Q&A With Our New Chef – Philman George
How did I get started in Culinary Arts?
My very first experiences in the industry began many, many moons ago as a dish washer at a local pub. At the time I had no idea that I wanted to become a Chef. A few years later I got the opportunity to work in an upscale Mediterranean restaurant. The Chef noticed my talent and suggested I enroll in the Culinary Management program at George Brown College. Things really took off from there
What’s My Heritage?
I was born in Toronto, Canada but both of my parents are from a tiny island in the Caribbean called Barbuda. I have a strong connection with Barbuda, as most of my family, including my father, still live on the island. Barbudians love to cook, especially seafood, so this is where my passion for food stems from. We boast one of the top 10 secluded beaches on the planet, and besides tourism one of the main contributors to the economy is the export of our delicious lobster. That’s my father showing off his freshly boiled lobster, at his beach bar & grill in Barbuda which is called Uncle Roddys.
What is my Specialty?
I consider myself extremely lucky to have grown up in a city like Toronto. I’ve done quite a bit of traveling and I can confidently say that we have one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. It would almost be a crime to specialize in just one type of cuisine, when I have access to a world of flavours right at my door step. I like to pull from my Caribbean roots when approaching food, but sometimes the situation calls for a different angle. I strongly value my experiences with French cuisine, especially their rich sauces. I’m also fortunate to have a great deal of experience with Italian food, which emphasizes freshness and simplicity. Really love Thai food and the way they use exotic ingredients to create a balance of sweet & sour, bold & spicy. I’m constantly expanding my portfolio, and learning new cuisines and new styles of cooking. I pull from all these resources to create food that is flavourful, and approachable.
My Favourite Seafood?
Whatever I’m working with, whether it be seafood or a vegetable, I’ve been trained to love them all equally. But all diplomacy aside I hold a special place in my heart for anything in the ocean with a shell. Lobster, shrimps, oysters, scallops, clams, crabs..fill my plate please!!