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,one­ofhisear­li­est­mem­o­riesis­thes­mellof­bak­ing­bread­in­his­grand­mother’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 fen­neland-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.”

What ad­vice do you wish you’d given your 25-yearold 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!

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