 2010, Katie received the Top 30 Under 30 award from the Ontario Hostelry Institute and also proudly assumed the position of Play’s Chef de Cuisine.
Since the opening of Gizellig in early 2012 Chef Brown has switched her seat at Play to the sister restaurant, Gizellig.
Dirk McCabe – Beckta
Dirk McCabe grew up in a small ranching town in northwestern Colorado and was raised to have a deep appreciation for food. From a very young age, he knew he wanted to be a chef, and this love of all things culinary drove him to amass 16 years of experience in fine new world fare, contemporary Japanese cuisine, wild game and smoked meats. While attending Le Cordon Bleu, Dirk joined the Beckta dining & wine team in 2005. Not long after graduating with Le Grand Diplome, he became our Sous Chef in 2006 and then our Chef de Cuisine in 2009. Dirk’s love of gardening has made him a huge promoter of farm-to-table awareness. His home vegetable garden project has been a tremendous success and allowed many of our guests to grow their own seasonal produce.
Caroline Ishii – Zen Kitchen
With a curiousity and passion for food and cooking since she was a child, Chef Caroline learned traditional Japanese cooking at her mother’s side. Her belief in a holistic approach to wellness, developed with her studies in yoga and meditation and her personal interest in improving health with food led her to train at the Professional Chef’s Training Program with the famed Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York City, the only school of its kind in the world that focuses on the use of organic, natural and whole foods in cooking and the connection between food, health, healing and the environment, and study with some of the best natural food chefs in New York, San Francisco and Japan. Chef Caroline won the Silver Medal at the annual Gold Medal Plates culinary competitions in 2010 and 2011.
Murray Wilson – Courtyard Restaurant
Murray Wilson is a native of the UK and has been a professional Chef for the past 10 years. His impressive background includes being a finalist on the British TV Series Masterchef: The Professionals in 2008, England’s version of Top Chef. More recently, Murray was at Atelier Restaurant working with acclaimed former Courtyard Restaurant Chef, Marc Lepine. He was part of the team from Atelier that won Gold in Ottawa for Gold Medal Plates and Gold again in Kelowna for the Gold Medal Plates Canada competition. Previous to Atelier, Murray worked at famous UK kitchens including Gordon Ramsay’s Claridges, Chef Duncan Welgemoed’s Five Horseshoes, Van Zeller Restaurant, and the Hotel du Vin in Harrogate where he was awarded 2 AA rosettes. Murray has a love of modern cooking techniques and European-influenced dishes. He brings a passion and drive to deliver the best possible food using the best ingredients, sourced locally wherever possible, to his role of Executive Chef at the Courtyard.