Chef Roger Breton is known across Stampede Park for his enthusiasm, bright smile and trademark, “GIDDY UP!” greeting. His kitchen colleagues and Wild West Chef interns are familiar with his big heart and impressive sculpting abilities but it wasn’t until a chance glance at the Calgary Stampede blog that gave chef Breton the chance to share his sweet skills with the community.
Once a month, employees from the Stampede Food & Beverage department round up their teams to rustle up brunch for Ronald McDonald House Charities Southern Alberta families. Chef Breton, who signed up for the December shift, wanted his first House visit to be a super sweet one.
“I was inspired to make something that could bring people together and put smiles on everyone’s faces,” he said. “I’ve made sugar castles before and people just loved them!”
In the days leading up to his visit, chef Breton built a 15 lb castle out of sugar and toys, for girls and boys at the southern Alberta Ronald McDonald House. His saccharin spires are comprised of 1,152 sugar cubes and took more than eight hours to build!
Looking closely at the castle, you’ll notice that chef Breton didn’t just put in sugar confections – there are pieces of treasured collectibles he amassed over his 15-year tenure with the Stampede.
“The boot was given to me by a dear co-worker eight years ago; the gold frame once housed a Stampede poster; and the hat is from the centennial celebrations in 2012. It was important to me from the start what we put the logos of the Stampede and Ronald McDonald House because it shows how important western hospitality is to the identity of this city,” said chef Breton, “We’re Greatest Together everywhere, not just on [Stampede] Park, but in the community too.”