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A Conversation With Keith Pears

Keith Pears is a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen. He has been in the food business for over 20 years, racking up an impressive resume as winner of Canada's Great Kitchen Party, Executive Chef for Delta Hotels, Toronto and most recently taking on the new role of Executive Chef at the W Toronto (Opening 2021).


Your feed is filled with delicious looking meat! What is your 5-step guide to cooking the perfect steak?

  1. Let the steak sit at room temp for 10-20 minutes. A cold steak will cook unevenly.

  2. Use a cast iron pan to retain the most heat possible and get a meat caramelization (maillard) effect.

  3. Cook 6-7 minutes med-high each side (time will vary depending on thickness of steak)

  4. Baste your steak with garlic, herbs, shallots, and melted butter during the last 2 minutes.

  5. Even after you take it off the heat, it's still cooking. Let your steak rest for 10 minutes to capture the juices.

What are 5 ingredients everyone needs in their kitchen?

  1. Fish sauce - for salt & umami

  2. Finishing vinegars

  3. Lemon

  4. Flaky sea salt

  5. Onions - one of the most diverse ingredients

  6. A great stock - you can make your own with cheap bones

Who are you listening to in the kitchen? I've been listening to a lot of Toronto artists. Drake, [Justin] Bieber and Anders. I've also been playing a lot of Bryson Tiller and then a lot Spotify R&B mixes. We love to see a chef who's into sneakers. What are your top 5 in the rotation?

  1. Jordan 4 'Oreo'

  2. Nike Air Max 97 'Olympic Red'

  3. Nike Blazer Low 'Peach'

  4. Nike Flyknit Racers

  5. Clogs! I have a casual pair and a Gucci pair for special occasions

Finally, a lot has changed since COVID took over. How do you think dining could change after it's over? I think food will have to get simpler - fewer touches in the kitchen and less sharing style cuisine. It's sad but I think tapas is going to fade. I also think drive-in dining is going to make a big comeback like back in the day where they're bring burgers to your window in the parking lot. Patio season will have to start to be year round but I'm not sure how yet. Lastly, food apps and ghost kitchens are going to keep popping up and becoming more popular. Low-lift, low personal contact and quick service.


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