Erryn Shephard

Erryn Shephard

F.I.N.E. A Restaurant, 42 Ontario St. S., Grand Bend

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Erryn Shephard with beloved golden retriever Hari
Erryn Shephard with beloved golden retriever Hari

“We will look after you.” It is as simple as that for Erryn Shephard, chef and owner of F.I.N.E A Restaurant. “You can never tell where your life will take you,” says Erryn, as she recounts she began working at the very popular Flears Bakery on Grand Bend’s strip when she was just 13 years old and has never looked back.

Erryn says she just kind of fell into the role of chef. It was never something she set her mind to, “it just happened over time.” She loves the action-packed days in the kitchen and how every day is different. With the help of her talented team, including chef Ben Sandwith, she operates a successful, fine-tuned restaurant.

It was her employers at the Little Inn in Bayfield who sealed, or should we say ‘red sealed’, her fate. When they told Erryn about the Culinary Apprenticeship Program at Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia, it was the inspiration she needed. The three-year program teaches apprentices skills through a mix of lectures, demos, practicals, and hands-on rotations in various venues and outlets on the hotel’s property. From not knowing what she wanted for her future, her apprenticeship at Greenbrier became the foundation of Erryn’s culinary future and love of cooking.

Some gastronomic favourites at F.I.N.E., for customers and Erryn, are the Crab Crostinis and, of course, the breadsticks. For herself, Erryn confirms, “it has to be the pot roast.”

Erryn’s kitchen favours shallots, garlic, bay leaf and beef jus as key ingredients. Favourite tools of the trade include a must-have serrated knife, melon baller and a special French spatula her whole team loves.

When travelling, Erryn loves to sample fine dining restaurants. It’s here, she says she can “pick up ideas to tweak for my own customers at home.”

Favourite celebrity chef is Jamie Oliver. Erryn says “he is fresh and on it” and also loves his cookbooks, as well as The Silver Palate Cookbook and the Greenbrier Hotel.

For 17 years, F.I.N.E. A Restaurant has been one of the area’s finest dining establishments, but it’s also a place Erryn likes her guests to feel at home. “It is cozy and comfortable, and the food is fresh and local. We will look after you,” she says, adding, “leave your problems at the door and let us take care of you.”

Erryn’s Recipe Coming Soon….