Daily bite: Celebrity chef Lindsay Porter returns to Edmonton's El Cortez

One of Edmonton's top chefs returns to help expand the restaurant that originally put her on the culinary map

Edmonton's Lindsay Porter has had a good couple of years. Since opening her contemporary British eatery London Local in fall 2017, the chef has also competed in multiple culinary competition television series and won every, single one.

Now, Porter is returning to help out the restaurant where she first made her mark on the Edmonton food scene.


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Porter was the second chef to head up the kitchen at El Cortez when it opened in 2015 and after its rocky start, she was highly touted with making the food there, well, edible.

"If Lindsay had not become chef of El Cortez, there would be no Have Mercy... El Cortez would have come and gone in less than a year," reads Cortez's very candid Instagram post from the restaurant on January 3.

Starting this month, Porter is taking a bit of time away from London Local to help El Cortez and its upstairs sister Southern cocktail bar concept, Have Mercy, reconstruct their food programs. The chef will be rebuilding their entire food programs over the next few months, beginning with El Cortez this month, followed by Have Mercy in the spring.

El Cortez has partnered with Define Group, a Richmond-based company that aids in restaurant expansion, in hopes of replicating their concept in other cities across Canada. Perhaps "corporate chef" is not the right terminology, but Porter is back holding the culinary reigns of the Mexican eatery to make sure they can steer it confidently in the right direction.

The restaurant says that Porter will be spending much of her time in the El Cortez kitchen over the coming months as well as helping to develop weekly specials and adjusting seasonal menus for the foreseeable future.