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Sims Corner Steakhouse & Oyster Bar, Charlottetown, PEI

BORN IN BELFAST, PEI, Kyle Panton grew up watching his mother, Irene, cook and bake. From a young age he knew he wanted to cook for a living.

In 2007 and 2008, Kyle attended the Culinary Institute of Canada, and apprenticed in Toronto under David Lee of Nota Bene and Victor Berry at Splendido and the County General.

Kyle has won numerous local and international culinary competitions. In 2014 he was crowned international winner of the PEI Shellfish Festival, and was also the 2014 and 2015 PEI chowder competition winner. There’s no doubt this man knows chowder but he know his turf, too. In 2014 Kyle won best burger on the Island from the PEI Burger Love local food campaign.

Ever humble, Kyle credits working with fresh locally sourced products as a key component in his wins.

Now executive chef at Sims Corner Steakhouse and Oyster Bar in Charlottetown, when he’s not in the kitchen, Kyle loves organic farming and spending time with his family.

Q What is your favourite meal?

A PEI beef tenderloin, fresh veggies, and double-stuffed potato.

Q Who do you look up to?

A I have been fortunate to work with some great chefs in my young career and look up to each of them for different reasons. But my own father, Wayne Panton, has to be the biggest role model in my life. He isn’t a chef but he has taught me the importance of hard work and many other life values. He’s always been there to support me in everything I do.

Q What accomplishment are you most proud of?

A Becoming a father to my daughter Sophia, who is just a year old.

Q What is your favourite ingredient to work with?

A Black garlic, which has a sweetness to it that is incredible, but still retains that lingering garlic flavour.

Q What kitchen tools can you not live without?

A Spoons: we use them for tasting, basting, plating food and stirring.

Q What is your favourite style of cooking?

A Italian. I love the flavours of the garlic, truffles and basil used in so many dishes.

Q Do you have any cooking tips you could share with us?

A Always make sure you rest a cooked meat or poultry before you cut into it to allow the meat to relax; it makes it better for eating.

Q What do you like to do when not in the kitchen?

A Farm and garden. I own a small produce farm called One Vision Farms. We sell to restaurants and a farmers market, as well as selling produce boxes to customers. We grow pretty much any vegetable, but change it up a little each year, depending on what chefs want or if we want to try something new.

Q If you could cook for any three people who would they be and why?

A Sidney Crosby—I’m a big hockey fan and a fan of Pittsburgh; the Royal Family (or just the Queen)—I just think the pressure would be crazy (which I love!); Jason Aldean—I’m always listening to country music, and Jason is one of the big names in country music.

Q What is the most embarrassing thing that as ever happened to you in the kitchen?

A I busted the hind end out of my pants getting up on a milk crate.

Q What do you not like food wise?

A Baking. It’s not that I don’t like it, but it takes time and patience and I like to be on the go all the time.

Q What do you refuse to cook?

A I haven’t come across anything, as of yet, that I wouldn’t cook.

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