Chef David Garcelon runs the biggest kitchen in Canada: he’s part general, part ambassador, and part mentor to his huge staff. (Not to mention he’s responsible for serving up 3000 meals a day.) How does this shy kid from New Brunswick keep his cool in the biggest pressure cooker around? David Garcelon was born, it seems, with a work ethic. From his paper route as a kid, to cutting lawns as a teen, then his first gig in a fast-food restaurant at age 15, David has always WANTED to work. Well, THAT instinct has certainly paid off: As Executive Chef at Canada’s prestigious Royal York Hotel he’s now he’s juggling six restaurants, massive banquets and room service. Complete with a walkie talkie (and 12 sous chefs at his beck and call) David is the company man extraordinaire.
He manages a budget of $30-million, and a staff of 200. He walks 8 kilometres a day – and that’s just inside the hotel, making sure his kitchens are running properly. David’s risen to the top of the Fairmont Hotel chain the old-fashioned way: hard work, great attitude, and a determination to climb the hotel ladder, one rung at a time. That’s not to say that climb had been slow and methodical: David got his first gig as executive chef at the ripe age of 28 so he’s been a star from the start. At the Royal York, he’s also become an ambassador for local produce – even keeping an herb garden and 10,000 bees on the roof so that the hotel can take advantage of fresh herbs AND honey in its cuisine. All this, and David Garcelon is still only 42 – at least a decade younger than most chefs in such a high-profile position.