July 16, 2014

Meet Chad from ‘Chefs Run Wild’

Meet Chad from ‘Chefs Run Wild’ Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

The ‘Meet….’ series gives you a glimpse into the inner workings of some of my all time fave peeps and cheffing superheroes. I ask the same ten questions and you get their heartfelt responses.

I came across Chad & his twin bro Clayton and their best friend Lyndon via their YouTube Channel “Without Borders” in 2011. These guys are 3 chefs from Canada who filmed their out-there foodie travel adventures through Southeast Asia & became stars with their own show on TV. For me, watching them participate in sacrificial offerings, snack on tarantula, snake heart soup, fermented tofu (you can smell that stuff a block away you know?!) or duck embryo was at times a bit of a challenge, but these lads have inspired me to follow my dreams and get on with experiencing ALL that life has to offer. Like many great internet buddies, we’ve sort of become supporters of each other’s adventures over the years.

Chad has spent the last 12 years travelling the globe, working as a chef in all sorts of kitchens from restaurants to hotels, as well as a chef instructor in a hospitality academy in New Zealand.…….  High fives, fist bumps and happy dancing for all the chefs out there who’ve gone through the gruelling long years of training to qualify.

How long have you been cooking / a chef?

I have been cooking for around 21 years. I started working in the hospitality industry when I was 15; my father was the Head Chef of a popular catering and deli outlet in Winnipeg, Canada. My twin brother is a Chef too, so cooking runs in the family!

Meet Chad from ‘Chefs Run Wild’ Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

Where are some of the coolest places you’ve worked? Destination jobs etc.

Wow…. Where should I start? Cooking has enabled me to work in many different countries around the world; Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, Northern Ireland and now Cambodia. Never mind all the other countries I have visited in between. I lost count but I think it’s somewhere close to 45.

My brother, Clayton and my best friend Lyndon and I did a food and travel web series with no filming experience whatsoever, it was picked up by Canada’s Travel and Escape network turned into a television series, which is now airing worldwide on Nat Geo People.

Meet Chad from ‘Chefs Run Wild’ Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

Coolest job would definitely be the one I have now. I am living in Phnom Penh Cambodia and working as a Chef Trainer/Advisor for Friends-International (www.friends-international.org) It is one of the top 100 NGO’s in the world which helps marginalised children, youth and their families find work to support themselves and build their futures. I advise and train Chefs from 5 different restaurants across Cambodia and Laos with a few more we are opening up around the world. The restaurants we run are training restaurants for former street kids and marginalised youths, which gives them the training they need to get out and find jobs in the hospitality industry. Such a cool job! You don’t understand how lucky I feel to be here.

What’s your signature dish?

Everybody always asks me this question but it’s so hard to answer! I would say I make a mean crispy pork belly. I am kinda addicted to pork so it’s not hard to perfect something that you are insanely crazy about!

What was your worst kitchen disaster? Worst cut, burn etc. What happened?

I have actually been pretty lucky as far as not really injuring myself… so far!

Meet Chad from ‘Chefs Run Wild’ Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.comWorst disaster might have been in Scotland I cooked a traditional Haggis Supper for Prince Edward and a few of his friends and family. I had to do this haggis ritual where I was with a bagpiper and a poet. The poet recited the poem and we all took a double shot of whiskey. After this I had to raise the haggis on a silver platter and walk around the table with it while the bagpiper was playing his song. Let me tell you that I am not very good with hard liquor, especially whiskey and definitely not a double shot. My eyes were watering and it took all the energy that I had not to hurl up on the haggis platter while walking around the table while half gagging. I was lucky enough that I was able to keep my Cheerio’s down but my god the look of disappointment on their faces was priceless.

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only bring three things, what would they be and why?

A girl, a hammock and a ton of beer! Why??? Might as well take a shitty situation and make the best of it!

When you just want to make something simple, quick, and delicious, what do you prepare?

