Downtown Kingston! | People of the Big Dig: Sam from Windmills

People of the Big Dig: Sam from Windmills

All the way from Morocco (with a few stops along the way) to bring you Kingston’s best brunch, lunch and dinner! Meet Sam! When he’s not running the Windmill’s kitchen you can find him surfing the wave… and ice on Lake Ontario.  

What is your favourite thing about downtown?

Market Square! I love having access to fresh food and local farmers. The farmers provide valuable insight and answer questions about their products. I love farmers markets and farm fresh food because they bring an important joy to our lives through nutrition, taste and community!

Farmers’ markets are an invaluable resource for chefs and restaurants in Kingston.  It allows us to source local, high-quality ingredients. The benefits of local produce extend far beyond just the food.

What is your favourite product/service that you offer?

When customers come through Windmills doors they expect quality in every aspect of the restaurant. They are looking for a value in the things they see, taste, and touch.  Providing them with exceptional quality certainly leaves a good taste in their mouths.

What is your background?

I was born in Morocco. At age 20 I came to Canada. Before then I enjoyed long stays in Spain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. My love of food came naturally – my family is full of amazing cooks! Most my influence came from travelling and working in Montreal. I spent 14 years enjoying food from different cultures and learning a great deal of skills working in famous kitchens like Vergas at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel and restaurant des gouverneurs at the Old Port and many more.

In 2006 I visited Kingston with my wife Tina. We fell in love with the beauty of the city -specifically the lakes and the green landscape. The following year we decided to move and that’s when my career at Windmills Café began!

Since then I have made great friends, participated in multiple charity events, taught classes, chef demos, and so much more! I have  built an amazing network with farmers, wineries and local chefs in the region.

When not working I kite surf around sandbanks beach & Westlake. In the winter you’ll find me around the P.U.C pier snow kiting. I also like to visit Morocco to surf their insane waves and visit my lovely family back in Rabat, the capital of Morocco. I also take it as an opportunity to learn at the same time. I try different dishes from all regions of my beautiful home. 

What is your favourite meal?

My favorite food is of course Tagines and Couscous. I love the simplicity of the dish that is accompanied by a complex aroma. The freshness of slow cooking vegetables and meats is amazing. I will be hosting a Chef Demo in Market Square July 30th.  Come out and learn how to cook a true Mooccan dish with local ingredients. 

Franks or siracha? 

Neither, my love goes to Harissa! It’s a north African chili paste with a blend of garlic, cumin, coriander, smoked dry chili, caraway, cilantro, lemon, bell peppers, and tomato. We serve it as a condiment to our vegetable couscous at windmills café.