Q&A with Boy With A Knife

Thanks to my good friend, Ryan Gaudet, I was recently introduced to Chef Brandon Dac and Sean Fay: co-owners of Boy With A Knife. This up-and-coming catering company specializes in weddings, corporate events, private parties and personal chef services.

The following Q&A will give you the inside scoop on this talented young Chef: where he likes to eat, where he shops for ingredients and why he and his business partner get on so well!

It is my absolute pleasure to put BWAK on your Foodie radar - Happy Reading, Piggies!

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EMILY: Fill us in on your culinary background, Chef Brandon! And as one of the owners of Boy With A Knife, what can we expect to see from your up-and-coming catering company?

BWAK: I graduated from the Art Institute of Vancouver in 2009 and then worked with a few catering companies in the city, eventually earning the title of Head Chef. Starting Boy With A Knife has been a dream come true for both me and my business partner. We always have fun with our menu development and I think that our creativity keeps us competitive. We have a strong ability to adapt to our clients’ needs, we are never bound to one specific cooking style and we know what it takes to put together a memorable event!

EMILY: The other owner of Boy With A Knife is your longtime friend, Sean Fay. What role does he play within the company and why do you think you two work so well together?

BWAK: Sean and I have been friends for years and we’ve always known that we have complimentary skill sets. From the beginning, we assumed that starting a catering company would be a huge amount of work but honestly, we always thought this partnership was a no brainer! At Boy With A Knife we have an all hands on deck approach but having said that, Sean usually handles the business operations as well as the front of house responsibilities when we are on site.

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EMILY: It’s no secret that you have a serious love for Asian flavours, Chef Brandon. Where do you shop for most of those ingredients?

BWAK: It’s true! I’m a huge fan of Asian flavours and cooking techniques. Chinatown is where I find a lot of my secret ingredients and Fujiya is great for hard-to-find Japanese ingredients. When it comes to Mediterranean or Italian menu preparation, BOSA FOODS is my go to spot.

EMILY: Chef Brandon: if you could trade places, for a day, with someone in the Vancouver culinary scene, who would it be and why? And do you have any ‘hole-in-the-wall’ Vancouver restaurant suggestions for us?

BWAK: I don’t have one person in particular to name, but I would love an opportunity to work in a ramen noodle house and learn how to make a perfect bowl of ramen. I’m totally fascinated with this dish – I eat ramen about 3 or 4 times a week, no joke! My favourite spot is Motomachi Shokudo on Denman Street. They have a Black Charcoal ramen that is the best I have ever had. A close second would be Jinya Ramen Bar on Robson Street.

EMILY: What/Where is your Culinary Dream Vacation?

BWAK: I would love to travel to Asia. My dream is to visit the rural areas of Japan, China and Vietnam. The cooking techniques in these areas fascinate me and I would love the opportunity to learn firsthand.

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EMILY: Complete this sentence, Chef: chocolate belongs …

BWAK: … in a milkshake! The darker and more bitter the better!

EMILY: Here’s one for you both? Coffee or Tea?

BWAK: I’m a Starbucks lifer! But funnily enough, I don’t actually like hot coffee. No matter the time of year, I go for a Grande Iced Coffee: 2 pumps of ToffeeNut syrup, 1% milk, and easy on the ice.

SEAN: I’m definitely a coffee guy. I like my Starbucks but I also enjoy exploring local Vancouver coffee shops when I have the time. Revolver and Matchstick Coffee Roasters are fantastic!

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EMILY: What dessert in your repertoire would you say is better than sex?

BWAK: I’m not a huge dessert person – I usually gravitate to salty items – so this question is a tough one for me! But I can say that Boy With A Knife has partnered with a great local Pastry Chef, Mark Tagulao of Marked Edible Designs and he makes the most amazing Earl Grey and Lavender macarons. A close second is his Toasted Coconut Creme Brulee. 

EMILY: How scary was it deciding to start your own catering business? What lessons have you learned so far and what advice would you have for someone considering going in to business for themselves?

BWAK: Leaving my steady, salaried position to start Boy With A Knife was definitely a scary venture but I felt ready to take the leap. I’ve had my worries along the way but thankfully business is going well so far. As for advice, I would recommend saving as much money as possible beforehand. The first few months are always challenging as it takes a while for any business to pick up speed. Also, be sure to do as much networking as you can and take full advantage of all the free social media marketing channels out there.

EMILY: My website, www.thefatpigs.com, is all about promoting a guilt-free attitude when it comes to food and drink. Would you say that you and Sean also live by this philosophy? Any favourite items that you love to pig out on?!

BWAK: We definitely agree with your Piggy attitude! We have quite a few guilty pleasures of our own and you’ll never hear either one of us counting calories. Both Sean and I go crazy for pretty much anything “buffalo’d” or fried and we can eat our weight in hot wings. Paired with a few Craft beers of course!

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For more information on Boy With A Knife click here: http://boywithaknife.ca/

And be sure to follow along on Twitter and Instagram too! @boywithaknifeca

 

 

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