Located about 40 minutes south of the city, in the small city of Wetaskiwin, you’ll find The Pipestone Food Company. Knowing that I’d be in the area for a wedding yesterday, I figured it was a perfect time to touch base with the man behind the restaurant for my latest culinary Q&A. Besides being closed when I came by, and if I wasn’t about to stuff myself silly with the typical wedding buffet, I probably would have waited around to partake in this casual fine dining restaurant which offers “local fare with gourmet flair”.
Owner / Chef Pipestone Food Co Ltd.
How would you classify your cooking style?
I am classically trained with a few years of living and working in the Caribbean and spent some time traveling in the US and Mexico.
Who taught you how to cook?
I was very fortunate to begin my apprenticeship at the Four-Seasons Hotel in Edmonton (back in the day; maybe dating myself) and The Executive Chef was Ernst Dorfler – captain of the Canadian Culinary Olympic team and member of Team Alberta. I was exposed to an extreme level of culinary excellence for the start of my career at the age of 19.
What are 5 kitchen ingredients/tools you can’t live without?
Hard to say i would have to say Quality knives, fresh local ingredients, natural raised proteins, and I am really fond of pretty much any type of seafood.
When did you realize that this was your passion? And do you have any passions outside of cooking?
I have been interested in cooking since childhood – i received my first cookbooks along with a frying pan for Christmas while still in grade school I think i was 10 or 11 yrs old. As for passions away from the kitchen i enjoy time at the lake fishing as well i completed my private pilots license awhile ago so i take the occasional local flight to keep current.
What is your biggest culinary guilty pleasure, something the foodies would maybe frown upon?
I will admit opening the occasional can of Chef Boy Ardee ravioli
When feeling below the weather, what comfort food do you create?
I love Caribbean style Curry or Jerk Chicken and Rice
Is there anywhere you would like to live and work for additional culinary influence?
I have always wanted to travel/work in the Mediterranean it seems to be were the best flavours of Europe and Asia meet.
Are there any food trends on the horizon you would like to work with?
I am not really into trends so much as creating plates where the flavours and textures are maximized true to its natural state – sometimes less is best; it is possible to use intense seasonings without compromising true natural flavors.
Anything you want your customers to know, that they may never hear?
I try to tell as many as i can but most of all I would want them to know how grateful we are for their patronage – without them i would not have been able to have my passion become my livelihood.