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Features

Chef on the Road: Justin Leboe

Banff Hospitality Collective Chef Justin Leboe on the travel he missed most - and making up for lost travel time.By Doug Wallace

WHAT RESTAURANT DID YOU MISS MOST DURING LOCKDOWN?

Chuck’s Steakhouse. It was the first restaurant I went to when everything reopened last year. This is the local steak place — a beautiful room, all Alberta beef, single-sourced, straight from the farms. They have a great list of small B.C. wine producers. Steak houses are not your Tuesday night restaurant choice; they’re more of a celebration. It was my wife’s birthday.

WHERE DID YOU WANT TO GO WHEN TRAVEL WASN’T POSSIBLE?

London for sure. It’s the greatest food city on the planet. There are a few things I would get on a soapbox for and this is one of them. There’s no other city where you can pick any ethnicity and eat at the high level that you can in London.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST TRIP WHEN TRAVEL WAS BACK?

My wife and I traveled to London and Spain for our anniversary.

WHAT RESTAURANTS DID YOU VISIT THERE?

The Barbary and Flor in London; Gresca and Fismuler in Barcelona; El Celler de Can Roca and Normal in Girona. El Cellar was a real bucket-list visit — one of the best restaurants in the world. We had to eat there. It was so nice to eat in restaurants where people are as passionate about food and wine and the dining experience as we are — to feel that magic again.

WHAT’S YOUR NEXT TRAVEL DESTINATION?

Los Angeles because it has such a unique food scene. There are so many amazing restaurants there right now. I hope to be checking out Italian restaurants like Chi Spacca, Felix and Bestia. The next restaurant the Banff Hospitality Collective is opening will be Italian.

WHAT WAS THE BEST THING ABOUT STAYING PUT IN 2020?

Riding my bike all summer and skiing at Lake Louise in the winter.

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