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Roasted cauliflower, lakeside farmstead cheddar cream sauce, sumac

Cooking with a Passion with Doreen Prei

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Grilled Salad with haloumi and hazelnut

Doreen Prei is the Executive Chef at Restaurant  May located within the  Art Gallery of Alberta. She is also a food columnist with CBC’s Radio Active. She is an award winning chef. In 2015, she won the Gold Medal Prize at the Canadian Food Championships. You get the impression that she allows ingredients to speak for themselves when she cooks. Chef Prei has an uncanny gift to make strangers feel comfortable with her. This was how we felt when she graciously allowed us to capture her work at the Art Gallery of Alberta. She brings out the sexiness of food, and the way she talked about food made our mouths water. 

Prei is a Michelin-star trained chef who has cooked in private restaurants and hotels in Germany, Ireland and Canada. Her earliest memory of cooking was with her great grandmother, who always involved her in cooking. Her great grandmother would say to her ‘come have a bite’. Her grandfather was also an

Lettuce Wrap with Grilled Chicken

influence. She tells a story of how much her family loved sharing food and eating together as eating together equates to love. 


She attributes her love for cooking also to her ex-father-in-law. He was a tea maker, who exposed her to different tastes and scents in food. She learnt from him the emotional connections to the ingredients in food. She got hooked on cooking when she decided to experiment with one of the cookbooks her father-in-law had given her. She is a firm believer in learning. 

“I am very concentrated on the ingredients. When I talk to farmers, I have a very strong connection to the farmers. And you know

Smoked miso butter ramen
Smoked miso butter ramen

, I’m thinking about how he puts the seeds into the soil. How he goes there every single day and makes sure this grows for us. This goes so deep into my heart, I want to cherish that and I want to share that with people. Often, I meet people I haven’t seen in many years who remember a dish I made for them. I won’t give people what I can’t eat. I find that I am authentic to my ingredients. I want to connect to where the food comes from. The farmers can feed their families and they will be around next year if we support them”

Roasted cauliflower, lakeside farmstead cheddar cream sauce, sumac
Roasted cauliflower, lakeside farmstead cheddar cream sauce, sumac

Read the full article here:

We are grateful to Chef Doreen for sharing these wonderful pictures of meals she has cooked with us.


Restaurant May is now open at the Art Gallery of Alberta. Prei has created dishes inspired by her love for and support for the farmers market.

Relation to Past Content

We have written topics around food insecurity. You may read it here.

Tee Adeyemo is the Publisher of LadiesCorner Magazine. She also writes for

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