Guest Chefs

To make RAW:almond the exceptional culinary festival that it is head chef Mandel Hitzer reaches out to the greater culinary community to gather the best talent to bring their creations to our space. RAW:almond strives to foster a culinary community from every corner of the world so each dinner is a collaboration between the best near and far.

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Mandel Hitzer



January 25 / February 7

Chef / Owner  (

Mandel Hitzer opened deer + almond in 2012 and co-created RAW:almond in 2013   He has manifested his dreams at Deer + Almond; a life full of friends, laughter and imagination. Mandel is chef/owner of deer + almond, a nationally acclaimed restaurant in the heart of Winnipeg’s Exchange District'. deer + almond has been involved with some of Winnipeg’s most beloved pop – up projects. 



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January 25 / 26

Chef / Owner (

In 2016, Joël along with partners Tannis Ling and Alain Chow, opened Kissa Tanto, a Japanese/Italian restaurant and has gone on to win best new restaurant in Canada in both En Route and Canada’s 100 best restaurants. In the 2017 Vancouver magazine awards, Joël won chef of the year. 



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Viktor Örn Andrésson


February 5 / 6

Chef (

Viktor Örn Andrésson is one of Iceland's most prestigious culinary experts. A member of the Icelandic National Culinary team from 2009 to 2015, he has received many awards depicting the extent of his talent. Notably, he was named the Iceland Chef of the Year in 2013, Nordic Chef of the Year 2014 and won two gold medals at the Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg in 2014. Most recently, Chef Viktor Örn Andrésson led the Iceland team to a bronze medal in the prestigious Bocuse d'Or 2017 Finale, and earned special recognition for preparing the best fish of the Bocuse d'Or 2016 competition.

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Andrea Carlson


January 30 / 31

Chef / Owner ( )

For over a decade, Chef Andrea Carlson has left a resounding legacy on Vancouver’s dining scene. Her commitment to homegrown ingredients and active support of local food systems has led to strong relationships forged with farmers and growers, including previously unknown producers who have now caught the attention of chefs citywide.

Now Chef / Owner at Burdock & Co, Andrea’s love for the land surfaces in organic,seasonal plates influenced by B.C.’s diverse environments. Her signature style of cooking – delicate, earthy and vibrant – captures the essence of farm-to-table dining, and is a tangible reminder of her lasting impact and leadership within the culinary community.

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Hamid Salimian

February 11 / 12

Chef / Owner ( )

Born in Iran, Hamid grew up on the edge of the Caspian Sea and learned about traditional Persian cuisine amid his father’s citrus orchards and dairy farm. Soon after his family relocated to Vancouver, British Columbia, Hamid enrolled in culinary and pastry arts at Vancouver Community College for his first formal training as a chef and graduated at the top of his class. He learned the essential skills to combine the heritage of Persian cuisine with influences of the Pacific Northwest and began to define a uniquely creative and contemporary approach.

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Christie Peters


January 23 / 24

Chef / Owner ( ) ( )

Christie Peters owns, operates, and is the executive chef of both The Hollows and Primal Pasta, in her hometown of Saskatoon. Her goal is to study and understand the harsh climate and unique seasons of Saskatchewan. She also strives to run her restaurants in a full circle manner that brings meaning into every action and intention into every detail. The restaurants compost all food waste as well as all napkins, paper towel and straws. They have a horticulturist on staff that grows specifically for the restaurants and the compost goes back into the earth and many gardens she maintains throughout the city. They focus on whole animal butchery, tanning hides, making stocks from the bones and transforming unusable fat into soap for both restaurants. This waste not want not pioneer way of life is the only way that makes sense to Peters and her team and brings meaning to their work. 

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Kyle Paton

February 8 / 9

Chef / Owner ( )

Kyle Paton has focused his career on collaboration. Having worked around the world in high end restaurants he has decided to do his part to make the world a smaller place, and the food the focus. He started a popup in 2009 called The Black Lodge. The focus is to fly a chef in once a month from somewhere in the world to tell their story with a Canadian back drop.

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Mitchell Bates

February 3

Chef / Owner )

Mitchell has cooked at many Michelin starred restaurants, but found a long term home at the once scrappy upstart (now empire) Momofuku. He worked his way up through the ranks of Ko, which is where I first encountered his thoughtful cooking. He is humble about his accomplishments, but it's worth noting that he was CDC of Ko, a 2 Michelin star restaurant for 3 years. Despite all of his fine dining credentials, he is a wealth of information on American fast food, and would choose Jack in the Box as his number 1 spot, if forced to choose just one. He also ranks Coca-Cola thusly: 1a: Canadian canned, 1b: American canned, 2: McDonald's fountain (only McDonald's) 3: Mexican glass bottles. His musical knowledge is vast but he balances that with knowing way too much about the WWF. (Not the panda one. The other one.)


