Food Network Canada chef Corbin Tomaszeski tells us about his new book In Good Company: Easy Recipes for Everyday Gatherings and reflects on the profound affect food can have on our lives.

For foodies and fans of the Food Network Canada, chef Corbin Tomaszeski, 47, is as familiar as apple pie. The Toronto-based chef has hosted such popular FNC series as Dinner Party Wars, Restaurant Makeover and Restaurant Takeover.

Raised on a farm outside of Edmonton, one of his earliest memories is the smell of baking bread in his grandmother’s kitchen. This spring, Tomaszeski shares his tastes and skills in his first cookbook, In Good Company: Easy Recipes for Everyday Gatherings. Taking traditional family dishes rooted in his Polish-Canadian upbringing such as Baba’s pierogis, borscht and fennel-and-pistachio-crusted rack of lamb and adding his special twist, he hopes the recipes will show readers how to celebrate the joy of sharing meals with loved ones. “The recipes are intended to be used by everyone and anyone, novice or not,” says Tomaszeski. “I want this book to live on people’s kitchen counters, get stained, used and worn.”

Book cover for In Good Company. Corbin Tomaszeski standing at a kitchen counter and cutting board with freshly chopped mushrooms laying on it.

What advice do you wish you’d given your 25-year-old self?

Take the opportunities that are presented to you and stay true to yourself.

What advice would you give your 80-year-old self?

Continue to enjoy food, family, friends and drink (not necessarily in that order, ha ha!) and share the stories and experiences you have had the pleasure of having. Live everyday like it is your last!

What do you know for sure?

I love what I do. I have been fortunate to find my life’s passion – everything to do with food and what happens as a result of sharing food with those around me.

What have you learned?

Perseverance, hard work and dedication do pay off. I have learned that confidence and thinking outside the box creates opportunity.

What will you never learn?

I will never learn when to give up and when to stop believing in myself.

Best piece of advice?

You get what you put out there, both the good and the bad. Never complain!

Did it work?

It is working, and I look forward to the challenges and the opportunities that my future holds.

What inspires you?

The fact that I can change the mood of someone or make a difference with somebody through food is a pretty incredible and moving experience.

The moment that changed everything?

When I met my wife, Charlene, and becoming the father of our three beautiful boys. They have made me more aware of not how well-known or famous you are but how you treat those around you and are respected.

Happiness is … Creating a difference with food!

A version of this article appeared in the May 2018 issue with the headline, “Wisdom of the Ages,” p. 96.