Bobby Rahman, with more than 15 years of experience in the restaurant industry, continues to refine his craft while he cooks.
He’s been a chef since 2006. Highly influenced by diverse ethnic cooking traditions from all over the world, Bobby created internationally acclaimed cuisine with focus on Canadian traditional cooking that people describe as groundbreaking and highly innovative.
Today we are interviewing Bobby Rahman to find out a little more about his professional career thus far:
What do you love most about what you do as a chef?
Bobby Rahman: I love the challenge of working with many different ingredients and people.I also enjoy challenging myself to think outside the box and coming up with food solutions for people who have never eaten certain foods before! I love cooking because it feels like being half-mom, life coach, problem solver, and magician all at the same time. eople always remember what you cook them more than anything else
What are your personal “hero” dishes?
Bobby Rahman: Pizza is a hero dish to me because it’s something that everyone likes. No one rejects a slice of pizza when offered — making it one of the ‘friendliest foods in terms of cultural diversity. You can eat it with pretty much anybody without offending them; Muslim people like hummus and falafel, Hindus who don’t eat meat are happy with daal-chawal or vegetable curries, vegetarians like roasted potatoes or pumpkin risotto – just about anything goes with pizza!
What has been your dream since you were little?
Bobby Rahman: I’ve been a chef for over 15 years and my goal in life has always been to be the best chef I can be. There really isn’t anything more than that for even 15-year-old-me — who was constantly thinking about being so good a chef that there would be people coming up to me to cook for them personally.
Do you consider cooking as a form of art?
Bobby Rahman: Yes, a chef is an artist.Chefs have a hand in every step of creating their meal – from obtaining ingredients through to plating and serving. They create something that has been inspired by their want for excellence or from sheer creativity. It’s easy for them to see themselves as artists because they put in just as much time and attention into their work as other famous artists.
In your professional opinion, which element of a cake is most important?
Bobby Rahman: Batter is the most important part of a cake. Of course, the ingredients must be properly mixed in and then baked at the right heat long enough for it to cook through as well. And, we can’t forget frosting. Frosting can also make or break a cake as well — so when adding frosting my advice is to make sure that the butter is at room temperature!
Is cooking for a normal person vs a celebrity different for you?
Bobby Rahman: It’s not very different. Outside of, well, the difference is that the average Canadian celebrity has a nutritionist who makes sure they’re getting all of their essential nutrients. Which shouldn’t be relevant to good chefs anyway..
We are always careful in our planning and preparation to take into consideration any special needs or preferences, as well as knowledge about food intolerances when possible. We also try to provide individualized menus for each person. So that we can identify which options are the most appropriate for each client and what modifications may be necessary based on allergies and other restrictions/personal preferences such as preference for vegan or vegetarian.
What is something that stresses you out a lot about being a chef?
Bobby Rahman: As the chef, writing menus and deciding what will be in them is the most stressful for me. Choosing ingredients is also pretty difficult — they need to not only taste good but also look beautiful and work well within your cooking style. Do you take one grain option which limits flexibility but might make eating healthy easier? Or do you offer a variety of grains so guests never get bored with their choices but have more complicated preparations? The latter can require complicated logistics like having two different mills running at once plus staff that are trained for both options (and adjusted schedules). There’s just lots of decisions to make!
What are the 3 basic rules for cooking in the kitchen as a chef?
- The first rule is to have a clean kitchen.
- The second rule is to have all the ingredients, pots and pans you need within arm’s reach.
- The third rule is to never wash anything twice.
As for the rules for successful cooking in the kitchen:
- Having all the ingredients for a dish at hand before cooking can help keep things moving along quickly and ease stress related to pulling together last minute arrangements with partial or incomplete information;
- Having everything clean ensures that dishes created are not wrongly attributed as being dirty or unclean when handled
- Finally – never ever wash any food item twice because this does nothing but deteriorate it which will produce poor tasting results.
Have you ever had any accidents in the restaurant?
Bobby Rahman: Yes, I have. I do my best to avoid them but accidents happen and they’re mostly just a matter of the amount of physical stamina that any given person has at any given time. The most common types of “accidents” are things like splattering grease on clothing or self-cutting hands with kitchen knives. These aren’t in any way life threatening, but they can be dangerous if not dealt with properly which is why we always make sure to never work while tired and always stay alert when cooking under pressure!