MEET THE CHEF: James Concepcion of Antoinette's Restaurant in Whitehorse, Yukon
Where did you grow up, and where have you traveled to that has helped inspire and shape your cooking philosophy?
I was born in the Philippines but have lived in Manila, Cebu, Vancouver, Boston and now Whitehorse where I have had the opportunity to experience many diverse cuisines firsthand. I have also travelled extensively around the world and have enjoyed meals at establishments ranging from the top Michelin restaurants to the itinerant food stalls lining streets and alleys all over the world. Having had an exposure to multicultural cuisines growing up, being introduced to unusual if not controversial ingredients in my travels and actually partaking of authentic food and drinks in over 40 countries in 6 continents; I have an affinity to welcoming the unusual and off the beaten path type of dishes in my restaurants. This has helped shape my cooking philosophy to be very varied and reflective of my culinary experiences where I need complexity in mouthfeel of all my dishes. I require four distinct tastes and textures in all my food—sweet, sour, spicy, bitter, salty combined with smooth, grainy, springy, firm, etc.