My name is Jonathan N Pde, and I currently work at @dannyspizzatavern

My desire to create is what got me started in the kitchen with small gigs baking cake and bread for friends and family. They always gave positive feedback, which motivated me to join the industry.

It wasn’t love at first sight but it grew on me as I worked in better kitchens, learned new techniques, and progressed year after year.

I did my BA in Culinary Arts & Catering Tech in India from the Culinary Academy of India. I then moved to Toronto, the culinary melting pot of Canada. With many different ethnicities and cultures came various cuisines and fusions of flavour. being a cook was a perfect reason to travel, explore and study in Canada, so I did a culinary management course at George Brown.

My first job in a Kitchen was eye-opening. I realized it was not as glamorous as portrayed on TV. It was humbling to find myself on my hands and knees, scrubbing my station at the end of the night and truly understanding what it takes for a kitchen to successfully function. It requires people to be on their feet 14 hours a day and be meticulous day in, day out. It forced me to have a different discipline in the kitchen. A considerable amount of my skills & learning came from working in various kitchens.

Without discipline, everything crumbles. One cannot progress without it. it’s the creative aspect and the joy it brings when I see someone’s face light up when they eat my food that keeps me motivated to be in the kitchen the next day.

Don’t be afraid to follow your journey; be honest and truthful about what you enjoy cooking and eating. We often get lost in culinary trends or icons leading the scene. Still, you should always stay true to yourself and believe in what you want to accomplish in this industry. Stick to the cuisine you love.

I want to quote Chef Rene Redzepi here, “We almost destroyed our industry by making it too hard & too macho.” It is already a complex industry that demands a lot from us. We should do each other the favor of being kind and treating our hospitality workers with more respect.

📷’s by @cravingcurator official HOTK reporter in 🇨🇦