Lynn Crawford - The Master Chef
Lynn Crawford was born in Toronto, Ontario, on the 18th of July, 1964. Not so much is known about her educational life except that she studied majorly at George Brown College, where she was born.
While Lynn Crawford is known for so many things by different people, the most important is her constant appearance on the Food Network show tagged "Restaurant Makeover."
Before she started appearing on the show, Lynn served as the executive chef at the Four Seasons - a big and popular restaurant in Toronto. Read about the life stories of other popular Canadian chefs.
She was also the executive chef at the Four Seasons branch in New York. She also held other appointments in different restaurants as a child growing up and even as an adult.
In the early days as a chef, everyone around Lynn could tell of her doggedness to perfect her art. She spent a considerable amount of her time trying to master what she does - cooking. Her parents noticed this skill right from when she was a child, and they helped her groom it.
She attended many cooking academies, took part in different competitions where she won some and lost others, and has shared the stage with many popular chefs globally.
In this article, Superprof examines the life and many experiences of Lynn Crawford that have made her one of the top celebrity chefs in Canada. Compare the life story of Lynn Crawford and Rob Feenie.
Lynn Crawford's Early Life
Born in Ontario, Toronto, Lynn Crawford grew up in a very small town known as Willowdale. It was a suburb where her humble parents lived. With both of her parents being Scottish immigrants, Crawford had her family moving very often.
Before she started high school, her parents moved from where they had spent a better part of their life to Richmond Hill - another suburb in Canada. There, she attended the Richmond Hill High School, where she performed excellently well.
As a child, Crawford's attention to the details of things around her was quite impressive.
After completing her high school education, Crawford applied to the University of Guelph in Ontario to study Fine Arts. However, it appeared that wasn't her interest as she spent a considerable amount of her time learning culinary skills.
It didn't take long before she dropped out of the university and returned to Toronto to register with George Brown's College.
She applied for the Culinary Arts Program in George Brown's College at Crawford to improve her skills. After she was done with her program, she embarked on an apprenticeship journey to California, where she worked at Waters' restaurant for a month.
After a month at Waters' restaurant, she moved to Barbara Tropp's China Moon Cafe, where she learned alongside some of North America's most notable chefs.
After a short stint in California, Crawford returned to her base in Toronto but didn't stop learning. She registered at Winston's along Adelaide Street West as an apprenticeship.
Every time she gets to talk about her background, she has only kind words to say about this restaurant.
Lynn Crawford and Four Seasons
While many know Lynn Crawford as a popular chef in Canada today because of her television personality, her journey began at Four Seasons.
She spent considerable time working with different branches of Four Seasons before she went on to establish her restaurant.
She started her journey with the Four Seasons chain of luxury hotels towards the end of 1986 when she was posted to Montreal.
After working with the Montreal branch, she was posted to other branches where she worked in different capacities. Notable branches include those in Vancouver, Toronto, and New York.
As a staff member of Four Seasons, Crawford focused on delivering to the best of her abilities. Little did she know that the management team was watching her and impressed with the services she offered. Then, she was made the executive sous chef for the Four Seasons branch in New York sometime in 2002.
However, her stay was not long in New York as she immediately jumped at an offer that allowed her to move back to Four Seasons in Toronto.
Just like Lynn, Sarah Kramer is another popular Canadian chef.
In Toronto, she was made the overall executive chef of Four Seasons. She served here on a four-year tenure and made her mark by sourcing and developing culinary talents.
By 2006, Lynn Crawford was posted back to Four Seasons in New York and was made the executive chef there. As at the time when she was the executive chef here, she was the only female occupying that position across all the 74 properties of Four Seasons in 31 different countries globally.
Lynn Crawford was a worthy model for many upcoming chefs in Canada and all the different expressions of Four Seasons she has worked with.
On the 25th of February, 2007, Lynn Crawford appeared on her first television program - an episode of 'Iron Chef America,' organized by the Food Network. When she came for a session on the program, she was said to be the first Canadian woman to be featured on the show. She also came third in both genders, next to Rob Feenie and Susur Lee.
As a guest on the Food Network's show, she was tasked with preparing a food menu for the selected judges who analyze the menu. Her first appearance wasn't so much of a good one, but one she wouldn't forget in an instant. She was up against Bobby Flay, and to her greatest surprise, she lost the competition.
The loss from the Food Network program spurred Lynn Crawford into investing more time honing her skills, and after a while, she returned to the competitive reality show. She decided to participate in the 'Top Chef Masters' - a seasonal competition that features 13 chefs.
As a participant in this seasonal competition, you're expected to select a charity that will receive your prize. For Crawford, she decided to select the Odette Cancer Centre in Toronto.
Besides registering to be a part of several competitions, Lynn Crawford has also had the privilege of sitting as a judge for Chopped Canada - a television competition organized for rising talents.
Lynn Crawford and Different Television Shows
Lynn Crawford as a Canadian celebrity chef has featured on several television shows, the first of which was Restaurant Makeover, where she was a guest in its first season. Her task as a guest in this TV show was to help reverse the declining state of a particular restaurant that is not doing well.
Crawford was a regular face for the show's five seasons, where she related to the chefs in a very calm and humble manner that made many of them love her.
After attending different shows, Lynn Crawford started her TV show in 2009, and it was tagged Pitchin' in. It was aired on Food Network Canada and featured many other celebrity chefs doing well in Canada.
The goal of Crawford's TV show was to teach her audience what a particular ingredient or recipe is made of before going on to use it for a meal. She provided a detailed analysis of different cooking processes on her show and, in no time, it became a popular TV show in Canada.
Crawford's show was nominated for several awards, and she won a few in different areas.
Lynn Crawford's Restaurants
After a long spell as the executive chef of Four Seasons, Lynn Crawford decided to leave to engage in active cooking services. It wasn't long after she made this decision that she established her restaurant. She didn't actually establish the first; she bought an already existing restaurant and renamed it.
She partnered with Cherie Stinson and Joey Skeir to purchase The Citizen restaurant on Queen Street East, Toronto. Upon the successful purchase of this restaurant, they decided to rename it Ruby Watchco.
At the time of renaming this restaurant, it was the only one with a fixed menu and 72 seats. It offered four different courses to guests, all featuring local and seasonal ingredients.
In 2011, Lynn Crawford and her two partners decided to expand their business, and they obtained kitchenware called Ruby Eats that only lasted for three years before it was closed down.
Lynn Crawford's Cookbooks
Like you will see with many popular celebrity chefs, Lynn Crawford has a few cookbooks to her name. The first is "Lynn Crawford's Pitchin' In: 100 Great Recipes from Simple Ingredients," which she published in 2012. To date, this cookbook is largely referenced by chefs globally.
Crawford also published another cookbook about a year after titled "At Home with Lynn Crawford: 200 of My Favorite Easy Recipes." Lynn's two cookbooks have been shortlisted for several cooking awards because of the quality content of both.
Lynn Crawford is not just a Canadian celebrity chef because of how well she cooks alone, but because of the many competitions she has engaged in. Her regular appearance on many talk shows has also contributed to her popularity.
Regardless of where you reside in Canada, you can also rise through the cooking ranks to become as popular as Lynn Crawford. It starts with you registering for online lessons and hiring a tutor from Superprof.
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