Category Archives: Canada

i8tonite with St. John’s, Newfoundland Chef Mark McCrowe & Seafood Chowder Recipe

Chef Mark McCrowe, Food Day Canada 2015
Chef Mark McCrowe at Food Day Canada 2015

I first met Chef Mark McCrowe at RANL‘s Food Day Canada event in St. John’s, Newfoundland, on my very first day in town. Held in a large ballroom, the event showcased several dozen chefs from around Canada – and some extraordinary local dishes. Newfoundland is in the middle of a culinary renaissance – so much good food, so many excellent and creative chefs, and an eat local ethic that is impressive, given the northern Atlantic locale on an island called The Rock.

I was impressed with his presentation and flavor of his dish – a salt beef and potato crusted cod with mustard pickle puree, collard greens, and a whelk beurre blanc sauce. It was the perfect introduction to Newfoundland.

 

i8tonite with St. John's, Newfoundland Chef Mark McCrowe & Seafood Chowder Recipe

Mark was born and raised in St. John’s, NL. Growing up around simple Newfoundland dishes, using fresh seafood and wild game, inspired an appreciation of the local style of food and where it comes from. After studying culinary and baking and pastry arts in British Columbia and working in some of Van city’s best kitchens, he returned home to further his own individual style as a chef. Mark opened his first restaurant, Aqua, at the age of 26 and his second more casual gastropub, The Club, at the age of 29. Mark is living his dream: cooking the food he loves to cook and doing it in the place and for the people that mean so much to him…………Happy cooking!!

i8tonite with St. John's, Newfoundland Chef Mark McCrowe & Seafood Chowder Recipe

Find him in St. John’s, Newfoundland, at EVOO in the Courtyard.

Chef’s Questionnaire (with a nod to Proust):

How long have you been cooking?
Since I was about 13. I would record all the Wok With Yan episodes on VHS and recreate them for my family. Still my favourite show!

What is your favorite food to cook?
I’m obsessed with the wide variety of flavours and ingredients in Asian food, but I like to work my way around the globe though ingredients without ever spending the money to travel :p

i8tonite with St. John's, Newfoundland Chef Mark McCrowe & Seafood Chowder Recipe

What do you always have in your fridge at home?
I use way too much sambal olek and sriracha.

What do you cook at home?
I’m a one pot wonder kinda guy. I like simple flavourful food and dislike doing the dishes.

What marked characteristic do you love in a customer?
I like when customers are having fun and are just plain into what they are eating. Life is too short to be a stuffy loser.

What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a customer?
You never know what kind of day someone has had or what they may be going through in their personal life, but there is never an excuse for treating a server like garbage.

Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or Pyrex?
I’m all about the ziplock, baby.

Beer, wine, or cocktail?
All of the above, please.

Your favorite cookbook author?
Jacques Pepin is and always will be.

Your favorite kitchen tool?
My hands

Your favorite ingredient?
Pork and pork related products

Your least favorite ingredient?
Kiwi (I’m allergic)

Least favorite thing to do in a kitchen?
Inventory

i8tonite with St. John's, Newfoundland Chef Mark McCrowe & Seafood Chowder Recipe
Catching Capelin

Favorite types of cuisine to cook?
I adore so many types of food. What really interests me is the simple recipes using local Newfoundland ingredients that my grandparents would use. I always like applying them to modern day cooking.

 

Beef, chicken, pork or tofu?
Pork with tofu, if I could

Favorite vegetable?
Onion

Chef you most admire?
Shaun Hussey of Chinched bistro in St.John’s, Newfoundland. He’s a good friend and the type of chef that is always pushing himself. The real deal.

Food you like the most to eat?
I like anything you have to get into and eat with your hands…like a platter of Newfoundland seafood with lobster and crab.

Food you dislike the most?
I hate food that looks to pretty to eat and is too smart for its own good. Sometimes a tomato is nicer than a tomato gel.

How many tattoos? And if so, how many are of food?i8tonite with St. John's, Newfoundland Chef Mark McCrowe & Seafood Chowder Recipe
I do have “Jiggs dinner” tattooed on my forearm. It is the quintessential Newfoundland one pot meal that involves salt beef and root vegetables. It’s my death row last meal and by far the most popular dish from Newfoundland, but my Nan makes it the best, so everyone else is out of luck!

