Prior to joining the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald family, Chef Jiju Paul led the culinary team at Edmonton Expo Center where he was the Executive Chef for 2 years. He has over 18 years of experience in hotels across Canada, United Arab Emirates, and India; of which he has a 13- year history with Fairmont Hotels including Fairmont Ajman, Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and Fairmont Dubai. He also worked with the Pan Pacific Hotels in Vancouver. He has a passion for cooking and enjoy more of a contemporary cuisine with farm-to-table concept.
He has a Certified Chef de Cuisine (CCC) from the Canadian Culinary Institute, member of the Canadian Culinary Federation Edmonton Chapter and has his Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Certification from Alberta Innovation and Advanced Education.
What made you want to become a chef?
“From a young age I had a passion for cooking; I grew up on a farm and I always loved the fresh and distinct aroma of spices and vegetables that we cultivated, harvested and cooked. I also aspired to travel the world and throughout my culinary career I have been blessed to do so. At the start of my culinary journey my hope was to travel around the world while learning different cuisines along the way. Through my career I feel I have fulfilled two of my heart’s desires.”
Why do you use Alberta ingredients in your kitchen?
“Alberta produces world renowned proteins and produce. Access to these fresh ingredients in our own backyard is inspiring as a Chef and is at the heart of the menus I enjoy creating. I also take great care to do my part in reducing our culinary carbon footprint by purchasing local Alberta products and reducing our shipping impact wherever possible, while also supporting our local farming businesses.”
What is your favourite Alberta ingredient to use?
“My favourite is Alberta Honey (we have 5 Bee hives in the hotel and we use the honey from these hives for our daily operations).
I also love Alberta Bison, Beef and Lamb. During the summer I love the fresh vegetables from the local farmers. I use a lot of Alberta pulses in the kitchen for various cooking.”
What dish should guests be sure to try on your menu?
“For the New Barbeque Menu, please try our Meat platter. It comes with in-house brined and smoked Alberta Beef Brisket, Alberta Pulled-Pork, Alberta Pork Ribs and locally made Chorizo sausage. All the pickled vegetables in the dish are sourced from Alberta Farms.”
What is a favourite kitchen/cooking memory?
“I love cooking with fresh ingredients as you can smell and taste the natural flavours. One of my favourite cooking memories is when I cooked a vegetarian meal with local pulses and spices for Uma Thurman and she ended up asking for the recipe as well as ordered it every day she stayed with us.”
Why do you take part in Alberta on the Plate?
“I want to showcase Alberta’s homegrown food and local ingredients, to support the local farmers and to serve our guests the most delicious and innovative dishes made with local ingredients to inspire our community to shop for the best ingredients close to home.”