The Food Services team had a chance to speak with Chef Rene from the CampusOne residence. Here’s what we discussed!

Q: What inspired you to be a Chef?
My older brother was a Chef and my father was a Sicilian farmer. I grew up in a family where we grew our own vegetables, made our own wine, grew and canned our tomatoes. My mother also worked in a butcher shop so she would always bring home the bones, and make excellent soups. I grew up in a very food oriented family.

Q: What would be your ultimate cooking experience?
I’d love to learn to cook a new cuisine in an entirely isolated culture, in a region I’ve never been to before like maybe the Himalayan mountains, or even somewhere in a remote part of Finland.

Q: What is your greatest challenge?
I am always thinking about how to convey to students what’s in the food we create, the ingredients and the flavours.

Q: What advice would you pass along to prospective chefs?
That it’s a very physically demanding profession with very long hours, it’s definitely not what you see in an edited version of a TV food show!

Q: What’s your favourite food?
Definitely anything that is home made and Italian.

Q: What has been your best dining experience ever?
Generally, anything that I ate growing up in Sicily, I still remember the flavours on my tongue, it’s hard to surpass the taste of the things that we would pick from our own garden and then cook and prepare that same day.

Q: What is your favourite saying?
“Rede wenig aber wahr vieles reden bringt gefahr”. It’s a German expression that basically translates to ‘don’t say too much, just say what’s important’.

Q: What’s your philosophy of life?
Pretty much anything that keeps me alive!