At The Pass with Chef Ash MacNeil

Chef Ash MacNeil Farmhouse Tavern.jpeg

Currently

Farmhouse Tavern, Co-Head Chef

Formerly

Ruby WatchCo, La Palette

Favourite dish to make right now

I’m loving making fresh pasta, and anything with foie gras.

Last cookbook bought

Not usually one to buy cookbooks, I received Farm to Chef: Cooking Through the Seasons by Lynn Crawford for Christmas this past year.

Have you read it/tried any recipes

I read it cover to cover and have definitely enjoyed the Pear & Blue Cheese Salad with Tamarind Vinaigrette – so tasty!

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

Avocado toast – it’s tasty and I enjoy it, but enough already. :)

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

I’m just mostly excited about more chefs using local, fresh Ontario ingredients in more places on their menus.  Ontario has so much to offer, and I just want to see the delicious bounty everywhere.

Biggest influences

Chef Eoin Ramsbottom, Sam Ravenda, Chef Tara Lee, Chef Ivana Raca.

If you could eat at any restaurant in the world

Felix Trattoria in Venice, California

The last thing you ate

Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza from Double D’s. 

Three must-have ingredients always in your fridge

Onions, Garlic, Butter.

Guilty pleasure

Frank’s Best from Maker Pizza – caramelized onion, goat cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, roasted garlic, rosemary, sea salt, sesame crust, honey.

Top 3 favourite Toronto restaurants, in no particular order

Wynona, Brothers, OddSeoul.

Top 3 favourite Toronto bars

Eastbound Brewing Company, The Ceili Cottage, The Caledonian.

Go-to drink

A pint of stout.

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

I definitely should sharpen my knives more regularly than I do.

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

Keep your work station clean! Clean as you go!

Name one hidden talent

Pickling!!!!

The best career advice you ever received

It’s not necessarily being the best or most talented that’s going to help you go places – it’s how hard you are willing to work and learn, from Chef Eoin Ramsbottom, Terroni – Sud Forno.

Your advice for a young cook starting out in the business

Your dishwasher is the most important member of your team.  Without them, you are done…Treat them well, feed them well!