Renée Lalonde was born to a Japanese mother and a French Canadian Father – that would explain her east-west ease. Her deep obsession with food is rooted in her Japanese culture as she grew up loving mochi and seafood – she can break down a crab like a pro. She also enjoyed the occasional beef jelly and marrow as her Dad would show her how to expertly slather it on toast. Always a balancing act in the kitchen, her mother accommodated her father’s Montreal origins and succeeded with great results. To this day, no one ever leaves hungry after a visit to the Lalonde household.
Renée’s carefree yet adventurous attitude allowed her to meet and become fast friends with many she met and as a result doors of exciting opportunities opened. As a free spirit, she moved to Toronto in her early 20’s pursuing a career as a model and subsequently moved into other areas of fashion by becoming an agent, then shifted into sales and public relations. She also spent her early adult years bartending to supplement her fashion career and found herself back in hospitality many years later when she joined the Terroir Hospitality team. It was a dream-come-true job allowing her to invest in a deep passion for travelling, eating and discovery. That is where she connected with three of her new best friends and together they started Stifado.
Her happy place is always with family and friends but what she loves most is hanging out with her son Max. They cook and make fantastic feasts together and can often be found jamming – she on keys, he on guitar – singing and making up songs. Feel free to ask her about her latest composition.