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Top chef Pickerell sets Taber’s Table

Posted on October 12, 2023 by Vauxhall Advance

By Heather Cameron
Vauxhall Advance
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Taber’s own Tucker Pickerell was one of the chefs that cooked for the Taber’s Table long-table event held in Confederation Park on July 28.

“I had an amazing time cooking for the Taber long table experience,” Pickerell said. “I have done a few other events in Lethbridge but nothing in Taber, so it was exciting to get to come back to my hometown and cook for a large crowd of familiar faces! It was wonderful to get to work side by side with some of southern Alberta’s best chefs and all the other members of the industry!”

Held adjacent to the Cornfest Stage and also featuring fellow cooks Rhonda Steed, Dara Krein and Moncef Seghaier, Taber’s Table was a joint initiative between the Town and M.D. of Taber to help showcase the local produce of the area through a gourmet meal.

Pickerell emphasizes that the Taber long table experience was the perfect way to showcase amazing products to a community that contributed many items. 

“It was also an opportunity for anyone not from Taber to see what is available to them and what amazing things can be made with what Taber and area has,” Pickerell said. “And after seeing and hearing about how great the first event went, I am looking forward to future events in Taber.”

Outside of the Taber long table experience, Pickerell works as Head Chef at Hudson’s Canada’s Pub in Lethbridge and has been in that position for the last two years while being at Hudson’s for nine years total. Hudson’s Canada’s Pub, Pickerell says, was his introduction to the culinary arts and half a year of working there actually led him to Lethbridge College doing the Culinary Apprenticeship Program. Outside of that, Pickerell has also volunteered multiple times at the homeless shelter in Lethbridge and wishes to do more for that community.

“It is a three-year program where you go to the college one day a week, with the day being split into two halves, one being in class work and learning, with the other being actual hands-on practical experience and you are able to work full-time or as much as you’d like with your off days during the school season!” Pickerell said. “It was an amazing experience I would recommend to anyone who is interested at all in the culinary arts! Whether you’re cooking for others and making money doing so or just cooking for yourself or your family the knowledge and techniques they teach are second to none, with very knowledgeable teachers, and it will be something you will use for the rest of your life.”

Pickerell attributes his passion for food to being raised by a mother who teaches foods class at the local high school and middle school and also having the experience of seeing lots of farmed products and animals firsthand, getting to harvest them, and turn them into the amazing food he had growing up in Taber.

“Being born and raised in a small town in southern Alberta, it feels awesome to come back and see all the familiar faces while also having some nostalgic memories to some amazing times growing up and spending a lot of time with my grandpa who had a small farm himself and was very close to all the people in Taber and in the farming and irrigation community,” Pickerell said. “It reminded me of a lot of wonderful days working with him and many valuable life lessons and knowledge about all the amazing things happening around us!”

Pickerell encourages anyone who is curious about culinary arts to talk to the amazing chefs at Lethbridge College and ask them about it and what kind of things they will learn. 

“I remind them as well that you may not work in the culinary profession your entire life or at all but you will always have to cook for yourself at least so why not give yourself the best food possible?” Pickerell said. “Just enjoy the little things.”

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