Casey Palmer Presents: An Evening with Yannick

A while ago, I had the opportunity to sit down with Yannick Bigourdan, a man who’s many things, but you may know him best as the man behind many of Toronto’s upscale offerings. Carbon Bar. Union Chicken. Amano Pasta. Even LodinG, his foray into offering something that’s not delicious food!

In my quest to tell more great Canadian stories, we sat down over some of Carbon Bar’s signature apps as I delved deeper into the story of a French man who fell in love with our true north strong and free. He tasked me with doing his words justice, so without further ado, I present—An Evening with Yannick!

Please enjoy!

Who is Yannick Bigourdan?

He’s a Dad—he spends time with his hands in numerous pots, but he fights hard to stay involved and be present for his two kids. He falls in love with new ideas very quickly, juggling fifty passions at a time while actively trying to add fifty more. You can find him playing ping-pong, skeet shooting, downhill skiing and more, but he’ll always make time for a great game of hockey!

This man who’s developed four thriving businesses from the ground up wouldn’t even be in Canada if it wasn’t for his work with the Four Seasons Los Angeles!

Casey Palmer Presents - An Evening with Yannick — Yannick and Family in the Summer

No stranger to the hospitality industry by then, his work saw frequent travel to Toronto to both further the Four Seasons brand with his Canadian counterparts and take in everything Toronto has to offer as a bustling multicultural city. Well, one thing led to another (as often happens when you’re constantly associating with the movers and shaking of the world), and Yannick eventually found himself face-to-face with the opportunity to take over Splendido, a fine dining establishment deeply entrenched in Toronto lore. Exactly the sort of place one might transition to if already familiar with what delivering stellar customer service looks like thanks to the Four Seasons!

So, armed to take another massive shift in his life—something he’s all too familiar with as you’ll soon discover—Yannick put every dollar he had into developing Splendido. Literally. He was so invested in making it a success that his wife took care of the rent for six months while he figured out the groundwork!

But Splendido’s just the beginning of the story. Without Splendido, Yannick would’ve never even considered becoming a Canadian citizen, and that’s when everything changed.

A Night Out at Creeds — Redefining My Adult Expectations

Be a content creator long enough and plenty starts blurring together. Events run the same way. The same routine of reviewing the products left at the doorstep. One thing that’s always put me off as a creative is too much routine, and that’s without a doubt how I feel about the blog at times after writing it for so long.

Which is why I’m over the moon when something not only surprises me but also leaves an impact on my world and the way I see things!

A Night Out at Creeds — Redefining My Adult Expectations — Creeds Coffee Menu

Some weeks back, I got an invite to a casual event at Creeds, an upscale coffee shop and dry cleaners up by Dupont and Spadina. I admittedly didn’t think much of it at first—I didn’t like coffee, and already had a well-established relationship with my local dry cleaner—but I figured why not; as a fashionable Dad it’s always good to know about what’s out there, and it’d be a good change of pace.

And you know what? It’s a good thing I did because that evening changed a few things about my world I thought I knew for sure.

Keepin’ Up with Case P — The Week That Was… March 18th – 24th, 2018

I’ve spent this last week aimlessly writing, figuring out what I should do next.

Keepin’ Up with Case P — The Week That Was… March 18th – 24th, 2018 — The Boys Chilling on the CouchThere’s plenty on my mind:

  • My career of eleven years that I pretty much fell into and what I do with it some seventeen jobs later
  • All the content that still needs producing and how to make each one special in an age where we value immediacy over innovation
  • And, of course, whether I’m living up to my role as a husband, father, brother, friend and son as I try to find time for everyone while sorting all of this out.

Logically, I know it’s all a process. I spend a lot of my time thinking about the things I’d eventually like to accomplish, and none of it’s happening overnight. I’ve long since decided to stop investing my time in content that takes five minutes to make—there’s more than enough on the internet already.  What I want to do is create things worth remembering—content whose impact we’ll feel months and years down the road. It’s a slow process, but I’ve made it this far—what’s a little bit more, right?

