Originally from Winnipeg, Jesse McCleery began his culinary career at the age of 15 working in his home city’s best restaurants. Moving to British Columbia in 2000, Jesse has since worked in some of the province’s top restaurants and resorts. Having spent a combined five seasons in Clayoquot Sound and the Great Bear Rainforest, he has developed a deep respect for the coastal waters and forests. Continually searching and questioning ideas in food and our relationship with our environment, Jesse made the inspiring journey to Denmark to spend the winter in the kitchen of Copenhagen’s acclaimed restaurant Noma. Returning west with new ideas and a reinforced vision, Jesse, with Leanne, set forth on opening pilgrimme, where his philosophies and ethics are given life working with the growers and artisans of Galiano Island.
Growing up on Vancouver Island, Melanie spent her early days setting crab traps, trolling for salmon, and picking clams off the mid-island coast. Her distaste for calculus and economics in university brought her love of food back to light, ultimately prompting her to drop out of university and enroll in cooking school on Vancouver Island. After a few years in Montreal, Melanie returned to Vancouver, cooking at Wildebeest, Bufala, and Savio Volpe. Melanie met Jesse at the Van Mag Restaurant Award ceremony and shared with him a mutual love of black liquorice, potato chips, and pizza. She moved to Galiano in 2020 and they opened Charmer together in the Spring of 2021.