Culinary Workshop w/Chefs Melissa Kelly & Renée Lavallée
One workshop and two incredible chef-entrepreneurs—Melissa Kelly of Primo in Maine and Renée Lavallée of The Canteen in Dartmouth—will share the stories behind their success, their drive, and a few dishes that will leave you wanting for more (like Renée’s infamous chicken liver parfait with crab-apple mustard).
Sponsored by: Russell Hendrix. In partnership with:
Born and raised in Shawville, Quebec, Renée left home at an early age to attend Toronto’s George Brown College. After close to 25 crazy years in restaurants around the world, she now calls Nova Scotia home. After a brief hiatus to raise her family, Renée jumped back into the ring to open The Canteen—an award-winning sandwich shop in Downtown Dartmouth—then went on to open up Little C, a full-service restaurant and take-out shop. Renée has a long list of professional accolades and has been the spokesperson for numerous culinary brands and organizations including Community Food Centres Canada and Dairy Farmers’ of Canada, and was named the 2018 Culinary Ambassador of the Year by Taste of Nova Scotia. Renée is an ardent supporter of local food producers, and she can often be spotted at farmers’ markets with her husband and business partner Doug, daughter Zoe, and son Philippe in tow. @feistychef
Melissa Kelly is the Executive Chef and proprietor of Primo, an award-winning restaurant on a 4 ½ acre farm in Rockport, Maine. Melissa Kelly grew up on Long Island and spent countless hours in her Italian grandmother’s kitchen. After studying business at the State University of New York and the University of Maine, Kelly’s kitchen inclinations and curiosity led her to the Culinary Institute of America. Eventually Kelly returned to New York to work for iconic Chef Larry Forgione at An American Place.
But it was when Kelly made the move out West to work at Chez Panisse that she truly came into her own. Working with Alice Waters, she realized that simplicity, seasonality, and freshness were what mattered to her most. Kelly took this mentality and applied it to her career and travels from Denver to Barbados and the south of France. Back in New York, Kelly earned her first James Beard Award in 1999, running the kitchen at Old Chatham Sheepherding Company Inn in the Hudson Valley. In 2000, Kelly opened Primo and in 2013, Kelly became the first two-time recipient of the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef, Northeast. The following year Bon Appetit named Primo one of the top 20 most important restaurants in America; it has since been featured on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, Esquire Magazine, Gourmet, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Travel and Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, Town & Country, New York Magazine, Gourmet, Wine Spectator, Oprah Magazine, and many more. @chefmelissak