How did all this start?
Several years ago, after watching hours and hours of cooking shows on the food network, I realized that although it’s really easy to find a recipe on the internet, there was very little information in video format, about the individual ingredients we use. So I partnered up with my longtime friend and associate Rob, and we decided to take a shot at changing all that.
Many of us have noticed the transformation that the food world has gone through over the last few decades. Growing up, a salad was iceberg lettuce, a few tomato slices and bottled Thousand Island dressing, pasta was spaghetti or lasagna, and I don’t think there was ever olive oil in the pantry. Look where we are now! The whole world has opened up and offers us foods and cooking techniques from around the globe. A trip to an ethnic grocery store in your city will introduce you to fruits, vegetables and products you’ve never seen before. If you’re interested in food, it’s a very exciting time.
We know what’s out there, but we aren’t always sure about how to use it. That was the beginning of the Chef Project. We wanted to find out more about the ingredients we use. It’s the same with everything – the more you know about baseball or hockey, the more you enjoy watching a game. The more you know about photography, the more you can appreciate a good photo. Cooking is no different. Who knew that storing tomatoes stem side down makes them last longer, how to sauté a crispy and juicy mushroom or what vinegar can do for your cooking. The more you know about the techniques and ingredients you use, the more accomplished and confident you feel in the kitchen.
The concept for the videos was simple. Ask a chef what his or her favourite ingredient was, then shoot them making a simple dish while telling us about the ingredient. Every one of the chefs is beyond passionate about what they do, and they’re happy to share their knowledge. The videos are never about the recipe – the recipe is just a vehicle for the chef as he explains the ins and outs of the ingredient he/she is using, and why he/she loves it.
Once you’ve finished watching a video, you know just a bit more (maybe a lot) about a particular element of cooking. It adds up.
Beyond that – it’s just fun. We’re sharing what we learn about different foods and techniques and meeting a lot of really interesting people along the way.