Chef Morgan Wilson from the Fairmont Empress Hotel doesn’t have far to go to compete for Gold Medal Plates, as he’s Victoria-based, but that doesn’t make it any easier. We learn a little more about his thoughts on trends before the competition.
Tell us a little bit about your restaurant and/or style of cooking.
Q at the Empress is focused on local flavors of the Pacific North West, with a focus on seafood and seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers, fishers and markets.
Where do you eat in your city?
I like to discover smaller restaurants, one that I’m fond of right now for breakfast is Jam Café, great vibe and food.
What would be your ideal food day?
Somewhere in France enjoying all the great cheese and wine
What trend do you wish would die?
Gluten free baked goods, eating gluten free can be achieved by simply avoiding foods that have flour.
What trend/s do you wish would be next?
A return to simpler cooking. We, as Chefs, with the rise of molecular cuisine, sous vide etc., have gotten very good at the technical aspects of cooking food and have been exploring that for quite some time. I would like to see that better understanding of how to perfectly cook a piece of meat or a vegetable focused into fewer ingredients on the plate, with less fuss the flavors that are there will shine.
What ingredient do you always have on hand?
Onions, this is a building block for so many recipes I really can’t live without them.
What’s your go-to recipe when you’re eating at home?
A good old spaghetti Bolognese.
What equipment do you wish you had in your kitchen?
What cookbook would you suggest for a gift for your foodie friends this year?
Give grandma a call and get a copy of her recipes, always the best food at grandma’s house!
Any hints on what dish you will be preparing for Gold Medal Plates?
What wine/beer/libation are you pairing with this year?
Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series Cabernet Frac
Who is coming with you?
Mark Butschler from Tinhorn Creek will be pouring, I will have a great team of our cooks from the Empress assisting.