One Day in Calgary: Wall of Bakers judge David Rousseau

The chef and TV series judge shares his favourite restaurants in Calgary

Chefs of Walls judge David Rousseau
Photo provided by Food Network Canada.

After spending time honing his culinary chops in both Lima, Peru and Victoria, B.C., French-born chef David Rousseau moved to Calgary in 2014 to open up his own pastry shop, and the rest as they say, is history. 

Now known as a bonafide Calgary culinary institution, chef Rousseau’s Ollia Macarons and Tea offers up to 25 different flavours of macarons at any given time, including seasonal specialty macarons, cakes, and mini cakes. 

In addition to providing Calgarians with an assortment of creative confections that showcase the benefit of ethical and local sourcing practices, the talented pastry chef has also been making waves with his DR Cooking baking classes, which have garnered more than 6,000 students so far.

More recently, chef Rousseau was selected to join the all-star judging panel on Wall of Bakers, a spin-off of Food Network Canada’s successful competition series Wall of Chefs. With the Wall of Bakers season premiere fast approaching, we decided it would be a great time to catch up with the Calgary-based pastry chef to chat about his favourite food and drink spots in his home base.


Attached to Hotel Arts, Yellow Door Bistro offers a large display of creatively crafted and mouth-watering dishes. They have French pastries, which truly feel like home, a charcuterie board, eggs Benedict and all is affordable. I also love the decor and the service is friendly and on point.



A post shared by Pio Peru (@pioyyc)

Located away from downtown in the North East quadrant of the city, Pio's owners are from Lima, Peru and you can tell. Having lived in Peru for seven years, Peruvian food is one of my regular go-to cuisines. The country's cuisine reflects its ancient history, diverse and rich culture, and geography (coast, mountain, jungle).

Ceviche (raw fish cooked in lime juice), Anticucho (grilled tender beef hearts skewers), Parihuela (seafood soup with calamari, fish, shrimps, mussels), Arroz con mariscos (Peruvian paella)—the classics are all there and are very well executed. An unassuming gem!



A post shared by River Café (@rivercafeyyc)

Located on Prince's Island Park, and surrounded by the Bow River, River Cafe offers a beautiful space to dine in for any special occasion. When I became a Canadian, my wife and I celebrated there, so it is a place close to our hearts.

The food is Canadian classic with a modern twist; the grilled octopus is one of many reasons to come and visit. The wine list is extraordinary. This is one of the many places you take friends and family from out of town to show off Calgary’s food scene.


Located in Downtown Calgary, Proof regularly shows up in the Top 10 Canada 100's Best... and rightly so. Mixology is a true art and Proof masters it.

From late afternoon pick-me-ups to late night fun, I have spent many occasions enjoying the well-balanced flavour of their cocktail lists. Tropic Thunder (salted potato rum, dry vermouth, green chartreuse, aloe, raspberry gastrique, eucalyptus bitters) is a favourite.

Watch: Wall of Bakers - Food Network Canada

Tune in on March 28 at 10p.m ET/PT on Food Network Canada.