Craftsperson of the Week: Marianne Jordan

Craftperson of the Week Marianne Jordan can be found whipping up some tasty treats as party chef at uptown's newest hot spot Bourbon Quarter & Magnolia Cafe. She was kind enough to answer a few questions for us this week:

Where were you born?

I was born in Rothesay , New Brunswick

Can you give us some background on your current position at Magnolia Cafe/Bourbon Quarter?

I am their Pastry Chef

How did you get interested in cooking?

I got interested in cooking because it's in my genes ….Its the only way to explain …..My father owned a restaurant back in the day for around 20 years ,so I think that is where some of it comes from ….From the time I was very little I was concocting up something..and well it hasn't stopped . I was a vegetarian by middle school and made some pretty funky lunches for myself…..

Do you have any formal training for cooking?

In 1998 I went to Calgary and studied Commercial Baking at SAIT aka Southern Alberta institute of Technology…I had the priveledge to be trained under some great European master bakers ..My favorite instructors were Volker Bauman a very talented Master Baker and Hermann Grieneder a Maitre Chef Patissier and phenomenal choclatier , from there I also studied PCK which is professional cooking and studied under many World Class Chefs…..I had the time of my life and got the chance to do my pastry practicum in Chateau Lac Louise which was incredible …I learned so much in Pastry under Executive Pastry Chef Peter Boos, exceptionally talented artiste……During my years in Culinary school I participated in a Provincial Culinary Competition in Edmonton Alberta , where I won a gold medal in the Catergory 3 course casual luncheon for 1 …and also did alot of volunteer work as well as cooked for some very VIP functions…From there I worked in BC at the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort then Calgary as a Pastry Chef at a couple of Restaurants and then moved back east and became a chef for the Superstore teaching cooking classes and designing some menu packages ….as well as some freelanse catering….I was also a Demi Chef de Partie at the Pastry Shop at the Delta Brunswick SAint John and now at Magnolia Cafe/Bourbon Quarter…just to sum up a bit of my experience..

Any celebrity chefs that you look up to?

Well I grew up to Julia Child ….I watched her religiously when I was a kid….Right now Im really into Jamie Oliver as I luv his concept to eating healthy, grow what you can and simple/rustic…I have had many times where presentation is everything , but sometimes it's nice to identify what you are eating and having it in its most simplistic form as food is much healthier that way….Im all about quantity over quality…The better the quality the more pronounced the flavour is….Gordon Ramsey is bang on….I love his attitude because he's honest and he keeps people on their toes when they need be…One of my favorite Pastry Chefs is Bo Frieberg , a truely talented man who inspires me to do better ….My ultimate dream is to oneday become a Master Choclatier as I luv chocolate work…to sum it up in a nut shell I adore many chefs some that I have worked with and some who are Celeberties and writers….some who were way before my time..Many have inspired me…even Martha Stewart , I thinks she's the bomb..maybe an ex convict , but she is still very talented and developed a whole empire…so I give her alot of credit….

What do you like best about uptown Saint John?

Uptown SJ eh ? Well it think it's slowly but surely starting to get somewhere really awesome …It offers a little bit of everything…and I embrace our Heritage Architecture ….We have alot of beautiful buildings…There is alot of talented artists here…I really embrace the new baby boom generation as its time to go out with the old and in with the new and put a bit of character in here…

Where is the most interesting place youve ever been in the world?

The most interesting place so far was probably the Palais Versailles in France, truely incredible history, as well as many Vineyards in Ernay, Burgandy and Dijon Region…Paris was really amazing as well…such history on a Culinary level but as well architectually …..Notre Dame de Paris was breathtaking , but then again so was going several hundred feet underground at a vineyard where they age their wine in barrels and I could see stalagmites which was pretty surreal to me also…

What's playing in your iPod and/or CD player?

More like what isnt playing in my ipod!…..I luv alot of different musik..
Ani DIfranco, Bad Religion, Bjork,Buck 65, THe Cult,Darude, DEpeche Mode, The Doors,ENya,Fleetwood Mac, Gwen Stephanie,Gypsy Kings,Janes Addiction, Janis Joplin,Kings of Leon,Led Zepplin, Madonna,Muse,Matt Mayes,Noise for Pretend, Nouvelle Vague, Offspring, Paul Okenfold, Pet Shop Boys, PortisheadRage, Radio Head, Stones, Seal, Steve Miller, Sublime, Silversun Pickups,Telepopmusik, Vanessa Paradis, Velvet Revolver, Veruca Salt….and so on

What do you like to eat for breakfast?

When I'm in a hurry i'll grab a banana or make a smoothie with banana , raspberries, oats, rice milk, yoghurt,oj and bee pollen..sometimes I'll make a veggies smothie ( mostly greens and a banana) Or whole grain steel cut oatmeal with some pepitas and bee pollen..On weekends I like eggs….Preferably Huevos Rancheros ( eggs ranch style in spanish) with lots of salsa piquante and avocado , or if I have leftover salmon I like that with Okayu a Japanease rice porridge…Okayu is really easy do digest and sooths an upset stomach so I like it in the morning , even on its own…..

How about for dessert?

If I have dessert I like my chocolate , dark like at least 75-85% ..Im all about the chocolate thats got a bit of salt and heat to it whether its in a bar or a chocolate cake…( preferably flourless )but I really like fresh fruit especially raspberries as their my favorite with something lemony like a lemon sabayon or zabaglione…..but who can go wrong with the authentic tiramisu….If its done the way it should be then that would be my choice…SOmetimes even just a simple Morrocan Mint tea is good enough also ….

Do you have any pets?

No pets ……I used to have a purebred boxer named Keisha…She was an amazing dog…I really look forward to having 2 dogs someday…1 tiny pooch and 1 big pooch…Not sure about what breed quite yet …..Maybe a tea cup terrier and a boxer again or a samoyed Husky ( which was my first dog when I was little)

Besides Magnolia Cafe & Bourbon Quarter what are your favorite restaurants uptown?

My favorite spots to dine 'n wine are Sense of Tokyo as I love Japanese food , Opera Bistro, Ale House, My house, Urban Deli and Alegria…WE really need more authentic /ethnic retro's in Saint John , I'm very partial to ethnic…….As for somewere to go to have a glass of vino I like Happinez….Excellent wine list super chill and intimate ambiance…

Any other Uptown favorites you'd like to share?

King Square, City Market , Boardwalk, Harbour Passage is great for inline skating…..

Describe yourself in three words.

Stubborn, Friendly, Energetic

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