Posts Tagged ‘cooking culture


A bandanna, a bistro and beer.

There’s nothing more exciting as a chef than watching a restaurant being built, the small decisions, steps and inspirations transform a basic idea into something bigger than its parts.  Luckily I’ve been able to see a few all ready – most currently my friends at Brothers Beer Bistro set to open next week here in Ottawa. One of the owners there and I used to see each other often – being my fav bartender at my fav industry pub tends to do that – and week by week month by month we both shared my exploits with Sidedoor and mise en gear and his getting his bistro started.  When he asked me to make a bandanna for them I was flattered and excited.  I’m a bit of an old school paper scribbler for thoughts and inspirations – cheffing does that – and luckily I kept all my notes. So in homeage of my friends starting a bistro I thought I’d show   my mind making designs for bandannas – by no means is it the same – but here we go.


day one


day two


day three



day five


day six w/ BBB custom taps






































































































Whats the final product? I’ll post after BBB soft opening. If you want to see it in the meantime I’ll be rocking it proudly on my head at Sidedoor until then. What a good time, and well done bothers!

Have a good service,


the world is run by people that show up


New order!

Needless to say a long hiatus from this blog about the life of mise en gear was needed to get together a whole bunch of new and exciting things! So here we go… mise en gear bandannas will now be available for purchase at


2 pages of a hundred!

It’s been a long haul to imagine what this site should look and feel like – alot of preliminary work started around this time last year – and more concrete ideas were finalized in January.  Bit by bit the site took shape with lots more pictures being taken and and still are to help shine up and polish the site further.  Big steps forward we made were getting a good chunk of my stock bandannas printed off site -aka not in my basement  – but in a pro shop using my exact designs and specs. So turnaround and general stock is going to be able to stay high and consistant and I get to sleep a little bit! I’m still dealing with a huge screen disaster – over 20 screens were demoed this Febuary due to a natural disaster in my house – again why off site is saving production/sleep!

I’m really excited to watch Top Chef Canada Season 2 this year! I am a competitor on the amazing show and so far – I’ve been rocking mise en gear every episode! An incredible experience all around and really awesome for me to see some of the competitors I was with really embrace the whole idea of what mise en gear is.  The response was a real kick start for me to solidify the website and be able to sell these bandannas to anyone who wants one.

susur notes/ draw like a chef

Whew, so where does this blog lie in all of this? Well, I’m commited to updating this guy from here on in with fun side projects and custom jobs as I go.  The website will start linking into the blog more and more – and slowly these custom jobs and other bandannas I’m printing will start to become available on the website.


The long haul is over, now its just pushing it all uphill.



Have a good service,


on the fly or I forgot?


recipe development


Theres nothing better as a chef than getting an end product you want after busting your ass to make every mistake on the way there.  The sketches, the scribbles on the back of a coaster,  the late night bar rants – with some attrition – is what sparks the creative mind and fosters scientific diligence.  As a chef I had this with yeasted fried to order doughnuts – rising, proofing, holding, texture and consistency were mind boggling. As the mise en gear guy I had a few bumps coming up with the latest design – heres some behind the scenes….


The work was worth it though, like I said, Karate Kid (old school…) meets Ferran…. 



I’ve done some straight black prints in yellow, teal, red, orange, pink, and purple.


Have a good service,













183 hours

In 2 weeks, i worked 183 hours – although there was no sawing off of my limbs like James Franco did in 127 hours, I’m not sure where the pity lies, the honour stands and the stupidity rests.

Although, suffering breeds character and creativity – to a certain degree of course – and after the madness that was, the madness that will be ensued.

Enter the spoons.


I had 2 hours to capture and begin to edit the next ban I wanted – and its like working with a timeline on a stick of dynamite. This is the beginning of whats going to happen, lots of props to the spoons that make the plates we create on a daily basis.   The final printed product is in a long way out, but damn, its about time  we gave respect to the spoons that enable cooks to make badass things.
Think Karate kid meets Ferran Andrea.
Then get some.
Have a good service,
patio my ass.

uphill both ways… in snow.

I’ve taken a journey the past few weeks, the restaurant I’ve been cheffing at is now at full swing and I’ve tackled a great gig with savour Ottawa .

The president of Savour Ottawa contacted me to create the most badass gift in a goodie bag the Canadian Media and Tourism conference has ever seen –  mise en gear.

Through a long chat about Savour Ottawa’s commitment to opening the eyes of our nations capital to what our local purveyors have to offer in food – I came to an idea of the kind of representation needed to show off what we have to offer.

make peace with food.

