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Chef Bagshaw finds a new home

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In typical Winnipeg word-through-the-grapevine news, I found out last night that former Pizzeria Gusto chef Scott Bagshaw has found new digs. Sounding relaxed and upbeat after being at the centre of last week's veritable gong show of news, rumours, etc., Bagshaw confirmed today that he'll be taking over the kitchen at Resto Gare in a couple weeks' time.

Bagshaw is spending this week redesigning the menu, and will then meet with Resto Gare's owners to come to a consensus on the restaurant's vision/future. "The owners are really excited," Bagshaw said this afternoon. "It's going to be great to be back in such a positive, excited atmosphere."

Formerly known as La Vieille Gare, the St. Boniface restaurant was one of Winnipeg's premier French restaurants from its opening in 1970 through to the late 1990s. More recently, it had lost some of its lustre, even after changing its name to Resto Gare and revamping its culinary vision. Bagshaw and Resto Gare's owners hope to restore the vision and reputation of the historic Winnipeg eatery in the weeks and months to come. "It's a new chapter for both [the owners] and me," Bagshaw explained. "I want to bring this place back to where it once was."

As for the rest of the kitchen that followed Bagshaw's departure from Pizzeria Gusto, Bagshaw noted that his sous chef was taking a leave of absence from cooking for a time, two others were traveling to London, and the status of two students that had been working under Bagshaw was still to be determined. He said, however, that he was going to try and bring anyone willing on board if they're willing and he's able.

Here's hoping the relaunched Resto Gare restores both Bagshaw and the St. Boniface institution to a better place, and that the culinary experience in the old train car can leave last week's baggage at the proverbial station.

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About Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson

When he wasn't bashing on a drum kit in local punk rock bands, Ben spent the mid '90s hucking cases of wine around to pay for two English degrees. Now he's the Winnipeg Free Press wine columnist and blogger.

The extent of Ben's wine experience in the mid-90s was memories of accidentally leaving a bottle of White Zinfandel in the freezer overnight, and the ensuing mess he was left with. Between 1996 and 2005 Ben absorbed all he could about wine while working at wine shops to pay for school. Meanwhile, he was churning out papers for his BA and MA in English (from the Universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba, respectively).

Ben became the Winnipeg Free Press' weekly wine columnist in 2005, and two years later joined Wine Access magazine as a contributor, a member of their national tasting panel and a judge at the Canadian Wine Awards and International Value Wine Awards until the magazine closed up shop in 2013.

In 2013 Ben joined the Winnipeg Free Press as a copy/web editor.

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