Dominique & Geoffrey Wild
We are the Wild’s, a Swiss and South African/English couple with over 40 years of hospitality management experience between us. Our careers have taken us to some of the most incredible places on earth. We cut our hospitality teeth managing restaurants and hotels for some of the most prestigious companies in the world, including The Ritz Carlton Hotel company, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Red Carnation Hotels, Soho House, Fortnum and Mason, DO & CO International Airline and Event Catering and Sketch London.
Having met in Bahrain, we have been blessed to call Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt, England, USA, South Africa, Switzerland and now Canada home. Having firmly established roots in our local community with the launch of The Wild Tart in 2019, we aim to continue bringing inclusive luxury experiences to Elora, building on a need for exciting quality food and beverage offerings in a community redefining itself.
I grew up in Waterloo, Ontario. That is where I got my first start working in kitchens. As a young cook, I was right at home working in a team environment. I quickly got hooked. I moved to the Muskokas to train under excellent chefs. I was in my element at the beautiful resorts and restaurants that overlook the lakes. There I learned and excelled at the traditional brigade of the kitchen. I became convinced this career was right for me. The action, team camaraderie, and adrenalin-flow reminded me of my days playing organized sports in Waterloo. I started investing my time in studying world-class chefs and their cuisine. Not long after my start, I enrolled in the Humber College Culinary Program, graduating after two years with honors.
With a good foundation in place, it was time for me to take on a new challenge. I became Executive Chef at Clevelands House Resort on the shores of Lake Rosseau, there I successfully launched two new restaurant concepts with some incredible people, who I still call friends to this day. After a few years Bayfield Ontario was calling, and a beautiful boutique hotel The Little Inn of Bayfield offered me a unique challenge to cultivate my skills and continue my education in cuisine. The hotel provided an intimate setting to execute multi-coursed chefs tasting dinners for our guests.
My career has taken me to many beautiful places in Ontario, and I’ve been fortunate to travel the world as well. I now reside in Bayfield with my wonderful partner, and two dogs. However, after meeting Geoffrey and Dominique Wild, I knew Elora was too good an opportunity to miss. Our shared vision of the three-restaurant concepts, elevated local and fresh cuisine, inspired me to accept this position. I look forward to joining the great community of Elora and welcoming guests to the restaurants.
Executive Pastry Chef
I started working in kitchens while I was still in school, on weekends and holidays as a kitchen porter and prep cook, where I quickly realized that this would be a great career choice for me.
After finishing school, I found a work placement at a local country house hotel In Netherfield Place in Battle, England, where I completed my NVQ exams and began life as a chef. Though the hours were pretty crazy and the brigade small, it was a great place to begin and a real eye opener to the hospitality industry as a whole. It was also there where I discovered my love for all things sweet. I worked my way through the ranks from apprentice to Pastry Commis. I spent four good years there before deciding to take a leap and a real step up. So I moved to Bath, England, where I then spent fourteen incredible years at the Michelin starred The Manor House in Castle Coombe. During my time there I had the privilege of working under the tutelage and later alongside some incredible chefs, all of whom were able to teach and give me guidance over the years. Having not worked with people like Richard Davies, Rob Potter, Catherine Locke and Michael Topp, amongst so many others, I would never have gained the knowledge, experience or confidence to have risen through the ranks. Becoming the Head Pastry Chef was a highlight of my career to that point. My time there will always hold special memories and a special place in my heart.
After spending so many wonderful years there I knew it was time for a new challenge. I moved to the North of England to help out a friend for six months. Whilst it was a change to what I was used to, it was a great experience and I could expand my knowledge in the “savoury” side of the kitchen.
I was fortunate enough to have travelled to some of the most incredible places on Earth such as Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, New York, Rome, and Amsterdam to name a few, where I absorbed the local cuisines and flavors.
But it was also a very transitional period of my life; having gone through a divorce and a major road accident, I knew that I wanted to do something life changing. The right move at the right time came along. An old friend with whom I worked with at my first hotel contacted me about coming to Canada to open new hotel in the picturesque town of Elora. It was too good an opportunity to miss out on and it seemed like fate getting back in touch with a close friend from the first days of my career. I always had this lingering feeling from our early days that our story wasn’t complete just yet!
After spending a year successfully opening The Elora Mill Hotel and Spa, I realized that I was missing the thing I love doing most, Afternoon Tea. The petit gateaux, macarons, pastries, finger sandwiches, scones and everything that makes going for Afternoon Tea such an experience. At this point I was contemplating going back home to England. As luck would have it I stumbled upon my dream job, having the opportunity to work alongside some fantastic people, Geoffrey and Dominique. They share my love and passion for all things Afternoon Tea and have a wealth of knowledge and experience in traditional English Afternoon Tea service between them.
I am very much looking forward to opening the doors to The Wild Tart and hope to help make the restaurant a special part of this wonderful community in the years to come.
See you there……
Beverage & Bar Manager
From a young age bartending has been a true passion of mine. Long before I could drink my mum once found me sitting at a bar chatting away with the bartender. I was five, and since then I wouldn’t stop talking about how neat I thought the job was.
I moved to England to pursue my Masters of Fine Arts in Staging Shakespeare at The University of Exeter. It was here where I was properly introduced to craft cocktails for the first time and my passion for all things bar was re-ignited. The drink that changed everything for me was the classic Bourbon Sour made with fresh lemon juice, bitters, and egg white. A whole new amazing world came into being for me the moment my lips touched the frothy edge of the drink. At the time England was at the forefront of the cocktail renaissance and while there I was lucky enough to study under some of the best bartenders shaping the industry across the pond. From here I would go full on into all things bar eventually working toward my Whiskey Ambassador certification, in addition I continued my education with The Wine and Sprits Education Trust.
A Wellington county girl born and I’ve been very privileged to be a part of many local restaurants. I joined the team at The Wild Tart initially to run their street patio bar. It was here that I had the opportunity to experience firsthand the incredible talent and dedication of Geoffrey and Dominique and the whole Wild Tart team. I couldn’t be more excited to continue my hospitality journey and embark on this new adventure with them. After opening many great local bars I’m excited to sink my teeth into an opening once more as part of The Badley Management Team. To keep up to date with what I’m up to and all things cocktail follow me @countycocktails on Instagram.