Frederic Chartier





It’s a long road from France to Shelburne.

There’s a woman involved, of course. I started my apprenticeship at 15, at a renowned restaurant in France. Then France, England, France, then opening the Ritz Carlton in the Cayman Islands in 2005, where I met my wife. Three years in Florida, two more at another Ritz Carlton in Virginia, then my wife’s mother passed and she wanted to come back home, so we settled in Orangeville, where she’s from.

And Beyond The Gate? How’d that start?

I started doing the farmers’ market in Orangeville. I invested a thousand bucks, got a crêpe machine, a fridge and a table and we got started.

There’s not a lot of French food up here.

If you want French you have to go to Toronto. But where it was once only pizza and wings here, lots of people here are now invested in good food. They do the farmers’ markets, they cook at home, and the farmers’ markets are expanding every year.

A kitchen is a kitchen, no matter where.

Absolutely. I learned from very talented chefs and I’m still using their techniques today. My kitchen would be the same in France as it is here.

And small town life? Adjusting?

Actually, I grew up in a town of 300. I played in my neighbours’ corn fields and sun flowers. The big cities, I’ve done it, it’s not me.

So Shelburne’s the big city! How about working with local producers?

They’re great here. I work with Besley in Shelburne, beautiful tomatoes, peppers, zucchinis… Landman Gardens for eggs… I even caught the trout we served for New Year’s Eve at Primrose Trout Farm. If I can just find a pig farm that can make me some sausage!

I’m on it.