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Jamie Harling

February 1 / 2 )

Acclaimed Chef, Jamie Harling, connects daily with local farmers and ranchers with his menu of ever-changing, thoroughly contemporary Canadian cuisine. In its first year under his lead, Deane House has been recognized by Canada’s 100 Best and en Route’s shortlist naming Canada’s best new restaurants. He brings passion for straight-from-the-garden produce to his new role in one of the city’s most historic landmarks.

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Dan Geltner

January 28 / 29

Chef / )

Dan Geltner is the chef and owner operator of Le Kitchen and Le Catering in Montreal. His favourite drink is Campari soda.

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Christine Sandford


February 1 / 2

Chef  ( )

Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Christine spent the beginning of her career working at various restaurants in Edmonton, and after working as the chef at Culina Mill Creek for many years, she left to work in Europe. She spent time in many kitchens, including La Buvette in Brussels, staging at In De Wulf Belgium, eventually helping them to open a new restaurant, De Superette in Gent, Belgium. Her main focus is always on quality ingredients, and working with the seasons. She spends a lot of time working on sourdough, and cooking over charcoal.  Currently the head chef at Biera, Christine has been trying to change peoples ideas of what you can eat with beer.


JP Pedhirney

January 29 / January 30

Executive Chef ( )

JP Pedhirney was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. Starting as a dishwasher when he was young, he has put together an impressive career over the last 15 years, spanning from Blackbird and Gilt Bar in Chicago to the James Beard House in New York City. More recently, he has lead some of Calgary’s finest restaurants, including Rouge and Muse. He is the executive chef at Bridgette Bar, the newly opened boisterous eatery in Calgary’s beltline.



Garrett Martin


January 29 / 30

Chef )

Garrett Martin is currently the Chef de Cuisine at Bridgette Bar. He’s had the privilege of training at Bouchon in Napa Valley and Daniel Berlin in Sweden, as well as multiple other shorter stints in Copenhagen and California. Previous to Bridgette Bar, Garrett was the Chef de Cuisine at Pigeonhole, awarded Canada’s Best New Restaurant in 2015 by enRoute Magazine.

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Nick Nutting

February 11 / 12

Chef ( )

Chef Nick Nutting leads the pack at Wolf in the Fog with his locally-sourced and ingredient-driven menu. Preparing simple, honest dishes with bold and exciting flavours, Nick takes full advantage of Tofino’s fresh produce. When he’s not cooking it Nick can be found catching or picking it – find him out on the water hauling up crab traps or scouring the forest for mushrooms.

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Connie DeSousa & John Jackson

February 8 / 9

Chef /

Co-chefs for Life – Not only are these two chefs driven to succeed in their own initiatives, they are wired to give back. Both are actively involved in community, reaching out to support many important social issues that touch the lives of so many Canadians that can throw off our ability to maintain a healthy day-to-day balance – life threatening illnesses, mental health issues, equality in the workplace, poverty – using food and their talents to create awareness and help those in need.

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Scott Vivian


January 22 / 23

Chef / Owner ( )

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Gus Stieffenhofer - Brandson


February 13

Chef ( )

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, has always had an incredibly close connection with food, and from an early age, felt most at home in the kitchen. After a number of years Gus decided to get out of his comfort zone, and cook abroad. After a contract at the Hotel Atrium, he completed several stages at Michelin Star restaurants. Back in Canada Starting at The Pear Tree Restaurant in Vancouver, led by Chef/Owner Scott Jaeger. Gus was the opening chef of Perch, with a focus on using seasonal and local ingredients. After completing an internship at restaurant noma in Copenhagen, Gus has been busy cooking at an elite heli-ski lodge, on a frozen river, or a one night restaurant take over with friends. Now at Hawksworth restaurant, Gus is never too far from the stove. 

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Makoto & Amanda Ono

February 6 / 7

Chef / )

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Adam Donnelly

February 13

Chef / Owner ( ) ( )

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Cyrus Smith

January 25 / February 7

Chef ( )

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Ed Lam

January 19 / 24

Chef /

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Heiko Duehrsen

January 20 / 31 )

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Blaine Robinson

February 13

Chef )

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Ben Kramer

January 20/31

Chef / Owner ( )

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Mike Robins


January 19 )

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Eric Lee

January 19 / 26


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Scott Bagshaw

January 22 / February 5

Chef / Owner ) ( ) ( )

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Tyrone Welchenski

January 20 / 28

Chef ( )  

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Jesse Friesen


January 20 / 28

Chef ( )

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Claire Snowball

January 22 / 23


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Emily Butcher

January 19 / 26

Chef ( )

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Chris Gamma

January 22 / February 5

Chef / Owner ( )