Micheal Laird | Canadiana Master

By Shivana Maharaj
March 29, 2010

Photography by K&S Media

Artwork injects a subtle presence into the food at Creations in Edmonton. Most of the artwork depicts landscapes, and the natural world, something that appeals to Executive Chef Micheal Laird (yes this is how he spells his name), “I love the way First Nations culture is about respecting the environment and nature.” At Creations, Sawridge put this philosophy into the kitchen with the intense use of energy efficient appliances.

Laird, a NAIT graduate, has worked at several Sawridge properties and respects the philosophy of the company. The chef’s culinary career in Fort McMurray, also proved to be an invaluable experience in shaping his career. “I really enjoyed [Fort McMurray] because there was so much variety. You’re cooking for your oil worker all the way up to the CEO and cooking everything from Canadian tourtière, Jiggs dinner or special requests like rattlesnake or kangaroo.”

Chef Laird, a soft spoken, imaginative artist, at first mildly introverted, immediately comes alive when talking about food- using sometimes unusual ingredients like fermented black garlic, or his signature use of berries. Laird muses, “one of the unique things that I’m always trying is to mix fruits and berries which is the essence of the nuances of First Nations cuisine.”

Creations is a young restaurant, but by all indications it is a place where ideas are perpetually born. The counterplay between art and food are fully realized in an approachable inviting setting. Chef Micheal Laird delivers a dining experience exploring the roots of Canadian cuisine– reworking them with modern ingredients, unusual combinations and transforming them into daring flavour profiles. “It all goes back to the roots of the First Nations people. This company is huge on the environment and grassroots and the beliefs are beautiful.”

This is an excerpt of an original article. For more about Micheal Laird see the Spring 2010 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.