Our Head Chef
Stephen (Steve) G Lumree
Chef Stephen (Steve) G Lumree recognized his passion for culinary arts very early in life. He started his journey at the age of 14, working at various resorts in the Barrie ON area. This was the spark that ignited 30 plus years of studying, traveling and working all over North America. At 19 years old, Steve completed an apprenticeship through the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (S.A.I.T.). Over the next five years Steve studied under five different European chefs in the Banff region. Upon returning to Toronto Steve accepted a position at the acclaimed restaurant North 44° under Chef Mark McEwan, which at the time was recognized as one of the top 25 restaurants of North America.
Steve’s desire to continue learning led him to veer off his career path, taking a position as a sub-contractor to Daimler Chrysler as a project manager. Utilizing his skills as a Certified Project Manager, Steve oversaw V.I.P. treatment, hotel visits, negotiated catering contracts, and was responsible for millions of dollars worth of corporate events.
These new skills better equipped Steve as he returned to the culinary world in the early 2000’s. Steve returned back home to the Georgian Bay area to work in several private member ski and golf clubs, as well as some of the local restaurants.
After several years consulting in the Georgian Bay area, Steve was asked to take the position of Executive Sous Chef at a corporate restaurant in Barrie, ON. After only 9 weeks Steve was promoted to Executive Chef, a position he held for the next year and a half. The position consisted of running the 360 seat restaurant with $5.8 million in food sales per year, 45 staff and five apprentices. Steve was confident that his skills were with some of the best the industry had to offer.
At this point a rare opportunity came available to work as Sous Chef to Chef Don Potter, a Canadian-born, European-trained and internationally recognized chef, at the five star Taboo Resort and Spa. Steve started by running the Boat House Restaurant, and by the end of summer Steve and his team set a record of $70,000 more than the best year for that location since it had open in the 1960’s. The record still stands to this day. By the end of the first summer Steve was promoted to Banquet Chef for the resort. As the head of Banqueting Services, the department was to oversee serving 1500 guest 3 times per day on eight different menus, in addition to overseeing the food service of two golf courses, the Mike Weir Home Course and the Muskoka Sands Course.
The following year Steve travelled to Iqaluit, Nunavut to work as the Executive Sous Chef to the celebrated Chef Michael Lampuu, ranked among Canada’s top 25 chefs. Along with an international team, Steve prepared local fare including elk, caribou, muskox, seal, whale, and arctic char for guests including Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Governor Generals Michelle Jean and Adrian Clarkson. Steve and his team also prepared meals for the Premiers Summit 2009 and the N.A.T.O. Military Leaders’ Summit 2009. Selected Seal preparations for the Prime Minister’s dinner have been made a part of the featured menu at Rideau Hall. In addition to this position, Steve was selected as a candidate to represent Nunavut at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Chef Steve decided in 2011 that it was finally time to start a restaurant of his own, and opened the Ruffed Grouse Bistro in Thornbury, ON. In the first nine months, the bistro was recognized among the top twenty restaurants of the Southern Georgian Bay Region. By the end of the first year Food & Drink magazine listed the Ruffed Grouse Bistro as their #1 recommended stop in their Cross-Canada Tour of “Where to Eat, Drink & Stay”.
After an unforeseen circumstance, the Ruffed Grouse was without a location and Steve found himself relocating to Meaford, ON, where he opened George’s On Main Brasserie, an upscale establishment in the city’s historic downtown. The new location offered fresh local fare from Georgian Bay and the Beaver Valley, and was named one of “Georgian Bays Best Restaurants”.
Returning to where it all began years prior, Chef Steve has now returned to Moonstone. The Lumree family has called this place home for almost 200 years. Arriving in the early 1820s, Steve’s great great grandfather established a farm on what now is known as the 7th line. At that time the area was simply referred to as “Medonte”. Years later the Moon family, who operated the post office, renamed the small village “Moonstone” after a Wilkie Collens book called “The Moonstone ”. The Lumree family was part of the early families to establish this area. Steve’s great uncle Cliff Lumree had the first garage and gas station in Moonstone and one of the first country general stores offering fresh produce from his own garden, deli meats, clothing, building supplies, and many other essential supplies. Steve’s grandfather provided local butcher services to the farmers in the area while operating his own farm and raising livestock. Chef Steve currently lives on a hobby farm, continuing in his family’s legacy.