Chef Anna Gedalof
1. Where do you hang your apron, so-to-speak?
2. How would you describe your kitchen?
Havergal College is a prestigious private school for girls. Our kitchen serves nutritious and delicious food to the Havergal students and staff. We are a very busy kitchen and our team of seven feeds hundreds of people everyday. We make every effort to serve food that is made from scratch and has been locally sourced.
3. Favourite piece of Chef Works gear?
The Marrakesh chef coat. Far too many women chefs are walking around in men’s chef jackets and don’t even know how uncomfortable they are.
4. What was your first cooking job?
It was at a restaurant in Tel Aviv called Café Europa. It was a trendy, chic bar serving upscale food. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing but an Aussie chef by the name of Michael Pyke decided to take a chance on me. After about 20 minutes of training they threw me onto sauté for my sink or swim moment. Luckily I floundered through and went on to learn an incredible amount there ranging from butchery to pasta to pastry.
5. Where do you get your cooking inspiration?
A chef by the name of Rima Olvera, a relentlessly talented chef with an outstanding restaurant, named Oasis, located in Tel Aviv. Rima taught me what it means to honour an ingredient and to let that honour and respect shape a dish. At Oasis we sourced everything at the daily market, hand selecting every piece of produce, seafood and meat that would be served at the restaurant. We changed the menu whenever needed and it was not a matter of simply what was available, but rather what was so perfect, or so beautiful that we simply had to build a dish around it. Under Rima’s training I learned to understand how to run a kitchen and hone a team that works together to bring out the best in each other. Rima taught me the importance of striving for perfection everyday.
6. What would you say is your specialty dish?
I don’t know about a specialty dish per se, but my favourite dish that I ever made was a rosemary sheep’s milk Panna Cotta with fresh persimmon and a blueberry lavender cream.
7. What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
8. What is your favourite things to do when not cooking?
A walk on the beach with my dogs is my favourite way to reset and relax when away from work.
9. What is the latest project you are currently working on?
Every Monday at Havergal we participate in “Meatless Mondays” and I make a vegan Buddha Bowl. Over the last few months I have spent a great deal of effort to refine these dishes into something that is beautiful, nutritious, satisfying and almost entirely local. Working closely with 100KM Foods we have been able to source incredible local ingredients that have meant that even in the dreary Canadian winters we have been able to bring beautiful, tasty, plant-based nutrition to our community.
10. Please tell your all-time favourite culinary tip:
Follow Chef Anna Gedalof on social media!