The Toronto based Ascari Hospitality Group recently joined us in the StartWell Test Kitchen to demonstrate one of their new meal kit recipes. The session was a blast and filled our space with amazing aromas of truffle and porcini mushrooms as Partner & Executive Chef John Sinopoli prepared "Not Your Average Risotto" with English presentation before Steffan Carrier, a culinary team member from Ascari, did the recipe again in French. After the shoot we caught up with the Ascari team to learn about Ascari at Home and get their feedback on our Test Kitchen - here's what they had to say.
Ascari At Home - tell us about how you are delivering a restaurant experience to people in their own homes. It starts with the same quality ingredients we use everyday in our restaurants. What we’ve tried to do is take out all the heavy lifting for our guests from the preparation side. Package everything into an easy to follow kit with simple instructions to finish and assemble. The final product should look like what they'd find at their table at Ascari, only with a greater sense of accomplishment!
Why did you want to have a video to accompany this meal kit? We think it adds a lot of value to the guest experience and helps to take away any anxiety our home chefs might feel cooking for friends of family. Every video is always going to have a few “Pro Tips” or interesting anecdotes you don’t normally find on the pages of just a recipe.
What is the inspiration for this dish? We wanted to showcase something deeply rooted in Italian cuisine and culture. It was also important for it to be reasonable simple to execute and ultimately delicious.
We shot a version of this video in English and French, each with a different chef in the same kitchen - what was each of their experiences and how was the process of managing this flow once you were in the studio? The flow was great. Everything was set up really well and the room felt great. All chefs have a slightly different approach in front of the camera, but all in all the end result worked out great! What was your experience like cooking in the StartWell Kitchen? Like a 3 Star Michelin Restaurant!!!…. We enjoyed the experience, the set up and the professionalism.