Our Team

Owner – Phil Waserman

Phil Waserman is the owner of the Courtyard Restaurant, Mamma Grazzi’s Kitchen and Biagio’s Italian Kitchen. Phil has been deeply involved with the restaurant industry for over 30 years, and was awarded the “Restaurateur of the Year Award” in 1996. Phil’s other awards include the Heather Crowe Award, recognizing his community leadership in promoting a smoke-free Ontario, and Health Ontario’s Eat Smart Award recognizing 15 years of contribution to the Eat Smart program promoting healthy food choices in restaurants. Phil’s community spirit is evident in his strong commitment to local boards and associations, including his work as Chair of the ByWard Market BIA for the past 15 years, as an Ottawa Tourism Board Member from 1985 to 2009, and his involvement in the City of Ottawa Homelessness Task Force. Phil currently sits on the Board of Operation Come Home, Bon Appetit Ottawa, Ottawa Restaurant Association, as well as the Safety and Security Committee and Parking and Transportation Committee at the BIA. Phil has always been encouraging of young talent in the hospitality industry, and has given many Chefs and Front of House Managers their start in one of his restaurants.

Head Chef – Simon Brière-Audet

Simon Brière-Audet joined the culinary team at Courtyard Restaurant in 2015 and took the position of Head Chef in early 2017. Fresh local ingredients, classic cooking techniques, and his French-Canadian heritage, inspire Simon’s menus. As the Executive Chef of Lapointe’s Restaurant Group for 5 years, he also has a great appreciation for sustainable fish and seafood dishes, which you will often find on his menus. On his days off, you’ll find Simon tending to his half-acre garden, or visiting other farmers and producers in the region. Simon is the co-owner of Lowertown Canning Company, and an avid supporter of all things local.

Senior Events Coordinator – Julia Johnston

Julia brings a wealth of event planning experience to the Courtyard team. She is enthusiastic, energetic and well-connected in the Ottawa wedding community. With her charming personality, dedication to detail and her keen ability to bring clients’ ideas to life, she is a true asset to the Courtyard Team.

Office Administrator – Carolyn Fernihough

Carolyn found her love of numbers at an early age when multiplication and long division were really cool discoveries. She brought that love of numbers to earning a degree in Economics which led to working in a bank. Carolyn found there was something missing in the banking experience and proceeded from there to working for a data entry service and then to the Courtyard Restaurant where she discovered the missing element: a great set of coworkers whose focus is to make their customer’s experience a memorable pleasure, along with an appreciation for their fellow employees. Carolyn is a self confessed office supply geek, and she loves finding new products that make working more efficient, economical, and environmentally friendly.

Our Resident Ghost – Ms. Evans.

We are most honoured to introduce you to your complimentary guest and our ghostly colleague, Ms. Evans, circa 1870. She is a kind and spunky ghost and someone that we believe enjoys witnessing your finest moments. In a venue that celebrates over a hundred weddings a year and more than 600 events, why would anyone want to leave such a vibrant and festive place?