Food Ontario Select Guide: Questions and Answers with Chef Lynn Crawford
This time the Food Ontario (FO) Select Guide features an interview with Chef Lynn Crawford (LC) host of Food Network’s popular show “Pitchin’ In”. A native Torontonian, Chef Crawford has received critical acclaim from food media and food lovers. She has established herself as a tremendous culinary presence in Canada as well as a popular favourite on Food Network Canada. Her new restaurant, Ruby Watchco has opened to an instant fan base of food lovers and supporters of all things local.
FO: You’ve said your motto is: “… all about making people happy through great food and having a whole lot of fun doing it. I love people. I love food. And I love sharing“. When did you discover your love of cooking?
LC: I’ve always had a love of food from a very young age…coming from a Scottish family; food was definitely a focal point. My father was a butcher, he had a great love of family dinner – Sunday supper, roasts … and from a young age I was peeling potatoes and helping out when I came home….it was a celebration of food.
FO: On Pitchin’ In you seem to be having a lot of fun…How did you come up with the idea for your TV show?
LC: This was collaboration for sure with Red Apple and Frantic Zone. When we started discussing what we wanted to do with the show … we decided what we really wanted to showcase was where the food came from. … the farmers and the growers. It’s about the journey; going back to grassroots. It’s about the farmers and producers and fishermen and living their lifestyle. I don’t think enough people know where their food comes from, what goes into the preparing, nurturing, making of the product and in appreciating the food they eat.
FO: Having been in the food business all these years what‘s been your biggest learning experience?
LC: Hmmm...that’ a good question….I guess through all of my journey what I’ve learned is that I’m doing the right thing for me. I love what I do more than anything else…and it’s so important for me to share my love and passion with as many people as I can. Daniel Gelfant, my producer has been a huge part of what this is all about. If not for him the show wouldn’t be the hit it is. I’m a very lucky chef and not a day goes by that I don’t think how fortunate I am.
FO: What tips would you have for someone planning their first major meal?
LC: First and foremost…I’d say…enjoy the process from start to finish. Don’t go overboard; stick with what you know and feel comfortable with, then slowly push the envelope. Stick with local and seasonal products and if it doesn’t work out the first time, do it again. Failing that (laughs) open up another bottle of wine and enjoy…just have fun.
FO: Besides your joy of cooking what do you do to relax?
LC: I just opened up my restaurant Ruby Watchco… but I’m usually either out in a farmer’s field or with a fisherman or grower. (Laughing)…I’m just looking at Daniel who’s rolling his eyes at me as if to say ‘That’s a hobby?’….OK I confess that’s what I do to relax! But I spend down time with friends like Daniel trying out local products, having a quiet lunch.
FO: What projects are you working on in the near future?
LC: I plan to continue this incredible journey with the show, Pitchin’ In – continuing to showcase the farmers and the growers. I’m thoroughly content with the new chapter in my life – my restaurant Ruby Watchco; my culinary career. It doesn’t take much more to make me happy. I’m doing what I love and am going to enjoy this for a long time. I am hoping...planning to write a book or two and be there for the next generation of chefs. I’m available for them – to share my experiences and inspiration and whatever else I can do.
For more information on Lynn Crawford please go to chefnetworkinc.com
by Sheila LoGuisto
Images supplied by chefnetworkinc.com
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