There’s only one Bill Pratt! He battled it out on Iron Chef America as one of two sous chefs to Chef Michael Smith, the other one being Rouge’s Paul Rogalski. In doing so, Bill became the very first Canadian Forces Cook to take on the Iron Chef challenge. He was Executive Chef of Whistler’s Athletes Village at the 201o Vancouver Olympics!
Now, as Chef/Owner of Cheese Curds, a burger haven and poutinerie in Dartmouth, he’s continues to be deeply involved in the food life of Nova Scotia. With this super-fun, super-fast food restaurant, he has put his well-honed principles into action. His is democratic cooking with approachable, home-made food using the ingredients of the Province. He calls it ‘Chef Inspired.” If anything can be made in house, it is including the fries. On a regular busy Friday, they blow through 500 lbs of potatoes.
His beef burgers are from a herd of Black Angus pastured in The Valley. The lamb is raised near the Northumberland Strait – the lamb burger is served with feta. grilled veggies and lemon hummus. The pork schnitzel (below left) is house made then topped with melted cheddar cheese, peameal bacon, lettuce, tomato and red onion and his own caramelized onion jam. For the salmon filet burger he infuses the Atlantic salmon filet with herbs and tops them with his own pickled red onions, arugula greens and honey lime dill and cucumber cream. There’s a great veggie lentil burger..a curry infused lentil and bean patty, ketjap manis for some heat and sweated bean sprouts, pickled onions and mango chutney.
Bill is proud that they look exactly the same as the pictures on the walls, too. His CC Porker – the pic at the left was taken on the way to the table – is a double layer of hand-shaped meat, onion rings, strips of bacon and CC sauce.
You can have your poutine with either beef or vegetarian gravy but the sauces are worth noting….real demi-glace or brandy peppercorn. The curds are local, as are the potatoes. It’s worth going for the onion rings alone…golden crisp giant rings in a buttermilk batter. And in this era where sustainability really matters, the take-out gear is made from bamboo.
Cheese Curds Gourmet Burgers and Poutinerie
380 Pleasant Street,
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B2Y 3S5