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Fraser Macfarlane
People Food & Wine

Chef Q&A: Fraser Macfarlane of Quatrefoil Restaurant

March 14, 2024

Quatrefoil is a beloved restaurant located in Dundas, Ontario that draws loyal patrons from not only the local community, but from afar, for its exceptional modern French cuisine.

Housed inside a cozy and charming century home, Quatrefoil has received rave reviews from diners, as well as media, including being named to VineRoutes’ list of 25 Top Restaurants in Ontario. And it’s no wonder why. Chef Fraser Macfarlane has honed his skills at top restaurants in Toronto and abroad including the renowned Toronto restaurant Scaramouch, Ristorante Barbesin and La Nogarazza in the Veneto region of Italy, as well as in London, England at Claridge’s with Gordon Ramsay and the Embassy Club London under Michelin starred chef Garry Hollihead. Fraser was also the Executive Sous Chef at Spencer’s on the Waterfront in Burlington before opening Quatrefoil with wife Georgina in 2010.

Read Also: Chef Q&A: Daniel Hadida and Eric Robertson of Restaurant Pearl Morissette

While Chef Fraser’s resume certainly speaks for itself, it’s his delicious and innovative creations in the kitchen that have patrons returning again and again to Quatrefoil. Taking inspiration from classical French cuisine and filtering it through a modern lens, Quatrefoil is rooted in seasonal cuisine supporting local farmers, artisans and producers, and has become a staple in the area, and beyond.

VineRoutes recently sat down with Chef Fraser to learn about his process in the kitchen, the magic behind his cuisine, and to gain a little more insight into what makes Quatrefoil so beloved:


VineRoutes: How important is Dundas, Ontario as a location, and why did you choose this place, and the heritage home? How did Quatrefoil come to be?

Chef Fraser: We chose Dundas because my wife Georgina grew up here and I fell in love with the town as soon as she brought me here. It was important to have the restaurant somewhere that had a strong sense of community and togetherness.

VineRoutes: Can you explain how the menu changes with the seasons? Help us understand how the genius happens when crafting the menu.

Chef Fraser: Our menu is continuously changing dependant on what is in season, fresh and tastiest. We will change components of dishes, garnishes, or whole dishes when things go out of season and other ingredients come in.

Fraser Macfarlane

Quatrefoil Restaurant’s cozy interior.

VR: Can you explain the importance of wine in your restaurant, and the role it plays when creating a menu that complements the wine?

Chef Fraser: Wine is the best complement to the food we serve and heightens the whole experience. The right wine paired with a dish can really take both the food and wine to the next level.

VR: What experience do you hope your guests have when dining with you?

Chef Fraser: We hope that our guests feel like they are in our home and leave happier than when they arrive.

VR: What are you most excited about for Quatrefoil in 2024?

Chef Fraser: We are excited for spring when all the beautiful local produce returns and we can welcome guests back to our beautiful patio garden.

Quatrefoil Restaurant

(Photo courtesy of Quatrefoil Restaurant)

VR: What do you love about being a Chef? 

Chef Fraser: I love the creative freedom, the opportunity to feed people and create pleasure. Working with a tightly knit team of professionals is also a real buzz.

Five rapid-fire questions:

What is your favourite ingredient to cook with right now?

We had a guest drop off a ton of game birds that he shot in Saskatchewan. We are creating a menu for him and his friends and will be doing a dinner for them using their birds. We’re excited about that!

What would your last meal be?

That’s a tough one. It would have to be a multi-day event to get all my favorites in, but if I had to narrow it down to one sitting, maybe some high-grade sushi to start. Roast chicken with gravy. I’m a big fan of Swiss Chalet dipping sauce to be honest, although we’d probably make a proper gravy for my last meal. A salad of fresh local greens with a shallot and wine vinegar dressing and some prefect French fries would be the sides. For dessert a classic lemon tart with raspberry sorbet. And lots of wine to wash it all down please!

Is there a food you hate?

I don’t really hate anything, but I’m not that into bananas…

What is your favourite wine on the Quatrefoil list?

We have a very tasty Txakoli from Txomin Etxaniz in the Basque Region of Spain that is lovely and fruity and crisp. Really delicious.

What is your favourite dish that has been on your menu?

That’s too hard to choose, it’s been 13 years! We do great smoked salmon that we cure and smoke in house, that’s a Quatrefoil classic for sure.

 

– Shannon Mastaler is the Lifestyle Editor with VineRoutes

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