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Chef Gillian’s Dining Story

From the get-go I have loved food, starting with a love of eating! I remember when my mom was distracted getting ready for work in the mornings, I would make a Tupperware container of “icing” (my “secret recipe” – icing sugar, water and food colouring), tuck it away in my lunch bag and share it with my friends during recess. Yikes. As I grew older my love of eating turned into a love of cooking; I would have the house to myself when I got home from school and would make a double batch of my favourite chocolate haystack cookies and then hurriedly eat half of them before my parents came home! Then as the years passed, I grew interested in the Food Network, especially Emeril Lagasse, and took over cooking supper many nights, making pots of creole shrimp and jambalaya for my parents.

After graduating high school, I had no idea what to do, so I enrolled in journalism at the University of Regina. After a couple years of bumbling through that I dropped out and started washing dishes at a local restaurant. I instantly fell in love with the small and secret world of kitchen culture. I loved the people, I loved the fast-paced environment, and of course I loved the food. I worked in various restaurants for years until I decided to take the next step and challenge for my Red Seal. Eventually I found myself cooking at Riverbend Crossing Memory Care, and when the opportunity to become the Chef arrived, I knew I was ready for my next challenge.

Kitchens are amazing little niche communities where I have always, and always will, feel like I’m at home. Managing one is a new level of synergy. My coworkers in the kitchen are my family, and our combined energies is incredibly empowering. I feel unstoppable with my team by my side, and I hope that I empower them to feel the same.