We are excited to welcome Executive Chef Matthew Bilinski to Taboo Muskoka. After spending nearly eight years abroad in exotic, multi-venue luxury resorts and world-class restaurants in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Germany and the Maldives, Chef Bilinski is returning to his Ontario roots.
Growing up in the Niagara region Matthew was exposed to what we now refer to as the local, sustainable movement. “I was greatly influenced by both my Italian Grandmother and my German/Irish Mother’s cooking. My first experience in a professional kitchen was when I was taken to an Estate Winery in Niagara. I remember looking around the kitchen and being fascinated by the hustle and energy. That glimpse into the life of a Chef inspired me to take a chance. I took a culinary class in high school and that ignited a passion which became the foundation for further education, accreditation and has since afforded me the opportunity to travel and work in some amazing places around the world. My career, passion and creativity have been evolving ever since.”
Matthew studied Culinary Management at Niagara College and received his Red Seal under the tutelage and expertise of Chef Mark Picone and following graduation, he moved to Montreal. “I was hired onto the team at Sofitel in Montreal where I made another of the most significant connections in my life. I had the honour and privilege to work under Chef Deff Haupt. Our relationship continues, as he is both a mentor and friend. Chef Haupt took me under his wing and definitely helped to foster my interest in travelling around the world and exploring new and exciting opportunities.”
In 2011, Matthew travelled to the United Arab Emirates as the Executive Sous Chef at the new Sofitel Abu Dhabi, a large property with 7 food outlets and a team of 68 Chefs to manage. “Without a doubt, that first Sous Chef role gave me a wealth of experience managing a team tasked to deliver the very finest with each and every morsel. Teaming high service levels with a truly gourmet experience has become a trademark I am most proud of in my career thus far.”
Matthew’s journey continued to the Kempinski, The Palm, The Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club and, most recently, The Four Seasons Kuda Huraa where part of his job was creating and expediting off-site catering for private jets, cruise ships and a private island spa.
“I am excited to be returning to Ontario, armed with a calmness and focus my experience has given me. I am eager to take on the unique challenge of food and dining at the Boathouse Restaurant and Event Rooms. I have embedded in myself a certain level of expectation that comes from having worked at luxurious destination properties and experiences such as cooking for a Royal Family. I am all about meeting and exceeding that expectation. Always.”
Chef Bilinski believes that food as an experience is something people are craving and he looks forward to hosting both special dinners with an avant-garde cuisine style, in addition to the creative, sumptuous dishes which will appear on daily menus. “The focus will be on the quality of the products, and we will engage guests with the menu items, for children as well. It’s fun to create plates for kids – it definitely takes me back to my childhood!”
“One of the key things I learned during my international travels is the importance and significance of local farmers, artisans, and suppliers. These relationships will be key in bringing the quality of the experience at The Boathouse Restaurant back to where it belongs. My goal as a Chef in this community is to raise our profile through my incorporation of local, seasonal, and fresh elements.”
Chef Matthew Bilinski has a great deal to accomplish between now and our opening in May, but he has already begun to shape his food, menus and vision for the 2018 season.
He will be hosting a Culinary Journey Package in mid-May as an inaugural event and plans to debut some of his new Taboo Muskoka dishes in a Tasting Menu-Trust the Chef fashion.
“I look forward to sharing my culinary vision with you at The Boathouse Restaurant this season.”