JP Ped­hir­ney

Western Living - - FOOD - Karen Ash­bee

It’s tough to be a chef in a town that’s go­ing through a down­turn, but you wouldn’t know it from the crowds lined up to get into Brid­gette Bar. Cal­gary-born JP Ped­hir­ney, lo­cal home­grown tal­ent and grad­u­ate of the culi­nary pro­gram at SAIT, was first choice to take the helm as ex­ec­u­tive chef. Named af­ter Brigid, the Celtic god­dess of fire, the restau­rant fea­tures a menu that is long on wood­fired items. “I like to think of it as a mas­cu­line way of cook­ing with a del­i­cate fem­i­nine spin,” says Ped­hir­ney. A long counter of pa­trons sits hap­pily sip­ping in­ven­tive cock­tails while dig­ging into plat­ters of grilled oc­to­pus and roasted cau­li­flower tossed with an es­pelette may­on­naise. The chef art­fully merges the tried and true—like roast chicken and fries— with the ex­per­i­men­tal, such as braised rab­bit on toast or es­car­got tarts, and his care­fully crafted menu fo­cuses on sea­son­al­ity com­bined with cre­ativ­ity. “But it’s not just me alone who’s re­spon­si­ble for the menu,” ex­plains the busy chef. “The food we cre­ate at Brid­gette is a com­pi­la­tion of more than two dozen peo­ple’s in­put. And it can take months to nail a recipe.” Clearly Ped­hir­ney and his team have created some­thing so right for to­day’s tastes.—

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