We’re highlighting some of Burlington’s best chefs to get to know them and their food a little better. This week we had the pleasure of asking Regional Chef Yaz Pochee, from Industria Pizzeria & Bar a few questions.
Name: Yaz Pochee, Regional Chef
Restaurant: Industria Pizzeria & Bar
What inspired you to start cooking? According to my mom, I always insisted on cooking Sunday breakfast. I guess the love & passion for food started at a very young age. There was never a real “lightbulb” moment to when it all started. Lots of time spent with family in the kitchen evolved into this passion
When & where did you start? I always ended up hanging around my parent’s restaurant growing up in South Africa. I continuously found myself intrigued and nosey as to what all the cooks were doing & naturally started bugging them to show me and teach me. With enough annoying nagging they eventually gave in and the rest is history.
What’s the first thing you learned to cook really well? 5-year-old me – Cinnamon French Toast
What is your favourite thing to cook? I would not say I have a specific favourite, but pasta & steak are high up on the list. I do enjoy experimenting with bold flavoured dishes. I also enjoy experimenting with new & innovative cooking techniques.
What did you have for breakfast today? Dark chocolate & strawberry granola. Oh, and of course coffee!
What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give a young, aspiring chef? Be patient and be respectful of the journey. It is a long, tedious & sometimes overwhelming environment. But with a great attitude to constantly learn and evolve, you will no doubt succeed. Nothing will be handed to you and it will always be up to you to constantly learn, grow & challenge yourself to be the best version of yourself!
If you could cook for anyone, past or present, who would it be for and what would you make? Nelson Mandela, Dave Chappelle & Elon Musk all at one table. I think the menu would be catered around small shareable plates that would force them to stick around longer. I can only imagine how interesting, engaging and entertaining it would be to listen to those 3 converse.
Thank you Chef Yaz for sharing with us! Stay tuned for more chef spotlights and let us know if there’s any Burlington chef that you’d like to learn more about.