Nothing beats a Rib Eye steak! I am also a sandwich fanatic. I could eat sandwiches all day, every day and never get sick of them.

Meet Chad from ‘Chefs Run Wild’ Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

 If you were to invite a famous person to your house for a meal (any meal) — who would it be, what would you prepare, and why?

I have always been a huuuge fan of Robert De Niro. I have seen every one of his films and I think it would be pretty sweet to have him over. Either him or Natalie Portman… She is “the girl next door” smart, academy award winner, philanthropist… Oh… she’s cute too.

De Niro seems like a meat and potatoes kinda guy. I am thinking herb crusted rack of lamb with parsnip purée, orange scented vegetables (whatever is in season), port and Bing cherry jus with a hint of chocolate.

Natalie… Hmmm….. Hopefully it would include breakfast.

What is your fave breakfast?

I must say that Aussie breakfasts are the best in the world! Tomatoes, mushrooms, free range eggs, Turkish toast and proper thick bacon rashers. Fresh juice and the coffees are to die for! oooOOOooo I miss those coffees…..

Meet Chad from ‘Chefs Run Wild’ Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

 Do you do the cooking at home?

At home I usually cook roast chicken or pork shoulder or just have a BBQ. BBq’s are quick and easy and roasts are usually cheap and delicious and all you have to do is throw it in the oven and forget about it for an hour or 2. You end up having meals for days! The problem is I am usually too lazy to cook every day so I make enough for myself that I end up eating the same leftovers for like 5 days in a row.

Meet Chad from ‘Chefs Run Wild’ Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

 Since I have been in Cambodia I haven’t cooked a meal once! It’s just so cheap to eat out that I can’t be bothered although I am definitely in dire need of a home cooked meal. Eating out all the time gets very boring after a while!

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

Teleportation! I am a total travel bug, this way I could be anywhere, anytime I want, and not have to worry about those shitty 3 day bus rides any more

Meet Chad from ‘Chefs Run Wild’ Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

Chad & I, now we’ve never actually met, but I’m thinking a cheeky catch up over a deep fried spider, cricket or roach in Cambodia later this year is in order.

Be sure to connect with Chad & the lads from Without Borders by visiting the Without Borders website ~ Facebook Page ~ Pinterest ~ Flickr

So tell me dear reader, are you an adventurous eater? If yes, what’s the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten?

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shenANNAgans is Anna Johnston, a 30 - something Aussie gal with an unwavering passion for the Hospitality industry. I love the quirky and unusual, designing events, travelling far and wide and eating food from all around the world. I am coffee blooded, a craft beer enthusiast, wine drinking yogi who enjoys writing about her adventures.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Disha Sharma - July 30, 2014 Reply

Very Nice Interview Dear! I really enjoyed this interview 🙂

    Anna - July 30, 2014 Reply

    Thanks heaps Disha! 🙂
    Chad is an amazing person with one heck of an adventure.
    Good to hear you enjoyed.

Arpita@ The Gastronomic Bong - July 22, 2014 Reply

Awesome interview Anna with an amazing chef!!
Travelling and cooking, can anything get better than this?! 🙂

    Anna - July 22, 2014 Reply

    Thanks heaps Arpita, Chad is a legend, and sure does lead a really amazing life. 🙂

Jean | Holy Smithereens - July 22, 2014 Reply

Such an interesting interview! Thanks for introducing Chad’s channel to us. The photos! Is that a giant lizard/ small croc being roasted?! I’m not very adventurous with food so it’s always a marvel to see people who are so brave to try new things. Oh and when I saw a photo of him holding a cute little hedgehog I was like “Noo…please no…” (I think the hedgehog wasn’t for eating…yes? ) hahaha 🙂

    Anna - July 22, 2014 Reply

    Hahaha… Your comment made me lol Jean. 🙂 That is indeed a giant lizard, his name was Lenny. They made a video about it. I am exactly the same with food, not real adventurous, but I want to be, happy to vicariously eat through the boys for now. I thought the exact same thing when I saw the pic of Chad holding the hedgehog, slightly mortified but good news is, he didn’t eat it, said it was waaaaay to cute to eat. 🙂

Choc Chip Uru - July 18, 2014 Reply

Anna this was a FANTASTIC interview!! I am so glad to ‘meet’ Chad, he seems to have the absolute best life, so adventurous yet full of incredibly delicious food!
Some of the specialties are a little out there, but hey, that is what makes it so awesome!

