The Filipino couple behind Yellowknife’s Epic Grill has moved to the Legislative Assembly.
June and Dorothy De Leon won fans with distinctive Filipino all-day breakfasts at their old Arnica Inn location.
Wednesday marked their opening day inside the legislature, having been granted the contract to run the building’s cafe and provide catering services.
“My ambition, of course, is to be the most famous caterers in Yellowknife,” Dorothy De Leon told Moose FM, with a smile.
“The most important thing, being here, is representing my Filipino community – the pride of being chosen to cater for the ministers.
“This will be something different that they have never tasted, unless a Filipino cooked it for them.”
The restaurant in the new location will keep the Epic Grill name.
On Facebook: Epic Grill restaurant
The De Leons, who came to Vancouver in the 1990s before moving north to Yellowknife three years ago, pride themselves on various forms of silog – a breakfast speciality combining meat with eggs and rice. Their cakes are also a feature.
June De Leon can’t wait to introduce the new menu to the territory’s politicians, alongside more familiar Canadian cuisine.
“For me, it’s a great opportunity, serving the politicians,” said the chef.
Not everything about the move has been easy. Assembly regulations mean the De Leons can’t use a deep fryer, so they’ve been forced to change the way they prepare some meals and adjust their menu accordingly.
They are also concerned that some people might not realize the assembly is open to the public (anyone can drop in to eat, 8am till 6:30pm, Monday to Friday).
But June has already planned a special meal for the territory’s MLAs when they return for their next session.
“Wild meats, northern meats, cooked in a Filipino way,” he told Moose FM. “That’s what I want to serve to them. I hope they’ll like it.”