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Culinaire CALGARY’S FRESHEST FOOD & BEVERAGE MAGAZINE VOLUME 2/ISSUE #5 OCTOBER 2013

BEER & SPIRITS ALBERTA BEVERAGE AWARDS 2013 WINNERS Best Dressed Birds The Craft of Beer Harvest Spirits

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VOLUME 2/ISSUE #5 OCTOBER 2013

Features 12 Yummi in my Tummi Halloween is fast approaching,

and Calgary’s Gummi Boutique has everything you’ll need for a fun night - and many things you didn’t know you needed too! By Andrea Fulmek

32 A Noble Culinary Experience Calgary’s original Iron Chef was

either going to be really right or really wrong – time has proven him to be well ahead of the curve. By Dan Clapson

52 The 2013 Alberta Beverage Awards: Beer and Spirits Results Beer and spirits results from the

inaugural Culinaire Magazine Alberta Beverage Awards, celebrating twenty years of liquor privatization for our province. By Tom Firth

Contents 6

Salutes And Shout Outs

By Linda Garson

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Event Previews

By David Nuttall

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Cookbook Reviews By Karen Miller

10 Ask Culinaire

By Executive Chef JP Pedhirney

11 Where the South Meets Maple By Carmen Cheng

20 The Bountiful Harvest Beckons!

By Leonard Brown

22 Chefs’ Tips – and Tricks!

By Fred Malley, CCC

25 Food Flight!

By Brenda Holder

26 Step By Step: Let It Roll

By Natalie Findlay

28 On The Origins Of Chefs

By Gabriel Hall

40 What In The World Is Craft Beer?

By Meaghan O’Brien

42 Calvados: The King of Apple Brandies

By Craig Pinhey

44 A Badge Of Honour

By Cory Knibutat

47 Cellaring Wine: Custom, Passive & Chillers

By Adrian Bryksa, Tom Firth and Darren Oleksyn

14 Soup Kitchen

31 Open That Bottle

50 Wine Au Naturel

By Dan Clapson

16 Superfoods

By Andrea Fulmek

19 Menu Gems

By Linda Garson

36 8 Ways To Spice Up The Classic Pumpkin Pie By Laura Lushington

By Tonya Lailey

66 Still Life

By Jeff Collins

38 Fair Trade By Linda Garson culinairemagazine.ca • 3

Letter From The Editor Not many countries in the world celebrate Thanksgiving, but then not many countries have as much to be thankful for as we do. And not even every city in our country has as much to be thankful for as we do. We have so many new restaurants to try, and our local chefs are becoming increasingly creative in their dishes and cuisines; it’s a very exciting time to be living in Calgary on the food and beverage front.

The weather’s turning, it’s getting dark earlier and there’s a definite nip in the air. Yes, autumn is in full swing; harvest is well under way and our summer holidays are fast becoming fading memories. Which means it must be time for Thanksgiving!

Our grocery stores and markets are piled high with fresh local produce; fruits, veggies, baked goods, butchers cuts and birds, as well as exotic goodies from all over the world – just waiting to be turned into delicious celebratory meals. And we have lots of ideas in this issue to help you choose, prepare, cook and serve that special family meal – and for what to drink with it too.

Talking of drinks, October also heralds other festivals, particularly beer-related, so it’s perfect timing for us to announce the winners of the beer categories in our Alberta Beverage Awards, as well as the results and winners of the spirits categories, as judged by our panels of local experts in these fields. We hope you find these, and the wine results last month, helpful in choosing your libations for the fall and winter season ahead. Linda Garson Editor-in-Chief linda@culinairemagazine.ca

Erratum: on page 53 of our September 2013 issue, we mistakenly printed the price for the Ruffino 2006 Riserva Ducale D’Oro as $25. The price should be $48, and we apologise for any confusion this may have caused.

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Cu inaire Editor-in-Chief/Publisher: Linda Garson Contributing Drinks Editor: Tom Firth

cowtownwine@gmail.com

Contributing Food Editor: Dan Clapson food@culinairemagazine.ca

Commercial Director: Keiron Gallagher 403-975-7177 keirongallagher@gmail.com

Advertising: Corinne Wilkinson

403-471-2101 corinne@culinairemagazine.ca

Keri Lorencz-Pain 403-540-3062 keri@culinairemagazine.ca

Website and Social Media: Cory Knibutat cory@culinairemagazine.ca

Design: Emily Vance Contributors: Leonard Brown Adrian Bryksa Carmen Cheng Jeff Collins Natalie Findlay Andrea Fulmek Gabriel Hall Brenda Holder Cory Knibutat Ingrid Kuenzel Tonya Lailey Laura Lushington Fred Malley CCC Karen Miller Meaghan O’Brien David Nuttall Darren Oleksyn JP Pedhirney Craig Pinhey

Contact us at:

Culinaire Magazine #1203, 804 -3rd Avenue SW Calgary, AB T2P 0G9 403-870-9802 info@culinairemagazine.ca www.culinairemagazine.ca www.facebook.com/CulinaireMagazine Twitter: @culinairemag For subscriptions, competitions and to read Culinaire online: culinairemagazine.ca

Our Contributors < ANDREA FULMEK From a young age, Andrea was lucky enough to be surrounded by the best of both worlds: flawless European cooking on her mother’s side, and delectable baked goods on her father’s side. Needless to say, delicious food has always been a part of her life. As a recent graduate, besides cooking and enjoying great food and wine, the best part for Andrea is writing about it. When she is not experimenting with new recipes, Andrea can be found hiking or spending time with her horse, Archie.

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< ADRIAN BRYKSA Always relevant and never compromising, his poignant observations and astute questions strive to answer the query “What makes life taste good?” He is the voice behind www. yycwine.com and has freelanced for Wine Spectator (New York, New York) and Good Bottle of Wine (London, England). He has an affinity for German cars, Italian suits and shoes and is married to the love of his life and has three beautiful children. Follow him on Twitter @yycwine.

< JEFF COLLINS Jeff Collins was a familiar voice on CBC Radio in Calgary for more than 20 years. After he retired in 2009, he moved to the Village of Delia, near Drumheller, and was elected as a Councilor in 2010. Jeff is an active shooter and hunter and runs his own firearms consulting business. He has returned to Calgary and now lives in New Brighton..

To read about our talented team of contributors, please visit us online at culinairemagazine.ca.

All Trademarks presented in this magazine are owned by the registered owner. All advertisements appearing in this magazine are the sole responsibility of the person, business or corporation advertising their product or service. For more information on Culinaire Magazine’s Privacy Policy and Intention of Use, please see our website at www.culinairemagazine.ca. All content, photographs and articles appearing in this magazine are represented by the contributor as original content and the contributor will hold Culinaire Magazine harmless against any and all damages that may arise from their contribution. All public correspondence, which may include, but is not limited to letters, e-mail, images and contact information, received by Culinaire Magazine becomes the property of Culinaire Magazine and is subject to publication. Culinaire Magazine may not be held responsible for the safety or return of any unsolicited manuscripts, photographs and other materials. Reproduction of this publication in whole or in part without written consent from Culinaire Magazine is strictly prohibited.

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Salutes….

What was happening in 1973? Pierre Trudeau, Richard Nixon, Edward Heath and Leonid Brezhnev were all in power. We were watching The Exorcist, Live and Let Die and Jesus Christ Superstar. Sydney Opera House was opened. Average cost of a new house was $32,500, a gallon of gas cost 40 cents. – and Smuggler’s Inn on Macleod Trail South was opened! Congratulations, Smugglers, on forty years of continued success! Open seven days a week for dinner, and Saturday and Sunday brunches too, they’ve fed a lot of Calgarians since 1973! - and at the same time, the first modern day planting of grapes took place in Marlborough, marking the beginning of an internationally acclaimed grapegrowing region and a New Zealand success story. Marlborough is the largest wine region in New Zealand, producing 75% of the country’s wine. “Planting those vines was probably the single most important event in the history of the New Zealand wine industry.” said Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers. 6 • October 2013

More congrats are in order - to Calgary Co-op on their five-month makeover of the almost thirty-year old Crowfoot store. “It’s an exciting time for us,” says Deane Collinson, Calgary Co-op CEO. “There are so many new things in-store at the Crowfoot location.” Look for the superb value daily $10 ‘Fresh-To-Go” meals created by executive chef John Humphreys; the wide selection of local products (watch for the orange ’Localize’ labels); increased choices of organic and gluten-free products, as well as sustainable seafood; over 400 different cheeses, a much bigger world food section, a curry bar, coffee beans roasted in front of you, and the eye-popping fresh bakery display. And all at everyday prices. Impressive to say the least! We’re also impressed with ‘MORE’ Gluten-Free Pasta, the brainchild of NOtaBLE’s executive chef Justin Labossiere. He’s created a range of fresh pastas after blending many different flours to arrive at the perfect combination, his own proprietary blend of brown and white rice flour, potato and corn starch, and quinoa. They’re nutritiously rich, and as they’re made fresh, they cook in just 30 seconds for a flavourful product with the right texture and mouth-feel, such that you’d be hard-pressed to tell that it wasn’t pasta made from wheat. All NOtaBLE’s pasta is now gluten-free and you can buy ‘MORE’ at health food shops. moregfpasta@shaw.ca for details.

And brand new for 2013, we welcome a great facility for Calgary - the newest addition to the ‘National’ family National Bowl (downstairs at National on 10th, 341 10 Ave SW). With eight 10pin bowling lanes and an extensive beer and cocktail menu in the downstairs taquería, National Bowl is certain to become a firm favourite for fun nights out!

and Shout Outs…. In 1893, the Thomson brothers built one of Calgary’s earliest sandstone buildings, to house their bookstore, now home to Thomsons Restaurant and the Sandstone Lounge at the Hyatt. After closing for an extensive $1M renovation, Thomsons has reopened with a fresh and contemporary look and a commitment to “free-range culinary,” using only local and sustainable, seasonal products for their menus, over half of which will change each week. Thomsons is also home to an exclusive collection of award-winning photography by Joanne Meeker, featuring oversized sepia portraits of Western life, all shot at Diamond 7 Ranch, Thomsons’ naturally raised beef supplier. Groups of ten or less can dine at one of two new chef’s tables that face the open kitchen, and watch executive chef David Flegel and chef de cuisine Darren Keogh create your dishes.

John Gilchrist

We’re welcoming a new event this November as part of national Ocean Wise month, to raise awareness about overfishing. With 90% of all large, predatory fish already fished out, it is the single biggest threat our oceans face today.

my favourite restaurants eighth edition Escurial

Watch out for Calgary restaurant critic, John Gilchrist’s, newest book, “My Favourite Restaurants: Calgary, Canmore and Beyond” (8th edition), launched on September 26.

Brand new from Big Rock comes Family Jewels, a treasure chest variety pack with twelve bottles of their most prized family gems. Three bottles of each of two old faves - ‘Traditional Ale’ and ‘Scottish Heavy Ale’ await, plus three bottles of each of two new soon-tobe faves. ‘Monkey’s Fist Royal IPA’, is a complex and intriguing 7.5% ABV beer made from four varieties of hops as well as Maris Otter and caramel malts; ‘Gerstemeister Marzen’ is Big Rock’s new brew made from a variety of four different malts, and available just in time for Oktoberfest.

For the first time, Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown comes to Calgary on November 18, at Hyatt Regency. At 7:00pm, up to 12 of the city’s best chefs will be going head-to-head to produce their best ocean-friendly chowders, paired with local craft beer. There will be an Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown Champion (judges’ choice) and a Consumers’ Choice winner. Try the chowders and brews for yourself; tickets available at www.vanaqua.org/chowdown

It’s been four years since his last full book, so over half the entries are new, but Gilchrist has also revisited and updated old favourites. Over 300 eateries are reviewed in 192 pages, most with very useful noise ratings too. “My Favourite Restaurants: Calgary, Canmore and Beyond” is available in all good bookshops for $19.95. 

Vine and Dine offers many different food and wine pairing evenings each month in restaurants all over Calgary, as well as private and corporate food and wine events. Check out www.vineanddine.ca for details of upcoming events, winemaker dinners and our new wine and culinary tour of Chile and Argentina, February 20th-March 3rd 2014.

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Previews By DAVID NUTTALL

Annual Okanagan Fall Wine Festival

Beer Bash Thursday, November 7: 7:00 pm $35

October 4-14, 2013 Okanagan Wine Country, B.C. www.thewinefestivals.com Event prices from FREE to $185 Feature Events: Westjet Wine Tastings Friday, October 4 - Saturday, October 5 Rotary Centre for the Arts, 421 Cawston Ave, Kelowna, B.C. 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Tickets: $65, Weekend pass: $110 Grand Finale Consumer Tastings Friday, October 11 Saturday, October 12 Penticton Trade & Convention Centre, 273 Power St., Penticton, B.C. 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm Tickets: $65, Weekend pass: $110 For ten days in October, leading up to Thanksgiving weekend, the Annual Fall Okanagan Wine Festival is a celebration of wine and food. With over 165 events happening around the valley, there is something for everyone. Events range from free drop-in tastings, lunches and vineyard tours, to full gourmet wine dinners with celebrity chefs and winemakers.

Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival Stampede Park’s BMO Centre, Hall D & E Friday, October 18: 5:00 pm-10:00 pm $30-$36 Saturday, 19: noon-4:00 pm $19-$23, 6:00 pm-10:00 pm $31-$37 The 16th Annual Calgary Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival is Calgary’s largest wine, beer, spirits and food festival, and is known for the quality and variety of the culinary creations and libations. The Grand Tasting Hall has over 200 exhibitor booths showcasing the latest adult beverage products. There is something for everyone, ranging from value based to ultra exclusive. rockymountainwine.com/calgary.html

California Dreamin’ Friday, November 8: 7:00 pm $60 California wine is the number one selling region at Willow Park Wines & Spirits. Chat with vintners and importers from Napa to Sonoma to Monterey. Earls Restaurants and The Bavarian Inn will create culinary treasures to enhance these richly flavoured wines.

Charity Auction Week Willow Park Wines & Spirits, 10801 Bonaventure Dr S.E. This is Willow Park Wines & Spirits’ annual charity festival with four great events.

Whisky Festival Wednesday, November 6: 7:00 pm, $95, VIP tickets $125, includes a 5:30 pm entrance.

8 • October 2013

Craft beer culture is growing at a rapid rate in the Alberta market. For one night enjoy a massive variety of brews, with music and good food too. It will be an ale of a good time!

This whisky event brings together distillers from Scotland, importers and whisky lovers. With over 100 whiskies, you can taste old favourites and discover exclusive new arrivals. The kitchen team, along with the city’s top chefs, will keep your belly as full as your glass. Pipers and highland dancers make you feel like you’re in Scotland.

20th Charity Wine Auction, Viva Las Vegas Saturday, November 9: 7:00 pm $200 Taste exciting wines from all over the world poured by visiting wine-makers and dedicated wine importers, along with tantalizing cuisine. The dancing starts late and keeps the party going. Dress up in your best Vegas threads and win $10,000 for the charity of your choice. This year’s charity is the Canadian Red Cross Alberta Floods Fund.

Book Reviews Alice eats: A Wonderland Cookbook Pierre A. Lamielle and Julie Van Rosendaal Whitecap Books $29.95 EAT ME! This book is inspired and delicious and I am not even talking about the recipes; who doesn’t love Alice in Wonderland? No matter how you interpret the story, Pierre and Julie’s version is a winner. Their playfulness, creativity and culinary prowess shine through. And the illustrations, magnificent! Everyone will want this book and it is destined to be a classic with kids and adults alike and a sure hit

COLLECTION

Holiday Collection Atco Blue Flame Kitchen 2013 $15 The Blue Flame Kitchen has done it again, with its wonderful book of year-

By KAREN MILLER

this holiday season. I wanted to curl up like a Cheshire cat in a comfy chair and devour it all immediately. The recipes are just the kind you can try when the whim hits you. The book will revitalize the popularity of stuffed mushroom caps (“Double-Stuffed Mushroom Caps” pg 93) and Mad-Hatter Tea Parties (pg 132). A lot of the recipes are for bite-size eats, but in the spirit of Alice, can grow bigger. All is beautifully illustrated, and with each chapter starting with an excerpt from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland followed by a recipe and instructive pictures. round entertaining recipes. The recipes, sweet and savoury, meet many different needs from breakfast and brunch to desserts and gifts. Made with easy-toobtain ingredients and techniques, the instructions provide many tips on preparation and presentation. There is a very useful general section on both turkey and ham, with hints on selecting, storing, cooking and serving. There are so many interesting recipes, and I do have some favourites already, the most intriguing, “Brined and Roasted Turkey Pieces” (pg 60). A superb alternative for those with no room in their refrigerator or with small ovens, and so much easier than trying to brine a whole turkey! The “Butternut Squash

Run, don’ t walk to get this book and definitely try to fall down the rabbit-hole to have your own culinary adventures in Wonderland! and Kale Strata” (pg 10) is likely to become the next wife saver (yes, you all know what I mean). I can’t wait to try the scrumptious looking “Smoked Salmon Baked Eggs” (pg 20) with bacon, sweet potato and smoked salmon! There is great holiday baking, and finally a solution for those who feel they must do fruitcake, “Festive Fruitcake Cookies” (pg 77), as delicious as they are pretty. And in the spirit of giving, a section of gifts from the kitchen. You will want to keep some of these gifts for yourself, not just for holidays but all year round! Karen Miller is a lawyer by trade, giving her a knack for picking apart a cookbook. She has taught many styles of cooking classes and was part of the Calgary Dishing girls.

FRESH EVERYTHING. There's always something new to discover at the market. Come visit us this fall or check out CalgaryFarmersMarket.ca THURSDAY – SUNDAY

9AM – 5PM

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510 77TH AVE SE 2013-09-12 4:37 PM

Ask Culinaire:

Selecting And Storing Poultry By CHEF JP PEDHIRNEY

What should I be looking for when selecting great quality poultry and what’s the best way to store it?

Answer: Talking specifics about poultry can be somewhat difficult, as this vast food category consists of many types of species, in all shapes and sizes. How we prepare a small Cornish hen is quite different than the preparation of a large turkey. Similarly, there is a huge difference between cooking a breast of duck versus a breast of chicken. For instance, with duck we slowly render the breast on low heat to crisp its fatty skin. However with chicken, because it has much less fat, we often use a more aggressive heat to help achieve a crisp skin while the meat is still tender and juicy. That being said, when it comes

to selecting poultry, I keep one simple question in mind: where does it come from? A local, free range and organically fed chicken or turkey is usually going to be your best bet when looking for a high quality bird. Alberta has great suppliers that can be found at your local farmers’ market. Most of the suppliers have websites, which you can find through the farmers’ market websites, so I encourage you to check them out and support local. Buying a local bird is great because it means your bird’s travel time is reduced; thus, a fresher product

for you. Free range allows birds to be raised in a less stressful environment. This is very important because it leads to a superior product. Certified organic means that the bird’s feed is certified organic and usually hormone- and antibiotic-free, enhancing the flavour of your poultry. You will notice the difference! As for storage, try and use your fresh poultry as soon as possible or freeze it right away. If my chicken is broken down into different cuts like the breast and the thigh, I will sometimes store it in a brine, basically a salt and water solution (salt to water ratio of 1:25). You can add flavour with herbs like garlic and rosemary, or try maple syrup for sweetness. Brines help retain moisture when you cook any type of poultry. If you have to defrost a bird you have been saving in the freezer, try your best to defrost it in the refrigerator. You will need to plan ahead for larger birds, as they may take a day or two to defrost. This is the best way to prevent water loss from your protein. Chef JP Pedhirney is a Red Seal Certified Chef. He led the kitchen at Rouge Restaurant as Chef de Cuisine and is now the Executive Chef of Muse Restaurant in Kensington

Waffles And Chix:

Where The South Meets Maple By CARMEN CHENG

The first time I ever tried fried chicken and waffles was at Melba’s in Harlem. Melba had competed (and won) against Bobby Flay in a televised throw-down, so I knew it would be amazing! When I took the last bite of my dish, I was saddened by the thought that I wouldn’t be able to find food like this in Calgary. Turns out, I didn’t have to wait long, this poultry-meets-breakfast favourite has been embraced by the Calgary food scene. It’s featured at some of the most popular restaurants in our city, and when the Waffles and Chix truck opened up in September 2012, Calgarians were ready and waiting...and excited. Its conception, however, was years in the making. Owner, Petar Ivanov, has worked in the culinary industry all over the world. During a stint aboard Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ivanov travelled around the States and fell in love with Southern food. “It’s dirty but it’s delicious,” jokes Ivanov. In 2000, he worked with a waffle house in Australia

to learn the craft of Belgium waffles. Upon moving to Calgary, Ivanov worked with Justin Leboe, opening some of Calgary’s most acclaimed restaurants, including Rush and Model Milk, while working on the concept for his own food truck. “Chicken and Waffles was risky in Calgary because it was a Southern concept.” he explains, but having seen the positive response when Model Milk offered the dish, Ivanov knew there would be a demand. The menu at Waffles and Chix is small but offers unique snacks, mains, and desserts. Of course, their staple is

Southern Fried Chicken and Waffle. Crispy fried chicken sits atop a Belgium waffle, smothered in white gravy and finished with maple syrup and icing sugar. To keep the chicken juicy, they marinate the chicken in buttermilk, then toss it in seasoned flour with a touch of smoked paprika. “There’s pulled pork poutine…[there’s] all kinds of poutines! So, why not fried chicken poutine?” says Ivanov. “With the white gravy it works well.” Chix’ fries are made with yellow potatoes from a local Hutterite farm. Topped with fried chicken and white gravy, it’s easy to see why this dish was awarded ‘Best Fried Food’ and ‘Best Value’ at the Calgary Stampede this July. Ivanov is rewarded whenever he sees customers enjoying his food. He is also quick to acknowledge the support and camaraderie between the city’s food truck fleet. Look out for Waffles and Chix this winter, they will continue to serve up their Southern inspired dishes. Follow them on Twitter @wafflesandchix Carmen Cheng comes from a family of adventurous eaters. There aren’t many foods that she won’t try. She loves to chat about what to eat next on twitter @foodkarmablog.

culinairemagazine.ca • 11

Yummi In My Tummi:

Exploring Calgary’s Gummi Boutique Story by ANDREA FULMEK Photography by INGRID KUENZEL

Growing up, his favourite book was Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, his favourite movie was Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and he spent every bit of his allowance at the local convenience store on candy. Should we be surprised that James Dobbin runs one of the coolest candy and novelty stores in Calgary? Not really. After unhappily working as an accountant, Dobbin abandoned his career to pursue a dream of opening up a candy store. “I was working at the time and hated every minute of what I was doing,” he explained when I asked him about the transition from filing and numbers to candy enthusiast. “I was a candy freak and a collector as a kid. I have always had an obsession with wacky packaging and retro items. I just love weird pop culture and underground stuff”. A drastic career transition? Perhaps, but it is certainly an admirable one. “Life is too short. Sure, it’s scary to go from something so secure to something so unsure, but why live in a way that

is not the way you want to live? I just finally decided to go for it,” Dobbin said. And go for it he did. In 2011, Dobbin opened the first Gummi Boutique in Glamorgan, and before they even opened the doors, they had a line-up down the sidewalk thanks to exposure from CBC’s The Eyeopener. While The Eyeopener may have kick-started the store, there is no denying that Dobbin’s involvement online and within in the community has contributed to Gummi Boutique’s success. In October of 2012, less than a year after opening the first Gummi Boutique in Glamorgan, Dobbin opened a second location in Kensington, which is equally as successful and intriguing as the first. Though Dobbin would prefer to keep his plans for the future a secret, he is excited about the online store that was launched in mid-August. If you have yet to experience Gummi Boutique, prepare yourself for a whole lot of colour, a whole lot of candy, and a whole lot of fun. With dozens of bulk candies to choose from, in addition to

hundreds of other reasonably priced novelty and candy items like Pez dispensers and Ghost Pepper candy made with Bhut Jolokia peppers, rest assured you will leave Gummi Boutique having seen or tried something new. From unique fruit flavoured treats to coke bottle and sour soother candies, there is truly something for everyone at Gummi Boutique. With 90% of the candy and novelty items in store brought in from Japan and the United States, don’t be surprised to find jumbo sized gummy bears weighing nearly five pounds, pumpkin flavoured Kit Kat bars around Halloween, and a number of assorted novelty items that will make you giggle. Aside from the imported goods, Dobbin is currently working on branding some of his own chocolate bars and is excited to be working with a local chocolatier to do so. While this is still a work in progress, Dobbin is proud to carry locally made chocolate covered bacon, and yes, even the bacon is locally sourced. For Halloween, Dobbin explained that in addition to always carrying zombie and The Walking Dead novelty items, the stores will be receiving of a number of tasty bulk items from the United States like liquorice ghosts, jelly-filled skulls, and caramel apple flavoured candy corn. “This year we are going to have some pre-packaged goodie bags for sale for those people who lead busy, active lifestyles. We know that there are a lot of people who want to participate in Halloween and an equal number of people who just don’t have the time to prepare,” Dobbin said.

Alongside Gummi’s unique selection of treats and novelty items that you will find inside the shop, you will also find unique customer service. While it may seem unexpected to find exceptional customer service at a candy store, I have never been let down by the staff. The Gummi Boutique team is incredibly helpful and any questions that you may have will be answered with enthusiasm and expertise. Nut allergy? No problem. Looking to buy a gift for that incredibly hard to buy for relative? The staff will be more than happy to point you in the right direction. With exceptional customer service and an endless selection of candy that is hard to come by, allow yourself to indulge at Dobbin’s Gummi Boutique. Whether you pay them a visit for Halloween or stop in regularly to satisfy your sweet tooth, remember that there is no such thing as “junk food” at this specialty shop—just candy, and lots of it! Gummi Boutique is at Kensington: 205, 10th Street NW Calgary, T2N 1V5 Glamorgan: Bay 2, 3919 Richmond Road SW Calgary, T3E 4P2 gummiboutique.ca @GummiB_YYC Recruiter by day, writer and foodie by night, Andrea finds nothing more exciting than grocery shopping and baking with chocolate. If dessert could be eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner, she would be one happy camper. culinairemagazine.ca • 13

Soup Kitchen By DAN CLAPSON

This month marks the return of the squash on the dinner table and I couldn’t be happier. Front and centre in many a kitchen as we watch our temperatures drop, this hearty vegetable is our culinary sidekick to make sure we stay cosy and happily full. Though pumpkin may (arguably) be the ‘star’ of October, here are some great ways you can use other varieties of squash in two soups that are as different as day and night, but equally fulfilling. Stay warm out there!

