PIERRE MAJOIS, Executive Chef at the McGill Faculty Club
Like many great chefs, McGill Faculty Club’s Pierre Majois started his culinary career in France, first in Nice and then moving to the Paris for a few years. Wanting to expand his horizons, he left the City of Lights and moved to Montreal to work for the Queen Elizabeth and the Méridien Hotels consecutively. He worked as the “Chef Garde- Manger” at the Méridien during the Olympics which allowed him to work with culinary professionals from all over the world.
His experience at the Olympics propelled him to go live in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for a few years where Chef Majois discovered the world of spices. For a Frenchman used to using simple herbs to cook, he was astounded that the Arabs even spiced their coffee! Being a chef at a large hotel where princely weddings took place, he was able to experience a world that most westerners are never able to approach. “Their weddings were straight out of the Thousand and One Nights,” says Majois dreamily. “Men were not usually able to see women in Saudi Arabia, but I saw them on their wedding day, decked out in Dior, Ralph Lauren and the likes and absolutely covered in diamonds. It felt like it was straight out of the Arabian Nights. I loved my experience there.”
After a few years, dare we say he must have been missing Canadian winters because he came back to work in Quebec City at the Auberge des Gouverneurs and then was Executive Chef at Loews Le Concorde Hotel. Finally, he moved back to Montreal to work at the Renaissance Hotel, which is now the New Rez. He started working for the McGill Faculty Club approximately 10 years ago and since, has cooked for prestigious guests such as the former Governor General, Adrienne Clarkson and also for club members on a daily basis. He has brought a new charm to the club and is always ready to experiment with new cuisines, rarely serving the same menu twice in a month. He particularly likes the challenge of experimenting with different sorts of spices, creating traditional dishes with a twist. Bi- monthly club events take on a new life in Majois’ kitchen where some serious food experimentation goes on before it is offered to club patrons. The secret to Majois’ success? “Curiosity and the willingness to try new foods, tastes and combinations. However, the most important ingredient is love. Everything tastes better when it is prepared lovingly.”