Chefs Corner: Dylan Tulloch, Horseshoe Resort, Barrie, Ont.


Hard work, passion and adaptability are among the many traits possessed by Dylan Tulloch, executive chef at Horseshoe Resort, that have enabled him to successfully operate a resort restaurant amidst a global pandemic.

Located in Barrie, Ont., Horseshoe Resort is home to a wide selection of dining options, including Eleven01 Taphouse & Kitchen, which features an upscale menu with 16 local beers on tap, and Crazy Horse Sports Bar & Grill, a family-oriented restaurant that provides guests with a fun-filled atmosphere. The resort also offers the Shoe Brew Coffee shop as well as conference and banquet facilities.

“Like many businesses, we have had to re-think how we perform and execute to get the most out of our resources, and at the end of the day, ensure that guests have had a great experience,” says Tulloch.

The team at Horseshoe struggled with shortages in its supply chain and staffing. “We have a great core team, but have not been able to recruit enough staff.”

“The resort closed for the first wave of the pandemic,” Tulloch explains. To combat these challenges, “We re-opened for takeout, brought in a food truck to facilitate service and used our outdoor bar spaces to run our food-and-beverage operations over the winter. We were very successful.”

Tulloch’s love of food, combined with his desire for a fast paced, team-oriented environment, inspired him to pursue a career in the restaurant industry.

“I love to eat. It’s something all of us have to do, so we might as well enjoy it. There’s not much I don’t enjoy eating or trying,” he says. “I really enjoy going to different countries and trying local cuisine. Food brings people together.”
Born and raised in Barrie, Tulloch’s earliest memory of cooking dates back to when he attended cooking classes at his local YMCA.

He graduated with honours from the Niagara College Culinary Program in 1997 and then completed an apprenticeship with a local caterer. Tulloch’s culinary career took shape when he re-located to Whistler, B.C. for two years to work at Araxi Restaurant as chef de partie. He later returned to Ontario to hone his talents at Toronto’s Epic restaurant, located in the Fairmont Royal York Hotel.

In 2005, Tulloch joined Horseshoe Resort as senior sous chef and within two years advanced to executive chef.
The 47-year-old chef takes pride in creating organic, fresh and seasonally inspired menus featuring ingredients sourced from local area farmers and suppliers. “My style developed from each restaurant and hotel I worked at,” explains Tulloch. “I was able to work with some great chefs. It may sound cliché, but great fresh ingredients treated properly make great food.

As an active member of Simcoe County Farm Fresh, Muskoka and Districts Chef Association and the Seasons Centre, he was named Local Chef of the Year (2013) by the Simcoe Region chapter of the Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association (ORHMA). Over the course of his culinary career, Tulloch says his greatest accomplishment was the day he earned his Certified Chef de Cuisine designation from the Canadian Culinary Institute.

During his free time, the travel enthusiast spends time with his wife Kim and their family, seeking out local destinations to visit while COVID-19 restrictions are still in place.

The pandemic has not prevented Tulloch from moving forward — he will continue to enhance his skills to keep delivering an unforgettable dining experience for his guests. “I plan to keep cooking and mentoring at Horseshoe Resort,” says Tulloch “We have a great team.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.