One-on-one with Louise Lu of Skye Cafe & Bistro
Chef Louise Lu was born and raised in Chengdu, Sichuan province of China and moved to Canada at the age of 17. Her love of food was inspired by her great-grandmother and fueled her desire to study food. She enrolled in the Culinary Arts program at NAIT in Edmonton, Alberta and upon graduation, apprenticed at some of the best kitchens in the city.
In 2016, Chef Louise, along with her husband Chef Milton Rebello, opened Skye Cafe & Bistro in Regina, Saskatchewan. Their goal was to bring fresh, seasonal, and bold cuisine to the local table. They practice environmentally sustainable, seed-to-plate dining along the banks of Regina’s Wascana Lake.
Chef Louise says they “celebrate globally-inspired cuisine with a Canadian attitude” by blending different cultures with locally grown and produced ingredients. At Skye Restaurant, Chef Louise and Chef Milton take advantage of the local terroir and showcase the dynamic variety of Saskatchewan produce.
She states, “Canada produces 90% of the world’s mustard seeds and a big part of it comes from Saskatchewan along with Lentils and chickpeas. [We utilize] wild foraged morels and Chanterelles, as well as berries that are unique to our province – like saskatoon and haycap berries”.
Chef Louise describes the Canadian landscape as “bountiful” and believes that Food Day Canada provides the perfect opportunity to educate diners, fellow industry professionals, as well as the general public of this bounty.
As she puts it, “This is a perfect opportunity to educate our future generation and our new immigrants of what our farmers produce, our native aboriginal food and show our gratitude to the farmers, dairy and meat producers”.
Do you have a lucky charm in the kitchen?
Our lucky charm is our dishwasher! I am sure my fellow chefs understand how it feels when this charm doesn’t work!
What’s the last thing you burned?
We never burn food – we only caramelize!
Your favourite spice?
What makes you “kitchen angry”?
Latest flavour combination you discovered?
Savoury lentil macaroons with foie gras crème brulée.
What’s your most extravagant purchase?
Our Rational Combi Oven.
Favourite song in the kitchen?
“True Colors” (the theme song from the Trolls movie)
What’s your comfort food?
Sichuan food, especially roast duck congee.
What’s your most essential tool?
My teaspoon, I recommend to taste everything before you serve it!
Favorite smell in the kitchen?
Cinnamon buns straight out of the oven.
What do you admire in other chefs?
Discipline, passion and a clean apron.
What or who is your greatest inspiration?
The dish you are proudest of?
I am proud of every dish or pastry I serve.
What’s your end of the world menu?
I’d go out with a bang! Caviar, Champagne, truffle pecorino, foie gras crème brulée, and crispy sourdough baguette.
Your favourite advice or quote?
“Live one day at a time.”
What is the one ingredient that you would never buy if it is not produced locally?
Saskatoon berries, mustard, and lentils.
What is your favourite local drink?
What is Canadian food to you?
Canada is a beautiful blend of different cultures and cuisines. At Skye we celebrate globally-inspired cuisine with a Canadian attitude (locally grown and produced ingredients).
What makes you proud of the Canadian terroir?
We are very fortunate that our farmers are taking the brave route and pushing the limit with growing ingredients that were previously difficult to grow with our climatic conditions. At the same time, chefs in Saskatchewan are embracing locally-grown ingredients that are very unique to our climate, to where we live, and our farming practices.
Why do you participate in Food Day Canada?
We are proud to be a part of Food Day Canada. We wanted to participate because it’s the perfect opportunity to come together, celebrate and embrace our roots.
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