 

Recipe: Newfoundland Seafood Chowder with Roasted Fennel, Dill, and Evaporated Milk

i8tonite with St. John's, Newfoundland Chef Mark McCrowe & Seafood Chowder Recipe
Newfoundland Seafood Chowder

This chowder is a canvas to show off some of the Rock’s best seafood. You can use whatever you have available here. The flavors of roasted fennel, dill, and lemon really make it special – and by using evaporated milk, you really get that authentic chowder flavour.
Serves: 10-12 portions

FOR THE CHOWDER
½ cup unsalted butter
½ cup all purpose-flour
1 onion (diced)
2 stalks celery (diced)
2 heads fennel (diced)
2 potatoes (diced)
¼ cup Pernod
1 cup dry white wine
1 litre fish stock
½ litre heavy cream
2 cans evaporated milk
½ cup chopped dill
5 tbsp lemon juice
3 dashes Tabasco
3 dashes Worcestershire
Salt
Cracked black pepper
1 cup cold water shrimp (peeled)
1 lb fresh cod
½ lb mussels
½ lb clams
1 lb cooked lobster meat
½ lb cooked snow crab meat

In a large roasting tray, mix the diced fennel with 4 tbsp of olive oil, salt, pepper and roast in a 400 degree oven until lightly caramelized. In a large heavy bottomed pot, melt the butter and flour together, forming a roux, and cook for 2 minutes.

Add all of the vegetables and cook them for roughly 5 minutes or until translucent. Add the roasted fennel and deglaze the pot with the pernod and white wine while stirring constantly.

Add the remaining liquids, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer to cook slowly for roughly 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and the soup has slightly thickened. Season with salt, pepper and add all the seafood to cook for just a couple of minutes. In a separate pan, cook the mussels and clams with 2 cups of the chowder base until the shells open, then add back into the main pot. At the last minute before serving, add the fresh dill and adjust the seasoning.

Recipe: Lemon Pepper Smoked Cod and Crispy Britches with Mint, Lemon, and Green Pea Risotto

Lemon Pepper Smoked Cod and Crispy Britches with Mint, Lemon, and Green Pea Risotto. i8tonite with St. John's, Newfoundland Chef Mark McCrowe & Seafood Chowder Recipe
Lemon Pepper Smoked Cod and Crispy Britches with Mint, Lemon, and Green Pea Risotto

Cod britches are the roe sac of a female cod and are named for their resemblance to a pair of baggy trousers. In this dish, we smoke cod loin with lemon zest and cracked pepper, fry the cod britches till crispy, and serve it on top of a creamy mint and pea risotto. So good!
Serves: 4

FOR THE LEMON PEPPER SMOKED COD
1-8 oz cod loin
1 lemon (zested)
Sea salt
Cracked black pepper
1 cup wood chips (soaked in water)

To smoke the cod loins, put the woodchips in the bottom of a frying pan or wok and put it over a burner on medium heat. Once it starts to smoke take the cod loin and sprinkle it with the lemon zest and cracked pepper. Place on a rack that can fit in the frying pan. By this time there should be quite a bit of smoke, so you want to cover it tightly with tinfoil to capture all that smoke. Let them go for about 10-12 minutes, then take them off the heat. The cod should be flakey and cooked through.

FOR THE CRISPY BRITCHES
2 cod britches (cut into small pieces)
Sea salt
Cracked black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
Canola oil for frying

Season the cod britches and dust them in the flour, shaking off any excess. Fry them in a household deep fryer set at 375 degrees until golden brown. Drain on paper towel and season again with sea salt.

FOR THE MINT, LEMON, AND GREEN PEA RISOTTO
5 to 6 cups fish stock
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 onion (finely diced)
Sea salt
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups frozen peas
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Heat the fish stock in a saucepan over medium-high heat until very hot and then reduce the heat to keep the broth hot.

In another heavy saucepan, melt 2 Tbsp of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and a generous pinch of salt and sautée, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the onion softens and starts to turn lightly golden, 3 to 5 min. Add the rice and stir until the grains are well coated with butter and the edges become translucent, 1 to 2 min. Pour in the wine and stir until it’s absorbed, about 1 min.

