Great Canadian News
Meet Chef Oliver Heupel
Meet Chef Oliver Heupel
Great Canadian Entertainment’s culinary team is doing big things at our restaurants across our sites. This Team Member Spotlight we introduce you to one of our shining stars, Chef Oliver Heupel. Chef Oliver is the Resort Executive Chef at Pickering Casino Resort and Great Canadian Casino Resort Toronto.
How long have you been working at GCE?
I have been with Great Canadian Entertainment since August 2021.
What do you love about being a part of the GCE team?
Working here at GCE has given me the opportunity to learn and grow in my position and as a person. My colleagues are great, they are always there to help and get things done.
Tell us a little bit about your amazing career history.
I started my apprenticeship in 1983 at a family run hotel in Cochem-Mosel, Germany. This hotel is where I developed my skill and passion for cooking.
After my apprenticeship, I began working in some very famous Michelin star restaurants. Then I did a stint in the army where I began my work abroad on a cruise ship, the Queen Elizabeth 2, where I had the pleasure to cook for the Queen of England on one occasion. I also worked as a Sous Chef in the world renowned 5-star Sheraton Hotel in Zurich, Switzerland.
After my time in Switzerland, I went to work in Baden-Baden in a very traditional and high-end 5-star hotel, the Steinberger Hotel Baden-Baden where I was hired as Executive Sous Chef. During this time, I had the opportunity to cook for several heads of state, some famous celebrities, and religious figures such as the Dalai Lama. In Baden-Baden I also went to culinary school to receive my Certified Executive Chef and Master Chef diploma.
After this I travelled to places in Germany as Executive Chef, and at one time I worked for a catering company where we catered for Formula One racing, which held huge events of up to 250,000 people.
Missing the cruise industry, I went back to Norwegian Cruise Lines where I worked my way up from Executive Chef to Travelling Executive Chef to Corporate Executive Chef where I was responsible for the culinary department comprising of 14 ships and approximately 7 to 8,000 cooks in 120 restaurants.
I was part of the opening team for the 5-star Marriott Hotel & Casino in Alberta, and also went to Egypt for a short time to open another large 5-star hotel with 42 restaurants. I have opened many other 5-star establishments in Beijing (before and during the Olympics), Manila, Thailand and Korea. From there, I worked for Royal Caribbean Cruises to develop the menus for their biggest cruise ship, the Oasis at the Seas. I also worked in Italy for Costa Cruises as Corporate Executive Chef, and finally came back to Canada to do some airline catering and for the chance to sleep in my own bed for a change!
What are some of the highlights of your career so far?
The highlights that stand out were receiving the Master Chef certificate as well as cooking for Queen Elizabeth, President George Bush, the German Chancellor, the French Prime Minister, Yassir Arafat, Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Elton John, Madonna, and the Dalai Lama, to name a few.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I love to spend time with my wife and I love to travel. I also really enjoy reading vintage cookbooks.
Thanks Chef Oliver for sharing your story with us. We are truly lucky to have you as part of the GCE family.
Do you know someone who has a passion for cooking? Have them apply online to one of our exciting cook positions.