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 Valley Food & Drink Co.
Check out their Feast On Profile!
What is your favourite Seasonal Ingredient? Why?
Tomatoes, and not the kind from a grocery store but from your own backyard. Every time I pick a fresh tomato off the vine and smell it, I’m reminded of when I was a kid eating toasted tomato sandwiches with my brothers. I think the best ingredients are those that bring back nostalgic memories, food is supposed to make us feel something. For me that’s tomatoes.
What is your drink of choice? Why?
Craft Beer is definitely my go-to. If I’m not on a patio trying the newest IPA’s, I’m cooking with them. I appreciate the complexity of the beer and the subtleties of the ingredients. We use local craft beers for our beer batter on our Friday
Night Fish & Chip’s and other specials. Adding a craft beer can heighten recipes by complementing or contrasting the flavours.
Most underrated ingredient? Why?
Salt is very underrated and doesn’t get enough credit. The average person often wonders why food tastes better at a restaurant, aside from the obvious – they didn’t have to cook it. The chef used fresh ingredients and seasoned it properly, and wasn’t afraid of adding some good ol’ salt.
Favourite Restaurant? Why?
Carambola in Hudson, QC. I grew up in Hudson and the restaurant always brings back great memories and is one of my biggest influences in the kitchen. I know the chef there and he has always been an inspiration. He is very passionate and creative, always trying to improve himself and try new recipes or techniques.
Off-Duty, what are you most likely to be cooking at home?
I am very fortunate to live less than five minutes from The Valley Food & Drink Co. and usually cook for myself there. When I have friends or family over we are either BBQing or trying a new recipe with any leftovers.
What’s the best part of working with Ontario food and drink?
The best part by far is all of the fresh local ingredients here in the Ottawa Valley. There are so many local markets and farms, especially in the Calabogie area that we are able to have a thriving restaurant that uses local products. We are also excelling in the craft beer market and able to see our favourite companies expand.
Why is Feast On important to you and your restaurant?
Feast On is a great platform for showcasing restaurants that believe supporting local is just as important as we do. Not only do we support local businesses through our food and drink, we showcase local artists and entrepreneurs as well. We are supporting our neighbours as they support us. Feast On helps hungry people to do the same.
Fill in the blank: “If I entered a competitive eating contest, I’d definitely win if the item was _______”.
Pizza! I’m practicing right now.