Singer-songwriter Julia Michaels and Chef David Lee aren’t originally from Toronto, but the city has brought them together. Julia has performed into Toronto many times over the years, and it’s always a welcome stop on her tours. “It’s always so wonderful, the people are so wonderful,” she says. Chef David now lives in Toronto and considers it a “chef’s dream,” overflowing with fresh, unique, locally-grown ingredients.
Julia swung by Chef David’s plant-based restaurant, Planta, to chat about music, food, and the similarities in their own creative processes. Both artists chart their own path by not following the typical rules of their craft. “There is a foundation in cooking, you do and you don’t have to follow the rules,” says Chef David. “But when you open the box, it opens up different paths.”
They also both draw from memories to make their art, whether that be a song or a recipe, capturing those personal moments in a time capsule. But they agree that creating something great isn’t always easy. “You can’t force it,” says Chef David. “If it doesn’t work, I scrap it.” Julia continues, “You’re not gonna write an amazing song every single day…and you’re not gonna make an incredible recipe every single day.”
After getting to know each other, Chef David heads to his kitchen to make Julia a special burger inspired by some of her favorite fresh flavors. The custom creation is built with a Lightlife Plant-Based Burger, topped with avocado, pickled chili peppers, charred tomatoes, grilled rosemary, plant-based queso sauce, all piled on a potato bun with sesame and poppy seeds.
For more on their conversation and the recipe for Chef David’s custom Lightlife Plant-Based Burger, watch the full video above.
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