Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Calgary Restaurateur Connie DeSousa Wins Chef Award at Terroir Food Conference

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Calgary Restaurateur Connie DeSousa Wins Chef Award at Terroir Food Conference

Article excerpt

Calgary restaurateur wins chef at food symposium

--

TORONTO - Not only can Connie DeSousa peel the skin from a pig's head in 49 seconds flat, but the Calgary restaurateur was the winner in the outstanding chef category at a Toronto food conference this week.

The co-owner of Charcut Roast House and a finalist in season 1 of "Top Chef Canada" earned the honour at the Terroir Symposium.

Jeremy Bonia, owner and sommelier of Raymonds in St. John's, N.L., won in the beverage category and Stephen Beckta, proprietor of the three Ottawa restaurants Gezellig, Beckta and Play Food & Wine, won in the service professional category.

The seventh annual conference brought together chefs, food writers, wine and food experts and culinary activists who explored this year's theme, "For the Love of Food: Stories, Memories and Culture."

DeSousa dazzled with her knife-wielding skills as she removed the skin from a pig's head as part of a demonstration on making mortadella sausage. Ground shoulder and back fat mixed with pistachios and other ingredients were then stuffed back into the head, which DeSousa sewed up with butcher's twine. At the Calgary restaurant, it is cooked for nine hours at a low temperature and then sliced and served very simply with a homemade grainy mustard.

DeSousa said she and her mentor, co-chef John Jackson, are "very back to basics" with their philosophy of cuisine. They spent four years cooking in San Francisco before returning to Calgary to open Charcut in February 2010. The restaurant has a custom-built rotisserie and charbroiler and features hand-crafted charcuterie, such as the mortadella.

"We fell in love with the style of cuisine in San Francisco," DeSousa said in an interview. "Everyone knows where their food comes from; people know the first names of their farmers, their butchers. We wanted to bring a piece of that philosophy back to Calgary. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.