Tim Wasylko, Executive Chef
Born and raised in an Ukrainian family, meals were always the focal point of gatherings in the Wasylko household. Among Tim’s many food memories, one of his fondest was regularly making perogies with his mother and grandmother. Since then, Tim has always had a passion for food and for what it represents. It seemed natural that Tim found himself working in a variety of different restaurants and kitchens from an early age until eventually he realized that this was something he wanted to explore professionally.
While working through his apprentice hours as part of Algonquin College’s Culinary Program, Tim held a variety of positions including Sous Chef of a private golf club and Kitchen Manager in a couple of franchise restaurants. It wasn’t until after graduation however that Tim felt is career finally was taking off when he accepted a position as Chef de Partie at the Canadian Pacific Château Whistler Resort in 1997. It was his very first opportunity to work alongside other industry professionals who taught him so much, not only from a culinary perspective, but also on aspects of customer service and what it means to be on the cutting edge.
Later, Tim moved to Mont-Tremblant and worked as Executive Chef of the Château Beauvallon, which was at the time, a quaint 13-room inn which both he and his wife also managed. From 2000 to 2004, Tim took his skills south and was Chef Instructor at the Escuela Culinaria Internacional, in Toluca, Mexico. Before permanently relocating back to Canada, Tim took one short term contract with the Canadian Armed Forces as a Chef and also became a Certified Food Stylist from the Culinary Institute of America. His time away gave him a greater career perspective; it taught him about the sheer power of food and the magnificent way it can bring people together or evoke strong emotions in one way or another.
Returning to Ottawa, Tim held different Executive Chef roles including Acting Executive Chef at the National Arts Centre where he had the privilege of working alongside the late Chef Kurt Waldele, great friend and mentor to many. In 2008, Tim joined Fairmont Le Château Montebello as Executive Sous-Chef. Montebello was Tim’s first taste of a French-speaking brigade. For him, the fact that Château Montebello would buy fresh local products before it was even a trend is his best memory. Tim recalls local farmers knocking on the kitchen’s back door to sell their freshly picked produce, with still a bit of dirt on their hands and boots. That’s when he understood buying local was a way of life here. Meanwhile, Tim was also a Chef Instructor at Algonquin College in Ottawa. Ironically, Tim’s first class as an Instructor was in the same classroom he stepped into 13 years prior as a student.
Tim left both Fairmont Le Château Montebello and Algonquin College and became the Executive Chef to the Official Residence of the Prime Minister of Canada at 24 Sussex. A true highlight of his career, this opportunity allowed Tim the honour to cook for some of the world’s most powerful men and women while also taking care of all of the culinary needs of the Prime Minister and his family. Tim also got involved with several charities including the Ottawa Mission and the Youth Services Bureau where he mentored youth and taught students how to cook with basic ingredients. It was his way to give back to the industry. He was also part of an elite Chefs Club known as Chefs des Chefs and also became a Certified Chef de Cuisine from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and the Canadian Federation of Chefs.
Along with his wife, Tim owns a successful catering and banquet venue south of Ottawa. He is also very dedicated to volunteer work in his region.
"My favourite way to cook is to hit the market, farm stand or store and come straight to the kitchen. I really love to cook from the heart, for me food is attached to memories and emotions. I am hoping that after a guest has dined here at the Château that they associate their experience with the culture and essence of Quebec and leave the hotel thinking “WOW – That was Quebec!”" – Tim Wasylko
For the latest scoop on his epicurian activities, follow Chef Wasylko on Instagram.