In the Kitchen with...

Chef of the Month is Brandon Pridie,  Winner of 2011 OCA Farm to Fork Scholarship

What encouraged you to become a chef?

Working in restaurants at a young age, and really enjoying the work I did!

Who has the most influence on you and your style of cooking?

As for as Okanagan Chefs, I’m definitely influenced by Chef Bernard Casavant (Manteo Resort), Chef Rod Butters & James Hanna (RauDZ Regional Table) and Chef Chris VanHooydonk/Chef Jonathan Thauberger (Burrowing Owl Winery).  I have had the privilege to be in the kitchen with all of these chefs and strive to follow their example of professionalism and innovation.

Where did you begin your culinary career?

I started cooking on Vancouver Island, but I believe my culinary career started at Fresco Restaurant in Spring 2005, my first Gardemanger position in a fine-dining restaurant.

How old where you when you realized you liked to cook? 

About 16.  My first job at Rickys Restaurant in Ladysmith. 

What is your favourite style of cooking?

I really enjoy Oriental cooking, but French cooking would have

to be my favourite.

What advice do you have for anyone who aspires to

become a chef?

Be prepared for hard work, and don’t go thinking you’re

going to be the next celebrity chef!

What chef do you feel is setting trends in your field today?

Grant Achatz and Ferran Adria, two chefs that the culinary world is still trying to catch up to.

Is there an ingredient you can’t be without and why?

Yes- passion is essential in all cooking.

What is your favourite cookbook?

My notebook(s), it holds the collective knowledge of what I’ve done, things I’ve seen and ideas for the future.

What are your hobbies?

Camping, biking, fishing, gardening, kayaking, eating, traveling and I hope to begin wild game hunting in the future.

What do you do to relax, unwind, and de-stress?

Simply “veg” out at home.

What is your food guilty pleasure?

Wasabi Izakaya (Downtown Kelowna), Ebi-Chili Mayo

If you were having a dinner party and could invite any three people who would that be?

Grant Achatz, Anthony Bourdain and Marco Pierre White - it would have to be epic!

If you were in a food fight, who would you want on our team and why?

James Hanna, Ask the carrot why!