Meet Brad

Chef Brad Smoliak

I was never supposed to be a chef. At least that is what I was always told. I was born in 1966 with a serious congenital heart defect. In those days, kids like me were supposed to work at desk jobs, god forbid do something crazy like work in a kitchen. I did what I was supposed to do and took Business/Marketing at NAIT. I liked it and learned a lot but I knew my passion was cooking. When I met and married the love of my life Leanne, way back in 1991. I surprised her one day by telling her that I wanted to be a chef. She was less than impressed that I wanted to go back to school to take cooking only weeks after we purchased our first home. Leanne and I met at the restaurant “Philip’s” if anybody remembers it. She was my boss. I was the assistant manager to her general manager. She herself had gone to NAIT to take Culinary Arts, although gave up working as a chef to work in front of the house in restaurants, then went on to other big things in hospitality and entertainment. After some convincing, off I went, first to the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, and then receiving my Red Seal through NAIT.

Before starting Kitchen, I was one of the executive chefs and founders of Edmonton’s iconic Hardware Grill. I also served as the Executive Chef for the Royal Mayfair Golf & Country Club, and Executive Chef at Normand’s Restaurant, after earning my chops as Kitchen Leader at Earl’s Restaurant.

An athlete I am not, so going to the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010 as the lead chef for Alberta House, and the London Summer Olympics in 2012 as the lead chef for Canada House, were lifetime thrills. And while every guest is special, I was truly honoured to cook for Queen Elizabeth II when she visited Edmonton in 2005.

I am also a Research Chef, working with companies like Meatless Farms, Nestle, Little Potato Company, and Kitchen Partners, to develop new food products. You can sometimes catch me on television cooking with local TV hosts, and I like to think I can help you step up your BBQ game with my cookbook, “The Canadian Barbecue Cookbook”.

Of all things, my greatest passions are my family and my community. My wife Leanne, and son Nicholas, are everything to me. I had the unique experience to lay in a hospital bed for over 130 days and evaluate life. Trust me when I say, there is nothing, and I mean nothing, more important than your loved ones. I am deeply indebted and grateful to the team at the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute for giving me a second, third and fourth chance at life. Our family is committed to raising $1Million in our lifetime for the VAD Program at the MAZ. You will see ways that you can help us meet our goal by participating in Kitchen To Go or other fun things in the works. Make sure you follow Kitchen by Brad on social media to come along on the journey that includes making great food and giving back to the community.

Thank you for your continued support of Kitchen by Brad.