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One-on-One with Chef Chris Deraiche

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Chef Chris Deraiche has been cooking for over 15 years, and he didn’t lose an ounce of passion. Deraiche’s emphasis on fresh, top-quality ingredients and flavour-packed dishes naturally make him a loyal supporter of local ingredients.

The chef at the Wellington Gastropub in Ottawa since 2006, Chris changes the menu daily focusing on the best produce according to the season, which he pairs with craft beer and handpicked wines. For Food Day Canada and of the love of Canadian terroir, Chris has put together a special regional menu. Don’t miss it!

Do you have a lucky charm in the kitchen?

No, but I do brush my teeth.

Your favourite spice?

Star anise.

What’s your most extravagant purchase?

We spent quite a bit on a doorbell for the side door. It was a bit complicated. It is very loud. Sometimes jarring. And funny.

Favourite song in the kitchen?

Nothing soothes the soul like our cook Tim saying “Pick up please. Pick up.” Other than that, “Steppin Out” by Joe Jackson.

What’s your comfort food?

Ice cream. Polenta, tomato sauce and parm. Maple syrup. Adriana’s bread out of the oven with butter.

What’s your most essential tool?

Petty knife.

Favourite smell in the kitchen?

Below our restaurant is Macarons et Madeleines, a wonderful French bakery. They start working a few hours before us. The scent that penetrates the walls is so comforting.

What’s your bad habit?

Indecisiveness.

What do you admire in other chefs?

Passion, ideas and their ability to execute.

The dish you are the proudest of?

Consommé is always rewarding.

What’s your end of the world menu?

Pizza and wine. With Adriana and Olive.

What is the one ingredient that you would never buy if it is not produced locally?

Strawberries.

What is your favourite local drink?

Vim and Vigor pilsner from Tooth and Nail Brewing Company.

What is Canadian food to you?

Comforting and multi-influenced.

What makes you proud of the Canadian terroir?

The quality of ingredients and the people behind them.

Why do you participate in Food Day Canada?

Because I am Canadian and I am proud of what we all do.