Parmesan Butternut Squash Soup (*gluten free) Serves 4-5 Total cook time:40 min 1 onion, diced 3 cloves garlic, chopped ½ cup (120 mL) dry white wine 1 butternut squash, peeled, 1 cm cubed (5 cups approx.) 4 cups (960 mL) chicken broth 2 tsp dried parsley 1 tsp dried oregano 2 cups (480 mL) half and half ½ cup freshly grated parmesan 1 Tbs fresh parsley, loosely chopped 2 tsp lemon zest salt and pepper olive oil

1. Cook down the onion and garlic in a large pot with some olive oil on medium-high heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the white wine; reduce to medium heat and let cook until the liquid has reduced by half, 6-7 minutes.

2. Place the chopped squash in the pot and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Coconut Thai Acorn Squash Bisque (*vegan, gluten free) Serves 4-5 Total cook time:40 min 1 acorn squash, halved, seeds removed 1 yellow onion, diced 2 cloves garlic, chopped 2 red potatoes, peeled, 1 cm cubed, (2 cups approx.) 1 Tbs red curry paste 1 380 mL can coconut milk 5 cups (1.2 L) vegetable broth 1 lemon, zested and juiced 2 tsp sesame oil salt and pepper olive oil green onions, thinly sliced for garnish, optional

1. Preheat oven to 425º F. Place the acorn squash flat side down in a small baking dish and roast in oven until fork tender, approximately 30 minutes. 14 • October 2013

2. While that’s roasting, cook down the onion and garlic in some olive oil in a large pot on medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Reduce to medium heat; add the next 4 ingredients to the pot and let cook, uncovered for 25 minutes, stirring until the curry paste has been incorporated.

3. Take the roasted squash out of the oven and using a large metal spoon, scoop the flesh into the soup pot. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until silky smooth.

4. Stir the lemon juice, zest and sesame oil to the soup and reduce to low heat to keep warm until ready to serve. Garnish with green onions and serve. Dan Clapson is a freelance food writer and columnist in Calgary. When he’s not writing about Canada’s amazing culinary scene, he is likely spending his time listening to 80s rock or 90s boy bands like 98 Degrees. Follow him on twitter @dansgoodside!

3. Now, place the next 3 ingredients into the mix. Once the liquid begins to bubble, reduce to low heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until squash has softened completely.

4. Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree the contents of the pot until smooth. Increase to medium heat and pour in the cream, stirring until well incorporated.

5. Once the soup returns to a simmer, add in the parmesan, parsley and lemon zest. Last, but not least, season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir well and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Serve hot with fresh bread for dipping.

Chapoutier will donate 50 cents from each bottle purchased during October to help cover the $37,500 cost of my training.

Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m Bella (named for Belleruche) and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m training to be an Alberta Guide Dog.

“Superfoods”: Making Them Taste As Super As They Sound By ANDREA FULMEK

We can assume that anything “super” must be good for us, but if it is ‘super’ for us, then, surely it must be bland, unexciting, and impossible to cook with, right? Well, not exactly.

Though the term is vaguely defined in your average dictionary, the term “superfood” is often used to describe foods that deliver an abundance of nutrients with minimum calories. While the term and many of the “superfoods” may be foreign to us, it is incredibly easy to introduce “superfoods” into our diet when they taste delicious.

Chia Seeds They may be small and rather tasteless, but one tablespoon of chia seeds contains half of your daily intake of fibre, 9 g of protein, an abundance of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, and per ounce, contains three times more calcium than milk. Because chia seeds do not need to be ground like flax seeds to reap the health benefits, they are incredibly easy to incorporate into virtually any meal or dessert. Small like strawberry seeds, chia seeds can be mixed into just about any meal, dessert or snack. Tossing a tablespoon over your favourite summer salad is one of the easiest ways to add them to your diet, and the tiny seeds add a subtle “crunch” to every bite. 16 • October 2013

For breakfast, try sprinkling 1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds into your yogurt or oatmeal, or sprinkle onto peanut butter toast. Omelettes with veggies and chia seeds pair beautifully, as do chia seeds with tuna and egg salads. Because chia seeds can absorb up to twelve times their own weight in water, they work brilliantly to thicken soups and stews. Thinking about baking your favourite carrot or banana muffins? Try adding a couple of tablespoons to your batter.

Kale Easy to grow, packed with vitamins A, C and K, and delicious as chips, kale is undoubtedly a superhero vegetable. Though this brassica family member has become widely popularized over the last few years, kale’s popularity dates back to 600 B.C. where Celtic tribes identified kale as a staple in the diet. With ruffled leaves and a stiffer texture, this romaine/cabbage hybrid possesses both sweet and peppery notes depending on the way it is prepared. Add sweeter, sautéed kale into your favourite pasta to experience its mellow notes, or eat raw in a salad to experience its peppery bite.

balsamic notes which nicely complement chicken and fresh vegetable stir-fry, and though back garlic can be used in nearly any dish, salmon, halibut and shrimp pair beautifully with black garlic, as do creamy pasta and potato dishes. Adding black garlic to your favourite risotto dish is a favourite amongst black garlic lovers, and is incredibly easy to prepare.

Sea-Buckthorn Berries Kale is similar to spinach in the sense that it is great fresh, sautéed or pureed—try throwing some into scrambled eggs for breakfast or into your favourite smoothie for an extra boost. Kale chips are simple and delicious, and while the idea of baking leafy greens may seem absurd, kale tossed in olive oil and salt and pepper, then baked in the oven for approximately 15 minutes at 350° F is a fantastic way to enjoy a healthy and flavourful snack.

Think of salmon when you hear “omega-3?” Try thinking seabuckthorn berries: Tart little berries that are surprisingly rich in Omega 3, 6, 7, 9 and over 100 other amazing compounds. Packed with vitamins and antioxidants, this “superberry” puts oranges and lemons to shame with fifteen times the vitamin C than oranges per 100 grams.

Black Garlic Just when we thought garlic couldn’t get any better, along came black garlic (ah, bliss). Though its name seems rather daunting, black garlic’s sweet and savoury notes are far less overpowering than white garlic, has twice the antioxidants, and can be eaten on a first date. Because it is made through a fermentation process where whole bulbs are cooked at high temperatures, the sulphuric compounds that create bad breath are nearly absent in black garlic—making it not only delicious, but also edible for those who cannot handle the strong taste and smell. Try using black garlic as a substitute for white garlic in dips, salsas and pesto to experiment with a gentler zing. Additionally, because black garlic is fermented, it possesses

Similar in taste to gooseberries with a citrus spin, seabuckthorn berries tend to be unpleasant to eat raw due to their astringent taste but can be turned into the most flavourful jams and distinctive desserts. Sea-buckthorn juice—which is often blended with apple or white grape juice to sweeten its natural tart taste—is a brilliant addition to cheesecakes, curds and meringue dishes as sea-buckthorn desserts carry balanced passion fruit and peachy notes. Seabuckthorns aren’t just for desserts, however. Some of the most flavourful chicken dishes around are infused with the juice from the berries, as are fish dishes, which complement the fruity notes of the berries. Lastly, while the task of creating your own salad dressing is daunting for some, mixing up a sea-buckthorn juice and agave nectar (or honey) salad dressing is a simple and delicious way to freshen up your favourite leafy greens.

culinairemagazine.ca • 17

Where Can I Find These Ingredients? While kale and chia seeds are often found in your local grocery store, black garlic and sea-buckthorn products are slightly more challenging to find. Bite Groceteria is proud to carry black garlic and sea-buckthorn berries. Sea-buckthorn juice can always be found at Planet Organic. Planet Organic 4625 Varsity Drive N.W.
 Calgary, AB T3A 0Z9
 Phone: 403-288-6700 10233 Elbow Drive S.W. (Corner of Southland)
 Calgary, AB T2W 1E8
 Phone: 403-252-2404 Bite Groceteria 1023 9th Ave S.E. Calgary, AB T2G 0S6 Phone: 403-263-3966

Sweet Sea-Buckthorn Glazed Chicken Tired of barbeque sauce? Try this sauce to add a flavourful spin. This sauce is enough for 5-6 chicken breasts or 2-3 lbs of chicken. ½ cup (120 mL) sea buckthorn juice 3 Tbs (45 mL) orange juice ½ cup (120 mL) honey ½ tsp curry power ½ tsp salt ½ tsp pepper

Community Natural Foods 202 61 Ave S.W. Calgary, AB T2H 3A5 Phone: 403-930-6363

1. Mix all ingredients together and add chicken to the

1304 10 Ave S.W. Calgary, AB T3C 0J2 Phone: 403-984-9893

3. Preheat oven to 375° F

Sunterra 803 49 Ave S.W. Calgary, AB T2S 3G6 Phone: 403-287-0553 200 12 Ave S.E. Calgary, AB T2G 2H8 Phone: 403-261-6772 Amaranth Whole Foods 7 Arbour Lake Dr N.W. Calgary, Alberta, T3G 4A3 Phone: 403-547-6333 Suite 378-5222 130 Ave S.E. Calgary, AB T2Z 0G4 Phone: 403-253-2711 Blush Lane Organic Market 3000 - 10 Aspen Stone Blvd. S.W. Calgary, AB T3H 0K3 Phone: 403-210 1247

marinade.

2. Marinade in the refrigerator for 5 to 24 hours. 4. Place chicken in a baking pan and coat with marinade 5. Bake for 25 minutes, brushing chicken with marinade once or twice throughout cooking or flipping half way through to ensure the chicken is coated nicely.

Kale and Chickpea Salad 3 cups kale greens, trimmed into bite sized pieces 1 cup chickpeas ½ cup tomato, chopped ½ large red bell pepper, chopped ¼ cup of red onion, chopped ¼ cup feta cheese (optional) Juice from half a lemon 3-4 Tbs (45–60 mL) olive oil To taste Balsamic vinegar To taste salt and pepper

1. Combine kale, chickpeas, tomato, red pepper and onion in a large bowl.

2. Drizzle 3-4 Tbs of olive oil onto the salad and add balsamic vinegar (approx 3 Tbs of balsamic vinegar) as well as salt and pepper to taste.

Menu Gems Poultry dishes come in many shapes and sizes, and our contributors are sharing their favourites…

Steamed Wontons, Fergus & Bix

Roast Chicken, Briggs Kitchen and Bar

Rotisserie Chicken, 80th & Ivy

Roast Duck on Rice, Happy Valley

I love the steamed wontons at Fergus & Bix, and could eat them every day. They’re filled with tasty chicken and bok choy, and topped with a spicy chili sauce. Just the thing to warm you up on a cool autumn day! Stephanie Arsenault

The Rotisserie Chicken is juicy, flavourful, and free run. This dish is gluten free, comes with herb-roasted potato, vegetables and a natural jus. Tasty! The restaurant is spacious and the service friendly. The gluten free pizza is also worth a visit! Heather Kingston

Fried Chicken Sandwich, MARKET

Market has a great fried chicken sandwich. It’s served with smoky bacon and a creamy ranch sauce. Their garlicky ranch makes this sandwich for me. It not only goes really well with the juicy fried chicken, it is my favourite ranch dressing in Calgary. Carmen Cheng

Chicken Wings, Pig and Duke

My true love for chicken is found not on a refined plate at a fancy restaurant, but in a small basket at my local watering hole. Duke has some of the best wings in the city. Big and meaty, I order mine tossed in a mish-mash of teriyaki and BBQ sauce. A hot mess of deliciousness. Dan Clapson

Chicken Pot Pie, Simple Simon Pies (Calgary Farmers Market)

As a new (and first time) parent, it’s all about convenience these days. Simple Simon’s chicken pot pie is almost just like the homemade ones I grew up with and is rich, creamy, and delicious. Tom Firth

Duck and Chicken Confit, Q Haute Cuisine

Q Haute Cuisine offer one of the best value lunches in town; a choice of delicious entrées and starter for $15! I love their Duck Confit and their chicken confit with lentil ragout, and Chef Michele Aurigemma’s silky velouté of the day to start Linda Garson

The screaming hot Brigg’s charcoal and wood fired ovens create a fabulous crisp skin on the half chicken with moist meat underneath. The atmosphere is very lively and there are some unique cocktails. Fred Malley

My ideal bird has firm meaty breasts and a beautiful golden exterior. Hence, duck is the love of my life. The roast duck set lunch at Happy Valley (100-3 Ave. SW) takes the best that nature gives us and does as little as possible to mess it up. The fat melts, so the meat stays moist, and drips onto the rice creating a natural richness. It’s the perfect Hong Kong-style lunch. Gabe Hall

Rotisserie Chicken, NOtaBLE, and Fried Chicken & Waffles, Model Milk

My current obsession is a toss up between the superb rotisserie chicken from Notable and Fried Chicken and Waffles from Model Milk. One is pure comfort food - sweet, crispy, salty buttermilk fried chicken goodness, and the other calls out to the inner caveman - cooked over an open flame with crisp skin and juicy, succulent meat. In this coin flip, both heads and tails win. Adrian Bryksa

Duck Poutine – National

This dish is the elegant way to indulge in poutine. National’s already yummy fries are smothered in mustard gravy, topped with fresh curds and then tossed with duck confit. The tender duck is the perfect accompaniment to the soft cheese and adds a great flavour kick. Laura Lushington

Twisted BLT, Briggs Kitchen & Bar

I would say the new family favourite is the smoky goodness coming from the special ovens at Briggs Kitchen & Bar. Their Twisted BLT with pulled chicken is smoky, gooey and tender and their Grilled Half Chicken is straightforward enough to please even the pickiest of eaters, but absolutely full of flavour. Karen Miller

The Bountiful Harvest Beckons! By LEONARD BROWN

While much has been picked and used throughout the gardening season, yields can still be plentiful throughout October, although plant growth is slowing down with the changes in season. It is important to plan carefully for maximizing the benefits available from plants, vegetables and fruit. It is a tremendous amount of work to harvest all at once, and there is then too much to do and waste is inevitable. Produce can be utilized immediately or saved for future use. There are a number of common ways of achieving the latter. Firstly you’ll need to decide if your plants are going to be harvested or

allowed to produce seed, which can then be collected at a later stage for future use. Dry seeds need to be stored in dry containers. Envelopes or glass jars are convenient ways to store them, but be sure to label them for future identification. Let root vegetables stay in the ground for as long as possible, remembering that cool days and nights can approach rapidly, and freezing can occur sooner than expected. It’s a good idea to plan on digging up root vegetables gradually, early in October when plant growth is minimal. Once harvested, store in a cool dry place allowing excess soil to dry out. Produce can be used fresh in foods and baking, or saved in a number of ways. Depending on the item, the methods vary:

• Leaf vegetables (lettuces) are used in salads, roasted and in soups (kale), or blanched and frozen (spinach). • Jams, jellies and preserves are commonly made from flowers and fruit, and as long as the techniques are correct, your imagination can run wild. • You can preserve the harvest by bottling, canning and freezing. • Juicing extracts the goodness ready for enjoying immediately or at a later stage. Juices can be frozen or used to create sorbet and yoghurt, sauces, ice cubes and concentrates. • Many fruits, vegetables and herbs can be used as garnishes for meals, or hung and dried. • Fruit wines are easy to make, as are oils and vinegars infused with herbs and vegetables. • Frost-sensitive produce such as tomatoes, can be picked and allowed to ripen indoors on the windowsill. If nature unexpectedly interferes with planning and ability to use everything, then everything can be discarded into a compost pile and returned to a beneficial form for the next growing season. Leonard hails from South Africa, spoiled with horticultural magnificence. He realized what what was taken for granted there, had to be achieved with hard work, commitment, patience and passion in Calgary.

