Jonathan Gushue missed vegetables.
As seen in Canada’s 100 Best, written by Lisa Mesbur.
That’s a major reason the much-lauded chef, formerly of Langdon Hall in Cambridge and The Berlin in Kitchener, made the journey back to Ontario this fall, landing at the Elora Mill Hotel & Spa. For almost three years, he helmed the kitchen at Newfoundland’s Fogo Island Inn. “I wanted to go home to Newfoundland, to see what I’d missed from a cooking standpoint,” says the St. John’s native. “But I came back to be closer to my family… and I really missed the farms!” Gushue’s return to southern Ontario, appropriately, comes with a return to vegetable-driven cuisine inspired by his collaborative relationships with farmers and the bounty of the land, with much of the produce sourced from the Mill’s own Pearle farm. Case in point: a dish featuring daikon radish, lobster and parsley root. “To us the dish is a radish dish, not a lobster dish,” Gushue notes. “That’s why this has been so fun.” The other factor driving his approach: matching the menus to the personality and architecture of the Mill itself. “We’ve got a lot of stone here—stone and water, elemental and natural materials,” he says. “The way I see it, this hotel wants the food to be very simple, very easy to understand—but mostly, just really delicious.”