September 23 - October 2, 2016

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10 Questions with Chef Rick Tite of MATCH

New Westminster's MATCH Eatery & Public House – inside the bustling Starlight Casino – is known for many things: 20+ high-def screens, live music, DJs, a large stage with special event entertainment, and its contemporary pub experience. But, what it perhaps has become most rightfully known for is its cuisine.

At MATCH, you'll find a one-of-a-kind menu full of gastro flare that features popular pub staples and creative twists on fan favourites. Behind this impressive menu is 29-year-old Chef Rick Tite – the driving force behind MATCH's unmatched, unparalleled culinary fare.

Chef Rick entered the MATCH kitchen with a vision, and works to fulfill this everyday. Here are our 10 questions with the Chef:

What Fraser Valley ingredient inspires you the most? And why?

Any kind of fresh organic produce is integral to the dishes I prepare at home. The smells, vibrant colors and taste are like no other, and you can really create an amazing dish with just a few simple fresh veggies.

When did you start cooking?

Quite young, actually. I started learning how to cook when I was about seven years old.

What do you think is the most important part about sourcing ingredients locally?

I find that developing genuine relationships with your suppliers and local farmers can be very beneficial because you are able to establish an open line of communication, and have access to specific information about their ingredients – such as freshness and quality. If you are buying through a big box distributor, they are more of a middle man and just don't have the same intimate knowledge about the items you are purchasing.

Why did you choose to become a chef?

Watching my dad cook at a very young age definitely inspired me to become the chef I am today. I would watch him over the counter when he prepared dinner, and I would always want to lend a helping hand.

What is your favorite part about cooking with BC ingredients? And why?

I place a lot of value on cooking with local ingredients because it is an outward sign of support for those who live in the same community that I do. When my neighbors thrive, then we all win.

As a chef, what is one thing that is very important to you in your cooking?

Simple, fresh, local ingredients are imperative to making any delicious dish, whether I am cooking for my family at home or cooking for a party of 50 at the restaurant.

If you could only have one last meal, what would it be?

A nicely-aged ribeye steak sourced from the Nicola Valley, shared with great company.

What's one ingredient that you can't live without?

Butter! Butter! And more butter!

Who is your favourite celebrity chef?

I would say Jamie Oliver. I loved watching his cooking shows when I was younger, and appreciated the influence he has had on challenging North Americans to examine their eating habits. He has created exposure of what is happening in our school cafeterias, and has introduced many to healthier options that still taste great.

What was your first restaurant job? Tell us about it.

I worked for a catering company right out of culinary school. It was challenging and exciting at the same time. I had the privilege of working with a talented executive chef who taught me so much about the culinary world. It was under his tutelage that I developed a strong passion the hospitality industry.

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