Homegrown Business: J.P. Gerritsen of Blue Flame Kitchen

Blue Flame Kitchen aims to empower people by teaching them culinary skills. Additionally, they offer events and catering experiences in person at ATCO Park, and their café offers chef-prepared Takeaway meals, delicious bowls & salads, mouth-watering sandwiches, artisan beverages and more. We spoke with J.P. Gerritsen, Manager, Culinary Programs, to learn more about what they do.

Blue Flame Kitchen

What is your business called and what does it do?

Blue Flame Kitchen has been helping Albertans get comfortable in the kitchen since 1929. Over the years, our business has expanded to include private events, catering, in-person and virtual classes and programs like our culinary summer camp program, led by our talented team of Red Seal chefs. In addition to our Learning Centre at our headquarters on Crowchild Trail, we welcome everyone to join us at our Blue Flame Kitchen café for chef-prepared meals and beverages.

What made you want to do this work?

I’ve seen firsthand the importance of learning to cook as a life skill. Teaching people tips, techniques, and new recipes provides empowerment and confidence that can be applied in all aspects of life. Some of my best memories are of my grandfather’s cupboard, where he kept the Oreo cookies and dog food! I quickly learned one was MUCH better than the other!

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

Blue Flame Kitchen aims to empower people by teaching them culinary skills, including knife skills, proper food safety and techniques. Building confidence in the kitchen can support health and wellness and is an essential life skill.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

We welcome everyone at the Blue Flame Kitchen, from groups of seniors who gather for their weekly crib game to families looking to reconnect over a delicious meal to school-aged children looking to sharpen their culinary skills. Our extensive team of Red Seal Chefs with years of experience is able to cater to your unique needs. Since opening in May 2018, we’ve welcomed large corporate functions, kids’ birthday parties, hands-on team-building events and intimate sit-down fine-dining gatherings at ATCO Park.

How does your business make money? How does it work?

We’re very proud of our virtual and in-person cooking classes and programs with our experienced chef instructors. Additionally, we offer events and catering experiences in person at our beautiful event space at ATCO Park. Open to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, our café offers chef-prepared Takeaway meals, delicious bowls & salads, mouth-watering sandwiches, artisan beverages and more. View the menu here.

Where in the city can we find your profession?

Our team of Red Seal Chefs love immersing themselves in the Calgary culinary scene. You can find our team at their favourite spots, including shopping at Bridgeland Market and stocking up on Respect the Technique ramen!

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

Can you tailor my event package to my unique needs?

We know you’ve got the perfect vision for your event, and we’re here to make it happen. From cooking competition-style events to hands-on team-building events, our team of Red Seal Chefs will work with you through every step of the process to ensure people will be talking about your event for years to come.

What is the best part about what you do?

The best part about what we do at Blue Flame Kitchen is our unique ability to cater to your needs. Our comprehensive team is able to work with you to design the event of your dreams. We are able to innovate and be creative and offer tailored events, like a past Cake Boss-inspired cook-off!

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

What are chefs always trying to win? The Hunger Games.

Where can we follow you?

You can follow along with our upcoming programs, events and new menu items on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Subscribe to our newsletter and get the dish on upcoming classes, tips and recipes from our team of experts!

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?

We love our community and have many local organizations that we support. As part of our ongoing partnership with Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta, we’re proud to support the refurbishment of up to ten homes by providing in-kind Rümi home services, along with providing the new homeowners with free energy for six months and welcome meals from Blue Flame Kitchen. Learn more about the partnership here.

 

 

About Demian Vernieri 541 Articles
Demian is an Argentinian retired musician, avid gamer and editor for the Montréal Guardian, Toronto Guardian, Calgary Guardian and Vancouver Guardian websites.