There’s more Barrie restaurants than we can count, and a population of over 140,000. But there’s only one Top Cheflicious Star of 2019, and that is Amanda Rider chef at the Dunlop Street Diner!
Barrie Uncovered had the opportunity to hang out with Amanda and find out more about what drives her passion for cooking. Now before we give you all the goods, let us share this little tidbit – you can have her cooking your breakfast or lunch any day you want to. Are you an early bird? Well then, at 7 am, if you can get yourself to Dunlop Street Diner, you will be in luck! That Spicy Chorizo skillet that you may have eaten – just happens to be her favourite dish to cook.
“My favourite dish to cook at the diner is the spicy chorizo skillet, which is seared chorizo, caramelized onion blistered heirloom cherry tomatoes, and fresh spinach, that all gets tossed up with our incredible home fries topped with asiago cheese, poached eggs, hollandaise and cilantro, it looks gorgeous and tastes amazing.”
Becoming a chef has its challenges, and we asked Amanda to tell us what inspired and motivated her. “I got my passion for cooking because I come from a long line of fantastic cooks in my family and had the privilege of eating quality home cooked meals growing up. However, I remember getting teased by my mom and sister when I was young because I couldn’t even make Kraft dinner out of the box, I think that was a big motivator.”
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Amanda’s winning dish for Top Cheflicious was a stuffed roast beef and Yorkshire pudding Eggs Benedict topped with brown butter hollandaise and pickled beet horseradish. We were pretty amazed when Amanda shared that they prepared their top dish while also making and serving breakfast for 200 people at the same time!
Amanda let us know that she is super proud of her incredible kitchen team and could not have done it without them. So, here’s a question for you – When was the last time you cooked for 200 people? (*cough *cough *never)
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Something else that Amanda shared with us was about the road that brought her to Barrie, “I started off as a dish washer and began working my way through top tier restaurants in Toronto and Victoria, British Columbia after completing my apprenticeship program at George Brown Culinary school.”
Here’s question number two for you, “Where do you think Dunlop Street Diner is located?” If you said, Dunlop Street, we would agree with you. Make sure to check out their lunch menu and in particular the pierogies. They are made in house. Yum!
Barrie Uncovered invites you to check out the star of Dunlop Street Diner, Amanda Rider and her amazing team! Oh, one last thing! Amanda told us, “My father was also a persuasive element to my decision to go to culinary school, solely because he suggested it and I always take my dads advice.” When you go to the diner, should you see Amanda, make sure to let her know how glad we are that her father told her to go to culinary school. Alright Friends! What are we ordering?
Check back for this continuing series spotlight on Barrie’s best restaurants and the chefs that make them great!
Written by: Sharon Johnston | Images by: Stephen Elliot