Spotlight Cabaret is a restaurant, bar, rooftop patio, and live venue that showcases comedy, music, dance, drag, improv, sketch, film and theatre.
Spotlight celebrates the era of cultural refinement, social elegance and general prosperity of the 1920s. The “Roaring 20s” will be reignited as we model our restaurant on the art deco style establishments of Old Hollywood and Classic New York. We serve superb cuisine and drink in an unforgettable atmosphere of rich culture and effervescence.
Our unique, curved stage hosts the BEST Edmonton has to offer in terms of theatre, comedy, music and film.
And Spotlight’s large roof top patio serves you big sky, sunshine and slush, every nice day we get!
The Ownership Team
The beginning of a beautiful friendship…
Jeff and Aimée had been searching for two years for the perfect venue for their Cabaret concept. An interest in an alternate location in the Whyte Ave neighborhood prompted Jeff to call his cousins, Brian, Wayne and Neal, and respectfully ask for their blessing to open up a new restaurant concept close to theirs. They of course gave Jeff their warmest congrats and blessing to join the neighborhood. A couple conversations and a few days later, they realized, the time to rebrand O2’s on Whyte was now, why not partner with Jeff and Aimée and ignite the Spotlight Cabaret concept inside their fantastic Whyte Ave location? A deal was made and the renovations began!
Jeff is an actor/writer/improviser/dancer/singer coming into this business with over 21 years experience as a business owner. Jeff was part owner and operator of Louisiana Purchase in downtown Edmonton. During his time there, the restaurant was featured on You Gotta Eat Here, The Food Network, made the list of the Top 100 Restaurants in Canada (Open Table), and received multiple Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Awards. Jeff is currently co-owner/operator of Lacombe Parks Spirits in St. Albert which is a multiple award winner in several categories, St. Albert’s Favourite Liquor Store, Best Beer Store, Best Wine Store…the list goes on! Before becoming a successful restauranteur, Jeff went to theatre school at Grant Macewan and was a realtor for 8 years. Jeff is an AMPIA and Sterling Nominated actor and Gemini Nominated writer for television having starred in the sketch comedy TV show Caution: May Contain Nuts for the last 12 years. Caution was born from the original subversive sketch troupe Blacklisted, which was legendary in its day and Jeff was proud to be a founding member. Jeff has three beautiful children, Noelle, Phoenix and Vincent who he loves dearly.
Aimée is an actor/writer/stand-up/improviser/singer/dancer with 20 years experience in the restaurant industry as a server. Aimée also has several years of sales and publicity experience in the auto and television industry respectively. Aimée has founded, produced, and directed many shows across Alberta and in Vancouver, her improv show “Sin Peaks” was called “the best comedy Vancouver has to offer” by Vancouver Weekly. Aimée is a four time Canadian Comedy Award Nominee, Gemini nominated, and AMPIA nominated writer and performer. Aimée can be seen on TV in Hell on Wheels, Wynonna Earp and Caution: May Contain Nuts and is currently a writer on a new TV show for APTN called The Next Best Thing. Aimée lives with her partner Michael who is her rock, and what a handsome rock he is! She also loves spending time with her Mom and niece Elizabeth. Aimée is an avid snowboarder, horror movie buff, and foodie.
Jesse has been cooking since he was 15, where he stumbled upon a dishwashing position in high school. From there he started learning some of the dishes and recipes in his off time and was moved on to the line. He quickly discovered that he was good at cooking, loved to do it, and could make a living at it: the trifecta of what to look for in a career choice. After working at several large chain restaurants, Jesse moved his way around Edmonton working for several smaller restaurants where he learned the importance of scratch cooking. It was during this time that he was working at Murrietta’s Grill on Whyte ave (now closed), where he met Chef Shane Chartrand, whom he indentured under to complete his culinary apprenticeship. Shane taught Jesse the value of knowing where ones food comes from, and how it’s raised and cultivated. The most important lesson he taught Jesse is the importance of the culture and people behind the food.
The next few years saw Jesse learning as much as he could. After graduating from NAIT’s Red Seal Journeyman program, he spent a brief time at the Art Gallery of Alberta, was the Resident Chef at a remote hunting lodge, and heard about a new boutique bistro in the heart of beaumont that was opening up. Jesse interviewed for a position as a cook and here he met his next mentor, Chef Steve Brochu. While cooking at Chartier, he was a featured chef at several events, began cooking his own private in-home dinners, and competed in the 2016 World Food Championships, where he placed in the Top 10 Seafood category.
After his time at Chartier, seeking his next adventure, Jesse took on a role in Newfoundland opening the Angry Urchin, a small, local produce focused bistro in Portugal Cove, just outside of St John’s. Here he focused on working as closely with producers as possible, going so far as to forage with his wild food supplier, help out on the farms he sourced produce from and work with butchers make use of their entire animals. Unfortunately, the economy was not on the restaurants side, and Jesse was Alberta bound again within the year.
Upon returning to Alberta Jesse rekindled a connection with Jeff and Aimee, who he met before he had moved to Newfoundland. Sure enough, they were looking for a Head Chef for Spotlight. The only thing left to do was to cook them a meal to bedazzle them and their partners. They loved some of the dished so much that they are featured on his menu at Spotlight!
When he isn’t cooking, there is nothing that Jesse loves to do more than spend time with his family. He has a beautiful daughter named Aurora who has been known to grace the dining room with her beaming smile and adorable laugh. Aurora never goes far without her mother Jenna close behind her. Jenna is the foundation of Jesse’s life, and she has supported him through cross-country moves, restaurant openings, and everything in between.
When he does get a little bit of down time, Jesse enjoys curling up with a lager or whisky cocktail to watch a horror movie on Netflix or paint Star Wars figurines.