Meet Our Chefs
Chef Pierre Richard
Pierre, of Dieppe New Brunswick, developed a taste for the culinary arts at an early age helping his mother with planting and harvesting on the family garden and using the garden’s bounty to cook family meals. Also spending some of his summers at the family cottage he would be seen fishing shellfish for extra money. Pierre moved west to pursue culinary dreams gaining multiple experiences in hotels, resort destinations, private restaurants, and achieved his Red Seal Chef Certification at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary. He returned to New Brunswick in 2006, first to St. John where he was Chef de Cuisine at Opera Bistro, and then to Moncton where he was Sous Chef at Little Louis’ one of Atlantic Canada’s premier award winning restaurants. Pierre’s contributions earned Little Louis’ Four Diamond Restaurant status by AAA/CAA. When Chef Stevens departed, Pierre became executive Chef, and with his leadership has maintained the Four Diamond award for twelve years running. In his support of local food stuffs, Pierre can also be seen foraging the fields, marshes and forests acquiring common and unique natural ingredients to introduce in his creative recipes. His innovative creations have led to the University of Guelph awarding him Gold status seven years running and one silver in competition for “Good Food Innovation”. The crowning award was an invitation to cook at the prestigious James Beard House in New York. Pierre also won the Canadian Plate Challenge at the 2019 SIAL Toronto Food Show.
Pierre has organized and participated in local and New Brunswick festivals promoting regional dishes and the up and coming regional chefs. Recently Chef Pierre has accepted invitations to cook for some of the top VIPs and Chefs in Montreal, Ottawa and New York with a resounding acknowledgement of his ability to invoke unique flavors and artistic presentations.
Chef Michael Smith
Chef Michael Smith is a member of the Order of Canada, Prince Edward Island’s Food Ambassador, a best-selling cookbook author, innkeeper, educator, professional chef and home cook. As one of Canada’s best-known chefs, he is a passionate advocate for simple, sustainable home cooking and an inspiration for families creating their own healthy food lifestyle. Chef Michael is the host and judge of numerous cooking shows seen on Food Network Canada and in more than 100 other countries. His 12 cookbooks have all been best sellers and he regularly travels the globe hosting special culinary events.
Chef Michael and his wife Chastity are the proprietors of The Inn at Bay Fortune and The Inn at Fortune Bridge on Prince Edward Island. The FireWorks Feast, their innovative and immersive dining experience, is climbing Canada’s 100 Best Restaurant rankings and has become one of the world’s top farm-to-fork culinary experiences. Chef Michael’s latest cookbook, Farm, Fires & Feast depicts the inns fire-driven cuisine and Culinary Farm.
Although Michael is a true chef at large, his favourite role is Dad, at home on Prince Edward Island with his wife Chastity and their family.
Chef MacKay is a regular on Food Network, featured in shows such a Top Chef Canada, Iron Chef Gauntlet, Fire Masters and Wall Of Chefs.
Chef Chuck Hughes
Chuck’s tips for visitors to PEI and the Fall Flavours Festival to ensure they have an epic experience: “Charlottetown is great, but get out of the capital and explore. Stop in at all the local restaurants and shops you run in to. Speak to the locals as they can have great food recommendations. Luckily September is one of the best times of the year to be in PEI, the weather is beautiful and there are less tourists than in the summer – so just get in a car and go.”
Chef Joseph Shawana
Trained in classical French combined with his Indigenous background, his cooking infuses Classical French techniques with Native American cuisine; full of flavour and never compromising quality over quantity.
Joseph is committed to furthering the education of culinary to all communities.Currently, a professor and the Indigenous culinary advisor at Ontario’s Centennial College, Joseph is committed to furthering culinary education in all communities and providing hands-on experience to Indigenous youth by inviting them to work alongside chefs and learn valuable industry applications for sustained development.
Chef Joseph is currently the chair of ICAN, the Indigenous Culinary of Association Nations.Under his leadership and guidance, Chef Joseph and ICAN is dedicated to breaking barriers dedicated to sharing Indigenous food, culinary and cultural experiences from across Canada with the world.
