354 Elgin Street, Ottawa, Ontario (map)

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Address:354 Elgin Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K2P 1M8
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Jim and Matt Bickford were born and raised in Ottawa and grew up playing hockey and living in Carleton Heights where they developed and continue to foster a strong relationship with the Italian community. Their exposure to Italian food and wine began at their neighbour's house, that of Luigi and Carmella Pulice, where they would go for lunches and dinner whenever flagged down from their hectic days of skateboarding, road hockey, fishing on the Rideau River and other affairs of the day. Luigi prided himself on his homemade wine, which he would make from his own grapes and Carmella on her fresh breads, mouth-watering tomato sauce, cured meats and regionally inspired dishes. The Bickford brothers were both educated in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Jim graduated from Dalhousie University and Matt from St. Mary’s University, both earning B.A.'s in political science. Their background in business came from running their mother's retail ice cream store in the Byward Market where they developed skills while serving up double scoops in one of the most colourful areas of Ottawa. Since taking over Fresco’s in 2005 Jim and Matt have continued to learn and improve their business with each passing day. They both play an active role in day to day operations and are always found on site working diligently to ensure that each and every guest feels the care that goes into their beautiful establishment.
Chef Som Bunchhoeub known around Fresco's as Chef Nee, immigrated to Canada in 1981 from a refuge camp in Thailand after escaping brutal conflict in his home country of Cambodia. Forced into slavery by the brutal Khmer Rouge, and then starved out of his village, Nee headed to the Thailand border in search of food from the Red Cross. On one of his food finding missions he encountered a fierce battle between Vietnamese forces and the Khmer Rouge. Although he was supposed to return home with food for his family, he was forced over the border and into a refuge camp inside Thailand. Since his arrival to Canada, Nee has worked many years with an array of talented Chefs, eventually finding his way to Fresco's in 1991 where he has remained ever since. Nee is the backbone of the operation, managing all aspects of the kitchen and responsible for many of the bistro's most popular food items.

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