1. Your Restaurant/Business
Le Sélect Bistro (Est 1977), a classic Parisian style French bistro located in the heart of Toronto’s Garment and Warehouse district.
2. Tell us a little bit about your kitchen
It’s a challenging and rewarding kitchen to work in; with all the latest equipment a cook/chef could want. I love coming to work and being able to work alongside such genuinely nice, talented, and like-minded individuals who inspire me to constantly push to be better.
3. Your favorite Chef Works item
Currently, I am most enjoying the women’s Marrakesh V-series women’s chef coat. It’s like having breathable, flattering, and professional workout wear for the kitchen-which is essential when you’re running around doing 1000 covers on a busy weekend!
4. What was your first cooking job
My first cooking job was working at the Bayiew Village Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill. It was a fantastic introduction to professional cooking, and I formed some of my most cherished relationships while working at several O&B restaurants such as Auberge du Pommier, and Biff’s Bistro when I met my now husband Brent.
5. Your cooking inspiration
I have many sources and am always looking for something new. Nature, art, cookbooks, blogs, and researching what industry leaders are putting on their plates all keep my inspiration fueled. Heading out into nature or the farm of one of our suppliers usually helps when my creativity is hindered.
6. Your specialty dish
Just one? That’s toughie. I go through phases, just like anyone else I suppose. One dish I always enjoy making is Pâté en Croûte. It’s an opportunity to be playful and creative while still being challenged by a technical preparation. I’m working on a special one for this year’s Food Day Canada menu which will be offered the weekend of August 3rd and 4th, so stay tuned…
7. Weirdest thing you ever ate
I wish I had a better answer for this question. Brains and crickets would be at the top of my list, but I honestly don’t consider them to be that strange. When I was a very young, I ingested a few crayons and I swallowed a penny once, do those count?
8. Favorite things to do when not cooking
Cycling for hours by the waterfront or along trails on a sunny day and catching up with friends and family is my ideal way to spend a day off. Afternoon naps are lovely.
9. Your latest project
There are a few exciting projects on the horizon. Currently we’re working on obtaining LEAF Certification for the restaurant to help further reduce our environmental footprint.
On Friday October 4th I’ll be taking part the inaugural FoodBall. It’s a one of a kind culinary event and will feature a roster of 40 chefs from around the world cooking side by side in support of Sinai Health Foundation.
Another VERY exciting project on the horizon, which has been several years in the making is The “50 Best Explores Ontario” campaign which will take some of Ontario’s most notable Feast On chefs and local producers on a culinary trip through southern Ontario, including Le Sélect Bistro. The project is supported by the Culinary Tourism Alliance (CTA), Destination Canada, Destination Ontario, and the Wine Council of Ontario.
10. Your all time best culinary tip:
Have fun, work clean and organized, be respectful, and never be afraid to try something new. Mistakes will happen, but it’s learning
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