FOOD :: Canada’s Top New Restaurants Spill Secrets

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THE HOTTEST IN CANADIAN DINING :: In October, En Route magazine released their 2013 list of top new Canadian restaurants. We asked the chefs behind Canada’s top new restaurant winners to spill a few kitchen and personal secrets:

Shira Bluestein – The Acorn (Vancouver):

My favourite secret ingredient: Engevita yeast.
The one food item worth breaking the budget for is: white Alba truffles.
The restaurant I recommend everyone in the world try: Viajante, London, UK.
If I weren’t doing this, I’d be: gardening.
The chef I most admire is: Matthew Orlando – Amass Restaurant, Copenhagen.

Vikram Vij – Vij’s Railway Express (Vancouver):

My favourite secret ingredient: Love. I have an amazing palette of spices and ingredients to work with, but if they aren’t combined with passion or love, they just don’t taste the same!
The one thing every food lover needs in their kitchen: Good sharp knives. They don’t have to be expensive, but they need to be kept sharp!
The one food item worth breaking the budget for is: Really high quality meat and poultry. It is important that they are raised naturally and ethically and without hormones or antibiotics. As I often say, “they had a good life, and then one bad day!”
The one food item that’s not worth the money is:  Anything artificial and over-processed. We need to explore the bounty that Canada  has to offer, and we must support our local suppliers and farmers.
The restaurant I recommend everyone in the world try: I love all restaurants. I wish I could name just one of them, but any chef that works with love and passion I respect for their culinary experience and expertise.
The one thing most people don’t know about the restaurant industry is: that owning and running a restaurant is like having another family. You spend so much of your day, sharing and working hard together, that you see people grow, marry, have children of their own – its great!
If I weren’t doing this, I’d be: a Bollywood stage actor or a dancer.
The chef I most admire is: Sanjeev Kapoor, as he has done many great things in India and internationally to help raise awareness of Indian food and culture.

Grant van Gameren – Bar Isabel (Toronto):

My favourite secret ingredient: lovage.
The one thing every food lover needs in their kitchen: A Thermopen thermometer.
The one food item worth breaking the budget for is: Jamon iberico, a type of cured ham produced mostly in Spain.
The one food item that’s not worth the money is: truffles.
The restaurant I recommend everyone in the world try: Quimet y quimet in Barcelona.
The one thing most people don’t know about the restaurant industry is:that it is impossible to please everybody.
If I weren’t doing this, I’d be: sleeping.
The chef I most admire is: Each and everyone of my cooks.

Murray McDonald – Fogo Island Inn (Pictured – Nfld. and Labrador):

The one thing every food lover needs in their kitchen is: love and respect for themselves and the ingredients they work with.
The restaurant I recommend everyone in the world try: Raymond’s Restaurant St. John’s NL
The one thing most people don’t know about the restaurant industry is: The hard work and long hours it takes to make great food.
If I weren’t doing this, I’d be: a guitarist in a metal/punk-rock band.
The chef I most admire is: my mother and both my grandmothers. They are all great home cooks that started my passion for cooking.

Bouchard Trudeau – Le Bouchon De Pied Bleu (Quebec City):

My favourite secret ingredient is: blood.
The one thing every food lover needs in their kitchen is: love.
The one food item worth breaking the budget for is: offal
The one food item that’s not worth the money is: liver
The restaurant I recommend everyone in the world try: L’affaire est Ketchup, Quebec, QC
The one thing most people don’t know about the restaurant industry is: it’s a passion, not a job.
If I weren’t doing this, I’d be: a farmer.
The chef I most admire is: Francois Jobin.

  • Related :: Recipes for a perfect Sunday: Breakfast – One-Pan Mexican Eggs (here); Lunch – Broccoli and Coconut soup (here); Dinner – Squash and Sage Risotto with Wild Mushrooms (here).  
  • Related :: Read what Iron Chef Rob Feenie has learned in the kitchen here.

 

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