Canada's Chefs Profiled: Filliep Lament, Edmonton AB

by Krlmagi

Chef Filliep Lament creates innovative dishes with European roots that focus on local, seasonal ingredients at North 53 in Edmonton.

When he was younger, Chef Filliep Lament says, he spent a lot of time in the kitchen with his mother. He says that initially he didn’t want to be a chef but “One day I had to ask myself: ‘What can I actually do all day?’ I just wanted to make people feel good by feeding and nurturing them like my Mom did for me.”

He says that his early culinary inspirations included family holidays that revolved around gathering and eating, falling in love with French food and his immense respect for Chef Thomas Keller who inspired him as a young cook.

Chef Filliep Lament in action!
Chef Filliep Lament in action!

In terms of his culinary career, Lament says that he’s been shaped for better (or worse) by every cook that he’s ever met or worked with. He says, “Every time I go out and eat my perception can change. I try to take something away from every experience, whether it’s big or small.”


Lament adds that the basis of his training was in Montréal and says, “I had the privilege to work under some very well seasoned chefs. I still cook in French if that makes sense.”


The approach that Lament takes to food and cooking now has several strands. One of the major strands, Lament says, is trying to treat every ingredient like it was special. He points out, “Sourcing the ingredients best suited for the job is really worth the time. You gotta look! “


The chef says that another major strand of his approach to food is his “crush” on European food. He says, “These days I’m really feeling classical cuisine and the cuisine of my ancestors.” He adds that he’s also trying to represent the ethnic diversity of the restaurant team and his city by being open to input from his entire staff.


When it comes to sourcing ingredients, Lament explains, “Fruit stand operators think I’m nuts because I love smelling peaches, apples and watermelons!” He says that being able to identify good, fresh, ripe ingredients is essential to making delicious food. He adds that he has deep gratitude for all of the farmers, fishmongers, butchers and event delivery people that he’s gotten to know.


Lament continues, “When you’ve gotten to know the pros you tap into a network that can deliver exceptional ingredients to you. I wouldn’t be able to create thought-provoking dishes without these people sharing their expertise with me.”

Oxtail and Rutabaga Tart
Oxtail and Rutabaga Tart

The creative process often starts with looking at “an old scribble in a notebook from my collection” for Lament. He says that his ideas often change over time, so it’s up to him to pursue the challenge at that point.


The chef says that he uses seasonal, local ingredients to inspire him. He points out, “My team and I hit the markets on Saturdays and we love it. We love seeing producers take pride in what they give us. An idea can start with an ingredient and then I like to figure out how to make it shine.”


When it comes to the traits that he hopes to exhibit as a chef, Lament says that hopes he won’t lose his love of monotonous prep work, because no job should be too big or too small for a chef. He adds, “If I can inspire my cooks to push themselves and watch them leave better than they were before and better than me then I’ve done something right. Every chef is just a really good cook if you ask me.”


Lament says that he tells all of his cooks to think like a chef and be accountable. He says that he’s looking for “a bunch that can do the dance, push one another and sort each other out if they screw up.” He adds, “It’s also important to be able to crack a good joke now and then!”

Finding inspiration can challenge chefs. Lament points out that replicating “something ephemeral on a daily basis” can be hard but he likes experimentation and seeing if he can make his ideas workable. He explains that “failure motivates me and hardworking chefs inspire me.” He adds, “The people who come see the kitchen after dinner and thank us make my day every single time.”

Icelandic cod with parsley-limoncello sauce, confit onion and fried capers
Icelandic cod with parsley-limoncello sauce, confit onion and fried capers
Updated: 04/15/2015, Krlmagi
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