Chuck’s Day Off is back with more food, more fun, more Chuck. In every episode Chuck Hughes spends his day off cooking for friends, family and suppliers. Sandwiched in between the mouth-watering recipes are rock’n roll reality segments that give the viewer insight behind the scenes of the city’s hottest restaurant. The end result is addictively delicious television.
Episode 1 – The Dishwasher
This week the dishwasher broke down so Chuck hires additional help. To show his thanks he cooks up a variety of meals for the new dishwasher.
Episode 2 – Respect to the Wait Staff
This week Chuck gives thanks to his hardworking wait staff. Giving them the treatment they deserve and he cooks up a storm.
- Crispy Trout Starter
- Vegetarian Shepherd’s pie with Spaghetti Squash
- Grandma’s Homemade Ketchup
- Chuck’s Red Velvet Cupcakes
Episode 3 – The Linen Guy
Today on Chucks day off he cooks a variety of special meals for his laundry guy and his family. It includes a Caramelized fig delicacy for desert.
- Pan Seared Beef Carpaccio with Potato Chips, Fried Capers and Lemon Aioli
- Chuck’s Bolognese
- Sticky fig Pudding with Candied Fresh Figs
Episode 4 – The Mentors
“So today is a big day off. Today I’m cooking for my mentors… who are now sorta my competition as well. I think the world of Dave and Fred, and their restaurants are the first I send anyone if we don’t have room here. Obviously we NEVER get to eat together and actually talk… So, yeah, today is a big deal…”
Episode 5 – The Cops
Today Chuck cooks up a variety of meals for the neighbourhood police department. It includes an interesting Portuguese chicken dish with a twist.
Episode 6 – The Bread Guy
Bread. It’s the first thing on everyone’s table and the only thing that’s free… Bread is a small thing that I think makes a big difference when I’m eating at a restaurant.
Todays meal includes peanut butter & Jelly Foie Gras, Braised Lamb Shanks and a sweet suprise.
Tarte Tartin with Sponge Toffee Ice Cream
Episode 7 – The Wine Guy
“I know almost nothing about wine. Yeah, I know I know… But really, do I look like a guy who spends his time worrying about pinot noir? Obviously wine is an important part of our restaurant and so we rely on our suppliers to get us great stuff. Todays meal includes greek salad with fried cheese spinach and lemon risotto with a twist. Our special guest today: The Wine Guy.
Episode 8 – The Dog Walkers
“Running your own business really blurs the line between work and play… especially if you’re a workaholic like me… One of the victims of my lack of personal time is super important to me and hasn’t complained once: Fakey. My dog. Recently I found these great dog walkers in the area and they take him and a bunch of dogs out on what seems like a daily spring break to me… best of all, they swing by with the dogs from time to time to say hey… It sounds like a little thing, but when you’re working from 9 to 2 AM everyday, this stuff makes a difference. Today, I’m whipping up some eats for the walkers, and maybe even something for the pooches…”
Episode 9 – The Green Show
I like the environment. I mean, I’m not a green maniac, but I like to do what I can. On the menu today, chicken variety’s with a twist and a sweet suprise.
- Blackened Chicken Salad
- Homemade Soda Crackers
- Chicken Soup with Ground Chicken Meatballs
- Caramelized Pears
Episode 10 – The Knife Guy
Todays meal goes out to Kevin, my knife guy. Who brings me a new set of perfectly sharpened knifes every week. On the menu, Grape salad with a pear juice vinaigrette and more.
Episode 11 – The Bartender Show
“Anyone who’s been to our restaurant knows there are two hubs of activity: The kitchen, and the bar. In a small space like ours, the bar is more than a bar though… It handles the overflow of eaters that we can’t fit at tables, has to turn out all the drinks and has really taken on a life of its own. From day one the bar staff has gone the extra mile – from the drink of the day made with fresh produce to putting on a show, these guys rival my kitchen guys as the rock stars of our restaurant… It’s about time I cooked them up something special.”
