Grand Officier Maître Rôtisseur Honoraire
" Executive Chef creates his dream career "
Executive Chef creates his dream ‘career’
Born in Winterthur, Switzerland, raised and educated in Canada, Executive Chef Kenneth Titcomb, Grand Officier Maître Rôtisseur, is a study in contrasts: Executive Chef at 5 Star establishments around the world, ski racer, cyclist, mountaineer and art lover. At the time of his induction in 1990, aged 30 Kenneth was one of the youngest Maître Rôtisseur members of the Bailliage of Canada. Promoted to Officier Maître in 2014 and again in 2019 to Grand Officier Maître, on June 9th this year he took Honoraire status.
Kenneth sees a real connection between a passion for outdoors, extreme sports and culinary arts. When asked why extreme sports are important in terms of physical endurance and technical excellence Executive Chef Titcomb replied, “they relate to working in a kitchen under great pressure. Working very precisely. Yet with speed. An avalanche of chits flooding into the kitchen demanding a thousand portions of this or a hundred deboned quails … now! During my apprenticeship, Chef didn’t order semi deboned!”
His advice to culinary students is “stay in the best physical shape to enjoy as long a career as possible, it will serve you well. Cooking at a very high level is not easy, keep fit. Enjoy your surroundings wherever you are.”
Kenneth’s appreciation for the beauty of art is no less relevant to an appreciation for masterpieces created in Chaîne kitchens worldwide. He is an avid collector of Western Canadian landscape and First Nations’ indigenous art. Kenneth combines his love of this activity with the culinary world currently involved in helping produce interesting, unique gourmet art-themed dinners.
Both a career choice inspired by his mother’s cooking and experience of many ethnic cuisines during his travels helped create his tapestry of success. As he put it, “I feel so blessed no matter where I worked during my career I always bumped into amazing people that often became good friends.”
Back in the summer of 1977, as his cooking career started a chance meeting with two world-class mountaineers with little money and enormously big appetites to whom Kenneth donated ‘leftovers’ each night illustrates how the camaraderie of the table, no matter how humble, can lead to life-long memories, friendships and experiences. These mountaineers subsequently made a movie about Mount Everest.
Upon graduation, he was drawn back to Switzerland, which is where his passion for the outdoors and the culinary arts first combined. On returning to Canada, Kenneth expanded his experience leading to accepting the invitation in 1994 to become Executive Chef at the prestigious Ranchmen’s Club of Calgary (founded in 1891), where he has been innovating for the past 27 years. Members and guests savour Calgary’s finest dining experiences in casual and formal dining rooms, including an extensive cellar offering an impressive variety of wines.
Kenneth often wonders “did I just die and go to heaven plus I’m being paid well to be here” when all the sports he loves are at his fingertips together with his passion for the culinary arts.
Reflecting about who were the most memorable people he has cooked for: Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles & Princess Diana, France’s President Mitterrand and of course, all the amazing Chaîne des Rôtisseurs events over 30 plus years!