Born and raised in Durham, Executive Chef James Piggott now calls the spa village home. He brings to Whitby incredible flavours and culinary adventures. Chef James finds inspiration in all things local. Passionate about farm-to-table cuisine, he makes sure locally raised and grown ingredients are always featured on Thermëa’s tables. When not in the kitchen, you’ll find him at the farmer’s market or making memories with his family.
How did you become a chef here at Thermëa spa village?
I have lived in the Durham region my entire life so when I saw the sign go up for Thermëa spa village, I knew it was just meant to be.
Do you recall the first dish you ever cooked?
Mince and Tatties with my Grandpa McKay! It is still one of my favourite comfort foods to this day.
What cuisines influence your dishes the most?
Like most of my peers, I am classically trained in French cuisine; however, I find inspiration in Canada’s multicultural cuisines and our nation’s local bounty. Besides, my wife’s family is of Germanic descent, which influences our family meals and should bode well for the Biergarden of the village!
How would you describe your style of cooking?
My style of cooking is inspired by the seasons, local and fresh with a bit of a twist.
What is your favourite weekday meal to put together?
Broccoli pasta with lots of garlic, chili flakes, fresh Parmesan, and lemon…. Quick, easy and always satisfying.
What would you say is your favourite dish you have developed for Thermëa spa village?
I am really enjoying exploring our vegan and plant forward cuisine.
What is the one thing you always keep in your refrigerator or pantry at home?
Branston pickle and fresh Parmesan cheese…. But never together!
If you were to go on a foodie holiday, where would you go?
India. I have always been enthralled with Indian cuisine. The explosion of flavours that coat your palate with every bite is a sensory experience!
How do you see Whitby’s food scene evolving?
The Durham region food scene has exploded in the past few years. Expectations are high and the appetite for local and flavourful food is in demand—I have no doubt amazing things will come from this.
Any parting words?
I am very excited to embark on this new journey with Thermëa spa village in Whitby. I hope to bring my culinary passion to the village and my joy for farm to table cuisine to Durham.