Twenty-five chefs from around the world will take part in this year’s RAW:almond winter pop-up restaurant at The Forks.

Built on Winnipeg’s frozen Red and Assiniboine rivers at the coldest time of the year, the restaurant is back for its seventh season to feature chefs for 24 nights.

Chef and RAW:almond co-founder Mandel Hitzer said he is looking forward to continuing the winter tradition.

“We’ve been busy extending our friendly Manitoba invitations to chefs across North America and beyond. It is such an honour bringing these chefs to Winnipeg and sharing them with local food lovers.”

Chefs include Joe Sasto from Food Network’s “Chopped” and Bravo’s “Top Chef”, Michelin-starred restaurant Contra (New York) Sous Chef Jonas Offenbach and Dallas chef Misti Norris, who just had her restaurant Petra and the Beast named in Esquire Magazine’s Top 20 Best New Restaurants in America.

Ten other chefs from Winnipeg restaurants like Clementine and Merchant Kitchen will join to cook over the three-and-a-half week span. Construction of the architecture for the restaurant will not start until the river is completely frozen, but RAW:almond co-founder and designer Joe Kalturnyk says that this year’s space will reflect the spirit of Manitoba.

“We love keeping an element of mystery, so you’ll see the full design on the ice at The Forks as the project nears. We can’t wait to celebrate the design aspect of the project and welcome diners and chefs to this year’s concept.”

Kalturnyk will be joined by Jon Reid, RAW:almond’s longtime engineer, to help build this year’s structure.

The winter pop-up will run from Jan. 24 – Feb. 17, with dinner seating at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Brunch is making a comeback this year, with the first of four different seating times beginning at 8:30 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday. RAW:almond will also feature its first Drag Brunch, with two seatings on Jan. 27. The Drag Brunch will feature drag performances between brunch courses.

Tickets go on sale this Saturday and are expected to sell out.

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