– Story by Darcy Nybo Photography by Don Denton
Red Seal Chef, Todd Rozell, has always loved to cook.
“I was raised by a single mom,” he said. “She taught my brother and I to make Shake ’N Bake. I liked helping out in the evening because that meant we had more time to spend together.”
When Chef Todd graduated high school, he took a job as a dishwasher to earn some money until he knew what he wanted to be.
“After being in the restaurant environment I realized I wanted to become a Chef. I washed dishes for a year and I’ve now been cooking for 27 years,” he said. “My first job, at Il Terrazzo, where I washed dishes, is also where I got my start in culinary and learned the basics. From there I worked with Troy Ashdown at the My Chosen Café. It’s one of the busiest kitchens I’ve ever been a part of. It was amazing watching him float through the busyness with ease. Nothing could shake him.”
Chef Todd has worked in various establishments throughout his career including: Laurel Point Inn, Parrot House, Cecconi’s, Fifth Street, and Lakeside Resort. “I feel my work experience has given me a well-rounded look at food; what works, and what doesn’t.”
Looking back, he appreciates what he learned from his instructors. “Chef Gilbert Noussitou at Camosun had a very direct and honest approach to cooking and learning. At Okanagan College, Chef Kathryn Nielsen made learning fun. She also challenged us by asking us to set a goal the first day. I set mine and qualified for the Provincial Cook off that year.”
Chef Todd, and his wife, Melissa, a fitness trainer, started Balanced Meal Prep, in 2016. As a nutritionist and a chef, he creates balanced, nutritious meals that are nut and gluten free and without added sodium. “All our products are fresh, not frozen,” Chef said. “We even have plant based protein options.”
Balanced Meal Prep’s menu varies from week to week so customers get the variety the need. “We want to help busy families eat healthy,” Chef said. “We also want to show people what a properly portioned meals look like and help them eat better. Our meals give them the fuel they (and we) need to chase after kids and still be healthy. We also wanted to deal with the amount of food waste people deal with on a monthly and weekly basis.”
Being a chef and creating meals for other families is something Todd looks forward to every day. “I get to create new dishes each day,” he said. “An added bonus is that we get to work around our kids’ schedule.”
One of the ironies of cooking for a living, is that he rarely gets a chance to cook at home. “We are so busy,” Chef said. “When I do have the time, I love to make Potato Crusted Salmon. It was the first meal I cooked for my wife.”
As for his clientele, they love the lettuce wraps, banana protein muffins and healthy cookies. To see some of their delicious premade meals and to find out more about Balanced Meal Prep visit their website at balancedmealprep.com.
Story from West Shore Life + Style magazine