Chef Ricardo

In Conversation: Chef Ricardo

Chef Ricardo is a Canadian chef, author, television personality and entrepreneur. His mission is to promote the importance of cooking and eating together! We caught up with Chef Ricardo to learn more about his culinary story.

1. What were the cooking smells in your kitchen when you were a kid?

Roast beef, fudge, spaghetti sauce and pies.

2. Do you ever have a total fail now and then, or have you ever served a dish that was completely botched?

No one ever saw or tasted this particular dish, but I had to make quenelles de brochet – the famous pike quenelles – and after a sleepless night working on the recipe, it still wasn’t turning out. I sat on the floor, utterly discouraged. That morning, I ended up making something else. It took me 15 years before I tried the quenelles dish again.

3. What are your childhood cooking memories?

My father making his spaghetti sauce on Saturday afternoons. My mother baking banana cake. My grandmother showing me how to make pies.

4. What is your favourite culinary ingredient?

I like to cook with simple, versatile foods like butter, pasta and potatoes.

5. What is your go-to recipe?

My favourites are General Tao chicken and tofu, Black Forest cake and lemon pie cake.

6. What is the one cooking item you can’t do without?


7. What’s your guilty-pleasure food?

Fish and chips and fried chicken.

8. Are there any foods that you don’t like?

I enjoy almost everything, but iron-rich meat like game or liver are less appealing to me.

9. What’s the culinary feat you’re most proud of?

There are a lot of things that make me proud, but the thing I’m most proud of is my family –

Brigitte and my daughters. Also being able to embark on this great culinary adventure as a couple has been fantastic.

10. What’s your favourite food-related memory?

The memory of my first runny omelette, which I had while on vacation in Maine. Served on the veranda by my grandmother, with a slice of buttered bread.

11. What person (dead or alive) would you most like to share a meal with?

My grandmother. She taught me how to cook and made me want to garden. I’d love to talk to her about everything that’s happened since she left us.

12. What are your favourite cheeses?

Gré des Champs and Pied-de-Vent.

13. If you weren’t a chef, what trade or profession would you have chosen?

A politician, landscape designer or architect.

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