| A ‘born again’ chef, Ross didn’t begin cooking professionally until he was twenty-six years old when he returned to his P.E.I. home to attend The Culinary Institute of Canada. The years between high school and this life affirming moment saw Ross engaged in a variety of occupations and pursuits. After attaining his B.A. from Mount Allison University, he completed his B.Ed. and taught for a short while in New Brunswick.
From there, Ross moved to Quebec where he worked as General Manager for the design company Hatley Inc. The general joie de vivre in Quebec awakened a passion for great food and drink in him and the immeasurable pleasure and value of sharing these things with other people. Another fork in his road pushed Ross into the fold of The Royal Bank where he worked managing clients.
|“My few years at the bank really piqued my interest in cooking as a career,” says Ross “I had the opportunity to entertain clients at some of Toronto’s finest restaurants and found that I was profoundly interested in how the magic appeared on the plates and on the palate - less so banking!”
His decision to pursue cooking as a career allowed Ross to integrate his passions and sew together his experiences. He has never looked back (except maybe when the bills come in…).
Ross has held positions in some of Ontario’s most renowned restaurants including The Globe Restaurant; Tiara at Queen’s Landing and four years as Sous Chef for Hillebrand Estates, impacting the ‘ground floor’ of the new Niagara Cuisine. In 1999 he spent five months in Hampshire, England at the Michelin starred Chewton Glen and has also enjoyed ‘stages’ throughout Quebec. Ross has been on the faculty of The N-O-T-L Culinary School; the Canadian Food and Wine Institute at Niagara College and also teaches classes at The Good Earth Cooking School.
In April of 2005 Ross was hired as Executive Chef to open Zees at The Shaw Club Hotel where he spent four years, introducing a healthy dose of whimsy into his food and pushing the notion that fine dining can also be fun dining.
In April of 2009 Ross chased his dream and opened The Kitchen House Restaurant at Peninsula Ridge as Chef/Owner with his wife. He spent two seasons at The Kitchen House before returning to the old town to take the reigns as Executive Chef for Restaurant Oban Inn. In September of 2011 he was hired by Canadian icon, Jamie Kennedy, to be opening Chef for Windows in the Sheraton-on-the-Falls Hotel, enthusiastically continuing his love for Niagara’s seasons in his menus – food that’s not just good for the people who eat it, but also for the local suppliers that provide it and the land and waters from which it comes.
The move back to Niagara-on-the-Lake as Executive Chef for The Stone Road Grille is a homecoming for Ross! He shares a vision for REST with owners Heidi and Perry of a place that delivers delicious and creative ‘from scratch’ menus using high quality ingredients in an approachable way – “never wanting the food to be beyond the reach of how we were raised”. Ross also shares an affinity with Perry for crazy hats and pants so the move ‘just feels right’.
Ross’ love of food is equaled by his love for good rock’n’roll, “ultimately both are about entertainment,” he says. The only higher love is that which he feels for his family. Ross’ wife Wendy is a Sommelier and fellow ‘bon vivant’, and his three boys Hunter, Graham, and Luke are “obviously going to be rock stars who cook well”.
|We love dining out and we're constantly searching for places that have great food and a lively atmosphere and feel that we've managed to create here in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The irony is that we're always at the restaurant or with our daughter and have little time for dining anymore. We hope you'll enjoy our vision.|