Rebekah Roberts Kruger knows this all too well. She’s been working alongside Anna Dumas owner of the Prairie Firehouse as the head chef since the popular restaurant opened two years ago.
“It’s definitely a team effort. We’re fortunate to have built a reputation for offering good food and we’ve established a team of skilled, experienced employees. We’re proud to now have others who are seeking us out as an employer of choice in the hospitality industry,” said Rebekah.
The Prairie Firehouse is in the core of downtown Brandon located in the historic 1911 Central Fire Station. Aside from providing guests with a distinct atmosphere, the Prairie Firehouse serves delicious meals that use the freshest and most local ingredients possible.
“We capitalize on what we have around us. Anna knows what it takes to run a local business and wants to support as many other local businesses as possible,” said Rebekah. “I’ve enjoyed the opportunity I’ve had to build relationships with our local producers – local vegetable farmers, local cattle producers, butchers, etc. It’s been great getting to know them, their lifestyle and how it ties in with what we do.”
In contrast, chefs and restaurant owners in places like Toronto that aren’t located in the heart of an agricultural community don’t always have the same opportunity to build relationships with those who are growing the food that they use to create culinary diversity with. When relationships are established, it makes it that much easier to provide excellence in the food industry.
Rebekah grew up in a restaurant family and learned how to cook at a young age, she was formally trained however at Assiniboine Community College in the Culinary Arts diploma program. While she admits that being a chef isn’t as glamorous as what you see on television, her passion is fuelled by people.
“What has always drawn me to cooking and what I liked best about it is that it gives me the opportunity to bring people together.” By using local products and continually introducing new seasonal menus, as a chef Rebekah knows that she has perks that many others in her profession don’t have, one of which is the chance to be creative. Planning, organizing and creating new dishes using local products is a luxury she doesn’t take for granted and is grateful that she’s able to be part of a local, independent restaurant. Although, the menu changes frequently the Prairie Firehouse team also realizes that not everyone is willing to take their taste buds on a joy ride. As such, they are sure to provide consistent menu options like the Firehouse Burger (which is to die for!) that often appeals to people who perhaps aren’t the most adventurous foodies.
The historic building is also an outstanding venue for hosting special events. The atmosphere, along with a customizable menu, provides event planners with the opportunity to host an unforgettable event that will leave their guests wanting to come back again and again.