#ccc2014 @goldmedalplates Chefs from Canada will meet in Kelowna from February 7-8, 2014 to compete in the Gold Medal Plates Canadian Culinary Championships. Each year I interview them prior to the challenge and they answer most of my questions. Here is the response from Chef Lorenzo Loseto George Restaurant in Toronto.
What was your first food memory?
Going to Italy and eating so much watermelon, I would need to pee all night. Realizing in Italy that they eat a lot of fish and (at the time) strange bitter vegtables so I would eat only crusty bread and latte e caffe.
What was in your elementary school lunch kit?
Nutella with toast or a Panini with mortadella and salami, fresh fruit
Where did you first learn to cook?
Did you attend culinary school – if so, where?
Where has been your favourite place to work to date and why?
George. From the 1st day I was able to implement my vision with regards to building the kitchen, designing the menu and food program. The owners are the best and the people I work with are amazing.
Who in the industry taught you the most?
What is your favourite style of cooking?
High end seasonal
What is your favourite ethnic cuisine?
Chinese, Thai, Korean
What is your favourite family recipe?
Pasta Al Forno
What ingredient(s) can’t you live without?
Artichokes, mozzarella, tomatoes, watermelon, lemons, olive oil, espresso
What are the most essential tools for cooking?
Peeler, french knife, utility knife, scissors
Do you have an unforgettable taste combination?
1. Bulgogi Marinade, Beef, Rice. 2. Fresh mozzarella, arugula, bread, olives. 3. Ice cold Coke 4. Pasta, Olive oil, parm
Ingredient you can’t get enough of?
Miso and any cheese
Ingredient that will never touch your lips?
Crickets, grasshoppers and ants
What is your most prized possession?
Memories of eating great food as a child
What basic recipe/s do you advise for cooking novices to learn as a starting point?
What’s your go-to comfort food?
What’s your favourite cocktail?
Don’t have one
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
What’s your definition of a perfect meal?
Fresh, balanced and lots of flavour
What do you always have on hand for last minute entertaining at home?
How do you unwind after service?
Bowl of milk and cereal
Most overrated food trend?
Rock and Roll Cuisine
Favourite culinary destination?
Any where you get to try new and different restaurants
Most memorable meal last year?
If you weren’t a chef what career would you have pursued?
What would you eat at your last meal?
Wouldn’t care as long as I am with my family
Who are you dream dinner companions?
My entire family, including my parents and grandparents.
What do you do in your off time?
Spend time with my wife and kids, eat out, play sports
Where do you eat in your city when you are not working?
Black Camel, Lee Garden, The Pearl, Lai Wah Heen, Camarra, Terroni
Are there some regional dishes your city is known for?
What is the dish/dishes your restaurant is known for?
Our Tasting Menus
What dish will you be cooking for Gold Medal Plates?
Potato Wrapped Tuna, Carrot, Pear
Why did you choose the particular wine/beer pairing for the dish?
After many tastings we thought it best complimented my dish.
What ingredients have you brought with you?
Who have you brought with you to assist?
My Chef de Partie Matt Sellner and My Apprentice Joseph Rodenas
For the black box competition are there any strategies that you will employ to succeed?
What challenges do you have to face as your travel to another destination to cook?
Logistics to get the food over and using an unfamiliar kitchen.