10 Questions with Jamie Harling (Deane House: Calgary, AB)

10 Questions with Jamie Harling (Deane House: Calgary, AB)

We asked Chef Jamie Harling from Deane House in Calgary 10 tasty questions to get to know him better:

1. What does “good food” mean to you?
Good food means food that is sustainably and ethically raised, that is healthy and accessible to everyone. It is food that is delicious, nutritious and makes you happy.

2. What was the a meal you ate that you loved?
A restaurant meal I loved was at the recently opened Charbar in East Village. Chef Jessica decided to feed us, and served us course after course of absolute deliciousness.

The last meal I loved at home was two weeks ago when my fiancé and I had family and friends over and everyone brought a dish and a beverage pairing. It was a perfect night of family, friendship and great food.

3. What’s your favourite dish to share with friends and family?
My favourite dish to share with friends and family is roast chicken, served with a nice bread salad and mustard vinaigrette. Super simple yet super delicious.

4. What’s your favourite ingredient to work with?
My favourite ingredient to work with changes with what is currently in season. When something is at its best it needs to be celebrated, whether it’s Asparagus in May or Beets in September. There is nothing better than the taste and smell of freshly harvested ingredients.

5. If you could pick anyone to cook for, who would it be?
I would love an opportunity to cook for my grandfather. He died while I was still at a young age and way before I decided to do this for a profession. As my cooking career has moved along, I have started to realize that he is a big part of the reason why I love what I do. He instilled values in me, taught me to know where my food comes, and showed me how to love what you do.

Thomas Kellar is another person I would love to have an opportunity to cook for.

6. What’s your most beloved food from childhood?
Wild Blueberry Pancakes while sailing on my grandparents boat in Georgian Bay.

7. What’s your favourite song to listen to in the kitchen?
That’s a hard question and changes all the time. Currently I have been listening to the Lumineers and the Bahamas.

8. What do you think needs to change in Canada’s food system?
Good Food needs to be made more accessible to everyone. Local food systems need to be supported and made more accessible to lower income individuals and families. Small farms need more support from all levels.

The idea of what ‘fast food’ is needs to change. It needs to be healthy, it needs to utilize local produce and it needs to be convenient and approachable for all income levels. Good food can be fast food as well.

Gardening, farming and cooking need to be taught to children so that they grow up knowing where food comes and respecting how much work it takes to get it from seed to plate.

9. Why do chefs make great advocates for change?
Chefs are great advocates for change because currently the industry has a bigger spotlight than we are used to and people trust what we are doing. Whether this spotlight is deserved or not, it provides Chefs with a unique opportunity to step up to the plate and advocate for change.

Chefs are the connection between farmer and consumer and we have the opportunity and ability to showcase the great product that the farmer is producing.

10. Name and describe a person/organization that you believes does inspiring work in helping to build a fairer, healthier, and/or sustainable food system.
Joshna Maharaj, the Assistant Director of Food Services and Executive Chef of Ryerson University. Joshna is a very important person in regards to building a fairer, healthier, and sustainable food system. Whether it was her time at the Stop, at Sick Kids or now at Ryerson University, Joshna is an advocate for local, sustainable, from scratch cooking. I had the opportunity to meet Joshna while I was at Culinary school and she has been an inspiration ever since.