I’ve had the luxury of getting to know Jason over the last couple of years and I have to admit I have a little chef’s crush on him. (shhh don’t tell him!)
I met Jason in towards the end of Toronto Taste in 2008. We’d been filming chefs all day for a video series, which sadly never made it anywhere, and asking those standard questions every food interviewer has in their pocket about influences and new trends. Jason was the last chef we talked to and Chef stations were closing up all around us. Even after a full day of prep, wrangling a team of cooks working in a tiny space under a tent, and serving over a thousand friendly and hungry foodistas clamoring for one of Jason’s boudin blanc, he was still sparkling, interesting, charming, and smart.
Oh and did I mention a damned fine chef too? (Of course he is, or I wouldn’t have asked him to participate in this!) The things this man can do with mashed meat makes my heart soar, my mouth sigh and my eyes tear up, just a little bit, out of joy.
In tomorrow’s recipe, you’ll see what Jason can do with beef and how you can do it too!
In the meantime, let’s hear what Jason has to say about Canadian Beef in this quick Q&A.
How do you like your steak?
What do you drink with beef?
What is your favourite cut of Canadian Beef?
All cuts but my faves are rib eye, strip and rump
What cut of beef do you think is under-utilized in home kitchens these days?
Your favourite side dish to go with a nice roast?
Oooh. That’s tough. Potato gratin, mac and cheese, peppery rocket salad, fried mushrooms with truffle, garlic and thyme, good frites with parmesan… too many!
What is your best kitchen tip for working with Canadian Beef?
Treat it with respect. Keep it simple and try not to over cook it.
What do you put on your burger?
100% Canadian cheese, onion and pickle
What is the most adventurous beef dish you’ve seen, made or eaten?
I love beef tongue and tartare. Even both together! I’ve braised whole heads for head cheese and terrine. I once served the whole head to a table of 6. On a platter with pickles, watercress, truffle, mustards and fresh loaves of bread. That was cool. I’d love to be on the receiving end of that one day.
Your favourite seasoning to use with beef?
Cracked black pepper and kosher salt. Keep it simple. Good beef needs nothing else.
A bit more about Jason:
Jason Bangerter is Executive Chef of O&B Canteen and Luma at TIFF Bell Lightbox. Classically trained in London under Chef Anton Mosimann, he cooked in Michelin starred restaurants throughout France and Switzerland for a number of years before returning to Canada to become chef of one of Toronto’s top French restaurants, Auberge du Pommier. At the Auberge, Jason reinterpreted traditional French cuisine with modern flair and creativity, earning the restaurant unprecedented ratings and reviews. Of Jason Bangerter’s cuisine, James Chatto of Toronto Life Magazine once wrote, “Mod French, beautifully finessed with an unusually deft touch where every detail is caressed. The mood of the food is elegant and subtly European.”
Now at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Jason draws on his classic roots to create fresh market, new world cuisine, showcasing magnificent Canadian ingredients. Since opening, Luma has been named one of North America’s Top Ten New Restaurants by Frommer’s Travel Guide, as well as one of Toronto’s top ten by local food reviewer James Chatto, and O&B Canteen has become one of the most frequented restaurants of the King West theatre district.
Jason has won a number of culinary distinctions the most recent of which include being a Top Ten Ontario Culinary Champion at Gold Medal Plates in 2011 and being 2012’s Dairy Farmers of Canada Grate Canadian Grilled Cheese Champion.
Note: this post is the second in my Chefs #LoveCDNBeef on unsweetened.ca series and Canadian Beef Brand Ambassador series. For more information on my relationship with Canada Beef Inc read about my Foodie Adventure: I’m a Canadian Beef Brand Ambassador. #LoveCdnBeef and my disclosure statement