LANCE HUR­TUBISE

Where Calgary - - DINING - —Michaela Ritchie

Much has changed in Cal­gary since Lance Hur­tubise made his first foray into our city’s culi­nary scene—as a dish­washer at the age of 12, mak­ing $2.10 an hour. From his days serv­ing as a bus boy, waiter, bouncer and man­ager, to now act­ing as Pres­i­dent and CEO of the Vin­tage Group. At the helm of seven lo­cal es­tab­lish­ments, Hur­tubise has seen it all in Cal­gary’s kitchens over the last four decades.

“Cal­gary grew up as steak and pota­toes, and we’re still known as steak and pota­toes,” he says, “but now Cal­gary is slowly start­ing to ed­u­cate peo­ple on our food, and peo­ple are start­ing to come to Cal­gary and re­al­ize what it of­fers as a great culi­nary city.”

Hur­tubise up­holds that stan­dard of home­grown ex­cel­lence at each of his restau­rants. Vin­tage Group cur­rently man­ages and main­tains seven culi­nary con­cepts—Vin­tage Chop­house (page 57), Red­wa­ter Rus­tic Grille (page 51), Booker’s BBQ and Crab Shack (page 49), Butcher and the Baker (page 52), Township Bar and Grill (page 57) and Moose McGuire’s (page 50), with a Chair­man’s Steak­house on the way in 2018. Hur­tubise says his recipe for suc­cess has re­mained much the same.

“It all comes back to the ba­sics: good food, good ser­vice,” he says. “You get the best prod­uct you can, stay true to your roots, and don’t screw it up!”

What sights would you in­sist vis­i­tors to Cal­gary check out?

The arts scene, I think, is huge here, and I think the culi­nary scene is huge here, too. So I would say if you’re head­ing to the city, come have a good meal, and then go see a show. You’re bound to be en­ter­tained.

Where do you go in town to get the per­fect cut of Al­berta beef?

Vin­tage Chop­house, of course! I love the rib eye here—rib eye and oys­ters.

What dish does Cal­gary do very well, but is sur­pris­ingly not known for?

Lamb is one of our big­gest things here—ev­ery­one says beef, but Al­berta lamb is some of the best lamb any­where. I think our cock­tail scene has come light years. Ra­men is also talk­ing off. Our bar­be­cue is kind of a best-kept se­cret as well. And we’re do­ing a great job of Ital­ian in this city.

“Peo­ple are start­ing to come to Cal­gary and re­al­ize what it of­fers as a great culi­nary city.”

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