Meet Heather MacArthur, Owner and Culinary Creative of Grounded. Heather was born and raised in Stratford where she was inspired to pursue her culinary career through her desire to “provide others a space where they also feel that love, welcome and nourishment that should go along with good food.” When it comes to how Stratford’s culinary landscape has influenced Heather, this is what she has to say: “We are very lucky to be in this town that has such big-city food and ideas mixed with small town care and dedication.”
|Question||Where did you grow up?|
|Answer||Born and raised in Stratford, Ontario.|
|Question||What or whom inspired you to pursue a culinary career?|
I did not get my love of flavours and textures from my mother. Although she had a couple of dishes that she did really, really well. Family dinners were important to her though and we always sat together at the table as a family. I think that carries over to my desire to provide others a space where they also feel that love, welcome and nourishment that should go along with good food.
Working in the culinary industry for many years also gave me the opportunity to work with a number of different cooks/chefs. At one restaurant I worked with two chefs who, for the first time, really showed me passion for the food and for their work. It was at a pivotal point because of the nutrition studies I was doing at the time and my desire to meld the two was growing every day.
|Question||How has the culinary landscape of Stratford and area influenced your cooking?|
|Answer||It wasn’t until later when I started working in the industry that I even knew enough to appreciate the amazing talents that we had in Stratford, both in the kitchens and the fields. We are very lucky to be in this amazing town that has such big-city foods and ideas, mixed with small town care and dedication.|
|Question||What dish are you most proud of creating?|
|Answer||I’m not sure that I have a dish that I’m most proud of. Honestly, every time that I see someone’s (positive) reaction, a smile, eyes light up, even a little shoulder shimmy...that makes me proud.|
|Question||What celebrity would you like to dine with and why?|
|Answer||I’m not really too concerned with celebrities. People are people. I love sitting down to good food with mostly anyone. If I had to choose, off the top of my head, I would say Ellen DeGeneres. Her humour, love, empathy and fun look at life always get me. Plus, she only eats plants so we’ll agree on where to eat dinner!|