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87 Murray Street
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John Taylor, Chef
Chef and Owner John Taylor has had a lifelong love of cooking.
His passion for food was nurtured from his earliest days by his mother and grandmother; whose influence is evident in much of his current practices as Chef & Owner of Domus Cafe.
Born in Lynn Lake, Manitoba, in 1967, John recalls the regular trips to small, local, family-run farms in pursuit of the freshest ingredients: all destined for use in the Taylor matrons' kitchen. In a continuation of those traditions, Chef Taylor has made it domus’ mandate to help preserve the family and small farm operations that practice organic and sustainable farming practices and candidly attributes many of his own cooking successes to the basics taught him through his grandmother’s teachings.
John first started his cooking career at the age of 14, where his humble origins found him preparing pizzas and donairs in the West Edmonton Mall. After moving to Fredericton in 1987 and graduating from Fredericton High School, John secured a job in the kitchen at the Lord Beaverbrook Hotel.
It was on this very first day of work in a full-service kitchen that John was inspired to the realization that cooking was to be his life’s pursuit. John moved to Ottawa in 1989 to work at the yet unopened Novotel under Chef Norbert Chabot. John's early skills in the kitchen caught the attention of Jean-Pierre Challet, who hired him as an apprentice for the Relias Châteaux Inn at Manitou.
John spent two seasons at the Inn and it was here where he met his future wife, Sylvia, who was finishing her first year at the Stratford Chef school. After returning from a one-year cooking tour of the Barbados with Jean Pierre, John was hired into his first Chef position by Jim Sorenti, for the Westover Inn. This opportunity saw the start of John’s grassroots Canadian regional cuisine influence.
After four truly inspirational years and one son (Cameron Alexander) later, John and Sylvia left Westover Inn and pursued a number of unique dining ventures, each involving equal measures of challenge and success. In 1995, John returned to Ottawa for a position with Chantilly Haute Cuisine. Later that year, two significant events took place: the birth of a second son – Graham Andrew – and the introduction of John Taylor to domus. In 1997, Chef John Taylor took full ownership of domus and has relentlessly pursued his vision of establishing a truly unique Canadian Regional Seasonal Cuisine establishment.
Now, and for a long time to come, Chef Taylor invites you to share in the domus experience.
“Finding the right suppliers and building the right relationships has taken many years and is an on-going pursuit. I invite you to join me in the experience of defining and growing the concept of Canadian Regional Seasonal Cuisine as each new discovery leads to its own unique rewards.” - Chef John Taylor
Sylvia Taylor, Sommelier
The award-winning wine program at Domus is the product of years of dedication and devotion on the part of Sylvia Taylor, Sommelier and co-owner of the restaurant. Showcasing the best in Canadian Wines, Sylvia has directed the wine program by following two directions and one philosophy.
The first direction is seasonal: changing often; the wine menu offers fresh crisp summer whites and rosés, autumn lends to the expansion of the red list with big Bacos and Cabernet Francs to match hearty fall roastings and winter promotes wines with premium oak blends in both red and white. (Click here for red and white wine lists.)
The second direction is in developing a Canadian Cellar of age worthy and exceptional wines. By developing direct relationships with Niagara wineries, Sylvia has been able to obtain some of the best VQA wines available. Many wineries have generously released library vintages to expand this project.
Sylvia's philosophy is to continue the on-going exploration of new and established Ontario wineries, their visionary winemakers, and the success of new varietal plantings and to promote this philosophy through listing and recommending Canadian wines over imports whenever possible. domus endeavours to provide customers with a continual selection of new releases, cellared wines, and varietals not yet grown in Canada.
Domus was recently awarded the with the VQA Restaurant Award of Excellence for 2005 in recognition of excellent VQA wine list. See a complete list of recent awards on the Awards & Reviews page.
Sylvia attended Stratford Chefs School, has her Food And Beverage Management Diploma from Waterloo, and is a graduate of the Algonquin College Sommelier program. Her desire to provide her clients with the best vintages has seen her travel across Canada and the world.
Please feel free to contact her with your suggestions and/or comments.
Copyright (c) 2014 John Taylor at Domus Café