If I’m not watching farmhouse renovations, urban farming tips or event decor webinars, I’m most definitely tuned into the Food Network. My passions are multi-layered and when I discover others with more than one passion, I do a special little happy dance. For those who’ve seen my food dance…..let me tell you, this one is even better 😉
After watching Man Fire Food on the Food Network and discovering that I used to sing along with its host in my teen years, I was hooked! Chef Roger Mooking is both a musician and chef who provides North American comfort foods with global twists. His restaurant is also located in one of my favourite places in the city, Read: Pearson International Airport. #travellife
I caught up with Chef Roger and asked a few questions about the man behind the food.
What is the name of your restaurant?
Twist by Roger Mooking – www.twistbyrogermooking.com
What service(s) do you provide? Where can the readers find you?
“Twist by Roger Mooking serves North American comfort foods with a global twist. It’s located at Toronto Pearson International Airport, Terminal 1, Domestic and is accessible post-security so you have to be flying somewhere in Canada to get a seat at the restaurant.
If you’re not flying through the airport, Twist participates in a number of premier culinary events throughout the year such as Toronto Taste, Breeders Cup, and George Brown’s Food Court Social.”
Hopefully by now you guys understand my philosophy behind shopping locally, while maintaining the authentic flavouring of world foods. If we can get it here, let’s use it for the freshest version available, while also supporting Ontario growers. I learned about Chef Roger’s partnership with Sunset Produce and the fact they are the first commercial greenhouse in North America providing fresh produce all year round is super exciting! Check out some of his recipes on the Sunset website
Do you source your ingredients locally?
“We use a mix of local, national and international ingredients as we want to make sure that everything is authentic as well as fresh as possible. So if my Sausage on a Bun recipe needs a great pork sausage and I can satisfy that supply need with a great local product then that is our first choice in most instances. Alternately, I wanna make sure that I get the good Japanese Togarashi for the dusting of the fried chicken so we find suppliers who can get us the proper stuff for that authentic flavour profile.”
How long have you been in business? Or worked in the industry?
“Twist by Roger Mooking has been open since December 2014.
I have worked in the industry for over 25 years, first starting out at a small family restaurant in Edmonton called Albert’s as a line cook. After a number of years as a music artist, I went to culinary school at George Brown culinary college and found myself working as the executive chef at a number of restaurants throughout the Greater Toronto Area. I also started filming television shows for Food Network and Cooking Channel which I still do today. I stay busy with Twist by Roger Mooking as well as a number of other culinary and entertainment based projects.”
How does your identity shape the way you approach your culinary style?
“I suppose my identity is a reflection of my culinary style. I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by so many different cultures from day one, not only from my family background, but also having lived in and traveled to several places. It’s very natural for me to inject some of that experience into the food I make at home, and for customers and various projects.”
As a producer of farm to table events, I’m always excited about food experiences that I can share in. I believe we should be taking more food adventures, having more conversation and restoring the love of culture through food + drink. So, I asked Chef…..
What events do you have coming up for Restoration Farms readers to attend?
“I will be hosting a culinary weekend at Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, ON on October 26th-28th. I will be showcasing my signature style of local ingredients with a global influence.” (more info & register here: Chef Roger Mooking Culinary Weekend )
“I do cater a few select private catering events a year, some are private and some are corporate and it really depends on timing, availability and how much fun its gonna be.”
What’s next for you? Who do you want to connect with?
“The new season of my show Man Fire Food airs on Food Network Canada August 30th at 10 and 10:30 p.m. ET/PT.
I’m always working on multiple things at the same time to satisfy my various creative cravings, everything feeds everything else and it’s a symbiosis that I have come to appreciate as necessary for me. But…I don’t like to talk about stuff I’m working on, I just do it and put it out when its done, so you will have to wait and see.
I have met so many of the people I look up to in music and cooking over the years, but I am truly upset that I never had the opportunity to meet Anthony Bourdain in person.”
I couldn’t agree more, about Anthony Bourdain.
Thank you Chef Roger Mooking – this was great! I look forward to your culinary weekend at Deerhurst, your new season premiere on Food Network and eating at Twist the next time I fly through Terminal 1.
I’m happy to know what YOU guys think, so go experience more of Chef Roger and then let’s chat!
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