February Supervisor of the Month

Truck-Side - Gweilo

Josh Hanson

Josh is a tough act to follow. He really sets the tone in the kitchen, always busy, and is often referred to as "a machine".  

He can be found crushing the woks at Gweilo, stretching pizza in lil Eatily, frying fish at U-Pick-Fish, or on Grill at Cheese Curds. He's trained on nearly every station in the Chef Inspired Restaurants, and to say he's multitalented is an understatement.

He'll soon be an integral part of the opening of our newest eatery in Truck-Side, Sea-Hawg's East Coast BBQ.

Congratulations Josh, you've earned it once again!


Corporate Chef Kyle Christofferson

Congratulations Josh, from the gang at Truck-Side!

Congratulations Josh, from the gang at Truck-Side!

February Employee of the Month

Cheese Curds Burnside

Justin Farmer

Justin started here 5 years ago and was a large part of our huge success in Woodside and now in Burnside. He continues to be one of our key people with his outgoing personality and cheerful greetings at the cash. He's the kind of guy that every business should have and that we deserve.

His over-the-top customer service, willingness to learn as much as he can and teach others everything he knows are the main factors contributing to his continuing success here in Burnside. We love his can-do attitude and his strive for perfection. Justin not only works cash, he also helps with the closing duties and anytime anything is needed at any of the other restaurants. Justin is a positive motivator and a great team player, and we're looking forward to watching him continue to grow and move up within our organization. 

Congrats Justin!

Executive Chef Ronnie Lace
 

EOTM-Feb2017-Group.jpg

Way to go Justin, well deserved. 

February Employee of the Month

Habaneros Woodside

Brandon Russell

Brandon joined us from our Burnside location nearly 2 years ago. He has proven himself as one our best openers and is a prep machine with great knife skills. That and his topnotch customer service is an unbeatable combination. 

Soon he will be making his way over to the Cheese Curds side of the operation to hone his abilities at working both restaurants. I look forward to seeing him showcase his skills and excellent customer service at Cheese Curds, as I prepare him for all the opportunities we have to offer him in the future.  

Congratulations and keep up the great work Brandon!


Chef Ryan Faulkner

January Employee of the Month

Truck-Side

Dolly Robson

Dolly started with us about eight months ago with great expectations of being a leader in the dish area, and she has exceeded with flying colours. Mastering the dish pit and dining area, she takes her job seriously and trains other employees the Dolly way. Working the dish room is her primary task, but you can always find her doing prep and helping out in any station she is needed. Her strong work ethic, beaming smile and cheerful disposition create a very positive work environment and atmosphere. A true team player with a great sense of humour.

A teacher, a mother, a friend to everyone makes Dolly our employee of the month for January. Keep pushing through and great things are awarded to people who work hard, Dolly is definitely proof of that. Congratulations Ms. Dolly!

Executive Chef Ronnie Lace

Well done Dolly, from gang at Truck-Side! 

January Manager of the Month

Cheese Curds Burnside

Michael "Dirk" Lombard originally started in Woodside as one of my star cooks on the grill. Perfecting his care for the food and the love for providing great customer service, he found himself transferred to open the new Burnside location and promoted to supervisor. 

Now chef of the Cheese Curds kitchen in Burnside with the added responsibility as our catering department chef. We’ve worked together side by side for a few years now, and he’s one of the guys I turn to when things need to get done, tackling whatever is thrown at him without a fuss. There isn't many people out there like Dirk, his demeanour and smile makes everyone feel welcome when they walk through our doors.

A great manager and even better person, Mike, "don't go changing". Congratulations, very much deserved. Starting the year off right with January's manager/supervisor of the month.

Executive Chef Ronnie Lace
 

Chef Michael "Dirk" Lombard

Congrats Dirk, from all of us at Chef Inspired Group of Restaurants! 

Congrats Dirk, from all of us at Chef Inspired Group of Restaurants! 

January Employee of the Month

Cheese Curds Woodside

Morgan is one of our longtime employees, bringing her smile and very positive attitude to work everyday for the past 3½ years. Starting off at the till assisting customers with their orders, she was eager and motivated to learn all aspects of the restaurant and was quickly promoted to supervisor. Providing great customer service is still her passion, taking the time to describe the menu and our in house recipes to new and repeat customers alike. 

Taking the job seriously, Morgan also took on the responsibility as our Safety Rep, creating a safe work environment and ensuring that her co-workers are following proper safety guidelines. Congratulations Morgan, you’re very much deserving of January’s Employee of the Month award.

