Canada: Ontario Chef Prodigy

Chef Prodigy - Luke Hayes-Alexander
"One night, I used a blowtorch to bend metal spoons into different shapes. I love the contrast of the shiny cup with teh dark, twisted handle and the white plate," says Luke Hayes-Alexander. Photo © Ethan Hill.

Luke Hayes-Alexander

There are many reasons why foodies visit Ontario's Prince Edward County, including the fantastic artisanal cheesemakers and wineries. But probably the most surprising one is 19-year-old Luke Hayes-Alexander, who's been chef of his own restaurant, Luke's Gastronomy, for four years.

Hayes-Alexander spent much of his childhood in the tiny restaurant in Kingston, named after him by his chef father when he was an infant. At age 12, he butchered a pig on his own; by 15, he'd taken over the kitchen. Today he conjures up dishes as disparate as an avant-garde scallop mousse pressed between cocoa cookies and an Apicius Composition—sausages with squash and wine honey—based on first-century Roman foods. His cooking is mature beyond his years.


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PUBLISHED May 2010

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