Powell River chef profile: Chris Harvey

Restaurant you currently are working at:

Town Centre Hotel, Garden Court and TC’s

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How long have you been in the restaurant industry?

17 years

Why did you decide to become a chef?

It’s fun! Customer interaction. Adrenaline rush from a busy service. Pride in the accomplishments of our team and our business. But of course, satisfied customers are the number-onegoal. That’s what we’re all here for.

Who has been your biggest influence?

My grandmas. I’ve always being lucky enough to enjoy home-cooked family meals from a young age; that always had me interested in what was going on in the kitchen. One was a beekeeper, very deeply involved in agriculture; the other was an avid gardener, with whom I started picking homegrown berries and vegetables at a very young age.

Describe your style of cooking:

It’s all about flavour! If the food doesn’t taste good, you need to try again. Flavours, textures, smell. All important.

Favourite item on your current menu:

Our Crispy Chicken and Thick-cut Bacon Burger. It has all of the above: big flavours, different textures, and of course, Paradise Valley Produce’s mixed leaves. I’d call it one of the best burgers in town.

What is your signature dish?

Fettuccine alfredo, with homemade pesto stirred through the sauce, and some nice chunky chicken breast. That one wins every time.

Favourite meal to prepare at home:

I can make a mean curry: beef, fish, chicken, vegan. Indian and other Southern Asian cooking styles are so versatile.

What’s your favourite food memory?

Getting to see the Donghuamen Night Market in Beijing. Some of it was a novelty, but it was also very interesting to see all the small producers who would turn up every night and genuinely be excited for you to eat their food. I will also always remember the first dinner I ever cooked my (unbeknown to me at the time) future wife.

Are there any foods you don’t like to eat?

Can’t say I’ve ever enjoyed an oyster.

Childhood comfort food:

Sausage rolls or mac ‘n’ cheese.

Favourite kitchen equipment or gadget:

Stick blender, or just a regular blender. The consistency of a perfectly pureed soup is art.

Aside from your restaurant, what is your favourite place to eat in Powell River, and what do you usually order?

Always enjoy the bread and pastries at Nancy’s Bakery. They make a killer date bar. And the Seasider does a great Scotch egg.

Who in the food world do you most admire?

Bakers, pastry chefs.. the early mornings, the precision in their work. Incredible patience.

If you could cook for anyone, who would it be?

My teachers who helped me on my way to becoming a chef. To show them that their efforts weren’t in vain.

What advice do you have for someone who wants to become a chef?

Two things. 1. Don’t get discouraged. It’s incredibly easy to take a negative customer’s feedback or a fellow employee’s comments and turn it into something more than it needs to be; stay focused on what you can do and you’ll overcome these negatives. 2. You will have to work hard, all the time, to be successful. And have fun. You’re a chef remember? You wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t fun.

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