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In Focus is our gift to the community. A way for us to help show our recognition for the people, businesses, and organizations that help make our city great. The team at KelownaNow.com is passionate about this community and the people that make it amazing. We want to show our friends, neighbours, family and colleagues that we notice them and the fabulous things that they do.
What is your name?
Where are you from and how long have you lived in Kelowna?
Originally from Montreal, but I grew up mainly in Ottawa. I went to College in Toronto and I’ve lived in Kelowna 10 years.
Who is your favourite person to spend time with and why?
My wife Amanda. We met in Grade 9 and that's when I fell in love with her. We have been best friends forever.
If you could go anywhere in the world right at this moment where would you go and why?
Western Samoa. This is where my wife’s father is from and I’m sure I would get the insider tour and enjoy the amazing fresh fruit and fish. The weather is not so bad I hear.
What is your favourite local store in Kelowna and why?
Value Village. I always find awesome t-shirts on the cheap.
What is your favourite activity?
Being a father to my two diva daughters. They are always singing at shows, making art, and just doing generally amazing things.
If you had to choose: pizza, tacos, or burgers?
Tacos, pork belly tacos to be specific.
What is a hidden gem you enjoy in the Okanagan?
All the incredible small wineries to visit.
What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
Being arrested and then taken home when I was a teen by the Ottawa SWAT team after be confused with someone else who committed a crime.
What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
I got my big break in Toronto when I was in my first year of George Brown College culinary school. I was promoted to Executive Pastry Chef in one of Toronto’s top 5 restaurants. I have never looked back. I understood my value in this industry and my confidence grew to match.
Tell us your favourite childhood memory.
There are so many, but the one that comes to mind is spending every Christmas Eve at a local Ottawa Jewish deli eating piles of smoked meat.
Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
For many years I had run a community garden and grew produce for the food bank. After opening MTL, I now put on fundraising events for local charities. For example, we just hosted a fundraiser classic car show to support the Central Okanagan Emergency Women’s Shelter.
If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
Two things: the dependency on fossil fuels being changed to renewable energy and making education free for all.
What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
Where would you sneak away to in Kelowna to spend some time alone?
The Myra Canyon trestles.
Where would you like to see positive change in Kelowna and why?
In food culture, there are so many "box" restaurants. I’d love to see more support for the scratch-made, real food and all the chefs that are doing it right.
If you were granted one wish for work or in life, what would it be?
A million more wishes or to keep close and happy with my wife and kids.
Tell us something that not everyone may know about you.
I wore a single white, or sequence, glove for a couple years in primary school to display my love for MJ.
What is the name of your business/organization?
What does your business do?
We make Montreal inspired, scratch-made food from the heart. No powders or bases. We cater events and host interactive shows as well as food and wine paired dinners.
Where can people find your business online?
Our website mtlrealfood.com
Why did you get into/start this business?
I met my two amazing partners a few years back when I catered for them. There was an instant connection and we spoke constantly about opening a restaurant together. When our current location opened up on the market, it felt so right and we jumped on the opportunity.
What is the goal of your business?
To make the best darn food possible.
What has been your biggest struggle either in work or life?
Finding a balance between work and home life.
If you could start all over again would you do things the same or would things be different?
I would change some small mistakes but in general, I regret nothing.
Why do you think it is important to shop local?
It keeps our community vibrant and cuts down on unneeded fossil fuel emissions.
Give someone that you think deserves it a shout out and explain why!
My dishwasher, Cheryl. Such an amazing employee. She always has a great attitude, works her hardest, and is just a ray of sunshine in my day-to-day life.
My nomination for the In Focus spotlight is:
Monica at the Okanagan Grocery Artisan Breads Bakery. I love artisan bread and she is keeping it real.
Other information you would like to share:
Check out MTL MontREALfood's Facebook page for daily scratch-made features, upcoming live performances, as well as food and wine pairing events. A BCVQA assessor, Mathew lives and breathes the Okanagan produce and lifestyle, whilst marrying it with his Quebecois background and upbringing. Mathew began his culinary journey in 1999 as Executive Pastry Chef at one of Toronto’s top five restaurants, The Rosewater Supper Club – while simultaneously attending George Brown College – Culinary Management Diploma Course. From 2007, he spent three seasons as Chef de Cuisine at the Old Vines restaurant. In 2008, he was selected by Governor General Michaëlle Jean to be one of 60 chefs, artisans and winemakers across Canada to advise the creation and logistics of her new award for culinary arts. Prior to opening MTL, Mathew was Culinary Director for UBCO Food Services for seven years and managed the construction and operation of five new food service profit centers with 140+ staff.
We encourage you to leave your comments and words of support below and submit your own nomination by clicking HERE. You are also welcome to submit a form of your own by clicking HERE. Thank you, Kelowna.