Benet Hunt is a man of many flavours and world experiences, but full, meaty dishes with an elevated flair are certainly his forte. The chef doesn’t hide his love for meat, and even cites beef as the dish he’s most likely to make for loved ones.

Living in Saskatoon, Benet has his share of protein-hocking restaurants to choose from. Indeed, he says the food scene there is “a real melting pot,” with “so many great diverse restaurants for every occasion.” So where does the guy, who is currently the executive chef at season one winner Dale McKay’s Ayden Kitchen and Bar, break bread when he isn’t eating as his own place? Here are his Top 5 picks.

Sticks and Stones

The food at this Korean/Japanese resto includes a variety of elevated comfort-classics, from ramen and dumplings, to maki and kimchi items. Meanwhile it also boasts a well-stocked bar for plenty of accompanying cocktails. Benet declares that “everything [on the menu] is knockout,” but the steam buns are his go-to. The eatery offers a variety of them, including pork belly, bulgogi, prawn and mushroom.

Of course Benet may be a bit biased—Sticks and Stones hails from the same culinary team behind Ayden and Little Grouse.


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Little Grouse

Another one of the restos from McKay’s team, this establishment is all about casual Italian fare and shared plates. The simple menu features an array of homemade pastas and classic meat and seafood options, along with a six- or nine-course tasting menu.

Naturally, Benet is all about the Aged Beef Meatballs, which come with Pomodoro, basil, grilled ciabatta and pecorino.


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The things we’d do for these meatballs…

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This upscale spot is as popular for casual nights out as it is for private dinners and celebrations. The menu (from Chef Marco Canora) is a market-driven affair that is just as likely to embrace veggies as it is whole animals, with items like warm Italian butterbeans, Pan-Fried Skate Wing and Marinated Winter Carrots gracing the menu.

As for Benet, he’s always a fan of the liver and onions.

See more: Top Chef Canada Restaurant Guide

The Night Oven Bakery

In terms of bakeries, Benet claims this place has the “best bread in town,” but he’s also a big fan of the cannoli, which he calls “something else.”

Indeed, the bakers here treat breadmaking like the true craft that it is. They use organic, seasonal ingredients sourced from local producers before handcrafting the loaves and baking them in a brick oven. Simple, wholesome, and delicious.


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Thirteen Pies Pizza & Bar

Everyone has a favourite pizza joint, and Benet’s is this place, which hocks Brooklyn style ‘zas with a variety of fresh and seasonal toppings. There are 13 signature pizzas on the menu here (hence the name), along with a fair number of cocktails, wines and brews. Benet’s go-to pie is No. 9, “Pies Have Eyes.” It marries pepperoni, provolone, mozzarella and tomato sauce into one delicious, pepperoni-packed slice.

Watch Top Chef Canada Mondays at 10 PM E/P on Food Network Canada.