This best-in-class approach means attracting a team of top-rated cooks.
For our Executive Chef Takashi Ito, it means enjoying your work and being inspired. “If I have fun and enjoy what I am doing, those around me will be motivated.” Not only is Chef having fun in the kitchen, but he works to create new ways to challenge, yet still encourage his team to elevate their craft.
Take, for example, the recent black box challenge he presented to Chef Manpreet Sethi, AURA’s Restaurant Chef. Manpreet was given two proteins, three vegetables, two herbs, one cheese and one hour to create an entrée that would set a foodie’s taste buds to, “level: mouth-watering.” However, the goal isn’t to send Chef Sethi to the kitchen with an insurmountable task. Chef Ito’s desire is to pair Manpreet’s masterful culinary skills with a varied selection of ingredients, to see how he will bring them together in the final dish in such a limited amount of time.
Chef and Manpreet work together with Pastry Chef Kimberley Vy to continuously raise our restaurant’s collective culinary game. A trio of trained professionals (say that three times quickly) know that working together creates an unmatched dining experience. Together with their teams, they taste and perfect new recipes, discover flavour profiles, and collaborate to pair their dishes with perfectly selected wines, whiskeys, and beers.
This best-in-class approach to a kitchen environment means that Chef Ito, Manpreet, and Kim are also attracting a team of top-rated cooks who appreciate the comradery-meets-healthy competition setting in the back of house.
So, was this mystery box task only for fun? Not exactly. Manpreet is competing in the province-wide Canadian Culinary Federation (Fédération Culinaire Canadienne) CCFCC Senior Culinary challenge to be held at Camosun College in March. Chef Ito has the confidence that this on-the-job test will help Manpreet thrive in the high-stakes competition. Stay tuned to see how well he does – both at Camosun and if he wins, in Charlottetown PEI at the National Convention.
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