Cambridge Mill is thrilled to announce the appointment of Joel LaBute to the role of Executive Chef. In addition to bringing with him a fresh culinary perspective, Joel is deeply committed to using sustainable, organic and ethical food sources – so much so that he and his wife run their very own farm.
Born in Windsor, ON, Joel was unaware that acquiring part-time job in the industry would blossom into a full-fledged passion. “I knew I wanted to be doing something with my hands where I could be creative, where I could feel proud at the end of the day,” LaBute recalls. He spent the next 15 years honing his craft in some of the province’s best kitchens, soaking up all he could under the tutelage of such renowned Chefs as Stephen Treadwell and Keith Frogget. “I paid attention as much as possible. The more you focus and observe, the more you learn.” From Queens Landing Inn and Scaramouche to Langdon Hall and Pangaea, Joel dedicated himself to developing his techniques and educating himself on good ingredients.
Organically raised, locally sourced and ethically handled food became so important to Joel that he built a network with resident farmers and crafted his menus based on their harvests. Not only is local produce fresh and delicious, he maintains, but it supports the growth and wellness of a community. Farm fresh became even more literal when he and his wife started their very own farm as a side project. “We wanted to raise our three kids on a farm to ensure they had a great understanding of where food comes from and how it gets to our plate.” Together they farm organically on 9 acres of land in the Niagara region, which he says gives them, “the ultimate connection to food that makes us feel whole in our lives. Living on the farm means constant inspiration.”
Providing both nourishment and incredible dining experiences are the pillars on which Joel builds his menus. Referring to his culinary style as “connection-based cuisine,” Joel wants his food to reflect the journey from farmer to chef to guest. Cambridge Mill guests can expect a clean, refined approach to rustic farm-to-table cuisine. “Simple flavours prepared with care and technique will allow ingredients to steal the show,” he says.
LaBute says the most exciting part of this new chapter is being a part of the Pearle Hospitality family. “I’ve been watching this company grow and expand of the years with the core values I believe in. It’s great to coming on board with a company that truly cares.”
Chef Joel Labute's new Autumn menu is now available. Check out the menus on Cambridge Mill's website here.