Meet Gartlet Taylor, a newcomer youth and successful Chef in Toronto’s Hospitality and Food Services Industry.
Gartlet Taylor’s passion for food started when he was only a young teenager and it continues to burn inside of him to this day. Here’s what led Chef Gartlet on a path to success from his hometown in the Caribbean, to success as a young newcomer in Toronto’s Hospitality and Food Services industry.
From as far back as he can remember, Gartlet loved to cook alongside his mother. “While she was cooking over the fireside, I would use an empty condensed milk can to make my own creations” he recalls fondly, “I just couldn’t leave the kitchen!” Inspired by his mother and grandmother, Gartlet studied food and nutrition in high school. His love of food fueled his entrepreneurial side, and as an (how old) Gartlet soon established and managed his own cook-shop. When a Sandals Resort opened nearby and Gartlet was quick to apply. There he trained for several months in all the restaurants in the resort and soon became a Chef.
It was while working at Sandals that Gartlet began researching and learning about Canada, and its vast economic opportunities. His sister already lived in Toronto and she wholeheartedly encouraged Gartlet, his mother and their other siblings to join her because of the opportunities that awaited. So at the age of seventeen, Gartlet moved to Canada with his family.
Excited by the opportunity to learn more about the culinary arts and further his career, Gartlet immediately started attending a culinary arts program at George Brown College upon arriving in Toronto. His hard work and dedication led to a placement at the prestigious Oliver and Bonacini Restaurants upon completing the in-house portion of his training. During his placement period, the staff at Oliver and Bonacini were so impressed with Gartlet’s teamwork skills and culinary prowess that he was offered a fulltime position without a hesitation – where Gartelt continued to hone his skills and build his networks in the sectors. From there, Gartlet eventually moved on to Deercreak Golf Clubs in Durham where he was rewarded with the offer of becoming Sous Chef – a coveted fulltime permanent position.
Following his curiosity and growing business insights, Gartlet’s next career move came when he joined the corporate side of things as a Chef de Cuisine with Sodexo. He enjoyed immensely, but it wasn’t until he became Executive Chef, for Aramark, at Centennial College that a new career path emerged. His passion for teaching was ignited when he began working with international students and workers at the college, helping them develop essential culinary skills that would save them time and money. This flourishing love of teaching combined with his culinary passion brought sharp focus to his career. He began to search for a role that would blend these passions, and with determination and persistence, he is where he is today - Chef of the culinary training program at the Hospitality Workers Training Centre. “One of the greatest things for me is program graduation when I see people who were somewhat distant from the workforce graduating with a certificate” says Gartlet, “and knowing that I made a contribution to their lives and their successes” It is a great feeling for Gartlet and it’s where he feels he is meant to be.
Why the culinary field? Why hospitality and food services for Chef Gartlet Taylor?
“I don’t think I chose the culinary field. It has given me opportunities I just couldn’t turn down. I think it chose me!”