About Scratch Fine Foods | Who We Are
Made from Scratch,
Scratch Fine Foods & Catering is a result of travel, people and a passion for wholesome, honest food and drink.
Scratch began with Dominique St Jean and her curious approach to the world of fermentation. Starting in Calgary, Alberta in 2012 she took her knowledge and philosophies to Vancouver Island, Whistler and now Vancouver.
We ferment naturally, using wild yeast that is all around us in the atmosphere. Naturally cultured food products, in their own time and with minimal intervention. Our ferments find local ingredients, from honest suppliers and shops. You can find our products in independent stores or order directly from our site.
Our focus is about using simple, proven techniques that have stood the test of time. As well as only using the best ingredients. In doing so, we can let the ferment do the talking as quality makes quality. We let the seasons guide our purchasing, sourcing as local as possible, making connections with those whose hands are directly involved in the cultivating of these ingredients.
Stay up to date with our journal and instagram for any markets we might be at, and any other news. Keep scrolling to learn more about the guys behind the aprons.
Dominique St. Jean
Dominique has over 14 years experience cooking. From the age of 15 she found herself in a restaurant washing dishes before undertaking a qualification in Culinary Arts at Calgary’s Institute of Technology. She later found herself working at Pigeon Hole (Calgary) when it earned itself the best new restaurant in Canada award. Dom has spent time in a list of notable restaurants in Calgary, Montreal, Vancouver Island and Whistler, with a stint spent in Panama working on farms and cooking.
She is fascinated by the intricacies of what goes on at a microbiological level. If she wasn’t cooking she would have gone on to study something like biochemistry to take these interests to the next level. She didn’t take this education pathway, but instead used cooking to make her own experiments, taking on projects in the kitchens she worked in. She’s made everything from various miso’s, umeboshi, fermented pickles to koji & amazake.
Dom is the driving force behind the creative inspiration here at Scratch. It seems like there’s a tangled ball of different coloured string in her brain that unravels when you least expect it, sparking another project idea. Until the move down to the city from Whistler she was plying her trade as Chef de Partie at Alta Bistro where she was used as a powerful resource due to her passion when it comes to ferments.
When she isn’t thinking about the next brew, she can be found at the easel where she makes mixed media art.
Joe, originally from England, a lover of nearly all things food & drink. His early days saw him take a similar path to Dominique where he was washing pans and making salads in his home village pub. This continued with pulling pints and waiting on tables before working for the Jolly Hog & Sausage Co. as they started their (amazing) journey in events catering and sausage making.
He grew up on the family farm that is involved with sheep, cows, horses, cereals, geese – you name it. A career with “the familia” didn’t happen, he instead took a career in architectural design. Joe did this for a few years, lucky to work on some extraordinary projects. As much as his old boss would miss him, involving himself in food and beverage in some shape or form was always going to happen.
Travelling happened. Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and finally Canada. Joe used working in the hospitality industry as a powerful way to work and live in new places. Enabling friendships to be made with like minded and talented people with a love for food and drink.
Joe found himself working across Canada in bars & restaurants such as Bar Loïc (Montreal) where he picked up a love for natural wine, and Wolf In The Fog (Tofino) sparking his interest in local, foraged ingredients and the world of cocktails. Until recently, he has been Head Bartender at the Bearfoot Bistro (Whistler) where he was able to bring his interests and skills to run the beverage & cocktail program.
We first met when both working in Tofino many moons ago. After both bouncing across the country and back, we set up camp in Whistler working at the Bearfoot Bistro and Alta Bistro, respectively.
It is here that Dominique invited Joe to join her in Scratch Fine Foods, the company had laid dormant while she travelled the country, and this was as good a time as ever to reboot the business.
After a few farmers markets our sauerkraut & kimchi gained local popularity. In typical food and drink fashion, we were supported by all of our friends, and even made some new ones as well. Now in Vancouver, we are both hungry to get stuck into the city and see what happens next.