Chefs Canada connected with some of the country’s most influential chefs to find out what’s on their wish list for the New Year to help take them into the new year. Not surprisingly, their collective desires mirror our own as we take stock of the world around us and look for ways to give thanks and find joy in each other.
The chefs share their top tools, tech, books, services and ingredients as well as their greatest wishes for 2022…
Chef Samuel Sirois
Chefs Canada National Culinary Athlete, Bocuse d’Or Team Canada
Fav tool: Binchotan charcoal; Japanese BBQ
Fav book: The seven-volume elBulli opus, elBulli 2005-2011, by Ferran Adri
Fav tech: Freeze Dryer/Lyophilizer Juicerville
Fav service: Sporting and mental coach. I’ve been using Jean-Francois Menard, who’s helping me prepare for the Bocuse d’Or 2023. I’m also thankful for our food buyers who research and shop for the best quality ingredients at the very best price!
Fav ingredient: or gift: White truffle from Alba!
Greatest wish of all: To make my country proud and be on the podium at the Grand Finale of the Bocuse d’Or in 2023!
Chef Helena Loureiro
Portus Calle Restaurant – Montreal, QC
Tool: Copper cookware from Portugal
Fav book: Scook: The Complete Cookery Guide by Anne-Sophie Pic
Fav tech: A commercial pastel de nata making machine
Fav service: I would like to give benefits packages to all of my employees.
Fav ingredient: Bolo rei (typical Portuguese holiday dessert)
Greatest wish of all: The possibility of getting subsidies to increase my employees’ salaries! And a trip with my family.
Chef Vikram Vij
Vij’s Restaurant – Vancouver
Fav tool: I’d love to receive a Nespresso coffee machine or an ironing board, I am tired of ironing my clothes on my bed.
Fav book: I want to read my own book this winter… to remind myself again to remain humble and focused.
Fav tech: Vij’s for you spices and pickles… They are delicious and spice up any dish! They make a great gift but are also ideal for foodservice use!
Fav service: Positive attitude, staff and hard work, Focus on providing the best Indian food and
experience at the restaurants.
Fav ingredient: Single malt whiskey and some great old-fashioned glasses to go with it.
Greatest wish of all: For myself, I want nothing else than quality time with my family and lots of laughter and happiness. What else can one want..? Love, laughter and My Shanti! But for my industry, my wish is that all small and independents survive to continue to make our communities more diverse.
Chef Nick Liu
DaiLo – Toronto
Fav tool: A STAUB CAST IRON OVAL BAKING DISH WITH LID! We’re working on a new dish at DaiLo and this dish would make the presentation really shine! I’d use it at home too for many different applications.
Fav book: Essential Cuisine by Michel Bras. It’s a classic book that I grew up with that was really popular when I was a young chef. It’s the one that got away, that’s for sure!
Fav tech: An Ooni pizza oven. I would use it for all sorts of dishes like roasted chicken and baking bread.
Fav service: At DaiLo we use and love Results Hospitality. They’re a third-party auditor that counts liquor inventory and provides detailed reporting. It really helps with creating efficiency and keeping our costs in line.
Fav ingredient: White truffles because we use black truffles all the time at DaiLo. White truffles are very seasonal and hard to come by, but they make an amazing addition to any recipe.
Greatest wish of all: To be able to spend more time with family. Our schedules are so demanding in the restaurant industry so any time I can get with family is highly valued.
Chef Nad ge Nourian
Nad ge – Toronto, ON
Fav tool: A scale, I would like an excellent, precise scale for home baking. I’m baking more and more with my son, who is eight years old, and he loves it. Currently, I have a bulky kitchen scale that takes up half of my counter, and I would love a smaller one!
Fav book: Desseralit by Jessica Pr alpato. She was the first female pastry chef to win the World’s Best Pastry Chef by the famous World 50th Best Restaurant in 2019. Another book I enjoy is Montreal’s Patrice Demer’s last book, Parcours sucr. Patrice is a fantastic pastry chef and one of my favourite chefs in Canada.
Fav tech: A sous vide machine. I want to start cooking with the sous vide technique at home that is healthy and tastier. Then, I want to try to incorporate that technique in some sweets at home as well.
Fav service: Accounting. I will not be able to be where I’m at today without my accounting firm. Our margins in our industry are so tight. We need to have an eye on financials constantly. Prices are increasing at such a fast pace lately, and our lovely accounting firm helps us stay on track.
Fav ingredient: The perfect ingredient for this season are wild mushrooms, especially chanterelle and
morel. Every Christmas, we always use wild mushrooms to go with our traditional Beef Wellington, cooked by my husband. I love it!
Greatest wish of all: I would love the government to provide real support to individuals and businesses to help fight climate change. This could include finding a natural solution for the substitution of plastic items or supporting electric vehicles or solar panels.
Chef Phil Tees
Liquidity – Okanagan Falls, BC
Fav tool: A nice Konro charcoal grill would be a great Christmas gift.
Fav book: Salt Smoke Time: Homesteading and Heritage Techniques for the Modern Kitchen by Will Horowitz, Marisa Dobson & Julie Horowitz. An amazing book that not only showcases phenomenal techniques but is also a guidebook for sustainability in our industry.
Fav tech: The latest Apple Watch. I have become so dependent on the watch to take notes, set timers, look up recipes on the fly and communicate with colleagues and purveyors.
Fav service: I highly recommend the Calm App and the 10-20 minutes of meditation. I do them every morning before work! It allows me to get centred, helps me get rid of my anxiety and has made me a much more level-headed chef.
Fav ingredient: I love cooking turkey, it’s a classic but also something that’s been usually done wrong in my experience. I love working on it and presenting it in different ways that you wouldn’t expect. My wife is from Newfoundland, so any holidays mean Jiggs dinner, there is something about that meal that always feels so special to me. It holds a truly special place in my heart.
Greatest wish of all: My greatest wish right now is for us to find a way to live simply so others can
simply live. I feel like there is so much tension in the world, in business and in politics. I wish we could
understand that we are all in this together and to find a way to make it work and to be civil.
Brigitte Foisy is the Vice-President of Chefs Canada, an organization that works to shine the spotlight on Canadian cuisine and chefs, as well as our national culinary teams including Bocuse d’Or Team Canada. She has also been working with some of the world’s biggest food and beverage brands for over 25 years.