20 • October 2013

Seafood Market

STADIUM SHOPPING CENTRE

2B - 1941 Uxbridge Drive N.W. (Corner of 16th Ave & 29 St. N.W.)

403 269-3474

Billingsgate www.billingsgate.com 20TH CHARITY WINE AUCTION WEEK

Beer Bash Taste over 100 beers!

THURSDAY

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For info & tickets call 403.296.1640 or events@willowpark.net | www.willowparkwines.com

Michael Luo, at Shanghai Palace in Edgemont, shares the process to make Peking duck. Trained at the Hotel and Restaurant School in Kung Chow, China, owners John Lai and Daisy Chu hired Michael eight years ago as head chef. He firmly believes in using fresh ingredients with deliveries daily. Preparing Peking duck is a two-day process. Methods vary, and Michael describes a process you can duplicate without too much fuss.

Chefs’ Tips And Tricks! Story and photographs by FRED MALLEY, CCC

Aaah, the duck; a staple for some and luxury for others. It’s not as difficult as some think to successfully cook duck. Prepare legs well in advance as a confit, and roast or panfry duck to yield the culinary gem, duck fat. Chinese cuisine takes duck to a sublime level, serving three dishes from one duck. The crisp skin is the star of the show, but you can enjoy an entire meal celebrating duck in three courses that feeds four generously.

Shanghai Palace Peking duck 1. Clean the duck of pinfeathers then lightly season with a salt and five-spice mixture inside and out. Marinate for eight hours in the fridge.

2. Brush the skin with a hot honey and vinegar mixture (set the duck on a wire rack). Refrigerate the racked duck for 12 hours, uncovered to dry the skin.

3. Roast the racked duck at 250° F, breast side down for the first hour, then turn it over for the second hour. Carve the breast meat in slices with skin attached. Reserve the legs and bones for soup and stir-fry with noodles or rice.

4. Serve the sliced breast with thin flour pancakes, similar to tortillas. Cut strips of peeled, seeded cucumber and julienne of the white part of green onions. Place a portion of duck and vegetables on a pancake and drizzle with hoisin sauce.

5. Dice the leg meat and stir-fry with suey choy, carrot, soy and oyster sauces, and combine with noodles or rice. Chop the carcass and any meat scraps to make broth with suey choy, ginger, tofu and carrots.

Cilantro’s Confit Duck Legs Serves 2 2 duck legs 1 tsp (5 g) kosher salt Fresh ground black pepper 1/4 tsp (1 g) ground cumin 2 sprigs fresh thyme 2 cups (400 g) duck fat

1. Season the legs with salt, pepper, cumin and thyme and marinate overnight in the fridge.

2. Rinse and dry the legs. Sear in hot oil until brown.

3. Place the legs in a small pot and just Ken Canavan’s name is top of mind when talking about Cilantro Restaurant, but the affable manager, Tony Migliarese, is six years and counting. Migliarese grew up in the biz in Ontario; dad is still his go-to mentor. The philosophy is customer centred, “Never say no. Do your best to facilitate the customer. Make the staff and guests happy”. Observing interactions among the staff preparing for opening, attests to the friendly, light-hearted atmosphere in what will soon be a fast-paced environment. Migliarese says, “The industry has made my life more enjoyable. My success as a restaurant manager depends on my presence in the room; the show goes on and you must always put your best face forward.” Migliarese likes duck in a sandwich or as part of a salad. We are sharing a slightly modified version of Cilantro’s duck confit; Canavan’s recipe starts with one case of duck legs! Low temperature poaching in duck fat results in rich, tender and full flavoured meat. Serve confit cold or hot - or you can purchase cooked confit legs next door at CRMR at Home. Cilantro serves the confit in freshly baked flatbread with green apple, onion, Brie, fig jam and arugula. If you are sitting in view of the wood-fired oven,

you can watch the preparation. The rustic nature of the dish and the rustic character of the room are harmonious. Many local restaurants sport duck breast on the menu. Like the legs, you can purchase just the breasts at Sobey’s, Calgary Co-op and Sunterra, among others. They are easy to prepare and you get a bonus of duck fat to fry potatoes in, or make rillettes with the confit. The secret to cooking a duck breast is to render the fat slowly and not cook the meat past medium. Accompany with wine and fruit sauce or a glaze.

cover them with melted duck fat. If you do not have enough duck fat, top up with grape seed or other neutral oil. Cook at 210° F oven for 3 – 3 ½ hours until the meat is fork tender.

4. Cool legs in the fat before transferring to a container and refrigerating.

5. To serve, remove leg from the fat, scraping fat back into the container. Remove the skin and pull the meat. Alternatively, skip the sear step and poach the legs directly in duck fat. To serve a whole leg hot, sear the skin to brown it and rewarm in the oven.

Three Ravens, at the Banff Centre, celebrates Alberta and Canadian products with a spectacular view. Executive Chef Beat Hegnauer CCC grew up in Switzerland, contemplating a career in policing, but decided to try cooking because there was an opportunity to travel. After apprenticing, he joined Four Seasons’ Inn on the Park, Toronto, and worked his way around Canada with the company. He owned Le Rendez-vous, until Petro-Canada made him an offer he couldn’t refuse to operate their corporate dining centre, and in 1993, Hegnauer seized the opportunity to help build a food and conference business at the Banff Centre. Focusing on the arts and business management, the Banff Centre’s Midsummer Ball raised $1.12 million in two nights this summer, to support scholarship at the Centre. Hegnauer’s food philosophy is that flavour is paramount, followed by the correct temperature and finally, appearance. Dishonesty on a menu is not tolerated and he finds the business is becoming more difficult with challenging customers. Accommodating allergies makes up as much as 25% of a function.

24 • October 2013

Hegnauer is a staunch supporter of Alberta producers, even when the price may be higher. Three Ravens’ duck is from Greens, Eggs and Ham in Leduc. Look for their products at Kingsland Farmers Market. Chef de Partie, Sean Netterfield, shares the recipe for the Honey and Ginger Glaze to finish the breast.

Honey and Ginger Glaze 2.5 cm peeled, grated ginger root 1/2 cup (115 mL) honey pinch of salt

1. Place ingredients in a small sauce pot and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and steep for 1 hour.

2. Rewarm the honey and strain, then brush on cooked duck breast.

1. Trim silverskin and score the fat

too quickly before the fat is rendered out, reduce the heat. Pour off and save excess fat half way through.

with a sharp knife. Make the cuts close together. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Turn breasts over when the skin is

Cooking a Duck Breast

2. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and set the breast(s) in skin side down.

3. Render the fat from the skin. This will take 7 to 9 minutes. If the skin browns

thin and crisp.

5. Sauté for 1 minute and set the breast(s) in a warm place to rest for 10 minutes before carving. Save the fat. Brush the skin side with glaze.

Food Flight!

By BRENDA HOLDER

I have been involved in many discussions regarding traditional foods of Aboriginal people and going back even further to our primitive ancestors (of all human beings). Often we think of the primary food source as being the big Woolly Mammoths from primitive times or more recently, Caribou and Moose, and other prey of that nature. I’ve been told that really we didn’t eat birds until farming came along. I’m not 100% certain if this is fact so I can’t substantiate it, but I understand why, given that it is more economical with a bow and arrow to hunt larger animals, where you will have a greater food cache. However, not all hunting involves moving to catch animals. Trapping for food was also a common way, where snares and other devices could catch rabbits, nets for fishing, and possibly even for birding. We don’t know how much primitive man would rely on birds as a food source, but I do know that my people have a long established relationship with eating birds like Canada Geese. It’s likely that our abilities for catching these birds came from primitive man’s finely honed skills.

Canada Goose is a delicacy that many hunters today enjoy on the table, a great food source that is highly nutritious. I know many people who have interesting recipes for their game birds, but a really cool way to “cook your goose” comes from my mom and grandmother. A goose would be suspended from a rope in the middle of a tent or tipi (I guess we just cooked them outside) and hung close to hot coals from a fire. The rope would be wound tightly and the bird would continually twist over the hot coals to cook, while the women would do their beading, moccasins, other food prep. Once in a while one would get up, flip the geese over and/or twist the rope again quite tightly.

Sometimes the bird would be cut out and almost filleted into a flat piece, and then cooked in a similar way in a basket with large open weave. It was also spun to be cooked. I recall a time when my mother brought home some wild fowl that had been smoked on a traditional smoking rack. It was absolutely delicious! I had many times eaten dried moose meat, smoked meat, smoked fish (begrudgingly), but that was my first time tasting smoked bird! These traditional methods of cooking really gets one’s imagination going in the hopes of some sort of experimental process to delve into and try. A Cree/Iroquois Métis, Brenda was born in Jasper National Park. Her company, Mahikan Trails (mahikan.ca) delivers unique programs through Aboriginal Tradition to explore the natural wonders of the Canadian Rockies.

1. “Roulade” comes from the French word meaning to roll. Hence, a chicken roulade is a piece of chicken rolled around a filling. The filling can be made using any of your treasured combinations of ingredients. Different countries have their own versions of roulade; the Italian’s refer to a roulade as braciole, German’s have roulade, and in Poland they call it zrazy or rolada. Chicken loves to be the conduit for all types of flavours, and making a dish like this will give you confidence that some of your favourite ingredients are your path to the ultimate chicken roulade, your way! You will be surprised at how easy and delicious a chicken roulade can be. Here are two procedures and filling ideas to get you started:

2.

3.

Step By Step: Let It Roll Story and photography by NATALIE FINDLAY

Crispy Baked Chicken Roulade Serves 3 Time: 20 minutes prep + cooking 2 boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 5mm thick To taste salt and pepper 10 g each fresh thyme, rosemary, sage, finely chopped 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 8 slices prosciutto, to cover chicken breast (approx 4 slices each breast) 1 zucchini, thinly sliced (enough to cover chicken breast) 45 g Dijon mustard 40 g sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped 140 g Parmesan cheese, grated 30 ml (2 Tbs) olive oil Preheat oven to 400º F

1. Season both sides of the pounded chicken with the salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, sage and garlic.

2. Lay prosciutto on top and lay zucchini over the prosciutto layer.

3. Mix sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and olive oil together in a medium-sized bowl. Layer the cheese mixture over the zucchini.

4. Start at one end of the chicken and roll up complete chicken breast until you

have a tube shape. You can secure the open ends with a toothpick to make sure the filling stays inside while cooking. Place in fridge while you gather your coating ingredients.

5. You do not need to measure the coating ingredients. You will need flour, eggs and panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) or regular breadcrumbs. Panko breadcrumbs are crisper than regular breadcrumbs.

6. In 3 shallow dishes (or plates); use one for flour, one for an egg and one for the breadcrumbs. Beat the egg slightly to incorporate the yolk and whites together. Coat each roulade with flour, then egg, and then the breadcrumbs and place each on the baking sheet. You can line your baking sheet with foil, parchment or leave it bare.

7. Bake at 400º F for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165º F or 74º C.

8. Remove from oven and let sit a few minutes before removing the toothpicks and slicing into rounds.

4.

5.

6.

Olive Chicken Roulade with a Roasted Lemon Cream Sauce Serves 3 Time: 15 minutes prep + cooking 2 boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 5mm thick, with or without the skin To taste salt and pepper 10 g fresh oregano, thyme, sage, basil, finely chopped (plus whole sprigs) 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 1/4 package Boursin garlic and herbs, packaged cheese 20 g mixed olives, pitted and roughly chopped 30 g arugula 1/2 fresh lemon 2 cloves garlic, mashed Sauce 100 ml (7 Tbs) white wine 75 ml (5 Tbs) cream 10 cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half 10 g parsley, roughly chopped Preheat oven to 400º F If you are keeping the chicken skin, please remove and reserve it before you pound the breast flat.

