McKeen says City of Edmonton can recover after it ‘dropped the ball’ on food decision at golf course

Click to play video 'The Tomato magazine editor slams Edmonton’s Victoria Golf Course kitchen contract change' The Tomato magazine editor slams Edmonton’s Victoria Golf Course kitchen contract change
WATCH ABOVE: Tomato magazine publisher Mary Bailey says it's a "total shame" the City of Edmonton has handed over the Victoria Golf Course kitchen contact to a multi-national corporation, instead of sticking with local restraunteur Brad Lazaranko – Apr 5, 2018

After City of Edmonton staff awarded a kitchen contract at Victoria Golf Course to a multi-national corporation, Councillor Scott McKeen sees what he considers a bad decision and wants to make the best of it.

He confirmed to reporters on Wednesday that he’ll ask for some sort of formal report at city council to take advantage of numerous commercial kitchens connected to City of Edmonton facilities.

“[Could we] build a food strategy inside the City of Edmonton that involves our venues, and works with those chefs to see what do they need? Do they need inexpensive rent for some of those facilities? We might be able to do that sort of stuff, because a lot of it is just sitting idle.”
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One venue McKeen spoke about was Commonwealth Stadium, which is probably available 350 days a year. McKeen say he sees no reason why local chefs, the NAIT culinary program and other initiatives like Fresh can’t create something.

“There’s a number of groups that are coalescing around the local food scene.”

Local restraunteur Brad Lazaranko’s Dogwood Cafe is out, and publicly traded Civeo is in at Victoria.

“I don’t blame administration here,” McKeen said. “I have to take a little bit of personal blame here, because Brad and I talked about this about a year ago. I wish I would have done an inquiry then. It might have prevented this.

“We dropped the ball there. I think we dropped the ball in a number of ways on this one frankly, but by the time the political level found out, it was too late.”

McKeen sees the golf course as being like a river valley chalet in the off season, and regrets that the request for proposal (RFP) from the administration wasn’t thinking more on a grander scale when it was put together.

Global News reached out to Brad Lazaranko who did not want to comment on the story.