Meet Our Culinary Brigade

Mise en Place (French pronunciation: ​[mi zɑ̃ ˈplas]) is a French culinary phrase which means "putting in place" or "everything in its place".

This is something that our Culinary Brigade puts into practice every day in all sorts of ways, but it starts with the right people. 


Our Executive Chef, Jess Friesen started working in restaurants at the age of 13, bussing tables and washing dishes is where his passion for being in the kitchen started. After receiving his Culinary Arts Diploma with Honors from Red River Collegiate he honed his craft in award winning restaurants, private clubs both in Winnipeg and abroad.  

Jesse is a fierce and avid competitor. He was a member of the Manitoba Provincial Culinary Team in 2016 taking home three bronze medals at the IKA Culinary Olympics in Germany. He is a three-time competitor at Gold Medal Plates Winnipeg and is the only Chef to win 2 gold medals. 

He has been a member of the Winnipeg Branch of the Canadian Chefs Federation since 2011, holding the position as Chefs Director for the last 3 years. In 2018 he was recognized as the Branch’s “Chef of the Year” in 2018. 

In 2016 Jesse became the Executive Chef of Academy Hospitality. He oversees all things culinary and BOH for Pizzeria Gusto, The Merchant Kitchen, Yard Burger, Rose Bar, The Good Fight Taco and our newest addition Mottola Grocery. His ability to lead teams, cultivate talent and creativity and his deep dedication and passion for hospitality is unparalleled.