Interview with Chef Geoff Rogers

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

Chef Geoff Rogers

Chef Geoff Rogers

Calgary-born Chef Rogers had his first job when he was 16 working in a café/bakery making sandwiches. After high school he worked in the restaurant industry as an expediter and quickly crossed into the kitchen of that same restaurant working his way up to a Sous Chef. From there after opening a restaurant as their chef, he joined Madisons Café working his way up to head chef. He then took a step backwards joining Ric’s Grill as a line cook working his way up to Sous Chef while there for 2 years where he ended up writing the feature menus for the company. He then wanted to find the hardest restaurant in Calgary, and worked at Muse. Next he was on to the Red Door Bistro where he started as a Line Cook and worked his way up to the Sous Chef, River Café was next for a year, then after taking a year off he worked as the GM for 8 months at the Fresh Kitchen. Then he got a job as the Head Chef at Home Tasting Room, while he was there he applied to Top Chef Canada. After leaving Home Tasting Room he was offered an Exec Chef position at a new restaurant where he got to make all of the food and he started there right after Top Chef and the 1st episode aired. The restaurant was an instant success and they sold out every night. One day soon after leaving that restaurant he was doing a Visa Infinite dinner in Banff, he ended up running into his friend Trevor Bird and that conversation resulted in his moving to Vancouver to become the Chef de Cuisine at Fable Kitchen where he worked for over a year. After a brief trip back home to Calgary he got a call from Blacktail in Vancouver and he has been the Executive Chef there ever since to this day.

You can follow Chef Geoff Rogers on twitter @Chef_Rogers

 

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What drives you to make the restaurants you work at happen?

An idea of what a good restaurant should be. It is enjoyable to be a chef to do things, to make the restaurant cooler. Create excitement to do the right things.

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You grow your own herbs in your restaurant, how did you put the urban cultivator in the restaurant?

I wanted the cooks to have the inspiration to water and take care of it, also to put some ‘green’ into the restaurant at Blacktail. Some actual elements of nature. I brought in Victory Gardens to set-up the cultivation of micro-greens they managed to set it up and running, we are now growing wheatgrass as well.

What is your view of Plant Based cuisine?

It is good food, I personally don’t eat a lot of meat, it’s mostly vegetarian for me. On the other hand, I am cooking what the people want to eat. I am in Gastown and we have to give them what they want which is meat forward, however I do try to add as many vegetarian dishes as I can.

1st dish:

Bison Tartare

Bison Tartare

Bison Tartare

Bison

Spelt crackers

Kale puree

Truffle aioli

What was your inspiration behind this dish?

Just to use Bison and doing it rare was the final idea and being delicious.

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What are your favourite Food to eat?

Salads

Curries

Dan dan noodles

Greek salad

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What is your personal daily diet?

I eat 4 times a day by snacks, less dairy, more coconut milk, less meat, more vegetarian, smoothies for breakfast

What are your favourite restaurants to eat at in Vancouver outside of where you work?

L’Abattoir

Burdock & Co.

Tacofino Gastown

Fable Kitchen

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2nd dish:

Duck & Waffles

Duck & Waffles

Duck & Waffles

Amaranth waffle

Candy apple gel

Brown butter powder

Crystalized red hibiscus

Fois & duck liver mousse

What was your inspiration behind this dish?

Trying to be creative take the chicken and waffle idea and flip the idea to a mousse, brown butter, then jam, redone and using technique.

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What are your favourite restaurants to eat outside of Vancouver?

Bremner in Montreal

Anju in Calgary

Model Milk in Calgary

Maison Publique in Montreal

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What do you like to do in your Off Time?

Run

Read a lot

Enjoy being outside

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What is your view of Colour on the Plate?

Product of what we are using, think about the flavours first, then I intensify it which ends up using and making and colours. Vibrant plating looks good.

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3rd dish:

72 Hour Sous Vide Shortrib

72 Hour Sous Vide Shortrib

72 Hour Sous Vide Shortrib

Vegetable resin

Basil gel

Scallop potato pave

Brussel sprouts

Butter poached radish

What was your inspiration behind this dish?

I did a Top Chef Canada dinner at Fable Kitchen and I did a short rib dish, I wanted to use simplicity, not simple.

Do you have any formal culinary training?

No, it is all based on experience, I learned from so many of the greatest chefs and the hardest working people.

 

4th dish:

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake – deconstructed

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake – deconstructed

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake – deconstructed

Ricotta pumpkin mash

Lemon zest

Cinnamon

Roast pumpkin

Maple crumb

Cinnamon

Butternut maple puree

Maple ice cream

Created by my Pastry Chef Rob Arnold

Stay tuned for the next chef in the Dishing with the Chef series.

By: Richard Wolak