Rob Feenie + Nico Schuermans = Foodie Fathers

This week we’re raising a toast to dads everywhere with a blog about fathers and food, a wonderful combination! And, of course, what better place to turn to for inspiration than a couple of the best-known foodie fathers around, Rob Feenie and Nico Schuermans? You’re likely familiar with Feenie; in addition to being the first Canadian to win Iron Chef America, he’s also the man behind some of BC’s most popular menus (heard of a little place called Cactus Club?) and has three best-selling cookbooks to his name. Nico Schuermans is a known chef and trendsetter. He's the pioneer behind the current trend toward euro-bistro style dining flooding Vancouver's food scene and is also the man behind the delicious tastes of Chambar and Café Medina. Chambar is a chic Belgian bistro, and the neighboring Café Medina is arguably the best place to go for brunch in Vancouver (just ask the hordes of people crowding in there every day of the week).  

As you can imagine, tracking down these two famed fathers wasn’t easy. Between running restaurants, managing enterprises, traveling, speaking engagements and, of course, fathering, neither has a lot of free time for small talk.

So we cut right to the chase, asking, What’s the best part about being a dad?

Without pause, Nico Schuermans answered, “Being a dad is so cool. It’s the best thing that could happen to anyone.” In his thick French accent he gushed about his two children and their excitement to show him what they’ve made at school, especially around Father’s Day when they bring home special cards and crafts.

When asked about his most memorable Father’s Day yet, he replies: “It has to be my first one. When my wife got me a present, I was shocked! I thought, ‘oh yeah, I’m that guy [a father]’. It slowly dawned on me that everything I’ve had to do for my father [on Father’s Day], my kids now have to do for me!” He jokingly says he expects a lot!

Father’s Day is a big day in the restaurant biz so Nico typically works, but eagerly anticipates going home to the special treats and crafts his wife organizes with the kids, “Really, the most fun part is getting a cute craft, and seeing the kids excited to bring something home for me!”

Awww.

Next up, Rob Feenie. When we caught up with Rob on the topic of best-ever Father’s Day, he fondly recalls his own childhood, “I was six years old and bought my dad a mini statue of a person that had arms wide and said ‘I love you this much.’ He still has it by his bed 39 years later!” 

So cute.

Of course we had to ask, what will these culinary dads be eating themselves on Father’s Day?

Feenie looks forward to celebrating in his home, lingering over a family Roast Beef dinner. In fact, that’s his favorite tradition every Sunday, “Every Sunday we have family dinners together. My favorite meal is always Roast Beef and or Roast Chicken.”  

Why mess with a classic?

Schuermans will be at his restaurant, making delicious brunches for other lucky fathers about town.  One of his favorite (and the most popular) dishes at Café Medina is the Fricassé. Below he shares this coveted recipe with us at Better Together!

Fricassé 

(serves one per person/cook each in individual pan)

In a 9" cast iron pan or regular non-stick pan, cook 2 thick slices of bacon with chopped red onions.
Add roasted potatoes and cook for a couple of minutes.
Crack 2 eggs over the pan, add black pepper, and cook on the stovetop until the eggs are cooked through.
Garnish with
basil & sliced tomato.

Sounds delicious! Lastly, we asked if these two had any fatherly food advice to leave us with?

Nico shares the last word: "We've made it a policy not to cater to pickiness. Often, when the kids say they don't like something, after they try it, they find they actually do like it. This philosophy has made meals together and even dining out enjoyable!" Great advice.

We'd love to hear how you celebrated Father’s Day this year so please share your stories on our Facebook page! This week we’re giving away Jamie Oliver's Jamie's Dinners cookbook in honour of dads everywhere.

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