Ottawa’s style setters for 2012
They’ve designed our homes, dazzled our tastebuds, challenged our ideas and influenced the way we see fashion. Yet Ottawa’s top trendsetters for 2012 have just one thing in common: they all got us talking.
Oz Kafé chef Jamie Stunt has had a banner year, topped by winning first place at this year’s 8th annual Gold Medal Plates regional competition. Now off to Kelowna, B.C., in early February for the Canadian finals, Stunt may not have been born with a silver spoon, but he’s proven he knows how to wield one.
Although eliminated from the Food Network’s Top Chef Canada TV show, Jonathan Korecki — or, as the Food Network called him, “Mr. Personality” — did beat out many competitors and earned himself a reputation beyond the one he’s established in the capital. The culinary mind behind Sidedoor Contemporary Kitchen & Bar took the helm in 2011 and has driven the kitchen to new heights of excellence. Bajan fish tacos? Pork belly with mango salad? Pan-roasted duck breast with burnt honey? Don’t mind if we do.
Beloved for his warmth and personal touch in greeting diners at his well-known restaurants, Beckta dining & wine, and Play food & wine, Stephen Beckta this year pushed Ottawa’s tastebuds in a new direction with Gezellig. Steered by chef de cuisine Che Chartrand (formerly of Chez Eric) under the direction of executive chef, Michael Moffatt, the Westboro restaurant’s international menu moves graciously between muscular flavours and delicate touches.
He shot a compelling unofficial portrait of former Governor-General Michaëlle Jean for our winter issue, but that was just the icing on the cake for art photographer Jonathan Hobin. In October, he landed the top prize out of 1000 artists from 70 countries at Guatephoto 2012 for his unsettling image of two boys recreating the Twin Towers attacks. A month later, the Flash Forward 2012 new talent showcase featured him and this month, he was included in Utah’s Brigham Young University Museum of Art exhibit, We Could Be Heroes. Perhaps Ottawa has a hero of its own.
If it’s possible to be an overnight success — after seven years of hard work — Elena Hinke might just be it. Certainly, Ottawa’s fashionistas sat up and took notice of the Siberian-born, Ottawa-based fashion designer in October, when she staged an exhilarating collection of highly embellished dresses and separates at the Spring-Summer 2013 Fashion Week. “Wake up, Ottawa!” she challenged the audience. Oh, we’re awake, alright. Awake and watching her next move.
Her store is small, but Ania Geerts packs some big ideas into it. Officially opened in May, 2011, Geerts’ Westboro jewelry shop, Zahara, is a treasure box of unique, whimsical and divine collections. Her work, which she fell into after a chance encounter in Mexico in 2003, displays that rarest of combinations: native talent, unrelenting curiosity and unsurpassed determination to create beauty.
He’s the self-styled “aristocrat of scent”… and for good reason. If anyone knows more about perfume than Sid Cratzbarg, we haven’t heard of him or her. Renowned as much for his bubbly personality as his sartorial elegance, Cratzbarg is so well-regarded in the industry, he landed the exclusive North American launch of Versace’s Vanitas at Ottawa’s Holt Renfrew. We’re impressed, too: Soon, Cratzbarg will be a regular in our pages, talking about fashion for older women. As he would say, “Not bad for an old guy.”
Is she a designer? An architect? A project manager? However Houry Avedissian defines herself, we’re glad she does what she does. The one-woman powerhouse behind Ha2 Architecture Design this year dazzled with her innovative and super-modern use of wood, glass and metal in Westboro and Orleans homes. “My goal is to break new ground in Ottawa,” she told us this summer. Hand the woman a shovel.
Bright. Modern. Connected. We could be talking about Paul Kariouk — or the main features of his small-scale architectural projects that range from ground-up building to renovations. Known for his methodical explanations and grounded approach to managing open space and functionality, the Columbia University-educated architect is rebuilding Ottawa, one house at a time.
There are architects who say they do integrative, sustainable design. And then there’s Christopher Simmonds Architect, who this year won the trifecta: Green Renovation of the Year and People Choice’s Awards for the Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association and the Ontario Home Builders Association’s award for Most Outstanding Home Renovation over $500,000. This month, the firm’s New Edinburgh house design won the B.R.I.C.K. award for best new build in the community. Way to end the year and here’s to 2013.