June 25, 2012
People in your life:
I have been very blessed with some great people in my life!
One example is ET. Not the Hollywoodversion but someone who has shared my passion for living life to the fullest!!
When I first met ET I was getting something for lunch, a panini sandwich to be exact. He was with Paul who actually hired me for Aqua Star. There our journey together started.
From going down a Mountain on a cafeteria tray, to cooking and sharing some great dinners together, to challenging me to constantly to live my dream!
I would be remiss not to mention his great line “Cheffie we can't leave yet. Something good is going to happen”. Five minutes later we are invited to the ‘Friends and Family’ backstage with Blue Rodeo!!
Now as I start my new stage with ChefDtv, ET continues to encourage me not to settle for the status quo but to Reach for the Stars!
I really hope all of you have an ET in your lives to push you, to challenge you, to have vision of the possibilities of what is yet to come, to have the strength to pick you up when you are down, to be a friend. I can only hope that I can be even some of that to him. Thanks ET.
Here's to great eating and living because you are worth it!
March 1, 2012
While inDallas in January 2012 at the KEE HEE food show I come across a booth sampling Hoosier Daddy BBQ Sauce and they asked me to taste their BBQ sauce. Well in one word it was Amazing! The sauce was rich in flavor and not too sweet. I had to keep coming back for more! Than they said Chef are you ready for some heat? Always up for a challenge I tried their Deathly Hot Ghost Sauce. The great thing about this sauce is you get the flavor than the heat sneaks up and grabs a hold of you!!! Great Sauces! I can hardly wait for the new flavors!!!
Here's to Great Eating!!
November 24, 2011
Sometimes in life our roads take us in different directions, but our passion never waivers.
Julia Child went back to Chef's school in her late thirties; a friend’s son finished a biology degree for his parents than went through to be a Chef.
Meet Ron the oldest student atNiagaraCollege. Ron was retired, a cancer survivor, and is now training to be a Chef. Ron has always wanted to be trained professionally in the art of cooking and is following his passion.
What got me is that he is not letting age, health issues or anything else get in his way. The pride that I saw in him when he had his chef whites on at the Toronto Gourmet Food & Wine show put a huge smile on my face and I wanted to share him with all of you.
It is never too late to pursue your dream!
Here's to great eating
September 29, 2011
Passion is a word I use a lot in describing my love for People and what they love to do:
This week of traveling throughMinnesotatoDetroitI found some amazing people and some simple food that has truly stuck out to me.
Bill (I like to call him my driver) owns a Town/Limo Service inMinnesota; he is always smiling and loves his job and the people he meets! He puts me in a great mood every time I am with him.
I was at theAnderson’s store in Maumee Toledo yesterday and they have a Coffee Shop at the front of the store. The woman, who served me and has served me in the past, not only remembered what I drank but was getting it ready for me when I walked through the door. Yes it is just a coffee but when served with a smile and a passion for loving what you do, it just puts a big smile on your face. You know when someone does something great for you it brightens your day and everyone you touch.
Sitting in the Weston Bar last night for dinner I met Jean fromMontrealand he had such a passion for cooking dinner for his wife and their daughters! We don’t all have to be Chef’s to create Smiles!
Do what you Love and everything else will follow.
Here’s to great Eating !
July 13, 2011
If you’re looking for a great day trip, head down the QEW to Niagara on the Lake.
Home of Great Wine, Great Flavours and all around Great Food. From local produce to amazing restaurants. Sometimes we don’t realize what is in our own back yard and there is no place like home.
Check out some of my favourites Hernder, Flatrock, Stratus, Featherstone and tell them ChefD sent you!
Here’s to Great Eating,
June 15, 2011
A long time ago I met my hero on a black and white screen as he split a
chicken for coco van. His name, Graham Kerr, from the Galloping Gourmet.
After that day I never looked back.
This weekend I was at the Eat Vancouver food show and who should be on the
main stage but, you guessed it, Graham Kerr. He was promoting his newest
cookbook ‘Growing at the Speed of Life’.
