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What do chefs eat?

Hands down, the second most common question I get asked is "what do you eat at home? Do you eat gourmet food every night?" Some would think it's Chicago-style surf & turf, eggs benedict with hollandaise flowing everywhere? Sabayon and shaved black truffle flakes garnishing every dish?....LOL, hell NO!

seared salmon
Fancy sesame seared salmon

I'll break it down in two parts to help explain what it is when a "chef" eats (when they get the chance to at least): what do I eat, and what are my favourite meals.

At work, I'm so busy, I often don't have the time to eat. I'm hungry when I get home. I taste bits of food here and there, but the meal usually happens before or after a shift. Smart chefs learn to make time to eat. This is true #cheflife.

At home though, to say that chefs eat meals that are amazingly orchestrated every day isn't true at all!

Now, to say that home meals are just slightly more refined with little hints of culinary expertise? Most def!

Crab, chicken, egg, veggie ramen
Ramen with all the leftovers

Something like omelettes are a bit more fancy than just pulverized eggs in a bowl. Leftovers are likely to turn into some elaborate tasting platter for one. A package of instant noodles will end up having double digit ingredients dug from the nether regions of the fridge to expand its simple flavour profile.

Crab bacon sandwich
Fried softshell crab BLT

The fact of it is, we don't really have time to ourselves to make anything but a quick tasty meal since we're usually getting in from work late, busy doing 1 of 789 things (as chefs/business owners do) or too tired from work to really spend more time cooking...yet again.

Now, when we do get some time to use our unique skill-set, to make something delicious for our loved ones, we'll part an ocean before we move a mountain for you. That's usually the way to "flavourland" (aka, the new "Flav-landia").

I enjoy cooking, period. The smells, the sights, taste, texture, everything. It's a complete sensory stimulation.

And there's very, very few careers that will challenge all of your senses, simultaneously (I can't think of another right now, tbh).

Personally, it's seafood. I find it magical, whether cleaning a whole salmon and searing a filet perfectly, or butter poaching a lobster tail to tender perfection.

Me, enjoying lobster on a beach in Jamaica

Living inland as Toronto is, you'd think that amazing seafood isn't as accessible. But in this modern age it's amazing the high quality food we can get when it comes to sourcing top notch seafood.

But it does start with a great fish monger. My favourite is Diana's Seafood. I would suggest to find someone and build a personal relationship where you purchase your seafood. If you skimp on quality, you'll notice.


Now in saying that, I know we have our preferences, but the worst thing you could do with a great, beautiful portion of seafood is overcook it. (Unless of course you're smoking or candying it *see below*.)

Smoked, candied salmon

Fish, shrimp, crab, lobster, mussels, whatever it might be, treat it good and it will be memorable.

And if you're wondering what the MOST asked question I get is, as a chef, it's "will you cook for me?". Maybe, if you're lucky.....

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