Interview with Chris Janik

Chris Janik | Vancouver

Vancouver is home to some of the best pastry chefs in the world, many have worked for the top chefs and restaurants around the world as well as around the city. Star Pastry Chefs is a series of Interviews with some of the top chefs in and around Vancouver.

What is your role at Miku Restaurant? Please describe in detail.

I am the Pastry Chef and I am responsible for all the desserts. Every two days I add two new dessert features, the dessert menu can change quite often. I joined Miku so I could have the freedom to create and the GM and staff welcomed me and gave me the freedom.

Where did you do your training to become a Pastry Chef?

I trained in Vancouver at VCC in a 1 year program.

How long have you been involved in the restaurant industry?

12 years

Where did you work prior to joining Miku?

I worked at Urban Fare in the bakery when they first opened as the Pastry Chef and then worked in the same position at Super Valu in Coquitlam. I then worked at Cioppino’s Restaurant in Yaletown and then came to Miku.

What are your favourite three desserts that you make?

1) Pannecota

2) Passion Fruit Sorbet

3) Chocolate Chestnut Slice

What do you most love about being a pastry chef?

To be creative, invent interesting textures, the activity, always wanted to present the true flavours especially in sorbet.

Have you been competing in a pastry award competition?

I haven’t yet however, I would be interested to compete in the future.

What tips would you offer young pastry chefs just getting started?

Inventing your own recipes and being aware of what is happening around you.

What cities do you like for culinary travel?

Paris and Vienna

I understand you were in Europe recently, tell us about one of the places you visited that provided you inspiration and ideas for your pastry making.

I went to see Sudaharu Aoki in Paris, France. It is a Japanese pastry shop that makes wonderful pastries, I wanted to see what they were presenting to their French clientele.

What are your goals and dreams as a pastry chef?

One day to return to Krakow, Poland where I grew up and open my own pastry shop there.

I love your Chocolate Chestnut Cake, tell me what inspired you to create this?

Chocolate Opera Cake, I wanted to change it and Japanese flavours, I replaced the ganache with chestnuts (Japanese people love chestnuts). Dalloyou in Paris is the home of Opera Cake).

What do you consider to be the five must have ingredients in your pantry?

Flour, Sugar, Eggs, Milk and Cocoa

Who are some of your mentors? What have you learned from them?

Thomas Haas – he was the first to bring in quality products, I like how he displays and serves his products.

If you weren’t a pastry chef what do you think you’d be doing?

When I was growing up I wanted to be a Priest, however plans change and I became a Pastry chef. Asking me this question now, I would like to be publish my own cookbook with desserts that I have created at Miku.

See Part 2 as we go behind the scenes with Chris into the kitchen.

By: Richard Wolak