In Chuck & Danny’s Road Trip, premiering March 3 at 9 ET/PT, Chuck Hughes and Danny Smiles are on a cross Canada hunt for amazing local ingredients and food experiences. From Vancouver Island to Prince Edward Island, they get help from local chefs to find and forage ingredients that represent that spectacular locale’s essence. Meet the local chefs who give Chuck and Danny a helping hand!
Chef Justin Cournoyer, pictured right, with Chuck Hughes and Danny Smiles.
Chef Justin Cournoyer
Justin’s childhood was about the rosy cheeks, dirty hands and sun-bleached hair that came from spending each day outside in a small, one-time logging community in Eastern Ontario called Actinolite. Justin’s first job cooking was at a casual family restaurant. After high school he made the leap to formal cuisine, followed by a stint of travel to sharpen his taste for flavourful, thoughtful food. In 2000, he returned to Canada and spent a combined four years under Chef Susur Lee in Toronto, finding his place amount the city’s young and dynamic chef community. His experienced laddered up to Justin’s ultimate destination – the restaurant he had envisioned from the time he was 18 years old. Infused with childhood memories, senses and a connection with the land, he opened “Actinolite”, named after his childhood home.
Chef Elia Herrera
Hailing from Cordoba, Mexico, Elia’s recipes have been passed down through many generations of her family. She moved to Toronto in 2004 after attending the Instituto Culinario de Mexico. Elia worked as pastry chef in some Toronto’s finest restaurants, including Canoe, Scarpetta, Sassafraz, Ultra Supper Club and Mistura. She is now an executive chef at Los Colibris, which serves a high-end twist on traditional Mexican cuisine. She came to Canada with her family and says, “I fell in love with Canada…and everybody left except me.”
Chef Brooke Winters
Being from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Brooke is no stranger to the amazing abundance of locally and ethically grown and raised fruit, vegetables and meats. Starting at a young age, she worked around the Island, Vancouver’s Lower Mainland, as well as abroad, competing in international culinary competitions. Brooke realized her dream of serving locally raised food to people in a casual, affordable way, by opening BNurtured, Salt Spring Island’s first farm to fork food trailer.
Chef Pierre A. Richard
Chef Pierre A. Richard
Pierre, of Moncton, New Brunswick, developed a taste for the culinary arts at an early age helping his mother with planting and harvesting on the family farm and using the farm’s bounty to cook family meals. He moved west to pursue culinary dreams and completed an apprenticeship in a well-known AAA/CAA Diamond restaurant in Canmore, Alberta and his Red Seal Chef Certification at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. Pierre returned to New Brunswick in 2006, first to St. John where he was the Chef de Cuisine at Opera Bistro, and then back to Moncton where he was the Sous Chef at Little Louis’, one of Atlantic Canada’s premier award winning restaurants. Pierre’s contributions with the then Chef Andrew Stevens earned Little Louis’ Four Diamond Restaurant status by AAA/CAA. When Chef Stevens departed, Pierre became Chef and with his leadership, has maintained the Four Diamond award at Little Louis’, for seven years running.
Chef Daniel Hudson
Daniel’s career began 16 years ago in the UK where he worked in one of the finest kitchens, Eastwell Manor. He gained hands-on experience from Michelin Star chefs over the years. His motto in the kitchen is, “I do what I know and what I know, I do well”. Dan Hudson moved to Vancouver Island, British Columbia in 2005. He opened his award-winning restaurant Hudson’s on First in Duncan in 2012, and in 2014 won a Vancouver Magazine Best Restaurant award. He is now running Jake’s On the Road in Duncan. Chef Daniel also appeared on Food Network Canada’s Top Chef Canada and was a winner on Chopped Canada.
Chef Ross Munro
Ross started his culinary career as a teenager working in small restaurants eventually moving through some of Canada’s top dining spots and leading Canadian hotels – Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, The Westin Edmonton and the Hyatt Regency Calgary among them. In 2012, Chef Ross was named both Prince Edward Island Chef of the Year and Atlantic Canada Chef of the Year; the latter bestowed upon him by his chef peers from Atlantic Canada. Most recently, he’s been Director of Culinary for the Murphy Group of Restaurants and Resident Chef at Sims Corner Steakhouse and Oyster Bar in Charlottetown, PEI. He is currently the Owner/ Operator of Red Door Oyster Co. Chef Ross possesses a global perspective in his approach to food having traveled the world and knowing the culinary skills of many cultures. During the off-season, he leads tours around the globe to connect clients with international chefs.
Excited to hit the road? Watch the trailer for Chuck & Danny’s Roadtrip.