A Conversation With Cook Alex V.
Alex V. has been a vital part of the Thermëa by Nordik Spa-Nature family for 7 years. We thought it was about time to share his story with you.
How did you become a cook at Thermëa?
In 2014, I applied to be a dishwasher/kitchen assistant here at Thermëa. I spent my first year in the kitchen washing dirty dishes. With time, the restaurant got busier and busier. Chef Thomas asked me to help by building up some cheese and charcuterie boards during our busiest hours. One day, Chef Thomas and the Sous Chef at the time, Graham, asked me if I wanted to become a line cook in the Thermëa kitchen. Of course, I accepted! The rest is history! But really, shout out to all the dishwashers and kitchen assistants out there—you guys are the heart of the kitchen and have all my respect and appreciation!
Do you recall the first dish you ever cooked at Thermëa?
Absolutely! It was my first feature dish for the restaurant. I made pan-fried trout with grilled asparagus and eggplant with Romesco sauce, toasted walnuts and pickled onions.
What cuisines influence your dishes the most?
I’d definitely say Filipino cuisine influences my cooking the most. Especially my Mom’s home-cooked meals which I love dearly!
How do you describe your style of cooking?
I love comfort food and home-cooked meals so that’s probably how I would describe my style.
What are your favourite weekday meals to put together?
My favourites are Kare-Kare—which is influenced by one of Thermëa’s best-selling pasta complete with braised short rib tossed in our homemade peanut sauce—Adobo, Menudo, Pancit and Palabok just to name a few.
What would you say is your favourite Thermëa dish?
My favourite is Black Garlic and Cream Pasta with Grilled Chicken and Garlic bread. It’s amazing!
What is the one thing you always keep in your refrigerator or pantry at home?
Chili garlic oil on everything! Always!
If you were to go on a foodie holiday, where would you go?
If given the chance, I would bring my family to Japan, Korea, China (especially the Sichuan Province), and the Philippines for a well-deserved foodie holiday. A special shout-out to my family! I love them so much and would love to share my passion for Asian cuisine with them!
How do you see the Winnipeg food scene evolving?
What I truly see when I look at the Winnipeg food scene is diversity. It’s awesome! Plenty of amazing foodies events call Winnipeg home, like Table for 1200, Raw: Almond, The Push Project, Grazing in the Field, Farmer’s market dinners and lots of pop-up culinary events.
I’m also a big fan of Chef Ben Kramer’s project Made With Love in partnership with the Community Food Centre of Canada. The project’s mission is to give back and support those who need it in our community during challenging times. They offer nutritious take-home meals to ensure that everyone has access to delicious and healthy food, no matter what.
What do you enjoy most about working at Thermëa?
The number one thing here is the people. I love my Thermëa family! Teamwork here is such a big part of my every day. I appreciate everyone that works at the spa. I really enjoy sharing my passion with new cooks. Explaining how line works here at the Thermëa kitchen never gets old! On the flip side, I enjoy learning from Chef Chicco and Cheff Darnell every time I work with them. They’re the greatest!
I enjoy working here because everyone is doing whatever they can to make sure our guests have the most wonderful experience at the spa and in the restaurant. Much love to everyone!
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