Chef Patrick McMurray
Patrick entered into the restaurant trade at the age of 16, and really hasn’t looked back, despite a degree in Physical and Health Education – Kinesiology After shucking, and honing his skills for a number of years in Toronto, Patrick won the World Championships of Oyster Opening – Galway, Ireland 2002, the only Canadian to win this most illustrious shucking contest, in over 60 years. Patrick also holds three Guinness Book Records for shucking oysters, 39 in one minute, part of Team Canada – 8840 Oysters in one hour, and personally 1114 Oysters in one hour.
Chef Eamon Clark
Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. Son of the infamous Rodney Clark who created Rodney’s Oyster House located in Toronto, Calgary, and British Columbia.
Eamon has spent almost every summer in Prince Edward Island from the first month of his life. PEI has always been considered a part of his life, home, and community.
Raised in a vibrant restaurant that serves millions of oysters every year he quickly became a part of the oyster culture. Shucking oysters competitively in the oyster circuit year-round and traveling abroad to cater for some of the best clients in the world. If it would be boiling and cracking lobsters in northern Italy or shucking and jiving on the docks of Muskoka, Eamon has grown a passion for the oyster and the shucking culture.
These days he is still very much a part of the oyster seen. Shucking for private events with the Food Dudes catering team in Toronto and Miami with his Good Oyster catering company. Alongside his wife, Hayley, they have brought a new concept to Toronto called Little Kitchen Academy, a Montessori inspired culinary experience for kids aged 3 into their teens. A concept that will inspire young minds to create, impower and drive independence through food from a young age.
Chef Nicole Gomes
In 2016, Gomes partnered with her sister to open Cluck N’ Cleaver, a crispy fried and rotisserie chicken take-out restaurant concept, priding itself on all natural, made from scratch menu items that provides good wholesome food, fast. There are currently two locations in Calgary, Alberta with plans of expansion to Western Canada.
Nicole may be recognized as Food Network’s Top Chef Canada: All-Stars winner. Also, previously a finalist on Iron Chef Gauntlet, Season 2 in the US. She currently appears as a competing judge on Food Network’s Firemasters BBQ cooking competition show and most recently she defeated Bobby Flay on Beat Bobby Flay.
“We’re so removed from where our food comes from and how to make it properly, because we’ve stopped making time to make food and spend that time with our families. Kids don’t learn how to cook anymore. I learned a lot on our farm as a child, and even though I’m raising 3 boys in the city, we cook. Teaching your kids to cook is an essential life skill, and the time you spend with them teaching them how to cook is never wasted.
Corbin’s first cookbook, “In Good Company” published by Figure1 is now available on Amazon. “In Good Company” teaches us EASY RECIPES FOR EVERYDAY GATHERINGS and reminds us all on what cooking is all about.
“No matter where you go, everyone celebrates with food, and no matter who is hosting you, they are proud to have you sit an enjoy life with them over their favourite dishes. The best part of my job is meeting amazing people and getting to know them over a home-cooked meal.”
In addition to his incredible achievements to date, Chef Corbin has launched a store front and catering company aptly named “Corbin Catering & Foods”. It is a boutique food company that specializes in providing incredible food experiences that include: full-service catering & event planning, an onsite food shop & market, a takeout food program for pick-up or delivery and a private dinner party or chef’s table gathering. No matter the food experience you decide, Chef Corbin and his team pride themselves on exceeding expectations with their delicious food, exemplary service and attention to detail
“From intimate, private dinners to elaborate parties, our goal at CORBIN is to bring family and friends together. Host them in your beautiful home or garden, a chic venue in your neighbourhood or a vibrant downtown destination.
We will create a one of a kind experiences with beautiful lasting memories.”
Corbin is a Graduate of the Culinary Arts program at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and volunteers for organizations such as Prostate Cancer Canada, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Emily’s House, Engage and Change and Canadian Cancer Society.
Chef Lynn Crawford
Acclaimed Food Network celebrity chef and bestselling author, Chef Lynn
Crawford has over 25 years of culinary experience, including many years as executive chef for the Four Seasons Hotels in Toronto and New York. One of the highest profile chefs in the country and a genuine household name, she is continually sought after as a dynamic host, public speaker, brand ambassador, spokesperson and mentor.
The Hearth restaurant, located at Pearson International Airport Toronto debuted April 2015, showcasing the fresh and seasonal fare she’s known for. It won Airport Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year at 2018’s Airport Food & Beverage Awards in Helsinki.
