As mentioned in an earlier post – I’m once again blogging for the Celebrity Chefs of Canada event! This year I am covering the dynamic duo of Chef Jonathan Korecki from SideDoor Restaurant and Chef Jeremy Charles of Raymond’s in St. John’s.

I visited SideDoor Restaurant earlier this year and loved it! But this was my first chance to get to speak one on one with Chef Korecki. What a great guy. Not only didn’t he fake a stomach ache to get away from me and my odd line of questions, he even gave me a quick tour of his kitchen! Korecki is not only an Ottawa Celebrity chef but he is a Top Chef Canada contestant in season two which will be airing starting this March. Check out his audition video here:

Chef Korecki is so mild mannered and polite, my first question was to ask him how long until he gives that up and starts acting like a real celebrity chef? How cold must his latte be before he will throw it at his assistant. Speaking of which, when will he be getting an assistant?

(Korecki) No no! That’s the number one thing you want to stay away from. I don’t let it get to my head, because then you are ‘that asshole’. The best part of being part of all this is that I get to work with other Chefs that I might not have had the chance to work with otherwise. I can head out to where they are and cook, and I can bring them in here to see what we are all about.

Ok. That’s all well and good. I can tell that it’s really about the cooking for you. But you also have a side business – head bands. It’s one of your trademarks and you actually have a line of them for chef’s and other professionals who sweat a lot. I don’t know about you, but they kind of remind me of ninjas. Are you in fact a ninja? And would you show me some of your ninja moves?

Ha! Um … it would be more like Beverly Hills Ninja than an actual ninja.


Back to food. SideDoor will be one year old this Valentines Day weekend – how has the first year been?

It`s been a fast learning curve! But it`s so cool seeing something grow from an idea into reality. It`s been a really cool ride. We are so much farther along now then we were at this point last year. The kinks have more or less been ironed out, like the doughnuts for example. They are done to order all night. So getting the recipe right so that they come out the same at any point was challenging, but we got it down now. And more of the staff know how to complete the dishes so I have more time for fun and menu development.

Speaking of menus, you have been working with Chef Charles for Celebrity Chefs of Canada. What can you tell me about your dish?

**As if his ears are burning, it is at this moment when Chef Charles calls Korecki to talk about a last minute idea for this dish… and to tell him about how he fell down the stairs the night before**

Jeremy and I have been chatting back and forth for a couple of weeks now, but it was only yesterday that we actually hammered out the real idea for the dish. It`s going to be rabbit. Jeremy has a contact in St. John`s who can get him some really amazing local rabbits. There will be a terrine, pate with homemade pickles (which we have already started working on) and ravioli… it is going to be quite the dish.

That sounds amazing. How do you enjoy working with Chef Charles?

Jer is great. He is just so super cool. He is relaxed but focused, which I like. And as an added bonus I used to work with his Sous Chef back in the day when I was in Toronto working with Susur.

Are you looking forward to seeing Susur again?

Of course. I`m really looking forward to connecting with Susur. That guy is funny as hell.

So last year some (by which I mean most… by which I mean all) the chefs went out for a little meet and greet the night before the event. Let us just say that the 8am demos were a little groggy. Do you have any plans for that this year?

Not so much. We will save the party for after the event. Plus it doesn`t get started until noon this year, which is a big help. 8am for any chef who is still working the line is difficult.

Thanks so much to Chef Jonathan for his time. I know he is going to make a rocking dish for Celeb Chefs and is going to kick ass and take names on Top Chef!

To order your tickets for Celebrity Chefs of Canada – click the banner below. Come on out and meet chef Jonny – he’s wicked cool.