If you are Canadian, you know this guy – he’s a Canadian icon. Chef, entrepreneur, restauranteur, author, TV personality advocate for healthy eating and all around good guy. If you aren’t Canadian and you like food, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t, you’re missing out if you haven’t spent time watching or reading Michael Smith. He wins me over because he thinks about the non-chef and how to get the rest of us eating well with simple, creative and healthy meals. His recipes focus on farm-to-table (in fact, well before it was cool and trendy); he is all about teaching people how to incorporate the food they need into their diets in a simple and inexpensive way. He takes on cool food projects too, like making beans exciting and being the food ambassador of Prince Edward Island. Yes, even you, the self-proclaimed ‘I hate beans’ guy, will crave lentils after watching his lentil series and will want to eat your way across PEI (Canada’s tiniest province).
When I was offered the chance to meet him and chat with him and then of course, eat his delicious food and shuck oysters with him I nearly jumped out of my seat! He was hosting a dinner party and sharing some tips for easy hosting, preparing and clean up and before we started chowing down, I stole a few minutes with him to get his secrets. He’s such a cool guy too, you’ve got to see this interview.
Quick story: right before we started eating, he wanted to start the dinner party off with a ‘bang’, and told about 40 of us how fun it is to saber a champagne bottle. In case you’ve never heard of this (I certainly hadn’t), you take a giant saber knife and hack the top off the champagne bottle in one clean cut – no need to pop the cork. If done right, the knife cuts the neck in such a way where it flies off to reveal a a clean cut for perfect pouring while bubbles and fizz stream out like fireworks. It’s quite grand to watch and very exciting…but looks absolutely terrifying to execute. Instead of showing the group how to do this, he invited good ol’ Melissa Maker up to the front of the crowd (no pressure…) to saber a champagne bottle in front of all of his guests! I have to say, it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done and I was totally freaking out!! We don’t have good quality footage of it, but we do have a cell phone video and feel free to watch and laugh at my truly shocked face. Don’t try this at home unless you absolutely know what you’re doing!
He truly has a passion for what he does and it shows in absolutely everything he creates. It was a true pleasure meeting him and spending an evening with him. I’d encourage you to check out his simple and delicious recipes, tips and videos, they’re a staple in our house.
To learn more about Michael Smith, check out his links: