Cuisine et Château Inc. started in 2010 out of a desire to share an infectious passion and knowledge of great food. Originally a company that provided all-inclusive, luxury culinary tours to southwestern France, in 2011 we expanded to offer specialized catering, private cooking classes and custom corporate events. As the interest of our local gourmands continued to rise, we decided to establish a permanent location to accommodate the demands of the ever-curious food enthusiast — from amateur to professional. In 2012, Cuisine et Château acquired a space in the Kensington area of Calgary, and built their Interactive Culinary Centre, providing a state-of-the-art facility to host an incredible variety of cooking classes, educational events, tastings, and private functions.
All of our chef instructors are professionally trained, with experience working in the challenging, yet rewarding, kitchens of France. Whether making a Cambodian fish amok curry, or a classic Italian risotto, the fundamentals of French cooking techniques can be applied. Understanding ingredients and how to use them together, no matter what your level of expertise, can add a special appreciation and enjoyment to the simplest of meals. Let us forever change the way you think and feel about food.
Thierry Meret — Chef de Cuisine
After nearly 30 years working as a professional chef, it is Thierry’s passion for combining food and gastronomy with history and culture that makes him such an outstanding chef, teacher, and guide. His understanding of simple seasonal ingredients and classic French culinary techniques has earned him international recognition. For 10 years, in his own restaurant, he delighted clients by twisting local ingredients and French classics. Reservations for a Friday night at his “La P’tite Table” were made over a month in advance, and anxious patrons were never disappointed. Thierry is thrilled to be sharing his love of food and ingredients, and the rediscovery of his French heritage with small groups of clients in a week-long culinary journey through the heart of France’s unspoiled region of Périgord.
Born in Orléans, in the Loire Valley of France, Thierry attended cooking school in Paris, where he stayed for several years to hone his skills in Michelin-starred restaurants. The Hilton Group allowed him to start his international career, first at their prestigious Kensington location in London, England, and then Toronto to head up their fine-dining restaurants. He eventually settled in Calgary as the executive Chef of La Chaumière. After winning the Châine de Rôtisseurs 1996 Dinner of Honourable Distinction award, he opened La P’tite Table, a unique destination restaurant in the Alberta Foothills where he was both chef and owner. Before the establishment of Cuisine et Château Interactive Culinary Centre, Thierry spent five years sharing his passion with students as a culinary instructor in the Professional Cooking Programme at SAIT, a Calgary-based polytechnic, where he inspired budding new talent.
Marnie Fudge — Pastry Chef
After 18 years in the food business, Marnie sees her position at Cuisine et Château as the perfect blending of all of her experiences, both as a pastry chef and seasoned business manager.
In 1995, Marnie started a unique whole fresh produce business that serviced restaurants and hotels in Calgary and Banff. The Basil Ranch was one of the first companies of its kind in the region, designing its product list based on its relationship with clients and their individual needs. In 2002 she started Palette Fine Foods, a gourmet food manufacturer that created unique retail culinary products, all inspired by the ingredients she had sourced for so many years for her chefs/clients of The Basil Ranch. These products won numerous awards and filled store shelves in every US state, as well as several large chains both in the UK and Canada.
In 2006, Palette was sold to a US corporation, and Marnie stayed on as Creative Director for the merger for 18 months. It was during this time that she found that her fundamental knowledge of food chemistry and baking science for product development could be enhanced, and she enrolled in the Baking and Pastry Arts programme at Calgary’s Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.
Since completing the program, Marnie has worked in Paris at the famous Hôtel Lutetia, done a stage at a French boulangerie, and developed her skills as a pastry chef at some of Calgary’s best restaurants and hotels. Prior to launching Cuisine et Château, she instructed evening classes on artisan breads and desserts to enthusiastic adults through continuing education programs at a Calgary-based polytechnic. Marnie shares her most precious gift, her understanding and love of classic desserts and bread baking, by instructing classes and customized corporate events for Cuisine et Château Inc.
Melissa Cantlay — Client Service Coordinator
Melissa grew up in Kingston, Ontario and spent most of her time rowing on the Cataraqui River with The Kingston Rowing Club, where she won a rowing scholarship to Washington State University and eventually moved to Vancouver, BC as a youth rowing coach.
Melissa enrolled in S.A.I.T Hospitality Management program in 2010 and now brings her experience in concierge-style guest services to Cuisine et Chateau, after her time at the Fairmont Palliser and other fine dining establishments around the city.
Her favourite part about being Cuisine et Chateau’s client services coordinator is to get to experience every aspect of the culinary centre, from interacting with guests, booking events, and being the social media guru to helping with food prep, dinner service, and wine pairings.
When not coordinating events at the Interactive Culinary Centre, Melissa loves to get out on her road bike and is also a motivator class instructor at YYC Cycle Spin Studio in Kensington.
Melissa loves to cook and always feel the need when back home, to re-create the dishes that are taught at the culinary centre.
“When young, I was a very picky eater and I used to scrape the cheese off of my pizza and eat it plain. Now there isn’t a food I wouldn’t try!”
Melissa favorite’s are anything wrapped in phylo or puff pastry, especially baked Brie and escargots, which would need, of course, to be paired with wine!
Our guest Instructors
As a young child, Mathieu Paré landed in Calgary, Alberta from the wilds of northern Quebec and immediately set off exploring. From the eastern slopes to the Cypress Hills, the boreal forest to the U.S. border, he foraged the landscape for edible plants and animals, eventually crossing the Rockies and the Strait of Georgia in pursuit of wild foods. Now a Governor General Award winner and professional chef, Mathieu brings a passion for all things wild and an expertise in fine dining to the table.
Currently working as Senior Chef on Canadian Pacific Railway’s luxury train, The Royal Canadian Pacific.
Working with wild food purveyors, game and beef producers as well as local farmers and suppliers of the finest, in-season produce, Mathieu recreates classic gastronomic delights to showcase authentic regional flavors and ingredients.
Chef Mathieu brings his passion and years of culinary adventures to each class and event at Cuisine et Chateau.