MEET THE CHEFS

WE ARE BRINGING TOGETHER BANFF'S TOP CHEFS. WHO WILL CREATE YOUR NEXT MEAL?

 
 
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MICHAEL LEHMKUHL

CORPORATE CHEF, BANFF HOSPITALITY COLLECTIVE

Born in Toronto, Michael is the culinary director of Banff Hospitality Collective - a company with nine restaurants under it's belt. While he does not commit himself to a specific style of cuisine, he focuses on using quality ingredients, allowing them to drive the flavour of his food.

A few words from Michael: Moving Forward - My goal every day as a chef is to change someones perspective of food, whether it be a guest or a colleague. I want to continue to pass my knowledge, and foster a love of food through education and great cooking.

 
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SAL POLIZZI

EXECUTIVE CHEF, CHUCK'S STEAKHOUSE

CORPORATE CHEF, BANFF HOSPITALITY COLLECTIVE

Chef Sal began his cooking career over 20 years ago. Coming from an Italian background, food has been a major tradition in his life since he was a young boy. When he arrived in the Bow Valley, Sal did his apprenticeship at the Chateau Lake Louise, before heading to Kelowna where he was inspired by the fresh produce grown so close by. Upon his return to the Bow Valley in 2001, Sal helped open The Maple Leaf, and 7 more restaurants to date.

Sal loves cooking over an open flame, so Chuck's is a pretty great fit for him.

When asked about his favourite food - "My favourite food in the whole world is my wife Charlotte's authentic New Zealand meat pies."

 
 
 
 

BLAKE MATHESON

EXECUTIVE CHEF, PARK DISTILLERY RESTAURANT & BAR

Blake has lived in Banff for 15 years, originally from Claresholm, AB, south of Calgary. Blake has been cooking for 18 years and his mom got him started in the kitchen - they used to bake together.

Blake loves traveling and experiencing all kinds of cuisine adventures. He lived in Australia for a year where he learned a great deal and fell even more in love with cooking.

 

CHRIS MACDOUGALL

EXECUTIVE CHEF, THE MAPLE LEAF

Chris is from Cape Breton Nova Scotia. He has lived mostly in Banff since 1995, although has had stints working all over Canada, most recently running a kitchen in Toronto's Financial District. His style of cooking is elevated comfort food, with nods to both Italian and French cuisine.

Chris' grandmothers cooking was a great influence him, showing him the value of good food and the joy of sharing with others. After 23 years in the kitchen, he still feels it is important to always learn new things whether that be new techniques, ingredients, or cuisines.

 

DAVID COUSINEAU

EXECUTIVE CHEF, THE BISON RESTAURANT & TERRACE

David comes to Banff from Quebec and brings the French passion for great cuisine with him. For the past ten years, David has been exploring the culinary boundaries, landing him at The Bison, known nationally for exceptional Canadian cuisine with modern flare.

David sources everything he can from trusted, small farmers, even down to the thoughtfully curated spices from a company in his old stomping grounds in Montreal.

"If you don't use the best ingredients, you won't have the best food, it's that simple."

 

HAYDEN MARSHALL

EXECUTIVE CHEF, THE BALKAN

Hayden has expanded his culinary success over the past 10 years in Banff. He loves working with fresh, quality ingredients and learning new things, whether that be a new spin on a old favorite recipe or a whole new cuisine.

"I started cooking on the coasts of New Zealand and Australia and made my way up to the Mountains of Canada. My favourite dessert is still the famous New Zealand classic - Pavlova."