It can have variant spellings, but the dish is always…
Milton-born, Chef Jon Rennie is sous chef at the popular and unique Bhima’s Warung in Waterloo.
A graduate of George Brown’s culinary program, Rennie did a stagiaire at Jove Bistro in Toronto and participated in some of the big culinary events that have taken place at Michael Stadtlander’s Eigensinn Farm.
I’d like to meet Joel Robuchon — he’s possibly the only man who loves butter more than I.
Rennie also worked at Janet Lynn’s Bistro at their former King Street location in Uptown Waterloo. He did that while recuperating from a broken femur.
“Tobagganing. At one point at Janet Lynn’s the bones hadn’t fused. I was walking and working on a metal rod,” Rennie says. (We knew chefs were a tough lot, but that is something else.)
He also worked in the kitchen at Hannah’s Bistro and at Wildcraft Grill + Bar as chef de cuisine before moving to Bhima’s.
[Previously posted at www.rarerepublic.com.]
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Waterloo Region Eats: Best thing you’ve ever eaten?
Jon Rennie: Whole pig’s head and foie gras terrine at Au Pied de Cochon.
Other career you could have pursued?
Rennie: Absolutely nothing. If I can’t do this, I’m out of options.
Rennie: Beer. Ale, lager, porter, stout. The whole works.
Beverage that once just about killed you?
Rennie: Water. I breathed in while gulping it down and nearly passed out. That was [a couple of years ago] — not when I was a kid!
Chef you’d most like to meet?
Rennie: Joel Robuchon — he’s possibly the only man who loves butter more than I.
Best footwear (for the kitchen or otherwise)?
Rennie: Kitchen: Bistro Crocs. Out of kitchen: Sanuk
Favourite ethnic food in Waterloo Region?
Rennie: Isn’t all food ethic?
What scares you in a kitchen?
Rennie: Cooks who think they know more than they actually do and fake it to save face.
Greatest failed recipe?
Rennie: My 15 year-old attempt to recreate The Urban Peasant’s braised chicken and peaches. It was horrendous.
Something that gives you great pleasure?
Rennie: Crispy, salty pork fat.
A favourite teacher you’ve had?
Rennie: John Higgins, George Brown culinary instructor. He just wanted people to love food as much as he does.
Do you ride a bike?
Rennie: Not if I can help it.
Where were you born?
Rennie: Milton, Ontario.
Rennie: Coheed and Cambria and Walk Off The Earth.
Who would you like to cook for?
Rennie: Anyone willing to eat something without reservation. [Is that a pun? — Ed.]
The thing you wish for Waterloo Region?
Rennie: To maintain its connection with the incredible farmland that surrounds it — and not overtake it.
Go-to late-night snack?
Rennie: Cured meats, cheese and pickled things.
Best thing about being a chef?
Rennie: Making and trying food I could never afford so regularly.
Mostest dumbest purchase you’ve ever made?
Rennie: A garlic press. The best way to ruin garlic.
A moment in your life you’d like to have back?
Rennie: Making a terrible pumpkin soup for my-then-girlfriend but now-wife, Andrea. Seems I will never live that one down.
TV chefs who annoy you?
Rennie: How much space do you have?
Would you describe yourself as sweet or savoury?
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