1. Season both sides of the pounded chicken with the salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, basil, sage and garlic.

2. Spread the Boursin cheese over the seasoned chicken breast. Add the chopped olives and arugula over the Boursin cheese layer.

3. Heat an ovenproof skillet on mediumhigh heat.

4. Start at one end of the chicken and

6. Take skillet out of oven and remove

roll up complete chicken breast until you have a tube shape. If you have reserved the chicken skin; you can stretch it over the breast at this point. Secure the chicken with toothpicks or tie it with kitchen string to ensure the roulade stays together.

chicken breasts from pan. Place skillet on the stove and heat to medium. Add the wine and scrape any bits off the bottom of the pan. Squeeze out any remaining juice from the roasted lemon. Let cook down about 5 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and cream (or you can use chicken stock) and let cook another 5 minutes. Add the parsley and give it a stir.

5. Add a touch of olive oil to the skillet and brown the chicken breast on all sides. Remove the skillet from the stove, add the 1/2 lemon and the mashed garlic along with a few sprigs of the fresh herbs to the bottom of the skillet and place in oven to cook for another 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165º F or 74º C.

7. Slice the chicken into rounds and serve drizzled with the sauce. Natalie is a freelance writer, photographer and pastry chef. A graduate of Cordon Bleu’s pastry program, she manages her own business too to create custommade cakes

On The Origins Of Chefs By GABRIEL HALL

Charles Darwin is often misquoted, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but rather the one most adaptable to change.” Perhaps there is some wisdom in it regardless of its validity. Humans are amazingly efficient at adapting and changing their environment around them to find the most effective and easiest path to their goal. Humans will modify the world around them, develop tools and methods, and will also change the perceptions of a large group of people if it will serve their needs. Chefs are no exception; the last few decades have given rise to molecular gastronomy, farmed fish, and the change in the status of the humble chef.

Chef Michael Allemeier Chef Michael Allemeier has seen that change ebb and flow around him throughout his international career. His thirty years of experience has been shaped by wandering the street markets of Hong Kong, studying and eventually leading world class kitchens at the prestigious Mission Hill winery and Bishops here in Canada, and hosting television programs on Food Network Canada. Looking back at the state of the industry at the beginning of his career, Allemeier vividly remembers the difficulties he faced, “I too used to be old school. I’d worked for European and Asian chefs, where it was an environment of fear and intimidation, like being a serf. We had little voice, it was ‘yes chef’ or ‘no chef’.” A complex set of hierarchies, loyalty and seniority was prevalent, passed down by the French culinary masters in order to develop focused cooks who could execute flawlessly, each and every time, to produce consistent, high quality dishes. “Fear and intimidation are very strong emotions and you do need to have some structure and discipline,” notes Allemeier. Commercial kitchens are stressful places where a number of individuals are under intense pressure to deliver a faultless experiences overand-over in five-minute increments. The

introduction of any chaos disrupts the flow and can lead to serious mistakes. However, the more confrontations Allemeier had with chefs, the more he started to question if there was a better method, “When I was faced with a management style I didn’t like, I told myself that when I was in a position of authority I would find a way to do it better. When I met my darling wife, who was doing a masters degree in sports psychology, she showed me there was a kinder, gentler way. You can still run a tight organized kitchen without scaring the hell out of everyone at the end of the day.” Allemeier then started to explore a different way to manage and mentor chefs through the rest of his career. He selected creative, open-minded, team-oriented people who wanted to do more than just cook. He focused on individuality, self-motivation and curiosity to develop the capabilities of the chefs under him. This passion for developing talent eventually landed him a position as a chef instructor at SAIT culinary school. “There’s a lot more humanity [in the industry] now. If you’ve made clear

where the boundaries, standards and expectations are, and you give them freedom and hold them accountable, you get a lot more out of your people,” says Allemeier. “Good cooks and leaders nurture. If you take someone who has a great attitude, great natural ability; and you have the ability to nurture, mentor and develop them, you end up with someone you want in the kitchen.” Mentoring can only go so far in producing great chefs. Some talent, a voracious drive and curiosity are key to developing talent, and many new chefs know it and thrive off the desire to continually learn and improve. “There are definitely different motivations. Our motivation was to survive, their motivation is to grow and expand,” observes Allemeier.

Nathan Gareau Nathan Gareau, a recent graduate of the SAIT Culinary program, is an example of the new generation of chefs who looks to culinary as a vehicle to expand his professional and personal boundaries. Gareau recounts his first fascination with food; “I’ve always been interested from the start. I grew up eating good culinairemagazine.ca • 29

food, learned to cook from my parents and I felt an affinity for it. I worked in a restaurant for 4 or 5 years and felt that I wanted to get the foundations to build up my knowledge and skills.” In his first foray into the industry at the age of 14, Gareau had many of the same expectations and fears as Allemeier, “I thought it would be a lot more intense; more yelling and more people broken down, like boot camp. The way the chefs interacted with people was unexpected.” Although many commercial kitchen environments are still loud and demanding, Gareau was surprised at the civility, supportiveness and general camaraderie that were present, “The environment forced me to think on my feet, be fast and multi-task. I was constantly reviewing ways to become more efficient.” Traditional training of young chefs often involves endless, exacting

repetitive motions to build technique, but a revised approach encourages students to learn the basics but explore alternatives to find the method that suits them. They were encouraged to revisit even the most basic of techniques Gareau recounts, “In second year [of school], one of the instructors started to make us question the way we did things. He forced us to think about how we were normally cutting onions or peeling garlic, and showed us multiple ways to approach it in a different way to be safer, more efficient.” Not only do young chefs want the freedom to explore, they are acutely aware of the world around them and have a strong desire to expand into alternative paths in their exploration of the culinary arts. “I’m really interested in learning sushi, it’s as traditional and classic as it gets,” says Gareau. “But it’s not around any one skill set, it’s about learning about sourcing ingredients and as many varied techniques as I can. I’d

like to be in a setup where I’m cooking ingredients I’ve grown and prepared myself. Making my own cheese, raising my own beef, things like that.” Looking to his future, Gareau’s expectations of being a chef aren’t centered on fame and fortune enjoyed by the celebrity chefs we see on TV. He hopes to understand the world, explore the various paths opened to him and find a place that can satisfy his own passions, “There’s more than one way to get to a goal. Even if you’re not working fourteen hours a day every day in a kitchen, you can still end up where you want. You don’t have to sacrifice everything you have to get to success.” Allemeier agrees that young chefs should focus on developing or getting into an environment where they are comfortable and can grow personally and professionally, “Cooks are the custodian of culture. It’s overlooked a lot. They should love their work and not consider it as such. Don’t look on it as a job, it has to be so much more because you have to give so much of yourself; it becomes a lifestyle. Find the right environment where you’re happy. Everything else will fall into place.” It has taken a short 30 years for a generation of chefs to unshackle themselves from acting like gunnery sergeant Hartman and adapt to a more effective way to nurture and educate young talent to look at the world in a different manner, and to find multiple ways to innovate and excel. Gabriel Hall is a freelance writer who has traveled to many parts of the world to explore food and culture. His website, www.levoyagegourmand.com and his twitter, @voyagegourmand are living archives of his experiences.

Open That Bottle By LINDA GARSON Photography by INGRID KUENZEL

As a teenager, Calgary born and raised Dave Gingrich did what most late teenagers do, “you have a bunch of jobs that you don’t really like. I had them all for about a year, I wasn’t a quitter,” he says. “I was a gas jockey at Domo Gasoline and then I worked at Burger King as a maintenance guy before working in maintenance at the Calgary Jewish Centre.” A friend there worked at Willow Park Wines and Spirits, and persuaded Gingrich to join him. He rejected the job at first as it was in bottle return and he didn’t want to work there, but eventually they threw him into the beer fridge and said “have at ‘er”, to pick a four-page order. It was mostly beer, and Gingrich filled it in record time. He felt comfortable, even though it was his first time in the beer fridge. At that time, Gingrich was a Molson Dry man, but he and a couple of buddies would taste beers, one of the first being ‘Skull Splitter’ from the Orkneys. “It was really strong and sweet and I thought, what is this? I said then that this job will be mine one day, I really liked it.”

It took a couple of years, but he got the job at the end of 2003. The best thing was when Willow Park got a warehouse, freeing Gingrich to focus solely on beer. He also brought other drinks into his department too, like mead, soju, sake, and cider. But it was the growth of craft beers that made the really big difference. Gingrich appeared on Radio X929, where he had the freedom to write his own script and, “could just be me talking about someone else’s beer.” He was known as ‘Dave the Beer Guy’,

and appeared on the TV show, ‘Divine Life’ too. So what bottles does Gingrich have tucked away? “I have a ’09 and ‘10 ‘Old Deuteronomy’ from Edmonton’s Alley Kat Brewery. It’s barley wine - very strong, sweet, robust and hoppy too. As it ages it gets a butterscotch-y almost portlike character. I also have a Hel & Verdoemenis (Hell & Damnation) from Brouwerij de Molen in the Netherlands, the 666th edition,” he adds. “It’s Imperial Stout, so it’s really big, dark and heavy and about 13% alcohol, aged in Cognac barrels. It’s sealed and wax dipped, which will give it a little extra life. The beauty of cellaring beer is that you don’t even know how it will be in fifteen years.” And when will he open the bottles? “I’m thinking I might do it when I’m fifty – I have seventeen years to go, the hard part is not touching them though and just forgetting about them. But by then I’ll have so many other insane beers, I’m still pretty young and I have a lot of beer drinking to do!” culinairemagazine.ca • 31

NOtaBLE: A Noble Culinary Experience Story by DAN CLAPSON Photography by INGRID KUENZEL

Which do you think is more difficult? Being a restaurant in the downtown core and trying to stand out against your nextdoor competition or building your business in an out-of-theway location and making the people come to you? After some contemplation, most people would decide that they’re equally difficult, but making a restaurant a destination is always quite the feat, so when a person aims to do just that, he better do it well! Equal parts cosy, refined and, most importantly, delicious, Michael Noble’s dining destination nestled in the Montgomery area of the northwest of Calgary, has been attracting diners like bees to pollen since 2010. Choosing a location like this at the time was (and still is) a bold move for a chef-driven restaurant like Notable. “Even when a lot of people thought I was crazy opening Notable where I did, that was my whole philosophy... People work downtown, but then they live in their communities and they will support a community restaurant.” says Noble as he recalls the initial reaction to his location. “I was either really right or really wrong with that idea. Ha, ha, ha.” If the recent proliferation of casual fine dining restaurants infiltrating the suburbs (think Bistro Rouge, Vin Room West, Mercato) is any indication, it’s hard not to think that Noble was well ahead of the curve when it comes to location selection. No stranger to time in the kitchen, Michael Noble’s career has spanned an impressive thirty years and counting. Born in Calgary, his family relocated to Vancouver when he was just a young boy. Once he fell in love with cooking as a teenager, the chef quickly grew to the top of the kitchen food chain working in

Monaco, then back to Vancouver at The Four Seasons, followed by Diva at The Met. During his time back in Vancouver, Noble also became the first Canadian chef to appear on Iron Chef in his now infamous ‘Battle Potato’. Forget the glossy ‘Iron Chef America’ you can catch on-air nowadays where the competitors are more ‘celebrity’ and less ‘chef’. This was the real deal. “The original Japanese version, it was always [real] chefs. In those days, it wasn’t even on the Food Network in North America. It was only in a couple markets...in Hawaii and San Francisco. Heavily Japanese populated cities that had it on their local cable network.”

After being gone for twenty years, the chef returned to Calgary in the early 2000s to open a new restaurant concept named Catch (perhaps you’ve heard of it?). “When I came back, it felt so familiar to me. Bigger, but somehow I still sensed the essence of what Calgary is and, to me, it’s a very community-based city,” says Noble matter of factly. “I just love the community feel of Calgary and obviously during the flood, that was very well documented. Not many cities could have pulled together like we did, because I think we have this natural sensibility.” Noble began working on the restaurant concept for Notable in 2007 with the doors officially opening three years later.

before. Hollandaise is not new, braised lamb shank is not new, we [as chefs] just put our own personal touch on them.”

