Chef Tallis Voakes is familiar with the kitchens at Tim Hortons – he worked for the chain as a teenager. He’s back, but this time his culinary acumen will have a broader impact as the company has just named him Culinary Lead.
In this position, Voakes will drive menu innovations aimed at elevating the quality of Tim Hortons offerings. He brings expertise gleaned from working with world-renowned chefs including Nobu Matsuhisa and Jason Atherton at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant Maze before it closed in 2018. Voakes also worked at three one-Michelin-star restaurants, and he’s been an in-demand food stylist for Hollywood and television productions including “The Handmaid's Tale.”
“My mission of making the food at Tim Hortons even better for our guests across Canada is just so, so exciting,” Voakes says.
“There are many things that are already awesome, and you don’t mess with a good thing. And then there are other things that we’re looking at amping up the flavor a little more here or changing a different ingredient there. It’s about making sure that all the elements of a sandwich, or a soup, or a donut, are all the very best and create a ‘wow’ eating experience. That’s what makes food more craveable.”
Voakes adds that he’ll also be working on optimizing kitchen procedures.
“At the end of the day in all restaurants — and it doesn’t matter if it’s Tim Hortons or a posh restaurant — it’s all about the art of execution and repetition,” he said. “It’s an art form doing something again and again as best as you can do each and every time.”