Chef Lynn was the owner of Toronto’s Ruby Watchco, which opened in 2010 ran for 10 years, garnering critical acclaim as one of the best fine dining restaurants in the country.
Chef Lynn has released three best-selling cookbooks “Pitchin’ In” (2012), “At Home with Lynn Crawford” (2013) and the award winning “Farm to Chef” (2017). Chef Lynn is the winner of the 2017 Gourmand World Cookbook Award, and recipient of the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award by Canada’s 100 Best. Currently starring on Food Network’s newest primetime cooking competition series Wall of Chefs and Junior Chef Showdown. Chef Lynn starred in Food Network’s hit series Pitchin’ In, which was nominated for Gemini Awards, both as a series and for her dynamic hosting, in 2010, 2011 and 2013.
She can also be seen competing as an Iron Chef in Kitchen Stadium on Iron Chef Canada. Chef Lynn has appeared as a competitor on Top Chef Masters and Iron Chef America. Chef Lynn was a regular judge on Top Chef Canada and Chopped Canada, co-host of The Great Canadian Cookbook and Restaurant Makeover and is an Expert on the Marilyn Denis Show.
Chef Lynn, a longtime supporter of the farm-to-table movement and sustainability, is also the Chef Ambassador for Egg Farmers of Canada. She is a dedicated philanthropist, giving back by participating in several charitable initiatives.
Chef Lynn is passionate about cooking and educating and loves nothing more than sharing her knowledge, wisdom and expertise, teaching children, chefs and home cooks where their food comes from and to take pride in having a hand in the whole process of making and enjoying the healthy, delicious food they cook.
Chef Ned Bell
Bell’s ability to excite, inspire and educate individuals and industry wanting to make a broader commitment to sustainable seafood has made him a much sought-after chef, speaker and change-maker. Bell effectively combines his love of great ingredients, culinary skills, and infectious enthusiasm with a passion for elevating the conversation of this crucial environmental issue. He continues to earn recognition for his ability to influence consumers, industry, media and government through clear, and often deliciously illustrated, education that supports the long-term health of the world’s oceans, lakes and rivers. There’s nothing he loves more than uniting and collaborating with chefs, fishermen, farmers and influencers across the globe where he has made an impact all over Canada and the USA, as well as China, Vietnam, Japan, Europe and South America.
Bell joined the table at the United Nations headquarters in New York to engage his Chefs for Oceans platform in awareness initiatives leading up to him cooking for the UN’s General Assembly in New York. Bell’s was also scheduled to be on the ticket as a lead presenter at the UN’s Oceans Conference in Portugal in 2020.
Through his culinary network, Bell has also worked with the James Beard Foundation’s Smart Catch program through their continued series of Impact Events. As a Chef Member of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, Blue Ribbon task force. Bell was delighted to be presented with an Honourary Doctorate degree in Technology from Vancouver Island University in the summer of 2019, to recognize the exceptional leadership he has demonstrated in the sustainable seafood arena. Other significant accolades include receiving Food Service & Hospitality magazine’s Pinnacle Award for Chef of the Year (2015) and leading a multi-chef sustainable seafood celebration at James Beard House (2017) and SeaWeb Seafood Summit Global Champion Award (2017).
Bell’s interests and talents have led him through many impressive roles such as Culinary Director of The Vancouver Club, Executive Chef at YEW seafood + bar, and most recently as Ocean Wise Executive Chef. Now as Chef Ambassador for Vancouver-based, global program, Ocean Wise, Bell makes an impact through education, advocacy and culinary experiences with his peers across North America. Ned founded Chefs for Oceans in 2014 to raise awareness and advocate for responsible seafood choices and the importance of supporting healthy oceans, lakes and rivers. He launched this commitment with an 8,700km bike ride across Canada, staging dozens of awareness building events along the way. Bell’s commitment to seafood stewardship has skyrocketed ever since.
As a father of three sons, Bell has dedicated himself to inspiring and educating people to become part of the solution for healthier oceans for today’s children and all the generations to come.