Now, what’s in a name? Always a topic of conversation, diners may wonder why there are so many ups and downs (read: capitals and lowercase) lettering in its title. Right off the bat, it displays one thing to the mind, the chef’s last name. “It was never about ‘Oh, here’s my name!’ and working backwards from there, but what is [the name] going to be? What is the word?” explains Noble on brainstorming during his restaurant conceptualization. “Notable...I wrote it down on my scratch pad because I was sort of puking ideas out and I knew that this was the name.” After opening, the ever-busy establishment also quickly garnered the nickname ‘no table’ with Calgary diners due to its consistent popularity. “When someone says that, we always pretend that it’s the first time we’ve ever heard that. Ha, ha, ha, but there was also a third derivative that we wanted to avoid - ‘not able’ - and that’s really why it became the capitals and lowercase. ‘No table’ I’m totally cool with, but not ‘not able’.” Needless to say, you should make a point of making a reservation. The interior of NOtaBLE exudes a certain level of elevated comfort. The room, while warm and inviting is also polished. Wood-stacked walls and dark tones surround a room that’s well separated for different levels of intimacy. The setting here lends itself to a variety of

situations. One can find the perfect twoseater for a one year anniversary, a long table for a family affair with grandma and the cousins, or even just a stool at the bar for a well-crafted cocktail and a quick bite. Going back to Noble’s earlier point, the interior of Notable matches the ‘community’ sort of feel; come as you are and eat good food. Table or ‘no table’, going into the cooler seasons of the year, everyone can appreciate dishes here like the lamb sirloin over creamy risotto or the freerange roast chicken, both courtesy of their eye-catching rotisserie, the focal point of the kitchen. Noble laughs as he explains that he was hoping to be the first restaurant in the city with a centrepiece rotisserie until construction delays (which are always the case in the restaurant world) saw a downtown dining hotspot open up with one and steal his roast-y thunder. Nonetheless, it’s not who has it first, but rather, how you use it and Notable is now synonymous with expertly executed rotisserie. Then there’s Chef Noble’s famous Stilton Cheesecake. If a chef has ever left a unique sugary legacy, it would have to be this sweet slice of heaven. “It’s one of the only dishes I’ve ever conceptualised that I’ve never heard of someone else doing [before].” explains Noble, “I mean, everything I cook is mine, but all these other generations of chefs have done it

If you haven’t tried this cheesecake, then you haven’t really had the full Notable experience. Even if blue cheese isn’t your cup of tea, this dessert is by no means overpowered by it. “It’s not Stilton like a punch in the face, it’s this subtle, little thing,” he points out. The tender cake comes to the table perfectly bruléed with a complement of rhubarb compote. Tried and true, this recipe has stuck with Noble and his menu since 1996, originally making its debut at Diva at The Met in Vancouver. “From that moment until now, Stilton Cheesecake competes with chocolate as my number one selling dessert on my menu.” Noble says proudly. “Month in, month out, year in, year out!” All of the success of Notable would not have come around without the support of Noble’s dedicated staff. He works closely with his long-time executive chef, Justin Labossiere, to ensure that all patrons leave Notable with a good taste in their mouths, both figuratively and literally. “I have these great people at the restaurant, but in order to allow them to keep growing, I need to step away...I’m letting Justin mould his team. I’m mentoring him to mentor. I’ve become expendable in a great kind of way [here]...The culture of a restaurant is like a good starter for a good sourdough bread. You can divide it, take it over there and make a nice sourdough bread.” Possibly hinting at what is to come in the (near?) future, the well-seasoned chef ends with this, “When I’m really ready and have the right opportunity, it’s the natural progression for me. I have two choices: Open another restaurant or semi-retire. And, I’m not ready to retire yet!” NOtaBLE is at: 4611 Bowness Rd NW, 403-288-4372, notabletherestaurant.ca

Roasted Corn and Goat Cheese Risotto Serves 4-6

Coconut Thai Broth for Mussels Serves 8 700 mL coconut broth 300 mL chicken broth 50 g galangal root, sliced 1 clove garlic, minced 2 stalks lemon grass, sliced 4 kafir lime leaves, chopped 1 bunch cilantro stem, chopped 1 bunch green onion stem, sliced 100 mL fish sauce 100 mL lime juice 2 tsp sambal bajak 1 Tbs palm sugar

1. Separate coconut fat from milk and reserve. Gently cook galangal, kafir lime leaves, garlic, lemon grass, and sambal in coconut fat for about 10 minutes until fragrant. Then add coconut milk and continue to cook on moderate heat until it begins to simmer again.

2. Add the stock and cook 10 minutes. Then add cilantro and green onion stem, sugar and fish sauce. Simmer for another 10 minutes and strain.

3. Adjust seasoning with sambal for heat and lime juice for acidity.

500 g carnaroli rice 2 medium yellow onions, minced or diced small 1 Tbs garlic, chopped fine 2 sprigs tarragon 7 ½-8 ½ cups (1.75-2 L) chicken broth 1 cup (240 mL) white wine 1 pinch saffron To taste salt

Your chance to win a NOtaBLE kitchen experience!

1. In a medium saucepan, sweat off onions and garlic in olive oil until soft.

2. Add rice, saffron and tarragon to onion mixture and gently “toast” for 3-4 minutes.

3. Deglaze rice with white wine and gently stir with wooden spoon. Once wine is cooked off, add hot chicken stock, ½ cup (100 mL-150 mL) at a time. Stir gently. Once the last of the stock is added, turn heat to low. To Finish: 100 g Fairwind Farm goat chevre 250 mL grated asiago or pecorino cheese 1 lemon 1 cup roasted corn Stir in goat cheese, asiago and roasted corn. Season with lemon juice and salt to taste.

Enjoy this once in a lifetime experience where the winner will get to step inside the workings of the NOtaBLE kitchen to observe and hear from Chef/Proprietor Michael Noble what really goes on behind the stainless steel counter. Slip into the kitchen brigade’s cool grey uniforms and be the only person to ever enjoy the bustle of a busy Friday night from inside the action by joining Chef Noble between 5 and 7 PM while the brigade does its first “turn” on a busy Friday night service at one of Calgary’s most popular and acclaimed restaurants. Hear some of Chef’s anecdotes, experiences and feel the thrill of the adrenaline of the whirring kitchen machine.  At the end of the first rush change out of your kitchen “greys” and enjoy a hosted tasting of some of NOtaBLE’s best dishes and wines, accompanied by a friend as you sit at the rotisserie bar and taste some of the magnificent food with a new understanding of what it takes to get it out to the busy restaurant! To win this amazing evening, just go to culinairemagazine.ca and tell us of your funniest BBQ moment – after all the rotisserie is really just a big bbq! Good luck, we can’t wait to hear from you! Value $500, not redeemable for cash.

8 Ways To Spice Up The Classic Pumpkin Pie By LAURA LUSHINGTON

It’s the time of year when everything goes pumpkin. From lattes to loaves and, of course pies, everyone seems to be craving this plentiful autumn staple. While a traditional pumpkin pie will satisfy most palates, sometimes it’s nice to add a bit of pizzazz. If you’re not a seasoned baker, don’t worry if your pie ends up with split in it. According to Patrick Cousineau of Pies Plus, that’s supposed to happen. But if you’re looking to make it look perfect, just add one of the toppings below, or cover your pie with plastic wrap and when it’s reached room temperature, and gently smooth it back together with a knife.

8 Tips to Jazz Up Your Pumpkin Pie: 1. Any pumpkin pie can be taken to

the next level by simply using real pumpkin, not the canned variety. Cut a pumpkin or two in half (smaller pumpkins tend to be sweeter), scoop out the seeds and slowly roast the flesh in a dish with a 5 mm of water at 350º F until soft. Purée, and voila!

2. Add a single layer of mini

marshmallows to the top of the pie and toast it under an oven broiler for 60

36 • October 2013

seconds, says Janine Cheramy, pastry chef for Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts. This will add sweet, creamy topping to the decadent pie.

3. Drizzle melted chocolate or Nutella on top of the pie. Or even better, swirl in ½ cup (120 mL) of chocolate or Nutella, bake and then add a drizzle on top.

4. For a boozy flavour punch, make your own whipped cream but throw in a tablespoon or two of Bourbon. You can also add in some crushed toffee pieces for a bit of crunch. Whipped Cream: 1 cup (240 mL) heavy cream 2 Tbs sugar 1-2 Tbs Bourbon and/or toffee bits Whip cream until soft mounds form. Gradually add sugar, whipping until cream forms stiff peaks. Gently fold in bourbon/toffee. Chill.

5. Make a gingersnap cookie crust: 1 ¾ cups gingersnap cookie crumbs 2 Tbs sugar 2 ½ Tbs melted butter Crush either homemade or storebought gingersnaps into cookie crumbs. Mix with sugar and melted butter. Press into a 9-inch pan and bake at 325º F for 5 minutes. Cool.

6. Add a maple walnut crumble topping:

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar ¼ cup maple sugar 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 3 Tbs butter 1/2 cup chopped walnuts Combine the sugars, flour and cinnamon; cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in nuts. Add to pie with 10 minutes remaining in baking time.

7. Turn your basic recipe into a chai pumpkin spice pie with these spice substitutions: 1 tsp ground cardamom 3/4 tsp ground ginger 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp ground cloves

8. Instead of using regular milk, use

coconut milk for a subtle hint of flavour and a creamier texture. It’s an easy way to have your guests asking what made your pie so fabulous. Laura Lushington is a freelance food and lifestyle writer. Born and raised in Calgary, Laura is a recent graduate of Mount Royal University’s Bachelor of Communication – Journalism program. Follow her at @LauraLushington or lauralushington.com

Classic Pumpkin Pie 1 x 9”pie Pastry 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (266 g) cups bread flour ¾ cup (170 g) fridge temperature butter, cut into 1cm cubes ¼ cup (53 g) fridge temperature lard, cut into 1cm cubes 3/4 tsp (4 g) salt ¼ cup (60 ml) ice cold water

1. Place flour in a large mixing bowl and with your hands, rub cold butter cubes into the flour until pea size. Then rub cold lard into flour as well until pea size.

2. Make a well in the flour fat mixture. Combine cold water with salt and pour into flour well. Mix with hands only until the dough comes together. Do not over mix.

3 large eggs, beaten to blend 1 tsp vanilla extract Using a whisk, mix first 6 ingredients. Cover and refrigerate overnight to hydrate spices and prevent pie from splitting while baking. Day 2 Preheat oven to 350º F. 1. Roll out dough on floured surface to 35 cm circle about ½ cm thick. Transfer dough to pie dish. Trim overhang to 2.5 cms. Fold overhang under and pinch dough with thumb and index finger around opposite thumb to create a fluted trim. Refrigerate shell until firm.

2. Bring mixed ingredients to room

3. Gather dough into ball, flatten

temperature, then add milk, eggs, and vanilla extract. Pour filling into cold unbaked shell.

into disk. Wrap in plastic; Refrigerate overnight or at least 2 hours.

3. Bake until filling puffs at edges and

Filling 3/4 cup packed golden brown sugar 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger ½ tsp nutmeg 1/2 tsp salt 1 ¾ cup (420 g) pumpkin puree 1 cup (240 mL) milk

centre is almost set, about 40 minutes. Cool before cutting. Recipe courtesy Janine Cheramy – Pastry Chef, Panino Bakery, Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts

culinairemagazine.ca • 37

Fair’s Fair By LINDA GARSON Photography by INGRID KUENZEL

Wine producers face problems all over the world, but in developing countries such as South Africa, Chile and Argentina, they also face unique economic, social and political challenges. This can mean many smaller growers are unable to compete, and when they can’t generate enough income to meet their family’s basic needs, they end up losing their farms and going out of business.

Enter Fair Trade. You may have heard of and seen Fair Trade coffee and chocolate in our stores, and increasingly, Fair Trade wine is becoming available. But what is it and what does it mean? In 1979, family wine group Bodegas Torres was the first foreign company to back Chilean vineyard production, acquiring a small winery in Curicó, in Chile’s Central Valley. Just over thirty years later, they became the first major Chilean winery of Chile to be certified Fair Trade. We caught up with Miguel Torres Maczassek, managing director of Bodegas Torres, while he was in Calgary recently, to learn more about Fair Trade and its benefits to producers and consumers. Why did Torres decide to pioneer Fair Trade in Chile?

Torres describes the effect of the huge earthquake that hit Chile in February 2010. The company helped their staff, suppliers and partners – even turning their cellars into woodworking shops to build forty houses for their workers and other local people who had lost their homes. “After the earthquake, we decided to start the project with Fair Trade as we had the idea to do a project that would help our workers every day, not just after an earthquake. We had to fight a bit too as the Chilean government did not know much about Fair Trade, so they taxed the donations, but now they don’t have to pay any tax and the full percentage goes to the winegrowers. We fought for a year for that,” he adds. And what standards does a winery have to meet, to be accredited Fair Trade? There are four central pillars to which they rigorously adhere, Torres explains:

1. “We make sure the price the grape producers get for their grapes is a high enough price that they can have a profit every year. This gives stability, which is very important. It sounds very simple, but it doesn’t happen because in agriculture, many years people can’t cover their costs.”

2. “The growers get a percentage of the cost of production. Between 5-10 per cent of the cost goes into a bank of money, and it goes back to the

“You don’t have to be organic, but they check that you are practising healthy and sustainable viticulture. If you are organic, then that’s the best, but it’s no problem for us as all Torres vineyards are already organic.” But Torres also has reservations. “What I think is that organic and biodynamic agriculture should take more notice of their carbon footprint. It is strange that none of the organizations take into account carbon footprint. You can be organic and have the highest carbon footprint ever. Both certifications should include that as it’s so basic.” “Some practices should change to be more carbon friendly. When you plant an organic vineyard, we still have metal sticks between the vines – they should all be wood, as wood stores the carbon, but no-one is paying attention to that.”

winegrowers to decide what they want to do with it and the projects they want to invest in. They have to be projects that help the community. In the last five years we have done more than twentyfive projects including helping with materials for children at school, bringing doctors to the countryside where people don’t have access to them, and building soccer fields. All these projects are audited and certified by a third-party organization, which is very important.”

Talking of biodynamics, Torres is conducting a fascinating experiment. “We have taken one vineyard and cut it in half - one half is being farmed organically and the other half is being farmed biodynamically. This way, we’ll be able to see the proof for ourselves the differences in the wines.” We can’t wait for the wines to be ready to taste and look forward to bringing you the results!

the environment, and for sustainability and healthy viticulture, eliminating pollution. You cannot be Fair Trade and damage the environment with chemicals.”

