Me and My Passion
Rhonda, Chef and Owner
I hail from Northern BC, falling in love with cooking at a young age while cooking for my family of 7. With a mom with Celiac disease (Gluten Free) and a vegan father, I got comfortable with dietary needs being a part of life. After finishing cooking school, my passion for creating food that wows grew with opportunities to work in a number of cooking roles from resorts to restaurants to my favourite: treeplanting camps 😉 In each environment I was challenged to meet the dietary needs of my guests and grew to love using whole foods and from scratch cooking to meet this challenge.
After completing college and a teaching stint overseas, I moved to Thunder Bay in 2009 with my husband to start a family and return to my passion in the food industry. We have three kids who love the great outdoors and helping their mamma in the kitchen. By this I mean they are interested in trying all of the sweet things that come out of this kitchen. Now a Red Seal Chef, I’ve been catering and passing on this cooking passion through teaching to the good people of Northwestern Ontario for over a decade, with no sign of letting up!
There are many days where I’ll find myself standing in the midst of a kitchen full of dirty pots and pans, thinking about the long list of what needs to get ready for the next event or cooking class. I’ll be physically worn down and mentally exhausted, and yet there is always this constant joy underneath the tired, that can only make sense when it’s understood that this cooking gig is not just a job, it’s my passion.
Catering and teaching
A Fine Fit Catering & Consulting officially opened its doors for business in October 2010. In a day when food intolerances are the norm, not the exception, we began by specializing in this area.
As a company committed to meeting these needs, A Fine Fit Catering & Consulting is eager to customize any menu to accommodate dietary restrictions. In our cooking classes, we seek to teach the art of flexibility in cooking so that no one needs to be left out because of a dietary restriction.
A Fine Fit has always been about quality food, starting with the ingredients. We use fresh, whole ingredients, and try to avoid the use of processed or preserved foods whenever possible, as we value the nutritional content of our food. We intend to create that familiar home-cooked taste in our dishes, achieved through small batch and from-scratch cooking. As a bonus, having simple ingredient lists will protect those with food intolerances, as many allergens are hidden in pre-packaged and processed foods. In our cooking classes, we inspire others to use whole ingredients to create courses from scratch, making gourmet cooking accessible to all!
Throughout the years, A Fine Fit has expanded to include event catering of all types, including weddings! Our niche has been creative backyard-style weddings in and around Thunder Bay. See our Weddings page for more details. Over the years our cooking classes have evolved from offsite classes at a local wellness centre to starting cooking classes in our certified home kitchen, to our newly renovated catering kitchen of 2021, offering both in-studio and virtual cooking classes. See our Cooking Class page for more details.
If you would like to try something off of our menu or attend an upcoming workshop, contact us and we will be sure to accommodate you!
A Fine Fit has enjoyed some wonderful community partnerships over the years, that emphasize the truth that we are better together. My first partnership was with PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise, as they were instrumental in providing mentorship and funding as I began my business in 2010, and since I have served on the board for a number of years, and occasionally volunteer at events.
Another partnership close to my heart is Roots to Harvest, where I have had the opportunity to work with the Cooking for Cred and Culture Kitchen programs or rent their space for team building workshops, and am an ongoing member of this community.
The Regional Food Distribution Centre has been another crucial partnership for A Fine Fit Catering, providing the perfect industrial space for summer rental for larger events such as weddings and year-round cooking workshops.
Every so often, I have been able to connect to school groups in town, doing after school cooking programs, being a speaker/mentor at High School career events, or running virtual classes with Skills Ontario.
A new partnership is in the works as I am looking forward to working with Superior Seasons and Belluz Farms to promote our local food through virtual cooking classes highlighting seasonal ingredients!
Here are a few of my favourite vendors and artisans. You will find many of their products in the dishes on the menu, and you will likely eat out of some local pottery when joining one of my classes! (updated June 2021)
Veg-e-Tate Market Garden
We love their shoots and microgreens and utilize them often in our cooking classes and weddings, along with our menu items like our mixed green salads and appetizers.
A Fine Fit uses a variety of their fruits and vegetables, including a lot of summer strawberries and raspberries that I process myself for winter baking and jams for breakfast functions.
Belluz also runs Superior Seasons Food Market which connects various local producers to an online market platform. We utilize this site to order from various sources all in one order!
Brule Creek Farms
A Fine Fit uses their partially sifted and sifted flour in all of our baking, bran, and buckwheat on occasion, and their cold-pressed canola oil in a wide range of our entrees.
Nor'Wester Maple Company
We love using their product featured in cooking classes, as a splash of sweet in our roasted vegetables and in our desserts.
A Fine Fit uses their cherry and grape tomatoes for appetizers, and uses their fresh herbs for a variety of delicious dishes.
Eat the Fish
We use their trout and walleye in our dinner menu, and feature their various offerings in cooking classes.
Rainy River Elk Company
We use their elk stew meat in our Beef and Elk Bourguignon on our menu, and occasionally feature elk in an in-studio cooking class.
Thunder Oaks Cheese Farm
We love using this cheese in breakfast frittatas, appetizers and sandwiches, and you will find it as a special ingredient in our cooking classes!
While I certainly enjoyed Karen’s baby products while my kids were young, I am especially fond of her healing balm for my kitchen-worn hands, especially in the cold and dry Thunder Bay winters!
I enjoy their beeswax wraps for our food as an alternative to plastic wrap, and use them as covers for large bowls during cooking classes to keep the ingredients fresh!