June 23, 2024

LET’S EAT: ‘Food is mood;’ Newmarket chefs celebrate global cuisine

‘If you do a deep dive, food is about culture. It’s part of people’s lives, their holidays, their get-togethers,’ says chef with Feed Me Fine Foods

Food is more than just substance; it’s about bringing people together.

“It’s all about connections,” said Steven Dankha, owner and chef at Feed Me Fine Foods in Newmarket. “Food is mood; it’s a feeling.”

Chef Kire Boseovski, director of operations, agreed.

“If you do a deep dive, food is about culture. It’s part of people’s lives, their holidays, their get-togethers.”

And that is why it’s an honour to be invited into someone’s home to provide food for a birthday party or cater someone’s wedding, said Dankha, Boseovski and executive chef Matthew Fulton. One of the keys to Feed Me Fine Foods’ success is their ability to get to know their clients, learn their needs and deliver on them every time, they said.

The other key to their success: providing foods from various cultures.

“We have hosted weddings for Italian and Pakistani couples, Indian and German couples,” Boseovski said. “We embrace that (diversity) …we are proud to offer many different cuisines.”

It’s that cultural diversity that makes Feed Me Fine Foods stand out in a crowd, Dankha said.

“A lot of companies can do contemporary style, but we offer more authentic stuff, global cuisine.”

All three of the chefs are graduates of the culinary program at Humber College in Etobicoke. Fulton and Boseovski teach the next generation of chefs at the world-renowned culinary school, including Dankha, who was one of Boseovski’s students.

Each chef brings his own ethnicity and experience to Feed Me Fine Foods: Dankha’s background is Middle East (his grandfather was a chef in Iraq), Boseovski is Macedonian, and Fulton was European trained (“simply flavours done well”).

Several other chefs from various cultural backgrounds also work at the catering company.

And what the chefs don’t know, they are willing to learn.

“There is nothing you can’t ask for that we can’t produce — any culture, any food,” Fulton said.

Dankha said they have lots of friends in the industry, which is helpful when they need to tap into their knowledge to create authentic dishes.

“We are not willing to say no to anyone,” Boseovski said. “We offer everything from truffles and lobster and caviar right down to roasted chicken and mashed potatoes (on) any budget.”

Dankha founded Feed Me Find Foods in 2016 as a meal prep company, making and packaging dishes out of his apartment.

“(Dankha) put his heart and soul into pumping out tons of meals,” Fulton said.

The business evolved to catering and became a full-time job for Dankha, who rented banquet facilities before deciding to open his own shop in Newmarket so he could be close to venues where Feed Me Fine Foods is the exclusive caterer. (There are 10 such venues.)

While Feed Me Fine foods still does meal prep, it’s wholesale, meals for 50 to 100 people.

“It didn’t quit; I just got better at it,” Dankha said.

And Feed Me Fine Foods continues to grow.

Dankha, who said he continues to learn every day, hopes to create a manual “for everyone who wants to join us.”

“Steve is big on teaching, learning,” said Fulton, who added what he enjoys most about teaching is passing his knowledge to the next generation of chefs.

Fulton said he also wants to “continue to grow, continue to learn and be considered one of the top caterers in Toronto.”

Boseovski said he wants Feed Me Fine Foods to be the official caterer of the Rogers Cup or another big event, perhaps even having a restaurant at the Rogers Centre.

They are on the right path, Boseovski said.

“The opportunity to do more is there. We just keep growing.”

Barbecue season

It’s barbecue season, and Boseovski offers some tips to make your next family get-together a success.

What does every barbecue need?

  • Two types of meat — beef and chicken; pork and beef; or turkey and beef with a good barbecue sauce.
  • Two to three sides including mac and cheese, potato salad, and homemade baked beans.

Charcoal or propane?

“Charcoal all the way,” with a side smoker for big cuts of meat such as a beef brisket or pork shoulder.