Holiday Traditions from our Compass Group Canada Chefs!

As we get close to celebrating the holiday season with our loved ones, we can’t help but think about all the cozy, nostalgia-boosting traditions that families across our country will include in their celebrations.

Since we are, at heart, a food company full of foodies, we checked in with some of our talented Compass Group Canada Chefs to see what types of traditions they cherish and celebrate with their families – and in the hopes of persuading them to share some delicious recipes as well. We are happy to say we were successful on both fronts!


Chef Michael McKinnon

Q: Chef Michael, can you tell us what holiday traditions you and your family include in each years’ celebrations?

Of course! We love food, naturally. Holidays are about sharing delicious food – from turkey dinners to Nova Scotia lobster to name just a couple. Wrapping presents while listening to Christmas music is another simple, but important part of our celebrations.

Q: Thanks Chef! We have to ask – are there any special recipes you consider ‘must make’ over the holidays? Also – can you share?

Cabbage rolls are a McKinnon tradition. On Christmas Eve, we make up a batch of beef and rice stuff cabbage rolls to share together. They are baked to perfection in a tangy tomato sauce – a can’t miss meal!

We convinced Chef Michael to share his cabbage roll recipe – click here to see how to make this tasty treat!


Chef Sean Sloan

Q: Chef Sean – what would you consider to be a true Christmas Flavour?

Mulled wine! It is like Christmas in a glass! The cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg combined with the wine make a lovely aromatic scent all throughout your home.

Q: What is your favourite holiday activity that you can do with a cup of mulled wine in your hand?

My family and I can be found sipping a glass of mulled wine while hanging ornaments and signing carols together – it’s an extra holiday spirit boost when (or if) you need it.

Chef Sean’s mulled wine recipe can be found here! Be sure to enjoy responsibly!


Chef Kirk Walters

Q: Chef Kirk, we’ve got a lovely holiday meal and drink recipe – if you had to name one holiday snack that tops them all – what would it be?

Roasted chestnuts, of course. One of my holiday traditions is roasting chestnuts over an open flame using my chestnut pan, while enjoying some port wine.

Q: This sounds delightful! I don’t have an open fire – can I still enjoy some roasted chestnuts?

Yes! An open flame gives them a bit of a smokey taste, if you like that – however you can absolutely roast them in an oven and still achieve an amazing holiday treat!

Thanks Chef Kirk, for your Roasted Chestnuts recipe (here) – fireplace not included – but extinguishers close by suggested.


Chef Andrew Hodge 

Q: Ok Chef Andrew – we’ve got our meal, a cozy drink, and some snacks for our holiday’s. Any chance you can dazzle us with some dessert. No one wants that canned fruit cake, amiright?

I might surprise you – my holiday go-to dessert is a Fruit and Rum cake. It’s a classic holiday treat, infused with fruits like unsweetened figs, cherries, raisins, and mango. It gets soaked in a tiny bit of dark rum for added flavour.

Q: Surprised is right, Chef! But we trust your culinary talents and are willing to give it a try. Do you have a holiday tradition that accompanies this holiday treat?

Yes – every Christmas Eve, my kids and I sit by the tree and read our favourite holiday stories like Twas the Night before Christmas – while enjoying our delicious fruit cake. It a tradition we continue to this day.

Try Chef Andrew’s Fruit and Rum Cake – the recipe is available here!


A big thank you to our chefs who shared some of their holiday traditions with us today! We can’t wait to try these recipes and include them in our own family traditions as we celebrate a diverse list of holidays this December.

Wishing everyone a safe and wonderful holiday – from all of us at Compass Group Canada.


