Powell River chef profile: John Walls

Restaurant you currently are working at:  

Modern Peasant

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How long have you been in the restaurant industry?

26 years

Why did you decide to become a chef?

Mom wasn’t a great cook.

Who has been your biggest influence?

A chef in White Rock.

Describe your style of cooking:

Modern and simple with a rustic twist. I let the quality of ingredients standout

Favourite item on your current menu:

Wild mushroom ragu chicken cacciatore

What is your signature dish?

Chicken cacciatore

Favourite meal to prepare at home:

Seafood bouillabaisse

What’s your favourite food memory?

I was 14 years old, working my first shift in a french restaurant and experiencing all the scents and textures. It really changed my perception of what food could be.

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

Uni (sea urchin)

Childhood comfort food:

Nothing my mother made [laughing], but I liked my stepmother’s turkey stuffing.

Favourite kitchen equipment or gadget:

Offset spatula, I can’t live without it

Aside from your restaurant, what is your favourite place to eat in town?

Little Hut Curry

Who in the food world do you most admire?

The dishwashers 

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

My grandfather who has passed.

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

Start young and stay fit. This job is very physically and mentally demanding so you need to have a healthy outlet to release your stress.

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