Chef Georgia Zimbel did not always dream to be a chef. Instead of thinking about the next dish and unique flavour combos, she was studying for a political science degree. But university being quite expensive, she decided to take a kitchen job for the first time in her life, not expecting to fall in love with it.
From there, her life took a 360-degree turn. After graduating from political science at the University of Guelph, she joined George Brown’s Culinary Management program and immersed herself in the world she was passionate about. Georgia graduated in 2017 and is already making waves by joining engaged dinners in supporting charities and empowering women to be on the front page.
Get to know her better through this fast and fun interview:
DO YOU HAVE A LUCKY CHARM IN THE KITCHEN?
My blue apron.
WHAT’S THE LAST THING YOU BURNED?
Left shredded coconut in the salamander a little too long – turns out coconut is pretty flammable.
YOUR FAVOURITE SPICE?
Currently, smoked paprika.
WHAT MAKES YOU “KITCHEN ANGRY”?
Not being prepared for service, and working messy.
LATEST FLAVOUR COMBINATION YOU DISCOVERED?
Honey and fennel.
WHAT’S YOUR MOST EXTRAVAGANT PURCHASE?
I bought this beautiful burnt orange jumpsuit from Oak + Fort the other day….
It makes me feel sexy, so it was worth it!
FAVOURITE SONG IN THE KITCHEN?
Paul Simon’s greatest hits during prep.
Track Uno by Kaytranada just as service is coming to an end.
WHAT’S YOUR COMFORT FOOD?
Good bread and good cheese.
WHAT’S YOUR MOST ESSENTIAL TOOL?
A sharp knife and a sharpie.
IF YOU COULD CHANGE ANYTHING IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
It would be creating a better quality of life for industry folk. Health insurance, living wages, having better access to activities and events and culture going on in the city – the world is geared towards the 9-5 er’s, which means we miss out on a lot of what the city has to offer.
FAVOURITE SMELL IN THE KITCHEN?
Mirepoix and wine simmering.
WHAT’S YOUR BAD HABIT?
Mumbling and over-analyzing.
WHAT DO YOU ADMIRE IN OTHER CHEFS?
The ability to lead teams, play to each individual chef’s skills and attributes, and remain selfless themselves.
WHAT OR WHO IS YOUR GREATEST INSPIRATION?
I’m inspired by the women in my life who are pursuing their dreams, breaking down doors and not taking no for an answer. I have an amazing sister, friends, colleagues and acquaintances who inspire me on the daily.
THE DISH YOU ARE THE PROUDEST OF?
The compressed watermelon salad with roasted corn, mint and feta. So simple, yet so good.
WHAT’S YOUR END OF THE WORLD MENU?
Good bread and good cheese!
YOUR FAVOURITE ADVICE OR QUOTE?
Be patient, work hard and chin up.