Holiday Traditions – Chef Recipes

Chef Michael McKinnon – Cabbage Rolls


1 head Green Leaf Cabbage | 2 lb. Lean Ground Beef  | 2 Cups White Instant Rice | 1 Tbsp. Garlic Power | 1 Tbsp. Onion Powder  | 1 Tbsp. Ground Mustard | 2 Garlic Clove, Minced  | 1 tsp Kosher Salt  | 1 tsp Black Pepper 


15oz can Tomato sauce | 2 cans Tomato Soup | 1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder | 1 Tbsp. Onion Powder | 1 Tbsp. Ground Mustard | 2 Bay Leaf | 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce | 1 tsp Kosher Salt | 1 tsp Black Pepper | 1 Tbsp. Sriracha Hot Sauce | 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar 


  1. Heat a large pot of salted water over high heat until boiling. Drop the cabbage leaves, a few at a time, into the boiling water. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes or until wilted and pliable. Remove with tongs to a strainer to drain. Repeat until all leaves are par-boiled. Remove the thick central ribs by cutting along both sides of the rib in a long narrow triangle. Discard the ribs and set leaves aside.  
  2. Mix ground beef (raw), rice (uncooked), garlic, garlic powder, ground mustard, onion powder, salt, and pepper together. Using gloves mix completely until all ingredients are mixed completely. 
  3. Portion ground beef mixture into each blanched cabbage leaf and roll (folding in the ends) until each is tightly wrapped. Place raw cabbage rolls in a casserole pan or roasting pan. 
  4. Keep Raw Cabbage roll chilled until sauce is ready. 

To prepare the sauce: 

  1. Mix all sauce ingredients in a heavy bottomed saucepan, including 1 can of water from rinsing the soup cans. Whisk until all ingredients are incorporated. 
  2. Heat Sauce on Medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Lower heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes to intensify the flavors. 
  3. Pour sauce over Cabbage rolls and cover with Tin foil or a casserole lid and place in a 350F oven and bake for 2- 2 ½ hours. 
  4. Serve Cabbage Rolls with fresh parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper 


Chef Sean Sloan – Mulled Wine


200 g caster sugar   | 6 cloves  | 3 star anise  | 1 cinnamon stick  | 2 bay leaves  | 2 oranges  | 1 lemon  | 2 x 750 ml bottles of red wine  | 100 ml crème de cassis  | 1 whole nutmeg, for grating 


  1. Place the sugar and all of the spices (except the nutmeg) into a large, heavy-bottomed pan. 
  2. Add the bay leaves and use a speed peeler to pare the zest of the lemon and oranges. Add to the pan, slice the oranges in half and squeeze in the juice. 
  3. Pour in just enough of the wine to cover all the ingredients. Place the pan over a medium heat, bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until all of the sugar is dissolved and you have a lovely fragrant syrup. 
  4. Add the rest of the wine and the crème de cassis, then gently heat for 10 minutes, until warm and fragrant. Be careful not to let the mixture boil. Serve hot, with fresh nutmeg grated on top. 

** Please enjoy responsibly. ** 


Chef Kirk Walters – Roasted Chestnuts


2lb of Fresh Chestnut | Sea Salt | Sharp Paring knife | Chestnut Pan or a Sheet Tray | Medium pot to blanch chestnuts | Colander for straining  


  1. Using a sharp paring knife, score the rounded side of the chestnut to create an “X” in the shell. 
  2. Place Chestnuts into a pot of cold lightly salted water and place them over high heat. Once the water comes to a boil remove the pot from the heat and drain them. 
  3. Place the Chestnuts onto a sheet tray and roast in a 425-degree oven for 20-25 minutes until the shells crack open and the nut is soft and fluffy in texture. Optional if you have a chestnut pan roast the chestnuts while tossing them over low-medium fire for approx. 20 minutes or until the shells are cracked and slightly charred. 
  4. Place warm Chestnuts in a Kitchen Towel for 5-10 minutes, this helps with making the shells easier to remove. 
  5. Feel free to enjoy this seasonal treat with a glass of port wine! (If of legal drinking age. Please enjoy responsibly) 


Chef Andrew Hodge – Fruit and Rum Cake


Rum Soaked Fruit Base:  

1 cup dried unsweetened black figs chopped  | 1 cup dried cherries chopped | 1/2 cup dried dates chopped | ¾ cup dark rum | 2 ½ cup Dark Raisin | 2 cup other mixed dried fruit- chopped ¼” pieces (apricot, cranberries, mango, strawberries, or currants). 

