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 18months. 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.
Nicole Krivan — Guest Instructor
Nicole Krivan is a professionally trained Red Seal Chef, Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant and Certified Personal Trainer. After attending the SAIT Professional Cooking Program, Nicole spent the last 6 years developing her love of cooking and transforming natural, seasonal and local ingredients. Her extensive background in health, wellness and cooking are an asset to her ability to teach others how to nourish their bodies so they feel happy and healthy. Nicole loves going for bike rides, traveling and Vancouver Island.
Xavier Lacaze— Guest Instructor
There isn’t much that Chef Xavier Lacaze hasn’t done in his past 7 years in Calgary. After jetting in from France in 2008, Lacaze has run a couple reputable restaurant kitchens, earned a respectable Top 5 finish on Season Two of Top Chef Canada and is now, concept chef and part owner of Briggs Kitchen and Bar. as well as an incredibly talented professional chef, passionate for flavor and simplicity.
What does simplicity means to Chef Lacaze?
” I just want to simplify to just showcase the product, let the product shine. Keep it clean and you realize that a lot of people enjoy a well-done Caesar salad as they would a $45 entree at a dining restaurant”
Matt Dawson — Guest Instructor
Originally from Sydney Australia, Matt moved to Vancouver BC in the mid 1990’s to experience Canada for its culture, lifestyle and scenery. With more than 20 years’ experience under his belt, his excitement for cookery and exploring new flavours and styles is still fresh as it ever was.
In his career, he’s been exposed to many exciting industries and locations. From Vancouver’s film industry, catering to large scale film productions to working as a personal chef to top film writers and then being involved with several Olympic Games feeding camera crews and athletes. His love for classic styled cuisine with Asian and Mediterranean flavours, very typical of Australian cuisine shine through on what he is passionate about cooking, sharing and talking about.
During his career, his deep interest and passion for wines developed, resulting in him being accepted into the Sommelier program with The International Sommelier Guild in 2007, then graduating with the Sommelier Diploma in 2009. Matt is currently working on his own food + wine consulting company creating food + wine events and dinners.
Matt brings his own excitement and enthusiasm to Cuisine et Chateau and his diverse experience is a great addition to our culinary expertise.
Mathieu Paré — Guest Instructor
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.
Trained in Western Canada’s most demanding kitchens (La Chaumiere, Rouge, Quail’s Gate Estate Winery, CP Rail’s The Royal Canadian Pacific), Mathieu’s focus is on classic technique and execution while maintaining some freedom for surprise, fusion and one-of-a-kind creativity.
As a young chef, Mathieu travelled extensively to develop his palate and diversify his repertoire. Sharing his food knowledge and travel experiences from across Canada, in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Mathieu builds on a platform for exploration of indigenous and exotic ingredients.
Now working at Charbar, in Calgary’s redeveloped East Village, Mathieu specializes in whole animal butchery and charcuterie, dry aged Alberta beef and Argentine style wood fire cookery.
Chef Mathieu brings his passion and years of culinary adventures to each class and event at Cuisine et Chateau.