As of early June 2018, Chef Anthony McCarthy, Executive Chef of the Saskatoon Club will be among one of the newest members on the Canadian Culinary Federation Honour Society’s roster.
And, rightfully, one of the most respected chefs in the city.
We already knew our bustling district nestled in the heart of the prairies was a breadbasket of top tier chefs and culinary greatness, but until we spoke to McCarthy, we didn’t fully realize the extent of the accolades that define such world-class talents. Even among Saskatoon’s restaurant-dense city centre recently noted for its seemingly endless media applause, it’s not every day you meet an internationally-acclaimed chef who can deep sea dive, deadlift, and whip up a gourmet-caliber meal for his young family in less than ten minutes. In any city.
McCarthy–a proud leader of the iconic Saskatoon Club’s award-winning kitchen–holds a resume peppered with undeniably impressive achievements, including his position as Western Canadian vice-president of the Canadian Culinary Federation. He also holds many brag-worthy titles (not that he would, though), including champ of the Gold Medal Plates Saskatchewan in 2011, and recipient of the bronze medals in 2013 and 2016. He has also nabbed the Chef of the Year title in Saskatoon multiple times, and Western Canadian Chef of the year 2015. He also earned his Certified Chef de Cuisine (CCC) designation in 2015–not a bad look for our Downtown chef, if we may say.
And, as stated by the man himself, he’s learned basically everything he knows from Google. Okay, well, he actually studied at North Oxfordshire Technical College in England, but he’s not afraid to keep learning–even if that means asking Siri a question or two about ingredients–and he’s as humble as they come.
Through a wildly successful career as a young head chef at age 19, to cooking on private yachts for famous NASCAR drivers and running top kitchens in the UK, North America and the Caribbean, McCarthy says his creative passion for food began as a 16-year-old dishwasher at a pub and restaurant in England. He says it was then that his culinary juices began to flow. It wasn’t long until he began prepping salads and appetizers–within his first year, to be exact–that he fully realized passion for cooking.
In addition to food, McCarthy is also enthusiastic about bringing community together (also with food).
For the last nine years, he chaired the Chefs Gala and Showcase with his wife Anastasia Winterhalt (an acclaimed opera singer, of course), which brings together local chefs, culinary students and local performing artists for ‘a celebration of Saskatoon’s finest eats and cultural treats’.
As far as his most recent creation goes, the well-received and ultra delectable, Prairie Food Faire, took place on May 9th. The evening–spearheaded by McCarthy, himself– allowed guests the opportunity to visit 10 of Saskatoon’s best local restaurants–all under one roof, The Saskatoon Club. With a sampling of handpicked favourites, guests were wined and dined throughout a culinary journey of bright, fresh, assertive –and somewhat addictive– dishes.
Couple that with craft beer, expertly-paired wines, and a little friendly competition, the evening at the iconic Downtown club was a night for the books and a heck of an excuse for the chef to revel in his triumphs.
Kudos to Anthony McCarthy – A chef with ambition, it seems.