Chef Ryan Faulkner

Morgan MacDonald

Employee of the Year 2016

Executive Chef Ronnie Lace

Chef Ronnie has been with our company now for nearly 5 years and he continues to outshine, out work and out sing everyone in our company. Over the years, I’ve seen Ronnie grow from a senior cook into a superior leader and mentor of his subordinates. He coaches and mothers them like they’re his own kids, always trying to get the most out of them and pushing them to do better in order to succeed.

An employer's dream employee, he regularly puts the company ahead of his own needs, while looking for ways to improve service and reduce overall costs. Chef Ronnie has helped grow our company to where we are today through hard work and determination for us to be successful.

It’s my pleasure and honour to announce Chef Ronnie as our employee of the Year for 2016.

“GO MONTREAL GO”

Chef Bill Pratt

 

Executive Chef Ronnie Lace

Runner-up Employee of the Year 2016

Assistant Manager Colby Veinotte

Sous Chef Colby Veinotte

Sous Chef Colby Veinotte

Colby has worked in our company for over 4 years, growing from a counter server to the assistant manager position in our original Cheese Curds and Habaneros restaurants in Woodside.

It seems like yesterday this young man rolled into our lives on his skateboard as a kid fresh into the food service industry. And now, he’s managing one of the busiest Quick Service Restaurant (QSR), success stories Halifax has ever seen. Colby’s can-do attitude and willingness to take on any new challenge has helped him grow within our company. His supervisors regularly rely on him to fill in on short notice and to take on more leadership roles to help him get to the next supervisory level of running his own store one day.

Congratulations to Colby, as our Runner-up Employee of the Year 2016.

Chef Bill Pratt

November Employee of the Month

Cheese Curds Burnside

Deonte Reddick

Deonte has been working with the Chef Inspired team over 2 years now, starting as a kitchen porter in the dish area and general clean up of the restaurant. He has demonstrated great initiative and a keen interest in learning other kitchen stations, and is now fully trained on all stations in Cheese Curds and U-Pick-Fish.

Deonte has always been someone that can be depended on. Although quiet at times, he is focused, has a great sense of humour and is always very positive. A great attitude cannot be taught.. it can be nurtured, but it is ultimately up to the individual to take it upon themselves to create. 

We are very proud to have him on the team, and look forward to helping him sharpen his skills as a cook. Congratulations Deonte, you've worked hard, and we’re proud to award you employee of the month!

Chef Kyle Christofferson

Well done Deonte, from the gang at Truck-Side.

November Manager of the Month

Keith MacLeod

Chef Inspired Group of Restaurants

Far too often the administrative staff behind the scenes get overlooked simply because their work may not impact the customers directly. However our own Keith MacLeod breaks that mould.  

Keith has been with us for over a year and a half now and continues to play a critical role in our marketing department. You may not realize it, but Keith is the guy who photo shoots all the new food special posters, then designs and acquires the posters for us. Some would say this is a tough job having to trial all the new food products first hand, but he seems to think it's a job of a lifetime. All kidding aside, Keith plays a pivotal role in our company with his creative work and ideas, from designing our logos, marketing campaigns, and helping us display the food our customers get to enjoy. 

One of our greatest compliments we receive from our customers is when they say "Hey, this looks exactly like the photo". It's no wonder, because we don't have any magic tricks when displaying our food, we simply prepare the food, then take a photo of it. From all the staff at Chef Inspired Group, congratulations Keith, well done. 

Chef Bill Pratt

Congrats Keith, from all the staff of Chef Inspired Group

November Employee of the Month

Habaneros Woodside

Jasmine Bourdon

Jasmine just started with us in August, but is well deserving of this award. I hear nothing but great comments from her coworkers, and many customers say how excellent her customer service is. My favourite thing about her is her work ethic. 
Always keeping things clean, neat and tidy, which is extremely important in our open kitchen concept.

In the short time with us she has proven to be one of our best closers, everything is clean and stocked for service the next day. That really makes life easier on the opening manager. Keep up the great work Jasmine, we all appreciate the work you do!

Chef Ryan Faulkner

Employee Spotlight

Morgan MacDonald

Morgan MacDonald

Who?

Morgan MacDonald

Position?

Supervisor at Cheese Curds Woodside

Since?

September 2013

Why'd you want to work with us, and what's your favourite part about it?

