Chef Dustin Cooknell was born and raised on the west coast. He started his culinary adventure at the age of thirteen in Wetaskiwin. Now he’s back in Alberta to raise his family where his adventure started.
What made you want to become a chef?
“Being raised by a strong single mother is Educating, being raised by one who can’t cook is difficult when you love to eat.”
Why do you use Alberta ingredients in your kitchen?
“Coming From Vancouver Island, locally sourced ingredients is just a way of life. Alberta is no Different, From the amazing local farms, to the award winning beef, lamb and pork, how could anyone not want to support local?”
What is your favourite Alberta ingredient to use?
“So far Haskap berries have been the most uniquely Albertan ingredient that I’ve discovered. Its versatility is amazing as is its colour and burst of sweet and tart flavour.”
What dish should guests be sure to try on your menu?
“Honestly our menu is bursting with local Albertan ingredients as is our Beverage selection. But if I were to pick one item, I’d probably choose the Chicken Burger which features grilled Alberta chicken breast, locally sourced Saskatoon berry chutney, locally baked BonTon bun and Vertical Roots leafy greens.”
What is a favourite kitchen/cooking memory?
“My favorite kitchen memories are honestly the moments when each of my Sous Chefs over the years have grown their wings and either opened their own restaurants or have become head chef themselves. As a Chef I don’t think there is any greater accomplishment.”
Why do you take part in Alberta on the Plate?
“I couldn’t think of a better way for an Islander from BC to immerse myself in the Food and Culture of Alberta. I hope to bring a little island to my dishes with some big Alberta flavours.”