One of Cordonier's first moments of culinary inspiration came when he was a child. His family was on vacation in Lake Louise and they ate in the Chateau Lake Louise restaurant. Cordonier was electrified by the atmosphere and the food he was eating. He says, "Although I wasn't aware of the subtlety of technique and service going on around me at the time, I knew I was part of something really special and cool and that stuck with me."
Another one of Cordonier's strong culinary influences was Chef Vince Stefano. Cordonier worked under him at the Chateau Whistler and was influenced by Stefano's passion for farm fresh ingredients as well as his charisma, leadership style and the sheer quality of food that they were putting out. He adds, "After spending a few years in generic restaurants, going back to the fresh food that I grew up with and putting it together with new techniques was a little bit mind-blowing for me at the time."
The passion that Cordonier has for local ingredients is driven by the simple knowledge that food is a living thing. As soon as the products are harvested, they start losing quality, so Cordonier wants to get his ingredients as close to the source as possible. For example, "If you take something that's perfectly ripe from a grocery store and you put it next to something that's picked perfectly ripe off of a tree and take a bite out of each one, it is hard to describe or do justice to that comparison because the one from the tree is a completely different fruit."