After years of working in busy kitchens for large restaurants, Cookery Bistro owners Cat and Darren decided to open up a place that kept things simple, healthy and delicious. Their gourmet menu contain sandwiches, salads and soups made from scratch, and a selection of fresh raw juices. While the staples of his business are sandwiches, Darren ventures into some more complex dishes very week which are the Bistro’s specials. They also offer soups, salads and some baked goods for take out or catering.
The Bistro is only 125 sq.ft and it is located in the Kanata Medical Building, which Cat explains might not seem a likely place for gourmet food. Unlikely location or not, the Bistro is still thriving six years later enough to open up a second location this year. “My husband Darren is a chef and started the Cookery Bistro in 2010.” Cat says, “I would have to say that his most delicious creation to date would be the Caramelized Onion + Brie Mac and Cheese. I would love to be able to show you a picture but I have never been able to have it in front of me long enough to snap a pic.”
The Bistro has a solid amount of breakfast and lunch traffic, with enthusiastic reviews from those who frequent it. Darren’s creations have gained renown for being fresh and homemade, and their breakfast and lunch sandwiches being popular among the local weekday workers. “For breakfast, people love the Little Piglet which consists of a fresh cracked egg, real ham, a nice melty brie, caramelized onions, and some fresh greens.” Cat says, “For lunch it has to be the Pig and Fig, which has a house made fig compote, thick brie, real ham, house made mayo, cracked black pepper, and mesclun on a toasted 9 grain ciabatta. It’s sweet, salty and savoury so it works with almost every craving.”
The new location has yet to be determined, but they want to keep things close by in Kanata. “We live in Kanata and love Kanata, but we feel that it’s definitely underserved in food and drink variety. We have seen a shift in the food culture slowly taking place in Kanata and it’s no longer uncommon for everyone to start caring and asking about what they are eating.” Cat says, “This expansion means that we will be able to stay open longer, have seating available and provide a great atmosphere in an unexpected place.”
Leading up to the opening of their new location, Cat and Darren have decided to sell a selection of pun-inspired hip-hop mugs with different lyrics from songs, tweaked a bit to be caffeine relevant. They say things like “Nuthin but a Tea Thang” and “I love it when you call me Big Coffee“, but even non-rap fans can find inspiration in their other mugs that say things like “Punch Today in the Face” and “Make Today so Awesome, Yesterday Gets Jealous“.
The story behind the mugs is as adorable as the rest of the tale of Cookery Bistro, beginning with Darren and Cat’s first date. “We are big fans of hip hop. When Darren and I first met I gave him ‘the test’.” Cat says, explaining that she previously had tested men on dates by listing off her favourite hip-hop artists to see if they knew them. “If they didn’t like hip hop, I couldn’t possibly date them. Darren’s face lit up when I said that one of my favourite groups was West Side Connection. He passed the test!” As for the mugs, she says they both love mugs and collect them constantly, and knew they would need actual mugs instead of just take-out cups for the new location. “From there it just snowballed. We are big on puns too, and often talk in puns. It’s become fairly natural for us now.” Cat says, “The mugs will be available in store at our current location and the new location once it open later this year.”
As far as expanding the retail side of things past the mugs, Cat says they aren’t ruling it out. “You never know! One thing we do plan on offering is a small retail side that will have a collection of curated local handmade items.”
Check out Cookery Bistro’s website for more mouthwatering details, including how to get catering through them. You can also follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram if you want to make yourself incredibly hungry.