Add another generous pinch of salt and ladle enough of the hot broth into the pan to barely cover the rice, about 1 cup. Bring to a boil and then adjust the heat to maintain a lively simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the stock has been mostly absorbed, 2 to 3 min. Continue adding broth in 1/2-cup increments, stirring and simmering, until it has been absorbed each time, at intervals of about 2 to 3 min. After about 16 to 18 minutes, the rice should be creamy but still fairly firm.

At this point, add the peas and another 1/2 cup broth. Continue to simmer and stir until the peas are just cooked and the rice is just tender to the tooth, another 3 to 4 min. Stir in another splash of broth if the risotto is too thick. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the mint, lemon juice, lemon zest, the remaining 2 Tbsp butter, and the Parmigiano. Season with salt to taste.

Serve the risotto immediately with a sprinkling of chopped mint and grated lemon zest. Top with some crispy britches, flakes of the smoked cod loin and Bob’s your uncle.

 

-The End. Go Eat.-

i8tonite with Toronto Chef, Consultant, and Entrepreneur Joanna Sable

i8tonite with Toronto Chef, Consultant, and Entrepreneur Joanna SableToronto-based Joanna Sable is a Cordon Bleu-trained chef who grew up with gourmet foods – her mother started Sable and Rosenfeld (love their Tipsy Olives!) with one condiment – Russian Mustard – and expanded it to the global company we know today. Her grandparents moved to North America after WWI – and by then, people didn’t want to get their groceries from a farm anymore – opening a can of food was a sign of prestige! She grew up in a family that opened said cans, and learned to cook from those humble beginnings. She remembers being quite young and making an after-school snack for her sister of sautéed zucchini – and her life in cooking snowballed from there.

Her innate love of food has inspired her interesting and full career in the food industry, from consulting to writing to chefing to recipe development and testing for cookbooks. Her gourmet canning business, Bumpercrop (which she has since sold), turned unwanted items on farms and made it into good food, such as pickled garlic scapes and green tomato garlic jam. She is currently a consultant to the food industry, and helps food businesses maximize their potential within their existing spaces.

i8tonite with Toronto Chef, Consultant, and Entrepreneur Joanna Sable
Blowing out the candles on the birthday cake Benj made me. Gotta love the jacket. I think he is proud to wear it.

When we talked, I was inspired by her love for good, delicious, interesting food. She is also passionate about educating and giving back. Joanna cooks every Sunday with her 20 year old autistic cousin, Benj – and these cooking classes make a difference not only for Benj, but also for other autistic people, to learn to connect with food and cooking. You can follow Benj’s cooking classes on pinterest.

i8tonite with Toronto Chef, Consultant, and Entrepreneur Joanna Sable
Nutella granola, drizzled with more Nutella and ripe bananas. Here’s the kicker….skim milk

When I asked Joanna about her work, she noted, “This is the most wonderful industry – the people in it have bigger hearts than anywhere in the world- they are passionate, givers, and every day I am proud to be in this place that I am. There’s not a minute of the day that I don’t love my industry and most of the people in it.”

Chef Questionnaire (with a nod to Proust):

How long have you been cooking? Since I was born! My first food job was in a gourmet food shop and the owner pulled me into the kitchen and put me to work! My first recipe as a chef was chocolate mousse.

Braised Endive. i8tonite with Toronto Chef, Consultant, and Entrepreneur Joanna Sable
Without a doubt, braising is one of my favourite ways to cook veggies. Halved Belgian Endive with a hit of lemon and @stirlingbutter Whey butter, a good sprinkling of sea salt and cracked pepper and into the oven they go.

What is your favorite food to cook? Italian. The reason is because you have to buy the best quality of the simplest products. It has to be perfect to start with – the best olive oil, beautiful fresh lemons – there are so few components that everything has to shine. I love the challenge of starting from square one with the most perfect thing.

