Best Chef: Connie DeSousa; Charcut

Captured by  Neil Zeller

Captured by Neil Zeller

A former Canada’s Top Chef finalist, a Tourism Calgary Culinary Ambassador and Calgary’s Best Chef in 2019, meet Connie DeSousa. She has been nicknamed the ‘Primal Ballerina’ for her meat-centric culinary knowledge juxtaposed with years of ballet training. Connie can do many things – she’s a stand-out butcher and can debone a pig’s head in record time.

Having graduated from SAIT’s Culinary Program with honours, Connie went on to obtain her Le Cordon Bleu Paris Certification. Her international work does not stop here; she competed in the World Culinary Olympics in Germany and worked in restaurants like Koln’s Taku Restaurant and San Francisco’s St. Regis Hotel. Known for preparing authentic food to much critical acclaim, Connie has been recognized by several publications as Canada’s Top Female Chef and one of the top chefs in Canada over the past decade; she proves it with every dish that she serves. Today, Connie is the co-chef and co-owner of CHARCUT. For your chance to taste some of Connie DeSousa’s finest creations, visit her restaurant any day of the week; however, you may want to make a reservation, because this place is always bumping!

FIRST RUNNER UP: BLAIR CLEMIS; MODEL MILK

SECOND RUNNER UP: DARREN MACLEAN; SHOKUNIN