Chef Minds: Barbara Czyz

Chef Barbara Czyz from Unique Food Attitudes shared with Forest City Cookbook some insights of what it means to be in the culinary world and what is it that keeps the flame and passion alive!  

Chef minds - Barbara Czyz - Unique Food Attitudes - London Ontario

What is your idea of a perfect restaurant?

My dream restaurant came to life with our place at Dundas & Lyle Streets. I'm truly, very much in love with how Unique Food Attitudes is approachable for family lunch and sophisticated enough for intimate evening meals. It's versatile for groups and private events...and just the right size for us to handle well at capacity. Each customer is given the attention and care they expect from a restaurant with European flare.

What is your biggest fear at work? 
That someone will regret coming to see us.

Which still working chef do you most respect? 
Wieslaw Dochnal. Everything that he makes tastes like heaven in your mouth.

What part of work 'you' do you most deplore in yourself? 
Not being able to say no. It often cuts into family time.

What would automatically make you fire someone?

What was your most extravagant purchase for your restaurant? 
The renovation to make Unique Food Attitudes what it is today had many. The building needed to be gutted and rebuilt to be different enough to be...Unique.

What is your favourite food journey? 

My favourite food journey began with immigrating to Canada. Food brought us together in a new country, carried us through many discussions and decisions, and continues to bring me joy each and every day.

What words/phrases do you most overuse at work? 
"I'm going crazy."

What do you regret most after all your years in the business? 
I regret that I didn't meet Julianna ten years ago.

What do you love most about this industry? 
How much we learn from each other and how courteous we are of each other's

What is your current state of mind? 
When can I go to a warm beach?

If you could change anything about the restaurant industry, what would it be? 
I would like people to have more time to enjoy their food. Everyone is so busy! It would be nice for us to share Culinary Awards in the city.

What do you consider your most essential ingredient? 
Love in every dish

 The work/life balance struggle is real... How good of a juggler are you? Advice? 
Advice: never give up on your dreams. Hold your family tightly and always make time to celebrate the people in your life. Bake the cake, share the lasagna, make Valentine's Day cookies. Share your talent with others.

What is your most treasured culinary/kitchen tool? 
The wooden spoon is the simplest and most effective tool. I’ve learned so much from both ends. Almost everyone has a wooden spoon story!

What do you consider as the lowest depth of misery? 

When you finally retire, were will you live? 
Where my family is.

What is your most marked characteristic? 
My enthusiasm for my customers

What is the quality you most like in a chef? 
Creativity meshing with good taste.

What is your greatest inspiration/motivation? 
My mother

Superman or batman or Wonder Woman? 
Wonder woman...aren't we all a little bit like her ladies?

What is the first thing you remember cooking? 

Neil Young or Tragically Hip? 
Leonard Cohen

Favourite kitchen word or phrase?
Bon Appetit!
(is there a Polish equivalent, That would be good to use)

Forest City Chefs