Chef Scott MacKenzie
Executive Chef
@ River Café
Calgary, AB

Executive Chef Scott MacKenzie’s passion for sustainability is at the forefront and his dedication to Canadian cuisine, driven by ingredients indigenous to the region. Inspired by River Café’s mantra of ‘How local can we be?’, Scott’s daily focus at the restaurant is creating a sustainable menu that involves seasonal ingredients, working directly with local growers, foragers and farmers and maintaining environmental practices that continue to reduce River Café’s carbon footprint. His menu is unconventionally artistic and deliberately highlights local organic produce, Oceanwise seafood and free-range animals raised without added by products or antibiotics. He continually showcases River Café’s culinary garden by using the native herbs, berries and edible flowers grown on the restaurant’s property. River Café continues to gain national and international acclaim. River Cafe placed 22 on Canada’s 100 Best 2023, and most recently landed on the 2024 World’s Best Restaurant, La Liste.

What made you want to be a chef?

“Started washing dishes when I was 14 years old and fell in love with restaurants.”

Why do you use Alberta ingredients in your kitchen?

“Our mantra at River Café is, ‘How Local Can We Be?’ Local ingredients and supporting local growers is our philosophy.”

What is your favourite Alberta ingredient to use?

“Honey.”

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

“Poplar Bluff Beets, Vital Greens Stracciatella, Highwood Crossing Sunflower Seeds, Lyalta Water Cress, Terra Microgreens Sunflower Shoots.”

Do you have a favourite kitchen/cooking memory?

“The ones when I cook with my family.”

Why do you take part in Alberta on the Plate?

“I love Alberta ingredients.”