Chef Minds: Shauna Versloot

Shauna Versloot 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!  

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What is your idea of a perfect restaurant? 

I have it all planned out. Stay tuned :)

What is your biggest fear at work? 

I teach fun fitness and cooking classes, I’m always afraid I’m going to forget an exercise or ingredient! I quadruple check my lists before every class.

Which still working Chef Do you most respect? 

I truly love and respect so many different chefs for all different reasons. I am very thankful to have many inspirational chef friends. There are many people who have taught me how hard I can push myself, how to push outside of my comfort zone and how to be a little bit more bold and vibrant in and out of the kitchen.

What is your favourite food journey? 

Travelling all through Thailand with my husband. Learning from Thai Chefs, sharing meals with “the locals” in different cities and touring their markets.

 What do you love most about this industry? 

I love being able to meet and work with amazing people.

What words/phrases do you most overuse at work? 

I don’t realize it…but many people tell me I say “easy peasy”, “you got this”, “you rocked it”, “don’t give up on me”, “holy cow” and that I “love” everything. I also can’t seem to write texts, Instagram and fb posts without using happy faces and hearts…It’s fine with me if people judge me for that :) <3

What is your current state of mind? 

Happy and grateful.

 What do you consider your most essential ingredient? 

I have a big family of absolutely incredible Dairy Farmers. I wish you could all see their farms and how amazing they are…amazing people, beautiful farms and very healthy & happy cows. So, I’m going to go with dairy… butter, cheese, milk, cream.

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

I include my little family in my work and I’m very thankful I can do that. I have gotten better at working “smarter” not “harder”, thank you to my husband whom is constantly showing me more efficient ways to get things done. I also ask him to be completely open and honest with me when I’m on my phone or computer or over-booking myself too much.

What is your most treasured culinary/kitchen tool? 

Sharp chef’s knife. For. Sure.

When you finally retire, were will you live? 

On a little hobby farm with a big greenhouse and garden and workout hills lol (I love hills and stairs).

What is your most marked characteristic? 

Honesty and Loyalty. Sometimes I’m toooo open and honest, and if you’re my friend I will cheer you on, support you and be on your side 110%. 

What is the quality you most like in a chef? 

Someone who can roll with the punches. It’s important in the kitchen and life.

What is your greatest inspiration/motivation? 

My greatest inspiration was my Grandpa (Papa). He was a good man who taught me many things, including how to grow vegetables and the importance of sharing food in his community garden. My favourite memory is one that has stuck with me for life…we were out for a walk one day and he told me that the only thing that lives on after we die is our reputation and to focus on being a good person.

Superman or batman or Wonder Woman? 

I love all 3 and those are my favourite movies… but if I had to pick… Wonder Woman.

What is the first thing you remember cooking? 

A Thanksgiving dinner with my Grandma (Grammy). She let me put salt and pepper on the turkey… I thought it was SO gross but SO cool that I got to do that. She empowered me a lot in my kitchen/culinary journey.

Neil Young or Tragically Hip? 

Tragically Hip.