"I truly do feel as though it was fate when I came across the job as a cashier at Cheese Curds. I have thought about it a few times and there's no other way to explain how I got my job here. My mom and I had gone into CC1 back in Sept of 2013 to grab some lunch before I went to work. We went up to the counter and Chef Ronnie was the one to take our orders. When it came time to decide whether it was to stay or to go I looked at the time to make sure I wasn't going to be late for work. Ronnie had asked me where I worked and if I enjoyed it. I honestly was not terribly happy at the time because of the late hours I had. Ronnie then informed me that they needed a full time cashier, and I immediately lit up because I was looking for somewhere fun and exciting to work at. Also to have the opportunity to learn more about cooking and food, so of course I jumped on the opportunity and we arranged for a interview. Needless to say the interview went great and I was offered the position of cashier. I really enjoy working at Cheese Curds and knew from the first day that it would somewhere where I could grow. I have always strived to learn everything and gain as much knowledge about the restaurant. So much so that a year into it, Ronnie gave me a chance to work my way to supervisor. Now it's been 3 years and I'm still happy working at Cheese Curds in Woodside. I feel as though its our own restaurant family."

Future aspirations?

"Working here has inspired me to carry on in the culinary arts, and perhaps in a year a two I may go to culinary school to fine tune my talent and love for food. I love being able to add our own flare to our gourmet burgers and really give the customer something that they wouldn't be able to get anywhere else. It inspires me to want to go further and learn more about all types of cuisine and the culinary arts. Without being given the opportunity to join the Cheese Curds family, I'm not sure my love for making amazing food would've been ignited. I'm so glad that Chef Bill and Chef Ronnie gave me the position here, and I enjoy working with such a great team!"

Our thoughts

"Morgan has been with us for just over 3 years now. She got an interview by coming in as a customer one day with her mom and she was heard talking about how she wasn't happy at her current job. Ronnie (Executive Chef of Chef Inspired Group of Restaurants) overheard her and said why don't you come in for an interview here; and the rest is history. Morgan started off as a cashier and quickly moved into different stations as she already had previous cooking and supervisory experience. With tackling all the different things thrown her way, Ronnie promoted her to supervisor and she stepped in and took on a more influential role. Morgan has evolved into our lead closing supervisor, and is still one of our best cashiers, excelling at assisting customers and describing the menu to someone who isn't too sure on what they want to order. Along with all of that she is also our safety rep for Cheese Curds and is always keen on situations that could be done a safer way. Keep up the great work Morgan, I'm proud of you!"

Chef Ryan Faulkner

October Manager of the Month

Cheese Curds / Truck-Side

Chef Mike Macaulay

Chef Mike Macaulay

When I started at Cheese Curds in Woodside I noticed I had a prize gem in Mike. A happy go lucky guy with big dreams and huge aspirations. He's always throwing out jokes and sayings that nobody heard of (he's from Montreal).

Mike was and still is the premier grill cook. Now our Head Production Chef at Truck-Side, making sure the prep is done for all our food trucks and satellite restaurants. More than just a great guy in the kitchen, he loves to sharpen his own knives and is a big fan of Lego and Star Wars toys.

Another one of my key pieces in the puzzle. The kitchen is his place, as is his heart. Mike, a well deserved and long awaited award, which I think you deserve every day.

Chef Ronnie Lace

Long overdue Mike - Congratulations from the gang at Truck-Side

Long overdue Mike - Congratulations from the gang at Truck-Side

October Employee of the Month

Gecko Bus / Habaneros

Jacob Fox

Jacob started his Habaneros career aboard Gecko Bus in March 2014. He was an instrumental part of our teams early success as we launched the Bus. Jacob is a hard worker, who cheerfully volunteered for extra shifts as our popularity grew. He is invariably well spoken, polite and professional.

Business for Gecko Bus slows down in the winter- so last winter Jacob worked at Habaneros in Woodside, where he quickly became an integral part of their team. In the Spring of this year he returned to Gecko Bus. As the colder weather begins to set in this fall, Jacob is working 2 shifts a week at our South Park location, and 3 shifts a week aboard Gecko Bus.

No matter where he works- Jacob brings his best effort in a cheerful and professional manner. For his positivity, dedication and flexibility, Jacob Fox is Octobers EOTM!

Gecko Bus Captain, Mark Piper

Congratulations Jacob, from all the crew aboard Gecko Bus! 

Congratulations Jacob, from all the crew aboard Gecko Bus! 

October Employee of the Month

Cheese Curds - Woodside

Chelsea Cluett

Chelsea Cluett

Chelsea joined our team just over 3 months ago and has learned so much in that short time. Starting off as a cashier, but quickly learned the menu and how we cook everything. She now loves working the other stations and letting someone else work the cash.  