What do you always have in your fridge at home? Water, eggs, lots of condiments, bread, pickles, dog food, Sable and Rosenfeld goods. Always good cheese, always good breads.

i8tonite with Toronto Chef, Consultant, and Entrepreneur Joanna Sable
Flecks of saffron and spicy Portuguese chorice are a perfect base with loads of fennel, garlic, onions, white wine and soon tomatoes for a brilliant seafood stew.

What do you cook at home? Everything. It depends on if I am having a dinner party or just home. When I became a chef, I became bored with the same thing every night – I really like cooking like a caterer. When I have a dinner party, everything can be ¾ done before the guests come. The other night, I made a San Francisco style seafood stew – chorizo, seafood, fennel, etc. and everything was ready – just dumped it together 10 min before we sat down to eat and called it dinner. I like to cook where it looks effortless. Simplistic, easy things – what country do I want to cook from tonight? That challenges me. As a chef, I want to be challenged.

What marked characteristic do you love in a customer?
Someone who is willing to make changes and allows me to do the job they hired me for.

What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a customer?
People who are stuck and who hire me and waste their money and my time. Procrastinators.

Gorgeous tacos filled with the most lovely moist pulled park and plenty of good crunchy veg. Best part is the sweet hot jalapeño relish. i8tonite with Toronto Chef, Consultant, and Entrepreneur Joanna Sable
Gorgeous tacos filled with the most lovely moist pulled park and plenty of good crunchy veg. Best part is the sweet hot jalapeño relish. From @Morocochocolat

@Morocochocolat

Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or Pyrex? Pyrex

Beer, wine, or cocktail? Wine

Your favorite cookbook author? Fanny Farmer and Craig Claiborne. These were my first two books when I was 19 and going to Europe to cook for the first time just before I went to Cordon Bleu in London – my best friend gave me those two books and to this day, they are my go to for reference. Also Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything – a phenomenal book for the start out cook. The other cookbook author I think is truly genius is Jamie Oliver – every recipe works.

Your favorite kitchen tool? My 8 inch chef knife.

Your favorite ingredient? Olive oil

Your least favorite ingredient? Anything processed

Least favorite thing to do in a kitchen? Wipe down appliances

i8tonite with Toronto Chef, Consultant, and Entrepreneur Joanna Sable
Cavernous heaven. Porchetta the way it should be. Crack, crunchy, moist and tender. Inspirational. From @porecllocantina

Favorite types of cuisine to cook? Italian, French, Mediterranean, Spanish, Portuguese, Jewish

Beef, chicken, pork, or tofu? Pork

Favorite vegetable? Artichokes

Chef you most admire? Daniel Boulud, Dan Barber – and for his generosity of spirit, Paul Boehmer

Food you like the most to eat? Simple, perfectly made food from any cuisine

Food you dislike the most? Bad pizza, soggy, gross, yucky pizza

How many tattoos? And if so, how many are of food? 0

 

Recipe: 5 Ingredient Mock Kimchi

Shred Napa cabbage and chinese cabbage – use both or whatever you can find. Dump it in a bowl with a jar of Chinese Chili Garlic Sauce, a few shots of Tamari, a few spoons of rice wine vinegar, and a sprinkle of sugar. Massage well and leave in bowl. Every once in a while, give it a mix. Cover overnight, drain, and use as a side for pork tenderloin or on sandwiches.

Joanna Sable's Mock Kimchi. From i8tonite with Toronto Chef, Consultant, and Entrepreneur Joanna Sable
Joanna Sable’s Mock Kimchi

 

More of Joanna Sable’s recipes without amounts.

 

– The End. Go Eat. – 

 

All photos courtesy and copyright Joanna Sable

 

i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, Ontario

The famous Stratford Swans on the Avon River. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, Ontario
The famous Stratford Swans on the Avon River

 

 

 

 

 

Shakespeare, swans, shopping, and spectacular eats – where are you? You’re in Stratford, Ontario!

This small town is one of the most vibrant arts and food towns I’ve ever visited – and like many who visit, I long to move there. Stratford is known for being a theatre town – it’s the home of the Stratford Festival, one of the best theatre festivals in the world (which runs from April through October each year). There are Shakespearean Gardens to meander through; make time to see the swans along the Avon River – the 24 swans are well-cared for and have an annual parade each spring! Be sure to tour the Costume Warehouse and see the tens of thousands of costumes used in the productions, and stop and shop at Bradshaw’s, a fantastic kitchen store.

