Chef de Cuisine: Gregory McCallum
Wine Director: Lisa Haley
Assistant Wine Director: Kristi Linneboe
Organization/Business: L’Abattoir Restaurant
What do you do and how did you get here?
Greg: I’m the Chef de Cuisine here at L’Abattoir. I have been cooking since I was 12 years old. I went to culinary school here in Vancouver and started working at Le Crocodile and then in Kitsilano. Eventually, I stumbled into Gastown and found this place. It had just opened, I really liked it and since then, I have been here for six and half years.
Kristi: I was GM and Wine Director at Maenam Thai Restaurant in Kitsilano. As I was obtaining my WSET wine certification, I met Lisa who brought me to L’Abattoir. I am now a sommelier, under Lisa’s wing, learning tons and having a great time!
Lisa: I have been working in restaurants since I was a teenager. I moved from Montreal to Vancouver, 3 years ago and started working my way through a few restaurants here in the city, as Manager and Wine Director. About a year ago, a spot opened up here and I couldn’t miss the opportunity. This is the kind of restaurant I have wanted to be at since before I moved to Vancouver. I have been working now as the Wine Director at L’Abattoir since October 2015.
What influences and inspires you?
Kristi: I am a sun worshiper. I get a lot from Mother Nature and spending time outdoors. The world of wine inspires me big-time as you can learn all about climate, soil type and geography of wine growing regions and countries.
Lisa: I am the direct opposite of Kristi in so many ways! I am inspired by comfortable couches and nice walls. When it comes to wine, I am really inspired by stories of the people who are part of this fascinating world and the intellectual discussions around wine. It’s the cerebral side of it that I’m attracted to. I hate the sunshine.
Greg: The food. My team. The guys and girls that I work with. They keep me motivated. And the customers; making tasty things for my guests and having them leave happy.
If you had 15 minutes only, in Gastown, how would you spend it?
Greg: If it were before work, I would go get a coffee at Revolver. If it were after work, I would probably go to Gringos and get a quesadilla.
Lisa: I would get a coffee too but I would go to Milano. They are my favourite roasters in town. Then I would stop at Birds and the Beets and get an oatmeal and jam cookie.
Kristi: I guess we’re all fueled by coffee here, as 15 minutes would take me to the Birds and the Beets or Milano.
What’s your philosophy for a good life?
Lisa: Not as much balance as everyone says. If you love something, whether it is hard work or hard play, go for it! Balance is overrated.
Greg: Find what you love and devote yourself to it. Make it your life and then the work/life balance isn’t an issue because you are living it. The job doesn’t feel like work because it fulfills you and makes you happy.
Kristi: Happiness is the goal of life. Do what you love and seize the day. Do the best that you can do.