– Story by Darcy Nybo Photography by Don Denton
When Castro Boateng discovered chefs could travel, he decided to be a chef. He had his initial training at Humber College, Toronto and worked in several area restaurants.
After finishing his schooling, he applied for a job at the Prestigious Turnberry resort in Scotland, where he worked under European Master Chefs Stewart Cameron and Colin Watson.
“It was in a golf resort with a Master European Chef that had been there for 25 years. They were very strict, you had to wear black socks and if you didn’t you and your whole team would be disciplined. It had everything to do with paying attention to the small details. If you can follow simple instructions, then you can pay attention to the small details required when working in a high-end restaurant.”
From Scotland he went to the Cayman Islands and then to the Fairmont Southampton in Bermuda. “I arrived after a hurricane and everyone pulled together to rebuild the restaurant and achieve AAA Five Diamond rating. Achieving the Five Diamond was amazing.”
Chef Castro returned to Canada and moved to Banff in 2005 as Chef de Cuisine at another Five Diamond restaurant, Eden at the Rimrock Resort. It was here he met his wife, Charlotte. They moved to Vancouver Island in 2007 where he worked as a chef until he launched his catering business.
“Moving to the West Shore was a good choice. It was easy for us to get into Victoria and also to go up island. I love the West Shore because it’s a place where my family can grow. We have two boys, it’s a great place to grow up.”
It’s been a little over a year since House of Boateng Café opened and it’s already been nominated as one of the top 35 new restaurants in Canada (Canadasbestnewrestaurants.com) with the top 10 announced October 23, 2019.
“We opened quietly to give us time to get to know our guests and to find out what they wanted,” said Chef. “People gave us great feedback. As we’ve got better at what we were doing, it has got busier and busier.”
Chef attributes the restaurant’s success to his staff. “We have such diversity of people here which gives us great perspectives of our clientele. The clocks on our Café wall show the times of where some staff are from, Ghana, England, Japan to name a few.
Chef Castro loves what he does. “For me food is conversation and family time. We are so lucky to be able to out and forage for many ingredients. I am constantly changing things to adjust to the season and ingredients. I listen to our guests, and I want to give them something a little different from what they are used to.”
When you go to House of Boateng there are two dishes that you must try, according to their guests: the Crab Benny and the African Bowl. “Our food is not typical breakfast and lunch,” said Chef. There’s a lot of different flavours and it gives people the chance to step outside of their comfort zone.”
For more info visit houseofboateng.ca.