One day in Winnipeg: Top Chef Canada competitor Emily Butcher

The Top Chef Canada hopeful on where to eat in Winnipeg

Ask anyone in the restaurant industry in Winnipeg and they'll tell you that deer + almond chef de cuisine Emily Butcher is a force to be reckoned with. 

A graduate of Vancouver Community College's culinary program, Butcher spent a portion of her formative years cooking in Vancouver before heading to Winnipeg and truly hitting her stride at one of the city's celebrated eateries, deer + almond. In 2019, following a gold medal performance at Canada’s Great Kitchen Party in Winnipeg, Butcher went on to compete at the 2020 Canadian Culinary Championships and left with a bronze medal placing. No easy feat!

Outside of remaining ever creative in the kitchen, the chef is also a former ballerina and holds a bachelor’s degree in music. Butcher imparts precision and grace into both her culinary technique and her affinity for creating thoughtful and complex dishes inspired by her hometown province, while infusing flavours from her Chinese heritage and French-trained background to keep diners the most delicious way, of course.

We had a chance to catch up with the talented Winnipeg chef ahead of the Top Chef Canada season premiere on April 19, to find out where she loves to eat and drink in the vibrant city.

Morning coffee

I love going for coffee, either with a friend or a good book in hand, and Little Sister Coffee Maker is one of my favourite spots. It’s a short walk from my first apartment in Winnipeg and it’s bright, cheerful interior makes it a cozy spot even in winter.


Clementine is a magical spot tucked away underground in the Exchange District. They probably have the best eggs Benedict in the city thanks to the mouth watering maple-braised bacon and don’t overlook the porridge! Chef Chris Gamma has found a way to make this breakfast classic a flavour journey.


Eating at Rae & Jerry’s Steak House is like walking back in time. The red velvet dining room, the exceptional service, and the classically retro menu makes this our favourite date-night spot.



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There are two spots [that I love]. Forth Bar–when you want a beautifully curated cocktail while sharing an intimate space with industry folks–and The Palm Lounge [inside The Fort Garry Hotel] if you're craving a little live jazz, an elegant art deco room, and a romantic table for two.