The Traveling Chef

Jack McCulloch is a man behind the scenes at The Metropolitan. He has been our Sous Chef for a couple years now and just recently went on a once in a lifetime trip across the world. We asked him to share his experiences so we could live vicariously through his taste buds. 

Read our Interview with him below! 

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am the Night Sous Chef at the Metropolitan, and part of our kitchen management team. I was raised in Canmore Alberta, started cooking when I was 13 years old and have never stopped. 

I've worked in restaurants for years, one highlight of my training comes from a Michelin Starred restaurant in Spain called ARZAK, it is ranked the 30th best restaurant in the world. It was where I learned stagging. 

Why do you love what you do? What is your favorite part of your job?
I have always been an artistic person, cooking was an outlet for me to express who I am and where I come from. Coming up with new creative ideas through food has always been a passion. 

My favorite part of my job is the ability to innovate, taking an idea from my head to a plate. Being able to taste the flavours of a dish you create is music to my ears. 

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 Photos from Jacks latest trip to Spain

Photos from Jacks latest trip to Spain

When you travel what do you look for in food? What are your favorite things to try?

When I am in another place trying to find something to eat the most important thing I look for is quality ingredients. It can be a farm to table restaurant or street food in South East Asia. If you hunt for the best ingredients chances are you will find the best food. Locals seem to have a dial on this so don't be afraid to ask them. I try everything that is new around me, you only live once so why not. 

How do you bring your travels back and apply it to your job?
One of the best things I've ever taken from previous experience and my travels is using ingredients to their fullest capacity. I am a huge believer in farm to table style of cooking, especially being from Alberta, using fresh and local ingredients from sustainable sources is becoming more and more important. 

What are some of your favorite dishes at The Met? 
My favorite dishes come from our prestigious steak program. AAA Angus reserve is some of the finest beef Alberta has to offer, I am extremely proud to work in a restaurant that places an importance on using high-quality Alberta products.

What are your favorite ingredients to work with?
Ones that are specific to certain regions; herbs and spices from the South of Spain for dishes like Paella, or handmaking pasta using techniques from Italy 

There are many region-specific dishes that myself and my team continue to develop and perfect in The Metropolitan Kitchen, Anyone is welcome to come down and see for themselves! I suggest starting with our Louisiana Bassa!