August 13 & 14, 2021
New Date Added: August 15th
The 2021 Chef’s Table Series partners with the National Arts Centre to present an outdoor dining experience on a terrace in the heart of the city, with live music performed on a unique floating stage on the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO world heritage site.
Chef Nick Benninger (‘Fat Sparrow Group’, Waterloo ON)
Chef Nick Benninger found his calling at the age of 16 working at a summer camp in northern Ontario. He fell in love with the kitchen and cooking and since then has “rooted” his career in many of the philosophies he learned in that first encounter with food service. After attending George Brown College, Nick completed his apprenticeship working at kitchens throughout Ontario and finally settling back down in his hometown of Kitchener-Waterloo.
In 2008, Nick opened Uptown 21 with his wife Natalie and, in 2013, the couple went on to open Taco Farm. Uptown 21 has been included in Where to Eat Canada every year since it opened, and recently Taco Farm was featured on the television show You Gotta Eat Here!
In 2016, Nick added two landmark restaurants, Marbles Restaurant and Harmony Lunch, to the portfolio of kitchens that he manages in uptown Waterloo. Having grown his brand to 4 establishments, it only made sense to create an umbrella company and, in 2017, Fat Sparrow Group was born.
In 2018, Fat Sparrow acquired the Stone Crock Group in St. Jacobs, which would increase the portfolio to 6 restaurants, a catering company, bakery, butcher shop, 3 market stalls and a wholesale food producer totalling 220 employees.
Nick has twice appeared on the Food Network, was recognized in Waterloo Region Record’s annual 40 under 40, and joined a local filmmaker to create a food show celebrating the 519 food scene called ‘Nick and Taylor Make A Food Show!’
An early adopter and leader in the local food movement, Nick is proud to showcase the cornucopia of great ingredients and produce found in the Waterloo Region.
Chef Kenton Leier (National Arts Centre)
Executive Chef Kenton Leier brings enthusiasm, passion, and creativity to the kitchens at Canada’s National Arts Center.
He is a second-generation chef, born and raised in Saskatoon, in the heart of the prairies. His culinary philosophy relies on the use of sustainable and locally sourced ingredients of the highest quality and letting their inherent qualities stand out in his dishes.
Chef Leier led teams in Ottawa’s finest hotel kitchens before moving to the NAC in 2017. He has cooked for celebrities, politicians and dignitaries, won numerous medals nationally and internationally and taught young cooks at Ottawa’s Algonquin College.
He is committed to promoting growth and excellence in his team at the NAC and leads them in their mission to represent the best in Canadian cuisine.
40 km salad
A presentation of Juniper Family Farms vegetables, Nick’s famous Taco Farm tostada, maple mustard vinaigrette, brûléed chevre
Dry-aged Berkshire pork loin, apple sausage, smoked pork belly, sauerkraut, potato (apple, mustard)
Donuts and Cheese
Cinnamon sugar-dusted donut, vanilla poached peaches, whisky custard, pecans, aged cheddar cheese
*only available by pre-order
Mole de calabaza verde
Dale’s roasted green pumpkin, fried plantain, poblano mole, grilled queso fresco, crisped kale, pickled peanuts, mojo rojo and mojo verde
Music: Dueling Pianos (Dave Kalil, Tyler Kealey, Todd Huckabone)
Dave Kalil, Tyler Kealey and Todd Huckabone have been a staple of the music scene in Ottawa known as the Duelling Pianos. Their musical ability and interactive personalities have captivated audiences since they formed the group in 2002.
With both Dave and Tyler at the keyboards, they are held together by Todd on guitar to form a solid show of endless classic hits spanning several decades of music. Playing a blend of requests from the audience, blistering guitar and piano solos, three-part harmonies, and random comedic impromptu moments, their show has won over the crowds they perform for time after time.