Voted the Best Restaurant in Fort McMurray on Tripadvisor, Jamaican restaurant Chez Max is a colourful addition to the local palate, and they were recently voted one of the top five places in town to get wings.
Run by Female Business Leader of the Year 2017 Maxine Peddle, the restaurant is located in the Towers and serves lunch and dinner, has a full traditional catering menu, their famous Chef-To-Go meals, and is fully licensed. It’s a business that stands with harmony, passion, sense of community, giving back and most importantly giving people a chance to shine their light. “It doesn’t matter if you’re here to clean the bathrooms or the walls, in my eyes you are on par with the head chef. Everybody has a role to play in a business.”
Two new chefs will be arriving soon from Jamaica, adding some new and fresh ideas to the menu! One of the main things will be more appetizers and desserts, and more traditional food. “Your partner might be into ethnic Jamaican food, while you enjoy more traditional things,” says Maxine. “We want to make Chez Max more inviting to those who are not into different types of food.”
“Jamaican food is very popular because it collaborates with four cultures. The Spanish were there, the Africans were the ones who started the tradition of jerk, the curries come from India and the Chinese also has a great influence. That’s why the flavours of Jamaica are so popular. It’s a melting pot of many different cultures,” explains Maxine. “As a matter of fact, on the coat of arms of Jamaica, it says, “out of many, one people.”
After going through a bit of a rough patch, Maxine feels she is at the best point in her life: “Sometimes when you encounter obstacles or things that don’t flow in your life, you have to walk in faith and look inside yourself and ask what is being taught here,” she says. “Don’t abandon the process of life and walk through. If you are strong enough and obedient enough, to go through that hurdle, those hard times, that turbulence, what you learn from that and what you gain from that supersedes those days when everything goes smoothly.”
“The rough times only prepare you for the next level,” she says. “I’m so energized about my business.
I’m so focused, like I have a fresh pair of eyes. I’m learning to be a better leader. One of the things I’m sharing with people is that a business is only as good as it’s leadership. As a leader, when you develop yourself, you help those working with you develop as well. It’s given me confidence, it’s teaching me that, as a woman, it’s okay to be assertive. I’m always looking to lead with my heart, but it’s necessary to balance your heart with your decision-making.”
After having a great time at Taste of Fort McMurray last year, and catering the hugely popular Largest Outdoor Patio Party, Maxine is thrilled the be a part of the ATCO 2018 Fort McMurray Food Festival.
“I’m so happy to be a part of this, seeing how well it was received. Last year’s festival made you feel like you were in Miami or Toronto; it had a big city feel. Our city needs more cultural events like this, showing people that if you come here, there are many things to do. There are many ethnic diversities, many cultures, and people always come out to support us. This gives the people in this community an opportunity to come out and enjoy our city and to support local business!”