Chef Dean Fast began his career as a culinary apprentice in Brandon, Manitoba. Attending classes at Winnipeg’s Red River College while working in a hotel, competing in local and international competitions provided the right environment to learn a vast range of skills which would help him develop as a professional. After moving to Calgary in 2009, he found himself staging at Q Haute Cuisine. Spending 10 years working his way through the ranks he left as the sous chef in 2019. Soon after he accepted his current role as Chef de Cuisine of Rouge Restaurant where his creativity has been focused not only on Alberta’s local product, but the bounty of Canada’s wild harvest as well.
What made you want to be a chef?
“From early on in my career I really enjoyed the challenge every new day would bring. No two days are the same, but the goal at the end is … guest satisfaction. When you can make a connection with a guest through food, all the hard work pays off.”
Why do you use Alberta ingredients in your kitchen?
“Its too difficult not to when you think about it! Alberta’s wide range of ingredients makes it easy to showcase local product. From local wheat growers providing flower for bread and pastries, to the vegetables grown all around southern Alberta distributed weekly by Galimax. Fresh is best! Don’t forget about Alberta Beef!”
What is your favourite Alberta ingredient to use?
“I’d have to say honey. The hives that are housed in the backyard of Rouge, Managed by ABC Bees, provides inspiration to the menu year-round. From flavored butter to desserts, I love to use it in everything.”
What dish should guests be sure to try on your menu?
“I would recommend our chefs tasing option. Each course is crafted with ingredients from the wild harvest found all over Canada, Especially those found here in Alberta.”
Do you have a favourite kitchen/cooking memory?
“As an apprentice, working in a support roll to my first mentor as he competed and won gold in Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany 2008. It Was a learning experience that was irreplaceable at that age.”
Why do you take part in Alberta on the Plate?
“As part of any dining experience at Rouge, the food is meant to tell a story. I think it’s a great way to engage with our clients, providing insight to where their food comes from.”