Smallest Freezer in Niagara Falls

Jim KozmaAn interview with Jim Kozma
Sous Chef at AG Inspired Cuisine

Q: Can you tell us a bit about your history in the kitchen?
A: I graduated from Niagara College in 1988 which has a fantastic culinary program. I went on to work at Peller Estates, and was hired at AG about six months after it opened. My plan was to work here for a year – but it’s now been three and a half years, and I have no plans to move on! It’s great here.

Q: What’s your favourite thing about working at AG?
A: There’s so much that I love here. We must have one of the smallest freezers in Niagara Falls – and that’s not a complaint but a testament to how fresh everything is. It’s really gratifying to have all these fresh ingredients come in and go right out to our guests. I also really like the leeway and creativity Cory gives me, and the entire team, in coming up with dishes. We all feel a real sense of pride in what we do and care a great deal about the quality of what goes out.

Q: What’s it like working with a Chef like Cory Linkson?
A: It’s been amazing. A lot of chefs will delegate or soak up the praise in the dining room, but Cory is often there beside us on the line. He’s at the farms in the morning. He’s even sweeping up at night. Cory really leads the team and we not only learn from him, but we’re in a great environment to learn from each other.

Q: Do you have a favourite moment here at AG?
A: Likely being called out four times in one week to tables that wanted to give their compliments. That was quite a week. One of the couples were from Montreal and had travelled the world eating at the best restaurants, and they wanted to compliment ME on my work! It was quite humbling really.

Q: You’ve headed up the Tapas that are served on Friday and Saturday nights. Do you have a favourite that you’ve created?
A: Likely the Grilled Cheese. It’s fun because it’s such a Canadian classic, and I mix it up from week to week with different cheeses, and ketchups made from scratch. The one that went over really well was a Grilled Cheese using Canadian Brie from Quebec, truffle oil and a peach spread for ketchup. It plays on elements of childhood but brings it up to fine-dining levels and the regional/seasonal theme here at AG. There’s others I’ve heard lots of compliments about though. The Wild Boar Chilli, BBQ Quail, Leek and Potato Soup. It’s great to make these tasty little dishes and do something unique with them every week.

- Join Jim and his Tapas every Friday and Saturday night (9pm to 11pm) at AG.