NAIT's Hospitality and Culinary Arts department has an amazing program, the Hokanson Chef in Residence program, where they bring some of the best chefs in the world to provide first-hand knowledge and expertise to their students. Last year, I attended Chef Massimo Capra's luncheon and the year before that NAIT had Dinner and Q&A with David Adjey.
Chris Cosentino is known internationally for his specialty in offal cooking. Yes, offal, meaning use of the other parts of an animal that many times just gets discarded: hoofs, internal organs, blood, tail, etc. He is also know for winning Season 4 of Top Chef Masters! How lucky are Edmonton's NAIT students to get such an invaluable experience like this!
My fellow blogger Phil (find his blogpost on the event here) and I were given an opportunity to come in and observe Chef Chris teaching his students on the art of offal cookery. I asked many of the students if they were "learning a lot" and so many of them responded with a huge "YES!" They excitedly explained the dishes they made and stated what a great learning experience it has been.
Chef Cosentino also spent some time answering our questions. Asked what he thought of Edmonton, he said he wasn't able to see much because of the blizzard here in the city. He did get out to 3 eateries and had fantastic food at Tres Carnales, Three Boars and Corso 32. He also mentioned his excitement over an upcoming release of a Marvel Comic book he wrote where he joins Wolverine. Talk about upping his cool factor!
I asked him if he will ever change up his trademark blue and white apron and I loved his answer. He has worked on developing this apron, as it is a cross between the chef's apron and a butcher's apron, so he is able to use it for both uses in the kitchen. As for the blue and white? He will always wear it as it signifies to him that he is always learning, like a butchering apprentice would wear, unlike a boss in chef whites. Wonderful to see such a humble side from a Top Chef Master winner!
NAIT also provided some short video links you can click on below as well as more photos for you to see.
Clip 1: Cosentino explains offal cooking.