Mathelious Gomes is a 35-year-old resident of Portage la Prairie and came to the community through Boston Pizza. Incredible as it sounds, it is absolutely true. How was this done, you may be pondering, to get a young man all the way from Bangladesh to Portage la Prairie? Well, sit down, enjoy a beverage and read on.
Mathelious has been cooking creative and delicious foods and dishes in various restaurants in many countries. He began his life in Bangladesh as he was born there but originally wanted to become part of the priesthood and cooking was not part of his plans. After studying in India towards his goal of joining the priesthood, he graduated and came back to Bangladesh to assist his family financially- as this is their custom.
While back in Bangladesh, he was offered an opportunity to join his cousin in Dubai to work as a chef. Even though Mathelious never thought he would become a chef, cooking was in his blood and out of eleven cousins and brothers, seven were in the culinary arts sector. In fact, his own father and uncle were also chefs. He decided to accept the position in Dubai and found out that cooking was his true passion. He worked in a couple of five star hotels and was able to learn from many established and world renowned chefs.
His love for cooking persisted and Mathelious began dreaming of moving to Canada. After three years of applying to come to Canada, he was accepted and arrived in Portage la Prairie in October 2014. It was the Boston Pizza Franchise that had brought him and four other cooks on work permits into the community. All but one individual is still here in Portage la Prairie. Upon arriving in Portage la Prairie, Mathelious found the community was, “A bit tough to learn the language but people were more understanding here, so
that made my journey easier.” He was also fortunate to return to his original place of birth and marry his wife Priangka in 2016. In Mathelious and Priangka’s country their arranged marriage is common and he remained with his bride for two months before returning to Canada to begin the paperwork to bring Priangka to Portage la Prairie. Finally, in 2018 he became a Permanent Resident of Canada and he went back to bring his wife to Portage la Prairie.
That same year, Mathelious was hired to be a Sous Chef for Canad Inns Destination Centre. It is a big responsibility to cook for two restaurants and banquet events but he has great mentorship and support from his Executive Chef and many others at his workplace. Not only is he a wonderful Sous Chef at Canad Inns, he is also taking Adult Education at the local Portage Learning and Literacy Centre to continue upgrading his studies, and he states, “It’s never too late to start again and make your dreams come true. Portage and Canada have
given me the chance to and I’m thankful for that.”
Mathelious and his wife have noticed that in the last few years that Portage la Prairie is growing and there are many opportunities to build up their careers. He credits the Portage Learning and Literacy Centre for their settlement help in navigating the community and supporting his journey here. He specifically thanks Don Boddy and Miriam Turyamwijuka for their assistance.
Mathelious wants to “pay it forward” to the community of Portage la Prairie and he would like to open a multi-cuisine restaurant. He will gladly welcome to his future restaurant, “As a Bangladeshi, we love to talk and we are welcoming. So I love to meet new people and I love to cook for them, so you are also welcome to my home to taste some food. I love Portage, my new home, not just because it’s beautiful, but also because of the people who live here are nice too.”