Chef Jonathan Sobol’s memory honoured with new SAIT scholarship

The legacy of Chef Jonathan Sobol will be honoured in an upcoming dinner at Starbelly that will also serve to raise funds for a memorial award at SAIT in his name.

More than $73,000 has been raised for the Chef Jonathan Sobol Memorial Award, which will be given to one student each fall who is enrolled in their third semester of the professional cooking or cook apprentice programs at the school. A fundraising goal of $100,000 has been set to ensure the award is available to students for years to come.

Sobol and filmmaker Alec Bracegirdle were killed in a crash near Irricana last August as they returned to Calgary after visiting an area farm. 

The chef was a strong supporter of food education and local agriculture and the award serves as a legacy to chefs following in his footsteps.

 “The Chef Jonathan Sobol Memorial Award will encourage and support young chefs to look at food the same way that he did and to continue his legacy of educating communities about true farm-to-table cooking,” Sobol’s partner Katelin Bland said in a release.

To meet that monetary goal, Starbelly — the Seton restaurant that Sobol helmed — is hosting a special dinner. All proceeds from ticket sales, as well as the live auction that precedes it, will be put toward the award that has been bolstered by a $50,000 donation from Sobol’s parents.

For the eight-course dinner with select wine pairings, Starbelly’s executive chef Paul McGreevy will share the kitchen with several of Sobol’s chef friends, including SAIT chef-instructor Simon Dunn, Jamie Harling of Deane House, Andrea Harling of Made Foods, Home & Away’s Mike Pigot and Jenny Kang of Bow Valley Ranche.

Tickets for the April 24th event are $150 and can be purchased by emailing

The live auction begins April 13th at 8 a.m. and will close on the night of the dinner at 8:30 p.m. Items range from dinners at local restaurants to a chance to ride a bobsled at Winsport and a trip to Mexico. To view all the items and make bids, head to

Those wishing to donate funds directly to the memorial award are invited to do so at

Gwendolyn Richards is a Calgary-based food writer and the author of Pucker: A Cookbook for Citrus Lovers. She regularly contributes to Avenue magazine, the Calgary Herald and is the restaurant writer for Where Calgary