Chefs at Home: Phil Scarfone - Savio Volpe, Vancouver
1. Are you working more or less compared to this time last year?
I’m working the same amount of hours as last year, but when Covid hit, I worked for a month straight while we pivoted all of our properties to takeout, online retail and delivery.
2. How has your restaurant cooking changed since covid?
I’d say that comfort food is the name of the game right now. We added a great deep-dish Detroit-style pizza to our menu at Pepino’s and it has been super popular! Savio Volpe continues to offer simple Italian cuisine, which is inherently comforting as well.
3. How much cooking at home are you doing now compared to before?
Lots more! Having seen behind the curtain of what meal-delivery services charge restaurants, I have a hard time justifying their use.
4. If you are cooking at home more, what are your go-to recipes?
I love to cook some one-pot wonders like laksa, curries, meatballs and pastas. I also have been flexing my slow-cooker skills with some short-rib stews and batches of organic beef chili.
5. Have you been leaning on particular cookbooks lately?
I’ve always loved The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen manual for their simple recipes and meal planning. Also, American Sfoglino from Evan Funke provides some pasta inspiration for me.
6. Are you buying produce at stores or using your favoured restaurant suppliers?
For most Italian pantry items, I’m using our Caffe La Tana online grocery service. We’ve expanded our offerings during Covid and have everything from tomahawk steaks to beautiful vegetables from Zaklan Heritage Farm. Otherwise, I keep it local and shop at the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market and get my meats from Windsor Quality Meats down on Main Street.
7. Does Covid have you relying on any rediscovered techniques?
I’ve been keen on slow cooking and batch cooking and freezing soups and stews. The convenience that comes from having a freezer full of healthy food to eat is so great after a long day at work.
📷 (Portrait) Savio Volpe