Member Profile – Carrie Surrette, Heartwood Restaurant
Owner: Carrie Surrette
Restaurant: The Heartwood Restaurant
What is the best thing about owning your own restaurant? I love the fast paced environment and being surrounded by great people – my staff and our customers. There is a really great vibe that seems only to exist in the restaurant industry.
What is the most popular menu item? The Heartwood Bowls are our most popular menu items, but the pizzas are slowly taking over in popularity. We make our own wheat-free pizza crusts and customers are loving them lately.
What Taste of Nova Scotia product has become a staple at Heartwood? L’Acadie Vineyards organic wines. It’s great to be able to offer our customers a wine that is both local and organic and Nova Scotia is truly fortunate to have a business such as L’Acadie Vineyards pioneering in the Organic Industry.
What is your favorite item on your menu? My two favorite menu items are the Wild Card Salad and the Wild Card Pizza. I’m quite indecisive so I like to leave it up to the chef to create my meal. I am never disappointed.
Aside from your own restaurant, what other Taste restaurants to you frequent? I’m really enjoying 2 Doors Down, it is a great addition to Halifax.
What is your ultimate comfort food? My ultimate comfort food is pizza, there is something warm and comforting about pizza.
Why do you, or why is it important to support local? Heartwood was founded on the principals of supporting local and organic whenever possible and we strive to stay true to these principals. For us it’s about supporting local businesses, being more environmentally sustainable and decreasing our footprint.
What is a piece of advice you have for home chefs that want to implement more vegetarian options in their menus? My advice is to have fun with all the flavors and possibilities. There are so many delicious recipes available now. Get familiar with the new ingredients you might encounter, they could be the key delicious results.
What is your guilty pleasure? A cup of tea and a cookie. I don’t feel a lot of guilt from our cookies, but stealing away to have a moment to myself with a cup of tea and a cookie is truly pleasurable.
What is the most memorable meal you have ever had? I believe it was at Chives a long time ago now. I remember going there as a young vegetarian and the chef coming out to discuss my dietary needs. They created a delicious polenta with a flavorful salad. It was amazing to be able to enjoy delicious fine dining as a vegetarian and it was such a positive experience. One of the best meals I have ever had.
Do you have any additional comments to share? I’m really grateful to be part of such a long standing restaurant in Halifax. It was always my favorite restaurant to visit when I was in Halifax. Laura Bishop, the original owner of The Heartwood created a unique spot. Laura has been a mentor to me and I am so grateful for that relationship.