Brenan Madill likes a challenge. Inspired by his family and a stint as a dishwasher-cum-line cook---"It was like an amusement park where you never get off a ride or wait in line, just go go go"----he enrolled in NSCC's Culinary Arts post-high school. But after balancing first year with a cooking gig at the Hilton Garden Inn he decided to step away from school. Two years later, Madill was the chef de cuisine at age 20, and questioning his choice. "I needed more experience and mentors in order to better myself," he says. "And I had so much to learn."
Back to school he went, diving head-first into the competitive chef scene, quickly becoming well-decorated and working under master chef Takashi Murakami in Winnipeg.
"Chef Takashi taught me many things," says Madill. "Discipline, respect, efficiency, classical food and most of all professionalism. He showed me that many young cooks are interested in the whole molecular thing and 'modern food', yet they cannot perform the most simple of tasks...they want to buy a Ferrari before they can even drive a car."
His next mentor was, and is, chef Luis Clavel, whom he worked alongside at the Holiday Inn Harbourview and later joined at the Atlantica Hotel, where he's been for three years. There's no challenge too big for Madill, this fall he'll face-off against chefs from around the world in Istanbul, representing Canada at Concours International des Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs.