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Chef and restaurateur Mark McEwan tells The Globe and Mail how he’s spending his time at home.


Chef and restaurateur Mark McEwan.

Rick OÕBrian

I have nine active businesses and seven are closed. We laid off about 400 people. I’m in semi-isolation with my wife, but I do go into the two retail stores that are still open. I spend more time strategizing and looking forward to what reopening is going to look like, how it will feel and trying to figure out what our financials will be.

Otherwise, I’m gardening, trying to exercise, taking the dog for a walk and cooking with my wife. We tend to eat simply, but well. We recently made some chocolate chip cookies from a Bon Appetit recipe with browned butter and chopped up Skor bars. They were delicious.

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People take for granted how much variety they have in their life because it’s just always been there. But take it away and they long for it. The biggest challenge I find is the sheer volume of news, where everyone is an expert with different opinions. There is a lot of unnecessary conversation in the media. I think it will be interesting to look back in a year or two, when we have clarity, and examine if we made the right choices. If it was the best course was to literally shut down the economy from coast to coast, from top to bottom, which when you think about it, is unbelievable.

When we finally come out the other end, I hope we start having more meaningful conversations about what a responsible, productive and practical society should look like – and try to keep politics out of it.

– As told to Gayle MacDonald

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