A Few Questions With Chef Mike Robins – Competitor In Gold Medal Plates, Kelowna
The Canadian Culinary Championships will take place this weekend in Kelowna, BC February 2-3, 2018 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 had a few question for the competitors, here’s the responses from Chef Mike Robins.
Tell us a little bit about your restaurant and/or style of cooking.
Sous Sol is a small restaurant tucked into an unmarked basement in Winnipeg’s Osborne Village. We concentrate on simple French dining, utilizing classic techniques influenced by Italian and Japanese flavours. With an award-winning cocktail program, candle-lit dining room and knowledgeable wait staff you can expect to feel at home at Sous Sol. Our hours of operation are Thursday through Saturday 5pm until late. Reservations can be requested via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where do you eat in your city?
My three favourite restaurants are: Golden Loon, Dancing Noodle & Khao House
What would be your ideal food day?
My ideal food day would be hitting up every good restaurant in New York City’s East Village
What trend do you wish would die?
In the interest of self-preservation, I decline to comment. There are no food trends that I hate, as long as food is executed in a thoughtful manner, I stand behind it.
What trend/s do you wish would be next?
Ramen shops are a trend that I would love to see hit Winnipeg. We have great Japanese restaurants, like Yujiro, but small Ramen shops would be nice.
What ingredient do you always have on hand?
I always love having leeks on hand. They add great depth to stocks and sauces.
What’s your go-to recipe when you’re eating at home?
My Go-to home cooked dinner recipe:
1 Box Kraft Dinner Classic
2 drops white truffle oil.
Fresh cracked black pepper.
1 pinch salt.
Garnish with Heinz Ketchup, serves 1. What equipment do you wish you had in your kitchen?
I would love a marble slab for chocolate work.
What cookbook would you suggest for a gift for your foodie friends this year?
Whether home cook or professional chef, the French Laundry is a great book to instil the importance of proper technique and quality ingredients.
Any hints on what dish you will be preparing for Gold Medal Plates?
We will be preparing the same dish as we did in the regional competition, with some slight variations.
Who is coming with you?
Two Sous Chef’s for the event will be Kurt Kolbe and Mark Teague, both of whom I have been cooking beside for numerous years. They both push my creativity and were the obvious choices to bring with me to nationals.
I also surveyed my facebook followers (many are chefs as well) as to what questions they would like answered by chefs when I interview them.
Kendall Ballantine Who are their favourite local food producers are (farms, cheese makers, etc)?
My favourite local food institutions to work with are: Natural Collective, South Osborne Permaculture, and Manitoba Trappiste Monk Cheese.
Nancy Wong What was the favourite thing they learned to cook from a parent or grandparent and how did that experience help set them on their chosen career path.
My favourite recipe heirloom is the Robins Family Cheeseball. It is life changing.
Tara Mintenko If you could go anywhere in the world to eat all the foods they eat, where would you go?
If I could go anywhere in the world to experience their food and culture, it would be Japan.