But that’s enough introspection for one post. Let’s get right to it with The Week That Was… March 18th-24th, 2018, and everything that went down in those seven days. Spoiler alertlots of it had to do with food.

Keepin’ Up with Case P — The Week That Was… March 11th – 17th, 2018

There’s no such thing as an overnight success.

Just looking at the week that passed, though I’m constantly updating y’all on my life, there’s sadly so much I can’t talk about. New opportunities. Projects in progress. A whole world of stuff on top of what I’m already putting out there that makes for a very promising 2018 ahead, but learning to be patient and put things out when the time is right is an ongoing lesson.

But all that? That’s future Casey’s problem. Current Casey has a week’s worth of stories to wade through, and he’s glad you’re here to read them!

So strap in, get comfy, and prepare yourself for some stories—it’s the week that was, and boy do I have seven days’ worth to tell you!

Leave All the Tongues Wagging with a Shiny Volkswagen!

We need a car with lots of storage space. Like… lots.

We may only be a family of four, but the Palmers don’t say “no” to adventure, looking for rides that can keep up with our ever-demanding lifestyles.

And the Volkswagen line has promise—the Arteon promises the feel of a luxury car, but offers the space of a hatchback. The newly-designed Jetta’s built to make a statement, and the Tiguan’s more stylish and roomier than ever. But if you ask me, where the Palmers fit into the Volkswagen family is rolling around in a 2018 Volkswagen Atlas, the first seven-seat SUV the vehicle brand has to offer!

Leave All the Tongues Wagging with a Shiny Volkswagen! — 2018 VW Atlas

The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas looks stellar on paper! It’s versatile, it’s roomy, and it can handle just about anything a family can throw at it! From someone who already drives a compact SUV, I know it can have its limitations—especially when you’re packing up for a road trip or any extended stays from home.

But not so with the Atlas. An adult-sized third row and a middle row that can fold down even with a car seat attached so you can fit extra passengers or stuff in the back. Plenty of room so you can put all that gear away without needing a cargo carrier for extra storage. It’s big and rich with features—and looks even better in person.

Leave All the Tongues Wagging with a Shiny Volkswagen! — Casey Inside the 2018 VW Atlas

This past February, I got to see the Atlas up close and personal at the 2018 Canadian International Auto Show—Volkswagen invited myself and some other creators out for a first look at their 2018 setup for the show and all the ways we could interactively learn more about the Volkswagen brand!

Business Taxes for the Masses — Avoid Getting Annoyed Thanks to TurboTax Self-Employed

I was thirteen years old when my Dad sat me down at the kitchen table and had me do my taxes for the very first time. My income was meagre—I’d spent one day sweltering as Sam the Bee for Streetsville’s Bread & Honey Festival in Mississauga—but my Dad had me study the tax booklet inside and out just as if I were doing it for a full-time job.

More than twenty years later, I’ve switched to digital systems that automate and optimise the things once done with multiple booklets and an accounting calculator, but that doesn’t necessarily make things simpler. In fact, now that I’ve built an entire second career from creating content for Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad, doing my taxes only grew more complicated, now requiring the expertise of additional people to do it all correctly.

But new times (and new tax laws) call for new solutions, and that’s precisely what TurboTax proposes with their brand-new offering, TurboTax Self-Employed, making tax filing simpler and more straightforward than possibly anything you’ve seen before!

Business Taxes for the Masses — Avoid Getting Annoyed Thanks to TurboTax Self-Employed — Mississauga Bread and Honey Festival — Sam the Bee
Source: Bread & Honey Festival

Keepin’ Up With Case P — The Week That Was… March 4th – 10th, 2018

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“You can’t knock the hustle.”

— Jay-Z, “Can’t Knock the Hustle”, Reasonable Doubt (1996)

The first full week in March’s been all about getting organised.

What 2018’s done for me so far is give me a fiery drive to create—it’s the first time in a very long time I’ve felt like I’ve tangible things I can do to improve my brand instead of continuing to produce just because. I can’t put it out there just yet, but I’m looking back a lot these days as I strengthen my brand’s foundations, really seeing how far this journey’s taken me. It’s one thing when you’re living through each day trying to accomplish as much as possible, but when you lay it all out in one place and give it some perspective, it can be really empowering!

