Roger Mooking, executive chef and co-owner of Kultura. He trained at George Brown Culinary Management Program, graduated with top honours. In the ’90s, he was percussionist and rapper for award-winning group, Bass Is Base.
Q: What is your fondest memory from your family kitchen?
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A: Spending the entire day making 400 pastels (a mixture of beef, pork, capers, onions & raisins stuffed into a cornmeal paste) with my family in an assembly line, in our small kitchen. Newspaper covered the kitchen table and my mother barked very specific directions.
Q: What kitchen aromas bring back fond memories?
A: Ham being baked in the oven. My dad would stay up all night tending to his ham in the oven on Christmas Eve, so that Christmas morning smelled of ham.
Q: Who is your favourite cook?
A: My grandmother. Isn’t everyone’s favourite cook their grandmother?
Q: What is your favourite food to cook?
A: Pork, pork, pork.
Q: Do you use cookbooks?
A: Next to never, but I read food reference books every spare moment I have.
Q: How did the first meal you prepared turn out?
A: I don’t remember, but I do remember always being in the kitchen and always preparing meals.
Q: What kitchen gadget can’t you live without?
A: My hands, the best kitchen tool ever created.