Thrive has always been a dream of mine, being able to produce dishes based on what’s growing and at peak quality, nothing beats that.
I started, as every chef does, dishwashing which lead to a co/op opportunity working with Scott Mcrae of David’s Restaurant in Port Dover. Mcrae advised I leave my little county, as he had done, to continue my journey of becoming a chef.
I grew committed to working in Toronto alongside my mentor Jason Cox of Opus. I became fascinated with being able to meet the farmer to showcase their product itself, in all its glory, at the precise time with the perfect dish.
I was fortunate to experience the true meaning of “farm to table” when the opportunity came about to work beside Michael Stadtlander at Eigensinn Farm in Collingwood. It was here, I became passionate in regards to learning about the wild culinary delights of Canada.
Back in Toronto, working with Michael Hunter of Antler I was further inspired foraging our own ingredients and getting involved in the production of maple syrup. At this time I began musing about my next steps and moved back home to the family farm in Norfolk County ‘Ontario’s Garden’.
Thrive became a reality in 2018, with a cup of coffee in hand, looking out to the gardens and deciding the time was now! Five successful dinners capped off our first season and lead to twenty-one delightful dining experiences in 2019, each one unlike the last. Each year brings new opportunities, collaborations, and innovations that allow me to expand on what I am so passionate about – (simply) cooking real food at its pinnacle of excellence.