2014 Distinguished Alumnus
Paul Rogalski (PCK '86), Chef and Co-owner of Rouge Restaurant and Bistro Rouge
"My focus since 2014 has been entirely on managing my two businesses that are in the sector hardest hit during the troubling economic downturn. It's been extremely difficult. The only way to deal with it is to keep your vision and do your best. And as many Calgarians know, sometimes that's not even good enough. But the reality is we have no choice: we have to push through hard times.
When 'Cook it Raw' came to Calgary, SAIT was a big part of it. I was one of the Alberta chefs for the event. What was so exciting was that the event brought world attention to our culinary community and the indigenous influence and the grassroots movement of exploring the terroir (the complete environment that ingredients are grown and live in). I don't think it's something I will ever forget.
The standout to me was the chefs — the networking, the sharing of ideas and trading of culinary ideas. There is s history of chefs being secretive and keeping their techniques and methods to themselves, but this was the exact opposite. It was a highly collaborative effort of 'Let's define a homegrown, organic cuisine of southern Alberta.' We have something to show the world and we have become one of the global dining destinations, right here in Calgary. We are on the map. But we need people to support their local establishments. We are part of the overall well-being of the economy because we employ so many people."
Paul Rogalski, chef and co-owner of Rouge Restaurant and Bistro Rouge, has nourished a reputation for excellence for nearly 30 years. Paul was one of Alberta Venture's 50 Most Influential People in 2011 and one of Business in Calgary magazine's Twenty Business Leaders of Tomorrow. In 2010, Rouge received a Restaurant of the Year nod from Avenue Magazine. In 2015, Paul was a member of the Alberta delegation that hosted Cook It Raw, a gathering of international culinary leaders focused on exploring site-specific cuisine.