Chef Jill St-Amour
Jill St-Amour grew up in South Porcupine, a small community just south of Timmins, Ontario. The youngest daughter of a butcher father and a mother who's multi-tasking ability enabled her to more than competently feed a family of 8 (and still does for anywhere from 15 to 30 every Sunday- breakfast and dinner!), Jill credits her decision to pursue a career in the culinary field with watching her mother feed such a large family with the grace and confidence of the most seasoned chefs. She taught her that even the simplest food can be incredibly satisfying, which is the basis of Jill's philosophy on cooking:
Every meal should be like a woman in a black dress with a strand of pearls; simple and uncomplicated yet elegant. Let the beauty (and flavour) speak for itself.
A graduate of Niagara College's Culinary Management program, Jill pursued further training in Europe and attended Manchester University and Homebean, Leeds where she attained a diploma inCulinary Arts and her European qualifications as a chef. One of her most memorable cooking experiences comes from her time in England hunting for grouse. When caught, it was prepared and cooked in the field with herbs, greens and berries that were foraged from the surrounding country side. The simplicity of the meal. the smells of the wood fired stove and wild herbs mingled with the freshly caught game made it a meal that would ignite a passion for fresh and local ingredients that would stay with Jill throughout her career thus far. Returning to Ontario, Jill worked in a variety f establishments from the Delta Sherwood in Muskoka to local winery restaurants and eventually came to Smackwater Jacks where she has worked as Executive Chef and General Manager since August 2015.