Hi! As well as being an award-winning chef, I proudly wear a number of different badges including; teacher, advocate, husband, father, musician, sales person, manager, and psoriasis warrior. Each of my roles are equally important to me and I cherish everyone who has helped me get to this point in my life.
My unique culinary journey began cooking over campfires in Algonquin Park, which is located in Northern Ontario. Some years later, it progressed and I found myself in the kitchens of some of the top chefs in the culinary world. Due to the demands placed on my physical health plus my desire to be present in my marriage and as a father, I was challenged to take a road less traveled. It was this journey, that has inspired so many people to watch from the sidelines, listening and following, as I take this wild food ride to save myself.
At the age of 12, I was diagnosed with psoriasis, an often debilitating autoimmune disease. I was hospitalized, medicated and forced to follow extensive diets during the most defining years of my life. With great disappointment, no medicine or diet gave me the relief I was so desperate to find.
After seeking out help from a naturopath, I discovered that even by removing certain ingredients from my diet, I could still eat the food I have always loved to cook, share and serve. With this knowledge, I set out to create healthy and delicious recipes, that looked and taste like restaurant quality dishes. Whether a novice in the kitchen or a seasoned at-home cook, my recipes are accessible to all. This approach and new way of preparing foods is one reason why my baby food cookbook currently sits at #2 on the Amazon bestseller list and my other books continue to receive rave reviews.
Having taken this unique road on my culinary journey, I have a renewed focus on food and wellness and have never felt better. My cooking classes for adults and kids alike are always sold out, and the demand is beyond what I could have ever imagined. I am here to share my story, that I tell with passion, and each amazing recipe, in hopes of continuing to change lives.
I have always looked to surround myself with like-minded people; thoughtful, giving and creative. Yoso genuinely cares about the people eating their products as much as the ingredients and the product itself. That is a community I am very proud to be a part of.
We asked a few questions about his dairy-free lifestyle as part of this series, Living Dairy Free:
Why are you dairy-free?
Over three years I sought the help of a naturopath, she suggested I remove dairy along with gluten and refined sugar from my diet. It changed my life. My Psoriasis, almost instantaneously, improved.
Your favourite dairy-free products?
Honestly, Yoso. Since discovering Yoso, I have found some incredible artisans who create coconut yogurt but Yoso provides a great quality product and a steady supply chain, for me that’s everything.
I love ice cream, now I create all of my favourite flavours using Yoso’s coconut yogurt.
Other than buying sheep milk cheese from time to time, there are no other dairy-free products I purchase.
Favourite local spot to eat that accommodates dairy-free?
I know it’s not what you’re looking for but, my kitchen. I’m comfortable with the ingredients I use and I enjoy my food. I find many of the places I frequent accommodate me, but you really never know.
Favourite place to shop for groceries?
Local markets, directly from the farmers or forgers would be number one place to shop, for sure. I referenced my need for a steady supply chain, well farmers markets can’t afford me the same convenience as my second favourite place to shop; Fiesta Farms. Fiesta. As much as I love the markets, Fiesta Farms has most everything I need; local, organic produce, organic dry goods and incredible oils and vinegars.
I buy my fish from De La Mer because they offer sustainably caught seafood. That’s important to me.
For my meat, I choose Roast and Bespoke Butchers. Pasture raised animals make sense to me. Although I don’t eat a lot of meat, my family does and it’s important to me to support local or Canadian bread animals. Happy animals.