Stratford Costume Warehouse. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, Ontario
Stratford Costume Warehouse

This town is a foodie town. There’s the Stratford Chef School and a plethora of extraordinary restaurants. The prevailing theme is locally grown/sourced, organic, fresh foods – you can see this when you talk with chefs, or shop the weekly farmer’s market. It’s amazing, and progressive, and just lovely.

i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, Ontario
A variety of sizes for your fresh eggs at the Stratford Farmer’s Market

 

i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, Ontario
Freshly baked bread at the Stratford Farmer’s Market

Explore the Savour Stratford food trails – Bacon and Ale, Chocolate, Pumpkin, Maple, and other seasonal trails that offer food and food items at stores all throughout town. Purchase trail passes at the Visit Stratford office downtown – it’s a great way to explore local food – and local stores.

I was completely surprised by the quantity of excellent food and great restaurants here – you will be, too. For a small town, Stratford just explodes with art, theatre, museums, and fine dining. The choices overflow – it was hard for me to narrow this down!

Please note all prices are in Canadian dollars.

Breakfast: The Bruce

i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, Ontario
Buttermilk & caramelized apple pancakes with bacon, courtesy of The Bruce

My suggestion: We ate breakfast at our B&B, so I asked my foodie friend Cathy Rehberg, of Visit Stratford, for a suggestion. She made me hungry! Here’s what she recommended: “Chef Arron Carley, who will be featured on Food Network TV’s Chopped Canada, describes the vision for his new menus: “Looking into our past and understanding our roots as well as looking forward into the undiscovered wilderness of our nation we will forge New
Canadian Cuisine.” Now he is offering the Bruce-alicious menu which offers excellent value. Take a look at the fall and winter breakfast menu. Everything I have had there has been so good! And, it comes with a lovely view of the gardens just south of Upper Queen’s Park and a 5 minute walk to the Festival Theatre.”

Price: Bruce Breakfast Sandwich: Perth pork sausage, Avonlea cheddar, duck egg, tomato, awesome sauce, flaxseed bun, crispy spuds – $15
Hours: Restaurant: Thursday-Saturday plus Sunday Brunch; Lounge open every day.
Address: 89 Parkview Drive
Phone Number: 855-708-7100
Website: www.thebruce.ca

 

Second Breakfast: Rheo Thompson Candies

Rheo Thompson Chocolates. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, Ontario

I have a soft spot in my heart for Rheo Thompson – not only for their extraordinary chocolates, but for the fact that we both came into this world in 1969. I adore this chocolate shop – and so does everyone who’s been to Stratford. It’s a must-visit. If you go on Savour Stratford’s Chocolate Trail, Rheo Thompson is one of the options.

Rheo Thompson Chocolates. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, OntarioMy suggestion: While all of the chocolates I have ever gotten from Rheo Thompson have been delicious, try to snag some Dark Chocolate Covered Marshmallows. They are homemade marshmallow pillows, square, drenched in a thin coating of luscious dark chocolate. Yes, they deserve all of those adjectives.

Price: inexpensive
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9am-5:30pm, closed Sunday
Address: 55 Albert Street
Phone Number: 519-271-6910
Website: https://www.rheothompson.com/

 

Lunch: Mercer Hall

Welcome to Mercer Hall. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, OntarioI absolutely LOVE this restaurant. Chef Ryan O’Donnell is the epitome of a chef that cares about locally grown, sustainable food sources, while being a great mentor and boss, AND bringing his creativity to the table.

Mercer Hall also serves hot tea from Canada’s first tea sommelier, Karen Hartwick (visit her shop, Tea Leaves, while you are in town), so be sure to order a pot.

