House hunting with Chef Kenton LeierPublished on September 20, 2014

  • Chef Kenton Leier

As the executive chef at the Westin Ottawa, one of the national capital's busiest hotels, Kenton Leier spends much of each day in the kitchen. Despite this, he is always eager to cook after hours, noting that his passion for cooking really comes alive at home. As he prepares to embark on a search for a new residence, Kenton shared his thoughts on house hunting and kitchen essentials.

WHICH IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ROOM IN THE HOUSE TO YOU? Not surprisingly, it is the kitchen. It's where people gather and I love having an open space so people can hang out with me while I cook.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR IN A HOME? A vibrant, established neighbourhood is key, as is a house that is not too big and has great potential. I've done renovation projects before and I look forward to this again.

IS THERE A PARTICULAR AREA OF THE REGION THAT APPEALS TO YOU? AND IF SO, WHY? I like neighbourhoods in transition and am considering a number of areas, many of which are close to downtown and the heart of Ottawa's food scene.

WHAT MAKES A HOUSE A HOME? Family, friends and fun, with food to tie everything together. The fun usually centres around my two daughters, ages 10 and seven, and we love to entertain.

WHAT CAN YOU LIVE WITHOUT IN YOUR KITCHEN? I don't like single-purpose appliances or gadgets. I love coffee but don't need a high-end machine.

WHAT CAN'T YOU LIVE WITHOUT IN YOUR KITCHEN? Must-haves are a spacious fridge, gas stove, high-end work surfaces and a super functional layout with good flow.

WHICH KITCHEN APPLIANCE WOULD YOU SPEND THE MOST MONEY ON? My dream appliance would be a six-burner Wolf gas stove.

IF YOU WERE STUCK ON A DESERTED ISLAND WHAT SUPPLIES WOULD YOU WANT WITH YOU? My cast iron frying pans, some knives and sharpening tools. 

IF YOU WEREN'T A CHEF, WHAT WOULD YOU BE? I liked teaching in the culinary program at Algonquin which makes me think I'd enjoy being a phys-ed teacher. It's a job that would capitalize on my patience and calmness.

 Check out Kenton's salad recipe here

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