Shereen Arazm, Restaurateur and Resident Judge on Top Chef Canada
Shereen is the creator, owner and operator of some of Tinsel Town's most revered tables, including Italian eatery Terroni and sushi staple, Geisha House. She has been named as one of the four top entertainment hosts in Los Angeles across all entertainment and traditional industries in southern California by LA Times Magazine, and in 2007 was featured in an episode of Women on Top on Slice. This past summer, Shereen, a proud Toronto native, returned home as the resident judge on Top Chef Canada.
Questions and Answers
What's your favourite utensil/gadget?
At the moment, my favourite kitchen gadget is my Beaba Babycook. Boring I know, but I have a new baby girl who's just starting on solids and I've been making all her food in my new Babycook! It's been so fun to come up with new and different combos. So far, her favourite is spinach and pear, and sweet potatoes with cinnamon.
What would we typically find in your fridge?
Typically, in my fridge you will find LEFTOVERS! I'm at the restaurants a lot so I'm constantly bringing home specials. My 18-year-old stepson is home from school for the summer so we are always restocking and cooking because he's never full!
Your signature dish?
My signature dish is my lemon and herb salmon. My kids and husband love it so I make it a lot with lemons from the lemon tree in my backyard and herbs from our garden.
What were your must-have kitchen layout requirements?
I recently designed and renovated this kitchen and my main requirements were a large island — I love to entertain and everyone always ends up in the kitchen around the island. I also wanted a kid-friendly space that was clean and modern. I incorporated low sub-zero drawers that are strictly for kid food and drinks so they can help themselves. The island has storage the entire way around it so my kids can get their own plates, cups etc. It hides everything and is still totally functional. I don't like the idea that you have to give up design for kid-friendly spaces.
What was your biggest kitchen splurge?
My biggest kitchen splurge was the Wolf oven. I love it.
Where did you get your love for cooking?
I got my love of cooking and food from my mother and grandmother. My parents have always been very health-conscious and into healthy eating and cooking. I was always the kid in school with brown rice in my lunch box. I always wanted a white bread and cold cuts sandwich or the bright-coloured sugar cereal but was NEVER allowed. Now that I have my own kids I'm so thankful for that!
Your guilty food pleasure?
My guilty food pleasure is pizza! I love a good pizza.
Favourite cookbook authors?
My favourite cookbook author is Mark McEwan! I LOVE his most recent Italian cookbook, even my snooty Italian chefs agree!
Complete this sentence: People would be surprised to find out...
I'm a huge fan of great cooking and great chefs. I really believe they are stars! I'm not the mean judge they see on "Top Chef"; people always comment about it but I'm just very passionate. When the chefs do great I'm equally as happy for them as I am disappointed when they don't do well. I can't hide the emotions either way!