Live Cooking Demonstrations
The Expo features a Farm-to-Fork experience where attendees will be able to connect with chefs, farms and organizations focused on the entire food chain process. This featured area combines education about food production from the field to the dinner table with a showcase of Alberta restaurants and chefs, food processors and producers of organic and sustainable agricultural products.
Who will be cooking? Meet Chef Michel Nasrabadi
Michel Nasrabadi is currently completing his Red Seal Certification and has been working as a chef for over 10 years in a variety of establishments across Alberta, from small and locally run businesses to large-scale corporate restaurants. While Michel’s passion lies with farm-to-table practices as demonstrated by restaurants like Blue Hill Farm in New York, he also receives great inspiration from the gastronomic flare perfected by grandiose chefs such as Massimo Bottura, Heston Blumenthal and Ferran Adria. In 2017, Michel Co-Founded FRESCO as a pop-up restaurant brand that marries sustainable food practices with artistic expression in a way that the Alberta restaurant scene has not yet seen before. In time, Michel hopes to establish FRESCO as a leader in the contemporary culinary arts with a focus on collaboration with the community so that he may help to leave the world better than he found it.
Who will be cooking? Meet Chef Serge Belair
Executive Chef Serge Belair is considered to be one of Canada’s top culinary experts. Named National Chef of the year in 2012, he has been a key influencer in building Edmonton’s reputation as an international culinary destination.
Hailing from Gatineau, Quebec, Chef Serge studied at Commission scolaire la Valée de la Lievre and honed his skills at Hotel Clarion Gatineau’s Restaurant La Pergola from 1999 to 2005. He became the Shaw Conference Centre’s Chef de Partie in 2005, then Sous Chef in 2007, Senior Sous Chef in 2011 and Executive Chef in 2017.
Through the years, Chef Serge has established a professional reputation for both his culinary and leadership skills. He competed several times on the national and international stage and has mentored many young chefs who have gone on to receive recognition within the culinary sector. Chef Serge’s achievements throughout his career are impressive. in 2013, he earned silver at the World Association of Chef Societies’ Global Chefs Challenge as well as gold and silver medals at the Culinary Olympics as a support team member for Team Canada. He was also named to Edmonton’s top 40 under 40 class of 2015.
Always pushing the limits, Chef Serge continues to build on the Shaw Conference Centre’s extraordinary culinary reputation with his unwavering commitment to quality and innovation.
Who will be cooking? Meet Chef Kenny Kaechele
Kenny’s culinary career began in his hometown of Strathmore, where he got a part time job as dishwasher in a local restaurant. Shortly after, he went to work at the very well-known restaurant Little Village Café, where his love of food and cooking was truly born. Under the tutelage of the chef and with the encouragement of the family who owned the restaurant, Kenny pursued his formal training at SAIT in the fall of 1995.
During cooking school, Kenny worked as a cook at the very busy Schanks Athletic Club, where he moved through the ranks quickly, finally achieving a Sous Chef Position before leaving to challenge himself in the fine dining world. His first stop was at Mescalero, a long-time celebrated and award winning establishment in downtown Calgary. Here Kenny really began to develop and hone his trademark style and gain the respect of his peers and colleagues. The next phase for Kenny’s career was transitioning from cook to Chef, which he successfully did when he accepted the role of Head Chef at The Living Room Restaurant on 17th Avenue. At the age of 24, his goal of being a head chef was realized.
His work at The Living Room caught the attention of Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts, and they offered him the Chef de Cuisine position at the brand new Divino Wine and Cheese Bistro on Stephen Ave. Kenny thrived in this role and was next offered the Executive Chef Position at the prestigious Ranche Restaurant in Fish Creek Park. Kenny spent 4 amazing and rewarding years at the helm of The Ranche, gaining a foothold as one of the top chefs in the city. During this time his commitment to local and regional cuisine made The Ranche one of the truly elite dining experiences in Western Canada. Critics took notice too, graciously awarding The Ranche and many accolades during his time there.
Next stop was opening a brand new restaurant for the Concorde Group called ei8ht. This concept again served to strengthen Kenny’s position as a leading chef and also allowed him to expand his knowledge with the operations side of his skill set. At this time, in 2008, Kenny knew he wanted to open his own restaurant, so he shifted his attention towards making that dream a reality.
The next few years were spent consulting on a number of projects, allowing Kenny to continue to grow his knowledge and experience. He became known as a very effective Chef Consultant, and assisted in the conceptualizing and opening of Tango Bistro, Dolce Sapori and Sabroso, as well as providing intern Executive Chef services for the internationally acclaimed Rouge Restaurant in 2012-2013.
The chance finally came for Kenny to have his own restaurant in late 2013, when Theatre Junction GRAND went looking for a new restaurant partner to be located inside their beautiful and historic building. Kenny, along with his business partner, created the brand new WORKSHOP kitchen+culture, which opened in the fall of 2014. At WORKSHOP, Kenny has been able to apply all his experiences from over 20 years in the business to create a truly memorable restaurant. He can be found in the kitchen every day, leading not only his staff but also having a major presence in the dining room with guests. A dream realized, Kenny is pouring his heart and soul into his work each day and looks forward to more dreams and continued success as a Chef and business owner.
Who will be cooking? Meet Chef Chris Chabot
Chef Christopher Chabot was born and raised in Elmvale Ontario. His love of cooking came from cooking alongside is mother and grandmother for family gatherings. When he was 15 he started work at a local ski resort where he got his first taste of working in a commercial kitchen. After discovering his passion for cooking and food, Chris attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park New York in 2004. After Graduating with honours, he moved to Vancouver BC, where he worked for 8 years. Chris’s experience ranges from small fine dining, hotels, high volume, pubs and even a floating fishing lodge.
Before becoming part of the Culinary Business Resource team, Chris worked as a Marketing Associate at Sysco Calgary in the south east. Working closely with customers to understand their needs and goals has become a very important focus for Chris. Staying current on food and dining trends is Chris’s biggest hobby. He firmly believes that we never stop learning, and enjoys working with other chefs to learn new techniques and ideas. In his spare time he enjoys cooking for friends and relaxing with a nice glass of Scotch.