Chef Rupert Garcia
Chef de Cuisine
@ Hawthorn Dining Room & Bar
Calgary, AB

  • Silver Medal – Chaine Des Rotisseurs International Competition 2014
  • Gold Medal – Chaine Des Rotisseurs National Competition 2013
  • Gold Medal – CCFCC Jr. Chef Regional Competition 2012
  • Breakman Foundation Competition Winner
  • Canada’s Great Kitchen Party Best Competitor (top 10 best restaurants yearly competition) 2015, 2017, 2023

Chef Rupert Garcia is originally from the Philippines, and graduated from the PCK program at SAIT in 2012. He has worked around prestigious establishments in Calgary and has done some working stages for Michelin restaurants in New York & San Francisco, and now leads the team as Chef de Cuisine at the Fairmont Palliser’s Hawthorn Dining Room & Bar. A multiple award-winner, Chef Garcia has had several podium finishes in Local, National, and International chef competitions.

What made you want to be a chef?

“I’ve been in the kitchen since I was 16 years old, the thrill of service and the sense of accomplishment after every shift had me heavily involved at a young age. Growing up with peers that were creative and successful made the industry ‘cool’ for me. Worked up the ranks and carved my own path and I’m hoping I can inspire others the way my predecessors inspired me.”

Why do you use Alberta ingredients in your kitchen?

“Showcasing what we have to offer, we are more than just a meat and potato province. Our produce, game meat & local seafood has taken a big leap forward and has been a driving force to our prairie cuisine. It brings a sense of comfort to our guest the way we creatively execute our ingredients.”

What is your favourite Alberta ingredient to use?

“I enjoy working with wild mushrooms, very versatile yet simple.”

What dish should guests be sure to try on your menu?

“Grilled Beef tenderloin with roasted beets, bone marrow whipped potatoes and red wine jus”

Do you have a favourite kitchen/cooking memory?

“Long hours of competition prep work with my chef mentors. They’ve really set a path for myself, at that point in my career. All I could do was absorb knowledge and take advantage of the opportunity given to me and I’m happy to do the same for my current and future colleagues.”

Why do you take part in Alberta on the Plate?

“As a chef, it’s an opportunity to reach out to guests about our Food and Beverage program @ Hawthorn while showcasing the ingredients we use from Alberta.”