Enter the Parliament peace tower with the best footing food here has to offer.

Not to forget the other guys I put together stamps next to a revised <savour savourez Ottawa> logo –

….cheese, more animals, veg, grains, even an egg.

I was invited to the opening gala of a weeks worth of events for this conference – of which I had a small cocktail table dressed in my kitchen gear and accompanied with an old cook friend of mine.

After the cocktails kicked in – and a mention from the organizers’ opening speech about who I was –  the questions surrounding my little table that could began.

“who are you?” “what is mise en gear?” “why are you doing this?” “what are you doing, and for who?”

…  what I like to call cooking culture.

There is no other way to describe the sweaty, bloody,fiery, rawness, angry, happy, mad, beautiful, tired, sad and happy way that cooks are while they make dinners best memories.

without sacrifice....

Thats what I tried to convey at least – and the response was surprising.

They loved it.

Enough so that I feel that it was a  success – not just for what I wanted to show but for how it was perceived.

On top of it I had the guys working the food stations begging their sous chef to buy some bandannas for them ( and make them part of the uniform…) .

The lifestyle that chefs and cooks live are something different, I’m not in the place to judge anything about it due to my bias, but I do think that what it is that we do was shown to the people that might be able to show the rest of the country.

Another small victory for the bandannas that can.

Have a good service,


Satiate your heart.



Chinese new year really hit me for the first time this year.

I found myself on sommerset here in Ottawa which is our spadina – and low and behold I got myself a hold of something…. Chicken feet. I’ve eaten much stranger things in my travels – but have enjoyed them all with friends. Tonight I had the treat to eat some traditional chinese food with some friends – exactly what I wanted.

But thats never enough I guess.

As 3 am slowly rolls its lazy eyes I finished a design I wanted to share – something I guess I needed to do…

Have a good service,




Matters of great importance can easily be solved on a barstool




inches (cms)

So Canada, the winter Olympics are over and yes we are kickass – not only im our athletes but our capacity to cater to those athletes.

I just spent the past 4 hours with an old friend of mine, a country boy from the out skirts of Windsor who I went to school with in Ottawa who has moved back here after Detroit bombed.

His name is Greg and to the naked eye he`s a truck driving simpleton but as with most cooks there is more than meets the eye.  He`s the only guy I met in school I still keep in constant contact with for a good reason : he took the stride away from the constant state of frosh that aflicts most cooks in our age group. He is also a real man, a real person – no flash just what it is to be – he grounds me back to my roots in the country, on fishing trips with our fathers, on living life – life itself – Greg deserves nothing but great things, and to him I’m thankfull for these behind the scenes pics of Canada’s best winter Olympics to date. Kudos to all the people I’ve never met that deserve our thanks.

Thank you.

m smith with a great chef i met at gold medal plates earlier this year

This is the man, our chef in Canada that really brought us to believe that it`s ok to cook and chef on t.v. here in Canada – Micheal Smith.

Trying to dislike the guy is like swimming upriver – you can try but after you tire out you are left with not only a feeling of awe of the humbleness but the inate state of electric energy that eminates from him. Not to mention he`s standing next to the 2009 gold medal plates canada gold winner from edmonton – who`s `working for him`

Sharpen to the point…

My friend Greg spent the past days in Whistler cooking for our athletes in what I understand is nothing but a warm hug with insanity. Working like breathing, cooking like walking and living like its your last day on earth.

In the mean time he was able to snap a photo I thought I should share….

greg is 6`4 and looks like a kid next to this guy.

Thats exactly what you think it is. My friend Greg, Micheal Smith and a bandana that the chef that fed this onslaught of athletes, workers, volunteers and the inbetweens signed. Not for me, not for him, not for the mind blowingly exceptional chefs that got together in a TED like alliance to fuel this madness, but for all of us. Behind the scenes, whatever we did, us.

Damn it feels good to be a gansta.

Sometimes life is good. If you`re doubting I photoshoped it heres another unique i made inverse….

unique reverse ban print signed by m. smith also stained with the beer we were drinking during this conversation

So yeah. Yeah. The Olympic hangover is almost gone but damn, even though I wasn`t there i feel like I was fortunate enough to be part of it though proxy.

On a side note I had a great phone interview with Ottawa`s most in touch fashion mag the dinner jacket ( about what I do who I am and all that misc stuff. But on the flip any of you readers out there in internetland that want your time to shine I`d love to get a picture of you in your bandana.

Smile, relax, our hockey team won the gold.

have a good service,


thats what living is the inches in front of your face….