Cake Batter Ingredients: 

1 teaspoon baking powder | 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon | 1 teaspoon ground ginger | ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg | 1 teaspoon salt | 1½ cups all-purpose flour | 1 stick (4 oz,115 g) unsalted butter softened | 1/2 cup light brown sugar | 4 large eggs room temperature | 2 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest | ½ cup orange juice | 1 Granny Smith apple peeled and coarsely grated | 1 cup chopped pecans 


  1. Add the dried fruit in a large mixing bowl, mix with the dark rum, cover, and allow the mixture to soak overnight. 
  2. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 310°F 
  3. Grease two 8×4-inch loaf pans.  
  4. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, spices, and salt and set aside. 
  1. In a separate bowl using a mixer cream the butter and light brown sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add eggs slowly until each egg is incorporated. 
  2. Over low speed, slowly add the flour mixture until just absorbed. Add the lemon zest, orange zest, fresh orange juice, grated apple, slivered almonds, diced candied ginger, and soaked dried fruit mixture. Stir mixture with a rubber spatula until all of the ingredients are evenly mixed. 
  3. Divide the batter evenly among the loaf pans- tap the pans on the counter a few times to settle the batter down and remove any bubbles in the mix. Set the loaf pans on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 80 to 90 minutes. Bake until the batter is set, and the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely before removing from the pans. 
  4. Allow to rest and cool for 3 hours, remove from the loaf pan and slice into desired piece sizes with a pastry knife. 

Note: Store in an airtight container to keep the cake moist and tender until ready to serve. 

Compass Group makes global commitment to reach Climate Net Zero by 2050

2030 emissions reduction targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative
Group commits to be carbon neutral worldwide on Scope 1 & 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 2030


Compass Group, the world’s largest food services group which operates in 45 countries, employs around 550,000 people and serves over 5.5 billion meals a year, has announced a commitment to reach Net Zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across its global operations and value chain by 2050.

The Group’s Net Zero target makes Compass the first international company in the contract catering industry to announce a global commitment to a 2050 net zero emissions economy. It includes ambitious emissions reduction targets over the next decade which have been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), and a further commitment to be carbon neutral worldwide in its own operations (Scope 1 & 2) by 2030.

Compass Group’s decarbonisation strategy will be delivered through collaboration, innovation, and investment across its global operations. Specific actions include:

  • Transition of all fleet vehicles globally to 100% plug-in electric
  • Switch to renewable electricity across all its own operations
  • Reformulate menus to be low carbon and switch towards more plant-based proteins
  • Increase sourcing from regenerative agriculture
  • Focus on packaging solutions to further reduce single-use plastic
  • 50% reduction in food waste across its operations globally by 2030
  • Increase share of seasonal and locally sourced produce
  • Invest in climate positive projects worldwide to support decarbonisation, compensation and neutralisation including reforestation, biodiversity, freshwater, land and ocean initiatives
  • Deliver a global deforestation-free and land conversion-free supply chain strategy


As well as driving significant reductions in its own operations, the Group will use its scale and global reach to influence and work collaboratively with clients, industry associates, governments and suppliers to reduce their direct GHG emissions, set their own Net Zero and Science Based Targets and help create a more sustainable global food system for all.

Today’s announcement follows the commitment made earlier this year by the Group’s UK & Ireland business to deliver Climate Net Zero across its operations by 2030. Compass intends to leverage the experience of early adopter countries such as the UK to share best practice across the Group and drive accelerated transformation towards its global Net Zero goal.

Dominic Blakemore, Group Chief Executive Officer of Compass Group PLC, said:

“The international food industry has a major role to play in reaching Climate Net Zero and driving the transition to a healthy and sustainable food system. Compass Group’s new global Climate Net Zero target reflects our teams’ commitment to sustainable sourcing, eliminating food waste and transforming our environmental impact.

“Given the complexity of the global food supply chain as it is today, we do not underestimate the scale of the challenge ahead of us. Radical new collaborations are urgently needed across the entire value chain to make it a reality. As the world’s largest food services group, operating at the heart of the global food supply chain, we are in a unique position to influence real change, by working in partnership with our suppliers and encouraging sustainable consumption from the clients and consumers we serve every day.”

Diane Holdorf, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Managing Director, Food & Nature, added:

“We congratulate Compass Group for their ambitious and clear goals for Net Zero, and for their drive to lead and innovate to provide climate-positive solutions on a global scale.  

“Food systems are at the center of integrated solutions for nature, climate and equity. Leadership like this to achieve Net Zero across the entire food value chain is key to addressing the challenges these systems face. We look forward to continuing our collective work with Compass and supporting them in implementing innovative new solutions that sustain healthy people on a healthy planet.”

More details on the Group’s sustainability strategy and Net Zero priorities to 2030 and beyond can be found in its Global Roadmap to Net Zero. It is the Group’s intention to provide an update annually on its progress and Roadmap development within its global Sustainability Report, and the Group has committed to validating its 2050 Net Zero targets with the SBTi once its guidelines are finalised.



For more information, please contact

Compass Group Canada

Courtney Gardner.   647-633-5420


Notes to Editors

Compass Group PLC is the world’s leading food services company, which generated annual revenues of £20.2 billion in the year to 30 September 2020.  It operates in around 45 countries, employs and engages around 550,000 people and serves over 5.5 billion meals a year. The Company specialises in providing food and a range of support services across the core sectors of Business & Industry, Healthcare & Seniors, Education, Sports & Leisure and Defence, Offshore & Remote, with an established brand portfolio. 

Oilers Entertainment Group Launches ICE District Hospitality with Compass Group Canada and Levy

Leverages OEG’s market leadership, Compass Group Canada’s operational power and Levy’s experience serving North America’s most iconic major venues.

EDMONTON, AB, MAR 3, 2021 – Today, Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG) announced the launch of ICE District Hospitality for the start of the 2021-22 NHL season, with Compass Group Canada and Levy to enhance the fan experience at Rogers Place and the surrounding ICE District. ICE District Hospitality is a part of OEG’s long-term vision for its food and beverage business and will tap into Compass Group Canada’s operational expertise, as Canada’s leading foodservice company and Levy, a specialized sports and entertainment provider within the Compass Group portfolio. Levy will support ICE District Hospitality through its experience as the market-leader in delivering world-class hospitality at major sports and entertainment venues and iconic events.

“ICE District Hospitality will build upon a strong foundation to elevate the food and beverage offering for our guestwhile creating an integrated hospitality experience across ICE District,” said OEG Business President & COO Tom Anselmi. “We are delighted to work with Compass Group Canada and Levy to bring their experience and creativity to ICE District. We will create a signature experience for guests to ICE District and it starts with fresh, diverse and inspired food and beverage choices, delivered with exceptional service.”

“We thank Aramark for spearheading the launch of our food and beverage program at Rogers Place during our first five years of operation,” Anselmi added.

ICE District Hospitality will be responsible for the Rogers Place food and beverage program, including general concessions, suites and club level dining, restaurants and catering. ICE District Hospitality will also work within a broader, integrated food & beverage program for ICE District, working with its sister company, Oliver & Bonacini, to build off the success of its initial offerings – Braven, Kindred and Alchemy. At the core of ICE District Hospitality will be a focus on elevated hospitality embracing the very best ingredients from local farmers and purveyors, fused with the dynamic and diverse Edmonton culinary landscape. The company is also committed to hiring local hospitality industry talent to help deliver the experience.

“OEG has created an entertainment destination in ICE District that is on par with any you’ll find around the world,” said Andy Lansing, President and CEO of Levy. “We’re honored to join OEG in fulfilling the vision of the District. From delivering the experiences that Oilers fans enjoy most to creating new, signature hospitality experiences throughout the district. Through it all, we’ll continue to work with the community and Edmonton’s incredible hospitality talent.”

Levy and Compass Group Canada, both sectors within the portfolio of parent company Compass Group, will join OEG to bring ICE District Hospitality to life. Levy will support the development of unique hospitality concepts and programming, and Compass Group Canada will provide the operational expertise and resources.

