Connie DeSousa & John Jackson
Co-Chefs/Owners Connie DeSousa and John Jackson met and worked together in 1999 in Calgary. As each went onto discover their culinary evolution they reunited in San Francisco to open the prestigious Mobil 5-star St. Regis Hotel. Jackson, a Prairie-born visionary and community change-maker, studied sausage-making in Italy’s Marche and staged at London’s River Café and Paris’ Le Jardin des Cygnes. DeSousa honed her butchery skills in Berkeley at Chez Panisse, and staged at New York’s Jean-Georges and San Francisco’s Quince. After the successful opening of the St. Regis, they then returned to Calgary to open their first venture side-by-side in 2010, CHARCUT Roast House. The restaurant was quickly named enRoute Magazine’s best new Canadian restaurant top-ten and has been on Vacay.ca’s best restaurant list for 3 years. DeSousa went on to be named one of Canada’s top female chefs after placing as a Food Network Top Chef Canada finalist. Both chefs are Cook It Raw community ambassadors attending Cook It Raw Charleston, Alberta and Norway. In 2015 they celebrated the opening of charbar in the historic Simmons building, along with 2 other businesses – Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters and Sidewalk Citizen Bakery. It is a true collaboration of like-minded, passionate food focused business partners, bringing a hyper-local experience all under one roof to Calgary's rejuvenated East Village. charbar was quickly recognized as one of Calgary's best new restaurants, as well as Canada's 100 Best and on EnRoute's list of top 35 best new restaurants for 2016. Adding a bit of fun to the Simmon's charm, their famed Alley Burger parked its truck and became anchored along the West of building as one of Calgary's few walk-thru windows. And to top it all off, literally, this duo concepted the incredible Rooftop Bar @Simmons where you can escape the hustle and bustle of hectic city life to sip on cocktails with panoramic views of the beautiful Bow River.