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Chef Michael Hunter (Credits to cdn.torontolife.com)
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1-on-1 with Chef Michael Hunter

Well, spacing it out a bit – this will be the last interview from the awesome Taste of Abu Dhabi 2016. Held recently in Abu Dhabi, I got a chance to meet some amazing chefs, including  Chef Marco J MoranaChef Ed Baines as well as Chef Mohammad Orfali. I also got a chance to talk to a very interesting personality – Chef Michael Hunter. Hailing from Toronto, Canada, he is the head chef of Antler Kitchen & BarTo be honest, I thought it was quite coincidental that he calls himself “The Hunter Chef”. Antler is a restaurant that celebrates local and wild food. Moreover, it seemed quite rustic that he put on an apron that symbolized “hunting”.

Chef Michael Hunter

Chef Michael Hunter

It’s a bit “off-guard” (I’ll say), when I meet someone who cooks the food they hunt. But I guess I could somehow relate to when I used to grow my own pot of Basil & Thyme! I for certain can definitely say that Chef Micahel Hunter was an absolutely amazing person to meet!

Chef Michael Hunter at Taste of Abu Dhabi 2016

Chef Michael Hunter at Taste of Abu Dhabi 2016

And the dish he prepared during the competition, well, who’d say no to a Spice Ash Crusted Rack of Deer? (which his is Signature dish that’s on the menu at the restaurant as well!). Braised Neck of Deer ragu with a Parsnip Sauce? My God! I could tell it tasted so good just by looking at it!

Spice Ash Crusted Rack of Deer

Spice Ash Crusted Rack of Deer

Let’s get on with the interview shall we?

Chef Michael Hunter at Taste of Abu Dhabi 2016

Chef Michael Hunter at Taste of Abu Dhabi 2016

The Interview

(CM stands for Chef Michael and T stands for Trevor, that’s me)

T: Well first of all, How are you Chef?

CM: I’m good thank you!

 

T: And how has Taste of Abu Dhabi been so far?

CM: It’s been incredible! Meeting chefs from around the world is really an amazing experience!

 

T: Is this your first time in Abu Dhabi by the way?

CM: Yes it is my first time the Middle East actually, my first time in the United Arab Emirates.

 

T: I’m sure its pretty cold back in Toronto now righ?

CM: Well, its getting cold actually. Now that its Fall turning to Winter, its nice to be a warm climate right now!

 

Let’s get on with the food…

T: Okay chef, on reading your profile, you’re quite well known as “The Hunter Chef”, so obviously that has a lot to do with meat and all. Hence, just a stupid question maybe, Do you always eat your veggies?

CM: Haha! Yes I do! I love Mushrooms actually, and that’s one of my favorites to pick! So I’m hunting all kinds of things, not just meat. I do Maple Syrup every Spring (we tap Maple Trees in the Spring). So yeah, its a lot of things I do besides hunting!

 

T: Well for how many years have you been professionally cooking now?

CM: 19 years now! I was 13 years old when I started my first professional Chef job!

 

T: So from then to now, what would you pick as your “favorite” ingredient to cook with?

CM: Honestly, its really anything I find or forage that is my favorite. If we were to go to someone’s farm and kill a lamb or goat right there, that’s the most fresh its going to be. The best quality you can expect from the meat – so that is my favorite! Or even when we go to the woods and pick Mushrooms from there and make a nice Risotto! – That is my favorite!

 

T: Okay Chef, hypothetically speaking, if tomorrow was the apocalypse, and if you had to cook your last meal, what would it be?

CM: (chuckles) I think deer. I love the deer heart. The offcuts as well! I particularly love the heart. I feel like if you eat the heart of an animal right after its been killed, you get like this “energy buzz”. it’s like having a shot of Espresso! Its so rich in nutrients.

 

T: Okay Chef, if I do come to Toronto one day, I will definitely make it a point to meet you guys at the Antler! So what dish would you recommend I try from there?

CM: Well I’d say the Signature Dish which I made today – the Spice Ash Crusted Rack of Deer. Another dish that we do is a Rabbit Pappardelle, which is amazing dish!

 

T: Okay chef, that’s it! Thank you so much! Was lovely meeting you!

CM: Thank you again! Was lovely meeting you as well! Cheers!

About Chef Michael Hunter

Chef Michael Hunter (Credits to thestar.com)

Chef Michael Hunter (Credits to thestar.com)

You can follow Chef Michael Hunter on his Facebook Page at –> https://www.facebook.com/Thehunterchef/

He’s also there on Instagram & Twitter at –> https://www.instagram.com/thehunterchef & https://twitter.com/thehunterchef

Last but not least, you can check out the Antler Kitchen & Bar at –> http://antlerkitchenbar.com/

 

Well, that’s me signing off with the Interview. Hey! The Festive season is just around the corner…some goodies coming up soon!

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