Chef Jo Notkin, Maison Zoe Ford Inc, Founder
Jo is a native Montrealer with ties to the seaside town of Gloucester, Massachusetts, near to where Zoe was born and where she spent summers growing up (and discovering the sheer magic of lobster parties and strawberry rhubarb pie made by hand). Beyond her role as a caterer, Jo has been many things: among them, a creator of jewelry for Aldo Shoes while in her late teens, a champion oyster shucker in her 20’s, a designer and manufacturer of sustainable textiles in her 30’s, and in her 40’s a chocolatière, a chef and a contestant on Food Network Canada’s Top Chef Canada Season 8. Jo is a proud supporter of the NDG Food Depot.
Zoe Ford, Jo’s formidable and inimitable late grandmother, understood the joys of fine dining and elegant entertaining. She set a fabulous table (even when dining alone) and always had three of four types of cookies in the pantry. Born Esther Finestone in 1908, Zoe took on the “more sophisticated-sounding” moniker as a beautiful debutante growing up in the Boston suburb of Chelsea, Massachusetts. From her earliest days, Zoe cultivated a brassy disposition and a reputation for insisting on the absolute best of everything, from dress cuts to cuts of meat. She took great pride in hosting flawless social functions, creating extravagant menus featuring things like tomato juice cocktail and gravlax garnished with cucumber, capers and shallots. Zoe Ford Catering takes cues from the original Zoe Ford’s impeccable aesthetic sense and fierce dedication to being the ultimate hostess. We think everyone should have a little Zoe Ford in their lives.