Madeleine MacDonald | Top 40 Under 40
SAIT graduate and Outstanding Young Alumnus, Madeleine MacDonald (Hospitality Management ’14) inspires creativity and passion in culinary arts through her award-winning cocktails, community-building initiatives and as an Instructor at SAIT — for which she was welcomed into Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2022.
Madeleine MacDonald has seen a great deal of change in Calgary’s culinary industry throughout her 18-year career. She’s also been a crucial leader in the movement towards building a vibrant and connected culinary community across the city. Through her work hosting community events such as Speed Rack or Cocktails and Consent, or volunteering with the Bartenders Benevolent Fund, MacDonald has acted as a champion and representative of Calgary’s hospitality industry.
MacDonald spoke to SAIT about her experiences in the hospitality and culinary industry and what receiving the Top 40 Under 40 recognition means to her.
What does this recognition mean to you, both personally and professionally?
I am truly humbled to be recognized for this award. This is an incredible achievement for me both personally and professionally. All the hard work has paid off however, there is still work to be done to create a better and brighter future for the hospitality industry going forward.
What does ‘moving the city forward’ mean to you?
Calgary is a dynamic city that is still growing. Creating community and inclusion is incredibly important to me, especially within our hospitality community. Fostering relationships between industry and my SAIT students has been and incredible thing to watch as they grow and develop their own skills within the hospitality industry.
What excites you about this forward movement that you are championing?
Seeing the hospitality industry grow within Calgary over the past 18 years has been an amazing thing to be a part of. Being able to influence the city on both a societal and cultural level is incredible. I hope nothing more than to continue to influence the City in positive ways going forward.
As you look at the industry in Calgary and Alberta, can you comment on how the hospitality industry has evolved?
Since starting in the restaurant industry in Calgary almost 2 decades ago, so much has changed. Our dining culture has evolved and has been recognized nationally and globally. The guests have also changed, many of whom have a far more refined palate. Calgary has so many incredible restaurants with innovated people working in them pushing the boundaries of what is possible.
How do you see yourself as a positive sign of what Calgary and Alberta can become?
I think that there are so many young people that want to make this city a more inclusive, positive place to live, work and play. I feel that I am only a small part of this movement. Being a born and raised Calgarian, I feel like it is my duty to represent this city in a positive light and try to make it better in whatever way I can.
You now join a small group of outstanding individuals who are Alumni Award recipients at SAIT and Top 40 Under 40. What does reaching that level of success and recognition mean to you?
I am truly touched to be recognized for both of these awards. It is an incredible accomplishment that only a few people will receive, let alone both. This is definitely a year I will never forget.
View the list of SAIT graduates recognized in the Class of 2022 Top 40 Under 40.