by Gloria Welton
Over the past 12 years, Chef Greg Arsenault has worked in the finest restaurants. Now he is ready to share his vision of food and Island flavors by opening La Rose Bistro, which is named for his six-year-old daughter. “Rose says she wants to work with me in the kitchen, and I am thrilled to have her help,” says Greg, smiling.
Born and raised here on PEI by the ocean in the Evangeline region, he has always loved shellfish. “My first job was fishing quahogs and clams for my uncle. After graduating, I took a career aptitude test that suggested I should become a chef. The fast pace, the chaos, and the fire that comes in the kitchen is what I love.”
Greg attended the Culinary Institute in Charlottetown beginning in 2010. After completing his second year, he was offered a cooking position in Halifax Nova Scotia.
After a year he decided to move back to his hometown of Abrams-Village PEI, worked at a few restaurants around the Island, and won many culinary awards.
“The last four years I worked as a Head Chef in the busiest restaurant on PEI. This experience helped me hone my cooking skills, leadership skills, and all-around chef skills. I had the opportunity to start my own restaurant, so it seemed it was time for me to branch out.”
Greg is excited to bring his creative flair and passion to La Rose Bistro, located at Avonlea Village in Cavendish. “We will focus on fresh local ingredients as much as we can, with no deep fryer.”
The location has 32 seats inside and 24 outdoors. “There are three dining rooms with a lot of character and charm. The historic building was originally known as the Clifton Manse. It was constructed in 1872 and was moved to Avonlea Village in 1999.”
Greg was busy during the off-season. “I do online auctions for my dad’s store, and work as a butcher for a company as well. I like that winters are a bit more flexible because the summers are very busy, and I like having time with my family.”
“We will have 15 staff. A few Servers have been hired, but I will need four more Cooks, some Dishwashers, more Servers, and Bartenders.”
Cook positions are the more challenging to fill. “There is a shortage of cooks, and attracting staff to this location might be more challenging as well. The tourists will be there, but we just need the staff.”
Greg plans to be open from mid-June until the end of the season, which might be close to mid-October.