Kofta is a traditional Moroccan dish that includes meatballs and rice.

Multicultural cuisine in our test kitchen

This world is absolutely full of delicious food.

No matter where you travel, there’s a favourite dish just waiting to be found – trust us, we’ve travelled a lot.

Takoyaki from Japan, bread from France, ceviche from Peru, kofta from Morocco, steak from – well, right here in Alberta – the list is enough to get us on Expedia looking for flights right now.

Wouldn’t that be nice?

Unfortunately, time, money and responsibilities keep our feet on the ground and these treats miles away (except, of course, for the steak).

The good news is, we live in a multicultural nation, with Canadians hailing from every continent on the globe. Instead of travelling, we thought we’d bring all those amazing flavours from across the nations right here to Picture Butte.

So, we went international chef hunting.

The power of the chef

At the test kitchen, our chefs define the restaurant. Not only do they perfectly prepare your favourite dishes every time, but they also bring recipes from their home countries to create their own test-recipes.

Despite their critical role, our chefs spend all day behind the scenes in the kitchen, with no one really knowing who they are, and where their inspiration comes from.

We think that’s a shame.

And that’s why we’re turning the spotlight on our kitchen staff.

Over the next couple of months, we’re going to introduce you to the main chefs working at our test kitchen so you can get to know the people responsible for bringing you so many new flavour sensations.

This month, we’ll give you a quick overview of our staff and the culinary traditions they hail from before diving deep into each of their personal stories, inspiration and favourite dishes.

The nations represented at the Picture Butte test kitchen

We are lucky enough to represent three continents in our kitchen – four if you count all the locals working here! With a team so diverse, our kitchen staff not only serves up some of the most authentic cuisines from around the globe, they come up with some of the most creative fusion recipes.

Our kitchen staff represents:

Nepal

Home to (half) of Mount Everest, Nepal is a mountainous country sandwiched between China and India. Just like Canada, Nepal’s cold winters have created culinary traditions to fight off those frigid nights. Chief among these traditions are hot soups and hearty meals.

Popular Nepali dishes include:

  • Dal Baht – a whole meal, usually comprised of lentil soup, rice and steamed or curried vegetables, along with various side dishes that can include: chutney, pickles, meats and curry
  • Momos – the national snack food, momos are tiny dumplings, served with a variety of fillings. Offered steamed or fried, they are often accompanied with a spicy dip.
  • Thukpa – Much like the name implies, it’s a thick, soul-warming noodle soup – and it’s the perfect answer to a blustery winter day. It’s often served with meat, eggs, or even vegetarian-style, with a raft of momos on the side.

Executive chef, Durga brings the hearty foods of Nepal to our kitchen.

Morocco

A melting pot of African, European and Middle Eastern culture, Morocco offers a world of cuisine within its own borders. With so much inspiration to pull from, Morrocan food has flavour to spare, with the most interesting spices helping you to forget those hot summer days.

Popular Morrocan dishes include:

  • Tagine – named after the famous clay dish it’s baked in, tagine has no boundaries. A stew of meat, vegetables and plenty of spices, Morrocans traditionally scoop up every last drop with khobz, a warm, chewy bread.
  • Kofta – an amalgamation of various meats (often ground beef and lamb), with various spices and onions, kofta can take on a variety of shapes, from meatloaf to meat on a stick. It can be eaten on its own, or used as the base for a variety of other dishes.
  • Pastilla – a savoury meat pie (pigeon was the traditional meat of choice, but chicken is more popular today!) that includes all kinds of ingredients (like cinnamon, saffron, ginger, pepper, fried almonds and even orange water) wrapped up in crispy warqa pastry.

Chef Soufiane brings the varied flavours of Morocco to Picture Butte.

Ukraine

Nothing beats Ukrainian for hearty, stick-to-your-bones cuisine. From hot soups to heavy meat and bread dishes, Ukrainian food keeps you cozy on frigid winter nights, and fuels you up for long days of harvest.

Popular Ukrainian dishes include:

  • Borscht – The soup with a thousand recipes, borscht changes depending on region and taste. Traditionally made from beet and cabbage, borscht can include any number of vegetables, like onions, garlic and even tomatoes. It’s often topped off with a Ukrainian favourite – a thick dollop of sour cream.
  • Vereniki – A pierogi by any other name, vereniki are little pockets of dough filled with both savoury (potato, cottage cheese and meat are popular) and sweet (berries which add a tart and delicious essence) ingredients before getting boiling up and served with rich sour cream
  • Salo – Pulling double duty as a snack and an ingredient, salo is dry-cured pork fat. It can be cut thin and eaten on garlic-rubbed rye bread or rendered down for cooking, while the thick skin that remains can be used to make stock for borscht.

Chef Svitlana brings the heart of Ukrainian cuisine to our test kitchen.

Enjoy an international experience at the Picture Butte Hotel

Each of our cooks not only brings flavours from their home countries but also adds in their own passion and experience for their cuisines. This gives our kitchen such a diverse pallet that we often have specials and test dishes we didn’t know existed before eating them!

This culinary adventure is one of the perks of our job. If you’d like to join in on our adventure, book a reservation today!

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