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CanadianLiving.com: Have you always wanted to be a chef?
Chef Brad Long: God no! It never occurred to me. I was a musician and every time I was on the road, I ended up in the kitchen, that’s really how it all began.
CL: Did you cook at home with your parents?
BL: Yes, a little bit. They both cook classically, nothing fancy. They grew up in the depression, so everything is very simple.
CL: What were some of your favorite childhood dishes?
BL: Cooking my own eggs in the morning – which my mom taught me how to do. And a dish my mom used to make called, “Saturday chicken”- which was chopped up chicken thrown into a stew with dumplings that covered the whole top of the pot. Also, my dad’s homemade burgers. Thanksgiving, Christmas and all the food linked to occasions were great as well.
CL: What is your cooking trademark?
BL: Fresh ingredients. I am intense about respecting where things come from not changing them. Interesting foods with a history tell a story, and I like to keep them that way.
CL: What are some of your favorite cookware items?
BL: A well balanced and sharp knife and a wood rasp which I use throughout all stages of a meal. Professionally I would say, to be efficient and fast, a good pair of tongs while cooking in a kitchen. They are practical and safe, nobody likes a burn.
CL: What is your foodie pet peeve?
BL: When people say they are allergic to things they just don’t like or want to try. Just say you don’t like it!
Page 1 of 2CL: What do you like most about cooking?
BL: I love sitting down and talking over food. To me it’s the most important part of the meal. Food is love, medicine and fuel.
CL: Would you ever do a show, like Iron Chef?
BL: I wouldn’t say ever, but I’ve never perceived food as a competitive sport, so it’s not something I would have ever thought about doing.
CL: What is your most memorable cooking experience?
BL: Cooking for the first time for my wife. It was so romantic. Another occasion would be when I cooked for Andrea Boccelli in the Platinum Club after one of his concerts at the ACC. He made me do a tester of spaghetti for him with butter –spaghetti conburro – he then took a bite, nodded and everyone at the table cheered!
CL: What is your favorite dish to cook at home?
BL: Whole roasted chicken with kale or chard. Boiled whole potatoes with salt. Really simple food that makes the whole house smell good.
CL: Is there any chef you would love to work with?
BL: Jean-Georges Vongerichten who works in New York. Amazing! He influenced me along time ago when I read one of his cookbooks that really got me thinking flavored oils instead of butters which are much lighter and healthier. It made me realize you didn’t have to give anything up for style or taste.
CL: Are your 4 girls picky eaters? How do you sneak vegetables to a picky child?
BL: We don’t force them to eat anything, we ask them to try it. Patience and encouragement is our motto.
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