Chuck Hughes, Danny Smiles Take Over Canada

03/05/17  |  Rebecca Perez  |  2586 views


Montreal made Chefs and business men, Chuck Hughes and Danny Smiles are exploring their way from coast to coast in their new tv series "Chuck and Danny's Road trip" airing on Food Network. Goss Club had the opportunity to speak with these world renown chefs about their new venture and upcoming projects. Keep reading to find out more about how Chuck & Danny are taking over Canada, one city at a time.

How did you come off on this venture, it must've been a challenge to start something new, tell me about your experience.

CH: This adventure became six one hour episodes travelling through Canada, celebrating food and the people who make Canada great. 

How long did it take to cover the show?

DS: We hit the road in August and shot the show over six weeks, into September. It's a beautiful, bountiful time across Canada so it was the perfect time to film the show.

Photo Credit - Food Network Canada

Photo Credit - Food Network Canada

What's the concept behind the show?

DS: The purpose of the show is to explore a new food region in Canada in each episode. We arrive in each spot and we're going to meet a local fisherman, a supplier, a chef, and they're going to show us their region and their products and then we invite them over to our camp site and then we cook a big feast - we cook their products and we create this friendship while we're traveling

What does the future look like for Chuck & Danny's Road Trip?

CH: I'm hoping it's going to spin more episodes, we did 6 - one hour long episodes - we did BC, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. Canada is super vast - there's so many places we can go to. We would love to go Up North, we would love to go to Labrador so we're hoping people enjoy the show and we can come back. Danny and I can go on another adventure. For us it was more of a learning experience, we bring a lot back to our own restaurants in terms of philosophy, ingredients and getting that connection with our ingredients a little bit more which was very helpful and eye opening.  

Are you going to be using this inspiration, you're exposed to different foods and ingredients out there, are you going to be implementing those now in Bremner and Garde Manger?

CH:We've discovered new ingredients. One of them is wild rice in Ontario - that was pretty amazing to harvest. It's definitely an inspiration to see the farmer, the foragers and the fishermen harvesting all these great ingredients in Canada. 

Photo Credit - Food Network Canada

What advice can you give young aspiring Montreal Chefs?

DS & CH: Stay in school! (laughing)

DS: Be sure that that's what you really want to do for the rest of your life - do what you love.

CH: For us it's obviously something that we're very passionate, that we love - there's this new generation in a sense where they have Food Network, all these different channels, avenues, websites, books, sometimes have this acute version of what it's like to work in a kitchen - when it's really hard work and it needs a lot of dedication, a lot of passion and a lot of discipline.

If somebody is not ready to commit to that then I would say: stay out of the kitchen. Just because if you don't have all those attributes and it's not something you're striving for then it'll be a really rude awakening. [But] it is a great industry, it's been amazing to me and I still love it today so I always encourage people to give it a try and it's not for everyone.

Photo Credit - Food Network Canada

How do you manage running your own restaurants and discovering new trends as a chef?

CH: You need to be surrounded by an amazing team - the first rule of restaurant business! You need to have people who are smart, dedicated, good with numbers. [Fortunately] both restaurants have fantastic people who want more responsibilities, want to be in charge, obviously we wouldn't be able to do any of this if we didn't have amazing crews with us, so I think that's the most important thing to have.

What's next for Chuck & Danny in and out of the kitchen?

We're focused on this, providing great service in our restaurants, Bremner and Garde Manger in Montreal. Festival season in the summer, we cater also Osheaga in Montreal, we do all the backstage foods for bands. 

If you watch the show, you get a chance to win an RV - head to food and you'll see how you can win an RV.

Tune in Fridays at 9 PM EST on the Food Network for Chuck & Danny's Road Trip!

Photo Credit - Food Network Canada

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