Join celebrated Chefs in the kitchen to cook local and seasonal food. The GE Café Chefs Series runs from January to June and offers hands-on culinary skills development workshops around modern culinary topics in a fun and informative atmosphere where the guest can easily translate the experiences to their home kitchen!
Classes are $75* per person or $210* for 3 workshops of your choice- save $15*
(* HST) (Deductions will be applied during order processing.)
Ticket includes beverages, food, GE Cafe apron and take home recipes.
Dietary restrictions will be accomodated as much as possible with sufficient notice.
Please call 1-800-561-7926 for further information.
“Farm to Table” Know your producer and start with the ingredients
CHEF CARL HEINRICH was born in the small town of Sooke, BC, and is the winner of Top Chef Canada Season 2. During his time at Stratford Chef School, Carl worked at a restaurant as a chef de partie and completed a summer stage for Daniel Boulud in New York City. After graduating, he took up an offer to return to New York and work at Daniel’s busy bistro in Midtown for nearly four years. Motivated by a desire to move back to Canada and be closer to family, Carl accepted a position at db Bistro Moderne in Vancouver where he worked alongside Top Chef Canada season one winner Dale MacKay. Carl now lives in Toronto, a city and a culinary scene he loves, where he learned the benefits of farm-to-table and nose-to-tail cooking.
CHEF RYAN DONOVAN is Carl’s business partner at Richmond Station and of West Side Beef Co. in Toronto. Also a graduate of the Stratford Chefs School, Ryan learnt his passion for food at a young age seeing his mother’s and grandmother’s delicious creations. After school, Ryan spent several years learning the art of butchery at such places as The Healthy Butcher and has been bringing that focus into his cooking ever since.
The Art of Charcuterie – Makin’ Bacon
Chef Tim Larsen of Mercer Hall Restaurant is joined by farmer, Max Lass of Church Hill Farm. Chef Larsen, winner of Savour Stratford’s Tasting Award for his charcuterie, will share his skills as he breaks down a pig shoulder for charcuterie. Participants will make their own bacon to take home and fresh sausages for lunch. The class includes a charcuterie tasting, followed by a lunch of bangers and mash. Recipes included.
CHEF TIM LARSEN is chef and co-owner of Mercer Hall in Stratford. Opening in May 2012, Mercer Hall has been an exciting addition to the local food scene, focusing on using Perth County farmland’s amazing products to create accessible, yet refined dishes. Tim credits his time at The Church Restaurant under chefs Derek Vagt, Amede Lamarche and Dave Hassel as inspiration to work with local products and using whole animals. He is proud to be joined in the kitchen at Mercer by Sous-Chef Sean Collins and an amazingly talented staff, many of who are graduates of the Stratford Chefs School.
Theme – TBD
Chef Ryan Crawford has just finished eight years as executive chef/sommelier at Niagara-On-The-Lake’s premier gastro-bistro, The Stone Road Grille. Chef Crawford came to the Stone Road Grille after 6 years as sous chef of the Old Prune Restaurant, as an instructor at the Stratford Chefs School, and as an apprentice under such notables as Michael Stadtlander, Thomas Keller, Traci Des-Jardins & Hiro Sone.
Chef Crawford, along with his wife, now intend to farm and open a small restaurant where “Where the people meet the land and the land meets the people through a peaceful and intimate exchange.”
Theme – TBD
Having worked in the industry since the age of 16, Chef Rob Rossi has learned everything he knows from his hands-on experience. Rob grew up in an Italian family and his mom’s cooking inspired him. His philosophy is to take quality ingredients and apply good techniques to create inspired meals. His previous culinary stints include being Chef de Partie at Canoe Restaurant in Toronto, and Sous Chef at both Habitat in Toronto and The Chef’s Table in Calgary. His motto is “always happy, never satisfied.”
Theme – TBD
CHEF JONATHAN GUSHUE is the Executive Chef, Langdon Hall Country House Hotel and Spa 2005-present
Received Toronto Life 4 stars 2005-present
CAA/AAA 5 diamond Award 2005-present
Received scholarship to work and train as a chef in Japan for one year, and attended Georgian College for both Culinary Management and Hotel Management.
CHEF PAUL FINKELSTEIN uses food as a tool for change. High school foods teacher, $3 chef, writer ‘Best Health Mag’, Host of a show called ‘Fink’that was once on TV. Father of three, husband of one.
“Farm to Table” Seasonal Cooking
Learn to create your dinner menu based exclusively on the seasonal and fresh food available at your local farmers’ market. The earth is coming back to life in early June, the plants and vegetables are young and green. Your menu will feature a surprise “black box” of local ingredients from Perth County and a few of Chef Benninger’s favourite mennonite farmers from the Waterloo Region.
CHEF NICK BENNINGER’S first “real” job in a professional kitchen was at La Costa in Kitchener, he instantly fell in love with everything restaurant related. Attending school in Toronto at George Brown Collage exposed Nick to the classic techniques that at the time may have seemed boring but in the end would provide a solid backbone to a creative side that was already at play. At Nick and Nat’s Uptown 21, he and his wife continue to serve up the region’s best locally produced foods, incorporated into all aspects of the dining experience from Nat’s cocktails and infusions to Nicks daily Prix Fixe menu and the preserves that adorn the walls.
Theme – TBD
CHEF BRYAN STEELE has been the Chef de Cuisine at The Prune since 1989. After earning a degree in chemistry from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., Bryan turned his talents to cooking. He trained at Toronto’s George Brown College and completed his apprenticeship in Toronto restaurants, working with Michael Statdlander along the way; he then spent four years working extensively in restaurants in Italy and Germany. His experience with Jean-Georges Vongerichten at Jo-Jo’s and with Wayne Nish at March Restaurant in New York has brought American urban touches to Bryan’s creations. As senior cookery instructor at the Stratford Chefs School over the winter months, Bryan guides young student chefs in cuisine, helping to develop their cooking skills and their palates.