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Chef in Focus
40 Pastry & Baking
North America
F
amous for its western hospitality and rampant
entrepreneurship, Calgary is a place where you
can literally feel the optimism. Surrounded by
farmland and perched on the edge of the
world's premiere mountain wilderness, the city is safe,
friendly and fun. Growing at an enormous rate, almost
everybody is from “somewhere else”.
Calgary is sprawling with plenty of green space. Even the
downtown core has plenty of parks and attractions. With a
burgeoning culinary scene, the range and standard of
restaurants is simply outstanding. Catering to
locals and visitors alike, the available cuisine hails
from all corners of the world. No wonder dining-
out has become one of Calgary’s favorite pastimes.
At the center of the revitalized Beltline region –
an area located immediately to the south of the
city’s downtown – sits the immaculate Hotel
Arts. As C-Town’s first boutique hotel, Hotel
Arts sets the standard for everything eclectic,
cool and sophisticated.
With a plush red carpet greeting every visitor, the hotel is
an example of sleek modernity. Beyond the physical, the
management team employs a vision and corporate culture
celebrating innovation, growth, empowerment and attention-
to-detail. This philosophy permeates every aspect of the property
and is one that has been embraced by Hotel Arts’ corporate
pastry chef Karine Moulin.
A native of Quebec, Karine has been racking up awards and
honors for years as she’s overseen the pastry and baking
operations at Hotel Arts and the two award winning restaurant’s:
Raw Bar and Saint Germain.
In its first year of business (2006), St. Germain was voted
one of Canada’s top restaurants and Karine was declared “wizard
of the whisks” and proclaimed Calgary’s top pastry talent.
Tasked with creating a myriad of creations from wedding
cakes, breads, fine pastries and exotic plated desserts, Karine
brings a modern approach to her craft with a foundation based
firmly upon understanding the classics.
After completing the Pastry Arts Program at the Sait Culinary
Institute in 2000, Karine honed her skills in both private
restaurants and hotel environments leading up to her joining
Hotel Arts in 2005.
Karine’s flexibility and leadership is obvious in the training
and mentoring she extends to her team and as someone setting
new pastry standards in Western Canada, Pastry & Baking
North America was thrilled to have the opportunity to visit
with Karine and learn more about her and what’s happening
at Hotel Arts.
P&B NA: Where are you from? Where did you grow up?
Karine:
I was born in Quebec City. My dad was in the military
so we moved every two years so I grew up mostly in Ontario
and Quebec.
At what age did your interest in cooking and/or pastry start?
Was it part of your upbringing? Family business?
From an early age I was always interested in helping
my mom in the kitchen. She
made all of our bread and cakes
from scratch and so I was her
ass i stant and would get al l the
ingredients and help measure and mix.
You were a cook first? How did pastry come
about?
I went to culinary school first at SAIT in
Calgary. I cooked for 5 years in private
clubs but was continually drawn to the
pastry element more than the hot line.