Photography Michael Radford Chef Ambassador. Cook & Chef Institute
Within the high demands of my kitchens I look for the highest quality ingredients and products to work with. It is evident that with BERGNER at my reach I have found my match. Thank You BERGNER

Michael Radford

!--[if gte mso 9] ![endif]-- !--[if gte mso 9] Normal 0 21 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE ![endif]--!--[if gte mso 9]

+

    Born in North York, Toronto in 1976 where he lived for 10years, Michaels’ first memories of food come from family picnics and gatherings in surrounding areas of the GTA. He remembers summers of cleaning beans and cobs of corn, before sitting down to family BBQ’s.  Family trips to the east coast of the states and the maritimes sparked the beginning of his interests in our oceans. In 1985 his family moved out to British Columbia, which further enlightened his interests in the vastness and bounty of the ocean.  Fishing trips out to Campbell River, where his grandmother recided, would continue to spark his interests in the wonderful world of our oceans and their different ecosystems… it also gave him a taste for the likes of salmon, halibut, prawns, mussels. Clam digging excursions during low tide were always lots of fun, and full of tasty treats. 

    From here a job offering for his Dad, led the family to pick up their pieces and move down to Barbados, in the West Indies (Caribbean), which fully solidified Michael’s interests in the oceans, as well as sparking a huge interest in the flavours of the world with food. Barbados like many other Caribbean islands was a melting pot of cultural flavourful cuisines, and it was here that michael was really given an opportunity to experience some different cuisines from his typical “Canadian” upbringing. African, Chinese, Indian, Amerindian, European cultures all played a huge role in the development of Caribbean cuisine.

    Fast forward some years, and Michael back in Canada doing university studies in Ottawa, needing a job to support himself through post secondary studies, Michael found himself working in a kitchen as a dishwasher / prep cook. It quickly became evident that Michael was beginning to spark a huge interest in the field of cooking, specifically in the preparation of seafood. It wasn’t long before the life of a kitchen began to completely take over Michael’s interests and he made the decision to throw himself to the kitchen gods, so to say.

After working his way up through the various different stations  in some of Ottawa’s busiest restaurants and with some top notch chefs  through the late nineties and early 2000’s it was a good friend who approached him one day that would truly offer him the cherry on top of his apprenticing kitchen work.  Michael was asked to join the team at Restaurant Eighteen under the tenure of acclaimed chef Matthew Carmichael, this would be the last kitchen that Michael would have to climb the culinary ladder  to reach the top. Carmichael quickly saw Michael’s talents and when he had become well versed through all of Carmichaels stations, was asked to take over the lead in the kitchen as Executive Sous Chef. Under Carmichael’s tutelage it wasn’t long before Michael was ready to take on a kitchen of his own.  It was Matthew that actually that put the fire in his ass, telling him… “you’re ready for this now, go…make me proud!”

Savana Café, a busy hopping little Caribbean “fusion” restaurant is where Michael ended up and began to express his self in his cuisine and management style, achieving much critical acclaim for his flavor profile and gutsy cooking. Here he received many a write up, his first great review as a chef and got invited to The Gold Medal Plates, which he unfortunately was not able to compete in due to circumstances which led to Savana having to close it’s doors.  

With one door closing and a few other short stints in some consulting an opportunity like no other presented itself. Michael was asked to join the team at the best seafood restaurant in the city The Whalesbone Oyster House. He was asked to join their Bank street kitchen as the Chef de Cuisine, while their chef geared up to open their second location The Elmdale oyster House and Tavern. After a year as CDC, their chef stepped down, and Michael was offered the Executive Head chef position in charge of running 2 kitchens for them, at this time he again was asked to compete in The Gold Medal Plates.   In July 2016, michael with his ownership team opened up their third and largest location The Whalesbone on Elgin, which was named one of the best new restaurants in 2016.  And so there we stand three restaurants and about 300 seats under his tenure as executive head chef.

-