I hail from Ottawa where I started my cooking career in 1979 as a baker of carrot cakes and quiches on a pink, four burner electric stove in the basement of the Bohemian Restaurant. Moving out of the basement of the Bohemian Restaurant, and eventually out of Ottawa, I landed in Toronto in the winter of 1981 and pounded the pavement of Queen Street. At that time, the owners of the Queen Mother Cafe were looking for a second Chef to compliment their new venture called the Rivoli.

After three years of listening to the new wave bands in the club at the back of the Rivoli (The Kids in the Hall, Jane Siberry and Blue Rodeo were fledgling acts there), and gratefully absorbing all the knowledge that chef Vanipha Southalack had to impart on Thai and Laotian cooking, I set my sights on the newly opened David Wood Food Shop in Rosedale. Through a fortuitous twist of fate in 1985, I found myself working there as a cook. more