Meet the Talent

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Meet Chef Cat - Owner, Head Chef

Like most passionate chefs, my love for food began at home with my Mom; watching her experienced hands turn flour and water into light, airy, baked goods. Pure magic, or so I thought back then. Actually, I still do! I was born and raised in Whitehorse to parents of eastern European immigrants and knew from an early age that most milestones in life are celebrated with food and drink. Lots and lots of food! Days of preparation before a family gathering were common place in my house and still are with my own kids and husband. Food is the common element that binds all of us together on this earth, no matter where we come from. We all have “food memories” that come rushing back as soon as the smell or the food touches our senses. One taste and you're transported to a time and place that can be some of the most dearest to our hearts. My mom is gone now; but her words, written in the margins of all her cookbooks I inherited, still inspire me to be the best chef I possibly can.

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Picture used with permission by Chris Irving

Meet Chef Chris Irving

Born and raised in Whitehorse, Yukon, Chris Irving got his first culinary introduction at Relais & Chateaux property, The Wickaninnish Inn. After 3 years in Tofino, Chris moved to Vancouver to pursue an education of Advanced Culinary and Pastry at Dubrulle International Culinary Arts, all while working full time at coveted West Restaurant.

Chris has opened restaurants and worked in top kitchens all around the world, most notably Bangkok, Sydney, Hong Kong, Mexico City and New York. He is most well known for the design, construction and opening of Vancouver’s award winning Pourhouse as Executive Chef Patron. Chris then spent a total of 5 years in London as Group Executive Senior Sous Chef under Gordon Ramsay, where he was involved in filming of live television alongside the celebrity chef. During his time with the group, he had the distinguished opportunity to cook for Her Majesty the Queen, and was private chef to The Beckham family in their London, Los Angeles and country estates.

The Marine Conservation Society of Australia honoured Chris with an Ambassadorship for his work in marine conservation and devotion to sustainability. The Society brought him to New York in 2017 to cook at the coveted James Beard house to represent Oceanwise; a Vancouver Aquarium conservation program created to educate and empower consumers about the issues surrounding sustainable seafood. Chris' love of travel, and pursuing his passions of marine conservation, allowed him to spent the past summer filming and collecting scientific research data on the migratory patterns of bill fish in Florida and Bahamas. 

Chris is a certified WSET (Wine & Spirits Education Trust) Sommelier, and currently maintains the role of trusted chef consultant to the Spanish Royal Family. Chris has be written about in international publications such as NY Times, The Wall Street Journal, Koncierge and has been featured in Vogue 3 times, including a published personal recipe.

Chris returned to his home town of Whitehorse in the late summer of ‘18, to participate in the Yukon Culinary Festival, and made the easy decision to remain in the North for the winter. He is currently working actively with the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon, imparting his international expertise as the face and future of culinary tourism in the Yukon. Chris has come full circle, returning home with big entrepreneurial aspiration, and wants to pursue his life long dream of building and creating an internationally acclaimed gem on the lands where he was born and raised.

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Meet Chef Cecile

Chef Cécile is a French trained chef. She came from France to Whitehorse 8 years ago. Her food memories start a long time ago: the soups made with the vegetables from the garden, the fresh eggs, the eels at her grandparents’ house, the Ceylon tea and fruits cake at her grandma’s, the duck confit from her parent’s friends... When she was 10, she attempted her first croquembouche and discovered that you can spend 4 hours to make a cake and it will be eaten in less than 5 minutes: that was her first approach of the professional cooking world!

After 10 years of teaching she took the plunge, attended a Culinary Arts School and passed her Chef diploma. She learned from her main teacher the pillars of French classical cuisine… and some tips on how to hire a cook: “A good cook knows how to make rice pilaf, omelette and wears clean shoes!” The year after, she was hired in one of the best Loire Valley fine dining restaurant owned by Chef F. Jénot, formerly sous-chef in world-class restaurants (the Hôtel du Palais in Biarritz, the Ritz in Paris…). And because the training and learning never stop when you are a cook, she multiplied the cooking experiences: she catered a lot of musical events she was organizing with a group of girl friends and fed many French and American singers and rock bands. In 2011 she was flown to Québec to cook a French lunch for 100 VIPs at the F.M.E. music festival. Being a camp cook in remote areas and cooking French classical recipes is a big memory too!

Her motto could be: “Product, Technics, Seasoning”, in any cooking situation.

She’s very happy to share her knowledge and experience with the students of the Well Bread Culinary Centre.