Profile of the Conseiller Culinaire
" Cameron's personal interests are no less varied than his culinary ones "
In May 2021 the Bailliage of Canada was pleased to welcome Cameron Huley as its latest Conseiller Culinaire. Cameron has been involved with the Chaîne since 2006 and has amassed a wealth of competition knowledge locally, nationally and internationally.
Growing up in the small town of Anola (Manitoba), Cameron had always aspired to be a great chef starting as a five-year-old! Unlike many of his friends at school he preferred to watch the TV cooking shows of the day cooking right along with them and polishing his craft at an early age. At 15, he found himself in his first professional kitchen at Winnipeg’s Elmhurst Golf and Country Club as a dishwasher. His desire to cook was evident, always trying to get on the line.
This fascination led him to study Culinary Arts at Red River College in Winnipeg. By the age of 23, he had obtained his Red Seal from Maid of the Mist Hospitality College in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Upon returning home, he took a position at the St. Charles Golf and Country Club, spending the next nine years under renowned Executive Chef Takashi Murakami, Conseiller Culinaire Honoraire.
In 2009, Cameron assumed the role of Executive Chef at Winnipeg’s Four Points by Sheraton where he helped open the kitchen of the new hotel. During this time, he journeyed to Japan for a few weeks to train under Chef Kiba, a friend of Executive Chef Murakami. A classical French trained Chef, Chef Kiba agreed to take Cameron on for a period of training.
Cameron fulfilled a life-long dream in 2012 when he accepted a four-month contract touring the world as Executive Chef aboard a Celebrity Cruise Lines ship. Travelling the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, he studied the flavours and spices at every port of call. Today, Cameron is living in Winnipeg and working as Executive Chef at the Delta Hotel Winnipeg.
His culinary philosophy has taken many twists and turns over the years. As Cameron puts it, “I have been lucky enough to spend my entire career learning and honing my skills from the best, starting with my time under the watchful eye of my mentor Takashi Murakami.” This has led him to take his French and Japanese-influenced cooking in healthier directions. Cameron also believes in being self-sufficient. Cameron hunts boar, venison, bear and duck. He also forages for wild ramps [Ed. part of the onion family], fiddlehead greens [Ed: the furled fronds of a young fern harvested for use as a vegetable] and mushrooms. “Last year I picked 120 pounds”, he enthused.
Cameron is no stranger to global competitions having participated in numerous events around the world for The Canadian National Culinary Team. Today, he is applying that invaluable experience as a development coach for the National Junior Culinary Team Canada and Culinary Team British Columbia.
Cameron’s personal interests are no less varied than his culinary ones. When Cameron is not in the kitchen, he can be found enjoying another passion - ice carving. In his free time, he became a certified fire fighter, volunteering approximately 50 hours a month and remains on call for his area every day. Cameron also serves as an auxiliary police constable in his town. He enjoys the outdoors from foraging to hunting. Cameron has a small hobby farm where he and his son enjoy gathering fresh eggs for breakfast and raising meat birds for dinners.
Most recently, Cameron has taken up the sport of cycling. His cycling journey began at the beginning of 2020 when chef friends asked him to participate in Chefs Cycle - a charity fundraising ride.
Lastly, when asked for his thoughts on what today’s chefs should be doing to keep moving gastronomy to a new level, he replied, “I believe we just need to keep pushing ourselves and our limits. There is endless possibly. It’s up to us to keep striving.” His advice for the young, aspiring chef, “never stop learning, always remain a student, never give up on your dreams.”