Our Story

In 1997, after spending many years searching for an ideal location with a view of the majestic Rockies, we purchased the land and hired renowned architect, Walker McKinley of McKinley Studios, to build a true country saltbox design home. The design was focused on entertaining and guest comfort as a principal objective keeping it inviting and interesting.

Our family was young at the time and raising our three children in the country was essential knowing that once they went on to create their own lives our vision was to have a guest house and event center to share with others. We’ve always enjoyed hosting friends and family but knew we were creating something eminently bigger, and now host life events of
up to 150 guests.

Partnering with chef Xavier Lacaze, a Michelin Star chef, from the south of France, allowed us to truly become a unique destination where visitors could enjoy amazing food in a tranquil setting and experience peace and quiet to reset.

We invite you to our beloved home and property and
look forward to meeting you. “Come as Guests, Leave as Friends” Laura and Randy Sawatzky.

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The Ridge Team

Randy Sawatzky

Randy Sawatzky

Owner / Operator

Randy Sawatzky, Principal, The Ridge Okotoks. After spending over 30 years in the corporate world, ” I always knew that one day when I slowed down I’d be doing something like this. The only thing I didn’t account for is, there is no slowing down in the service industry.

I grew up in a home where accommodating and hosting was an everyday affair, so a lot has come naturally, and keeping that family style atmosphere is essential. I can’t really say “my goals”, because this endeavour takes a team, and with a more than supportive wife and amazing staff we’ve put together something pretty special.

Partnering with executive chef Xavier Lacaze has taken things to another level, and I confidently say to guests when it comes to the food, you are in for a treat. We mean it when we say “Come as guests, Leave as friends”.

Email: randy@theridgeokotoks.ca

Laura Sawatzky

Laura Sawatzky

Owner / Operator

Although I still run a very busy mortgage company full time, they say a change is as good as a rest. I have a passion for cooking and for gardening and take pride in sharing my labor of love with our guests and have recently stepped away due to time constraints as the main cook to bring The Ridge to the next
level.

Today I remain very involved with the day-to-day operations at The Ridge. Sometimes we’re guilty of taking the beautiful surroundings we live in for granted and our guests, especially ones from abroad remind us of this constantly. Each season I try to add something special to the grounds and I’m excited to introduce our interactive vegetable and herb garden with a large fire pit ready for all to enjoy.

Several years ago, guests from Wisconsin suggested we use the tagline “Come as Guests, Leave as Friends”. We’ve taken that to heart, and sitting around the fire watching a brilliant Alberta sunset, and getting to know our guests makes it all worth it. Welcome, enjoy our comforts, and please make yourself at home.

Email: laura@theridgeokotoks.ca

Xavier Lacaze

Xavier Lacaze

Executive Chef

From memorable menus as Executive Chef at The Muse Restaurant and Home Tasting Room to an unforgettable run on season two of Top Chef Canada, Chef Lacaze has been one to watch in some of our city’s most revered kitchens. 

Xavier’s culinary trek to Calgary began in his hometown in the southwest of France.  There, at the age of 15, he launched his career in fine dining. Xavier crafted the basics of classical French cuisine by spending three years at a 2 Michelin Star restaurant in Pujaudran, France. Xavier’s career took him around Europe and the world with stints in Switzerland, the French Riviera, the French Alps, the Caribbean, and Los Angeles. Having built his reputation and skill set worldwide Xavier earned his first Executive Chef position back in England (La Fourchette).  In 2008 Xavier moved to Calgary where he quickly established a notable reputation as Executive Chef at The Muse, Home Tasting Room, and the opening of Briggs Kitchen and Bar.

He has taken part in competitions both as a competitor, notably at Gold Medal Plates, and as a judge. From 2017, Xavier moved on from restaurant kitchens and cooked as a corporate chef for RATIONAL Canada. The passion and love for cooking is bringing him back to full time cooking with his own company, XL Cuisine. He is excited to offer a wide variety of cooking classes and catering services for all food lovers in Calgary.

Email: chefxavierlacaze@gmail.com

Janice Platt

Janice Platt

General Manager

I have been in the food and beverage industry for 18 years and my goal from the beginning was not only to meet guest expectation but exceed it.  I began working as a server at the age of 18 and loved the industry that I never left.  Over the first few years I worked as a restaurant server and banquet server in various locations around southern Alberta. 

After university I became a Banquet Manager.  I then moved to the role of event planning.  I truly love working with couples to make there day extraordinarily special.  I eventually worked as a Food and Beverage Manager for a large company in Calgary.  I started working at the Ridge in November 2021 and I fell in love with the property. 

It is an extraordinary place with extraordinary people and I love how unique it is.  I am passionate about this industry and my goal is give every person who I meet a once and life time experience.

Email: gm@theridgeokotoks.ca

Eliud Argote

Eliud Argote

Marketing

I grew up in Guanajuato Mexico, where I fell in love with a passion for marketing. We started a marketing agency in 2018, specializing in brandings, social media and advertisements. After 1 year, I wanted to display our potential for marketing and creativity.

From there we created a restaurant: La Puerta Roja, with the main concept of love, happiness and delicious Mexican food. A huge part of our restaurant is to give young people with disabilities a place where they feel part of a community and give them opportunities.

The main purpose in creating this business is to give back to the people. We now have two successful restaurants and now my goal is to grow The Ridge, and illustrate using social media how beautiful and fascinating this hidden gem on the prairies is.

Email: carlos.argote9@gmail.com

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