Guest Chefs

Annually, Canadian chef and concept co-founder, Mandel Hitzer, reaches out to the greater culinary community to discover world-class talent and celebrate their creations in acclaimed, Winnipeg pop-up restaurant, RAW:almond. The event annually sees more than 35 chefs creating once-in-a-lifetime menus for twenty one unforgettable nights in Manitoba.


Mandel Hitzer




Chef / Owner  (

Mandel Hitzer has been in the culinary industry for more than 20 years. His career transformed while working under Chef Makoto Ono at then, Winnipeg-based restaurant, Glutton's. Soon after, he was invited to cook and design menus at Fresh Cafe and Pizzeria Gusto before opening deer + almond, his first concept in Winnipeg's historic Exchange District. Since it began in 2012, deer + almond has been twice-named one of Canada's 100 Best restaurants (2017, 2018) and received numerous accolades from food critics and fans alike for the restaurant's food, atmosphere and culture. Mandel is also well known as the co-founder and head chef of RAW:almond, a culinary experience that takes place in temporary architecture in different locations around the world. Mandel has also spent time learning in kitchens around the world including Danny Bowien's famed Mission Street Chinese (San Francisco) and Michelin-starred, New York hotspot, Contra.