Tim Hortons has introduced chef Tallis Voakes as its new Culinary Lead, with a mission of innovating across the menu.
Voakes is a career chef who has worked in some of the industry’s top kitchens. He was formally trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa and went on to work with world-renowned chefs including Nobu Matsuhisa and Jason Atherton at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant Maze, and at three one Michelin-star restaurants. He’s also been a food stylist for Hollywood and TV productions including “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
“My mission of making the food at Tim Hortons even better for our guests across Canada is just so, so exciting,” said Voakes. “There are many things that are already awesome, and you don’t mess with a good thing. And then there are other things that we’re looking at ramping up the flavour a little more here or changing a different ingredient there. It’s about making sure that all the elements of a sandwich, or a soup, or a donut, are all the very best and create a ‘wow’ eating experience. That’s what makes food more craveable.”
Voakes also has personal insights into the job having worked behind-the-scenes at Tim Hortons himself as a teenager. He said he will also be working on optimizing kitchen procedures.
“At the end of the day in all restaurants—and it doesn’t matter if it’s Tim Hortons or a posh restaurant—it’s all about the art of execution and repetition. It’s an art form doing something again and again as best as you can do every time,” says Voakes. “When you look down at a beautiful product and savour each bite, a huge part of your enjoyment comes from execution.”