Culinary visionary Massimo Bottura is no stranger to thinking outside the kitchen. At the vanguard of a new generation of Italian chefs, his work both as an innovator and restaurateur has consolidated his reputation as one of the world’s most creative culinary figures. Massimo’s internationally renowned three Michelin star restaurant, Osteria Francescana, is currently second on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants listing. Massimo is also known for applying his creativity to bigger picture social issues, such as the Food for Soul project which commenced in Milan and created meals from repurposed food scraps. He engages the public in community projects aimed at bringing dignity back to the table.
Soon after his studies in Hotel Management at the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ), Jean-François Archambault became a manager in the hospitality sector. After working as a sales representative at the Chateau Vaudreuil and the Fairmont Tremblant, Jean-François worked as a sales manager for several major hotels in the metropolitan area. In 2002, he presented his concept of food recovery from hotels and caterers to leaders of the culinary and hospitality industries. Shortly after, his project took shape and became La Tablée des Chefs. With this organization, Jean-François aims to mobilize chefs and cooks on a social level, as he believes in their ability to effect change and to address the challenges associated with hunger. Thanks to its many successes, La Tablée des Chefs now has a two-pronged mission: to feed those in need and to educate young people about food.
Born in Newfoundland, where he spent summers selling cod tongues in a quaint Trinity Bay fishing village, Jeremy moved from St. John’s to Montreal at 19 to study culinary arts at St. Pius X Culinary Institute. He worked at Mediterraneo before his passion for fly tying and Atlantic salmon led him to his dream job: chef at a prestigious fishing camp in Northern Quebec. Later, in Chicago, he worked as a personal chef and at Chi-town’s top tables before returning to St. John’s at the helm of Atlantica (in Portugal Cove), which one year later was named best new restaurant in Canada by enRoute magazine.
In 2009, with partner Jeremy Bonia, he opened his own restaurant, Raymonds, which was featured in The New York Times, The Globe & Mail and Food Magazine, and took best new restaurant in Canada for an unprecedented second time in 2011. His upcoming cookbook of Newfoundland food and culture is slated for publication in 2016 by HarperCollins, and his latest restaurant, The Merchant Tavern, in St. John’s features fresh, wild, local sustainable fare.
Mitchell Davis is the Executive Vice President of the James Beard Foundation and a cookbook author, food journalist, and scholar with a Ph.D. in Food Studies from New York University. With the Beard Foundation for 20 years, Davis has created and overseen many of the organization’s important initiatives. In 2013 Davis assembled and led the team that was selected by the US Department of State to create the USA Pavilion at the Milan World’s Fair Expo 2015.
He coauthored the groundbreaking electronic book My Provence (Alta Editions) with famed French chef Laurent Gras, which won two 2013 awards from the International Association of Culinary Professionals, and holds a chair on the academy of the Londonbased World’s 50 Best Restaurants ranking program.
John Winter Russell
In just ten years, the chef known as Montreal’s “prince of pop-ups” has worked at some of Canada’s most notable restaurants, including British Columbia’s Cioppino’s and Nova Scotia’s Le Caveau at le Domaine de Grand Pré. Additionally he served as chef at the luxurious Baraka Point in the British Virgin Islands.
Montreal diners have enjoyed his creations at some of the best tables in town, including La Salle à Manger, Pastaga and Van Horne—where he developed a reputation for creative, locally sourced dishes with a focus on fruits and vegetables. He’s fascinated by the process of growing plants, and the possibilities inherent in working with their textures and tastes. Featuring his own spin on regional cuisine and locally grown food, John will open his first restaurant, Candide, in Montreal, in the fall of 2015.