President’s Blog

Nina Kressler, CEO And President of the Shaw Centre

Food and beverage services are an essential element of Shaw Centre’s success

Published on October 13, 2017

At Shaw Centre, we take great pride in our ability to attract and retain terrific employees. We have an excellent process in place to ensure we are casting our net wide enough to find the top people for our team. This process worked extremely well during our recent search for a new Executive Chef, leading us to Quebec-born Executive Chef Patrick Turcot who assumed his position this past June. Chef Turcot comes to Shaw Centre after a distinguished career at numerous prestigious hotels across North America.

We took our time with this search because having the right person at the helm of our very busy kitchen is vital to the continued success of Shaw Centre. The Centre has earned a well-deserved reputation for culinary excellence so we wanted to be sure our new Executive Chef could both maintain and enhance our outstanding food service capabilities. We have found that person in Chef Turcot and he has proved to be a strong addition to our leadership team.

Passionate about food and cooking since his teenage years, Chef Turcot is a graduate of the Institute of Tourism and Hospitality of Quebec. He left his home province to join the kitchen brigade at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, returning to work at the legendary Chateau Frontenac and share his culinary experience with students at Cégep Limoilou in Quebec City. After stints as the Executive Chef at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald in Edmonton and Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, both in Alberta, Chef Turcot was appointed as Executive Chef at the Fairmont Scottsdale in Arizona, where he embraced the challenge of working with diverse regional flavours and products. His experiences there laid the foundation for great success as the Head Chef at the Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu in La Malbaie, Quebec, where he also became a passionate ambassador for culinary tourism throughout the Charlevoix Region. His passion for excellence and his strong communication skills contribute to our confidence that he is the ideal person to head up our culinary team.

There have been several driving forces which have contributed to the Centre’s reputation as a sophisticated venue that offers exceptional food. Primary among them has been a commitment to working with local, seasonal ingredients, as well as a focus on preparing almost all the elements of our menus in-house, rather than outsourcing them. Over the past few years, we have revamped our food offerings to provide an impressively diverse selection of offerings for our guests. From light breakfasts to decadent brunches, energizing snack breaks, nutritious lunches, delightful cocktail snacks or gourmet plated dinners, our expert kitchen is ready to customize a menu to suit the tastes and atmosphere of any event. In fact, our exceptional food is one of the reasons we enjoy a high rate of repeat bookings.

We have the privilege of serving guests from across the city and around the world. On any given day, our kitchen brigade could be preparing meals for up to 10,000 people. Some days, we have multiple events taking place simultaneously with groups that range in size from a few dozen to a thousand or more. One of our Executive Chef’s key roles is to constantly review and refine our menus to be sure we are offering a broad range of appealing options that keep pace appropriately with changing tastes and trends. Chef Turcot is committed to improving the efficiency process, lowering costs and reducing waste so we can provide better value to our guests.

Chef Turcot has said that one of the things he is most excited about is to immerse himself in Ottawa’s vibrant food scene. As he explained to our recruiting team, the passion for local food across the National Capital Region fits beautifully with his culinary philosophy, which is to embrace healthy, balanced meals prepared with care and finesse. In addition to a fondness for working closely with local producers, Chef Turcot’s cuisine is also inspired by classical French techniques and principles, infused with current influences he often finds through travel. Guests at Shaw Centre can expect to see Chef Turcot’s delicious impact on our menus and I have to admit I am extremely eager to taste more of his creations myself.

– Nina Kresller, CEO and President, Shaw Centre