BC Chef Jesse McCleery Pilgrimme Restaurant on Galiano Island Heads to Canadian Culinary Championships.

Chef Interview Series – Chef Jesse McCleery

This week is the final for the Canadian Culinary Championships and we’re interviewing the chefs prior to their arrival in Kelowna. We caught up with Chef McCleery from Pilgrimme prior to his win in Victoria in November, so re-posting this one with a few pics from the BC Competition.

Chef McCleery Winning Dish GMP Victoria
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Chef Jesse McCleery Gold at GMP Victoria

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Chef’s dish – SQUASH, ONION, PEAR, BEEF HEART – Growing Chefs Fundraiser 2016

Tell us a little bit about your restaurant and/or style of cooking.

Pilgrimme is a small restaurant on Galiano Island with a focus on vegetables, Canadian grains and what grows wild on and around the island.

Where do you eat in your city?

When I head over to Vancouver I always try to get a bowl of ramen at motomachi and usually steer towards all the amazing Asian foods in town , one of the things I miss most about the city.

What would be your ideal food day? 

Guests willing to try new things.

What trend do you wish would die?

Food trends in general. We tend to over consume the latest trendy veg or whatever which in turn sees a lot of destruction in other countries when there is big money to be made supporting North Americas over consumption of latest said food trend. Everything in moderation!

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Chefs at Growing Chefs Fudraiser – Chef McCleery far left.

What trend/s do you wish would be next?

Conversation up and phones down at the table.

What ingredient do you always have on hand?

One type or another of a gulf island seaweed.

What’s your go-to recipe when you’re eating at home? 

Grilled cheese.


What equipment do you wish you had in your kitchen?

A rational.  (For those who don’t work in a pro kitchen – “A cooking appliance that senses, recognises, thinks with the user and ahead, learns and communicates with its user. The first appliance on the market that does not work according to pre-set programme.” – Food Stuff Africa).

fool mag

What cookbook would you suggest for a gift for your foodie friends this year?

A subscription to Fool magazine

What wine/beer/libation are you pairing with this year?

Seastar Vineyards Blanc de Noir from our neighbour Pender island

For more about pilgramme and Chef McCleery head to Food Day Canada for Anita Stewart’s brilliant write up – pilgrimme.