My suggestion: House smoked beef dip sandwich, seasonal slaw, fries & jus – I can’t resist a great sandwich. This one was incredible.

lunch at Mercer Hall. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, Ontario
House smoked beef dip sandwich, seasonal slaw, fries & jus

 

Price: lunch mains $12-$17
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11am-9pm, Friday and Saturda, 11am-10pm, Sunday 11am-8pm
Address: 104 Ontario St
Phone Number: (888) 816-4011
Website: http://www.mercerhall.ca/

 

Coffeeshop: Revel Caffe

Revel Caffe. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, OntarioBecause there are many great coffeeshops in town, it’s hard to recommend just one. But I’ll try. Revel’s tagline notes: “independent coffee for a revolution home of direct trade coffee, delicious pastries & revelers” – indeed, this is the case. We walked into a bustling cafe – the sounds of the crowd were so happy and joyful – like old friends meeting up. Revel offers delicious baked goods and a variety of coffees and teas.

My suggestion: We went for lattes and a chocolate croissant. Heaven.

Revel Caffe. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, Ontario

Price: large latte – $4.70
Hours: Monday – Saturday, 8am-6pm, Sunday 9am-5pm
Address: 37 Market Place
Phone Number: 519-305-1600
Website: http://www.revelcaffe.com/

 

Happy Hour: Revival House

A restaurant and bar in an old church? It works! You walk in to thisThe bar at Revival House. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, Ontario gorgeous space, and immediately want to sit down and cozy in. There is sometimes a band at the front of the hall! Revival House uses fresh, local, seasonal ingredients in their menus. While we were there, we saw large families, couples, mother-daughter teams (us!), and more… This is a fun, upscale place that is hopping.

My suggestion: I don’t drink, so take your pick from their extensive drinks menu. What I will suggest is the charcuterie board ($27, to share) to tide you over until dinner.

Crudite platter at Revival House. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, Ontario
Just look at that!

Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 11am-1am. Closed Monday and Tuesday
Address: 70 Brunswick Street
Phone Number: 519-273-3424
Website: www.revival.house

Dinner: Pazzo

i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, OntarioLocated on the main corner of Stratford’s downtown, this is the perfect place to stop in for dinner. BE SURE to make reservations if it is theatre season. If you’re not going to see a play that evening, make it after 7:30pm, so the theatre rush is done and you can relax in the large, comfy dining room. Chef Yva Santini, in her 9th year at Paazzo, received the Ontario Hostelry Institutes Top 30 under 30 award in 2014. She’s creative, friendly, and a genius in the kitchen. I love how she comes out into the dining room herself, to deliver the mains and chat with customers.

My suggestion: I could eat just off the appetizer menu, honestly. My favorite is the Burrata with balsamic roasted cherry tomatoes and pesto, $13. But there is much to recommend on the mains menu, including the unlimited hand made pasta special – enjoy as much of Chef Yva’s daily pasta as you like, $20, or try the Taverna fondue (!!!).

Burrata at Pazzo. i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, Ontario
Burrata at Pazzo

Price: $$
Hours: Sunday, Tuesday-Thursday, 11:30am-10pm, Friday and Saturday 11:30am-12am, closed Monday
Address: 70 Ontario St
Phone: 519-273-6666
Website: www.pazzo.ca

Pazzo Taverna Dinner from One O Six Media on Vimeo.

 

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i8tonite: A Cheat Sheet to Eating in Stratford, Ontario

 

 

– The End. Go Eat. –

 

All photos courtesy and copyright Jessie Voigts, except where noted

i8tonite with Hope, BC’s 293 Wallace Chef Hiro Takeda & Cacio e Pepe Recipe

Chef Hiro Takeda. i8tonite with Hope, BC's 293 Wallace Chef Hiro Takeda & Cacio e Pepe Recipe
Chef Hiro Takeda

Inspired by his father, who was a chef before he became an ice carver, Hiro Takeda began his career at Newlands Golf and Country Club, completing his three year apprenticeship before the age of 20. Working at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and Diva at the Met gave him valuable experience in Vancouver, and a job at Squeah Camp and Retreat Centre brought him out to Hope.

at noma. i8tonite with Hope, BC's 293 Wallace Chef Hiro Takeda & Cacio e Pepe Recipe
noma

Opening 293 Wallace Street Restaurant in May of 2013, Hiro has since completed a 3 month internship at restaurant noma in Copenhagen, Denmark. Using local suppliers and foraged ingredients, Hiro focuses on providing his guests with a mixture of comfort food as well as creative tasting menus, while sharing his philosophy and providing mentorship to his young team.

at noma. i8tonite with Hope, BC's 293 Wallace Chef Hiro Takeda & Cacio e Pepe Recipe
at noma

I first met Hiro a few years ago, through a mutual friend, the Maplemusketeer. I will tell you that anyone that is a friend of Jordan’s is a friend of mine – and so here we are today, years later, chatting about food and sharing a delicious, easy recipe.  I’m impressed with Hiro’s work with local foraging and ingredient sourcing, as well as his creativity and sense of humor. I think you will be, too.

