Head Chef Chris Haworth: English chef shares his passion for food with Canadians

Nov 18, 2010 at 3:15 a.m. ET

Head Chef Chris Haworth has been delighting diners from near and far with his culinary creations at Spencer's on the Waterfront in Burlington, Ont., for the last five years. Here, he shares his passion and why he chose to leave his native U.K. and move to Canada to pursue his career.

Chef Chris Haworth's uses organic and locally grown vegetables like wild mushrooms in his dishes

A culinary vision: From the garden to your plate

Although not one to follow trends -- he creates them -- the chef says there is huge shift worldwide toward the local and slow food movements. There is also the Nordic trend of foraging for food in the wild, which Haworth does for his gnocchi dish stuffed with mushrooms.

"We are veering away from mass produced beef and vegetable production that is tasteless and void of nutrition," he explains. "There is a huge swing to organics and local foods that are antibiotic and hormone-free and that's what I am involved in."

Contemporary cuisine with a British twist

Haworth serves Spencer's clientele contemporary cuisine but with a British twist. "My food has turned more health conscious, I am a classically trained French chef -- which is very rich food -- and I've lightened it up. I use less butter; I now use olive oils and lemon juice. I also started using a lot less carbohydrates and more vegetables."

A love of alcoholic cider and terrine translates into trendy dishes

The chef has most recently incorporated his love of hard cider into Spencer's menu; he says he advocates alcoholic cider being a Brit. He uses cider vinegars, hard ciders and apple juice in his preparations, including his Seared Scallop with Tamworth pork belly braised in cider with crab-apple puree and the Ida Red Apple and Celery Salad with pecans, chicory and Celtic blue cheese with a crab-apple iced-cider puree.

The chef has a passion for terrine and says that back in the United Kingdom, you could tell the quality of the kitchen by its terrine. He calls his pâté, like terrine "forever revolving" as they change it up all the time. "I'm trying to revolutionize the pâté and make it trendy," he insists.

About the chef

English Chef Chris Haworth

Born in Manchester, England, 10 years ago, he fell in love with a Canadian, Amy, now his wife. They spent their first five years together in England where he was an in-demand chef before moving to the quaint Ontario town of Dundas in 2005, where his wife has family. Haworth's dream was to work in Toronto.

Then he heard about a new restaurant in the works in nearby Burlington. The father of two, Evelyn, three, and Hugo James, one, was hired by owners, Geoff Crump and Aaron Ciancone, when the fine dining establishment was still just a shell of a building.

Since 1990, Haworth has plied his talents in a number of award-winning modern restaurant operations in the United Kingdom and Europe including Marco Pierre White's world-renowned restaurant, Quo Vadis, where he worked alongside famed Aussie chef Curtis Stone for five years.

For reservations to Spencer's on the Waterfront, 1340 Lakeshore Rd., Burlington, Ont., call 905-633-7494 or visit Spencers online.