Meet the Canada Team
I am a Canadian Chef that spent many years abroad. I worked in the hardest kitchens I could and did as many competitions as I qualified for. Weeks without time off became normal for me.
Our industry is one of service to others. We spend so much of our lives as Chefs making fantastic flavours and perfect cuisines. We focus on so many things aside from our own mental and physical well being.
During the pandemic the staffing crisis imploded, I had to re approach how to maintain staff. Around this time, I got involved in the Burnt Chef Project. The courses and programs equipped me with knowledge and empathy for helping my staff. At the time it was about making a workplace that nurtured my staff, but suddenly I realized I was changing myself as well. I began having structured time off with my wife, and spending time doing things I had forgotten I loved.
Chef Imrun Texeira is a Canadian Chef and has worked in some of the world's best and most influential restaurants, including 3 Michelin Starred Noma in Copenhagen. Most recently, he has been named as a recipient of the Top 30-Under-30 Award for hospitality leaders in Canada and as a rising talent in North America by The Art of Plating. Imrun was a semi-finalist on the Food Network’s Top Chef Canada Season 8 and a finalist on the Food Network’s Chopped Canada Season 3.
He is a strong supporter of the ethos behind The Burnt Chef Project, and is here to help spread the message to break the stigma of mental health.
We have to put the right practices in place to create the best and healthiest workplaces we can for our staff. We as ambassadors and chefs have the responsibility to be the change we want to see in the industry to create a better workplace for future generations to come.
I came up in an industry filled with 14 hour days, 6 or 7 day weeks, sexual harassment and poor stress management skills. Then the pandemic hit. Suddenly that normality shifted. I lost myself trying to find a balance between restaurant closure and having to live this outside life that I had spent years ignoring. What was I supposed to do with my days? How could I take pride in my work when the whole environment shifted? How could I support my staff through these times?
The answer was bigger than I imagined. The goal became creating a stable work environment with a serious attempt to maintain a work/life balance. I found ways of focusing inwards to learn how to build a strong mental health base. Hobbies and pastimes helped bring joy. I explored relationships with friends and family that had been ignored for too long. It is my goal to help bring this story to others and teach our future restaurant employees that the industry is shifting for the better.
I started my culinary journey in 2011 and it wasn’t long before I was instantly hooked. The fast-paced energy, long hours, and team work really appealed to me. Unfortunately, I was also hooked on the after work pint of beer, and this followed me throughout most of my career.
It was normal and acceptable-I could indulge without any judgements. As my career “peaked” my addiction took full force and took over my life. Once I accepted help, I began to see my career in a different light and I became inspired to become alcohol free. My love for food has always remained constant throughout the years but it is blossoming into something even more beautiful.
Since taking my life seriously, mental health has been a huge focus for me. I try to practise positive mental health and daily meditation. I want to help our chefs enjoy a quality of life outside the kitchen.
Before going into business for myself, I had a long and successful career with Cactus Club Cafe restaurants- operating in various roles and markets that helped to make Cactus restaurants a household name in Canada.
Today I am the creator of Benchmark Sixty - A one-of-a-kind restaurant financial optimization agency designed to support restaurateurs to increase their
profit margins by understanding data, implementing benchmarks, and using metrics to improve productivity. This platform has helped hundreds of restaurants start on the right foot, land on their feet, or position for solid growth moving forward. It has been battle-tested during the challenging Covid-19 restrictions.
My business goals are focused on doing what I can to improve the overall state of the restaurant industry. Having grown up in it and witnessing firsthand the challenges it and the people working in it face, I want to make it better for the next generation.