Vancouver chef and restaurateur Dale MacKay is headed to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Nearly six months after closing both of his downtown restaurants, ensemble and ensembleTap, MacKay is planning to open a new restaurant in his hometown.
“I’m negotiating with two different spaces right now, but I don’t have the space yet so I don’t have a full layout of what it’s going to be,” MacKay told the Georgia Straight by phone today (February 15).
While the winner of the inaugural season of Top Chef Canada may not know what his restaurant will look like, he’s confident in the type of food it will offer.
“It’s going to be basically a bistro, and the plan is to have a small specialty butcher shop in the same space,” he said. “We’re doing a lot of stuff like the sausages we used to do at Tap and things like pre-done duck confit, so a lot of things for people to take home and fix themselves.”
In Saskatoon, MacKay will be working alongside familiar faces. Christopher Cho, who was the bar manager at ensemble before becoming the general manager at ensembleTap, will help MacKay run his front of house. Vancouver chef Nathan Guggenheimer, who previously worked with MacKay as chef de cuisine at DB Bistro Moderne, will also be moving to the prairies.
“All my family’s really in Regina…but I’m a Saskatoon guy,” MacKay said. “I think it’s going to be good. I’m looking forward to it.”