Welcome back to another Mickzeni Talk.
Before reading further you should consult yesterday’s post.
Yesterday I wrote explaining about why I’m visiting Calgary. I’m here for many reasons, but one of them is to interview a professional chef in the culinary arts and ask him a series of questions. I didn’t get permission to share his name because he’s semi-famous and wanted to have the freedom of speaking honestly with me. In other words, the interview was a success and I got all the answers I was looking for and some deep truths I never expected.
Before I get to the questions and answers of the interview, I want to speak briefly on my overall feeling I got during the interview. We met at the place where he works (owns), and he showed me the famous kitchen where he performs his masterpieces. First of all I was amazed at how clean he keeps his kitchen and how well maintained all of his major appliances were, also at how polite his staff was. When we sat down at the table to begin, I already had the sense that this was one of the kind of people who deserved to be successful. He had so much energy emanating from his voice and movements. His passion was palpable and just talking to him created a feeling that I was with one of the greats and it’s a feeling I’ll never forget.
That’s all I wanted to say about that. Now it’s time to get to the meat of the interview.
Questions and Answers with a Pro Chef in Calgary, AB
- What got you interested in culinary arts as a boy? Answer: “Taste! My grandma was a billion times better at cooking than me, and I always loved visiting her because her food was delicious. I know it’s selfish but it’s the truth. My grandma was so good at cooking I let her give me those bear hugs that grandmas love to give without complaining, so long as I knew she’d be the one cooking dinner. It was when she passed away when I was 9 that I missed her for who she really was and dug into her secret recipe books. A lot of the food I cook today still comes from those books.”
- Why out of all places have you worked in Calgary all these years? Answer: “I’m not really sure. I’ve just had great success here with my restaurant and there’s been no need to move. I started in Winnipeg, Manitoba with little success and working here compared to there seemed so much easier. I’m not sure if has to do with the people and their taste of food here or the location I’m in but either way I don’t think I’ll be moving for a while.”
- Why are BBQ ribs your favorite? Answer: “It’s the one thing I taught myself how to cook that my grandma never cooked. I take pride in that!”
- What is your favorite brand of major kitchen appliances? Answer: “That’s not the kind of question I’d expect, but I’d have to go with Samsung or Maytag, just because they have the best warranties in my experience.”
- Have you ever done your own appliance repairs in the busy kitchen? Answer: “Never! My staff wouldn’t even do it. That’s why all my appliances have warranties, and I maintain them so I don’t have to worry. There was one time where I had to order appliance repair Calgary services on a freezer that wasn’t under warranty, but hopefully I’ll never have to do that again.”
- When do you see yourself retiring from being a pro chef? Answer: “Retire? What does that mean? Ha, the day I’ll retire is the day my hands fall off. What do you think?”
Those were the questions I had been planning to ask him. We also spent a while talking about our favorite operas because his grandma was a huge opera fan, and he couldn’t remember the name of this one Viking opera his grandma used to take him to. We also talked about life in Calgary in general and he told me there’s nothing special about this place besides his own food, and we laughed.
Overall, it was quite a pleasure to sit down with a popular chef. He’s well known from Paris to Hollywood for his cuisine and I have to say my favorite part of the whole interview was eating his BBQ ribs because now I know why he’s so popular. I really wish I could tell you his name, but sorry. I bet many of you will be able to guess just from the details I provided. His dream was never to become famous, only to cook great food and that’s ultimately why he thinks he made it so big here in Calgary.
Thanks for reading and I hope you got a laugh or two and learned something from this spectacular interview!