Without having any prior kitchen experience she truly has emerged as part of our team and everyone loves working with her. A quick learner, you can tell how proud she is when she learns something new by the look on her face and wanting to tell everyone about it. 

Chelsea does whatever is asked of her, is always on time, never calls in sick and doesn't mind filling in for someone when needed. To top it off she comes into work with a smile and carries on with the staff. What more could a chef ask for. Thank you, and keep up the great work Chelsea!!

Chef Ryan Faulkner

September Employee of the Month

Cheese Curds Burnside

Kyle (Terry) Kirby

Kyle was a kitchen attendant when I first took over at Cheese Curds. Pounding out dishes like a mad man, then getting things done in the prep area. Wasn't long before he moved up to the Cheese Curds garnish and cash line and greeted everyone with a firm "Hey how you doing." The quirky jokes he makes up always keep me laughing and wondering where he gets them. 

When I put him to the challenge in Habaneros Modern Taco Bar he quickly proved himself to be the kind a guy that puts his head down and gets his job done. A treat to work with, and is always there when you need him. Great work Terry. I'll take this opportunity to use one of your jokes; glad you were like a camera and you focused. Focused on being who you are. Don't go changin...

Chef Ronnie Lace

EOTM Group Sept 2016.jpg

Well done Kyle, congratulations! 

September Employee of the Month

Habaneros Woodside

Nathan Moreau

Nathan was employed with us back in 2014, but left to pursue a career in Esthetics. Rejoining our team in March of 2016, he has proven to be one our best customer service employees. Nathan greets every customer as soon as they come in the door with a big smile and talks about how we prepare the food and all the different options we have that pair up well with each other.

As well as taking care of the customers experience, he's training and learning about prep for the day in the back of house. Nathan is always eager to help out the team, always coming in early if we need him, or filling a shift when we're short staffed. Keep up the great job Nathan and congratulations!

Chef Ryan Faulkner

August Manager of the Month

Sarah Brill

Sarah Brill

Chef Inspired Group

The glue that holds our growing group of restaurants together, Sarah manages all that paperwork and office stuff us chefs just love to put off. Since I've come to the Burnside location, she's been my ray of sunshine; helping me with anything I need, from using the computer, with payroll, and all the other admin things I'm at a loss for. Well, not just me, the other chefs too!

Her strong work ethic, management and administrative skills make our entire corporation run smoothly, until we mess up her paper work. She has an uncanny way of ensuring all the cash, books and invoices are balanced. That, and her witty attitude makes for a highly valued member of our team. 

Congratulations Sarah, and thanks for always having my back.

Chef Ronnie Lace 

Congratulations Sarah, from all us at Chef Inspired Group of Restaurants!

Congratulations Sarah, from all us at Chef Inspired Group of Restaurants!

August Employee of the Month

Mariah Provo

Mariah Provo

Truck-Side

Mariah started a little over a year ago, joining us from the Pita Pit just across the street. Her loud laughter and shining smile make her an absolute pleasure to work with.

A strong team player, she continually strives to support her coworkers at our busy prep station, ensuring Gecko Bus and the Habaneros line is always fully stocked. She loves to push the team to work hard as a tight cohesive unit, while providing the best customer service. 

We've received numerous emails from customers regarding the very positive experience they have when served by Mariah. 

Part of the core of our Habaneros line, congrats Mariah!
 

Chef Ronnie Lace

Congrats Mariah, from the gang at Truck-Side!

Congrats Mariah, from the gang at Truck-Side!

July Employee of the Month

Stephanie Dionne

Cheese Curds - Woodside

Stephanie has been with us since April of 2015. Although she is part time while attending university, she has proven to be one of the most valued people to the chef in a kitchen. She doesn't just walk to go get something when it's needed, she moves at the same pace the chef does! And you'd better not be in the way, or idly chit chatting because you get the one polite excuse me, then she's coming through!

Another reason any chef would love to have her on their team; during any down time she is stocking all the little things needed for service that you tend to forget about, until you need it at the most inopportune time. She's always looking for something to do and when she's not stocking, you'll find her cleaning. She takes full advantage of the "if you have time to lean, you have time to clean" mantra.  

Stephanie is also a force on the line and can work any station that you ask her to. Although I prefer her being on cash or the garnish station, because she provides great customer service and always comes to work with a smile. It's so important in our business that a smiling face is the first thing a customer sees when they come through our doors, and at the same time the last thing they see when they leave. Congratulations Stephanie on a well deserved award. Keep up the great work!!

Chef Ryan Faulkner