If you can't stand the heatwave…don't even think about this kitchen | Food | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST
Ewan Deveaux’s days are often fast-paced inside Salvatore’s tiny kitchen.

If you can't stand the heatwave…don't even think about this kitchen

What it's like to cook beside the pizza ovens at Salvatore's in a heat warning.

Every time Ewan Deveaux gets ready to head into a shift cooking at Salvatore’s Pizzaiolo Trattoria, he knows he’ll be spending a handful of hours sweltering in the back kitchen. A hot environment is second nature when you’re quickly assembling orders near a couple of blazing pizza ovens, four or five other speedy co-workers and a commercial stove that could heat an entire home during a chilly winter.

Anyone strolling into laid-back Hydrostone Market pizzeria is immediately welcomed by wafts of herbs and an Italian villa facade that frames its tiny open kitchen. Exposed brick walls and a few spinning ceiling fans help mitigate the stifling air coming from that kitchen, and anyway, for customers in the dining room a warm draft adds to the experience of being transported to the Mediterranean.

However, mainland Nova Scotia has been under a heat warning since Tuesday, and the high temperatures are making some commercial kitchens sizzling hot. This week at Salvatore’s, Deveaux says it’s been about 10 degrees Celsius warmer than usual inside the kitchen.

For the past few days, Environment Canada has shown that daytime temperatures in the Halifax area have reached the high 20s. On Wednesday, it reached nearly 31 degrees. Those high temperatures even spilled over into the evening, and Deveaux says the weather was a hot topic amongst his co-workers that night.

“It was pretty dreadful,” he says. “Obviously it’s very exhausting. We’ve been getting a lot of business recently, as well, so that adds to the stress.”

Despite the added heat, he’s usually able to get through his shifts with some ease—even if he mostly hates the summer months. He’s able to somewhat ignore the temperature at work by getting distracted and lost in his duties. It also helps when the conditions are so extreme that those outside the kitchen can get over their own discomfort enough to realize it’s worse inside.

“It’s not favourable,” Deveaux says. “People generally seem a little more, not cranky, but they’re noting the heat more. And there’s more encouragement to take care of yourself and manage your heat levels.”

Short breaks also help throughout the day, even if it’s only a 15-minute breather. Those few moments to reset have been more than necessary as the weather intensifies. So lately, Deveaux has been using that time to head down to the restaurant’s basement and to sit inside the walk-in freezer.

About The Author

Chris Stoodley

Chris is a general reporter at The Coast covering everything from social issues to city matters that affect Halifax. He's also a photographer and freelance writer, and his work can be found in Paper Magazine, VICE and This Magazine.
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