Everyone knows that the best parties always end in the kitchen. With our series, Kitchen Party, we’re sitting down with Feast On Chefs to get to know them, and the local foods that inspire them, a little better.
The Church Public Inn
Check out their Feast On Profile!
What’s your favourite seasonal ingredient?
I mean it’s always exciting as the first of anything comes ready from the field in each season. The first asparagus and rhubarb after a long winter. The first perfectly ripe tomatoes of the summer are always exciting. I think I tend to go overboard on fresh peas when they are in season. Just perfect food that needs only the slightest of cooking and very little accompaniment. Peaches are the other that I just eat and cook with constantly as they are in season. Perfect food.
What’s your drink of choice?
I’m a beer drinker and fortunately there are so many great options in so many different styles available that it gets hard to single out one in particular. Beaus brewing always has interesting and tasty beers that I always seem to enjoy. We’ve been pouring their Halcyon Barrel House Infinity Mirror, a wild fermented beer that is a little sour, little bitter, citrus, lots going and very delicious. The occasional bourbon may also make an appearance.
Most underrated ingredient?
Acids. From vinegar to citrus to wine and everything else. Its easy to bludgeon a dish with fats and cream and salt. An appropriate acid for the ingrdients in a dish is going to wake everything up, keep your taste buds engaged and brighten all of the components of a dish. Not every acid works in every dish so knowing what is going to give the dish the lift it needs to accentuate in the desired way is a skill and another element in why restaurant food differs from at home.
I don’t think I love the word favourite….I”m of the opinion that the company at a meal is just as important as anything else. That being said, I’ve had great meals at Blackhoof, many great fried chickens at Electric Mud, great burgers at Wallace and Co, dynamite sandwiches at Brock Sandwich….have you ever had a burrito at Burro Burrito? Amazing. Odd Seoul. Really anywhere thats a little grimey, interesting and paying attention to make what they are doing be worthy of seeking them out. Too many places.
Off-duty, what are you most likely to be cooking at home?
I love doing tacos for groups of people. Versatile in the fact you can put anything in them and it doesnt take all day to get going. Pick a protein and grab a bunch of veggies and hot sauce and cheese and everyone is happy. For myself I’m eating a great sandwich or a salad and then getting back to work!
What’s the best part of working with Ontario food and drink?
The very best part of it is the people behind everything. All of it is so great, to be able to get fresh produce, and proteins, wine, beer, spirits. The real thing is the passion that the people that are making these things have that you can’t help but have rub off on you. When you see and deal with enough of these passionate producers all doing really great things, you can’t help but be caught up in it and be as excited to use their products as they are to make them. When a farmer tells me so excitedly about this great pumpkin she just harvested, I’m just as excited to tell her, and everyone else what I’ve done to showcase it. When a brewer realizes a lifelong dream of having his own brewery, 7 kilometers from our restaurant, and brews really great beer, his excitement is shared with all of us and translates to our guests being excited also. Everything about working with great local producers is the best. This is how it is supposed to be.
Why is Feast On important to you and your restaurant?
At our restaurant I think we really focus on the idea of being a hub in the community. We aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel from a culinary standpoint. Its completely about being a feel good place to go to get something honest and tasty to eat and drink and to connect with other people. By continuing to make more and more connections with many of the fantastic producers around us and weaving them into the fabric of the community we are all apart of only helps to strengthen that community. The passion of everyone involved and the pure joy of seeing people enjoy the fruits of honest labour is the real reward. There is a certain level of pride knowing you are offering great products, spending your money on people you know and trust and respect, and can in turn offer them to guests and provide them with a unique and enjoyable experience that a restaurant not participating in Feast On can never match.
Fill in the blank: “If I entered a competitive eating contest, I’d definitely win if the item was _______”