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Q&A With Top Chef Canada Winner Dale MacKay

November 16, 2011. Behind The Scenes


Posted by Brianna

Would You Like To Win A Private Chef?

Well you can do just that from now until November 27th!  We have teamed up with Top Chef Canada Winner Dale MacKay, a Gordon Ramsay protégé to offer an opportunity of a lifetime. If you are the lucky winner you could be hosting the ultimate dinner party prepared by Dale in your home.

We thought before having him come to your home you might like to get to know him a bit better.

Chef Dale MacKay dishes on a variety of topics:

What inspired you to become a Chef?

So many things.  From day one, working at the lowest level preparing food, frying chicken fingers and fries, I was inspired to do it really well and to learn everything there was to know about food. I baked as a kid and loved working with ingredients.  Working with top chef mentors like Gordon Ramsay and Daniel Boulud was hugely inspiring and I am very competitive by nature, so I wanted to learn to be a world-class chef.

What is your favourite meal to cook?

Basically, anything containing seafood or shellfish.  It’s so delicate and when done well, the results are incredibly satisfying.

How do you like to entertain at home?

I work hard in the ensemble kitchen, so when I’m home I prefer potluck.  I get so see what friends and family are into cooking, and what their favourite dishes are.  Somehow the dishes all come together into a great result. Clean up is way easier also.

Sweet or savoury?

Savoury for sure – I’m a spice guy.  On sweet side, I prefer citrus desserts over chocolate.

What is the most coveted tool in your kitchen?

In my ensemble kitchen, I’d have to say my rasp – for citrus and cheese, etc.  Second favourite would be my tasting spoon, which I’ve had for years.

What inspired you to open ensemble in Vancouver?

Vancouver was ready for a casual, fine dining restaurant that combined classic French techniques with the relaxed cosmopolitan vibe of Vancouver.  At ensemble, we deliver an extraordinary culinary food and wine experience in a fun an approachable environment – and we do it at a $8-$24 per dish price point.   I guess you could say that our goal is to give as many people access to well designed and executed dining, as possible.  Urban Barn operates on the same model – great design, approachable environment and price point.

Connect with Dale MacKay and the ensemble team on Facebook and Twitter

Do you want to win this? Enter now at

Flo de Guzman - November 19, 2011

I entered the win a chef for a year contest, pick me…we could make tummy lemon squares together!

Anazarina - November 24, 2011

Mmmm…shellfishhh!! Aghh..I want to win!!!

Dave Peoples - December 2, 2011

Dale! We hope to you have you over for dinner! I’ve already invited Adam and Anna and 2 others! Keri and I will come by the restaurant soon for dinner. Glad to hear everything is going great for you!

Our Urban Barn Dinner with Dale MacKay (part 1 of 2) | Yinger Fotokrafie Design - April 3, 2012

[…] Interview with Chef Dale Mackay about the dinner […]

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