Posts Tagged ‘farmers market


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.


whats up – whats up?

Us Canadian chefs have a different type of fun come the winter months.  We get squirrely. We try to bang on the things that are well out season in our own country – as well on the things that are.  But to be honest the Ontario winter menu mostly speaks of how much chefs yearn to be with their families – preserves, braises and stews.

This time of year for chefs is vacation time – few patrons want to go out for dinner after the Armageddon of Xmas – let alone new years -the ones that do I give my utmost respect as I garner them as the diehards.

I’m talking Bruce Willis in his 20’s – yippee kai yae kinda diehard – not the wanna bees.

I wish that us as chefs had backing as strong as this everywhere…

The point being – as deranged as it could be it refines in the art of the soup.

Soup and stew has been around in every culture around the world at every part of their dominance. Either a proper consumme for a prince or – in my corner – a braise/stew mashed up of the “leftover bits” for the peasant folk.

At the heart of cooking culture is the cooks who are living under the poverty line that eat better soup than you’ve ever had outside of 1700’s Paris.

The difference being we’re not oppressed, the similarities being we’re slaves, but we live the same goodness as badness – we eat amazing food, but barely pay the rent.

The outcome – hopefully triumphant – sits dirty on a satin throne.

The best thing’s I’ve ever eaten have been during  staff meals in a Canadian winter.  Hands down the availability of seasonal ingredients combined with the want to feel warm creates the best feel good bowls of nourishment a chef can offer a chef.

Damn it feels good to be a Canadian.

Have a good service,


Kung Hei Fat Choy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Kiss a Chinese person today and wish them happy new year!


the chefs table

To those few and diehard that are still reading this blog – that I’ve neglected like a house plant with browning leaves – I’m here.

And over the course of the past few months, realized that here is where I’m supposed to be.

I have successfully had a christian and full Hindu wedding.


I’ve gone through another Hindu wedding where I am involved.


Now what do I do being supersaturated with beautiful Indian culture… well, I make designs for bandannas.

his sister is the bride... and he looked badass!

Indian people love their paisley.

I’ve realized in these past few days that what I am doing here, making clothing for a sidewalk culture next to the media chef highway, is what I was put on this Earth to do. Normally cooking timers measure in minutes and hours, this one hit at 26 and a bit years. Sundials are always more reliable than triple A’s.

The grandiose clothing I wore at my Hindu wedding and those that I saw this past weekend got me thinking…

Why the fuck do “normal” people get to have all the fun?

Hence my new design, the OctoPaisley.

By far the most ambitious project I’ve undertook – but I feel a strong connection to it.

Being always on the forefront I can forget the prints I’ve promised but not delivered…. Bubble pics are on the way.

On the short side google ” cooks clothing ” and click on images…

Have a good service,


locality inspires one family at a time.


hey new guy…

The married man has returned – happy as a first date.

So what do you do with all of this pent up excitement?

Two words – pretty colours.

I’m working on some pics that I’m happy with right now but just to set the mood bright colours are on the way, along with morels, bubbles and all the good custom fades asparagus can bring – you know they’re purple on the ends right?

Alot less than I want to post up right now but my pudding proof is in the works!

have a good service,


the proof is in the pudding, and the summer is in the produce.


Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band


It’s the beginning of January, a tepid time contrasting the heat that december brought upon us in our kitchens – a time when we can breathe a bit softer, laugh a bit hardier and focus on our craft evenly and concentrated.  But what do us as cooks look forward to changing in our lives? A new job – a new dish – a new management technique – a new way to express yourself.

I  just flew back from Saskatoon last night after driving my bro there starting in Ottawa – it was a 4 day journey that illuminated the importance of family, the intense beauty of Northern Ontario,  the prairies, and of the journey.  Saskatoon is the country in the city, full of amazingly honest and loving folks that are more concerned with you leaving their store happier than you came in than leaving with less cash in your pocket.  The habitants aside, arriving at Saskatoon even though I stayed for a few nights, was the end of my trip – the task of driving 3300 kms in an intensely smelly car (fast food helps), the random towns we stopped in – with the almost predictible oversized statues of canadiana was what made it. ( Check out husky the muskie and his 2010 winter olympic mittens)

It is the journey.

thunder bay sunrise in rearview

Lame and preachy at times – it took me 3300kms in that stinky car and a night cooking for the kind friends that put us up for a few days in order for me to realize what I want my first restaurant to look like, feel like and serve.  The hours I’ve tried to extract out of my head what I think I want, what i would brand my resto as seem almost futile to a 5 day trip across what i believe should be a compulsory part of enjoying what Canada has to offer.

The subtle changes that happen during a seemingly average journey can start to stumble down a hill that provides the support to snowball those changes into a monster revelation – one so strong that it can defy you – if you stand back and watch it grow.

When I started making bandanas and tshirts for myself, then my coworkers, then my peers, i never thought I would be providing others I didn’t know with something so close to me.  But standing back, I am excited to watch it grow, to screen until it’s sunny again and be proud of what I have to offer.

Express yourself.

Something difficult in our almost military conformity.  I want to wear a bandana that makes me a bit happier, a tshirt that makes me a bit prouder, whatever.

I started this to express myself, and thats where I’m taking mise en gear this year in 2010.

Have a good service,


Some people have everything, and other people don’t.
But everything don’t mean a thing if it ain´t the thing you want.


i hate malls.

I hate malls.

go fetch the presents boy!

Malls are the sysco of shopping – no individual designers or local specialists to aide you in the search for that perfect inperfection – just the same bollucks store buy store.

Think of a mall as a farmers market.   How many locally produced garmets/books/handbags/toys that talk when you squeeze their toe – would you find? I’m not a radicallist and understand business models and profit margins/outsourcing but I find an increasing similarity between malls and complacency.  If I want to fit in I’ll shop in the mall, apposed to thriftiness whose domain is in resale – which i love.  And for some reason christmas music only plays in malls, not locally owned shops.


I’ve sourced a tshirt manufacturer from Canada, all made, dyed and stiched in house. It’s actually really badass, but it means we have to spend one night away from the bar in order to pay for it – which my liver is more than willing to afford.  Let me know what you think.

Pics are on the way,

out for now,


sweatshops are actually cold and fresh fish is usually frozen but at least your dad is Santa!