Redhead + the Chef Expand Into New Digs
Review by Susan Pretty, Photos by Keegan Richard
After four years at the Thunder Bay Country Market, the dynamic duo of the Redhead + the Chef are excited about their new brick-and-mortar eatery, Jack and Andy’s by Redhead + the Chef.
Who are Jack and Andy and why would Jennifer Biron (the Redhead) and Derek Cyrenne (the Chef) name their restaurant after them? When COVID hit, it was a tough time for Biron and Cyrenne, both professionally and personally. “Not only were we scared about how we would make ends meet being self-employed, but we also had no one to cook for,” Biron says. “There were no catering events or weddings to get motivated about. To come to a sudden screeching halt was devastating.” The couple sought solace out at their camp to reflect and rethink their direction. There, they met best friends Jack and Andy. “As our friendships developed with them and their families, we found new inspiration and purpose to once again just to be ourselves in the kitchen—or in this case at camp […] on the barbecue. We got back to creating amazing food and wonderful memories.”
Biron remembers the conversation that changed everything. “One night, Andy told us that one of the hardest things for him in dealing with the changes from COVID was that he and Jack could no longer go for coffee, like they had done for years,” she says. This hit home for the couple, and led them to ponder their new direction. “When the opportunity came for us to have our own place, we jumped on it. We would have a place to cook and create and make people happy, as well as a place for our good friends to have a coffee […] however and whenever they wanted.”
The Redhead + the Chef are delighted with their new home, located in one of the business spaces at the north side waterfront parkade. “This space is the perfect size for our small team,” Biron says, enthusiastically. “It offers the potential to have private dining in the evening by reservation; during the day we will offer amazing quick and healthy breakfast and lunch items.”
“Made from scratch with love” is their motto, and customers can expect to find meals just like they would find on grandma’s table. Whether it’s turkey and wild rice soup (a two-to-three day process, as Cyrenne takes time to roast the bones to beef up his stock), a clubhouse sandwich, or chicken stew, they pride themselves on the low and slow approach when it comes to cooking. Treat yourself to the spicy pork ramen with layers of flavour and just the right amount of spice, or the truly decadent perogy soup with mini hand-made perogies, bacon, and green onion.
The team is also proud of their new online system, which allows customers to have a seamless ordering experience with just a few clicks on their website. The Redhead + the Chef look forward to welcoming old and new customers to their inviting space. “We look forward to sharing our passion in our new restaurant to continue to bring you the food and experience you expect from us—inspired by these two great men that mean more to us than they will ever know,” Biron says.
Jack and Andy’s by Redhead + the Chef is located at 18 Court Street North. Contact them at 621-1599, at redheadandthechef.com, or on Facebook or Instagram.