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Inspired by a Top Chef

Reality cooking shows have become extremely popular over the last few years.

From Diners, Drive-ins and Dives to Master Chef, it seems like they’re on every station.

I have to admit, I’ve enjoyed the renaissance of the cooking genre. I find myself watching the shows, writing down cooking tips and making note of the restaurants I should visit when I’m in any of the cities featured.

Living in Saskatoon doesn’t bring many opportunities to cross paths with great chefs or award-winning restaurants – at least not until recently. A local chef named Dale MacKay, winner of Top Chef Canada’s first season, opened Ayden Kitchen and Bar in downtown Saskatoon in November 2013.  Ayden Kitchen and Bar has since garnered rave reviews in The Huffington Post and was named in the Top 10 New Restaurants in enRoute Magazine.

Dale MacKay is originally from Saskatchewan. With a passion for food, he started his career as a fry cook in Vancouver before setting off to London where he was able to secure a job with Gordon Ramsay – the Master Chef – at Claridge. From there, Dale cut his teeth in the industry with Gordon, working in London, Tokyo and New York City. Dale returned to Canada to be the executive chef of Lumière in Vancouver.

After Dale moved back to Saskatchewan and set up in the downtown core of Saskatoon, there was an appetite to work with this culinary genius.  A young chef with world-renowned talents and a passion for local ingredients, Dale had the ability to source unique ingredients and reintroduce people to simple and clean foods. A partnership between Co-op and Dale MacKay was born – a Locally Grown Partnership that will continue to grow.

READ: Canada’s best new restaurants

This led to the creation of coopfood.ca. Dale has helped us create a database of recipes for any occasion, from a sausage stuffing to great Game Day recipes to help our Game Day Approved series of products. As a local, down-to-earth guy with great roots in the communities we are in, it is a natural fit.

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