Chef Garrett Thienes of Harvest Eatery and Fresh Market in Regina
The 2017 Canadian Culinary Championships will take place this weekend in Kelowna, BC February 3-4, 2017. The eleven competing chefs will be aiming for gold as they compete in three events over two days testing their skills, creativity and endurance. We caught up with Chef Garrett Thienes of Harvest Eatery and Fresh Market in Regina.
Tell us a little bit about your restaurant and/or style of cooking.
We decided to open a 45-seat eatery and fresh market in rural Shanavon, SK. (pop. 1,700) and focus on creating dishes that were familiar yet new and exciting. If I had to give it a name, I would call it gourmet comfort food.
Where do you eat in your city?
No matter where I go in the world I have to have fried chicken. There’s not a lot of options in our town for high end dining, so often the best meals we have are at a friend’s for dinner. We have started a small dinner group once a month where everyone brings a course based around a theme. We drink way too much wine and laugh until our sides hurt. That’s the feeling we are trying to create at Harvest.
What would be your ideal food day?
It would include BBQ, sushi, Vietnamese Banh Mi, wood fired pizza and a splat teeing of fried chicken and rotisserie chicken. It would end with the meat sweats. If I had to take one dish. Porchetta from the wood fired Rotisserie at Notable in Calgary.
What trend do you wish would die?
Food shows about people who can’t cook being yelled at by people who don’t cook anymore. That and intolerances. You either have an allergy or you don’t.
What trend/s do you wish would be next?
Less focus on the million dollar room and more focus on developing and paying the chefs. Too many restaurants with beautiful rooms and mediocre food. That includes menus that read better than they taste.
What ingredient do you always have on hand?
Duck fat. ALWAYS. And butter. Lots of delicious unsalted butter.
What’s your go-to recipe when you’re eating at home?
Grilled Cajun pork chops with loaded baked potatoes and tons of broccoli.
What equipment do you wish you had in your kitchen?
A dishwasher. Like one that I pay so I don’t have to wash the dishes anymore.
What cookbook would you suggest for a gift for your foodie friends this year?
The Flavor Bible. Every great chef needs a reference book until he/she learns to balance and create flavor contrasts and compliments on his or her own.
Any hints on what dish you will be preparing for Gold Medal Plates?
We are using bone marrow and lamb belly. But it will be light and playful to echo the first peeks of spring we will be starting to see.
What wine/beer/libation are you pairing with this year?
We are proud to be serving Dirty Laundry Kay-Syrah
Who is coming with you?
My wife Kristy, who is the reason I am here today, will be handling our social media, my mentor and now catering/contract chef Ryan Clark and my pastry chef Elynne Poisson.