While growing up in Cape Breton, Kirk had an early interest in wine. He was a devoted reader of the weekly wine column in the Halifax Herald and always tried to track down value-driven Riojas. Upon moving to Toronto, he somehow found himself working at the bastion of nouvelle cuisine, Statlanders. This was where Kirk first met many kind souls who furthered his education in the world of the grape. After a year at Statlanders, Kirk headed off to Vancouver where a burgeoning wine industry had developed in the wake of Expo. Shortly thereafter, Kirk had the great fortune to meet Robert Simpson (his mentor), who was operating the lone-at the time-Liberty Wine shop in Point Roberts, Washington. The weekly trips to “the Bob” provided an invaluable education in not only the grape, but also the business. It was a regular haunt for the giants of the wine trade and regular Sunday “le vin mystère” dinners allowed him the opportunity to taste with some of the most educated palates.
Whistler was the next destination for Kirk who began working with the infamous Andre St. Jacques at the Bearfoot Bistro. Kirk was the Wine Director at the Bistro for over 6 years (a record he believes will never be broken).
A move to Calgary found him dedicated to exploring and nurturing the burgeoning food and wine scene- locally and globally- with Jackie. Kirk spent 2 years as the Events Coordinator at Bonterra before leaving to open Petite with Jackie, which from its inception was a popular addition to the Calgary dining scene, placing second behind Rush in Avenue Magazine’s Best New Restaurant of 2010. Kirk was responsible for all facets of restaurant development from design to construction and upon opening, execution of service and day-to-day operation. Most recently, he was directing the wine program at Kensington Riverside Inn before taking the plunge into ownership. Kirk brings his East Coast charm to the team and ensures every guest has an exceptional experience.
PROPRIETOR / SOMMELIER
Jackie began working in the restaurant industry as a server to earn money for her upcoming and ongoing university education. After graduating with an honours degree in environmental studies, she continued working in the industry as a server in Toronto and then made a move to the west coast; Whistler and eventually Vancouver. It was 1998 when Jackie decided she wanted to pursue a wine career after spending a month exploring the wine regions of the Pacific Northwest and California. Eager to learn more about wine and the restaurant industry, she took assistant manager positions first at Quattro at Whistler in 2000 and in 2001 at Raincity Grill in Vancouver.
In 2002, Jackie earned her sommelier diploma from the International Sommelier Guild in Vancouver. Since earning her diploma, Jackie has held various positions in the wine industry: cellar worker at Tinhorn Creek Winery; Sommelier at Mission Hill Winery and Sommelier at Bearfoot Bistro in Whistler. During this time, she took the opportunity to travel to wine regions in Italy, France, Spain, the USA and Canada.
In 2006, Jackie moved to Calgary with Kirk to fulfill their dream of opening a restaurant. Besides running a wine consulting business, she has been part of Bin 905, Vin Room, Metrovino and Una. Since 2007 and onward, she has been an instructor for the International Sommelier Guild in Calgary and a judge for the Wine Access International Value Wine Awards (2007-2012). Also, she has been on the sommelier staff at the International Pinot Noir Conference in Oregon since 2004 and the Wine Summit at the Post Hotel in Lake Louise in 2007.
Daniel began his career at the Blackfoot Inn as a line cook in 2007, during which time he attended the apprentice program at SAIT. His apprenticeship included two years working at Catch in Calgary.
Having a keen interest in French cuisine, Daniel moved to Paris where he attended Ferrandi, L’ecole Francaise de Gastronomie and acquired a certificate in French cuisine. In Paris, Daniel had the opportunity to work under Chef Alain Passard of L’Arpege, a three Michelin star restaurant, and further trained under Chef Daniel Rose at Spring. Daniel has brought his experience with modern, exquisite French cuisine to Calgary
In Calgary, Daniel has had an opportunity to further hone his skills under Chef Xavier Lacaze and spent a year working under Chefs Duncan Ly and Michel Nop at Calgary’s Relais et Chateaux Chef’s Table.
With a passion for simple, hearty French cuisine, Daniel has joined Avec Bistro as Executive Chef. Daniel hopes to inspire appreciation for his menu by sourcing the very best ingredients, the development of exquisite flavours and eye-catching presentation.