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FIND a chef who secretly owns camels

Yes, we said “camels.” Plural. But beyond confirming that he does indeed own four footed ships of the desert, chef Pat Garland says he is sworn to secrecy as to why.

He will however tell you other surprising things. For example, Pat is an accomplished Origami artist, thanks to time spent working in Banff and interacting with Japanese tourists. And Pat – a third generation native of Hintonburg – will also proudly let you know he is the owner of Absinthe Café, now in its fifteenth year of operation, and confirms he is the winner of Ottawa’s prestigious Gold Medal Plates competition in 2014 and the reigning champ of the Parkdale Food Centre Fork Off competitions.

Which brings us to his impressive commitment to philanthropy, paired with a passion for mentoring young cooks. Pat is an ardent supporter of the Parkdale Food Centre, and sales of Absinthe’s Cornerstone Burger result in a substantial donation to Cornerstone Women’s Shelter every year; it is just one of the many charitable organizations with which Absinthe is involved.

Pat enjoys marrying classic techniques and the freshest ingredients to prepare contemporary Canadian soul food. His is a menu that changes regularly and which is served up in a warm and comfortable space. Absinthe’s food is influenced by Pat’s own travels; he expresses a particular fondness for destinations like Mexico, where he has family, as well as Lyon and Italy. He is equally adept at making delicious magic with fish, beef, poultry and vegetables.

But just in case you were wondering, there’s no camel on the menu at Absinthe. At least not yet…

For more fresh FINDs from Wellington West, check back here every Tuesday!

Keyword tags: WWBIA, Wellington West, Ottawa, Hintonburg, restaurant, Absinthe, local, local finds, local business, shop local, local food, Parkdale Food Centre, Cornerstone

Photo of Patrick Garland by Justin Van Leeuwen.