For anyone starting out in the restaurant industry, let Enoteca Sociale Chef Kris Schlotzhauer be an inspitation to you. After landing his first restaurant job at the tender age of 14 as a dishwasher in his hometown of Stratford, Ontario, Schlotzhauer worked his way up the ranks, from busboy, to server, to cook… to where he’s at today. He spent his formative years in the kitchen of Petite and CHARCUT in Calgary as a sous chef, before moving to Toronto in 2012 to take the reigns at Enoteca Sociale. We caught up with Schlotzhauer to find out more about his life at one of the city’s finest restaurants and his favourite places to eat when he’s not the one doing the cooking…
Give us a snippet about you. What should people know?
Contrary to the industry norm, I don’t have a single tattoo on my body. I believe the clean slate is a timeless classic!
What do you love most about being a chef?
Being a part of making memorable experiences for people.
You helm the kitchen at Enoteca Sociale. What’s it like to work at one of Toronto’s top restaurants day-in and day-out? Any fun anecdotes to share?
It’s a lot of work keeping things going on a daily basis in a kitchen. There are a lot of moving parts, but I love cooking and I’m happy I can get paid to do it.
Tell us a bit about the “Back Door Bakery.” What’s on offer and how do we score some?
We started Back Door Bakery back in the spring of 2014 as a way to share our bread with some of the community. We are very proud of our bread, and we wanted to show people in our neighbourhood — who may not have visited us for dinner — a little bit of what we do. We offer our red fife sourdough and our rosemary focaccia for $5.00 every Saturday at noon until we run out.
You went to Rome last year with your colleague Rocco Agostino for some R&D. If we only had 12 hours there, what are the three things/places we need to experience?
First go to Caffe Sant’Eustachio for one of their famous espressos. They make this crema with sugar and espresso… No one knows how they do it as they hide the process behind a big piece of metal – it might change your life. Then go to Pizzarium for some of Gabriele Bonci’s famous pizza. And finish it all off with some of Italy’s best craft beer at Open Baladin.
Finish this sentence: I love Toronto because…
…of its diverse food scene. Given the multiculturalism of the city, you can find the best of whatever ethnic cuisine you are into.
What are three things you can’t live without?
My wife, Suzy. My dog, Frankie. Bucatini all’Amatriciana.
What has been your most memorable meal to date?
Right after I proposed to Suzy at Rockefeller Center last fall, we went to Momofuku Ssam Bar. I can still taste the Benton’s ham with red eye mayo.
What chef has had the most influence on your career?
John Jackson and Connie Desousa, co-chefs at CHARCUT Roast House in Calgary. They gave me an opportunity to really grow into the chef that I’ve become today, and I learned so much in my two years with them.
What’s your favourite drink/cocktail and where do you go to get it?
Manhattan on the rocks. I order it anywhere; it’s always a good barometer to see if the bartender is any good or not.
Let’s get social. How can people stay up-to-date with all your culinary antics?
They can follow me on Instagram and Twitter. Or, better yet, come in for a bowl of pasta and a glass of wine! Things are always changing on our menu at Enoteca Sociale.