On April 9, 2017, the Culinary Lab Series launched at Rostizado. Seventy-two people filled the restaurant—they sat under the warm glow of the overhead lighting, waiting for the delicious smells radiating from the kitchen to materialize into the first of six promised courses coming their way. David Leeder, Edgar Gutierrez, and their team hurried around the kitchen as if plating the dishes had been choreographed, the servers ushering plates of food from pass bar to table with the finesse of A Chorus Line cast.

The Culinary Lab Series is a four-part series that gives Edmontonians the opportunity to experience international and national culinary talent in an unconventional way. Chefs with wildly different culinary specializations are thrown into the kitchen together to create one-of-a-kind culinary experiences. 

For Culinary Lab 01, David Leeder combined his Nordic cuisine training with Edgar Gutierrez’s use of seductive Mexican spices. Together they turned the Rostizado kitchen into a laboratory to experiment and create an unforgettable Sunday dining experience. When the dishes reach the tables—Grilled Octopus with roasted kelp sauce, potato, asian pear, and endive; Mole Verde with rapini, cauliflower, and rutabaga—glasses clink together, people take their bites, nods and mmm’s fill the restaurant. 

This series is the result of a partnership between Edmonton Economic Development Corporation and renowned Edmonton chef, David Leeder. Culinary Lab 02 launches on August 26 and it promises to be another unique dining experience. In honour of the 150th anniversary of Confederation, Culinary Lab 02 will celebrate the innovative and diverse cultural heritage of Canada through food. Five Canadian chefs will combine their culinary talents to create a long-table outdoor dinner for 300 people in downtown Edmonton. 

"I just think it's important that Economic Development's taken the initiative to grow something in the community," David explains, "really zero in, and be forward thinking. I think it takes a lot of vision and a lot of creativity to come up with something like this, and take a gamble on a couple of chefs in the city. We put a lot of thought into what we're doing, and it's going to be an experience not just for the diners, but for the entire [culinary] scene."

Stay tuned to EEDC’s Facebook page for updates on and ticket sales for the next three Culinary Labs.