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Story by Ashley Naud | Photos from @culinarycalgary by Erin Boukall and Darcy Lane
Calgary teacher and SAIT Cook Apprentice grad schools students and thousands of Instagram followers on the source of ingredients and their vibrant possibilities.
Teacher, artist, business owner, chef apprentice, social influencer — Erin Boukall (Cook Apprentice ’19) is all of these. While teaching has always been her first love, food has become her muse. Boukall’s appetite for learning all she can about food and her creative prowess have both made the 29-year-old an energizing voice in Calgary’s culinary scene.
“I love communicating through food,” she says. “My own thirst for knowledge translates into my teaching — I want to learn more so I can teach more.”
Reach beyond the classroom
With more than 7,500 followers on her Instagram page @culinarycalgary, Boukall’s teaching expands far beyond her high school classroom and attracts unexpected opportunities, including a sponsorship from Swedish plant-based food dye company, Rawnice. Boukall describes these dyes as her painter’s palette, and her vibrant pastries, dumplings and pasta have garnered global attention including a recent feature by President’s Choice Insiders Project.
Food as a way of life
When not in the kitchen, Boukall can often be found exploring Alberta gems like Mountain View’s water buffalo mozzarella farm or Sylvan Lake’s u-pick vegetable and berry farm, alongside her partner, fellow cook, Instagrammer and occasional SAIT instructor, Darcy Lane (Cook Apprentice c16). Boukall is also the founder and designer of Chef Shirts, which have been purchased by chefs and culinary enthusiasts from around the world.
“It’s a whole lifestyle for me — food is really part of everything I do,” Boukall says. “I’m always looking for new markets, farms and restaurants. I plan my weekends around it.
Boukall shows her high school students how it’s done.