AJ Hussey THE FOOD-DEE
I’m AJ! I am a chef and a food photographer from the east coast of Canada.
I have been a chef for more than 10 years and I’ve been working in a Greek restaurant for half of that! This is where my love for Greek & Mediterranean food came from. It was actually the craziest thing; I saw a posting for a job at a Greek restaurant named Totally Greek. For some reason, I just needed to work there. I wanted to learn that style of food. So I applied and waited for a response. Not long after, I got this call from a very deep, warm voice asking me to come in for an interview. I was excited; I had an interview at a place I had no idea about, but something about it just drew me in. I had my interview with a man named Peter Thiveos. We sat for over 2 hours talking about our love for food. The two hours just seemed to fly by and I learned a lot about this Peter guy and his goals and ambitions, and where he saw Totally Greek going. I was so excited, I actually wouldn't let him leave the interview with out giving me the job. Let’s just say that I got the job. He apparently wanted to go home. This was the beginning of a new chapter in my life that has affected me to this very day!
Totally Greek and Peter became my family. He brought in his parents from Greece to teach me how to cook some of the best food I have ever had. I’m not going to lie, when they were teaching me the old ways from Greece and how to properly make Greek food, I was scared shitless. Every time I was re-creating the dish they showed me, I had George leaning over me, just waiting for me to mess up so he could smack me in the back of the head or wave a knife at me. I swear he enjoyed it. The passion Kassi and George had for food was amazing and you could see in the the way they handled the the food.
When I was learning how to make the most tasty lamb Kassi would tell me over and over "Lamb is like a lady, you got to be gentle.” Yup, that is passion right there! I also became very close with his wife and kids. It was like I had a very large extended family. They enjoyed their food and they enjoyed the whole act of eating, with friends and family all around the table, enjoying fresh made food from the heart. So, I worked there for five years and in that five years I also lost over 70 pounds.
I was a fat kid growing up and had tried every diet you could think of. Nothing worked. But then I stopped trying and was just enjoying this new Mediterranean diet, and I lost 70 pounds. It never hit me that all this fresh made food from the heart would cause me to lose weight, because it was so damn tasty. Before then, I didn’t even know about the Mediterranean diet. But this time with the Thiveos’ made me realize that it was not just the food I loved, it was the whole lifestyle. You may ask why I left after 5 years? After five years the decision was made to close Totally Greek, as Peter and the family had decided to move to another part of the country. The experience of Totally Greek bonded us as family, and although it was sad that Totally Greek had to end, my passion for the food and the lifestyle continues. Peter and I are still very close and we often cook lamb on a spit and have great feasts together, with friends and family, while reminiscing about the good ol'days of Totally Greek!.
Now I want to share all the things I have learned over the years with you and your family.
Thank you for taking the time to read and try out my recipes.