10 Questions with Renee Lavallee (The Canteen: Dartmouth, NS)

10 Questions with Renee Lavallee (The Canteen: Dartmouth, NS)

September 17, 2015

We asked Chef Renee Lavalle – The Feisty Chef from Dartmouth’s The Canteen – 10 tasty questions to get to know her better:

1. What does “good food” mean to you?
 Anything that is seasonal, local & shared with friends and family.

2. What was the last meal you ate that you loved?
 For The Canteen’s 1st anniversary, I did a big family style spaghetti & meatballs dinner with my staff & friends. The combination of good times, good food, shared with the ones I love & admire the most made to a most memorable meal.

3. What’s your favourite dish to share with friends and family?
I love to make soup, and anytime we have friends over, I often make a batch of my Seafood Chowder. It’s satisfying and I serve it with a loaf of our crusty sourdough bread.

4. What’s your favourite ingredient to work with?

5. If you could pick anyone to cook for, who would it be?
Charlie & Jenn Part of Les Fougeres in Chelsea; they inspired me and have made me the cook that I am. I would be honored to have them eat at my table.

6. What’s your most beloved food from childhood?
My mom’s baked beans; she makes them with salted pork, lard, onions & lots of garlic. I eat them with a sprinkling of brown sugar.

7. What’s your favourite song to listen to in the kitchen?
Strangely enough, when I’m by myself, I have a tendency to listen to Lionel Richie and Genesis. Strange combination, but it works.

8. What do you think needs to change in Canada’s food system?
Education; I hear people talking about how they wished they knew how to cook certain things, or how to cook more healthy; manage their kitchen time. Especially with families. How do you put a healthy and tasty meal on the table after a long day at work?

9. Why do chefs make great advocates for change?
We have experience, knowledge and many of us have been in similar situations.

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.
They are a small farm, but Jamie & Sarah Fisher of Off Beet Farm in Cow Bay , NS, are my food heroes. They educate by giving workshops on how to grow sustainable, how to ferment, how to garden, etc. They are at the farmers market every week talking to people, explaining what they have/how to eat/cook it/how to grow it. They love having people visit the farm to meet them, to help them out, to feed the chickens, etc. I love these 2 and think they offer my community a lot