1. Would you please introduce yourself to our reader?
My name is Albert Valentine. I am a chef, restaurant developer, and aspiring TV personality. I am of Lebanese decent, born in Beirut, and moved to Toronto, Canada, when I was young.
2: How Would You Describe Your Overall Cooking Style?
I would say I subscribe to any one cooking style; I do tend to focus more on Mediterranean flavours; however, I can do it all, and I keep practicing, learning, and developing my crafts. It’s a labour of love and passion, so that opens you up to everything.
3: What Can’t You Live Without in the Kitchen?
Simple, my knives are tools of trade and become an extension of you. I feel like every chef will say the same.
4. List some of your favourite food vendors and why you like to work with them.
That’s a hard question. First and foremost, I believe fresh markets and fresh harbour fronts are always better options than big supply chains, especially if your chef travels from country to country, but in Canada, Sysco is always ood. Currently,, currently here in Dubai, Chef Middle East is a great company, and Restofair
5: What foods do you like to pair together, and why?
I have an unhealthy obsession with hummus and steak. Or hummus and chicken, and the reason is because growing up, most Arabs know hummus is no lame, and it was always one of my favourite things to eat. As a gym lover, it’s quick and clean protein.
6: How do you control the quality of the food that goes out to customers?
You know the saying, Treat people as you want to be treated. That’s the same for food; that’s the basics of it. The more advanced answer to this is simply that it’s a reflection of you and the impression you want to leave with the customer. Any true chef knows food is art; art is memorable; it’s emotional; and it’s impactful.
7: In your opinion, what does a good executive chef candidate look like?
I love this question. I’m sure every chef has their own opinion on this, but for me, you need to understand leadership. Yes, it gets loud and gets aggressive and hot in the kitchen, so tempers and words do raise up, but your ability to control it and drive the service down a smooth path is important. You need to be calm at all times and not panic. Mistakes and accidents happen, but when your team is in control, they will follow your lead. Lastly, you need to be creative, willing to push boundaries, and edgy. Being a chef is truly being an artist and a rockstar.
8: What are your future ambitions as a professional chef?
My future lies on TV. I know that when I’m in front of the camera, I have so much joy. I want to travel the world, show people culture and food, and bring people together through the beauty of food. It’s what God put me on earth to do, aside from that future project, which will hopefully open a few locations for myself down the road.