“Surrounded by awesomeness” – Jesse Vergen, Chef and owner of Saint John Ale House

Restaurants Canada is honoured to welcome Chef Jesse Vergen, chef and owner of Saint John Ale House, to RC Show 2017. Vergen will be one of the celebrity chefs preparing a cross-country tribute to Canada’s 150th birthday at RC Nation’s Feast, held at Casa Loma on Monday, Feb. 27.

We caught up with Jesse to ask him a few questions about his culinary influences and styles. Here’s what he said.

In your own words, what does Canadian cuisine mean to you?

Food proudly made with Canadian products!

What’s your go-to Canadian ingredient, and why?

Freshly dug clams. They’re packed with umami and they make me feel beach-like!

What influences have impacted your cuisine and the way you cook?

I’m influenced by my home province of New Brunswick and all the awesome products I have available, the sea, the fields, the forest… I’m truly lucky to be surrounded by awesomeness every day!

How are you inspired by Canada’s landscape, and how does that reflect in your food?

I’m proud of the diversity of the landscape as much as I am of the people, and between them we have an amazing canvas to paint…. I believe I’m inspired by that diversity.

What’s your most positive and memorable restaurant experience?

Dining at Mallard Cottage in NL – eating family style, with 30-some chefs from across Canada – was a moving experience. Just sitting, eating with everyone, talking shop, and shooting shit. Not every day you’re fed amazing food with a pile of the top chefs in Canada!


Beth Pollock is a communications and content marketing expert. Working with Restaurants Canada, she has edited and published two newsletters (RC Insider and BITE); developed the RC Show website; managed social media feeds (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram); and written press releases, blog stories, operational manuals, and an op-ed for the Globe & Mail. Beth is also a freelance writer who has written for a number of publications about food, travel, and children’s books, and has written over 600 posts on her personal blog, Of Muses and Meringues about recipes and her personal travels. She has published three books for children.