Everyone knows that the best parties always end in the kitchen. That’s why we’re sitting down with Feast On Certified chefs and makers to hear what they’re up to. This time, we want you to meet Mark Graham, Executive Chef & owner of Clock Tower Bistro in Strathroy, Ontario.
CLOCK TOWER BISTRO
What’s your favourite seasonal ingredient?
Autumn vegetables – squash, beets, turnips, parsnips, heirloom carrots, cabbage. They bring such warmth and comfort to any dish.
What, in your opinion, is the most underrated ingredient?
For me, the most underrated ingredient is sauerkraut. The health benefits, flavour, and versatility are more than it’s given credit for. It is far more than a sandwich or sausage topper, adding it the stews, soups and other braises adds a whole new dimension to a dish.
What’s your drink of choice?
Red wine of course – with a strong preference for Malbec and Shiraz.
What is your favourite dish to cook at home?
Comfort food! Simple dishes of pasta and slow-cooked meats are a favourite. Liver and onions on a cold winter night is also one of my all-time favourites. It’s not for everybody but I certainly enjoy it.
Outside of your chef life how would you describe yourself?
Outside of my chef life, things are simple. I love the quiet outdoors, time spent with friends and family, relaxing by the fire after a day of adventurous activity. Kayaking is one of my favourite pastimes, as is cooking of course. I still like to cook on my days off.
What is the best part of working with Ontario food and drink?
Being part of a community of like-minded chefs who are proud to purchase and support local farmers and producers. Ontario food and drink helps bring awareness to the outside community of all the wonderful establishments that are out there sourcing and using local Ontario products.
Why is Feast On important to you and your restaurant?
Feast On® plays an important part in helping bring awareness to what we are striving to provide here at the Clock Tower Bistro and our commitment to supporting local.
What does your perfect weekend in Strathroy look like?
A perfect weekend here in Strathroy would consist of a beer or wine and lunch on a local patio, like The Rusty Wrench, which is a great local brewpub with a street-side patio. They serve an amazing burger. Getting a nice hike in the conservation area and getting together with friends and family also makes for a perfect weekend.