"I fell in love with food when I was 12," says Gillis. "When all the other girls were reading Cosmo at 13 I was collecting food and wine magazines."
By the time she was 14 she knew she wanted to be a chef. She studied French and Italian culinary arts and at 19 she left for Italy, where she apprenticed at a Michelin starred restaurant.
Gillis now runs Highland Drive Storehouse, a butcher shop and produce store that also acts as the base for a catering and private dinner business. "My tagline is Fresh Flavours Made From the Heart," she says, "and that truly sums up my culinary style. I love fresh, local, seasonal ingredients; when I write menus I think about what is in season, how to style the flavours to ignite peoples palate."
"I truly believe a good dining experience helps people relax, smile, slow down and enjoy life," she says. "Good experiences are forever memorable."