Chef Dan McCowan grew up in Kitchener Waterloo and graduated from the chef apprentice program at George Brown College in the summer of 2003. His move to Toronto was a rewarding experience as he learned new cooking techniques and was exposed to a taste of real chef culture in the city. It was while working as a saucier at Oliver & Bonacini’s Jump Cafe in the Financial District where he decided he’d always be a chef.
After returning to his home sweet home, he spent his days with the Charcoal Group of restaurants where he had the opportunity to run several different kitchens. He was head chef at Del Dente (age 23), opening chef de cuisine at Bauer Kitchen (age 26) and executive chef for Charcoal Steakhouse (age 29). It’s really no shock that Dan was awarded the Ontario Hostelry Institute Award for Top 30 Under 30 Hospitality Professionals.
Red House was originally a house converted into a restaurant known as Yukikos which closed down in 2012. Dan took over the building in 2013, painted it red and created a popular local haunt with a dinning room which still bustles to this day. The intimate space really makes you feel as though you are eating in someones home and features a splash of panache by local artist Laurie Wonfor Nolan.
Both the food and drink menu at Red House strive to showcase the best local and natural ingredients. One can sip from a stellar local wine list, opt to swig a craft brew made down the street or enjoy a creative cocktail shaken up at petite bar. Dan’s goal is to make everything in house, from ice creams, to charcuterie, fresh ricotta and even condiments such as hot sauce and ketchup. He focusses on keeping the menu approachable, using classic dishes for inspiration while adding new-school flare. FYI his curry is iconic.
1) Ginger Lime Margarita | domaine de canton ginger liqueur, gold tequila, fresh lime, ginger, candied ginger, sea salt rim
2) Goat Cheese & Pancetta Perogies | lemon-chive sour cream, tomato relish
3) Lamb Spaghetti | ontario lamb ragout, marinated tomatoes, wilted spinach, shitake, cremini & honey mushrooms, truffle oil, grana padano
4) Chef Dan’s Curry | braised beef shoulder, green beans, red onion, cherry tomatoes, bamboo shoots, yellow coconut curry sauce, basmati
5) Broken Lemon Meringue Pie | lemon curd, puff pastry shards, vanilla mousse, blueberry anise compote
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A favourite! And we agree with the lamb spaghetti recommendation–it’s to die for!
And the curry! Yum!