No chef will disagree: it’s a hard job. And one in which only the most passionate and committed will persevere. Executive Chef Brooke Vosika is a walking example. This culinary expert has dedicated his life to creating extraordinary meals. To mark an unprecedented three decades of service in the kitchen at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Chef Vosika launched an e-cookbook, Celebrating Executive Chef Brooke Vosika’s 30th Anniversary with 30 Years of Recipes on August 3. It includes 34 recipe favourites, from breakfast to barbecue rubs.
We sat down with the chef, who not only runs the Bristol Lounge and banquet kitchens of Four Seasons Hotel Boston—but also in his spare time whips up his own wine, sauces and cider. Chef Vosika even grows fresh ingredients in a garden on the hotel’s green rooftop. Yes, this man is dedicated.
Here’s what Chef Vosika says about his career, his e-cookbook and most importantly, his food:
Q: Describe your 30-year ride on the Four Seasons train.
A: The first word that comes to mind is adventure. I’ve cooked, created and eaten in the best kitchens around the world. The second word that comes to mind: awe-inspiring. I’ve had the luck of working with the most talented and passionate group of people, who are always striving to better themselves and their product. It’s been an amazing journey—and one I hope is far from over.
Q: What was your inspiration behind the cookbook?
A: As a chef, I often express my feelings through the food I create. For me, there’s no better way to say thank you to the amazing guests I’ve had the opportunity to cook for over the years than to share the gift of my recipes with them. I hope they’ll find as much joy in these dishes as I have—and then share them with family and friends.
Q: How did you narrow down the recipes?
A: It was actually quite easy; I thought about what I love to eat, and what Four Seasons guests have loved eating, and suddenly we had 34 recipes. I’m already looking forward to my 40th anniversary. I have so many more recipes I’d love to share with the world. I’m just getting started!
Q: Tell us about your hotel’s green roof. Why is it important to grow your own ingredients?
A: I want to serve the best, freshest food to our guests. Always. Guests who are eating my food know that it’s been made with top quality ingredients; I would never settle for any less, and I wouldn’t want to dine at a restaurant that settles for anything less, either. It was a natural step to start a green roof garden. Not only are our guests eating local, they’re enjoying ingredients that may have been grown right on property. You can’t get any fresher than that.
Q: How do you want guests to feel after dining at The Bristol Lounge?
A: Like they were somewhere special. Like each dish was a memorable experience unto itself, bursting with delicious, flavourful ingredients. I want them to leave smiling and thinking, “Wow. I can’t wait to go back.”
Q: If you could plan the final meal of your life, what would it be?
A: 1. A toasted bagel with cream cheese, smoked salmon, lettuce, tomato and Bermuda onion from Sarge’s Deli in New York.
2. Pork ribs from Fat Matt’s Rib Shack in Atlanta.
3. Ice cold draught beer: Steel Rail Pale Ale or Harpoon.
4. Homemade blackberry pie from The Cascade Mountains, topped with caramel whipped cream.
See how Chef Vosika made Ahi tuna 3 ways!
Celebrating 30 years with the company in August 2012, Brooke Vosika is the most tenured Four Seasons chef. He is currently the Executive Chef at Four Seasons Hotel Boston, overseeing The Bristol Lounge, multiple kitchens and a team of more than 60 chefs. Chef Vosika has worked at several Four Seasons around the globe. He has received many high-profile awards, including honours from the prestigious Bocuse d’Or and James Beard Foundation. Outside the kitchen, Chef Brooke enjoys spending time with his two children, cooking, wine making and tending to the gardens and orchards of his upstate New York cabin.