Lynn Crawford, 2014 Hokanson Chef in Residence at NAIT

In the late nineteenth century, French novelist Marcel Proust participated in an exercise which could be thought of as the Facebook of its era — he answered a questionnaire about himself in a friend’s Confession Album.

Proust’s answers have been published, in one form or another, for more than a century. Many have used the questionnaire for their own devices, the most notable being Vanity Fair’s Proust Questionnaire featuring celebrities. The Tomato now gives it a culinary twist.

LynnCraword_web2“How lucky am I to be a chef,” says Lynn Crawford, her intelligence and sense of fun palpable; from the twinkle in her eye to the hint of a smile, as if she possesses a delicious secret she can’t wait to tell you about.

Her words of advice to the culinary students? “Keep on growing and learning everybody, take some risks, get out of the box,” she said. “Everyone should have a dream and goals to create a sense of fulfillment and happiness.

“It’s an incredible feeling to have accomplished things; never for a second take anything for granted.”



Years cooking?


Where would you like to live?

That changes on any given day, but I do love New York.

Your favourite food and drink?

That changes every day. I had a wonderful margarita pizza for lunch and a glass of red wine — that’s just today.

What would you be doing if you weren’t cooking?

There’s nothing else I’d rather do.

What do you most appreciate in your friends?


Your favourite qualities in a dish?

Respectfulness of the products.

A cook?

So many qualities, but ultimately I think it’s the passion for their craft.

A wine?

Its history, the winemaker, who is growing the grapes.

Who would be at your dream dinner table (dead or alive)?

Alice Waters, Julia Child, Jann Arden, Joan of Arc, Ellen DeGeneres, Chelsea Handler.

Who would cook?

It would be potluck.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Amazing, fascinating!

Current culinary obsession/exploration?

I go in waves but right now I have a complete fascination with bread making — incredibly fascinated with nurturing the starter.

Meaningful/crazy cooking experience?

I am fascinated with traditional cooking, in complete awe. For example, when I went to Tofino and learned how to prepare wild Chinook on an open fire. Just caught, and they showed me the process — butterflied the fish and wove it between cedar branches clamped on to a salmonberry bush — learned from the grandmothers.

Best (cooking) thing that ever happened to you?

There’s been so many; cooking with Alice Waters, cooking with Julia Child, competing on Iron Chef and Top Chef Masters, having wonderful family gatherings. There’s so much, I’ve cooked for so long and have so many wonderful memories.


Every chef has someone they worked with and learned from. For me its Susan Weaver in Chicago, she was a strong mentor.

Favourite casual cheap and cheerful/afterwork food?

You always have bread, you always have eggs, a good old fried egg sandwich.


Life is so short, embrace it. Always give back, always be positive, try to do your best each and every day.

What’s next?

There are many adventures I still want to go on; it’s always about food and learning. One of the best ways to grow as a chef is to travel, yet at the same time my days are full. I am going to write another book, Chopped Canada is going for another season, and Ruby Watchco, my true love, is right now. That consumes me day to day, and I love having the opportunity to entertain and showcase the wonderful world of food.

You have to be happy in what you are doing, learning and sharing. Who knows what’s around the corner?