10 Questions With Chef Anthony Rose

"Shower Only When You Smell” and Other Wisdoms From Chef Anthony Rose
Home  |  Blog   |  10 Questions With Chef Anthony Rose

10 Questions With Chef Anthony Rose

When it comes to failure, Anthony Rose tends to handle it “horribly, then really, really well.” And we’re thinking of following his approach–after all, it seems to be working out pretty well for him.

If you live in Toronto, you’ve probably been to one of Anthony Rose’s restaurants whether you knew it or not. His list of accomplishments include the recently sold Swan, Rose and Sons, Big Crow, Bar Begonia, Shmaltz Appetizing, Madame Boeuf, and–my personal favourite–Fat Pasha.

His journey to becoming a chef, author, and “the Judd Apatow of Toronto’s restaurant scene” (as coined by Toronto Life) all began in here in the city. “I started in the trenches at Centro and Bersani & Carlevale doing dishes,” says Anthony. “I worked my way up, but I still like doing the dishes.” It then took him across the USA, from San Francisco to Boston to New York City and Upstate New York before coming back to Toronto.

Here’s what else Anthony shared with us:

  1. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Life advice: Don’t f*ck it up.

Cooking advice: Know what the dish should taste like before the dish is done. Use your tastebud imagination.

  1. What’s your dream brunch date? Where and with whom?

Shores of Temagami on Lake Obabika with my son, Simon.

  1. What’s on your bookshelf?

Right now, I am reading the autobiography of Jann Wenner and the new collections of poems by Leonard Cohen.

  1. What does a typical day in your life look like?

Three espressos, one cigarette, poo, many snuggles, gym, shower, work on all the restaurants and compare notes with chefs and managers, hang out with Rob a lot and do many plottings of attacks, early dinner, reading, snuggles, bed

  1. What would be people surprised to know about you?

I am ridiculously shy.

  1. What’s your go-to meal or recipe?

Kraft Dinner with hot dogs and hot sauce.

  1. What helps you get in your flow/zone?

Yoga and many breathings of air.

  1. When do you feel most alive?

In the lake at my cottage.

  1. In real life, face-to-face interactions are on the decline as the world becomes more and more virtual every day. What are some ways you connect with your tribe? What do you do to ensure you’re having authentic face-to-face interactions regularly?

I am with my family all the time, disconnected from social media and trying to stay in the moment.

  1. What are your biggest self-care tips?

Gym, yoga, breathe. Only have one addiction and shower only when you smell.


Check the shelves for Anthony’s cookbook, The Last Schmaltz: A Very Serious Cookbook. You’ll be seeing more of Anthony soon enough with the number of projects he has coming up, including, he says, “another book, a show, another restaurant–I already said too much.”

Photo credits: Kayla Rocca

If you’re a chef or author and want us to feature you on The Journal, we’d love to hear from you! Email us at hello@booknbrunch.com.

Shannon Hodgen is a lifelong writer, DIY enthusiast, and homebody. She satisfies her need to put pen to paper–or, more accurately, fingertips to keyboard–as an agency copywriter, blog contributor, and freelance editor in Toronto.

Favourite Book: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Favourite Brunch Spot: Dirty Food Eatery in The Junction


Why We Should All Be Reating!


The Queen & Beaver Public House