inChef Series: Bevan Terry, Rogues Restaurant
Executive Chef Bevan Terry
Twenty three years and still cooking, Executive Chef Bevan Terry has got to be doing something right. His secret - start with the best ingredients to create simply prepared food. According to Chef Terry "you can't screw that up (but I suppose you can, but you really shouldn't).”
Chef Terry has been an integral part of the longevity and success of Rogues Restaurant located on Dundas St. W in Mississauga and this year marks their 27th year - a tenure that's hard to achieve, especially in the food scene.
His humble beginning…
Chef Terry's craving to experiment in the kitchen started at a young age. While his mom was recovering from a back condition, his dad had taken a part time job and while doing so Chef Terry and his sister were left with extremely simple dishes that they were to reheat. He wanted to add, as he calls it "a little zing, a little zip, a little something" to their meals, and it was then that started his desire to cook.
Seasonal stars like beets, heirloom tomatoes, and fiddleheads inspire Chef Terry in his creation of menus. A lover of farmers markets and dealing direct with the growers, he has a tomato lady, the bean man, fiddlehead supplier, and his mushroom guy. As stated by Chef Terry "a lot of what we are cooking at the restaurant is inspired by what is available to us."
Fascination with food trucks…
"I really like watching that food truck Eat St. (television show on the Food Network)…it is very interesting to see how those people can take a very confined spot and work. In some cases you've got five people in that little truck and I'm looking at them thinking that the five people are about the same size as my line!"
The gentle giant inspiration…
"There is no real one person that inspires me, but there are a bunch of Chefs that I suppose I look up to and Michael Smith would one. I like his approach, good, honest approach to food. And he's just such a nice guy. I've had the chance to work with him and he's just the same as he is on TV. He's just such a super nice guy - straightforward and simple".
The power of food…
Chef Terry is driven by the instant gratification of completing a dish and states "there's something about seeing people who are happy on the other side of the counter. You look over and someone has had a shitty day, they come in, they have a nice glass of wine, and you give them a nice plate…and all of a sudden things aren't so bad, (food) can change the way someone's day is going".
His key to success…
"I think it's about finding the right people and anyone that works in the kitchen has to have a few screws loose!" With the need for things done yesterday in the food service world, he finds that there is a lot of adrenaline that happens in a kitchen and part of his success is enabling his staff to make some of the decisions, and letting go of his grip. And his technique worked, he indicates that (his staff) "will look after it (restaurant) the same as whether I'm there or not. So allowing them to take some of the burden also enables them, which is part of it." And low turnover equates to low turmoil in Chef Terry's eyes and he has staff that have been with him for over 10 years and another for over 20 years.
What words of advice would you give to young cooks who want to be a Chef?
Do you cook at home as well?
My wife (Rachel) will confirm this; she married me out of love and necessity. She doesn’t enjoy cooking.
So she married into it - you and your cooking?
What’s the best meal you ever ate in Mississauga?
The lamb vindaloo at Mango Rain on Lakeshore Rd. It's a little wee place, it's a gem.
What are your top three favorite cuisines?
Italian, Indian, Thai
What is your favorite restaurant in Mississauga?
Solstice. It’s right around the corner…they do really nicely prepared food and they do a good job. It’s like being at someone’s house.
Would you consider yourself romantic? Wait, that's probably a question for your wife.
(Laugh) Am I romantic? Yes, I suppose I can be romantic.
What's your passion outside of the kitchen?
If you could do it all over again, would you be a chef?
1900 Dundas St West