inChef Series: Adrian Rusyn, Breakwater
The insauga inChef Series is a new addition to insauga.com which will profile the culinary talent we have in the city we love - Mississauga.inSauga inChef Series
Executive Chef Adrian Rusyn
Breakwater Restaurant at the Waterside Inn
Music or no music in the kitchen?
No music in the (main) kitchen, but there is music in the prep kitchen.
Why is that? Is it because it stresses you out?
No I wouldn't say that, cooking makes me calm.
What did you have for lunch today?
Did I even eat anything today? Hmmmm….I had a bacon and asparagus cream cheese wrap. It's so hard to eat in the kitchen.
How do you find Mississauga’s cuisine compared to our neighbour Toronto?
Toronto can be a pain. You have to leave Mississauga, to go all the way to Toronto, find and pay for parking. It's much easier to eat here in Mississauga. Mississauga has a lot of amazing restaurants and great food.
What moment in your time was the turning point when you realized that being a Chef was your calling?
I always say that I never chose this career, but this career chose me. I truly do feel that. It just happened.
What or who inspires you?
Three Michelin star restaurants. There are only a few selected in a country and there is so much talent at those restaurants. It would be nice to get a Michelin star.
The Waterside Inn has received the CAA four Diamond star rating. Right now the Waterside can't have a five star rating because the property doesn't have certain criteria necessary for five stars, like, a concierge, or valet, etc.
Who inspires me? Gordon Ramsay, Grant Achatz, Thomas Keller, and Ferran Adria. Two of these chefs play with molecular gastronomy.
Do you play with molecular cuisine?
I play with it here and there.
Is Mississauga ready for molecular gastronomy?
Customers are not quite ready yet. The most I will do are foams, or giant pearls also known on one of our menu's as Mango Ravioli. We've had mixed reviews on using molecular gastronomy in our menus. Our kitchen at Breakwater isn't designed for it.
Do you think customers will ever be ready?
Not all of them. However, at private parties, customers want to be wowed, and we can blow them away with molecular gastronomy.
What style of cuisine do you feature at Breakwater?
French, Italian, world cuisine, and a little bit of everything in between. Good, complex flavours, proper seasoning, properly seasoned vegetables. Simple and elegant food, which we try to make our own style. That's what we try to do here at the Breakwater.
How long have you been at Breakwater?
Just over a year as the Executive Chef. This is my second Executive Chef role. I started at the Breakwater in 2004, first as a Cook, then Junior Sous, then Executive Sous, to Executive Chef.
How did this all start for you?
It all started when I was fourteen years old and my Mom got me a job as a dishwasher at The Boulevard Club in Toronto. Within two weeks I got tired of it and moved onto helping out in the kitchen. I received more shifts in the kitchen and it grew from there.
My parents also cook really well at home.
What is your ethnicity?
I am of Polish decent, which transpires into some of my dishes at Breakwater.
Where did you receive your culinary training?
I went to George Brown College Culinary Program
What’s your passion outside of the kitchen?
Hanging out with the little guy. He's my passion since he came into my life… He is at an age now where we can do more together because he can walk.
Do you cook for yourself at home?
Yes and for my family. At home I do more of the home style food that my parents taught me.
What is your best method of managing your time?
Chefs have so many things to manage. I take it day by day. I don't have enough time at the restaurant but utilizing the Executive Sous Chef and my capable talent helps alleviate some of the tasks.
What 3 characteristics does every cook need to become successful in this industry?
The right attitude, self motivation, and proper training.
Would you say you’re an artist?
No, but I guess the creativity in the food I do is almost like art…I think it's art.
What are your top three favorite cuisines?
Sushi, French, and comfort food.
What’s the best meal you ever ate?
The best meal I ever ate was at Alinea in Chicago. I had a 12 course tasting dinner.
What made it the best?
The Chef created your dinner for you. You don't know what you are getting, and the only choice you get to make is whether you'd like a 12 or 24 course tasting dinner. I like to eat anything, it doesn't matter what it is. I appreciate all food.
Do you consider yourself a leader in Mississauga cuisine?
Yes, we are one of the hotspots in downtown cuisine.
What’s next for Mississauga cuisine?
Mississauga cuisine changes with time. I guess it will all depend.
What’s up and coming for the Breakwater Restaurant?
New patio with our new off the grill experience. We have a grill right on the patio. It will be a much simpler menu. The main focus is to open up the restaurant to a younger crowd, 25-35 year old, to have a nice dinner in a fun atmosphere. We want to change things up, having a BBQ lobster nights or steak nights right off of the grill.
What are your favorite restaurants in Mississauga outside of Breakwater?
Chung Gi Wa Japanese and Korean Restaurant, and 88 Vietnamese Restaurant, both on Dundas St. in Mississauga.