Chef Karl's Story:
Have you had the pleasure of trying one of Conversation Café’s incredible new waffles? The Butter Pecan Waffle, or perhaps the Berry Blast Waffle?
We want you to meet the culinary artist behind these beautiful creations – our very own, Chef Karl.
It all began in his grandmother’s kitchen – the perfect place to discover your calling in life, isn’t it? Karl would add ingredients to his grandmother’s German-inspired home cooking and stir pots full of stew. He keeps her recipes in a big recipe book, cherishing this original source of joy.
At 14 years-old, Karl began washing dishes at a local restaurant. He was observant and learned from his colleagues, so it wasn’t long before he was trained to become a cook in the kitchen. This experience was a launch pad to entering the Restaurant Management program at Lambton College. Now, for nineteen years, he has been gaining experience in a variety of culinary traditions: Greek, Italian, and of course, his German roots where it all began.
Chef Karl brings this diversity, passion and creativity into his menu at Conversations Café, where he has been our chef for three and a half years. Having worked in Niagara’s food industry for over a decade, he has fallen in love with local produce and Niagara’s vin culture. (He was excited to talk about the olive tree and blackberries he’s expecting to see sprout up in his backyard garden this spring and summer!) Local agriculture is something you will often find on his menu too. Remember the delightful Grilled Peach Sandwich from last summer's menu?
Like all of our staff stories on this blog, Chef Karl also describes Conversations Café as a “family.” He speaks with humility and gratitude about the opportunities he has received from owner, Deborah Dueck, who has supported him, encouraged him and given him the freedom to bring new exciting items to the menu. In turn, he brings inspiration to his work-family by leaving inspirational quotes on the whiteboard that he wrote himself – another creative talent he possesses.
In an attempt to narrow down the many reasons he loves working at Conversations Café, Chef Karl said that:
Chef Karl brings excellence into everything he does. He holds every item of food served to customers to a high standard.
He wants people to enjoy his meals from the first look to the last bite.
- Meal he’s most proud of: “The Original” (aka. The Karl Sandwich): Grilled turkey sandwich, with spinach, tomato and berry-infused mayo.
- Meal of choice at lunchtime: “Any kind of grilled sandwich. I’m a grilled sandwich fiend. Oh, and a matcha latte to drink.”