If you live in Vancouver, you might already be familiar with Steve Hodge, owner of Temper Chocolate & Pastry. Chocolate lovers from all around the country can experience the masterful delights of the chocolatier and pâtissier by watching him as an expert judge on Great Chocolate Showdown. To get to know Steve even better, here are 10 things you need to know about the new face to Food Network Canada.
Steve Hodge's Sweet Start
His mother owned a bakery, so Steve Hodge‘s love of sweet things came early on in life, but his passion for pastry came later. He was 21 when he started studying at the California School of Culinary Arts, where a chef told him how difficult pastry is to master. Hodge took that warning as a challenge and ran with it and, well, look where he is now.
Steve’s favourite thing to make? A classic croissant, complete with honeycomb effect, flaky exterior and nice, soft and melt-in-the-mouth once pulled apart. Think you can master a flaky croissant? Try that and other hard to master bakes.
Before his culinary education began, Steve Hodge was working towards a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, all while playing football at Whittier College in California. He lasted just a day working as a discount broker before realizing his true passion.
Around the World
The classically French-trained chef remained in California and apprenticed at Wolfgang Puck Catering and Porto’s Bakery. But the lure of sweets stuck with Steve and he moved back to Vancouver where he worked as an executive pastry chef. He then trained with Dominic Jerry at Sugar Art in Richmond, B.C., and that’s where he learned how to create gorgeous confections with sugar and chocolate (like these beautiful coated chocolates, for example). From there he headed to London, where he worked as a pastry chef at Le Caprice, then The Wolseley and, finally, the three-Michelin Star Restaurant Gordon Ramsay.
Steve's Signature Dish
Steve’s signature dish, The Charlie (or the Charlie Bites) are named after his eldest daughter. Charlie Bites are a delectable cinnamon pastry with layers of flaky goodness to bite into. To try some of Steve’s delicious bakes yourself, order fresh or frozen baked goods from Temper Pastry.
Leaders of the Pack
Steve has worked under pastry chefs around the world. His mentors during his time in London was Pastry Chef Regis Negrier and then in Vancouver Chef John Lewis, who now works as an instructor in Vancouver Community College. Now, Steve’s taken on mentoring struggling bakery owners on Project Bakeover.
Canada is Home
Steve may call B.C. home but he’s originally from London, Ontario. But growing up in Dundarave, a seaside village in West Vancouver, he knew that’s where his passion for chocolate would really take took off and he opened his own shop, Temper Chocolate & Pastry, in 2013.
The Name of the Game
According to Steve, “Temper” has a double meaning. Aside from chocolate being tempered, chefs are notorious for their bad ones. We’ll take his word for it. Watch Steve demonstrate his seed tempering technique in this chocolate 101 video.
A Man of Many Culinary Talents
His full-time job is all about the finesse of baking but Steve also loves to hunt and fish. His favourite way to cook at home is to light up the grill for a barbecue. Cooking simple dishes with fresh ingredients is key for Chef Steve.