Kitchener Market

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Meet our chefs and teachers

We're currently hiring chefs to join our dynamic team! View the opportunity

Cooking classes at the Marketplace are taught by one of our professional, local chefs in our newly renovated cooking space - the Marketplace. Check out our list of hands-on cooking classes that we have planned. 

Chef Thompson Tran

Chef Thompson Tran

Chef Thompson currently runs his boutique catering company Wooden Boat Food Company specializing in Vietnamese and French fare in Port Moody, BC and Kitchener, Ontario. His award-winning flagship sauce NUOC CHAM (dipping/dressing sauce), XA (lemongrass marinade), and KHO (Savoury Caramel BBQ/Stewing Marinade) can be found in over 130 retailers in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario.

As a former teaching chef instructor Chef Thompson has worked in both the private and public sector of the food industry and has spent many years honing his skills at several prestigious restaurants in Vancouver namely Bishop's, Il Giardino, and Westwood Plateau Golf and Country Club. Thompson can be seen providing lively and engaging information-packed cooking demonstrations in BC and Ontario.

Chef Thompson holds a Bachelor of Music degree in classical guitar performance, a Bachelor of Education, a diploma from Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, and his level Level 2 Wine and Spirit Education Trust. In his pursuit of happiness, he also took a two-year hiatus from both cooking and teaching to pursue a musical dream that culminated in a Grammy Award nomination in 2010.

Thompson now lives in the close-knit community of Kitchener, Ontario with his lovely wife, two darling children, and their lovable fur ball Jetson.

Chef Paula Costa

The lady with a keen palate and an unyielding culinary curiosity describes herself as "Just the girl next door....who can make your mouth water." And she's not kidding. Born in Kitchener, Ontario to a lively Portuguese family, Paula Costa began her culinary appreciation by dining at large, family gatherings. Back then, it was more about eating than cooking, and she admits to cleaning more dishes than plating them. It wasn't until she was on her own, fending for herself, that she'd pick up the phone and place a call home, looking for directions and recipes she could recreate. Once she had mastered a few, she was hooked. Paula devoured cookbooks, cooking classes and spent time boosting her culinary skills with family and friends in the kitchen. She's even cooked for Chef Norman Van Aken, legendary Father of New World Cuisine!

The food-obsessed blogger at The Dragons Kitchen, can whip up a Thai or Mexican meal, just as easily as she can an 11-course Titanic dinner based on the ship's last dinner (which was written about in the New York Post April 2012!). But it's her first love, the food of the Mediterranean - and Portugal in particular - that inspires her the most. Whether preparing a meal for at home for friends, or at her popular supper club events, leading a cooking class or catering for clients (saborosofood), food is Paula's passion, and one she wants to communicate with others. In her words, "If you enjoy cooking, it's not a chore anymore, it's an expression of love.  That is what I want to share with people;  the love of cooking." Stay tuned for her new adventure, where you can book her for a catering event or a cooking class or pick up a jar of her famous Piri Piri marinade.

Male chef standing with arms crossed

Chef Darryl Fletcher a.k.a. Chef D

Darryl Fletcher's inspiration to pursue a culinary career began while watching Graham Kerr (The Galloping Gourmet) and trying some recipes at home. He is a graduate of the Chef De Partie program from Humber College in Toronto, Ontario.

Darryl is currently the executive chef at the Buffalo Canoe Club - a private sailing club on the quiet banks of Crystal Beach. He is also the popular host of ChefDtv.com, an innovative online cooking show and has recently launched a new cooking show on Rogers Kitchener, At Home with Chef D.

Check out Chef D's website.