Machinist became a chef

Canada's top chefs return to Kelowna Feb. 1-2 to battle for the title of best in the nation at the Canadian Culinary Championships.

The competition includes a Mystery Wine Pairing Competition, Black Box Competition, and Grand Finale at the Delta Grand Hotel. Tickets are available at http://www.greatkitchenparty.com/.

Leading up the event, Castanet is featuring profiles of the 11 competing chefs.

Ottawa/Gatineau – Yannick LaSalle, Restaurant Les Fougères

Tell us about who or what inspired you to become a chef?

As a child, I would find myself in front of a barbecue at family reunions, helping with the burgers. When I got older, to get myself a student job, I cooked at my hometown’s chip stand. I didn’t know I wanted to cook for a living, so I took a machinist program after high school. Again, I found myself cooking as a side job to make some money. I realized then that’s what I wanted to do with my career. I dropped out of my machinist course to join culinary school. My first stage at L’Escarbille in France at a Michelin star restaurant confirmed that I was on the right path.

What do you love about cooking for a living?

I love the fact that all five senses are stimulated. What pleases me the most is being a part of creating happiness around the table.

Three things you love about your restaurant:

Les Fougères wouldn’t be the same without the wonderful owners, Jennifer and Charlie Parts, and the amazing team. I also enjoy the garden where I get to pick a few of my daily ingredients. The stunning dining room, which is made with hyperlocal material and an open kitchen that leads us to connect with our regular clientele.

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