Chef Bri Campbell was raised in Brooks, AB. Submerged in the Alberta beef world right away by their parents, Bri started cooking at an incredibly young age. They baked sweets and cooked traditional British dishes, while learning how to whisk the best lump free gravy a kid could make.
Their first kitchen job at 15, slinging pub grub and buffet breakfasts at the Brooks Golf Club. Upon graduating High School in 2007, Bri moved to Calgary, AB and was accepted into the 2-year Baking and Pastry Arts Program at SAIT. While studying, Bri worked at various fine dining restaurants in the city and upon completion of the program, had an opportunity to work in the Alberta Oilsands. There, they learned Authentic Korean cuisine and also took part in the Cook Apprenticeship Program at NAIT. After completing their Red Seal Bri was cheffing in various kitchens within Edmonton.
The skills they gained throughout their career allowed them to make the jump to Executive Chef at May . Bri creates all their own recipes and has a strong influence on the menu, creating upscale farm to table dishes. They try to include at least three local farmers/suppliers with every plate created. Chef Bri continues to be excited by the ever-growing industry and that there is always something new and thrilling to learn!
What made you want to become a chef?
“I grew up cooking with my parents and quickly found my passion for creating delicious food by learning from them. I also wanted to challenge the industries male-driven stereotype and prove that any gender can thrive in the culinary industry.”
Why do you use Alberta ingredients in your kitchen?
“Since Alberta has such a short growing season, I love being able to showcase what our farmers pour their hearts and souls into. They work tirelessly to raise and grow the ingredients we cook with, we as chefs should be doing them justice. Better ingredients make for superior dishes; if they thrive, we thrive.”
What is your favourite Alberta ingredient to use?
“Anything I can get my hands on from any one of my farmers. Garlic from Fifth Gen Farms, Reclaim Farms always grows a plethora of organic veggies, Hogs and Horn Homestead raises beautiful heritage piggies. I truly can’t pick just one ingredient.”
What dish should guests be sure to try on your menu?
“Tempura Mushrooms hands down is one of my favourite menu items right now. It features Oyster Mushrooms from Wiseats Mushrooms and Smoked Black Garlic from Fifth Gen Farms. A fantastic snack for sitting at the bar or to share with friends.”
What is a favourite kitchen/cooking memory?
“Cooking for Lynn Crawford “Black-Box” style when she was Chef in Residence at NAIT in 2013. Using only Alberta ingredients, I created a Grilled Pickerel dish she said she wanted to steal – huge-fan girl moment!”
Why do you take part in Alberta on the Plate?
“I think it’s an awesome opportunity to educate the community about supporting local when it comes to their food. Being able to offer something consumers may not have had before. It also assists with teaching my cooking team how to work with ingredients they might not normally get to see.”