The project Torres is most excited and proud about, is the new Santa Digna Estelado Rosé Pais Sparkling, $23. Pais was Chile’s national grape for 200-300 years until cabernet sauvignon came along in the late 1800s, and now noone uses it to make quality wine. “This grape variety grows everywhere, and in some years Pais grapes were bought for 50 pesos per Kilo, but you can’t make a living growing grapes for that price. People were pulling up the vines and moving out to the cities as they couldn’t survive on that, and there was no chance to make a living, but now we have a project where we pay 200-250 pesos per Kilo.”

So do you have to be organic to be Fair Trade?

Last year, Miguel Torres left Chile to take over the company reigns from his father,

3. “Fair Trade includes basic points to protect the people working in the vineyards and provides a safer environment and conditions for them to work. Respecting human rights means you can’t have children working in vineyards or on production, for example.”

4. “You have to have a responsibility to

at Bodegas Torres in Spain. Are there Fair Trade wineries in Spain too? “Fair Trade certifications are designed for countries that are still developing,” he explains, “but it doesn’t make much sense as you can find the problems that affect people in agriculture all over the world.” “But we are in a great momentum, as for the first time in the history of consumption we are living in a time where people care. They care about pesticides. And they care about the people who are working in the vineyards. It is very important, as in the past people were talking about these things but no-one was listening. It gives you a lot of hope for the future.”

With Fair Trade, everyone wins. Here’s our Fair Trade wine picks:

Santa Digna Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé Chile $14 Strawberry-tinged, refreshing and juicy. For indoors and outdoors, perfect with charcuterie and cheese platters.

Spier Creative Block 3, South Africa, $24 A fruity blend of Shiraz, Mourvedre and Viognier. Terrific pairing with Butter Chicken, many pork dishes and roasted beets.

Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec, Argentina $26 Concentrated, complex with a coffee/ chocolate finish. Ideal with rare Alberta beef and anything off the grill.

What In The World Is Craft Beer? Defining The Beer Everyone’s Falling In Love With By MEAGHAN O’BRIEN

Village Brewery Vagabond Brewery

The trend of sipping craft beer is growing; microbreweries and brewpubs are popping up all over the place, and with craft beer sales sky rocketing in Alberta, it’s time to find out what the heck all this craft beer hoopla is. Whether you’re a beer connoisseur or want to impress your beer geek friends, here’s your craft beer 101, as we cover the basics of what craft beer is, and explore the different scales of craft breweries. The selection of craft breweries in Calgary alone is on the rise. With a new brewpub - Vagabond Brewery, and a new microbrewery - Tool Shed Brewing Company, launching in just the past year, there’s no telling just how vast the current selection will grow to. Calgary is fortunate to be home to five microbreweries, one larger craft brewery, and two brewpubs. To understand why there is such a love for this beer, let’s look at what craft beer really is. Some of the larger, commercial breweries seem to have jumped on board recently marketing beers that they are coining as ‘craft’, although what really makes a beer craft beer? By definition, craft beer is a beer that is made in small batches that focus on distinctive, full-bodied taste and aroma, achieved by using the best ingredients and without the addition of preservatives.

recipes, this truly almost makes up for the city being without a nanobrewery.

You may notice that the term ‘craft’ is a loosely defined term, as many of the large brewing corporations are now marketing new ‘craft’ products. Also known as macrobreweries (such as Molson and Labatt), they brew in such large quantities (Molson produces over 55 million hectoliters globally each year), that in order to maintain the shelf life of their beers and keep costs down, preservatives and adjuncts such as rice and corn are used. Craft beers, on the other hand, should use more barley malt and just pure, natural ingredients in their brewing process. Now that we’ve taken a look at what craft means, let’s identify the different scales of breweries, and what places each of them in their own categories. What makes a microbrewery a microbrewery? What is a brewpub? The different brewing establishments across this province, even Calgary alone, no matter the scale, are brewing products that range from traditional to inventive, and the demand for unique craft continues to climb.

Although smaller breweries exist (such as nano or picobreweries) they aren’t too common, microbreweries are the smallest licensed breweries found in Alberta, since the 5,000 hectoliters per year minimum production requirement in Alberta limits the possibility of nanobrewery start-ups. Nanobreweries all over North America are really becoming a big thing, and though it is difficult for these small guys to turn a profit, it opens the doors to smaller, more experimental brews, allows the capability to adjust recipes, and requires much lower start-up costs. Unfortunately due to the licensing restrictions, Alberta is without any nanobreweries. In time, and hopefully a change of heart, maybe the AGLC will one day allow for the itsy bitsy breweries to make it on the craft beer scene. The microbrewery is identified as any brewery that is able to demonstrate the ability to brew at least 5,000 hectoliters of beer per year. Calgary microbreweries are Village Brewery, Brew Brothers, Wild Rose, Tool Shed, and Minhas. Big Rock, though still considered a microbrewery, surpasses the minimum required hectoliters by brewing in the 195,000 hl range in order to meet the demand of their customers. Calgary craft beer producers are continuously rotating their available brews with seasonal recipes and limited edition brews to keep even the most curious palate from going thirsty. Due to Calgary microbreweries building such unique and diverse portfolios, and one-off

Foodies and beer lovers alike will love this next one. The brewpub is technically defined as a pub or restaurant that brews beer on the premises. Vagabond is the most recent brewpub to the city, and though they aren’t quite yet brewing on-site they will eventually be serving eight of their own brews in addition to eight other rotating taps, four European and four North American. Brewsters Brewing Company and Restaurant, an Alberta chain, is the longest operating brewpub in the city, and is also located in Saskatchewan. Though Brewsters doesn’t brew on premise, their format is very much that of a brewpub since they brew their own beer. The beauty of Calgary and craft is that residents are passionate for supporting their community and the small breweries operating within it. Now with just a bit more knowledge about this expanding and diverse culture of craft beer, go on out and support the local guys by trying the beer that Calgary breweries and brewpubs have to offer. Meaghan O’Brien is a self-proclaimed beer enthusiast with a passion for hunting down and tasting the most unique brews out there. With an extensive background in the food and beverage industry she can now be found in marketing.

Calvados: The King Of Apple Brandies By CRAIG PINHEY

Humankind discovered millennia ago that they could make intoxicating beverages from any fruit… or vegetable, for that matter. The key to the ones that have persevered to modern times is that their fermentation and ensuing distillation result in pleasing aromas and flavours to go along with the equally pleasing effects brought on by consumption. One of the most popular and versatile fruits for distillation is the apple, with its myriad varieties, varying sugar and acid levels, as well as aromas and flavours, giving the distiller the ability to blend to make a balanced, complex beverage.

guild was set up in 1606, Calvados did not become an official AOC until 1942.

If you ferment apples and/or pears, then distill it; you’ve made what the French call an eau-de-vie. When this clear spirit is aged in oak, giving it colour and additional flavours, you eventually make brandy, once the legal minimum of 2 years of aging has been reached.

AOC Calvados is an apple and pear eau-de-vie that has been aged a minimum of 2 years in oak.

As with other brandies, besides adding colour, oak aging gives a rounder palate, and can add spicy oak, vanilla and delicious caramel notes. The ultimate apple brandy, the royalty of apple-based spirits, is Calvados, from Normandy in northern France. Calvados is an AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) beverage, with production criteria and quality standards similar to Cognac, the most famous of grape-based spirits. Calvados is named after a rock located off of Arromanches. One legend suggests this rock was named for a Spanish galleon, either “San Salvador” or “El Salvador,” which sank in 1588, and whose name evolved to “Calvador” then “Calvados.” Another theory is that the name comes from Calva Dorsa, “bald backs” in Latin, a name found on old sea charts that refers to two strips of bare land that navigators used to take their bearings. Although the distillation of apple brandy has been documented in Normandy as early as 1553, and a distillers

There are now three appellations bearing the name Calvados:

AOC Calvados Pays d’Auge is from a specific sub-region known for quality Calvados, where apples are grown on slopes of shallow clay-calcareous soil. AOC Calvados Domfrontais is from another sub-region where a minimum age of 3 years in oak is required, and in which pears play a larger role. Some Calvados take even longer to make, since certain producers age their cider in oak for a year or more before distillation. It is also not uncommon to find premium versions where the distilled product is aged much longer in oak, such as 8, 12, or 25 years. After aging, the master distiller makes the final product by blending various brandies of different ages, and then marries these in oak for several months before bottling. One aspect, besides AOC standards, that separates Calvados from basic apple brandy from other regions and countries, is the sheer number of apple varieties used, over 100 in total for some producers. Calvados can contain certain pear varieties as well, with no limit on regular Calvados, but a maximum 30%

of pears is allowed in Calvados Pays d’Auge while Domfrontais must use a minimum of 30% pears. All the apples and pears must come from a list of AOC approved varieties. Distillation can take place in continuous stills (which is the norm for basic AOC Calvados and Domfrontais) or using double distillation in batch alembic stills, which is compulsory in Pays d’Auge. Calvados is hardly a rare product, with over 6,000 producers listed in France, but most is consumed in Europe, particularly in France and Germany. The North American market is relatively small, but premium spirits have been experiencing slow, steady growth here. Calvados may not get the attention that Cognac does, but any fan of fine spirits should keep a bottle of Calvados on hand. It deserves the same acclaim, and is worthy of the royal treatment.

Boulard Grand Solage, Calvados Pays d’Auge, France Deep brownish gold, this has lots of oak aroma, alongside caramelized apples. It is warm, with bold spiced apple flavours. It is made from a blend of 3 to 5 year aged Calvados. $32 Some other great Calvados worth trying include:

Pere Magloire Calvados $39

Domaine Pierre Huet - Cambremer Pays D’Auge 8 Year Old Calvados $75

Craig Pinhey is a food and beverage columnist, graduated as a Certified Sommelier in 2000, finishing with the top marks in Canada in the International Sommelier Guild program, and is a member of CAPS (Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers), for which he also teaches.

A Badge of Honour Story and photographs by CORY KNIBUTAT

Soups are simmering, chocolate is setting, knives are dancing in a blur across cutting boards as a SAIT kitchen full of talented chefs rush to complete a six-course menu. The chefs, however, are SAIT culinary instructors who find themselves, unfamiliarly, as a student once again, being graded for their final examination. This spring, a group of five SAIT instructors, all with a decade or more of experience in the industry, put their considerable knowledge and skills to the test to complete the Certified Chef de Cuisine (CCC) program, run by the Canadian Culinary Institute. The program is for Red Seal chefs who’ve already worked in the industry for a minimum of five years, ideally running their own kitchens, with a goal to

expand their business and management skills while administering a cooking exam that tests their ability to plan and execute a menu. “Part of it is a skill competency exam, but what makes a chef is not simply his cooking skills but his management skills and instruction of others,” said Fred Malley, former SAIT culinary instructor and National Examiner for

Canadian Culinary Institute, now the new President of the Calgary Academy of Chefs and Cooks. Management is broken down into cost control and human resources, two of five key requirements of the CCC. The other three are menu planning, dietary, and a recognized sanitation-training program. Chefs Andrew Springett, Desmond Johnston, Scott Pohorelic,

Johnathan Canning, and Hayato Okamitsu had been working over the last year and a half to complete the five requirements, culminating in their final hurdle; the cooking exam. Taking into account all five components, chefs are required to design a sixcourse menu from a pre-determined list of ingredients that is executed on examination day. Beginning at 8am, the first course is plated at noon and subsequent courses plated every 30 minutes until all courses are served. Prep time, cooking and plating are all done under the watchful eye of judges keeping track of organization, cleanliness, efficiency and professionalism. “They’re provided with a spreadsheet that has an ingredient list,” Malley explains. “It’s a combination of premium product and secondary, less expensive things. They have to operate within a budget, create standardized recipes to fall within 0.5 per cent of a target cost. If you’re outside of that, it’s a fairly heavy penalty. The sell price they were given was $80 a plate for six courses, which in itself, is a bit of a challenge.” An average score between all judges is used to determine final scores. Different weighting to certain elements affects scores, but it all adds up to 100. “There’s two main components: Kitchen skills and tasting,” Malley says. “There’s evaluators that will observe while they’re working, and there’s a different set of evaluators that do the tasting. Easy points are sanitation and work habits, if you keep things refrigerated, wrapped, labeled, dated, you don’t have a lot of product out on your table at one time, then yes, you’re going to get all those points.” Each chef is assigned a SAIT culinary student as an apprentice, handpicked by faculty for their technical skills but also the character to be cooperative and helpful to the chefs as they put their menus together. The catch is that the chefs meet their assigned apprentices the day before the exam, when the food

