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Meet Our Chefs

John

John Mairleitner, Tall Tales Café, Wallacetown


Surrounded by family farms, John includes lots of local produce in his menu selections at this popular neighbourhood diner. John set out to be an accountant but found Fanshawe's Hotel and Restaurant program more to his liking. He apprenticed at Kettle Creek Inn, Port Stanley, and earned his chef's certification from George Brown College.  He has a tremendous reputation for his seasonally-inspired pies and he has a well-established catering business.

 

 

Mike Robbins, Kettle Creek Inn, Port Stanley

Born and raised in St. Thomas, Mike was happy to move back to the area near his family after completing his Culinary Management Training at Canadore College in Barrie and enjoying stints as chef in Barrie, Collingwood and Wasaga Beach. Having now been at the Kettle Creek Inn for four years, the movement towards local foods at the Inn meshes well with Mike's cooking style, with several local suppliers being mainstay. He frequently stops at farmers' markets and tries as often as possible to buy local Ontario products, using these seasonal ingredients to create unique potato, veggie and sauce options.

 

 

 RyanChristie Massé, CRUST Catering & Bakery, St. Thomas


Chef Masse, is currently involved with the operation of CRUST Catering & Bakery located in St. Thomas with her fiancé Chef Will Gaynor. Their philosophy reflects their passion for local produce and self-sustaining communities and they are excited to bring that food philosophy to your table. She attended Stratford Chef School in 2007 following her graduation from The University of Western Ontario. She learned from the best such as Chef Jonathan Gushue of Langdon Hall, Cambridge as well as many Michelin Starred Chefs from abroad. Christie’s focus became pastry, which landed her the Head Pastry Chef at Pazzo Ristorante in Stratford, Ontario. Christie’s restaurant and catering experiences range from making artisan breads and multi-grain pizza dough to her own design of unique dessert selections…and she loves every minute of it.

 

John

Will Gaynor, Co-owner CRUST Catering & Bakery, St. Thomas


Chef Will Gaynor entered the food industry in 2001 at the Stratford Chef School. He apprenticed at Pazzo Ristorante & Pizzeria in Stratford, eventually gaining the title of Head Chef in 2007 and spent two seasons in Stratford as an Instructor at the school. During the winter, he travelled to San Francisco to practice butchery and charcuterie with Chefs Paul Bertolli and Paul Canalis at Oliveto. While in California, he also trained at Chez Panisse in their bakery. Will's experience includes several London restaurants, such as The London Hunt and Country Club. Currently he is involved with the day to day management and operation of CRUST Catering & Bakery located in St. Thomas with his fiancé Chef Christie Massé.

 

Jonathan Collins, Executive Chef, Collins Cuisine

Jonathan learned from the best at Cordon Bleu (Ottawa), then developed his skills with renowned chefs. He has cooked for a host of international leaders, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper and family, President Barack Obama, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and the provincial Premiers. Recently he has been on CBC's Stephen and Chris, sharing his recipes, tips and secrets. His culinary philosophy has a definite "Canadian accent" and stems from his focus on family meals and good foods, well-prepared. Jonathan was instrumental in The Bank's initial fundraising efforts as our 'kick off' chef for our 110 for 2010 dinners.

Kim Saunders, The Windjammer Inn, Port Stanley

Kim left her family farm, headed for veterinary medicine, but working at restaurants to pay for school led her happily astray. She purchased The Windjammer Inn in 2006 and has turned this heritage home into an award-winner restaurant (Where to Eat in Canada 2008, 2009, 2010) and bed and breakfast. With a heritage vegetable and herb garden on site, Kim brings an eclectic twist to her cooking.