A little more than a decade ago, Christie Peters moved to Vancouver, sought out her culinary hero, Chef Rob Feenie, and learned how to cook at his former restaurant, Feenie’s. Peters later honed her chops at restaurants in cities like Amsterdam and San Francisco, but she always knew that one day she’d return to her hometown of Saskatoon. Today, Peters and her partner (in life and in business), chef Kyle Michael, own two restaurants in this prairie town: an eclectic flagship called The Hollows and the Italian-focused Primal. With her dedication to sustainable house-grown ingredients, full animal butchery (even the excess animal fat is turned into soap) and a vintage chic aesthetic, Peters is on a mission to refine and redefine Saskatchewan cuisine.
Q: Why did you choose to return to Saskatoon?
Saskatoon is very much a land of opportunity for me. To own or even lease a building in Vancouver is unattainable, but, here in Saskatoon, it’s possible. Financially, it was easy for us to start a restaurant here—we got our foot in the door early and, as the city grows, we’ll grow with it.
Q: You have your own gardens, compost almost everything and practice full animal butchery. Why is that important to you?
I just couldn’t do it any other way. I’m a nature-lover and an environmentalist at heart, so, when I opened my own restaurants, I wanted that full-circle feeling.
Q: How are your restaurants representative of Saskatchewan?
Saskatchewan is the breadbasket of the world. To have a cuisine based around the heritage grains that we grow here was important. We have a rye pasta with bison tongue pastrami and sauerkraut, and our house-made bread is made with red fife wheat.
Q: What are some of your favourite dishes at Primal and The Hollows?
At The Hollows, the menu changes frequently with the seasons, but there’s always a lot of beets and cabbage on the menu because it’s so Saskatchewan. At Primal, we have a beef heart bolognese that I think is really cool because it uses beef heart mixed with pork.
Q: Can you describe the vibe of each of your restaurants?
I designed both restaurants and I’m really proud of that. The Hollows is in a huge building that used to be a Chinese restaurant—it’s kind of a time capsule from the 1960s. Primal’s decor is more high-end and polished. It’s dark and loud.
Chef Christie Peters’ Favourite Spots to Eat in Saskatoon
Sushi at Sticks and Stones
“They have a lot of interesting flavours of sushi and a really great sake selection.”
Spaghetti carbonara at Taverna Italian Kitchen
“You’d think I’d be sick of pasta, but I love going to Taverna. It’s got such a cool old-school feel.”
Fried dumplings at Jin Jin Dumpling
“They’re amazing. Just the best dumplings in town.”