John started his apprenticeship in Mississauga, Ontario at the Chimo Hotel and received his red seal after three years. He then went to work with Mark McEwan at the famous North 44, and then to Oliver & Bonacini with Anthony Walsh and Todd Clarmo. It was there he learned what Canadian food was really about and how to work effectively in a high paced, high demand kitchen. John moved to BC in 2002 and eventually landed a job as Chef at the world famous Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino.
John believes that cooking is one of the few crafts where one learns from an experienced teacher in an old oral tradition; whereby the student can only be as good as the teacher. He feels fortunate to have worked with some great Chefs and is thrilled to pass these experiences and techniques to Cooks at the Marina Restaurant.
John’s style is very rustic with a special emphasis on what is being cooked. A lot of time and thought go in to ensure the flavours all make sense on the plate. He also loves to use things that have long ago been forgotten, like traditional canning techniques and making his own pickles, relishes, and chutneys. He also loves having the opportunity to use locally sourced fish that is Ocean Wise certified.
In his spare time John spends a great deal of time in his garden tending his vegetables, apple and cherry trees, and scheming how to grow new things each year. He says spring is one of his favourite seasons because “it’s full of new possibilities as you watch the earth come alive from its winter slumber.” “Nature seems magical in this regard… It always manages to surprise me when the first shallots burst through the soil.”