Chef profile: Connie DeSousa
Calgary native chef Connie DeSousa is using her skills and expertise to put the city’s culinary scene on the map. As co-executive chef and co-owner of Charcut Roast House in Calgary, and a Top Chef Canada finalist, Connie has worked hard to showcase her culinary talent and creativity. She's trained and staged at many award-winning restaurants including Chef Michael Tusk's Quince restaurant in San Francisco. It was there that she became inspired by the importance of locally sourced ingredients, a philosophy she brought back home with her to Calgary. With lots of experience under her belt, Connie shares with us some of her go-to kitchen equipment, must-have meals and more.
1 What tools do you use in your kitchen on a daily basis?
Sausage stuffer, scimitar and lip-gloss.
2 What tools do you love, but don't use quite as often?
Shark skin fresh wasabi grater, quail egg scissors, and food styling tweezers.
3 What is the one kitchen item you can't live without?
My co-chef John Jackson.
4 Describe your kitchen style.
Disciplined with the highest expectations and a mentor to help young cooks reach their full potential.
5 What are some of your favourite cookbooks?
Cook it Raw, Garde Manger by Chuck Hughes, Faviken and Kitchen Scraps by Pierre Lameille. He has a new book coming out and I can't wait to get it!
6 What is your favourite thing to cook/bake?
All things sausage!
7 What food item are you obsessing over right now?
Chicken skin, ramen, everything growing in our Urban Garden.
8 Favourite spice/herb?
Piri Piri, coriander and sorrel are on the top of my list right now.
9 Strangest thing you have ever eaten?
McDonalds chicken nuggets.
10 Best dish you've ever eaten?
I love whenever my Co-Chef John makes his batch of Meatballs with Sunday Gravy. He was taught by his old Chef Joe in Jersey. There's nothing like them, they're so simple and comforting!
11 Favourite childhood food?
Portugese breakfast, which consists of linguica sausage with fried eggs.
12 Favourite food destination?
San Francisco. It's my second home!
13 Tea or coffee?
14 Biggest guilty pleasure (food wise)?
Poutine fried in duck fat and served with a side of white vinegar.
Lead image from dansgoodside.com