By: Rebecca Feigelsohn
For those who believe the only worthy dessert at Toronto’s acclaimed Scaramouche Restaurant is the coconut cream pie, think again, because resident pastry chef Lindsay Haddock is moving beyond the pie and offering diners unique and adventurous combinations to relish. Haddock, who graduated from George Brown’s Chef School in Culinary Management as well as Baking and Pastry Arts, is a worldly and experienced dessert savant who has been experimenting in the kitchen since her youth. Her initial desire to become a chef came from the realization that her skills were far more advanced than her peers in her Home Ec. class in eighth grade, and was fuelled by her amateur cake designing in her kitchen with her Wilton piping set, baking for friends and family.
Since Joanne Yolles’ departure from Scaramouche, Haddock certainly has large shoes to fill, but has gotten the famous dessert down to a science (temperature control is her trick!) and prefers to focus her energy on creating new and delicious desserts, inspired by chef Keith Froggett’s interest in local ingredients. Haddock is pleased to be working alongside talented pastry chef Dianne Louis, whose position she had replaced when she originally began at Scaramouche straight out of culinary school.
Haddock’s love of food comes not only from her mastery of the kitchen, but her desire to explore the world and travel. These aspirations led her to pursue a culinary career, as she knew she would be able to transition around the globe; and that she certainly did. Not only did she land a one-week ‘stage’ in California after wooing prominent pastry chef Claire Clark, Haddock also worked at The Four Seasons in Dublin and Michelin-rated Martin Wishart in Edinburgh. Haddock can only describe her experiences abroad as “surreal”, especially her short stint learning from Clark, of The French Laundry, one of the most admired restaurants in North America. Her too brief hiatus from Toronto (only cut short due to VISA expiry) sent Haddock back to home ground, this time with a fiancée in tow. Despite her return to where her affection for pastry began, Haddock came back with a different set of skills, which were inspired by her mentors from across the pond; notably, Rick Preston of Martin Wishart, who she describes as “one of the most talented pastry chefs in Europe.”
Haddock admits, “I like everything,” and enjoys the diversity of working as a pastry chef in a restaurant too much to confine herself to one specialty, like chocolate or cakes. She prefers to stick to the broad category of desserts, allowing her the ability to play around and try new things, always offering her customers a pleasant surprise. Currently, her favourite thing to make is a rose panna cotta, where she uses Canadian sourced ingredients, such as roses foraged in Quebec and strawberries from Ontario to create a refreshing treat for summertime. For the time being, Haddock maintains she will continue at Scaramouche but dreams of opening up a place with her fiancée, Max Römer, who is also in the industry.
Scaramouche Restaurant is located at One Benvenuto Place, scaramoucherestaurant.com
Rebecca Feigelsohn is a Toronto based editorial intern for Good Food Revolution. She recently completed her BA in English at McGill University and loves all things sweet. Follow her as she profiles Toronto pastry chefs @GoodFoodRevInt