Owner and chef Rob Cassels in his restaurant Saveur. Don Denton photography

Inspired Chef with Rob Cassels

Saveur chef is best known for his vegetarian dishes

  • Sep. 13, 2018 10:30 a.m.

Where were you born and where did you grow up?

I was born and raised in Victoria.

Where did you train?

I started at age 12 in my godparents’ French restaurant, Antoine’s. I worked in small restaurants and bakeries throughout high school and was running a kitchen by age 18. After I graduated, I decided to visit Paris to stage and learn classic French styles. Back home I eventually worked my way up to sous chef at Feyes and Hobbs Catering under Chef David Feyes before branching out on my own.

How long at your current restaurant?

I’ve had Saveur for five years. The first two were spent building it from an empty shell. This was a challenging time as the project—of course—came in over budget and almost plunked before it started! It was just me and a few small investors and partners, so we had to work hard to get the space done. Saveur recently celebrated three years of being open for business though, and each year we do a little more to improve our space.

What are you best known for as a chef?

Honestly, I think my vegetarian dishes receive the most recognition. I love working with our local farmers and making vegetables the centre stage in my Tasting Menus. I think a lot of vegetarians are used to their meals being fairly standardized and people are pleased to see some creative options presented.

What are the 10 or so most important ingredients in your pantry?

There’s always the basics in the pantry, but I try to get out to the farms at least three times a week to see what’s fresh on the stands, and draw my inspiration from there.

What’s your favourite dish to cook and eat on a warm summer day?

Chilled soups are one of my favourites. Summer desserts are always fun to play with as well. Last year we did a play on s’mores with loganberry marshmallows, house-made graham crackers and white chocolate “Aero bars.”

What’s your go-to item when sampling other chefs’ fare?

I definitely like to let the chef get creative if that’s an option and choose for me.

Hobbies?

It’s a high demand industry, especially balancing being both the chef and the owner. On my days off I spend time with my family, walk my dog, take my son to the beach. I love home projects and doing renovations. If possible, a glass of wine on the deck with a cookbook is nice!

Anything else we should know?

Well, Saveur is a bit off the beaten track on Herald Street, so if you’re local and haven’t been in, we’d love to see you! We do specialize in Chef’s Tasting Menus in the evening, but also feature a more casual à la carte menu every night, and we recently opened for brunch.

Can you share an easy, seasonal recipe for a quick bite this summer?

My wife would say I’m not capable of doing anything simple for meals! Here’s a great sauce that can be used for anything from fish to beef to chicken, and even as a tomato salad dressing.

RECIPE:

SALSA VERDE

2 cups fresh mint

1 cup fresh basil leaves

1 cup fresh parsley

2 ounces of canola oil

Juice of 2 limes

½ clove microplaned garlic

Sea salt

Blend all ingredients except basil.

Once blended, add basil and blend again until smooth.

Salt to taste

Use the same day, or freeze to use later. Delicious on fish, chicken, steak, on tacos, or as a salad dressing!

-Story by Angela Cowan

Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication

Like Boulevard Magazine on Facebook and follow them on Instagram

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: North Island Bantam Eagles are ready for playoffs

The bantams will be playing their first two playoff games in Port McNeill this weekend.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: The top of Mt. Wolfenden

“A few shots at different focal lengths and then I was back inside editing with a coffee in hand”

Check out a new future at career and education fair in Comox

Event today features booths from more than 40 employers and educational institutions

Book reading: The Blue Haired Girl

Adam Hayes will be at the Book Nook (inside Cafe Guido) Feb. 1 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Veteran Island journalist battles cancer through pioneering treatment

Vancouver Island rallies around JR Rardon and family during stay in Seattle

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Province’s oldest practising lawyer shares advice at her 100th birthday party

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Owner surrenders dog suffering from days-old gunshot wound to B.C. SPCA

The dog was also found to be emaciated and suffering from a flea infestation

B.C. man dies after police called for ‘firearms injury’ in rural Alberta

Victim is 30-year-old Greater Victoria man, say police

Most Read