Guild chef con­quers the West

Ryan O’Flynn to open nine new restau­rants, ex­pand The Guild

StarMetro Calgary - - TASTE DRIVE - Shel­ley boettcher “it’s kind of like the trans-Canada high­way of restau­rants. it’s pretty cool to build that path. and i want to be part of it.”

Calgary chef Ryan O’Flynn, who heads the culi­nary team at The Guild, isn’t shy about his plans for Cana­dian culi­nary dom­i­na­tion.

As part of the Toronto-based restau­rant group, Oliver & Bonacini, O’Flynn is help­ing to lead the group’s Western Cana­dian ex­pan­sion. “It’s kind of like the Tran­sCanada High­way of restau­rants,” he says. “It’s pretty cool to build that path. And I want to be part of it.”

The ex­pan­sion started last year with the open­ing of The Guild on the main floor of The Bay build­ing in July 2016. It con­tin­ues with the open­ing of nine restau­rants — yes, nine — in Ed­mon­ton in 2018. The first will be in the J.W. Mar­riott Ho­tel in Ed­mon­ton’s arena dis­trict, fol­lowed by eight oth­ers in the city’s arts dis­trict. While the Ed­mon­ton growth is big news, Cal­gar­i­ans aren’t be­ing for­got­ten now that The Guild is up and run­ning. Last year, O’Flynn and his team opened a speakeasy, Sub Rosa, in the base­ment of The Guild.

This past Fe­bru­ary, they opened a pub and pa­tio as part of The Guild. And in April, they’ll open a 90,000-square­foot con­fer­ence cen­tre on The Bay’s top floor. It fea­tures two ball­rooms, Hud­son’s Lofts (which holds 600 peo­ple) and Hud­son’s Flats, which holds 400.

Each room can be di­vided into three smaller rooms, but for larger events, O’Flynn and his team will have the ca­pac­ity to serve plated din­ners for up to 1,000 peo­ple. Just like the menu at The Guild, there will be vege­tar­ian dishes, dryaged beef, gourmet com­fort food and lo­cal meat and pro­duce.

The new cen­tre will also have a 20,000-square­foot kitchen, so staff can ex­pand what they make on-site. “We’re go­ing to make ev­ery­thing in-house,” O’Flynn says. “Our longterm goal is lit­er­ally to be the butcher, the baker and the can­dle­stick maker.”

With so much on the go, does O’Flynn ever rest? A lit­tle, he ad­mits, thanks to his hard-work­ing team. “The days are long but not too many peo­ple get to be part of such amaz­ing growth,” he says. “I want to be part of this col­lec­tive ge­nius and see what we can do next.”


Calgary chef Ryan o’Flynn isn’t shy about his plans for Cana­dian culi­nary dom­i­na­tion.

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