Choc Chip Uru

    Anna - July 19, 2014 Reply

    Stoked you enjoyed CCU, Chad really is great and I agree, living a life many of us only dream of. Its inspiring! I don’t know how he managed to try some of the foods, but like you say, thats what makes his story really awesome! 🙂

InTolerant Chef - July 17, 2014 Reply

What a life Anna, great interview! I had an absolutely delicious dish of braised tripe for lunch, but I guess that’s not really all that adventurous in some cultures 🙂

    Anna - July 18, 2014 Reply

    Thanks Bec! 🙂 Hmmmm…. Braised tripe for lunch, thats pretty adventurous in my books. 🙂

Hannah - July 17, 2014 Reply

Wow!! He’s so cool! What an amazing list of experiences and awesome job!

Weird foods freak me out a bit but i like to say I’d try anything once. I can’t think of the weirdest off the top of my head but I’ve had crocodile, fermented fish (yuck!!!!) and some strange pork bread log thing (still don’t actually know what it was) in Bangkok.

    Anna - July 17, 2014 Reply

    Yep, total legend I reckon. Its fab to see people living their dreams. 🙂
    Whaaattt…. A pork bread log thing. Was it delish? What part of the pig did they use to make the log? Wow, you tried fermented fish, could you smell it a block away? You are brave. Anything fermented I pretty well say ‘NO DEAL!’

Tandy | Lavender and Lime - July 17, 2014 Reply

There are some things you mention here in this fantastic interview that I would not eat. We have a local speciality called mopane worms and that is about as adventurous as I will ever get!

    Anna - July 17, 2014 Reply

    Oh I hear that Tandy, spiders in particular. 🙂 Blehhh!
    A worm you say, how do they cook it? What does it taste like? Sounds pretty adventurous to me.

My Inner Chick - July 17, 2014 Reply

Fantastic, INTERESTING interview.

Prince Edward? COOL!

crispy pork belly.! I love love love!

Ps. those poor lizards. I feel bad for them. x

    Anna - July 17, 2014 Reply

    How awesome is that, hanging with Prince Edward. 🙂 Shame he felt so ill while it was happening. Poor Chad!
    They made a video about the Lizard, think they named him Lenny. LOL Great video, think they enjoyed eating him, but I was slightly sad for him too.

Kathy @ Olives & Garlic - July 17, 2014 Reply

Great interview. I enjoyed reading it.

    Anna - July 17, 2014 Reply

    Thanks heaps Kathy. Chad and the other lads from Without Borders are AWESOME. 🙂

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella - July 17, 2014 Reply

Hehe great interview! I’m a huge sandwich fan too and we do some extraordinarily good breakfasts in Australia don’t we 🙂 And I bet he never looked at haggis the same way again 😛

    Anna - July 17, 2014 Reply

    Thanks Lorraine. 🙂 Absolutely, Aussie breakkies are amazing, and our coffee, soooooo good.
    LOL! To be a fly on the wall as Chad was trying to hold in the voms. Great memory tho huh?!

clayton - July 17, 2014 Reply

Great interview Chad and Anna. Good questions and fun answers!

    Anna - July 17, 2014 Reply

    Thanks! You lot really are super interesting. Really looking forward to your interview Clayton. 🙂

      Luke - July 17, 2014 Reply

      Anna, Loved this interview, really well written and great insight. I worked with Clayton and Chad in Scotland, two fun loving guys with a passion for life and kitchen vision.

