Tag Archives: Radisson Hotel Saskatoon

Chef Scott Torgerson the Executive Chef Radisson Hotel Saskatoon and Aroma Resto Bar Heads to Canadian Culinary Championships

Chef Scott Torgerson – Executive Chef Radisson Hotel Saskatoon and Aroma Resto Bar

The 2017 Canadian Culinary Championships is taking place this weekend in Kelowna, BC February 3-4, 2017. The eleven competing chefs will be aiming for gold as they compete in three events over two days testing their skills, creativity and endurance. We caught up with Chef Scott Torgerson the Executive Chef Radisson Hotel Saskatoon and Aroma Resto Bar.

Chef Scott Torgerson

Tell us a little bit about your restaurant and/or style of cooking.

My cooking style is Scandinavian/French with Asian influence. At the hotel we try to highlight prairie ingredients with classic techniques and modern attributes.

Where do you eat in your city?

I eat mostly Vietnamese and Chinese when I dine out. I also like to support local Chefs at places like Ayden kitchen and bar, the Hollows, etc.

What would be your ideal food day? 

My ideal food day is spent at home cooking/baking with my children and my wife.

What trend do you wish would die?

“Photo made” food, I believe that there is absolutely a place for photos to showcase food, but it is becoming too easy for photos to take priority over food. Customers today are also concerned with taking photos of the food rather than tasting it first.

Chef Scott Torgerson

What trend/s do you wish would be next?

Make the food that you enjoy eating.

What ingredient do you always have on hand?

My Sous Chefs would say that I have an attachment to Lavender but I would say Kombu

What’s your go-to recipe when you’re eating at home? 

Swedish Meatballs

What equipment do you wish you had in your kitchen?

I am extremely fortunate in my kitchen, but a green egg charcoal grill would be nice.

What cookbook would you suggest for a gift for your foodie friends this year?

Perfection in Imperfection

Chef Scott Torgerson

Any hints on what dish you will be preparing for Gold Medal Plates?

Elk and Highland Beef

What wine/beer/libation are you pairing with this year?

See Ya Later Ranch 2015 Unleashed Pinot Noir

Who is coming with you?

Two of my extremely talented Sous Chefs Christopher Corkum and Nicholas Smelland. There are no better chefs to have along side me in this competition.

I also surveyed my Facebook followers (many are chefs as well) as to what questions they would like answered by chefs when I interview them.

Colleen McClean What inspires you in your daily work? Working with food and the pursuit of food knowledge is constantly inspiring. Being challenged daily to find new ways to do things and new flavours to work with is why I do what I do.

Colleen Tsoukalas Is there potential for school garden programs and chefs to collaborate? Ideas? Absolutely, there are many culinary schools that have incorporated product growth and development into their programs. I believe that there is a place in every kitchen for chefs to be involved in gardening and product generation no matter how small of steps are taken.

Heather Watson What’s your “ketchup”? (I don’t mean literal ketchup, I just mean the one ingredient you use most often.) Pickling Liquid is my ketchup

Chef Scott Torgerson

Scott Torgerson started in the Food Service Industry at the age of 14. He received his professional training in the Culinary Arts program at Red River College in Winnipeg, Manitoba. From there he worked in some of Manitoba’s premiere kitchens including St. Charles Golf and Country Club. Scott was the Executive Chef of the Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club, before moving to Saskatoon in his role as Executive Chef of the Radisson Hotel and Aroma Restaurant. Chef Torgerson has received numerous culinary awards on Provincial, National, and International levels and was a member of National Culinary Team Canada 2016. He maintains a strong working relationship with the producers of Saskatchewan, highlighting local ingredients with flavors influenced by his Scandinavian background.

Interview with Chef Trevor Robertson Radisson Hotel Saskatoon

Trevor Robertson#ccc2014 @goldmedalplates Chefs from Canada will meet in Kelowna from February 7-8, 2014 to compete in the Gold Medal Plates Canadian Culinary Championships. Each year I interview them some questions prior to the challenge. Here are the answers from Chef Trevor Robertson from The Radisson Hotel Saskatoon.

What was your first food memory?

Camp fire cooking, bannock and popcorn in a pot over an open flame at the lake.

What was in your elementary school lunch kit?

I think we ate like normal kids but there one thing that sticks out for me – a thermos of hot water with a wiener in it and hotdog bun wrapped up in plastic wrap. BYO hotdogs at school.

Where did you first learn to cook?

I was a sandwich artist at Subway when I was 15.  My second job, at age 16, was as a dish washer at our town motel. When I got to work one Saturday morning the owner was cooking on line because the breakfast cook did not show up.  I jumped on the line with her and put out breakfast that day.  I did so good I got the weekend breakfast cooks job and have been cooking ever since.

Did you attend culinary school – if so, where?

