Welcome to Chef Sous Chef

Chef Sous Chef encourages home cooks to bring the dining out experience with dishes perfect for everyday eating and entertaining. Canadian husband and wife food bloggers, Philip and Mystique share the recipes they love to eat perfect for everyday eating and entertaining, with cuisines evoked by the multiculturalism of their relationship and the metropolis city.

Inspired by Michael Pollan and his real food approach, we set out to change our own relationship with food, reading ingredients with a simple rule in mind: natural, pronounceable, good for you kind of food. Keeping in line with our visual aesthetic and honing in, real food was one in the same with beautiful food, and was our way of drawing our audiences in while inspiring a love of being in the kitchen, just like ours.

Our goal is to inspire a love of being in the kitchen by sharing simple recipes for everyday eating and entertaining, using natural, and pronounceable ingredients.

At the heart of our blog, we share recipes that are made at home with real ingredients that are as visually beautiful as they are delicious. Our everyday culinary lifestyle and made together approach for cooking and entertaining has led us to partnerships with brands we value and organizations we trust to truly inspire food in all moments that matter, setting Chef Sous Chef apart as a culinary influencer, content creator and recipe blogger, while growing our social media following and readership.

Chef Sous Chef has brought not just our relationship but both our lives into focus; him through a love of food and recipe creation, and me through my passion of art and writing. The kitchen is still our safe space and our home, and our blog captures moments of us as Chef and Sous Chef, and more importantly, the love story between us as Philip and Mystique.

Our Story

The first dish Philip ever cooked for me was risotto – rich and decadent with chicken and asparagus, I remember watching him in the kitchen; the confidence of knowing where every tool and ingredient lived, and the sway of chopping, seasoning and tasting. I remember him vigorously stirring the rice, a true labour of love he called it – and from that fourth date moment on, it was love.

As our relationship grew, I found my place in the kitchen alongside Philip, helping with simple things like gathering ingredients, setting the table and tending to dishes. I immediately gained the title of designated stirrer and later graduating to sous chef. The kitchen became a safe space for us as a couple, it was our place to connect and nourish not only our senses but our relationship; feeding it and growing it through new experiences, curiosities, and trial and error.

Grinding pepper into a skillet of cooking pancetta
PHILIP LAGO
CHEF + CFO, CHIEF FOOD OFFICER, CO-FOUNDER

Growing up in the small town of Elora, On, Philip and his five siblings were always surrounded by food, whether it was his mother shopping to feed a family of eight, cooking meals together in the kitchen, or hearing stories from his father’s work travels around the world. Food was always at the centre of his life, working in restaurants and later travelling to Europe for three months, where his true love of simple ingredients and techniques helped focus his cooking style.

As the first half of Chef Sous Chef and our CFO (Chief Food Officer), recipe development is where Philip is best recognized. Drawing on his experience as an eater and a cook, he is inspired by dining out, watching culinary television series like Top Chef, and testing international flavours, stemming from his Irish-Italian background and Mystique’s Guyanese heritage.

Philip’s strong sense of learning is currently exercised in his enrolment in the George Brown Culinary Arts department, introducing him to the art of canning, and recipe development, testing and writing, adding to his professionalism in the Chef Sous Chef kitchen. His other roles include managing our business financials, and maintenance of our website and SEO, in addition to his title as a Toronto Real Estate Broker with Sage.

MYSTIQUE MATTAI
SOUS CHEF + CBO, CHIEF BRAND & OFFICER, CO-FOUNDER

Growing up in Toronto, Mystique’s love of all things beautiful stems from her artistic drawing ability. With a degree in Art History, Professional Writing and Communications, her keen eye for detail and design extends outside the kitchen as the food stylist, photographer/editor and writer of Chef Sous Chef. Curating a distinct visual brand through her editing style and well recognized mis-en-place, Mystique is the voice behind the blog.

As the second half and our Chef Brand Officer, Mystique’s skills lie at the heart of Chef Sous Chef through written and visual storytelling. Her aesthetic is inspired by the natural colours and shapes of real food; fresh, clean and crisp, and a minimalist technique that truly allows the ingredients to take the forefront and shine. 

Her marketing background allows her to creatively manage communities and expand reach through strong marketing practices and shareable content. She thoughtfully approaches her audiences and brand relationships with stories that are relevant while promoting her platform through strong strategic practices. Mystique is currently learning the art of calligraphy.