At the Pass with Chef Lilian Cardoso

Chef Lilian Cardoso Zebu.jpg


Executive Chef, Zebu Steak + Bar, set to open December 2018.


Sous Chef at Los Colibris and Chef Instructor at Centennial College

Favourite dish to make right now

I’m currently testing different cooking methods with the Cupim, which is a cut of beef from the Zebu breed. I’m creating a dish that consists of this cut and it is my favourite dish to make right now.

Last cookbook bought

 Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting Smoking and Curing by Michael Ruhlman is the most recent cookbook. 

Have you read it/tried any recipes

The book explains how to cure meat and I have been making my own sausage recipe and the book has been a great source of inspiration.

Name one dish or ingredient you’d like to see gone from menus

Deep fried calamari is a bit overdone. It is delicious, but I wouldn’t miss it. 

And one dish or ingredient that you’re excited about right now and would like to see on more menus

Aged meat is exciting. It’s not the easiest or most economic process but much like an aged wine, aged meat is a real treat.

Biggest influences

Helena Rizzo and Alex Atala are both great chefs from Brazil. I admire Jamie Oliver’s work for its simplicity and family-style comfort food. Also, Daniel Humm from Eleven Madison Park. Also, my mom and aunts taught me how to cook and they are fantastic! 

If you could eat at any restaurant in the world

 El Celler de Can Roca.

The last thing you ate 

Indian Food from Savera, a small family-run Indian restaurant located on Saint Clair West.

Three must-have ingredients always in your fridge

Butter, eggs and Dijon. Fresh herbs would definitely be there too, if I had more time to cook at home.

Guilty pleasure

I love butter and salt. 

Top 3 favourite Toronto restaurants, in no particular order

Antler, Dailo, Richmond Station

Top 3 favourite Toronto bars

My favourite bars are Bar Raval, The Drake Hotel, Bar Hop Brewco.

Go-to drink 

I like a nice glass of Pinot Noir.

One habit you have in the kitchen that you should lose, but can’t seem to shake

I snatch kitchen towels from everyone and I misplace mine. Basically, I take the first towel I see that is in front of me.

One habit you have in the kitchen that will inspire young chefs

Organization, if you are not organized you can’t keep up with the many tasks that chefs need to do. 

Name one hidden talent 

I’m pretty handy. I fix broken items in the house: sink, toaster, shower, connecting wires, broken doors, etc. 

The best career advice you ever received 

“Keep working hard and good things will come”- my Mom. 

The worst career advice you ever received

I’ve never received one. If I did, I forgot! Good!

Your advice for a young cook starting out in the business

Be ready to work hard. Don’t be lazy.