RGE RD’s co-owner and chef Blair Lebsack named NAIT’s 2024 Hokanson Chef in Residence

Published on March 06, 2024

Former Cook apprentice (‘00) and Culinary Arts instructor Blair Lebsack will return to the kitchens of NAIT from March 11 to 15 to inspire the next generation as part of the polytechnic’s annual Hokanson Chef in Residence program

Lebsack is known locally and nationally as co-owner and chef of one of Edmonton’s most revered restaurants, RGE RD. He’s also co-owner of one of Edmonton’s finest butcher shops, The Butchery by RGE RD. For nearly 25 years, Lebsack has been exploring Alberta’s unique culinary landscape through his dishes. This desire is at the heart of RGE RD and The Butchery by RGE RD where he and his colleagues exemplify the philosophy of local, healthful and ethical food while reimagining the dining experience as an “untamed” adventure for his patrons. 

In March 2024, RGE RD made Edify magazine’s Best Overall Restaurant category for the 10th time since opening.  


Prior to opening his famed restaurant in 2013, the Alberta native spent over a decade in kitchens across the province in both the chef and executive chef capacities including stints at The Living Room in Calgary, Rocky Mountain Resorts in Banff and Union Bank Inn’s Madison’s Grill in Edmonton. 

Lebsack is the first NAIT graduate to serve as Hokanson Chef in Residence.  

The weeklong program provides students with a rare opportunity to learn firsthand from the best chefs in North America. The program was made possible by a generous donation from John and Susan Hokanson.  

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