Behind every successful restaurant, there is a great story about its place and time.
So we asked some of our favourite and most accomplished chefs coast to coast to share the crux of what makes their city different and special. These chefs in seven major markets obliged with insight and a good taste of the local culinary rhythm that makes their kitchens—and their cities—tick.
Named after a famed 1930s comic strip character, Ten Foot Henry offers fresh, vegetable-focused cuisine that bridges the gap between healthy and delicious.
“Calgary’s stereotype is that it’s a cowboy city, but the reality is that downtown Calgary is becoming increasingly metropolitan; we have new restaurants opening all the time; the dining scene has never been more competitive, and the food has never been better.”
— STEVE SMEE, TEN FOOT HENRY
Succulent charcoal-grilled meats are paired with local produce and craft beer at chef Christine Sandford’s down-to-earth, family-style eatery.
“Edmonton’s food scene is still young, but being part of it is rewarding because you can really do something to help the food culture here. At Biera we do our best to serve the highest-quality ingredients, and to open people’s minds to what real food can taste like.”
— CHRISTINE SANDFORD, BIERA
Chef Brandon Olsen prepares contemporary French bistro fare with eclectic international influences.
“Diners in Toronto are very open-minded. Even though a lot of our food at La Banane is classically based, the diners allow me to push the envelope with techniques and ingredients. Our dining tastes have come a long way in a short period of time, and it’s been so much fun to grow with the audience.”
— BRANDON OLSEN, LA BANANE
Chef Pino Posteraro reinvents traditional Mediterranean cuisine with outstanding seafood from British Columbia and Japan.
“In Vancouver, we have fresh Pacific oysters, spot prawns and albacore tuna, and we can also import seafood from Japan a day after it’s been caught. The city has encouraged me to create a new type of cuisine, one that marries traditional Italian techniques with some of the best seafood in the world.”
— PINO POSTERARO, CIOPPINO’S
Global inspiration meets local Halifax ingredients as chef Dan Purvis prepares succulent local scallops with miso butter and tuna poke at Little Oak.
“There’s so much at your fingertips as a cook in Halifax. The ocean is just a few steps away from the restaurant, andwe also have the Annapolis Valley, which is a near-perfect place to grow organic produce thanks to the long, hot summers and nutrient-rich soils.”
— DAN PURVIS, LITTLE OAK BAR
Chef Marc Lepine creates unforgettable 12-course tasting menus inspired by molecular gastronomy and Ottawa’s lush and productive surrounding farmland.
“The Ottawa Valley has more farms per capita than any other region in Canada, giving us incredible access to local ingredients. During the growing season, it’s almost difficult to pick and choose what to cook.”
— MARC LEPINE, ATELIER
After 25 years in business, Toqué! chef Normand Laprise is as inspired as ever, creating tasting and à la carte menus that celebrate the best of Québécois cuisine.
“Since opening Toqué! in 1993, I have seen a lot of food trends come and go, but in Montreal there is a strong culinary history that gives the food culture a base and a foundation.”
— N O R M A N D L A P R I S E, TOQUÉ!