By Lizette Gilday
The advent of COVID has increased the speed at which people are moving from the city and working from home in the country. Tempo sat down with a Knowlton resident who has “made the switch’’.
Sharon Dawe had been a long-time resident of Montreal. However, it should be noted that she has been an habitue of the area since her youth. Sharon was working for the past seven years as the associate publisher of Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants magazine and 50 Best bars. She also created an exclusive dining series for clients of the publication so they could ‘wine and dine’ their corporate customers across Canada in restaurants from their 100 best list. In March 2020 COVID-19 arrived and the entire hospitality industry shut down overnight. Canada’s Best 100 did not know if their media brand or even the hospitality industry would survive.
In order to consolidate, Sharon gave up her duplex in NDG and moved full-time to her house in Knowlton. She quickly adapted to the new reality by pivoting her business model. She contacted the chefs and restaurants from Canada’s 100 best and together they brainstormed to find a way to recreate the fine dining experience in the comfort of corporate client’s homes. Zoom and ingenuity provided the solution.
Five course dinners are now delivered simultaneously to all of the guests’ homes which they enjoy while chatting with colleagues over Zoom. Sharon acts as the host by welcoming guests and introducing the chef, and sommelier. From last fall, through to this spring she has created a series of these dinners in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal, safely hosting the events from her sunroom. In so doing she has found a way to, not only keep her job but, maintain valued services to Canada 100’s clients and provide employment to some of Canada’s top chefs.