For most chefs, paying dues and building a reputation in the culinary world in order to one day achieve autonomy in the kitchen is a lifelong pursuit. Chef Garrett Martin however, has seemingly reached that stage of his career at the young age of 28.
After spending a good portion of 2018 working under Blaine Wetzel at the Willows Inn on Lummi Island in Washington, the former Pigeonhole and Bridgette Bar chef de cuisine is back in Calgary to share his whimsical love for French cuisine with the city he calls home.
On August 3 and 4, chef Martin will be at Local 522 to showcase his latest culinary concept, Crunchy Mister’s Sandwiches. The two-day pop up whose name derives from the famous French sandwich will feature a lobster roll au poivre and a duck confit katsu sandwich. The finalist in both the 2017 Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship and the 2019 S. Pellegrino Young Chef Competition is passionate about giving back to his hometown and hopes the pop-up will be the first of many esculent endeavours in Calgary.
“I was very fortunate to spend a year working under Thomas Keller back in 2013 and I developed a love of French cuisine during that time. I try not to take myself too seriously, hence the name,” chef Martin explains. “I'll be looking to do more elaborate Crunchy Mister's pop-ups in the future, but this first one is quick and easy to raise the money for the Ride To Conquer Cancer. I've lost my father, my uncle, and my grandfather to cancer and I want to give back as best as I can. This event can help me contribute in a very positive way.”
His ardent advocacy for Ride to Conquer Cancer has been ever-present during his culinary journey, so it shouldn’t be surprising that 100 per cent of Crunchy Mister’s proceeds will go toward the cause.
"'I'm excited for this because it gives me a chance to use many of the techniques I've been fortunate to pick up over the years and do something enjoyable for Calgarians that benefits the community,” Martin says. “I love having fun with low-brow food so this was a good opportunity to do something outside of my normal routine to have a positive impact in the world. Also, when was the last time anybody in Alberta had a good lobster roll?"