Episode 12 – The Butchers
“Trust your butcher. It’s one of the first things I was taught and a great rule to live by in the restaurant world… I’m a seafood lover, but if a solid steak, beautiful sausages, or gorgeous lamb chops don’t get you salivating I feel sorry for you. I’ve known my butchers for years… I worked at their sausage shop when I was a teenager! I’ve been meaning to catch up with these guys for years, and today’s the day.”
Episode 13 – The Suits
”Do I look like a business man? No. And neither of my partners are what you’d call ‘suits’. As with everything else we have a great team helping us keep on top of our paperwork, led by Jasmine and Melissa. They’re two lawyers that help us with everything from city permits to making sure that our books are well balanced and they keep us in line – most of the time. These days, we’re looking at doing a bit of renovation and they’re letting us know what we can and can’t do. After 6 months of us heading to their office…, today they’re coming down here…”
- Killer Ceasar Salad with Oysters Croûtons
- Veal Chops with Stewed tomatoes and white beans
- Banoffie Pie
Episode 14 – Play Date
“I love my restaurant with all my heart… obviously. But if there was one thing I could change, it would be the fact that we’re not allowed to have kids eat here cause of our liquor license. My little cousins have been after me to cook for them for years and I’ve decided that after an intense week in the restaurant, spending my day off cooking for them is just what the doctor ordered.”
Episode 15 – The Locksmiths
”You would never think of a locksmith as being important to a restaurant’s success… But earlier this week we learned the hard way just how important they can be. Not only is the restaurant old, but so was the lock on the front door… And Thursday morning we showed up for prep and couldn’t get in. Ken & Joe spent HOURS helping us out and we managed to crank out another awesome night. I thought the least I could do for these guys was cook them a meal…”
- Not just for breakfast Smashbrowns
- Stuffed Lamb Shoulder with Garlic Sauce
- Mussels with Bacon and Rapini
- Toblerone Rice Pudding
Episode 16 – The Interns
“Cooking and food are more popular than ever and there are more and more young people who are going to cooking schools… And these schools all run intern programs where they place students in restaurant kitchens to get work experience. We’ve been really lucky and had three great interns, Raffi, Erin and Vanessa, for the last few weeks. They’re great and brought some outside influences into the kitchen… Today I’m letting them off the hook and gonna cook for the interns… ”
- Shrimp Dumplings with
- Pancakes with duck meat and veg
- Spicy Peking duck breast soup
Episode 17 – The Concierges
“This week was a great week. We had a few massive tables in from out of town that came to us through some local concierges. Restaurants usually spoil these guys with all sorts of gifts to keep them on their good side… But we’ve never really gotten into that. They seem to have figured out who to send to our place, and I guess they get enough positive feedback that they keep sending people. Anyhow, one of them pointed out we never have room for them, only their clients so I’ve decided to have a bunch of them down for a bite.”
Episode 18 – The Kitchen Staff
“The most important place in the restaurant is the kitchen. If someone tells you otherwise, don’t eat at their restaurant. This week was a really hard week for us and the kitchen staff was really pushed to their limits. Every once in a while we need to take a day to reconnect, and today’s that day. “
Episode 19 – The Coffee Guy
“I don’t know who likes our coffee machine more – the staff or the clients. I doubt we could make it through a single day without this machine and it’s beautiful espressos, cappuccinos and lattes… Mohammed is our coffee guy. He sold us our machine, and supplies us with our coffee. He’s been with us since day one, and is absolutely nuts about coffee… I’ve never had the chance to eat with him, so today’s the day. ”
- Pork Belly & Scallop Started with Coffee Glaze
- Black Cod Ratatouille en Papillote
- Affogato with Chuck’s Coffee Cigars
Episode 20 – The DJ’s
“I’ve always believed that a good meal is even better if you’re listening to great tunes. Music is a major part of the experience at our restaurant. Most nights, our bartenders, my partners, or even me ‘ll make sure the tunes are just right…. But on our busiest nights, we’ve started to bring in some real DJs to take things up a notch. I love music and I’ve been dying to talk with Ryan and Nazali about DJing, so I’ve invited them down and in exchange for some eats I want the inside scoop on their tricks of the trade…”
Episode 21 – The Bouncers
“Our restaurant is very small. Some might say that it’s tiny – and when we get busy, crowd control can be a problem. It’s not common that you’ll have a bouncer at a restaurant, but on our busiest nights that’s exactly what you’ll get at our front door. Fred & Eugenio are awesome guys – and it’s super important to me that they really understand what we’re all about, so I’ve invited them down to cook for them and remind them of why people are lining up to get in here!”
