In an age when celebrity chefs are all the rage, Trevor Sinclair is showing that down-to-earth passion and culinary skills can be just as much of a winner as high-budget cooking shows.
The musician and home-based cook was chosen by Airbnb Experiences to be among the 100 contest winners who will head to the Slow Food Institute's University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy in June for a one-week workshop.
Experiences is a feature of Airbnb where local people offer visitors unique tours, lessons or outings.
Sinclair randomly clicked on a Facebook link for the contest and was later informed he was shortlisted.
“I got a call back. And I had 48 hours or so to produce a video so they could learn more about me,” he told Yellowknifer.
“That day it was -40C and I was doing a pan-fried whitefish. The video was me cooking up the fish in the kitchen with this cranberry salsa. A couple weeks later I got a call that I was chosen.”
“I'm really looking forward to it. I enjoy being a stay-at-home dad and teaching my boys how to cook. Once a week my eight-year-old cooks and I'm his sous-chef. And even my five-year-old helps out. That's how they're going to grow up and learn we can cook together and there are great delicious things we can do at home ourselves.”
His whitefish dishes are prepared with locally-sourced ingredients, including the whitefish that he catches himself, and cranberries and wild mushrooms from the bush.
“I don't follow a recipe every time. It's the difference between being a chef and a home cook. As a home cook you have to be adaptable with what you have. That's how I grew up. My mom had that adaptability and we fished a lot and picked berries.”
Sinclair doesn't run an Airbnb, but his upcoming trip to the Slow Food Institute has piqued his interest in becoming an Airbnb Experiences host and he will make a decision on it after returning from Italy.
The course will help participants refine their recipes and offer an entrepreneurial workshop on hosting Airbnb Experiences.
“It provides a nice marketing opportunity. Airbnb Experiences is producing a cookbook out of this as well. And the book would say 'This is from Trevor Sinclair from the NWT of Canada.'”