For the longest time, you've only really gotten to know two of the voices in the Chartier choir - Darren and I. The perspectives between us are somewhat similar, as we're both dedicated and passionate owners with a front of house (serving/bartending/managing) perspective.
We felt it was imperative to get to introduce our guests to the other side of our business's brain and heart, the Chartier kitchen. We have an incredible group of talented chefs and aspiring cooks who work tirelessly to deliver memory inducing meals to our guests on a regular basis. The vast majority are NAIT culinary grads, with a few recent high school graduates who one day hope to follow suit at this nationally recognized training institute.
There's one special voice that we'll be highlighting with regular posts, our bubbly, kind, vivacious, ex-journalist, now chef, Hailey Howlett. I asked Hailey to give our readers a bit of a background on who she is, what she's done, and why she's here......here are her words :)
I started cooking when I was young only for fun; I never thought it would become my life. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a home where my mom’s cooking could heal any soul. In our house food and family are love. When it came to me cooking I always tried once a month to make dinner for my family, closely following a recipe and almost always under seasoned. In my very early 20’s I moved away from home for the first time and cooking for fun became cooking to live. I learned very quickly how to make healthy and tasty meals, with the constant help of my mom via text or Skype.
It wasn’t until I went to China to “discover” myself through writing, that food consumed me. Having a very serious peanut allergy in a country where I am a guest allotted me a few days to find chain restaurants, surprisingly amazing pizza, a burger joint and survive off of coffee and cocktails. This wore thin very quickly, I decided to make the most of this trip- writing for a travel magazine gave me insight into the best kept secrets Shanghai had to offer; this trip was no longer about being a tourist, a writer or a soul searcher, this trip became about finding the most unique dishes and eating as much as I could before I fell into a deep food coma.
When I arrived back in Edmonton I studied culture, food, religion, and history as much as I could- through an anthropology course, books and of course joining my mom binge watching the food network. One semester in University was enough to prove to myself I was not meant to sit down. I enrolled in culinary school, and after day one, food consumed my life. Here I am almost three years later, working my dream job, helping create, cook and of course sample all the food I can get my hands on, I could not be happier.
I attribute my love of food to my family, mainly my mom, she showed me it doesn’t matter what you are celebrating; food is love. I hope I can bring my love of cooking, mainly eating, to you.