The Faces of Tourism in BruceGreySimcoe - Meet Zach Keeshig

The Faces of Tourism in BruceGreySimcoe - Meet Zach Keeshig
Introducing the people who work in BruceGreySimcoe's tourism industry and discover, when reading their stories, that many myths about working in the tourism industry are just that...myths and misconceptions. 

Chef Zach Keeshig

Workforce_CareersinTourism_ZachKeeshig_website.jpegIndigenous chef Zach Keeshig has become one of the region’s most celebrated chefs. But his path to this tourism career began while Keeshig was doing his co-op to become a plumber. “I started working in a local restaurant in addition to my co-op to make some money and I fell in love with the artistic side of food,” says Keeshig. Like many in the restaurant industry, Keeshig began on the line in a mainstream restaurant but soon gravitated towards higher end food experiences.

He attended the Georgian College Culinary Program before working with Chef Tim Johnson at Cobble Beach, at Langdon Hall and alongside reknowned chef Michael Stadtlander before shifting his focus to his own enterprise—Nagaan Progressive Indigenous Cuisine.

Today, Keeshig serves his progressive aboriginal cuisine as a tasting menu to intimate groups at the Owen Sound Farmer’s Market or in customers' own homes. His story and his background are a key part of this culinary experience. 

Art has a real place in my food,” explains Keeshig. “Not many people around here are doing this stuff and I wanted to bring some of the philosophies I’ve learned from different chefs back home to this area. I want to turn Nagaan into a culinary destination.” Keeshig is brave enough to spell out his goals as his business grows: “I have aspirations to be one of the first Indigenous chefs on Canada’s top 100 list.” 

Education:  Georgian College Culinary Program 
First Tourism Job:  Line cook in a local restaurant 
Current Job:  Head chef at Nagaan Progressive Aboriginal Cuisine experience 
Years in the Tourism Industry: 15
Career myth: Tourism jobs don’t have flexibility 
Why would you recommend this path to someone?
You definitely can move up but you have to put the work in. This is not a career you can step in and out of. It’s rewarding if you’re dedicated, but you have to stick with it, take a lot of training. You have to have passion and dedication.

Read about others who are working in tourism by visiting the Careers in Tourism page.

Views, thoughts and opinions expressed in the blog comments section belong solely to the comments' authors and are not necessarily those of Regional Tourism Organization 7 (RTO7), its Board of Directors or its staff.

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