Chef Liz Lavitt was born in Winnipeg and raised in Ottawa. In high school she was spending time in kitchens both at home and at the neighbourhood Swiss Chalet. After high school, she followed her love of food into the two-year Algonquin College Culinary Management program where she graduated with honors. She went on to spend one year in England at the 4-star Coppid Beech Hotel in Bracknell west of London learning veg, sauce, garde manger, and pastries. Returning to Ottawa, Liz cooked at the Common Eatery and with the catering team for Parliament Hill.
Liz relocated to Cold Lake and began her first winter as the kitchen supervisor at the Kinosoo Ridge Resort. That next summer had her on the Bushmen’s Smokehouse food truck serving Fort McMurray, Bonnyville, Cold Lake, the Vermillion Fair, residential properties, and the oil fields. She was the Head Chef at Cold Lake’s Lakeland Inn Hotel operating four restaurants, a banquet hall, and providing external catering. She launched an online portal with ordering available to room service, takeout, and home delivery.
With 15 years of industry experience, Liz has since returned to The Ridge at Kinosoo Ridge Resort as the Food and Beverage Coordinator. She is dedicated to creating and maintaining the quality and environment that provides excellent food experiences.
What made you want to become a chef?
“In high school, I took a co-op placement at the local Swiss Chalet. I immediately fell in love with the fast-paced environment of a dinner rush. As I began training staff, it was very rewarding to see them excel on their own. Food is everything!”
Why do you use Alberta ingredients in your kitchen?
“Supporting local producers adds a little extra pride to every dish you’re serving. Knowing that local food is feeding local people.”
What is your favourite Alberta ingredient to use?
“Fresh fruit and vegetables coming from our Albertan soil.”
What dish should guests be sure to try on your menu?
“Our specialty burgers use 100% Angus beef from Charlotte Farms (Bonnyville), along with bison breakfast sausages on our brunch menu from Cyrus Bison Ranch (Bonnyville). They pair well with any beverage from Cold Lake Brewing and Distilling or Journey North Cider Co.”
What is a favourite kitchen/cooking memory?
“Making pies with my mom and sisters till the early hours of the morning for a farmers’ market the next day, and making hand cut fries with my grandpa.”
Why do you take part in Alberta on the Plate?
“We participate in Alberta on the Plate to help encourage other businesses in our area that choosing local is a great way to go. The Lakeland is surrounded by many producers and farmers, and we hope to keep expanding our list of suppliers, while actively encouraging others to do the same.”