Top Chef contestant and Royal Canadian Yacht Club Executive Chef, Jonathan Goodyear, definitely has a lot of things on his plate this year. That being said he somehow still manages to take time to head up to the cottage to spend time with his parents and re-centre himself. We were fortunate enough to head up with him on a recent visit. Here’s the pictorial.
“Do we have any straws?” Jonathan asks as he carefully places a black truffle on a bed of salt in a plastic takeout container. Turns out there aren’t any straws to be found so Jonathan decides to use wild asparagus instead. So there we are, standing in the Goodyear family kitchen, drawing French wild asparagus for a black truffle. It’s a scene that is both hilariously juvenile and absurdly luxurious but it’s the perfect ending to an incredibly comforting and decadent family style meal. This is the kind of behaviour that has come to define Jonathan Goodyear and while he is Mr. Supreme Luxury on Top Chef Canada he showed us that that persona is tempered with a healthy dose of humility. We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to forage with Chef Jonathan, enjoy a delicious meal and meet the people who keep him grounded.
JG: When you walk into the GE Kitchen for the first time everything hits you; you have the weight of your peers, of your family, your friends and of the restaurant that you’re representing and it’s a lot, it’s definitely something that you reflect on daily. You reflect on the importance of what it is you’re trying to accomplish. There are really no words to describe what is to compete; it’s something you have to experience.
I’ve always been cooking behind the scenes. I was a private chef and that doesn’t mean that I have any less passion, it just means that my career path went another way and Top Chef has really helped me come out from behind the curtain. I’ve gotten to know who I am as an individual and as a cook, and when you put yourself out there good things happen. Sometimes you do trip but the important thing is how you get up.
When you’re in the kitchen things go so fast and this [the cottage] is just a place where you can look out the window and see the trees blowing, I get to cook with my mum, it reminds me of who I am. Sometimes when you’re caught up in the hustle and bustle of cooking you lose sight of who you are and it’s important for me to get back here, to get grounded and to realize that I’m just a guy who loves to cook.
So let me cook for you now.
Must be nice to have a surname that has such convenient signage. This is the entrance to the Goodyear Family cottage.
Chef Jonathan and Chef Rory point out the ramps to us as we forage for one of the star ingredients of our lunch, though they are hard to miss, they covered most of the forest floor!
Mama Goodyear and Chef Rory scope out ramps and stumble upon some trout lily plants as well and we end up eating the leaves in a salad.
Papa Goodyear stands by with a shovel at the ready in case we need to do any heavy-duty digging.
These ramps are located very close to the Goodyear cottage…
…so close that they’re just about 15 feet away from this very door Chef Jonathan is walking through.
A counter top in the family kitchen, featuring jars of an excellent ramp kimchi which turned out to be one of the best party favours we’ve ever received.
The Goodyear Family room, equal parts cosy and chic. In the left corner Mama Goodyear’s prosecco bottle collection is showcased, one for every episode of Top Chef that Jonathan’s been on and since he’s made it to top three that’s quite the collection, and quite the weekly hobby!
Chef Jonathan loves his charcoal grill. The chicken was cooked to perfection.
With Chef Rory by his side even this homey meal is executed with restaurant quality efficiency.
French wild asparagus compliments our meal wonderfully.
Chef is worried that a meal of gnocchi on such a humid day might be too much for us but the moment we see these morels we adequately convince him that we’d happily eat this in ANY weather. He diligently completes the meal – bubbles at a ready.
The family style meal and the lovely family that welcomed us into their home.
Words by Arianne Persaud
Photography by Chuck Ortiz
Special Thanks to the Goodyear Family