We have a great culinary team of Sous Chef's, Pastry Chef's, Saucier's, Line Cook's, and more!
James McFarland - Assistant Director and Executive Chef
Inspired by his mother’s love of cooking and passion for hosting family gatherings, Executive Chef James McFarland, born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan began professionally preparing cuisine for others at a young age. He has shared his talents in many areas of the food industry including restaurant, hotel, and resort kitchens throughout Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia.
In 2001, James accepted his position of Executive Chef at the University of Saskatchewan where he has been integral in developing and leading one the of provinces largest food service operations, transitioning it from a once very institutional cafeteria to one of the most innovative culinary operations in Canada. He has coordinated many large and high profile events that have included menu design, cuisine preparation, and mentoring his team. This team has served many political dignitaries including Prime Ministers, the Supreme Court of Canada, Governor General, and the Queen of England on her Royal visit.
James is dedicated to career development and the continued growth of knowledge, skills, and expertise in his profession, which was made evident when he achieved his Certified Chef de Cuisine designation, which is the highest level of certification obtainable for chefs in Canada. Along with this designation, he and his team are regularly participating in chef competitions. On October 28, 2017 Chef James competed and won the invitational Gold Medal Plates which features premier chefs in each city across Canada. He is excited to represent Saskatchewan on the national stage at the Canadian Gold Medal Plates in Kelowna, BC in February 2018.
James continues to develop relationships with local farmers and producers to bring fresh, wholesome, and sustainable ingredients and to support the local community. His professional philosophy for the food he prepares is to use quality ingredients, proper techniques, with creative presentation while taking into consideration regional cuisines, as well as authentic flavours and ethnically diverse fare.
When James is not in a professional kitchen, in his spare time he enjoys country living on his acreage with his wife Leanne and three (with two more on the way!) young children.
Chef Moksud Mohammed (Ahmed) - Executive Sous Chef
His passion for the culinary arts began at a very early age, helping out with his dad’s bakery and apprenticing under European chefs in French and Italian classic kitchen in various Hotels & Restaurants of Toronto and New York where he learned the skills that he built his cooking foundation on. In his culinary journey working with multiethnic culinarian inspired him to travel around the world, exploring a multitude of cuisines.
Ahmed’s culinary philosophy is based on seasonal fresh sustainable products and simple ideas. Looking for a new challenge, his desire for life-long learning and his mentoring leadership style led him to begin working University of Saskatchewan. While being a leader and mentor in the kitchen, he infuses a worldly culinary view with the University's food and beverage program.
In addition to being a Certified Chef de Cuisine, the highest level obtainable for chefs in Canada, and earning his red seal, he is a graduate of Humber College’s Culinary Administration Programs. He also has a degree in Hotel Management and awarded Level 2 Wines & Spirits certification by WSET. Ahmed has also won multiple Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals at Culinary Competitions around Canada and US.
The key for Ahmed's success has always been surrounding himself with talented people and diving passionately into culinary art. Along the way, he has proven exceptional at expanding his knowledge of local ingredients and culinary techniques to assure uniqueness on the plate.
Jennifer Lutzko - event conference manager
There is not an event too big or too small for Jennifer to knock out of the park for you - literally - she has quite the swing in baseball! Raised in Saskatoon, Jennifer started in the service and hospitality industry at the tender age of 15 as a cook. It was this position that ignited her passion for service and events and she began working her way through all positions and aspects of the industry. In the early 2000's Jennifer decided to expand her skill-set and experience and went to work with the most service driven businesses in the Canadian tourist hotspot - Banff National Park. After her time in Banff, and enjoying the fast-paced nature of events, Jennifer began her career with the Radisson in Saskatoon as a Catering Consultant for 7.5 years.
She joined the University of Saskatchewan's Culinary Centre two years ago coordinating weddings, holiday parties, conferences, and all other special events. She has her Special Events Coordination Management Certificate as well as she is a designated Tourism Certified Professional. With her 19 years of industry experience, she has a holistic understanding of what it takes to put on a top notch event - and this driven professional is a great resource to have on your team!
Born in Wolseley, Saskatchewan and brought up on a mixed farm, Margaret was definitely part of the “local food movement,” before it was popular. From an early age, she delivered food to the field for harvest lunch and helped with the large family garden. By the age of fifteen, she developed a keen interest in cooking and healthy eating.
After finishing high school, Margaret attended the University of Saskatchewan and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutrition. While attending University, she began working at Marquis Hall in Food Services, at the University of Saskatchewan. She has worked in every area of the kitchen, the front office and became Catering Operations Manager in 2008. She has also worked in the Health District, at Parkridge Centre for 8 years.
Some of her most memorable events at Culinary Services range from making supper for 1000 extra people in the Blizzard of 2007, assisting displaced fire and flood evacuees from Northern Saskatchewan, to serving meals to the Saskatchewan Roughriders football team during their annual training camp. She has managed high profile events and deliveries on campus for two Prime Ministers and has been a part of many unforgettable events at the President’s Residence working with four University President’s over the years. One significant memory was supervising a delivery for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in 2005, outside the Canadian Light Source.
In 2012, the University Food Service Department became known as the Culinary Service Department and major renovations were completed in Marquis Hall. Margaret enjoyed being part of the planning team for these renovations, and has enjoyed the transition from Food Services to the new Culinary Service experience in Marquis Hall.
Margaret is always eager to share her insight and knowledge with employees new and old. She looks forward to a bright future with Culinary Services, with many more exceptional events and delighted clients.