I was born in a small town…

I’m the guy on the left…..and that’s not in my town. Although born in a small town, we never really lived there for long. Todays blog is about me…..I’ve put it off for a while, I’m actually a pretty reserved person, considering that I’m a chef. I’ll present a few moments from the beginning, the middle, and were I’m at now.

THE BEGINNING

Here is a little archival collage of me, remember when?

A little splash from the past, if you want to view some of my work check out my facebook pages or instagram feeds. I’m currently working at putting together a book called “Coast to Coast, up and down”, a biographic snapshot of my culinary journey. Should be available for download by the end of May, hardcopy to follow. So let’s start at the beginning. My inspiration to cook was primarily from my formative years spending summers with my grandparents. It was here that I was introduced to what most of us have lost. A connection to the land, and food. Vankleek Hill, ON Canada is were I’m from, in fact all my family is from this area. A very small rural, agricultural region in the farthest reaches of Ontario, on the Quebec border. In terms of Ontario, a lovely place to grow up. Of Scottish ancestry, I grew up amongst mountains of integrity and love. It really influenced my development being around a farming community for most of my early youth. My fondest recollections are farm markets, roadside stands, home delivery of eggs (my uncle Miles), Scottish dancers, the highland games, and of course the kitchens, grandmas…And GRANDPA, a man I admired so much, and still miss. Truly a renaissance man, who worked hard, loved his wife, baking and cooking…..and a laugh that could bring a house down! Let’s move ahead 5 years to say 9. At this point in my life, we are living in North Bay….we lived all over the place growing up, but planted ourselves here for about 4 years here. Also a very interesting little city, still love it, and would return some 20 years later to teach at the community college. I have one particular memory of this stretch….I started cooking for myself. Nothing fancy, just little things I picked up from my parents and grandparents. I did prepare one meal for my parents, that we still laugh about today. Straight out of the “Joy of Cooking”, which I still have in my library. Next, let’s move on to the middle’ish.

A devilish chef, and me (Wayne)

I’m skipping ahead to 16 years of age, there was plenty in between…..you can read the book. LOL. So, know we are n Barrie ON, this is were I discovered my path. I began my apprenticeship here, more so as a dishwasher (15). We moved briefly to Niagara Falls, were I worked a full summer in a very busy fine dining restaurant. It was here that I received a well rounded understanding of the hospitality industry. I did every horrible task an apprentice could do, and was compensated reasonable well for it. When I say reasonable, I mean $3.00 an hour, plus tips and a meal at the end of the night(2 AM). Then, I’d walk home, an hour walk…lol. Sounds Monty Python, no? We returned to Barrie, and I started a formal apprenticeship under the tutelage of Chef de Cuisine Ashley Page of the Dorchester Hotel, UK. What you see on the food channel, is correct. It was brutal, I was berated, beat, humiliated and shamed….all in the course of a days work…lol. Of the job, chef was a great guy, like some kind of two headed monster, a split personality of sorts. I found this a little hard to understand at the time, but have come to appreciate it. I’m not the same guy, I have my own style of management now. It’s a little of his style, I also am prone to temper tantrums, but rarely. I prefer to be firm, but fair. It’s a better way for myself, and those I lead. Less stress all around. I didn’t really figure it out, rather I sought higher education along with my culinary discipline. Rather than bore you with the details, I have attached my CV to show this pilgrims progress. Also check out my affiliate site;

www.dtpcd.biz

CONCLUSION

So, that’s it in a nutshell. Lot’s of missing parts, and still lots to come. We have found ourselves in an interesting time in the hospitality industry. The pandemic has really been a paradigm shift of sorts. I personally believe things are going to better in a few short months, oh the stories we will tell in years to come. Anyway, Cheers and have a wonderful, peaceful day filled with friends and good food. At the end of the day, that’s really all life is about. Look after yourselves, and those you love!