Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Not just good eats, he has great determination

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Jereme Labelle is the owner and head chef at Gasthaus Gutenberger on Portage Ave. He went from prep-cook to head chef in ten years and then he bought the restaurant when his mentor and previous owner retired.

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Jereme Labelle is the owner and head chef at Gasthaus Gutenberger on Portage Ave. He went from prep-cook to head chef in ten years and then he bought the restaurant when his mentor and previous owner retired.

Discovering a new place to go out for dinner for me is often as easy as being sent to shoot a photo for a restaurant review. I have a handful of places I like to go to for particular dishes and rarely stray from this list, but when I was sent to Gasthaus Gutenberger a few weeks ago I found that I might just have to make room for a new restaurant.

After taking the requisite photos I asked the owner and head chef if I could get his story.

"I always loved cooking, got it from my grandmother. BBQ's and Sunday brunches after church. It's the only thing I was ever good at. So, when I was sixteen I decided to go into the cooking field. Just normal fast-food restaurants, hotels and then one time I decided to come here for an interview. Nineteen years old, I walked in here, the previous owner was a master chef ... I asked him if he would take on a student. He said yes, and then ten years later I became the owner of the place, working up the ladder. From prep-cook to line cook to sending me to school, then sous chef then head chef at 23, then a few years later he sold."

"It was always about moving forward, you always have a dream. My dream was to own a restaurant. I don't take no for an answer, the only thing holding me back was long hours, weekends, holidays, you lose your life."

What is your greatest fear at this point?

"Failure."

Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press

Owner and head chef Jereme Labelle, with the Bratwurst Appetizer and the Platter of Schnitzels.

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About Mike Deal

After freelancing for the Winnipeg Free Press for three years, starting in 1997, Mike Deal landed a part-time job as a night photodesk editor.

His first day in the new position was supposed to be September 12, 2001. But when he woke to the news of the two towers on September 11, he automatically headed into the newsroom.

For the next few years, he split his hours at the Winnipeg Free Press between photo editing and photography. In 2008, Mike was hired full-time as a photojournalist.

Mike’s training includes a journalism diploma from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary. He also spent time at the University of Manitoba, working at the Manitoban and the U of M photo club and taking fine art courses.

Having also just finished shooting a personal project that involved taking 2,013 portraits using just his iPhone in the year 2013, he looks forward to taking the portrait project concept to another level. He will NOT be shooting 2,014 in 2014! Don't be surprised if he stops you in the street and demands a moment of your time. You have been warned!

Another personal passion of his is street photography, capturing the people of Winnipeg amongst the beautiful architecture of its downtown.

In his off-hours Mike enjoys taking photos with his iPhone, walks in Assiniboine Forest, and spending his free time with his partner Ariel and daughter Anna.

 

"I go to the street for the education of my eye and for the sustenance that the eye needs - the hungry eye, and my eye is hungry."    -Walker Evans

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