Born in Brantford and began his career as a short-order cook in a circus railroad dining car and ran a hot dog stand at Wasaga Beach on Georgian Bay. In 1954 he moved to Toronto as chef at the Le Baron steak house. In 1959 he opened his own restaurant on Elm Street in Toronto. It attracted Hollywood and international film stars. His patrons included Rudolf Nureyev, James Beard and many of Canada's premiers.