Chef Minds: Chad Stewart
What is your idea of a perfect restaurant?
One that has intimate yet upbeat atmosphere, with unpretentious yet friendly and sophisticated service . Food that is prepared with local & organic ingredients with proper technique and cooking methods.
What is your biggest fear at work?
That my client will not absolutely love their meal
Which still working Chef Do you most respect?
Daniel Humm – for his love for local ingredients and style of cooking; pairing classics with modern twist
What would automatically make you fire someone?
Dishonesty and or theft.
What is your favourite food journey?
MY favorite food journey would have either been my trip to Italy in 2010 where we traveld around for 2 weeks tasting and trying new things Or My trip to Chicago in 2016 where we visited some of the top restaurants in the US
What do you regret most after all your years in the business?
I regret not taking more care of my body, this line of work can be physically demanding. When you are working very long hours and almost every day, you tend to neglect your own health.
What do you love most about this industry?
I love the freedom, everyday can be different.
What is your current state of mind?
What is next for myself?
If you could change anything about the restaurant industry, what would it be?
I think there should be more support for waste management. There is so much waste, recycling issues , including the use of plastics and chemicals that are very harmful for our environment. I think every restaurant should get proper funding from the government to have composting, recycling and waste management facilities in place.
What do you consider your most essential ingredient?
My most essential ingredient is sea salt, duck fat or good quality olive oil.
What is your most treasured culinary/kitchen tool?
Sharp Chef’s knife and my cast iron pans
What do you consider as the lowest depth of misery?
Not being able to do what you love, living life in fear of working towards your goals. We all get up and go to work every day. How can you be truly happy if you’re not working towards what you love?
When you finally retire, were will you live?
Old south London Ontario and with lots of hard work we would like to have a cottage home in the outskirts of the Forest City to live off the grid a bit.
What is your most marked characteristic?
I always want things to work right and perfect. Whether its cooking or watching a movie, I like perfection .
What is the quality you most like in a chef?
Their ability to think on their feet, creativity and dedication.
What is your greatest inspiration/motivation?
I think we are living in a time where people are valuing their food more and what they eat. I truly believe as a chef we have a certain responsibility to educate the consumer. Now having said that, I also believe in preparing rich delicious foods but working with local, organic sustainable food, and making it taste delicious is a good start.
Superman or batman or Wonder Woman?
Batman is way cooler... I feel like he would hire me for a private dinner in his estate aha.
What is the first thing you remember cooking?
My father used to bring home morels from his walks as a mail man, I remember him showing me how to cook them in medium high heat pan with butter and salt .
Neil Young or Tragically Hip?