Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Mark Leslie Collis

Mark's obituary was published in the Toronto Star and the Kingston Whig-Standard today.

COLLIS, Mark Leslie (Chef Mark) - of Kingston, age 63, died suddenly on Sunday, August 16, 2015 at Kingston General Hospital. Mark will be forever loved and missed by his wife Peggy Shanks and his beloved dogs Gracie and Sam. Mark will also be remembered affectionately by Michael and Theresa Shanks (Amherstview), Patrick Shanks and Cynthia Deveau (Ottawa), his uncle Nate Collis (Toronto), members of the Collis, Shanks and Forbes families and a large network of friends. Mark is predeceased by his wonderful parents, Joe and Ida Collis, his brother Barry Collis and his ex-wife, Mimi Braidberg. He was an exceptionally talented, classically trained French Chef working in Toronto for many years, creating delicious meals at Fenton's, Vittorio's, Zaidy's, Carlevale's and Bemelman's Restaurants. Mark opened his own restaurant in Toronto, La Bionda which was well known in the late 1980's for its open kitchen and creative cuisine. In the 1990's Mark was able to combine his passion for food with his love for music through his catering company "Touring Kitchens." Mark cooked for many of his musical heroes including Roger Waters, Dr. John, The Neville Brothers and Leon Redbone (to name just a few). By the end of the 1990's he had met Peggy, moved to Kingston and opened Ida's Kitchen. In recent years, after retiring from cooking, Mark worked as a cab driver. A celebration of Mark's life is being planned for the fall. Mark's family would like to thank all of the medical professionals who provided such excellent care to him during his illness. In particular, thank you to Dr Tu Van Banh, Dr Hugh MacDonald, Dr Sulaiman Nanji, Dr James Biagi and all of the staff at the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario. As an expression of sympathy, in lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Kingston Humane Society ( or CFRC Radio Queen's University ( would be appreciated.

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