You need to understand I have always loved to be in the kitchen. At
parties in university my friends served beer and chips and I was serving
wine and cheese. I was on the football team-you can imagine how well this
went over but I didn’t care. I knew my passion was creating in the
kitchen. This is why just the thought of Graham Kerr being in the same
building as me was thrilling. How cool it would be to watch him live? How
great would it be to actually meet and talk with him? How fantastic would
it be to have my hero taste something I made and enjoy it. Well I must be
living a good life because I was blessed with all three that day. And the
cherry on the weekend was meeting his love, his producer and wife of 57
years, Trina. An absolutely beautiful person.
There is a lot more to my hero Graham Kerr than what is in the pages of his
informative cookbooks. It’s not about just eating well, but living well
and doing it in good company.
Here’s to great eating, great living and in great company!
You’re worth it!
June 1, 2011
There are some restaurants that go out of their way to making your dining experience wonderful and then there is what I experienced tonight!
WOW, what an absolute pleasure. I have been here at Canoe Restaurant in Toronto before and I would come back again and again and again.
We had the tasting menu, which means the chef, Executive Chef Anthony Walsh and Chef de Cuisine, John Horne create a smaller portioned 5 course meal.
The meal, oh, the meal. I am still waiting for my taste buds to come back down from these heavenly tastes.
The Amuse Bouche set the stage. The chilled Asparagus soup engaged me in anticipation. The Ingersoll Ricotta and Watercress Ravioli with smoked bacon took me on a stroll I had no intentions of returning from. Did I mention it had bacon! The Blue Seabass (don’t freak out it was Sustainable Blue Seabass-not Chilean) was cooked to perfection. I was in taste bud heaven by this point. By the time I let the Raspberry Mousse, Lemon Curd and Ginger Cookie served over a Cucumber Sorbet touch my lips I had locked the doors to this flavour heaven and I didn’t want to come out!
Would I recommend it-yes! A totally great experience from beginning to end. Will I come again-yes! Now I just need to find the key to let myself out of this taste heaven.
…nope not in this pocket….
Here’s to great eating!
May 11, 2011
Life is lived to celebrate!
Last weekend I witnessed a beautiful example of strength and courage to celebrate first hand two wonderful ladies, Cathy Minor and her Mother, Judy DeRuyte. Cathy Minor is the winner of “A personal Chef” for the night in her own home. The contest was run through the Canadian Cancer Society in a program called ‘Girls Night In’. The largest fundraiser over the fall months won ChefD for dinner and their guests.
The night went very well. Angela from CCS came and had a Champaign toast with us…to cleanse our pallets of course. She thanked Cathy and took some pictures.
Lydia Tomak from Hernder Estates donated the wine (we highlighted her “Pink and Blue”, see the Hernder site to see why it was so special that night) and Ron Pearlman of Chef’s Choice Produce donated the vegetables. The evening went well and the flavours paired perfectly.
You all know how I am all about food and wine, but this is not what I want to tell you about today. I want to tell you about a lovely family who lost their Mom 3 years ago to cancer. I want to tell you about how each year, ever since, Cathy and her family have had a party to celebrate her Mother’s life. I want to tell you about how each year the party has an educational aspect of women’s cancers to it, to bring awareness to the generations that follow. I want to tell you the money that she raises will help save other lives. I want to tell you how proud I was to serve Cathy and her family. Cathy Minor, who has not only made a difference in my life but many, many others.
Thank you Cathy. You celebrate well.
March 11, 2011
In this day and age where Chef's are looked on as Rock Stars
and we have labeled people who love food as Foodies, we line up for the latest and
greatest. Are we getting a way from what food and dining truly is? That
is, simply preparing/consuming a meal to keep us alive. I love to have
family and friends over to eat at our table but it can be the simplest of
dishes. Spend the time with friends and family you don't have to impress
Here's to great eating in good company!
SEASON 3 IS HERE!
February 8, 2011
Dust off your computers, pull up a chair and let’s get your mouth watering for some new fantastic recipes, tastings, adventures and MORE!
Yup! Season 3 has begun!!!
What a great 2010! From the Owen Sound Market to being up 60 feet in the air, it has been quite a ride!
Date of Entry: January 3, 2010
There are a lot of people that work behind the camera to make our show ChefD possible. From Todd and Devin at Sandbox Software, who support our website, to Melissa and her team at MS2 productions, to all the wonderful people who have given us their time and sharing of their passions and to Irwin from Cober Printing who make our recipe cards look fantastic!
