Okay, I have to fess up, I’ve never met Jonny. In fact, even after all our email exchanges, I feel a little unsure if using Jonny instead of Jonathan is really okay, but we all know I take liberties.
However, I have met his food. And introduced other people to it. I have had him in my home, spent hours with him, late at night, when my spouse was asleep… but he was in the TV at the time cooking up a storm on Top Chef Canada, so I doubt he remembers spending all that time with me.
Jonny’s playfulness with his food really excited me when I watched him on Top Chef, and when I got to eat it at Sidedoor Contemporary Kitchen & Bar I was blown away. Plates and plates of fantastic food with beautiful combinations of flavours. Jonny deftly balances his ingredients, his dishes and his menu in a way that seduces you with both power and delicacy. (A metaphor that perhaps the guys who work further up the Hill could learn from.)
The tag line for Sidedoor is Make Tacos Not War, and Jonny’s tacos definitely are fantastic.
Though more and more these days I lean towards his bigger, richer, meatier dishes.
That’s why when I was compiling my list of Chefs for Chefs #LoveCDNBeef, his name came up early, so I was totally delighted when I reached out and he agreed to be one of the Chefs participating in Chefs #LoveCDNBeef!
I’m excited to share his dish with you in a day or two, but for now take a moment to learn a little bit about Chef Jonny Korecki.
Quick Fire Questions:
What is your favourite cut of Canadian Beef?
What cut of beef do you think is under-utilized in home kitchens these days?
Do you have a specific butcher, farm or vendor you go to to get your Canadian Beef?
How do you like your steak?
What do you drink with beef?
Cold hoppy beer or big red wines
Your favourite side dish to go with a nice roast?
Roasted new potatoes and green onions
Your favourite seasoning to use with beef?
Kosher salt, cracked black pepper and crispy shallots
What do you put on your burger?
Mayo, pickled peppers, tomato.
What is your best kitchen tip for working with Canadian Beef?
Make sure it rests after cooking to allow the blood to reabsorb into the meat.
Who else does beef right, i.e. what is best restaurant (other than yours) to order Canadian beef (any style)?
Richmond St. Station
What is the most adventurous beef dish you’ve seen, made or eaten?
Whole cow roasts in Argentina.
[wow, that would be very cool to see and try – lex]
A bit more about Jonathan:
Jonathan Korecki started his culinary career early in life in his parents gardens and grandparents farms. Always interested in local and seasonal produce it was natural for him to begin working in kitchens as soon as possible. By the time he was 18 he moved to Vancouver from his home in Caledon Ont. to seek more culinary training. Since then he has worked all over the country, finished culinary training at le Cordon Bleu Ottawa, and was a finalist on Top Chef Canada season 2.
His first chef job at Sidedoor Contemporary Kitchen & Bar in Ottawa has seen great response, open less than 2 years and making it into Maclean’s magazine’s top 100 restaurants in Canada. Chef Korecki is very passionate about different culinary techniques from around the world, delivering globally influenced food fused with locality.
Note: this post part of 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
Photo credit: the photograph of Jonny was provided by Jonny since the closest I have of a photo of him is this one (which I also suspect is not him even though he was in the kitchen that night):