Philippe Octavien or Phil as I’m more prominently known was born to Haitian parents on the island of Nassau, Bahamas. Moving to the Florida at a young age I started developing an interest in the immense cultural culinary scene of Miami and the surrounding areas. Being that I was taught cooking at a young age by my family. It was never presented as a profession but as a physical manifestation of your emotions for a person. Food was a way to say “Thank you”, to say “I love you”, and to say “I appreciate you”. With this in mind as I got older I began to experiment and expand my food repertoire.
Cooking Is Life
Cooking started dominating my everyday life. Whether it was trying new recipes, reading and buying cookbooks or looking for any excuse to cook for others cooking became my new passion. Following my heart I decided that Culinary School was the next course of action.
Schooling & Restaurants
I took the plunge and enrolled in the St. Clair College Culinary Program. After two years of school and sojourns at various restaurants in and around Windsor including Bin 151, Windsor Yacht Club, and Other Place Catering at Ambassador Golf Club I left Windsor and headed to the Fairmont Algonquin in St. Andrews New Brunswick. Spending two years there I further developed my skills working and learning all nuances of catering and event planning.
Being engaged and with the impending birth of my first child I moved back to Windsor. Soon thereafter I helped to open The Twisted Apron. During my time there I became Sous Chef overseeing the daytime goings on of the kitchen. It was here that the moniker “Black Magic” was born. Simply put it describes who I am and what I can do with food.
It is an amalgamation of all my love, passion, skill and knowledge of and for food. I’m taking all my island heritage combining that with food I grew up with in the States, elevating it with all I’ve learn from my schooling and work history here in Canada; all the while tempering it with my simplistic yet innovatively creative approach of cooking with the heart of a child. The heart of a child that was taught to cook with love in your heart and allow that love to be seen, felt, and tasted in your food.