What's Cookin' Cayman - Interview with Chef Dylan

Candid Q&A's from Cayman's most 'colourful' chefs - Dylan Benoit

Chef Dylan Benoit
Market Street Group

What is the most overrated ingredient?
Beef tenderloin by far. There are so many cuts of meat that are just as tender with exponentially more flavour for a fraction of the price.

Who or what inspires your cooking?
My mother was a huge influence on my cooking, she was an amazing cook and we always had great meals growing up. She exposed me to many things like sushi, tacos, curry, lobster, great steak, and fresh fish. Now as I grow in my career, I am always inspired by cuisines of other cultures.

What famous dish is unique to your hometown or country?
Canada is best known, outside of Canada, for Poutine. A deliciously sinful dish made by crowning crispy golden french fries with squeaky cheese curds and drowning it in rich gravy. Poutine is a serious deal in Canada, with entire restaurants dedicated to this one dish and serving dozens of creative varieties. Fries with shredded cheese and gravy doesn’t count, it's not a proper poutine without real cheese curds!!

If you had your own cooking show, what would you call it?
I think it would be called Street Eats. I consistently find in my travels that street food is way more flavourful, authentic and enjoyable than the majority of restaurant meals.

What is your most humorous chef moment?
While I was working in Toronto years ago, my Chef put a container of raw shellfish under the seat of my truck before I went out of town for the weekend to celebrate my birthday. When I came back, the nauseating smell had permeated into the fabric of the interior and took weeks to get out. When I confronted him about it I was furious and he said “you think I’m going to just give you the weekend off that easy?” and laughed. It wasn’t funny at the time but looking back now I chuckle every time I think about it. Plus he bought me a large bottle of whiskey before I left as a birthday present, so no hard feelings!

Have you ever cooked for anyone famous and if so, who?
I’ve cooked for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, The Beastie Boys and Eugene Levy to name a few.

What condiment can you not do without?
Definitely mustard! I love all kinds of mustard, from all over the world.

What’s your favourite late-night snack?
Poutine, obviously.