Blunt Inquiry - Connie DeSousa & John Jackson

Chefs/Owners of Charcut & Charbar , Calgary

What is your idea of a perfect restaurant? 
I don’t think that exists … Restaurants are not meant to be perfect. Our ideal experience is sharing delicious food with people that have amazing energy… John
I love to leave satisfied and with some lasting memories from the whole experience. It does not matter how casual or how upscale the restaurant is… A restaurant nails it when they have the right balance. Connie
What is your greatest fear at work? 
That I will get in shit from Connie about something I did wrong. John
Which working Chef do you most admire? 
Lynn Crawford…  she is a seriously bad ass chef but so kind and humble…. Connie
What part of work ‘you’ do you most deplore in yourself? 
That I am now slower then Connie at pretty much every task. John
What would instantly make you fire someone? 
Stealing … Connie
What was your most extravagant purchase for your restaurant? 
For CHARCUT I would say it was our two full size Rational ovens, which we love! For charbar we got the same ovens but the most extravagant purchase would have been adding a 150-person rooftop patio (The Rooftop Bar @ Simmons) on a 103-year-old history building. John
What is your favourite food journey? 
Our last trip to Edmonton was the most resent favourite food journey we have been on. The city is exploding with talent and amazing restaurants that have opened over the last few years. Connie
What words or phrases do you most overuse at work? 
Connie to the LINE… Where the hell did my tongs go? JOHN
What do you regret most after all your years in the business? 
Absolutely nothing! Connie
What do you love most about this industry? 
The sense of belonging and collaborations thought out our industry and with our peers. Connie
What is your current state of mind? 
I just got back from a run and am feeling really hungry for a big salad! Connie
If you could change anything about the restaurant industry where you are, what would it be? 
Create balance … I think Chefs like Kris Schlotzhauer in Toronto and Justin Leboe here in Calgary have started the work. We are following their lead and hope that it catches on with others. John
What do you consider your most essential ingredient? 
Positive energy … with out it food taste like garbage! John
The work/life balance struggle is real.  How good of a juggler are you?  Tips? 
It is a work in progress but I know we are getting close…  Connie
What is your most treasured kitchen tool? 
John … Connie
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? 
Lately it has been watching the news… John
When you finally retire, were will you live? 
Calgary … Connie & John
What is your most marked characteristic? 
My composure… like when deboning a pigs head in record time. Connie
What is the quality you most like in a chef? 
They are all so good-looking and strong…. Connie
What is your greatest inspiration/motivation? 
Our families and friends … Connie and John
Superman or Spiderman? 
Spiderman … John
What is the first thing you remember cooking? 
Deer sausage in my garage… I did grow up in Saskatchewan…. John
Beck or Clapton? 
Bad Brains… John
You have to cook Escoffier’s death row meal.  Menu? 
What is he doing there is the real question…Connie
Favourite kitchen word or phrase? 
“Hot Behind”… Thanks for that Blunt Roll … Connie