Chef Jeff Van Geest – Miradoro – Gold Medal Plates
#goldmedalplates Chefs from across British Columbia will meet in Vancouver Friday November 16, 2012 at the Vancouver Gold Medal Plates Canadian Culinary Championships. The winner will move on to compete at the National Championships (Kelowna February 8/9, 2013) I sent them some questions prior to the challenge. Here’s the answers from Jeff Van Geest from Miradoro Restaurant in Oliver.
What was your first food memory?
Picking strawberries with my mom on my opa’s farm
What was in your elementary school lunch kit?
Crunchy peanut butter and jam sandwiches
Where did you first learn to cook?
I’m still learning.
Did you attend culinary school – if so, where?
Where has been your favourite place to work to date and why?
Aurora Bistro because the community that it became.
Who in the industry taught you the most?
Everyone, good and bad.
What is your favourite style of cooking?
I think all styles have something to offer as long as it is cooked with heart and soul
What ingredient(s) can’t you live without?
Olive oil, salt, lemon, garlic, chilies
What are the most essential tools for cooking?
Very sharp knives
Do you have an unforgettable taste combination?
Corn and chanterelle mushrooms always blow my mind
Ingredient that will never touch your lips?
Testicles. Tried it. I’m ok with never eating them again.
What is your most prized possession?
What basic recipe/s do you advise for cooking novices to learn as a starting point?
Chicken stock, then how to make soup with it
What’s your go-to comfort food?
Pasta, risotto, roast chicken
What’s your favourite cocktail?
Old fashioned, negroni
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
I don’t feel guilty about my pleasures.
What’s your definition of a perfect meal?
It sounds corny, but one prepared slowly, on my day off, with good company around, good music, good wine and nice fresh produce from the garden
What do you always have on hand for last minute entertaining at home?
How do you unwind after service?
Favourite culinary destination?
If you weren’t a chef what career would you have pursued?
What would you eat at your last meal?
Who are you dream dinner companions?
Joe Strummer and Lee Scratch Perry
What do you do in your off time?
Fish, Mountain Bike, Snowboard, Family (not in that order)
Where do you eat in your city when you are not working?
Are there some regional dishes your city is known for?
What is the dish/dishes your restaurant is known for?
Neoplitan pizza and well crafted pastas
What dish will you be cooking for Gold Medal Plates?
Wouldn’t you like to know
Why did you choose the particular wine/beer pairing for the dish?
Still working on the pairing
Who will assist you on the big night?
A crew of friends who are all amazing cooks in their own right