"Canada is sort of a salad of culture. The diversity makes it great.”
Sitting at a small wooden table adjacent to the kitchen at the Keynote location, Market Chef Mouh Ajadig is mixing our conversation about salads with his personal experience moving to Canada from Morocco.
It’s been a huge change, he admits with a smile, but says it’s better than he imagined it.
“It’s such a great experience to go see different cultures and different foods,” Mouh says.
Trained at cooking school back home, Mouh jumped straight into the food scene in Canada after arriving in 2010. His first job was as a prep cook at Sunterra’s TransCanada Tower location. Fast forward seven years later and he’s running the downstairs kitchen at Keynote where his team pumps out pizzas, paninis, take-home meals and plenty of salads. 16 deli salads, eight boxed salads and 52 items in the salad bar, to be precise.
And that’s just the minimum, he says. Sometimes they chef up even more salads so customers have more options! Adjusting his crisp white chef ’s jacket, Mouh explains that Sunterra salads are so popular because they’re as good as homemade, right down to the dressings.
“We make all our dressings from scratch,” he says. “That way we know what we put in it and we can guarantee freshness and quality.”
And that approach to quality, says Mouh, is what makes Sunterra stand out. The company knows exactly where their products come from, and even organizes trips for team members to meet the growers and understand their processes.
“We don’t just settle for any tomato,” he says. “It has to be the best that’s out there.”
Those naturally delicious ingredients shine in Sunterra’s salads perhaps even more so than other recipes. Inside the kitchen, prep cook Rosa Plata expertly chops away at a pile of bright red onions while telling me that her favourite salad is the tomato basil pasta because of the fresh basil. It’s so simple, but so delicious she says.
Other deli salad favourites are the cherry tomato and baby bocconcini salad (because who doesn’t love cheese disguised as a salad?) and the newer succotash salad. It’s so colourful and so yummy says Rosa, with a sweet and slightly sour taste from the mix of corn, tomatoes,peppers, beans, yams, onions and roasted pumpkin seeds.
But the top selling salad has got to be the Greek, Mouh tells me. Cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, feta cheese, Kalamata olives and red wine vinaigrette; what’s not to love?
Get a fresh start to 2018 by trying one of the many salad offerings at any Sunterra Market location.