Kitchen Party: Julio Guajardo + Kate Chomyshyn of Quetzal

Everyone knows that the best parties always end in the kitchen. With “Kitchen Party”, we sit down with Feast On Chefs to get to know them, and the local foods that inspire them, a little better.
Headshots - Julio Guajardo & Kate Chomyshyn - Photo by Alexa Fernando @ajfernando 2018 - 8

Julio Guajardo + Kate Chomyshyn

Quetzal Toronto, Ontario

Check out their Feast On profile here!

What’s your favourite seasonal ingredient?

Julio: That’s a hard one. I feel like there’s lots on each season. Growing up in Mexico you don’t really feel the season changes like here, which has been amazing. If I have to pick one, I think it would be mushroom season. I love wild mushrooms! Kate: Tomatoes! Not much is better than a good tomato in peak season!

What’s your drink of choice? 

Julio: Mezcal or a good beer. Kate: I would second that…

Most underrated ingredient? 

Julio: Dry chilies. Most people just use them for sauces, but I like toasting them and making powder mixes with them to season meats, making rubs and marinades for braising, plus different seasoning salts and even for chocolates!  Kate: Onions, they are the base of all good things and can stand on their own when prepared properly.

Favourite restaurant? 

Julio: In Toronto Montgomery’s, and my second home in Montreal is Satay Brothers! Kate: SAME!!

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

Julio: The fact that everything is extremely fresh! Fresh ingredients are the beginning to great food… and also a way to stay inspired. Kate: I think the pork and beer are very good in Ontario…the craft beer scene in Toronto is so excellent and there seems to be a big focus on quality hogs. 

Why is Feast On important to you and your restaurant? 

Julio and Kate: I think it’s important for us because we like to support the people around us doing beautiful things. Yes, we are a Mexican restaurant, but so much of the ethos of traditional Mexican food is using the “milpa” or seasonal garden so that is reflected in our using local/seasonal ingredients.

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

Julio: Real Tacos sudados!! I could eat tons of chicharron prensado tacos sudados for sure!!! Kate: Ice cream!!

What does your ‘Perfect Weekend’ in Toronto look like? 

Julio: Having Pho for lunch with Kate, shopping for some nice food to cook at home and chilling with our cats, maybe working on our garden!! Kate: Yup, that sounds perfect! 
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