There are also individuals who have lent us their creative skills along the way, Sheila (from BC), Ivan, Sylvia and Jessie Stickel.
And a special thank you to my Executive Producer and as always the big guy upstairs.
Thank you to all of you who watch, who listen and who write to me. I would not be here without you.
I love be able to Blog about great places that I have been and amazing people that have come into my life.
Date of Entry: November 30, 2010
I live a life most people dream of and I really don’t have much to complain about. Until recently…
Yes I am jumping on the United Airlines Rant Wagon again. I would say hold on for the ride but if you are flying UA odds are the flight would be cancelled.
Okay you have heard about my lost baggage and hey that happens when you travel as much as I do but what really pisses me off is that uncaring customer service rep that purposely misleads you to get you away from their counter. I wonder if that is part of UA formal training? Perhaps you’ve met them too?
A short time after that wonderful experience UA cancelled a flight I was on and offered us no help on getting on one that fits to the schedule that we had, namely flying out that night.
I may sound a little whiny but we were to shoot a ChefD episode the next morning so I had to be there!
No help on getting a new flight-unless we wanted to arrive late the next night, No alternative travel to get the connecting flight, No Hotel plans. All of these issues I did my best to resolved online, much to the displeasure of the UA gate attendant when I told him how we could solve this problem. None of us were feeling very “United” at this moment.
To make matters worse I had to pay to get where I needed to go without a reimbursement from UA.
But wait! They did send me a grand letter saying 'sorry' and a voucher to fly with them again. Humm, lost luggage, cancelled flights, no customer service…it’s like being invited back to a bad relationship. I think not!
We all have choices on how, and what companies we spend our money on. All of us work hard for our money. Companies need to earn our trust to get our hard earned dollars. Never compromise on this. And I will say to you, right now I will do the same.
You know who will not be getting my money.
Thanks for letting me vent.
Date of Entry: November 24, 2010
I had a stopover in Kansas City this past month and stayed at the Kansas City Airport Hilton. I did not have a car and could not drive for great Kansas City BBQ so I made my way down to the Bar in the Hotel and to my GREAT Surprise, not only did they offer great BBQ but award winning from Executive Chef Rob Magee (Pit Master of the team Munchin’ Hogs). I had the sampler platter which consisted of ¼ chicken, beef brisket and ½ rack of ribs all served baked beans and coleslaw can you say Heaven!!!!!
I am now going to quote from Rob himself “The Meat is prepared Kansas City Style, with just the right balance between sweetness and spice. Our sauces, marinades, and rubs are homemade and expertly applied to our hand selected and hand-cut meats. We consume 10 to 15 cords of apple, cherry and hickory wood each year in our special rotisserie smoker”.
When in Kansas City take the 5 minute drive from the Airport to BBQ heaven
Here’s to great eating
Friends of We Care Episode
Okay I have watched the Friends of We Care Episode-I can't tell you how many times.I loved filming that show. We would love to do one of these every year. If you have a life changing organization that you work for, write to us and let us know. We love to meet you!
Here's to Great Eating.
In a world full of so much pleasure of food, wine, the smell of fall (also known as the smell of football season) and good friends, it is like a slap in the face when someone you know, someone young, someone with a thirst for life, someone who has touched millions, dies.
A number of years ago I had the pleasure of working as the Executive Chef for Webers Restaurant in Barrie and Orillia. As much as I loved working at these locations the one that is out on the highway 11, just north of Orillia is probably the most famous, and I must admit, a lot of fun to work at. The customers were great! The environment was a challenge. And the people were fantastic. One person in particular that stands out was my friend Kenny Robbins. Kenny was the General Manager of Webers who may have loved sports (hugely) but he had a real passion for his job at Webers and everyone knew it! Kenny worked there since he was 16 and continued to while he was in school. His staff said it best "Kenny touched so many of our lives in such a positive way, summer after summer."
It's not what you take when you leave this world; it's what you leave behind.
Kenny has left behind a great memory in the hearts of many. What better way to remember him then to follow your dreams and be Passionate about what you do! Rest in Peace Kenny.