April Employee of the Month

Cheese Curds/Truck-Side Burnside

Tim Lundrigan

I am very pleased to announce our April employee of the month at Cheese Curds & Truck-Side, Tim Lundrigan. He started with us almost a year ago as our full time morning kitchen attendant, and he is still solid rock in that position today. Tim’s eagerness to learn has earned him opportunities in cooking positions also, with helping out on the fish station, Gweilo, and now Sea-Hawgs.

And he continues to shine. His big smile and knowledge about almost everything has him searching for bigger achievements in the fall as he continues his schooling. Being that go to guy when we need something done, his willingness to learn, and a machine at fry chipping made it an easy pick for our employee of the month. Tim Lundrigan everybody... the myth, the machine, the legend.

Executive Chef Ronnie Lace
 

Congatualtions Tim, from all us at Truck-Side! 

April Supervisor of the Month

Habaneros South Park St.

Chef Jamie Sawler

You may know Jamie by his signature smile at Habaneros on South Park St., or maybe from his last recognition as employee of the month. This time, after taking over the South Park St. Head Chef position from myself, Jamie has once again stepped up to the plate, knocked another dinger out of the park and has earned himself the Supervisor of the Month award. 

With his diligence and dedication, always thinking about going the extra mile and often going two, Jamie continues to grow with our organization. His team of “Burrito Banditos” continues to shine under his lead and I have no doubts that he will find his own diamond in the rough to shape into his own image for the next step. Never stop learning, never stop teaching. 

Outstanding job, Jamie, Congratulations!

Chef Colton Mackie
 

April Employee of the Month

Cheese Curds Woodside

Marcus Cooper

Marcus was hired as our full time kitchen attendant this March, just over a week before our busiest time of the year... Halifax Burger Week!! I'm pretty sure he was glad that he had time to learn what he needed to do, as he was thrown to the wolves, so to say. I can't express enough how proud I am of him for the hard work and many hours that he put in. He made my life a little easier, for which I’m very grateful. 

Marcus has been a great addition to our Chef Inspired family. He’s a quick learner and goes the extra mile to make sure that our customers always come in to a clean restaurant, all the while with a big smile on his face. The staff really enjoys working with him, his positive attitude not only shows in his work ethic but it makes everyone around him happy and upbeat as well. Congratulations on a doing great job Marcus, this award is very much deserved!

Chef Ryan Faulkner

March Supervisor of the Month

Chef Inspired Group of Restaurants

Corporate Chef Kyle Christofferson

Chef Kyle - Always the character, having fun at work and keeping people motivated with his light heartiness humour. Don't be fooled by this, because when the restaurant gets crazy busy, his strong management attributes kick in and people resonate to his leadership and guidance under fire. 

During Halifax Burger Week both Chef Kyle and Chef Ronnie stepped up their games. Choosing the supervisor of the month came down to Chef Ronnie's respect for Kyle, and his dedication to ensuring the whole team was on the top of their game.

Chef Kyle is a friend and a peer that we all love in our organization, and I'm proud to announce this months award to such a deserving individual. Bravo Zulu Chef Kyle!


Chef Bill Pratt

EOTM-Mar2017-Group Shot.jpg

Congrats Chef Kyle, you're the best! 

March Employee of the Month

Truck-Side

Jason Awalt

Jason came to Burnside just a few months ago thoroughly trained from our Habaneros Woodside location, which is a huge asset for us during such a busy time. He is a quiet guy until you get to know him. A smooth operator, handles stressful situations well, and is great when it comes to customer service. And he’s very versatile, mastering the wok station at Gweilo and learning different stations in Truckside.

Burger Week was the busiest week we have ever seen and Jason rarely even took a break. He was one of the "go-to" guys for prep, extra hands on the line, or filling in on another station. He has really proved himself to be a valuable team player, and it's great having him on our team. Congratulations, and thank you for all your hard work Jason!
 

Corporate Chef Kyle Christofferson

March Employee of the Month

Cheese Curds Woodside

James Purdy

James has been with us now since September of 2014 and is another one of those employees that every Chef loves to have. I seem to have quite the crew down here in Woodside as each member plays such an important role on our team.

James came to us with cooking experience so it made things a bit easier, just needing to show him how we do things the Chef Inspired way. It didn't take him long to fit right in and start working all our stations on the line and proving his worth to our little team here in Woodside. He is one of the guys who does the little things that make my life easier; stocking up all the little portion cups, take out trays, straws, napkins and condiment station every shift might not seem like a big deal, but it only seems that way because they are always there when you need them.

James really stepped up a few weeks prior to Halifax Burger Week with helping out wherever he could by taking shifts on his days off when we needed the help or working a bit later here and there. That carried right into burger week where he was a rock star, and I couldn't be more proud of him. Congratulations James on a well deserved award!


Chef Ryan Faulkner
 

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
 

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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 Supervisor 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 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 Supervisor 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 Supervisor 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!