Chef Michael Hunter
“I went out turkey hunting with my friends and the first morning we had a big show, eight turkeys,” he said. “We only had tags for two so we harvested them, and I couldn’t believe the difference in flavour between wild meat and the turkey I ate on holidays.” Michael is an Honours graduate of the Humber College Apprenticeship Program, he obtained his Red Seal and has worked for some of Canada’s top chefs and kitchens.
In 2015 Michael and Jody Shapiro opened Antler and have since had numerous accolades from the top new restaurant lists in Toronto Life, Air Canada en route magazine, Eater magazine, Dine magazine and Post City magazine.
Hunter is a firm believer that anyone and everyone should have the option to access truly wild, organic meat in a sustainable way. At Antler they serve their guests game with regularly foraged indigenous Ontario herbs and edible flowers, along with an annual leek picks and one-off mushroom gathering trips. This is the way Michael loves to eat and his guests notice the difference.
Michael has been invited to cook around the world in culinary festivals in the United States, United Arab Emirates, Australia, Russia and Brazil.
When he isn’t in the restaurant Michael and his family enjoy being in the wilderness. “I am always in the woods, I love the outdoors. There is just something about finding your own ingredients as a chef. It is a fulfilling, primal thing for me,” he said. “It has become a huge part of my life.”
Michael’s first cookbook “The Hunter Chef” hit stores in the beginning of October 2020!
Chef Robert Pendergast
After studying at I.T.H.Q. in Montreal, he cooked his way around his own country and also lived and worked throughout western and central Europe.
A lifelong supporter of the best local produce, he has become an expert handler of shellfish and seafood. In 2004, he competed and won the title of P.E.I. oyster shucking champion.
He is a proud islander, artisanal baker, soul cook, chef and traditional musician.
Tonight, he proudly presents Prince Edward Island clams at their best!
Maître Fromager Afrim Pristine
Maître Fromager (Cheese Master )Afrim Pristine is Canada’s premier cheese expert with over 25 years of experience in the art of cheese making and co-owner of Cheese Boutique alongside his brother Agim. From studying with some of the world’s greatest cheesemakers like Luigi Guffanti, Stefano Sarti, Carl Schilt, Jean-Paul Morin as well as hands on training from his father and world’s most renowned dairy farms, Afrim’s passion and commitment stems from his father and family business of 52 years, Cheese Boutique.
In the spring of 2021 his television show premiered! He is the host of Food Network Canada’s first ever docu-series “Cheese- A Love Story” with 6 X one hour episodes which can also be viewed on STACKTV on Amazon Prime and was just picked up by Hulu in the US! Afrim’s first cookbook “For the Love of Cheese” hit shelves in October 2018 and is a bestseller! He is currently working on his second book- so stay tuned!
As one of the world’s youngest “Maitre Fromager”, an honour bestowed in February 19, 2013, by the France based Guilde Internationale des Fromagers, an exclusive association representing more than 5,000 dairy professionals worldwide, Afrim is the only Canadian to receive this title, awarded to those who demonstrate exceptional cheese knowledge and recognized within their community.
Prior to that achievement, Afrim was also the youngest Canadian recipient to the “Chevalier,” a distinction from the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Taste Fromage de France (March 2007), following an upgraded status to “Officier du Fromage” in April 2010. He was also awarded with Top 30 Under 30 in the Food Industry by Ontario Hostelry Institute.
Afrim is actively involved with charities and foundations he’s passionate about including CAMH, Sick Kids Hospital, Women in Capital Markets, Toronto & Etobicoke Humane Society, St. Joseph’s Hospital and more.
He’s also instrumental in continuing to build relationships and collaborations with some of Canada’s top chefs and restaurants including Momofuku, Alo, Langdon Hall, Canoe, La Palma, Scaramouche and Piano Piano to name a few and chefs such as Michael Bonacini, Mark McEwan, Daniel Boulud, David Chang and Lynn Crawford.
Afrim’s media appearances include The Marilyn Denis Show, City TV’s Breakfast Television, CTV’s Your Morning, Food Network, and expert consulting for Top Chef Canada, MasterChef, Chopped Canada and more. Most recently, he was honoured as top 50 Most Influential People in Canadian Food by the Globe and Mail, July 2016, and named top 10 Most Influential People in the Food Industry by LCBO Food & Drink Magazine.