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When it comes to success in the kitchen, Montreal chef Chuck Hughes has a straightforward recipe: equal parts passion and hard work. Chuck says they were the simple ingredients in his epic victory this year over Bobby Flay on 'Iron Chef America'. (Okay, lobster, Chuck's specialty, may have played a role, too.) Chuck became just the second Canadian to reign supreme on the show, and winning Iron Chef has helped make his career even hotter. Now, it's even harder to get a table at his restaurants - in the past, there's been a six-month wait at Garde Manger. And he's just cooked up some new TV shows in addition to Food Network Canada's 'Chuck's Day Off', like his upcoming holiday special, 'Chuckmas'.
But all that success hasn't gone to Chuck's head. He's got his own standards to live up to - and a past to live down. There was a time when Chuck acted more like a rock star than a chef. Partying nearly did him in, the way alcohol did in his dad, who died when he was just 40. A decade ago, Chuck didn't think he was going to make it, but, he says, "cooking saved my life".
Now all that's left of the rock 'n' roll lifestyle are his tattoos, and even most of those are of food: lobster, lemon meringue pie, bacon. They're the perfect reminder of his number one passion - and how close he once was to the knife's edge.
Check out the rest of this week's guests right here.