You can find him online at:

www.293wallace.com
Instagram: chefhirotakeda
Facebook: 293 Wallace Street Restaurant
Twitter: 293wallace

Cheese crackers at 293 Wallace, Hope, BC. i8tonite with Hope, BC's 293 Wallace Chef Hiro Takeda & Cacio e Pepe Recipe
Cheese crackers at 293 Wallace, Hope, BC

Chef’s Questionnaire (with a nod to Proust):

How long have you been cooking?

About 12 years

What is your favorite food to cook?

I have a soft spot for seafood, fish, but have lately been enjoying cooking with foraged greens.

What do you always have in your fridge at home?

Sriracha, Japanese mayo

What do you cook at home?

Instant noodles…mi goreng is the bomb

butternut squash panna at 293 Wallace, Hope, BC. i8tonite with Hope, BC's 293 Wallace Chef Hiro Takeda & Cacio e Pepe Recipe
butternut squash panna at 293 Wallace, Hope, BC

What marked characteristic do you love in a customer?

Someone who just gets it, understands the work that goes into the food, is willing to get out of their comfort zone to try things they’ve never tried before.

What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a customer?

Those who are rude to our staff. We don’t tolerate that.

Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or Pyrex?

Tupperware

Beer, wine, or cocktail?

All of the above. Gin and Grapefruit is king right now.

Your favorite cookbook author?

creme brulee at 293 Wallace, Vancouver. i8tonite with Hope, BC's 293 Wallace Chef Hiro Takeda & Cacio e Pepe Recipe
creme brulee at 293 Wallace, Hope, BC

Too many to count! Off the top of my head, Rene Redzepi or Ferran Adria.

Your favorite kitchen tool?

Chopsticks or utility knife

Your favorite ingredient?

Scallops, or pine mushrooms

Your least favorite ingredient?

Chicken breast

Least favorite thing to do in a kitchen?

Repeat what I’ve already said.

Favorite types of cuisine to cook?

Indian, and, well, anything that requires foraging and using wild foods.

Beef, chicken, pork or tofu?

Beef

Valentine's dessert by Chef Hiro Takeda. i8tonite with Hope, BC's 293 Wallace Chef Hiro Takeda & Cacio e Pepe Recipe
Valentine’s dessert by Chef Hiro Takeda

Favorite vegetable?

Sunchokes

Chef you most admire?

Lars Williams, head of Research and Development at noma.

Food you like the most to eat?

Ramen or Japadogs

Food you dislike the most?

Uninspired food…or roasted/baked potatoes

How many tattoos? And if so, how many are of food?

i8tonite with Hope, BC's 293 Wallace Chef Hiro Takeda & Cacio e Pepe Recipe
A glimpse of one of Chef Hiro Takeda’s tattoos…

Seven, and just one…a little chef on my hand…. Well and I have koi on my leg…I guess that counts, if you cook it.

Recipe: Cacio e pepe with a couple extras

i8tonite with Hope, BC's 293 Wallace Chef Hiro Takeda & Cacio e Pepe Recipe
Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e pepe is a really simple recipe, with black pepper and pecorino. Pasta is easy for home cooking, filling and easy to pair with other things.

Take pasta, whatever shape you like, and cook in boiling water with olive oil and salt until al dente.

At the same time, in a fry pan, start with a touch of canola oil and add minced onions and garlic. Sweat until onions are translucent. Deglaze with white wine, add lots of freshly cracked black pepper. When pasta is done, toss into the fry pan, along with a touch of pasta water. Grate pecorino into pasta; add some whole butter, chopped chives, and a touch of lemon juice to finish. Season with kosher salt. Put it into a bowl, then grate pecorino on top.

 

The End. Go Eat.