Episode 22 – The Spice Guys
“Every cook, whether they work at home or in a restaurant, has a go to shop. A place that has all the hard to find stuff that takes dishes from great to “This is the best thing I have ever cooked”… Mine is run by these two characters – Amedee, Benoit & Erica. They’re more than a supplier for me – they’re my secret weapon. It’s about time I had them down for a meal”.
They have every oil, spice and grain in the world. Seasoning Kings.
- Grilled Sardines, Olive Pesto and Cauliflower Puree
- Shortrib Ravioli & Creamy Mushroom Sauce
- Caramel Balsamic Swirl Ice Cream
Episode 23 – The Hockey Team
“One of the real challenges in my life is getting away from the restaurant. When own the place and run the kitchen and live in the neighborhood it’s really hard to let go. And being a perfectionist doesn’t help either… If there is one thing that I will never miss it’s my weekly hockey. I can’t let the team down. Anyhow, long ago I promised the boys that we’d have a team meal at the restaurant.”
- Popcorn Rock Shrimp with Spicy Honey
- Apple Butter Glazed Ham
- Scalloped Potatoes
- Cheddar Biscuits
- Sauteed Leeks
Episode 24 – Charity Show for Dans La Rue
“Today’s day off is an extra special one. I do a lot of work for a great charity called Dans La Rue. They help street kids get back on their feet. It’s a cause that I feel really strongly about and today I’m cooking for some very generous guests – I’ve invited a bunch of their volunteers down for a special meal… they spend their days off cooking for a great cause so I really want to treat them”.
- Filet of Sole on Barley & Veg with Grainy Mustard sauce
- Roasted Garlic Soup and Artichoke Croutons
- Chocolate raspberry cake
Episode 25 – The Truffle Dealer
“I’m amazed at how some foods intimidate people… you know, Foie Gras, Caviar, and the big one these days, Truffles… People love them to try them at the restaurant, but at home? Hold up…! Even I was slow to get on the truffle train, as soon as I heard Paolo, my truffle guy…or as I like to call him, ‘my truffle dealer’ talk about how much he loves them, any worries I had were blown away.
The truth is that once you figure out how to use them, you’ll never look back!
Anyhow, I’m really excited to have Paolo and his partner down for a great meal today to enjoy a couple dishes inspired by their truffles.”
- Chicken Supreme with Truffle and Sage
- Truffle Butter
- Mushroom and Cheese Brioche
- Chocolate Truffles
- Oven Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes
Episode 26 – The Landlords
“Today’s the first of the month and that means George, our landlord, pops by to collect the rent…George is a character and a half and we get along great and we’ve developed a great relationship.
Especially since as it turned out – he’s also in the food business – him and his brother run a shop where they import olive oil, honey and cheeses from the Mediterranean… and I’ve actually become a loyal customer!
Today’s my day off, and it’s rent day– so I thought – I couldn’t pick a better day to treat my landlord and his family to a relaxed meal.”
- Panzanella Bread Salad
- Roast Beets & Red Chard Greens
- Fried Skate
- Chuck’s Tzatziki
- Meyer Lemon &Honey Panna Cotta