Chef Minds: John Pacheco

Chef John Pacheco from The Tasting Room 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! 

Forest City Cookbook - Chef John Pacheco - Tasting Room - London Ontario

What is your idea of a perfect restaurant?

One that offered daily creations based on availability of product and served family style

What is your biggest fear at work?

Having someone not enjoy what you have created

Which still working Chef Do you most respect?

Rick Bayless. Really enjoying his take on modern Mexican cuisine

What part of work ‘you’ do you most deplore in yourself?

The expectation of perfection from everyone

What would automatically make you fire someone?

Theft. I have no place for that.

What was your most extravagant purchase for your restaurant?

Exotic ingredients I guess, Foie gras, wagyu beef...

What is your favourite food journey?

I am a huge fan of Charlie Trotter and the impact he has had on modern day cooking.  Was lucky enough to spend my 40th birthday at his restaurant, I was able to meet and ask him questions.

What words/phrases do you most overuse at work?

Your only as good as your last dish

What do you regret most after all your years in the business?

Having not travelled more to stage at different restaurants

What do you love most about this industry?

Seeing the look on a satisfied customers face

What is your current state of mind?

Bringing rustic food done in a modern twist to the forefront

If you could change anything about the restaurant industry, what would it be?

I wish everyone that worked in a restaurant was passionate about it and didn't just consider it a job

What do you consider your most essential ingredient?

The use of different peppers. Each adds a little or a lot of heat or maybe just a subtle warming to your dish

The work/life balance struggle is real... How good of a juggler are you? Advice?

It's a tough balance, the restaurant industry can become a lifestyle, we all get caught up in it...I guess trying to stay humble and grounded keeps me focused

What is your most treasured culinary/kitchen tool?

A sharp knife

What do you consider as the lowest depth of misery?

Being surrounded in a kitchen by negative people

When you finally retire, were will you live?

Retire? I think I want to cook forever.

What is your most marked characteristic?

I love rustic food with a twist.

What is the quality you most like in a chef?

Seeing innovation

What is your greatest inspiration/motivation?

Creating food that brings a smile to someone's face

Superman or batman or Wonder Woman?


What is the first thing you remember cooking?

With my grandma... Green onions and eggs.

Neil Young or Tragically Hip?

Tragically hip

Favourite kitchen word or phrase?

Your only as good as your last dish


W: F: @TheTastingRoom T: @thetroomlondon

Photos by: Alieska Robles