Inside the kitchen of Roshan Kanagarajah, half of the team behind Kitchen Guerrilla’s hot sauces
Every chef’s busy, but 31-year-old Roshan Kanagarajah’s life is a about to get hectic. Between helming Kitchen Guerrilla—a line of hot sauces and marinades he co-owns with his wife, Dalscene Jebanendran—Kanagarajah also hosts pop up dinners and works 12-hour days in a kitchen. And now, between growing his company and cheffing, Kanagarajah will need to find time to figure out how to parent. Jebanendran is pregnant with the couple’s first child; luckily they live with her parents, who will be helping them out a ton.
This kitchen was custom built for Kanagarajah’s mother-in-law. In 1993, the Jebanendrans were driving on the 401 when they hit a patch of black ice. Their car flipped. Every one survived, but the accident put Kanagarajah’s mother-in-law in a wheelchair. To make the kitchen accessible for her, the counters are lower than most, and the space is open and free of obstructions. It’s been years since the kitchen was updated, though, and Kanagarajah would love to modernize the space while keeping it accessible.
For groceries, Kanagarajah pops over to nearby New Ocean Supermarket for Sri Lankan spices, snacks, produce and goat. “Sri Lankan butchers always have the best goat,” he says. For all other meat, he treks up to Bruno’s Signature Meats in Pickering. When in Pickering, he’ll stop by Tiano’s Organics, for the huge selection and reasonable prices. When it comes to seafood and fresh produce, he says Fusion can’t be beat—there’s such a high turnover that their veggies are always super fresh. And for everything fancy, it’s a tie between Pusateri’s and Cheese Boutique.
Most of his spices are from Carlos’ House of Spice in Kensington Market—it was the first place that carried Kitchen Guerrilla products:
Kanagarajah buys his jalebi from Kamiyab Bakeryin Markham:
Kanagarajah isn’t a big drinker these days (he was a bit of a hell raiser in his youth) but, if he does imbibe, he prefers stuff on the darker end of the spectrum: red wine, whiskey and rum.
Here are some of his favourite pointy things:
And some of his favourite cookbooks:
Every winter, Jebanendran turns their living room into a green house. She winters her moringa tree, curry plant, yuzu lemons, neem and calamansi inside. Kanagarajah uses these little oranges just like he would limes:
Jebanendran is also the green thumb that grows all the peppers for Kitchen Guerrilla’s hot sauces. She grew these biquinho red peppers, too, which her husband pickled in rice wine vinegar:
Kanagarajah bought this buddha’s hand (it’s a lemon relative) at Eataly. He’s never cooked with one before, but just thought it was too fun not to buy:
This is a Sri Lankan clay cooking pot. Kanagarajah bought it at Gunaams Supermaket, and uses it to make curries:
Here’s a typical meal at Kanagarajah’s house: mutton curry with eggplant (it’s baked, then cooked down with coconut milk), mutton rolls and some spicy ketchup:
Here’s Kanagarajah with his dog, Junior:
Oh hello, Junior: