Kate Siegel has joined Fairmont Pacific Rim as the new Executive Pastry Chef, overseeing the entire pastry program for the hotel’s two restaurants, banquets and in-room dining.
Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Siegel started her culinary career in restaurants, prior to joining Four Seasons Hotel Toronto’s pastry team in 2004. Siegel then held progressive culinary positions at the Four Seasons Whistler, followed by the Metropolitan Hotel in downtown Vancouver, where she received her first Executive Pastry Chef role alongside Executive Chef Hamid Salimian. “Chef Hamid was one of my greatest mentors,” says Siegel. “His passion inspired me to reimagine traditional desserts and strive to create exceptional pastries in a modern way.”
In 2012 Siegel returned to Toronto where she accepted the role as the Executive Pastry Chef at the Shangri-La Hotel Toronto with then Executive Chef Damon Campbell, who is now Executive Chef at Fairmont Pacific Rim. Four years later, Siegel followed her love of chocolate and became the Production Manager for Soma Chocolatemaker, where she gained a new appreciation for chocolate – understanding the process from bean to bar, taking the cacao beans from their original state, through the steps of roasting, winnowing, grinding, and conching. It was as Soma that she began to appreciate the importance of ethically sourcing chocolate – a practice that she will continue at Fairmont Pacific Rim.
Siegel then returned to BC to join North Arm Farm. It was at North Arm Farm, an organic vegetable and berry farm featuring a bakery, restaurant and full-service wedding venue, that Siegel began looking at her process differently. Rather than sourcing ingredients for a dessert she wanted to create, she began allowing the seasonality of the farm’s fresh produce to drive her menu. Siegel eventually gravitated back to her hotel roots when she accepted her most recent role at Fairmont Chateau Whistler – the position that reunited her with Chef Damon Campbell at Fairmont Pacific Rim. “We’re thrilled to have Kate join the team and I am personally so excited for us to work together again,” said Campbell. “Kate’s commitment and creativity always stood out to me, and I know her experience as an executive pastry chef, as well as a chocolatier, will elevate our pastry program and provide an exceptional experience for those who dine and stay with us.”
Siegel holds a diploma in Culinary Management from George Brown College, where she has also earned the Industry Partner Recognition award.