NAC names Kenton Leier its new head chef

Kenton Leier. Photo: Love Ottawa

Kenton Leier has been named the new Executive Chef of the NAC. He takes his post on July 26.

Leier has more than 25 years of culinary and food and beverage experience, the NAC said in a media releasee. His last post was with the Westin Hotel across the Rideau Canal in downtown Ottawa. He has also worked at the Chateau Laurier, the Marriott Ottawa Hotel, where he opened Merlot restaurant, the Delta Ottawa and at The Capital Dining Room. He is the president of the Ottawa chapter of Les Toques Blanches International, an association of chefs and food services professionals.

Leier has won the gold medal at the Scothot Culinary Salon in Glasgow, Scotland, and the silver medal at the Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg. In 1998 he was selected by the centre’s original top chef Kurt Waldele, to be part of Canada’s Capital Regional Culinary Team which won many national and international medals.

“I’m excited to join the National Arts Centre’s culinary team at a time of unprecedented rejuvenation for the organization,” Leier said in the media release. The expansion of the NAC which will open in three stages starting on July 1, will see several new spaces that will be catered, the most prominent being the doubling in size of the Panorama Room which will now hold up to 600 people.

The food department brings in about $7 million a year and is one of the largest of its kind in Eastern Ontario. It includes le café, the popular restaurant, a major catering operation, seven intermission bars and oversees the hospitality services at Global Affairs and Rideau Gate. Every year, the NAC hosts about 800 events and serves more than 56,000 guests in the restaurant by the Rideau Canal.

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Peter Robb began his connection with the arts community in Ottawa in the mid-1980s when he was the administrator and public relations director of the Great Canadian Theatre Company. After a long career in journalism with the Ottawa Citizen where he served in a number of different posts he returned to the arts when he became the Citizen's arts editor.