Caroline McCann-Bizjak was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec in a French Canadian, food-loving family.
Her introduction to the culinary industry came when she was a young teenager and she has never left! Today, still not thirty years old, Caroline has been working in the restaurant industry for more than twelve years and she still loves it. “There is so much to learn and to be creative with - the learning never stops”.
Caroline completed the three year-advanced chef’s training program at the city’s top ranked L’Institute de Tourisme et d’Hôtelérie du Québec. “As soon as I set foot into that school, I knew that I wanted to be a chef and that cooking was to be my passion forever” says Caroline. From the start of her culinary career, Caroline has received special accolades. Her competitive nature and desire to strive for the best made her an ideal candidate for culinary competitions. Her first win occurred in 1993 when she won “Student of the year”. She continued in these events bringing home several medals for outstanding achievement in culinary arts.
In 1995, Caroline completed a second program at the Culinary school this time in Modern Cuisine. The completion of this class led to an exiting but difficult and challenging 6-week placement in the Loire Valley in France. Caroline made it back to Canada with a head full of new ideas and work methods. She quickly put them to practice in her competitions and won The Apprentice of the Year Competition for Quebec. This was followed by the prestigious Canadian title of Apprentice Chef of the Year. Each new title offered her a new opportunity and Caroline eventually joined the Albert Culinary team for the 1996 Culinary Olympics where they were the proud winners of several medals.
Her competition days came to an end and her professional career began. Caroline started at Montreal’s Mediterraneo, one of city’s top restaurants. Niagara was the next stop in her culinary training with various roles at On The Twenty in Jordan, Wellington Court Restaurant in St. Catherines and at Hillebrand’s Vineyard Café. In 1999, she was appointed as Chef of the Québec Government House in New York City promoting Quebec’s fine regional products.
Last year her heart took her back to Niagara on the Lake where she was Chef de Cuisine at The Restaurant at Peninsula Ridge. There she enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to work with local farmers to bring a regional focus to the menu while still integrating her French Canadian heritage with Niagara’s culinary landscape.
Caroline has recently left the Restaurant at Peninsula Ridge in order to pursue a new venture. She is presently in transition between buying a fruit farm in Beamsville, Niagara with her loving husband and finding a new establishment to pursue her culinary journey.... Read more.