Awards & Recognition
2014 Skills Canada National Bronze medalist
2015 CCFCC (Canadian Culinary Federation) National l Bronze Medalist
2017-2018 Feeding the 5000 Volunteer Sous Chef (highlight of career so far)
2018 JOEY Top Apprentice National Gold Medalist
After graduating from SAIT’s culinary program, Laetitia staged and worked at destination restaurants in Montreal, as well as Saltlik and Teatro in Calgary. She managed as a sous chef and chef a private event space in Calgary for 5 years.
At 25, she is a young with an evolving style. She was the sous chef for Feeding the 5000 in 2017 and 2018. Working alongside Chef Andrew Hewson from SAIT, 5,000 portions of food were made using landfill-destined ingredients. This zero-waste approach to food lends itself to her vision of simple yet well thought out dishes through the interplay of taste and environmental responsibility.
She is currently the head chef of Donna Mac, a Calgary restaurant that focusses on approachable feel-good food that highlights Alberta products and producers. She uses her recent schooling in holistic nutrition from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition as a tool to highlight aspects of health in her dishes.
What made you want to become a chef?
“I’ve been fascinated with how we can affect guests in such small intervals of time with food. It’s very special to be able to impact others in a very meaningful way while using very delicious local ingredients and products. There is so much to learn, and our industry is extremely special. I am very grateful I can go to work and cook on a daily basis, sharing my passion for food and cooking with others.”
Why do you use Alberta ingredients in your kitchen?
“It’s the right thing to do. It tastes delicious and supports the local economy, the farming industry is in dire need of attention and we can, as a restaurant, put a spotlight on our producers. We are not only here to feed and nourish, but also to educate diners and extend the conversations around supporting local. Cooking with locally grown Alberta food is good for the environment and for sustainability as good farmers ensure that the land is well kept with minimal (if any) usage of chemicals and fertilizers. These practices can sequester carbon, and they can also help ensure proper natural habitats for wildlife. This is crucial to be cognizant of for our future generations and our ecosystem. I am very grateful to be able to cook and nourish others with the bounty that is available to us in Alberta.”
What is your favourite Alberta ingredient to use?
“There are so many! I really love Highwood Crossing cold-pressed canola oil. I get excited every time I finish a dish with this oil, it’s truly special.”
What dish should guests be sure to try on your menu?
“Our perogies! We highlight Bear and Flower pork belly, Sylvan Star Grizzly Gouda, Phoenix Farms potatoes and Vital Green Farms Buttermilk. They are our top seller!”
What is your favourite kitchen/cooking memory?
“I remember my father making roasted potato wedges growing up to make baked ‘fries’. We did not eat much fast food growing up and seeing my father make these was always special to me. Very simple and nostalgic.
Another is making Icelandic Rye bread during a sheep farm ‘workaway’ in Iceland. (Djúpivogur). We actually made this bread at Donna Mac as a feature!”
Why do you take part in Alberta on the Plate?
“It was a no brainer. The opportunity to take part with Alberta on the Plate was timely with my starting date at Donna Mac. I knew Donna Mac was in a bit of an ‘identity crisis’. Coming on as the chef, I was determined in creating and heavily promoting a local food program. AB on the plate was a great way for us to showcase this.”