Since the age of 16, Kai Zyganiuk has been working his way up the ranks in the exciting and ever-changing culinary world. Born in Toronto, Canada to a West Indian father and Native Canadian/Polish mother, Kai was inspired to pursue cooking by his grandmother on his mother’s side, who he describes as “an incredible home-cook who prepared everything with love.” Throughout his colourful career, Kai has worked for some of Toronto’s top fine-dining establishments and private clubs such as The Granite Club; The Oakdale Golf and Country Club; Pure Spirits; The Four Seasons Hotel (Truffles); The Spoke Club (which he opened with Chef Robert Kirk); and Cucina (where he worked as Head Chef), just to name a few.
His intense focus, constant thirst for knowledge, and extreme love for ‘everything food,’ have all contributed to Kai’s 15-year tenure in the ever-competitive culinary industry. Most notably, Kai has worked alongside some of the country’s most celebrated Chefs including U.K. native Frank Dodd (Hillebrand); Jonathan Gushue (Truffles, Langdon Hall); and Lynn Crawford (Ruby Watch Co./Four Seasons). Kai credits his working with these incredible culinary masters as the force that helped shape his career, providing him with the ability to produce meals at the highest standards in any kitchen. During his travels, Kai has also performed stages at various establishments around the world such as the Five-star RIU Hotel in Ocho Rios, Jamaica; and The Coogee Bay Sydney, Australia.
Most recently, Kai’s extreme culinary passion brought him to Los Angeles, California where he worked in a number of fast-paced kitchens. During his one-year stay in the “City of Angels,” Kai worked as the Executive Chef for one of Hollywood’s premiere private clubs. Through this position, Kai managed all kitchen-related operations and headlined the menu planning for a plethora of weddings, exclusive parties and other special events. Kai also worked as an Interactive Cooking Instructor for LA-based Chefs, Amanda Cushman and Rose LeBoeuf.
Kai continues to push forward in the industry to perfect his craft and love for outstanding food, best describing his cooking style as local, seasonal and diversified with a French influence. “The most important aspects of any meal are the quality of the products, correct seasoning and cooking techniques and the presentation,” says Kai. “A great Chef is also cognizant of the fact that less is always more.” Kai goes on to say that cooking is something that one must truly love in order to produce great tasting meals. “One of the joy’s of being a Chef is watching the reaction of satisfied guests who truly validate what you do every day.” Kai is a proud band member of Wasauksing First Nation, Parry Island, and continues his work in the community with organizations in Toronto and throughout Ontario.
Citygourmet.ca and all text, artwork and photos appearing on the World Wide Web are protected by copyright (C). All rights reserved 2009 and beyond.