Headwaters Inspired Profile: Frédéric Chartier


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20 years of fine French dining experience in a crepe

After two decades of working in Paris kitchens such as the Ritz Carlton and a Michelin Star restaurant along the way, chef Frederic “Freddy” Chartier came to the Headwaters region.

In addition to his work in a restaurant, he opened a crepe stand at the Orangeville farmer’s market. By the second year, it was so popular he bought another crepe maker, and during the third year he knew he had a good concept and it was time to open a more permanent establishment.

Chartier beams when he talks about his Shelburne restaurant Beyond the Gate.

Headwaters now has Freddy fans

“The community support, the reception is incredible,” said Chartier. “It’s overwhelming actually. So many regulars. Every day someone comes in because of word-of-mouth from a local person. They come from all over southern Ontario. And such nice comments on Facebook, TripAdvisor and other sites. It inspires me.”

Sourced locally, even the vodka

Chartier works hard to earn the loyalty. “I am lucky. I can get so many of my ingredients from local growers and producers. Vegetables, organic flour, meat – most of what I need comes from this region,” said Chartier. “Now I even have locally distilled vodka, for the Bloody Caesars at Sunday brunch.”

Chartier also takes pride in making his own ingredients. He smokes the salmon and makes his own vinegar and sauces.

“This is a small operation. I change the menu nearly every day, depending on what ingredients I can find fresh,” said Chartier. “It all takes work, but I think it’s worth it.”

More than crepes

While Chartier acknowledges that crepes will always be the centre of the menu, he’s been expanding his offerings to include other French-inspired dishes.

“The crepes themselves are a meal. It’s not what many people think of when they think crepes – these go far beyond that,” said Chartier. “But I like to mix it up. I take pride in every plate I send out. That’s good for my guests and good for me too.”