Kitchen Party: Jesse Vallins | Ontario Culinary
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Meet Chef Jesse Vallins of Maple Leaf Tavern

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.

Jesse Vallins 

Maple Leaf Tavern


Check out their Feast On Profile!

What’s your favourite seasonal ingredient? 

Wild leeks. I look forward to these every year! They are so versatile and I love their strong, unique flavour.

What’s your drink of choice?  

Krug or Manischewitz, depending on the day.

What’s the most underrated ingredient?

Onions. They go in everything. Almost every recipe starts with onion, garlic, shallots or leeks. They are the base of a lot of flavours.

What is your favourite restaurant?

Patrician Grill. It is a diner at Sherbourne and King that I have been going to since the late 90s. I have probably been 500 times! Their three egg breakfast is absolutely perfect.

Off-duty, what are you most likely to be cooking at home? 

Do cheese and crackers count?

Editor’s note: Yes, Jesse. They so count! #longlivecheddar

What’s the best part of working with Ontario food and drink?

The quality and variety available to us. I really like how easy it is to get the majority of my vegetables, fruit, meat and cheese from Ontario. The province also has great wine and the beer scene has exploded in the last five years!

Fill in the blank: “If I entered a competitive eating contest, I’d definitely win if the item was ____”