Tuesday, 2 April 2013

LATEST FOODIE INTERVIEW: With Lee Johnson, Kitchen Manager of the famous Cirque de Soleil show!

At my Bikram yoga classes, in downtown Redmond, (http://www.bikramyogaredmond.com/) I always meet great, unique, and happy people. Many are foodies, health freaks, and Seahawk fans. I recently met Lee Johnson, the kitchen manager of Cirque De Soleil show. We quickly bonded over a love of Korean food, hatha yoga, and kitchen life.

What is Cirque de Soleil? (http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/welcome.aspx) It is a dramatic, ariel-feasted, and visually stunning show that will leave you amazed and breathless! Cirque de Soleil comes, annually, to Redmond and shows sell out...fast.

Before Lee left good old Redmond for his hometown, Toronto, I managed to ask him a few questions about his experience and work with Cirque de Soleil.

Check it out:

1) How did you get started with Cirque de Soleil?

I started with the Cirque du Soleil in July 2005. I was living in Toronto at the time and working in a small 50 seat bistro. I happened to see the job description in the Toronto Star classifieds. I applied but did not expect to hear anything. Two weeks later, I was interviewed. Four weeks after the interview, I was working on tour in New Jersey.

2) What is the best part about your job?
The best part of the job has been the opportunity to travel through the world while working. I have traveled through parts of North America, South America, Australia, Europe, and Asia. It has been a great experience to try the food and meet the local people from these destinations.

3) What is thw worst part of your job?
The worst part is being away from friends and family.

4) What is your favorite restaurant you have ever been to? Why?
The best restaurant I have ever been to is a difficult question. One of my favorites would be the Country House Pecora Nera in Teramo, Italy. In 2008, I drove with two other cooks from Berlin to Teramo. We stayed at this inn set in rolling farmer's fields. The Country House Pecora Nera had a restaurant which served the cuisine of Abruzzo and sourced everything locally. All the vegetables were grown by the chef's family and the pasta made by hand as well. I was never disappointed with what they served. They were good memories.

5) What do you hope to gain from your Cirque de Soleil experience?
In many ways, I have gained a renewed appreciation for home. I am looking forward to getting back to Toronto. I have also gained a bigger perspective of the many cultures around the world. Travel is good education. I have been really lucky to have had this experience.

From this interview, it keeps on reminding me there are many outlets and adventures in the food industry. See what is out there and what you truly like and want to do!

Happy Cooking,

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