But we’re not here to discuss the things that’re yet to come—with 2018’s tenth week officially in the books, it’s time to review The Week That Was and everything that came with it!

Keepin' Up With Case P — The Week That Was... March 4th - 10th, 2018 — Casey and Kid Hanging Out at a Jam

So if we don’t already have regular plans pencilled in, it’s very likely you didn’t see hide nor hair from me this week. Save a couple of podcast tapings and giving and receiving career advice, I spent more time keeping house than I did being out and about. (Apologies to Solmaz and the gang at Best Buy Canada that I couldn’t hit up the Home Show this year, but there’s still a long 2018 ahead of us, amirite?)

That Parent Life Isn’t So Hard with Pampers Rewards!

There’s no way we’d make it this far as parents if it weren’t for the community of peers that built up around us.

You likely won’t appreciate this if you haven’t had kids yourself, but it’s a life change that can prove very isolating for new parents! The friends without kids want to give you space to adjust to your new addition, but what you need is all hands on deck to help you figure things out. The friends with kids might only have time to pop in for a quick visit or to drop food and supplies off to keep you going. What new parents need is to find others going through the same thing as they are, for there’s power in numbers and they can find their way through it together.

For us, we did it through Sarah creating a Facebook group for parents with babies born in November 2013. Through it, she met plenty of local Moms with kids the same age who’d get what she was going through. It forged friendships still going strong today, and though it gets tricky manoeuvring through the birthday parties each year, I’d say it’s one of the best things that happened to us as parents.

You share resources—a toy or tool that didn’t work for one child might work for another. You share stories—you never know how much your experiences might encourage friends in their time of need. But what might be the most crucial thing that’s shared is knowledge. The tips, tricks and techniques parents share lay the foundation for our growth. They teach us how to make the most of the time and energy we put into our efforts. They let us do the impossible in raising our kids. And when you can apply them without breaking the bank? That right there, friends, is a bonus—the very kind you’ll get through the Pampers Rewards app!

Brown Girl Begins — Telling Stories of Colour Sans Stereotypes

This is more than just a movie review.

Brown Girl Begins — Telling Stories of Colour Sans Stereotypes — Shakura S'Aida as MamiCaribbeanTales couldn’t have known I was in the middle of deeply searching for a great connection to my roots when they reached out to collaborate. It’s a dope time for content creators who look like us with Jordan Peele’s 2017 horror smash Get Out taking home an Oscar and 2018’s Black Panther smashing every record the world can toss at it, but we can still do more.

Black culture has long challenged anyone who dares try to keep it in a box. Most of what the world calls “Black culture” is culture reshaped and repackaged for public consumption. Hip-hop. Television. Fashion. It all reached a tipping point where Black culture met bold couture, and suddenly we found ourselves without identifiers accurately representing us anymore.

Or at least—that’s the narrative some would have us believe.

Keepin’ Up with Case P — The Week that Was… February 25th – March 3rd, 2018

First off, a massive shout-out to Laura Fuentes from MOMables for the inspiration to move my weekly newsletter from everyone’s email to my blog.

Dad 2.0 Summit 2018

In seven years, you can learn some things. I’ve seen great success in growing this brand, but at the same time developed habits that hold me back. Spreading myself too thin to give my all to any one area. Not finding the time to do better with what I’ve already produced rather than always chase after new leads. You reach a point where you understand what will help your growth and strive to make as much of that happen as possible.

And this move’s just that—putting more of my efforts into the digital home I’ve built myself rather than fritter it elsewhere. This weekly write-up will be more connected, more intentional and more focused than ever before. I’ll spend less time thinking about what to write and more spent learning from what I’ve done—that’s what makes for a better story, right?

So without further ado, let’s get it.

The Week That Was… February 25th – March 3rd, 2018

This Week’s Tweets

Alright, so firstly, if you’re not following me on Twitter, I promise you’re missing out. Here are some of my better-performing tweets from this week, designed to make you laugh, think, or lick the flavour off your screen: