‘Earth to Table’ Chef Jeff Crump

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Meet Chef Jeff Crump: SCS Alumnus – Chef – Author

Jeff Crump graduated from Stratford Chefs School in 1997, and since then he has worked at a number of the world’s top restaurants, including Lumière, Chez PanisseThe Fat Duck, and Ancaster Old Mill / Bread Bar. He is a Canadian Slow Food pioneer, and written two cookbooks.

With a breadth of experience from top restaurants around the world, and specializing in farm-to-table cuisine using thoughtfully-sourced ingredients, Chef Crump’s culinary expertise is now on display at EPOCH Bar & Kitchen Terrace, at The Ritz-Carlton in the heart of Toronto.

Chef Jeff’s cuisine can be described as authentic and genuinely delicious. He is the author of two cookbooks based on the eat local philosophy: Earth To Table Every Day and Earth To Table: Seasonal Recipes from an Organic Farm.

Crump was a guest author at Appetite For Words, part of the Stratford Writer’s Festival, to discuss his work. This celebration of Canadian culinary writing was hosted at the Stratford Chefs School in July 2018.

Video Interview with Chef Jeff Crump

Check out the short video interview with Chef Crump to learn about his earth to table philosophy for sustainable eating and his #1 secret to eating locally. 

Interview Transcript

This is the diet that lets nature write the menu. Hi I’m Rebecca Brayton and welcome to watchmojo.com and today we’re speaking with Chef Jeff Crump about seasonal eating and his book Earth to Table.

What is the idea behind Earth To Table?

Earth to Table is a celebration of good food and ultimately that’s the goal, that’s what we were trying to do. We wanted to bring the best possible produce to our restaurant, that meant seasonal and local, when it comes to tomatoes and you know, any kind of artisan food.

So can we kind of compare it to the 100 mile diet?

The 100 mile diet is an extreme version of what we do. We’re foodies first, we love food and the original reason was to source out the best tomato.

Why do you think eating locally is so popular right now?

Because the alternative is really unappealing, the food that we generally speak of,  fast food and conventional food is boring, it’s not healthy on so many different levels.

Do you think it’s a fad at all? Do you think people will move back to processed?

No it’s definitely not a fad because conventional food is unsustainable. We’re going to come to a point where it just can’t happen anymore now.

Obviously you’re from Ontario and the winters are pretty harsh. What do you do in the winter time in terms of vegetables and stuff like that?

First of all we preserve food, we pickle things, but a very simple way to preserve food is to freeze it. All the cellar vegetables like parsnips, carrots, potatoes, apples, those are all throughout the winter time. And then we make charcuterie, sausages, hams. A regular consumer could just search out food artisans who make the types of food that are preserved and also that’s when you start importing.

What would be your Number One Secret to eating locally?

My number one secret is learning how to cook! You know I think if you don’t know how to cook, you are a slave to convenience food and you don’t have a choice. You go to your local grocery store and they tell you what you can eat because you can’t go to the vegetable or the deli or the meat counter, you have to go to the center where everything’s made for you. You know people say that eating locally and organic is more expensive than eating convenience food, but two potatoes cost 60 cents and a package of mashed potatoes costs four dollars, so it actually is cheaper – with an asterisk*, you have to be able to cook.

JULY RECIPE: Peas, Feta, & Mint Salad

Here’s a recipe from Chef Crump for a wonderful salad that is perfect for the hot days of July, ENJOY!

VINAIGRETTE

Ingredients:

2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 TBSP red wine vinegar
1 TBSP local honey
2 tsp dijon mustard
Salt & pepper to taste

Method:

In a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, honey, and mustard. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

SALAD

Ingredients:

2 cups shucked fresh sweet peas, blanched*
2 radishes, finely sliced
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Method:

Add peas, radishes and onion to bowl with vinaigrette. Toss to coat. Add mint and mix gently. Sprinkle with crumbled feta, serve and enjoy!

Stratford Chefs School is a not-for-profit Career College focused on the innovative, hands-on training of high-quality, aspiring Chefs and Culinary Entrepreneurs. The School’s vision is to be the primary training and education source of choice for tomorrow’s culinary leaders, and to train students with a culture code of excellence, innovation, collaboration, and respect.

Established in 1983, Stratford Chefs School has set the standard of excellence for culinary training in Canada, graduating nearly 900 alumni who contribute to a distinctive Canadian cuisine. The unique Apprenticeship program provides students with a thorough grounding in the theory and practice of classical cuisines and the business elements of operating successful restaurants in today’s market. Stratford Chefs School is one of Canada’s most successful and respected culinary institutions and is continually evolving to meet the needs of its students and the culinary community.

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