Food

5 minutes with chef Carl Heinrich

By: Canadian Living
Canadian Living
Food

5 minutes with chef Carl Heinrich

By: Canadian Living
Renowned chef, season 2 winner of Top Chef Canada and owner of Toronto's Richmond Station, Carl Heinrich is currently co-hosting the cooking show Four Senses, on AMI-tv with chef Christine Ha. We caught up with Carl to ask him about his experience hosting the show and get a few details about how he chooses the menu items at his restaurant. Make sure to watch Four Senses Friday April 17th at 7 PM — our very own Food Director Annabelle Waugh will be the guest chef for that evening’s episode! Canadian Living: What makes the television show you're co-hosting, Four Senses, unique? Carl Heinrich: The show is on accessible media and it's a cooking show for people who can't see or who are visually impaired in some way. The show is very descriptive and aims at making things clear if you were cooking with your eyes closed.  The concept in itself is really neat. Each episode has a different story line and a different guest and the response to the show has been fantastic. Carl Heinrich Photo courtesy of Carl Heinrich CL: Has the show changed your approach to cooking in any way? CH: For me, the importance of the show is that people start cooking. Whether you're visually impaired or not, people just don't cook enough, and the show taught me that everyone can cook. We've chosen recipes for the show that are very accessible. Relying on your senses is a vital part of the show. For the most part, Christine relies on her sense of taste in the kitchen, and smell, as well her sense of touch and how things sound. If you're going to cook mushrooms in a hot pan, you are going to hear the pan sizzle, and hearing that sound gives you the clue of what's going on in the pan. She is a better cook than some of the cooks I have in my kitchen! The show also gave me a new appreciation for simple food and how delicious it is.  You don't always need to get to creative in the techniques and the concepts -- good food tastes like good food. CL: How was it like for you to be a host as opposed to a contestant like you were on Top Chef Canada? CH: It was really hard for me during the first season, but now with the second season I've been a little more relaxed so it's been really fun. I love what we're doing with the show and the push is to get a third season. Without Top Chef Canada, Ryan (my business partner) and I would have opened a restaurant but Top Chef gave me equity in my own restaurant and put us in the spotlight right away. There was a lot of anticipation with the opening of Richmond Station and it still draws people to the restaurant today. CL: How do you determine what to put on your menu at your restaurant? CH: Our menu is dictated by the way we buy food for the restaurant. If I want to put bacon on my menu, I buy a whole pig. If I want to put steak, I buy a whole side of beef. The reason why we have a burger on the menu, one of our most requested items, is that we buy a whole animal and you need to be able to something with all that ground beef. That's where the rational for the burger comes in and it's a fantastic burger at the same time. CL: Can you share your best tips to make the best ever mashed potatoes? CH: The right potato is key. I like to boil my potatoes whole with the skin on, then remove the skins (or not) and steam them for a minute or two so they lose some of their water. I then add cold, cold butter and a splash of cream or milk. I use unsalted butter and salted water for the potatoes. Similar to when you're making a beurre blanc, the trick is to emulsify the butter. Catch our Food Director Annabelle Waugh on Four Senses on AMItv Friday April 17th at 7:00PM.
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Food

5 minutes with chef Carl Heinrich

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