.. (gah-zell-ig) is a Dutch adjective for convivial, cosy, or nice atmosphere, but also belonging, general togetherness, or time spent with loved ones...

Stephen Beckta and Clay Cardillo, along with their team, welcome you to the heart of Westboro Village to experience great neighbourhood dining in a soaring yet intimate, converted 1950’s bank building.

Our hope is to offer you extraordinary food & wine with fun, value and the same warm hospitality that we have become known for.

We hope to be able to welcome you to gezellig soon!
Stephen Beckta
Owner

Stephen Beckta is proprietor of Gezellig, along with it’s sister restaurants Play food & wine and Beckta dining & wine, three of Ottawa’s premier fine dining restaurants. After graduating with honours from Algonquin College’s Sommelier program, Stephen departed Ottawa to hone his skills in New York City for four years with the top players in the restaurant industry. Stephen started at Café Boulud working for the celebrated chef, Daniel Boulud, followed by two years with renowned restaurateur Danny Meyer at Eleven Madison Park before returning to his native city. Stephen has been named Top Independent Restaurateur in Ontario by the Ontario Hostelry Institute (2007), won the Bill Joe Restaurateur of the Year Award by the Ontario Restaurant Association in 2011, nominated for the Ontario Premier’s Awards in Business twice (2006, 2010), named one of Ottawa’s Top 40 under 40 by the Ottawa Business Journal (2008) and Algonquin College’s Alumni of the year (2010). He sits on the board with the Ottawa Boys and Girls Club and is driven to spread great hospitality to Ottawa’s dining public.
Clay Cardillo
Managing Partner

Clay Cardillo is the Managing Partner for gezellig, as well as for its sister restaurants Play food & wine and Beckta dining & wine. Clay completed the Algonquin Culinary Program in 1998 before becoming the Sous Chef for LeMetro in Ottawa. From there Clay worked in the kitchens of the NAC and The Keg,and was soon promoted within The Keg to open restaurants as Kitchen Manager. He began to find that while he got into the business to work with food and wine, he enjoyed working with the people in the restaurants as much as the product. Before long, Clay was recruited by SirCorp, then a small Canadian restaurant corporation, to be the opening Kitchen Manager and then General Manager for a number of restaurants throughout Southern Ontario. After 9 years and soon after the birth of his first child, Clay left SirCorp to become Business Development Manager at Cara, where he helped owners develop their people and restaurants. In 2012, Clay joined the Beckta family of restaurants of Beckta dining & wine, Play food & wine and gezellig, where he is happy to fulfill his passion for building business by driving hospitality.
Katie Ardington
Executive Chef

At age thirteen, Katie began her restaurant career as a pub dishwasher in her hometown of Brockville, Ontario, and went on to work every station in the kitchen and dining room, falling in love with the bustling industry. Following this passion, Katie enrolled at Algonquin College’s Culinary School, graduating on the Deans List with Honours in 2003.

Her ambition for fine-dining excellence brought her to an entry-level kitchen position of the critically-acclaimed Beckta dining & wine in 2005. Katie quickly worked her way up to Chef du Cuisine at Beckta’s innovative small-plates sister restaurant Play food & wine, and then returned to lead the flagship kitchen at Beckta as its Chef de Cuisine in 2012. After five years and countless accolades, she was honoured to be chosen as Chef at 24 Sussex, cooking for Prime Minister Trudeau.

In 2018 Katie was proud to accept the much larger role as Executive Chef role at the Beckta restaurant group, which includes Beckta, Play and Gezellig.

Katie leads all three kitchens with huge aspirations, working alongside each restaurant chef to care for and inspire their teams, while celebrating each restaurant’s unique menus. Her vision is to not only make our three restaurants the most compelling places to dine in the city, but to also to create the best culture of hospitality for her restaurant family to grow and thrive in.

In 2010, Katie received the prestigious Top 30 Under 30 Award from the Ontario Hostelry Institute, and regularly gives back to the community through countless events and initiatives that reflect her strong values of caring for people through inspiring food.
Rich Wilson
Chef

Josie Bellissimo
General Manager

Jodi Morden
Hospitality Manager

Jodi joined us at Gezellig in February 2014, hired as the Office Manager and Event Coordinator. With a background in theatre, she fell naturally into event planning. The details involved in putting together a great event is very close to the detail and dedication she puts into producing a play, from the initial meeting to the event itself. In 2016, she was promoted to Service Manager, then very shortly after, Hospitality Manager. Jodi has gained a passion for the restaurant industry in a way she never thought possible, and personifies the caring, commitment and authenticity we seek in all of our teammates. Jodi continues to excel in the theatre world outside of Gezellig, producing compelling plays for fringe festivals across Canada.
Gord Makin
Sous Chef

Born and raised in Perth, Ontario, Gord has always had an appreciation for family run farms and small businesses. He carried that forward into the work place, where he enjoys collaborating with local farmers to ensure that menus stay seasonaland current.

Gord began his culinary career in Kingston, Ontario, where he enrolled at St.Lawrence College’s Culinary Program, graduating with distinction in 2011. He has since worked in a multitude of restaurants in the Kingston and Ottawa area, before landing his position as Sous Chef at Gezellig, where he continues to develop his knowledge and appreciation for food.
Tyler McMartin
Sous Chef