Levy is known for creating many of the most acclaimed food and beverage experiences in sports and entertainment, from food hall collaborations with local restaurants in concessions and personalized service in premier clubs and suites, to dining and entertainment districts that operate year-round. Levy’s partners include a market-leading roster of major arenas across the continent, including Bell Centre in Montreal, Barclays Center in Brooklyn, United Center in Chicago, and Staples Center in LA, as well as Michelin Star restaurants and award-winning cultural attractions. In crafting hospitality for premium seating areas in Rogers Place, Levy will also tap into its roots as the original innovator bringing restaurant quality food and beverage service to stadium suites. 

Compass Group Canada is Canada’s leading foodservice provider, with more than 2,200 locations throughout the country. Through operational excellence, innovation and seamless execution, the company brings outstanding experiences to guests across the country. Compass Group Canada amplifies their offering further through strategic partnerships including a decade-long relationship with Oliver & Bonacini, to provide a premium culinary experience to guests and clients.

More information about dining at Rogers Place and the surrounding ICE District will be available closer to the 2020-21 season.


About Oilers Entertainment Group

Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG) delivers leading sports, entertainment and special event programming to fans and patrons in Canada and the United States. OEG owns the five-time Stanley Cup Champion Edmonton Oilers, the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings, the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors, operates Rogers Place, the top venue in North American sports and entertainment, and anchor of ICE District, Canada’s largest mixed-use sports and entertainment district, a destination for people from all corners of the city, country and world.

 About Levy

The disruptor in defining the sports and entertainment hospitality experience, Levy is recognized as the market leader and most critically acclaimed hospitality company in its industry. Twice named one of the 10 most innovative companies in sports by Fast Company magazine and one of the top three Best Employers for Diversity in America by Forbes, Levy’s diverse portfolio

includes award-winning restaurants; iconic sports and entertainment venues, zoos and cultural institutions, theaters, and convention centers; as well as the Super Bowl, Grammy Awards, US Open Tennis Tournament, Kentucky Derby, and NHL, MLB, NBA, NFL, and MLS All-Star Games. For more, visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About Compass Group Canada

Compass Group Canada is Canada’s leading foodservice and support services provider with over 25,000 associates working in more than 2,200 locations throughout the country. The company specializes in providing foodservices and support services across the core sectors including leading sports and leisure venues, executive dining rooms and cafes, schools, universities, seniors’ residences, and hospitals as well as remote camps and offshore oil rigs. Compass Group Canada has been identified as a Great Place to Work®, the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures, in 2021, 2020, 2019 and 2018, as a Best Workplaces™ in Retail and Hospitality in 2021 and 2020 and as a Greater Toronto Area Top Employer in 2021.

For more information, contact:
Tim Shipton, Oilers Entertainment Group: (780)909-8584, [email protected]

Kevin Memolo, Levy: (312) 335-4741, [email protected]

Courtney Gardner, Compass Group Canada: (647) 633-5420, [email protected]


Compass Group Canada Certified as a Great Place to Work® 3rd Year in a Row

Mississauga, ON – (Thursday November 5th 2020) – Compass Group Canada announced today that they have been certified as a Great Place to Work® for the third consecutive year after a thorough and independent analysis conducted by Great Place to Work® Institute Canada. This certification is based on direct feedback from associates, provided as part of an extensive and anonymous survey about the workplace experience.

Compass Group Canada prides itself on being a people centered organization, with an ongoing focus on their four leadership commitments – We Care, We Share, We Dream, We Deliver.

This year, Compass Group Canada is very pleased to share that their anonymous employee survey returned a 3% overall increase in GPTW’s Trust Index®; this is in addition to the 3% overall lift Compass achieved as part of their 2019 survey results.

“We are incredibly proud of our 3rd consecutive Great Place to Work® certification” said Lauren Davey, Chief People & Culture Office “We are even more pleased that our Trust Index® continues to rise, showcasing that our focus on the associate experience is having an impact. Our Great Place to Work® certification is an official testament to our great people, our commitment to their growth and our effort to recognize their contributions.”


