John Winter Russell

Speaker, John Winter Russell
Chef proprietor, Candide
  • “Chef of the Year” and “Restaurant of the Year” nominee, Les Lauriers (2018)
  • John and fellow chef Jeremy Charles were selected to represent Canada at Refettorio Ambrosiano by world-renowned chef, and C2 2016 speaker, Massimo Bottura (2015)

Befitting its rustic menu, Candide is located in the Salon 1861 project, a community hub in Montreal’s Little Burgundy neighbourhood that used to be a church.

The creative cuisinier

As the story goes, Chef John Winter Russell was so enthralled by the last lines of Voltaire’s Candide – “but let us cultivate our garden” – that he named his restaurant after the famous French satire. He was attracted to the duality of the word. In English, candid means straightforward; in French, aided by Voltaire’s famous text, candide means something like “blind optimist.” John sees himself, and his miraculous Montreal restaurant – known for cuisine that is humble, subtle and brilliant – as a combination of the two. Before Candide – which has been fêted by pretty much everyone and was nominated for Restaurant of the Year by Les Lauriers – John worked in several of the city’s best restaurants, including Van Horne, Pastaga, and La Salle à Manger. As a big believer in seasonal ingredients and in avoiding food waste, John simultaneously elevates haute cuisine while making it responsible to create and consume.
“In gastronomy, it’s mostly the spirit of sharing and discovery that predominates.”
John to Quartier de l'Innovation
  • “Chef of the Year” and “Restaurant of the Year” nominee, Les Lauriers (2018)
  • John and fellow chef Jeremy Charles were selected to represent Canada at Refettorio Ambrosiano by world-renowned chef, and C2 2016 speaker, Massimo Bottura (2015)

Befitting its rustic menu, Candide is located in the Salon 1861 project, a community hub in Montreal’s Little Burgundy neighbourhood that used to be a church.