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From Edmonton to Tokyo

lau-andree-52.jpg
by Andree Lau, CBCnews.ca

Eight years ago, culinary student Quentin Glabus was coaxing his Cree grandmother to share her bannock recipe with him. This month, he's bringing that secret flatbread formula to his new job as executive chef for the Canadian embassy in Tokyo.

Glabus started his new gig May 1, cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner for the ambassador and his family. Glabus also crafts meals for official embassy functions numbering from 10 to 1,000 guests, including royalty and VIPs.

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Quentin Glabus left an Edmonton restaurant to become executive chef at the Canadian embassy in Japan. (Kathy Kiel/CBC)

I'm not sure the 27-year-old will even break a sweat, considering he's helped cater the Aboriginal Achievement Awards for 3,000 guests.

Glabus graduated from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology's culinary arts program in 2000. Five years later, he became executive chef of the Homefire Grill in Edmonton, delighting diners with his favourite wild game dishes.

But Glabus said he believes in constantly learning, and returned to teach at the college and to mentor aboriginal apprentices as well.

A member of the Frog Lake First Nation, east of Edmonton, Glabus said he'll actually miss the snow in Alberta.

Diners at the Japanese embassy can look forward to the chef's own twists on his kookum's bannock, maybe with some Saskatoon jam and maple-infused butter.

"I would like to use a lot of bison, but they are not exactly native to Japan, so [I plan to use] just different cooking techniques and a lot of clean flavours with some that are complex, but mainly deep and clean earth flavours," Glabus told me in an e-mail.

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From trends and culture to politics and nutrition, Food Bytes serves up tasty tidbits about food and the issues surrounding it that flavour our everyday lives.

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Amber Hildebrandt Amber Hildebrandt writes for CBCNews.ca in Toronto. Growing up on a farm in Manitoba, she acquired an insatiable appetite, but it was during a stint in Japan that she developed her discerning tastebuds and "foodie" ways.

Andrea Chiu Andrea Chiu is an associate producer at CBC Radio Digital. Though she loves to eat, cook and discuss food, don't ask her to bake. It never turns out well. She tweets as @TOfoodie on Twitter and organizes food and wine events in Toronto called FoodieMeet.

Tara Kimura Tara Kimura is the consumer life reporter for CBCNews.ca, covering a wide range of issues that range from rising food costs and the growing organic movement, to new trends in the marketplace.

Andree Lau Andree Lau is a CBC web reporter in Calgary. Her journalism career includes seven years as a CBC-TV reporter. Her own blog called "are you gonna eat that?" chronicles her eating adventures (including sampling snake and camel hoof tendon).

Jessica Wong Jessica Wong is a CBCNews.ca writer who loves to eat and cook, as well as discuss, read and watch programming about food, sometimes all at once.

Kevin Yarr Kevin Yarr, CBCNews.ca's writer in Prince Edward Island, wrote about food and beer for national and regional magazines before joining the CBC. He acquired a desire for new tastes on his first trip to Europe, and an appreciation of eating locally and in season when he finally settled down on P.E.I.

Elizabeth Bridge Elizabeth Bridge is a writer with the CBC Digital Archives in Toronto. She first ventured into the kitchen as a child to indulge a sweet tooth by baking cookies and making fudge. A student budget compelled her to be a vegetarian (for a while) and instilled in her an ongoing curiosity about food and cooking.

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