Chef Jose Battad joined Oxbow restaurant in November 2018 as the Chef de Cuisine. Working with Quinn Staple, Executive Chef at Hotel Arts Group, Chef Jose bends the perception of traditional dishes and creates comfort food favourites with an unexpected twist. Located in Hotel Arts Kensington, Oxbow is quickly becoming a neighbourhood favourite.
An esteemed member of the Hotel Arts Group team, Jose has been with the company for three years, working at Yellow Door Bistro as well as with the Hotel Arts Banquets Kitchen. Prior to joining the Hotel Arts Group, Jose was the Sous Chef at Calgary’s highly acclaimed Rouge restaurant.
Jose grew up in the Philippines and moved to Calgary with family 2001 bringing along some of their traditions. When his family prepared meals at home, they would always go out and pick vegetables fresh from their garden before every meal. Bringing this focus on fresh ingredients to Oxbow, Chef Jose looks locally and regionally to source ingredients such as Alberta honey, locally grown root vegetables, west coast salmon, and Alberta beef.
Alberta’s short growing season can be a challenge when preparing farm-to-table cuisine year round. Chef’s solution? Fermentation.
“Since moving here, I have really gotten into fermentation – adding persevered local foods to a menu is a way to extend the focus on local and enjoy items off-season” says Chef Jose. Fermentation (a method of preservation, different from pickling) is a 20 day process and requires a lot of care and balance. “Cauliflower and carrots are the quickest to ferment and produce a funky (in a good way), sour flavour”. Oxbow recently included fermented apple and squash on his New Year’s Eve menu. Stay tuned for Chef Jose’s next fermented feature.
When not in the kitchen, Jose loves travelling with family and going on food trips – but not the typical tourist food tours. “I always go off the beaten path to where the locals tell you to go. In Hawaii, we had the best breakfast that was being served out of a garage!”
This sense of adventure carries over into Chef Jose’s dishes at Oxbow, where they focus on bending traditional comfort food dishes with creativity and skill. “I love to hint at all flavours in one spoonful: sweet, sour, salt, bitter and umami.” Often left out of your grade 4 science lesson, umami is defined as the fifth taste.
“It is that distinct flavour that brightens you up and makes you think – this is good!”
Need some more umami in your life? Oxbow is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. Enjoy the comfortable dining room, fire-side lounge or their river-facing patio with city views, open in the warmer months.
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