Cyrilles Koppert
Chef/Owner, Partake, Edmonton

Chef and co-owner Cyrilles Koppert may have closed Manor Bistro last year, but opening Partake, the cozy rustic French brasserie he runs with partner Lisa Dungale, seems to have been the goal all along. “I wanted a smaller place, more reminiscent of the kind of restaurants I ate at where I come from,” explains the Dutch-born Koppert, who followed his brother to Edmonton in 1989.

At Partake, Koppert does French his way, crafting comforting French classics with local ingredients: the menu features a mix of traditional favourites, like French onion soup and classic beef tartare, as well as a few dishes with a twist, such as the “Banh Moi” tartine, a creamy chicken liver mousse on crusty baguette topped with ham, kimchi and soy-sesame dressing. “To stay current, I like to mix it up, trying out recipes from Morocco, Tunisia or Vietnam,” explains the seasoned chef. “They may seem unlikely choices on my menu, but they all have one thing in common: a French heritage.” Handsomely decorated with pressed-tin ceilings, terracotta walls and a welcoming bar, Partake is just what the chef ordered. Apparently enRoute magazine liked it too, naming it one of the best new restaurants of 2019. Felicitations.

Q&A with Chef Cyrilles Koppert

What’s been your most memorable meal?

My mother’s braised rabbit with red cabbage. 

Favourite cookbook?

I do love my Het Grote Pâtéboek, a book on pâtés/terrines.

 Most underrated ingredient?

Flat-leaf parsley and freshly grated nutmeg.

What’s a kitchen hack more people should know about?

I fold my quiche mixture with my hands. I don’t use a whisk. Same with chocolate mousse. Why? Because I don’t disturb the egg whites as much and the result is a much fluffier product.

Meet the rest of our 2020 Foodies of the Year winners here