Over the next few months, we will be featuring restaurant industry leaders and influencers that will hopefully inspire you and your path within this delicious industry. Be sure to follow them on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook!
Our third featured post in our “Deep Dish” series is with Joanna Sable. Joanna is a Cordon Bleu-trained chef and has been in the food industry since she was young. Since 1975, her mother had her own gourmet food company, Sable and Rosenfeld Foods. Since its inception, she has been involved with the company either full or part time, selling and managing the USA portfolio, product and recipe development, branding and more.
For several years, her focus was catering and event planning. She currently has her own gourmet canning company, Bumpercrop, which she recently sold so she could pursue consulting to restaurants, food companies and food shops.
1. Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got to where you are today.
I have always been interested in food. When we were little kids I used to sauté zucchini as an after school snack!
My mother founded Sable and Rosenfeld Foods a gourmet grocery line in 1975 and I have been involved in and off forever.
I went to The Cordon Bleu in London England to become a chef. I fell in love with catering and events as each day was different and I got to wear many hats. I have worked for Ace Bakery helping test their cookbooks and had my own gourmet canning company. All of this has helped me develop into a well rounded restaurant and industry consultant along with the arm of my business Jojoinstameets that does highly curated influencer promotional events.
I love marketing, I love the hospitality business and I love helping others with their marketing so I jumped at the chance to learn more, do more and help more.
2. When it comes to food trends, what has been the most bizarre and the most exciting item that has hit the industry in recent years?
I would love to start with bizarre and 2 things come to mind. The candy floss/ ice cream burrito and rainbow everything including grilled cheese. In terms of exciting that would be Toronto’s growing diverse culture and all the true and authentic cooking that is coming out of restaurants and new food areas in the city. Torontonian’s are reaching farther to find cool eats.
3. As a chef, what do you do to keep your skills fresh?
That is easy in a way. Chefs are taught that you are only as good as your last dish and never stop learning and experiencing. This means we engage, talk and eat non stop.
4. Who is your biggest inspiration as to how you got into the field of food?
I would have to say my first chef boss at age 15. I was working in a gourmet shop that did catering. They were short on staff so I was pulled into the kitchen, handed a recipe for Chocolate Mousse and told to make it. I had never really cooked desserts much so I made it and it was horrid. The chef threw it in the sink. This happened 5 times, I was so frustrated as now one really helped me but finally I did it right. This was the start of tough food love.
5. What’s your number one piece of advice to all restaurant owners?
Do not expect to be an instant success and stick to your plan for an agreed upon period of time. Stick to your belief and let it ride. I think everyone needs someone outside of the restaurant to lean on and be responsible to in order to be grounded.
6. For fun – what is your absolute favorite meal?
You will hate this answer but I really done have just one. When I hop off a plane I head straight for Dim Sum as I am often in Europe and don’t see it there. When I am at home I love making big bowls of pasta. I am always ready for Schnitzel or a messy good burger, not fast food ones.