By Catherine Dunwoody
West Vancouver’s best-kept secret is the bright, airy Temper Café, specializing in European pastries, cakes, and chocolates. Every bite at the café is freshly made in-house by pastry chef / owner Steven Hodge.
We got the goods on Temper and interviewed Hodge himself.
Where were you born?
Steven Hodge: London, Ontario
What was food like in your growing up household?
Steven: We are Croatian so mom would always make traditional Croatian food for the family.
Did you cook at home during your childhood?
Steven: Yes, all the time! Every night I cooked with my mom, and we would bake pies and desserts all the time. We never went out for dinner.
Where did you study culinary and when?
Steven: California School of Culinary Arts, when I was 21 years old.
Most rewarding experience in your earlier days? Any mentors?
Steven: Working with Pastry Chef Regis Negrier in London, UK. Chef John Lewis guidance through apprenticeship. Now he’s an instructor in Vancouver Community College.
Does Temper offer classes?
Steven: We host chocolate classes for kids and chocolate & wine classes for adults at Temper.
What is your signature dish?
Steven: Charlie Bites, named after my daughter.
What were your biggest challenges as a chef?
Steven: Starting my own business, I am not very good at the business side of things when it comes to running my own place so my sister and wife are in charge of that for me. I am lucky to have them!
Any advice for young people who aspire to be chefs or restaurateurs?
Steven: Travel, see the world and work! This is the kind of career that gives you opportunities to travel, do it and you will learn more than you bargain for!