Charlotte Langley: Going Beyond Traditional Boundaries
Authentically passionate is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of a way to describe Charlotte Langley. I had the honour to have a one on one conversation and interview her while she was preparing a dinner menu she was catering to that night. As Charlotte told me her story about the journey of becoming a chef and eventually taking her passion to freelance, I couldn’t help but become overwhelmingly inspired. Her go-getter attitude and resilience to breakaway from being a “traditional restaurant chef” certainly takes something. Charlotte’s willingness to genuinely share about what her transformation over the last few years was very much so intriguing.
Charlotte is from Prince Edward Island and actually ended up falling into culinary school by accident. She was working as a barista; depressed and bored, so she really started thinking about what she should do with her life. Charlotte had the thought that she always liked cooking and was definitely a foodie so decided she would give culinary school a try. Going into it, she was totally nonchalant about what the outcome would be. She applied all across Canada and got accepted into the adult retraining program in PEI. Without really seeing it coming, she fell in love with culinary and the world of hospitality. Sooner than later Charlotte began to spend 95 percent of her time in the kitchen, practicing on her own, training like crazy, and eventually graduating her culinary program with honours. After completing school she went to Ottawa and made her mark as a new and very talented chef, she moved up very fast and was only 24 when she became an executive chef at a well known restaurant called Whalesbone Oyster House. It was an amazing learning curve for her and the restaurant grew quite well. She decided she wanted something more so she moved to Toronto on a whim and started working at a restaurant and doing events on the side to get her name out there. The first four years were very different and struggled finding her place in the city. She launched Scout Canning which was the beginning of her freelancing…
which then evolved into a being a chef and culinary curator for Restaurants Canada, working for Top Chef Canada as their studio chef, tons of events, catering, and a successful freelance event company.
She now has the freedom to experiment, gain people’s trust, and really use her creativity. When I asked Charlotte “what do you see is next,” she explained that she sees an event company that supports people in the industry that don’t want to work in traditional restaurant spaces anymore. She wants to create a space where they can join and really display their creativity. She feels as though one of her best traits is bringing people together and connecting others. In 10 years she sees herself living by the ocean somewhere, just enjoying life. The best advice she can give to anybody wanting to be freelance in the hospitality industry is to be fully committed, and not just to do it-but to do it well. She also encourages engaging with as many people as possible and doing the things that you might not want to do. The journey isn’t perfect and she says she has days where she’s fearful and doesn’t know what to expect, but as soon as she throws herself into the unknown she always feels good about what she’s doing. Charlotte says she’s very lucky to have an amazing support system and that she’s not afraid to fully commit and put in the work for where she wants to be.