Restaurant Awards Mentorship 2015

Best Mentor winner of Vancouver Magazine's 26th Annual Restaurant Awards

April 21, 2015

Bruno Marti began his culinary career as a teenaged apprentice in his native Switzerland. After emigrating and working for, among others, the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, he opened the superb French restaurant La Belle Auberge in Ladner. There, for more than three decades, in a converted Victorian house, Bruno Marti drew discerning diners from far and wide, as well as young chefs eager to learn from a master.

As a member, manager, or coach of dozens of national and international teams, Marti helped shape Canada’s culinary presence abroad. At the 1984 World Culinary Olympics, competing against 32 countries, his Canadian team became the first to win a world championship. Those competitions not only imbued scores of young chefs with the work ethic and exacting standards Marti embodies; they also helped advance a distinctively Canadian approach to food.

The chefs Marti has influenced through the years are a culinary all-star team: Michael Noble, Scott Jaeger, Jenny Shearman, Matt Batey, Constance Hysuik, Alex Chen, Tobias MacDonald, and many others. All speak of him with admiration and respect. “It’s amazing,” says MacDonald. “When you ask chefs, ‘Who was your mentor?’ how many say, ‘Bruno’s my guy.’ ” Adds Jaeger: “I am who I am, as a chef and a person, because of Bruno.”

“Thirty-five years into this business,” says Michael Noble, who recently opened his second restaurant in Calgary, “what I’m most proud of is my ability to mentor young cooks. Bruno taught me about cooking, but the most important thing he teaches you is about nurturing others. You gain all this knowledge over the years, and you pass it on.”

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