      Keep up the great work.

        Anna - July 17, 2014 Reply

        Oh how fantastic Luke, Id love to spend some time working with Chad & Clayton. You can tell they are passionate about the industry and really love what they do.
        Haha, were you involved with the Haggis event too? Thanks for the lovely comment. 🙂

kim klyne - July 17, 2014 Reply

What a great interview, I am so proud of my nephews Chad and Clayton. They have accomplished so much in their lives and are still venturing new waters. I love them very much, miss them, and am their biggest fan. Keep up the good work boys.

    Anna - July 17, 2014 Reply

    Thanks Kim! And I totally agree, Both Chad & Clayton are super inspiring, its awesome to follow their adventures, and a pleasure to call them ‘inter web’ friends. 🙂

Susan - July 16, 2014 Reply

Love reading about your chef buddies too. What a great thing Chad is doing working at such an awesome NGO & giving back. Keep up the great work shenANNAgans!

    Anna - July 16, 2014 Reply

    Thanks love, feeling pretty grateful to know such wonderful and amazing people like Chad. He really is doing great things over in Cambodia, his small drop in the ocean is making huge waves for the world. Legend! 🙂

Krista - July 16, 2014 Reply

I love this series! How fun to get to know the people behind the program. 🙂

    Anna - July 16, 2014 Reply

    Thanks Krista. 🙂 Glad you are enjoying this series and meeting some of my fave chefs, Chad really is a legend. 🙂

Kris johnston - July 16, 2014 Reply

I started following these guys a few years ago after you mentioned them, and damn, they have had some amazing adventures.
21 years in the industry. Thats incredible!
Thanks for sharing. Always love getting my weekly fix on shenannagans! Till next week. 🙂

    Anna - July 16, 2014 Reply

    They really have Kris. Sounds like Chad has found his dream job working in Cambodia, will be great to share the other fellas stories too.
    Totally agree, 21 years cooking is amazing. So great we have peeps like Chad keeping the industry alive. 🙂

Sammie - July 16, 2014 Reply

Wow. 21 years? That’s really quite incredible! Love the pictures featured here! 🙂

    Anna - July 16, 2014 Reply

    Totally agree Sammie. 🙂 Its fantastic to meet people who are passionate about the industry and are following their bliss. Cheffing is a tough gig, but they have found a really awesome niche to share with all of us, not just those they cook for.
    Their pics are really amazing, I wish I could have shared more. I think Chad is quite the photographer. 🙂

Alice - July 16, 2014 Reply

You are a foodie superstar too Anna! I love this story, the passion, zeal and fearlessness of these young chefs. Makes me want to get out & have an adventure too!

    Anna - July 16, 2014 Reply

    Nawh thanks Alice. 🙂 You are too kind. xoxox
    I know right, Chad and the other lads TOTALLY make me want to get my travel on and get out and see the world.
    If you are feeling low, pop one of their vids on and Boom Diggity, spring right back in your step.

Mandy - The Complete Book - July 16, 2014 Reply

Awesome interview with a great man Anna. I would love to come along and meet Chad but do you mind if I skip the spider eating…
Have beautiful day Sweetie-pie.
🙂 Mandy xo

    Anna - July 16, 2014 Reply

    Thanks lovely Mandy! 🙂 And… Hell Yes!!!! That’d be fantastic if you adventured with me to meet Chad in Cambodia. Not sure how I feel about eating a spider, but my work experience kid did say the other day that she would pay money to see me eat bugs… LOL! #challengeexcepted 🙂
    Wishing you a wonderful day too my friend. Hugs across the oceans. xoxo

Lizzy (Good Things) - July 16, 2014 Reply

Nom noms, did you say crispy pork belly?! Love this series, meeting some cooking superstars! Thanks Anna!

    Anna - July 16, 2014 Reply

    Chad really is a superstar Liz. Check out their channel and FB pages, so much interesting content. Tis a pleasure to know them.

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