Mt. Engadine’s new chef aims to make name at lodge

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Mount Engadine Lodge’s new executive chef is making dishes to delight the taste buds of its guests just in time for the all-inclusive backcountry resort’s introduction of Sunday brunch.

When it comes down to it, executive chef Mandy Leighton signs her name – and reputation – on every plate out of the kitchen at the lodge in Kananaskis Country.

“I like to make every dish the best and something I’m proud of,” said Leighton, who was announced as executive chef earlier this month.

“I’d really like to make a name for Mount Engadine and myself with the food I prepare.”

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of Canada on Prince Edward Island and a certified holistic nutritionist, Leighton’s believes her diverse background and entrée expertise makes her more than capable to handle the Rocky Mountain kitchen.

Before taking on the executive chef role, Leighton worked this past year at Okotoks’ Heartland Café.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to live in a park and an amazing freedom that the lodge offers … this place (Mount Engadine), right now, it’s a big opportunity for me to run a kitchen,” she said.

“Recipes are made by me, personally, and are from a little bit of just what I’ve learned from different places.”

Leighton’s culinary background includes extensive knowledge of Mexican and Italian cuisine, as well as Ukrainian, which is her ancestral background.

However, the Winnipeg native is looking forward to incorporating local wild game such as elk and bison in her mountain meals.

Plus, a little Smoked Salmon Benny with Canmore-cured Valbella Bacon never hurt anyone for a Sunday Brunch which, at Mt. Engadine Lodge, is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is open to the public.

Additionally, Mt. Engadine is offering a special New Years Eve brunch (Dec. 31) served by Leighton and featuring homemade salmon lox, eggs Benedict, huevos rancheros and a kid-friendly menu. It’s $25 per person and $17.50 for children, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information and for reservation details, visit http://www.mountengadine.com/.

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Rocky Mountain Outlook