I started getting hours for Apprenticeship when I was in high school through a school work program and went straight into the Red River Culinary Program in Winnipeg after graduating from high school. I got my Red Seal in 2005. In 2011 I started doing my CCC online through SAIST. I received my CCC certification in March of 2012.

Where has been your favourite place to work to date and why?

Don’t get me wrong I have had some great jobs, but as the Executive Chef of the Radisson Hotel Saskatoon and Aroma Resto Bar is where I am the happiest.  And that’s all because of the team we have in the kitchen; the Sous Chefs are some of the best Culinarians I have ever worked with. From the stewards to line cooks it is just a great team and a great place to be. They push me to get better and better every day.

Who in the industry taught you the most?

Not sure. At different times in my life I would tell you someone different.

What is your favourite style of cooking?

Local

What is your favourite ethnic cuisine?

 Chinese

What is your favourite family recipe?

Pavlova

What ingredient(s) can’t you live without?

Herbs and Oil

What are the most essential tools for cooking?

Fire

Do you have an unforgettable taste combination?

Peas and good fish, like sea bass

Ingredient you can’t get enough of?

Cheese and cured meats

Ingredient that will never touch your lips?

Insects

What is your most prized possession?

The first Chef knife I ever owned was a graduation gift from my mom and dad; a 4 Star 8” Henckel Chef knife

What basic recipe/s do you advise for cooking novices to learn as a starting point?

The five mother sauces: Béchamel, Espagnole, Hollandaise, Tomato, and Velouté

What’s your go-to comfort food?

KD

What’s your favourite cocktail?

Whisky Sour

Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Penny candy

What’s your definition of a perfect meal?

A great tasting meal with a balanced wine and people you love to share it with 

What do you always have on hand for last minute entertaining at home?

Meat, cheese, and jellies

How do you unwind after service?

A beer…or maybe 2

Most overrated food trend?

Convenience foods

Favourite culinary destination?

Home

Most memorable meal last year?

It’s sad to say but I only got to take my wife out once last year where it was just the two of us. And any meal where I get her undivided attention is a great meal.

If you weren’t a chef what career would you have pursued?

Farming

What would you eat at your last meal?

Foie gras risotto and a really good roast chicken leg

Who are you dream dinner companions?

My dad, I do not remember him as I was a baby when he passed away.

What do you do in your off time?

Farm. I live on a farm with my wife and son as well as my brother and his family. Together we have a 160 acre farm with cows, sheep, goats, and lots of birds. Right now we only have about 400 birds but we hatch and raise them so in the summer we could have as many as 2000 birds [ducks chicken, turkeys, Guinea fowl, pheasants and peacocks]. With a large garden, a small orchard, and all these animals if I’m not at work cooking I’m at home raising something for someone else to cook.

Where do you eat in your city when you are not working?

I do not really.

Are there some regional dishes your city is known for?

Not sure. Some would say Saskatoon is known for “meat and potatoes” but if you ate here in any of our great restaurants you would not think that.

What is the dish/dishes your restaurant is known for?

Aroma is known for great local food but if you ask around town it is pizza. 3 years in a row we’ve had the best pies in town. Handmade, hand rolled with the perfect thin crust, local topping and great cheese all made in our open kitchen and a Wood Stone Oven.

What dish will you be cooking for Gold Medal Plates?

A Terrine of custom raised Muscovy duck, duck prosciutto with a whole bunch of corn garnishes.

Why did you choose the particular wine/beer pairing for the dish?

I really like NK’MIp wines as well as the winery. Plus Constellation Brands is great partner.

What ingredients have you brought with you?

Lots but the 2 worth talking about are the duck and the corn.  When we did the dish in the local competition I used corn that was locally grown and then we juiced it and froze it until I needed it.  When we won and were working on the dish, we realised we would not have enough corn juice to do it again, and I could not find any more local corn.  I turned to my roots. I was raised in Morden, MB the home of the Corn and Apple Festival.  I called my mother and my mother-in-law and they went out and found enough corn from peoples freezers in my home town to make the juice I needed for my dish.

Who have you brought with you to assist?

My team is made up of 2 great Chefs, Scott Torgerson and Christopher Corkum. But just as important as they are is the team that is back here in Saskatoon at the hotel.  When a Chef can leave his hotel and take 2 of his Sous Chefs with him and not have to worry about the hotel and the food going out at home, it speaks volume of the whole team.

For the black box competition are there any strategies that you will employ to succeed?

Practices, speed, good food and getting it done on time. It will all come down to that one hour.

What challenges do you have to face as your travel to another destination to cook?

The same as everyone else. It is always harder in someone else’s rink, but it’s how we react when thing go wrong…and things will always go wrong.

Who do you see as the toughest competitor this year?

To get to the CCC you have to be a great Chef, and it is an honor to compete with all of these Chefs. Good Luck Everyone.