If I had my way, I would spend my days doing everything food-related - cooking, grocery shopping, eating out at restaurants, watching food documentaries... even talking, reading and writing about food. So that's why this feature is especially exciting for me to share with you, because I have the pleasure of introducing you to Phillip and Mystique, creators of the food blog Chef Sous Chef. Together, they create delicious dishes using fresh ingredient that are as appealing to the palate as they are to the eye, and I think you're going to love them as much as I do!
Philip and Mystique have been sharing their love of food together since the very early days of their relationship, when Philip cooked a meal for Mystique in their early days of dating. Ever since then, cooking became a favourite way to spend time together, but they didn't start their blog until after they were married. Prior to that, the pair were both equally involved with the planning of their wedding, an event they approached as a fun project for the two of them to share in together. Immediately after their wedding day, Philip and Mystique found themselves yearning for another passion project they could work on together - so, only three days following their 'I do's,' they came up with the idea for Chef Sous Chef, opened an Instagram account (they developed the blog a few months later) and started sharing their epicurean creations.
When cooking and developing recipes, Philip and Mystique are guided by very a simple but specific principle: "to share real food; natural, pronounceable, good for you kind of food." They don't believe in placing rules or restrictions on food (go ahead, eat that dessert!), just so long as you're only using real ingredients. They take inspiration from Michael Pollan, the best-selling food writer with whom they share the same food philosophy and known for the quotable phrase, "Eat all the junk food you like; as long as you cook it yourself." As champions of eating real food, the recipes Philip and Mystique share on their blog are made with simple, accessible ingredients that are often easy to find at your local grocery store or already in your pantry, recipes that do not sacrifice on flavour. Even just looking at the photos on their blog will have you salivating! The photography is done by Mystique while Philip does most of the cooking (they're often asked which one of them is the Chef and who is the Sous Chef... now you know!).
It may sound cheesy (food pun intended), but I truly believe that when you put love into your cooking the results turn out far better, and I think a lot of the success and growth Philip and Mystique have achieved with Chef Sous Chef has a lot to do with the love they have for each other, as well as their mutual passion and respect for food. The two are just so charming together! Much of their personalities go into their recipes - the pair are actually quite the opposite of one another, and they incorporate these differences into their recipes to give their meals a dynamic flavour (for example, Mystique grew up in the city and Philip in a small town, and the city vs. country element is one of the ways their differences play a role in how they approach their cooking). They're also experimenting with campaign-style cooking - to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation this July, they've been sharing classic Canadian recipes but with their own unique twist added to them.
Classic Canadian recipes - with a twist! Clockwise from top-left: Nanaimo Bar Doughtnuts; Poutine; Québec Split Pea Soup; Montréal Smoked Meat Sandwich
From beautiful photography to delicious recipes, I just can't get enough of Chef Sous Chef and I hope I've turned you into a fan, too! To keep up with this cooking couple, follow Chef Sous Chef on Wantfolio, and follow them on Instagram here.
Want more? Let's hear what Philip & Mystique have to say! Here's what We Want To Know:
I can't start my morning without...the news. Whether it’s reading it on my phone, receiving updates on social media or listening to it on the radio, my morning can’t start without me knowing what’s going on in the world, and once I know I can start my day.
I have a weakness for...potato chips. And Julie and Julia with Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. I could watch that movie over and over again in addition to the 100 times we’ve already watched it. It’s delicious, passionate and inspiring x2. Throw that movie on and pass me the bowl of salt and vinegar chips and I’m perfectly content.
Most people don't know that I...am not a trained chef and I do not work in the restaurant business. My passion for cooking stemmed from weekly visits to the market with my dad, cooking with my mom and more recently, a trip to Europe that inspired me to make good food using simple ingredients.
Currently reading... Blood, Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton… again. I love reading chef biographies because it brings you right into the kitchen with your favourite chefs and chefs you don't know, right up close with them chopping, sautéing and everything in between. Plus, chefs seem to have the coolest lives.
I want...to encourage everyone to know where their food came from, know what’s in their food and choose foods that are benefit their health I want people to make small changes that lead to big results… swap sugary juices and soda for water, snack on fruits not glucose, and read ingredient lists and labels.
I can't start my morning without...hitting the snooze button at least four times before I get up. And once I finally roll out of bed, I can’t do anything without coffee; black coffee because good coffee doesn’t need fillers like milk and sugar.
I have a weakness for...cover bands. While I love listening to original artists’ vocals, there’s something nostalgic and new about listening to someone else take a song and make it their own. And plain chips. I know Phil said chips too but we’re not lying when we say chips don’t last very long in our house. Everything in moderation, right?
Most people don't know that I...am not a fan of brunch. While I love breakfast and I love lunch, the two together don’t make sense to me. Frittatas, eggs benedict, French toast and mostly all other brunch items are actually breakfast dishes… just eaten at a later time and served with a mimosa. I feel that as adults we need to own that on weekends we have alcohol at breakfast and that’s just okay. It doesn’t need to be called brunch.
Currently reading...My favourite genre to read is: cookbook. It’s comforting and satisfying reading about food and cookbooks are the ultimate show and tell. I’m currently reading (and cooking out of) Feast by Lindsay Anderson and Dana Vanveller. It’s a cookbook diary showcasing their culinary road trip across Canada, an homage to Canadian food and is literally #goals.
I want... our own cookbook. I want our collection of recipes and stories to inspire home cooks to create and enjoy the foods the love using real, pronounceable, good for you kind of ingredients. And a full set of Mauviel copper cookware from France. A girl can dream, right?
Thank you both, Mystique and Philip, for participating in #WeWantToKnow! Food has never looked nor tasted so good!