About Great Place to Work®:

Great Place to Work® ( is the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures. Through proprietary assessment tools, advisory services, and certification programs, Great Place to Work® recognizes the Best Workplaces™ across the world in a series of national lists including those published by Fortune magazine (USA) and The Globe & Mail (Canada). Great Place to Work® provides the benchmarks, framework, and expertise needed to create, sustain, and recognize outstanding workplace cultures.

Follow Great Place to Work® at and on Twitter at @GPTW_Canada

Compass Group Canada Acquires Majority Ownership of Assembly Chef’s Hall

On November 27, Toronto restaurateur and entrepreneur Andreas Antoniou and Compass Group Canada announced a landmark partnership deal with Assembly Chef’s Hall. Under the terms of the agreement, Compass Group Canada will assume a majority stake in the 18,000 square foot venue in Toronto’s financial district, further solidifying the Chef’s Hall as a premier, gourmet food destination.

Joined by The Honourable John Tory, Assembly Chef’s Hall celebrated its grand opening in December 2017 positioning itself as Canada’s very first chef-driven market.  Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, it has become home to Toronto’s top chefs, food purveyors and baristas and has become synonymous with both quality and caliber. Today, Assembly Chef’s Hall is recognized as a leading event venue and culinary destination by Venue Report and Canadian Geographic and proudly serves more than 2,500 guests each day.

“No other retail category has seen as much significant growth as food halls in recent years and that is why we believe we have captured the attention of Compass Group Canada,” said Antoniou. “Their strong investment track record and deep focus on operational and strategic development makes them an ideal partner for Assembly Chef’s Hall and our expansion plans.”

As majority owner of Assembly Chef’s Hall, Compass Group Canada brings vast experience in technology driven experiences, scaling businesses and providing purchasing power. In recent months, Compass Group Canada has doubled down on its mission to create outstanding culinary experiences, including an exclusive partnership with Copper Branch, the world’s largest vegan restaurant chain. The company will leverage the innovative approach and culture of Assembly Chef’s Hall to further strengthen and drive their culinary offering.

 “We are thrilled to partner with Andreas Antoniou on his outstanding vision – the Assembly Chef’s Hall,” said Saajid Khan, CEO Compass Group Canada. “As a business, we are not focused on being the largest, we are focused on being the best, particularly when it comes to our culinary offering. This Chef’s Hall exemplifies the very best in culinary excellence and we look forward to bringing that experience to our guests and sharing this culinary innovation incubator with our talented Chefs within Compass, while helping to build on this innovative concept.”

Under the new agreement and corporate structure, Andreas Antoniou will remain the President of Assembly Chef’s Hall. Saajid Khan, CEO Compass Group Canada and Michael Hachey, Chief Innovation Officer, Compass Group Canada, will join the Assembly Chef’s Hall Board of Directors.

The formula for success was not accidental. Assembly Chef’s Hall was conceptualized and executed to serve as an amenity to the Richmond Adelaide Centre, a flagship asset of Oxford Properties. It has succeeded in attracting the city’s most talented culinary experts by creating a model that allowed food entrepreneurs to launch or expand their restaurants downtown at a fraction of the cost. Under this model, Assembly Chef’s Hall takes care of all operational and development functions so that the chefs can focus on what matters most: Food and Service.

“Compass Group Canada recognizes the significant potential of our concept, and we know that our strategic alliance will allow us to deploy scalable technology and pursue future opportunities,” said Antoniou.

The partnership between Compass Group Canada and Assembly Chef’s Hall came into full effect on October 7, 2019.

About Assembly Chef’s Hall
Assembly Chef’s Hall is where Toronto’s best chefs, restaurateurs and baristas come together to feed the city. Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, this chef-driven community market is the first of its kind in Canada and offers upscale menus in a fast-casual setting. Visitors to Assembly Chef’s Hall experience some of the city’s very best, including global cuisines from unique food and beverage vendors, along with a diverse range of craft beers and spirits. Assembly Chef’s Hall is open Monday through Saturday for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The 18,000-square foot space is located at 111 Richmond Street West and includes a wine bar, massive beer hall and downtown Toronto’s largest outdoor patios

For more information, please visit