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order comes in. Chef and apprentice have only a couple hours to brainstorm their strategy as they portion, organize and store their ingredients for the following day. “(The chefs) are expected to teach them some things but not to the point where they stop their own agenda, but saying ‘Hey this is my technique for filleting a fish.’” Malley says. “So as long as they’re making that effort then they don’t get any points deducted for missing an element of the exam.” Some of the stress of examination day was eased by the familiarity among the chefs. “A lot of us are new to SAIT,” Chef Pohorelic said. “Hayato and Scott have been here for 3 years but Andrew and I started at the same time. I think it made sense for us all to do it at the same time.“ “We really have a tight group,” Canning added. “We all know each other from the industry for one, so we’re all friends and we all push each other that way. It’s a friendly, healthy competition.” Once they begin, the chefs ease into their rhythms, briskly pulling supplies from the cooler and dry-storage table, with the apprentices following their lead and careful instructions as to how they want the prep done and dishes constructed. After just an hour, all chefs had their proteins broken down and most courses underway. The mood was not entirely light but the chefs seem to be on the same frequency as their apprentices and humming along quite well. They only became obviously nervous again after an announcement that their first course would soon 46 • October 2013

need to be plated and delivered to the judging room. Plates can show up one minute early and no more than two minutes late before points are deducted, which had a few chefs scrambling to put the finishing touches on their appetizers. Once the first plates had been delivered, the chefs and apprentices quickly darted back to their stations, very much aware of the 30-minute window until the next course was to be finished. This was when everybody’s professionalism shined through. Even as some chefs plated they kept looking over their shoulders at their friends and colleagues to make sure that each and every one of them completed their dishes on time. Every 30 minutes, a bit of organized chaos ensued as each team debuted its next dish and hurried back across the halls until they each finished dropping off their desserts. Awaiting the judge’s scores, the chefs grinned ear-to-ear as they exchanged handshakes and high-fives and congratulated one another as a sense of elation and relief finally set in. Across the hall, the judges didn’t take long to tally the scores before summoning the chefs one-by-one to receive their grades. Judges explained where they excelled and what may have needed more attention. Every single chef passed with flying colours. “It was a marathon right to the end,” Chef Canning said. “We don’t do that anymore so it’s nice to hone your skills again. I tried to have fun with it. I tried

to not stress out and I’m really happy that I pushed myself and I didn’t come here and cook halfway just to get by. I’m really proud of my food.” “It’s a big relief,” Chef Johnston said. “The biggest thing was that since we were with peers, the pressure was a lot more but it was really exhilarating to do it with a lot of friends. If anybody had shaken a little bit or fallen off track, everybody else would have dropped what they were doing and helped them out.” Through the day each chef used that friendship to motivate each other to complete the exam at a high level, and as a result they now each have the Chef de Cuisine Certification; a stepping stone to continue to grow as instructors and chefs. “To me furthering your education isn’t to get somewhere, education is the journey,” Chef Pohorelic said. “Right now I still feel like a new kid on the block with instructing,” Chef Hayato Okamitsu added. “There are so many amazing chefs to work with and so much to learn. I’ve got more than 20 years of cooking but only three years of teaching.” “I want to really improve myself as an instructor. I want to be a master Sensei (laughs)!” Having worked in restaurants since he was 14, Cory translated his passion for food into his journalistic ambitions, not critiquing but meeting the people who make it and finding out what inspires them.

Storing Wine: Custom Cellars By ADRIAN BRYKSA

As a wine enthusiast, there is no experience quite like witnessing a wine evolve and improve with age. While most wine is meant to drink as soon as it is purchased, a small percentage is made to evolve over time and for the drinker to appreciate the transformation. Wine bought for cellaring is both an investment in money and in the enjoyment of drinking mature wine, and it is critical to protect this investment with proper materials and technology. A high-end cellar will allow a collector to achieve these goals, while providing for personal style and design aesthetic. For most aficionados, this process starts by consulting a designer. “No one cellar space or client requirement is the same,” says Shane Watt, owner of Original Cellars. “While all have the same basic underlying requirements, the final design should represent the client’s space and style.” Those base requirements are: physical dimensions, temperature, humidity, UV avoidance, vibration and odour, which are considerations since not everyone

is looking for a subterranean cellar. When creating a cellar on the main floor, designers need to leverage technologies like temperature and humidity control units, and UV filtered glass to ensure the safe vaulting of the wine. “Once we understand those physical requirements, the fun really begins.” says Watt, who has recently designed the new wine cellar within the performing stage for the Bear’s Den restaurant in Bearspaw. There are limitless options of implementing a cellar that will meet the current and future needs of a collection, including number of bottles, variants of bottle formats, racking materials, furniture, flooring, lighting and accents. “We want to craft a space that will become a point of admiration each time the customer encounters it. You just can’t have that experience with an appliance like a wine fridge.” It doesn’t take much searching on the home design website Houzz.com to find inspiring examples such as a gorgeous

backlit cathedral-inspired creation. While these dream designs are enticing, they are not for everyone with costs that can range from low to tens of thousands of dollars. That said, there are collectors out there who want to showcase their investment not only through the wine they buy, but also through the cellar that protects it. Always relevant and never compromising, Adrian is one of the voices behind yycwine.com and has freelanced for Wine Spectator, New York and Good Bottle of Wine, London, England.

Original Cellars originalwinecellars.com Koolspace Wine Cellars Koolspace.ca Genuwine Cellars Inc genuwinecellars.com

storing wine

Custom cellar designers:

storing wine

The Passive Cellar By TOM FIRTH As might be expected, I collect wine. A fair bit of it actually, but I don’t collect it for the value, rather as an investment in my future enjoyment. While most wines are released ready to drink these days, sometimes a well-aged riesling, vintage champagne, or Barolo elevates a mundane meal into a special event. Where do I keep my wine? Nowhere fancy at all. When I bought my house it had a cold storage room in the basement where the previous owners kept whatever it was they kept down there. It has two foundation walls, a concrete floor, and a door, and it’s lit by a creepy 40 watt bulb. Out came the shelves and in went wine racks. My cellar is a passive cellar. It warms and cools gradually with the seasons, typically getting to about 9-10º C during the worst of winter and sometimes as high as about 12-13º C in the thick of summer. It’s dark, vibration-free, and not prone to rapid shifts in temperature, humidity, or subject to intense light. The foundation walls keeps it cool year round, and excessive humidity is never

If considering a passive cellar,

a great resource is “How and Why to build a Wine Cellar” by R. Gold. It’s about $15 on Amazon. com and sometime pops up in used bookstores - also a good book to borrow from a friend. The doors are wide open for racking options and many custom cellar providers also can supply quality racking.

really a problem for most Calgarians. In the distant past, cellars that were too humid would have wines with mouldy labels and corks, and cellars too dry would have corks dry out after a while. These days, most labels are coated paper, and corks are treated in a variety of ways that mean that they don’t quite shrivel up over the years like they used to. The passive cellar has a few drawbacks offset by a few advantages. The biggest advantage of the passive cellar is cost. Including the wine racks and some aesthetic touches, my fully functional cellar cost me around $500. For drawbacks, sometimes the place you want to put your cellar just isn’t the right place for a cellar. Your cellar should be located as far away from your furnace and water heater as it can be. If you have a window in your soon-tobe-cellar, you may want to cover the window completely. A passive cellar is usually best in older homes (that often had a “cold” room or a suitable storage room) or by framing in a small space in an unfinished basement. Tom Firth is the contributing drinks editor for Culinaire Magazine and the competition director for the Alberta Beverage Awards, follow him on twitter @ cowtownwine

storing wine

Here are some fridges to consider:

Danby (Model No. DWC350BLPA) Storage: 35 bottles Price: About $200 at Walmart A small, free-standing fridge for short-term storage, with a programmable digital thermostat, interior light, metal shelves and tempered-glass door.

GE (Model No. GWS04FLRTSC) Storage: 30 bottles Price: About $350 at Home Depot A free-standing, stainless steel fridge with a reversible, tinted-glass door and wooden shelves.

Wine Chillers By DARREN OLEKSYN My first foray at wine storage was a simple one — a freestanding metal rack that held 24 bottles. It was large enough for my small collection of $10 bottles of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. Since it looked nice, I kept it in a prominent spot in the living room where the sun’s searing rays hit it every day. Later I learned I had it in pretty much in the worst possible place. Wine is kind of like Gollum from the Lord of the Rings — it likes quiet, cool, dark, damp places without big temperature swings. But not everyone can keep their precious bottles in a mountain cave. Luckily, there are tons of wine fridges available in a variety of sizes and prices. When buying a fridge think about what you want to use it for, and where you want to keep it. If short-term storage is the goal, a small, built-in fridge in the kitchen will probably work. If the plan is to keep your best bottles at the ideal temperature for the long-term, a larger, free-standing model might be

better. Prices vary widely. Generally, a higher price tag gets you a more precise cooling system, with less wine-irritating vibration and even humidity control. Darren Oleksyn has worked as a journalist for 20 years, covering a variety of subjects. He is a wine columnist with the Calgary Herald and has also written for Up! and Wine Access magazines.

Marvel (Model No. MPRO6DZE-BS) Storage: 44 bottles Price: About $2,700 at Trail Appliances A big jump in price gets you a built-in fridge with two separate temperature zones. It has a stainless steel door with dual-pane tinted glass, slide-out shelves, and alarms that sound if the door is left open, the power goes out, or the temperature changes. Cavavin (Model No. MPRO6DZE-BS) Storage: 149 bottles Price: About $2,800 at Sears A large dual-zone cellar with rollout wooden shelves. Built-in or stand-alone is a bonus if you want to keep it in a den or basement. It has a double-pane glass door with UV protection, humidity control, a defrost feature and a charcoal filter to eliminate odours. Sub-Zero (Model No. 427G) Storage: 132 bottles Price: About $8,500 at Jerome’s Appliance Gallery The Rolls Royce of built-in cellars, with vibration-controlling construction, antiUV door, two zone precise temperature and humidity control, and slick rollout shelves. You can even hook it up to your home alarm system.

Wine Au Naturel By TONYA LAILEY

To the unassuming wine buyer, “natural wine” may sound a lot like “real fruit” or “bacon made from pork” - alarmingly redundant. Jamie Goode, an authority on the subject of natural wine, writes: “I suspect that most consumers would be surprised by the degree of manipulation that does take place with some wines because the popular conception is that wine is a relatively “natural”, additive-free product.”

50 • October 2013

Yet, it is precisely because grape growing and winemaking is, by volume, a highly industrialized business, that a natural wine classification exists. The dominant culture of wine and its mythology (or marketing) remain discrete about the heavy machinery, oak flavoured additives, wildly varying levels of sulphur preservative (with government imposed upper limits), and laboratory tinkering, that are de rigueur in world wine production. In theory, “natural wines” are made with minimal chemical and technological intervention - in both the vineyard and the cellar. Producers of natural wine aim to bring wine as close to its ancient and elemental self as possible, while keeping it stable enough to be bottled and consumed later. Says Nicolas Joly,

proprietor of Chateau de la Roche aux Moines in the Loire Valley and prominent natural wine advocate: “I don’t only want a good wine but also a true wine.” Despite a wave of media attention in 2011, the natural wine moniker continues to confound the consumer. And this is no surprise, since it is a philosophy and not a regulated set of knowable standards. “Natural wine” classifies an ideology within winemaking that encompasses organic and biodynamic approaches while endeavouring for less - less intervention, fewer additives, less technology. Organic and biodynamic classifications have regulating bodies. In Europe, the term “organic wine” cannot appear on

a wine label since sulphur, which is an inorganic compound, is added to preserve wines (it is a microbicide and antioxidant), and there is no agreement on allowable quantities at the lower limit. The legal designation is, instead: “Wine made from organic grapes”. Organic grapes are grown without the aid of synthetic inputs. “Biodynamic” describes a holistic approach wherein the diversity of living relationships on a farm are valued and attended to - human, plant, animal, microbe – as are the energies of the sun, moon and cosmos that resonate through that life. The Demeter association certifies biodynamic farms via regional and national offices. The word biodynamic rarely appears on wine labels. Typically, producers who are committed to this exacting methodology do it quietly, without attempting to leverage their efforts for marketing. The sulphur question is prickly here too. It’s a cloudy conversation, no doubt, but the presence of a natural wine classification on the continuum of industrial to sustainable grape rearing and wine making is important to the future landscape of wine. Makers of natural wine are most concerned with the idiosyncrasies of geography. Makers of high volume brands and those hunting 90 plus scores are more concerned with fashioning products. You could say that natural wine producers are the geeks, the ones doing their own thing. In a way, natural wine producers are the contemporary wine world’s pioneers. The new frontier is actually old territory. It’s a loop back to when synthetic additives and spinning cones weren’t an option. But wine wasn’t such a globetrotting entity back then as it is now, and the consumer population was far less discerning. Wine technology and additives, in particular - sulphur, are responsible for fresh, stable, consistent and travel worthy wines. Natural wines have a reputation for being inconsistent, prone to early oxidation and unfit for

travel. Producers of natural wine may need to subscribe to a different business model too, one that keeps their wines enjoyed closer to home. If you’re curious to know more about “natural wines” read Naked Wine: Letting grapes do what comes naturally, by Alice Feiring and Authentic Wine: Toward natural and sustainable winemaking, by Jaime Goode. Tonya Lailey was born under a Chardonnay vine in Niagara. She’s still got a few toes in the dirt at Lailey Vineyard, though she’s otherwise settled in Alberta, raising kids, selling wine and writing

Below are recommendations for wines that fit a more conventional definition of natural wine.

Domodimonti 2006 Picens, Marche, Italy Sweet and earthy nose from natural wine advocate Domodimonti, the sweet part reminding me of chocolate covered Turkish delight. Lively and bright in the mouth - sweet-sour fruit and earthy edge like Chianti. Drying tannins on the finish. Pair with Valbella Meats charcuterie - Landjäger for sure. Also hunks of Sylvan Star Grizzly Gouda. $33

Laibach Winery 2012 Ladybird White, Stellenbosch, South Africa A combination of chardonnay, chenin blanc and viognier, the final blend shows strong varietal characters of each component with citrus, floral aromas, apricot, and a lengthy, structured finish. Delicious. $19 (Tom Firth)

Bring On The Beer!

By TOM FIRTH, COMPETITION DIRECTOR The beer category at the Alberta Beverage Awards was a lot of fun to organize as well as a great category to watch as the results unfolded. Our beer judges, Kirk, John, and Dave dove right into the task and to watch them judge, it was easy to see that they were not only passionate and knowledgeable about the liquid served blind in their glasses, but also that they were happy to try different styles and judge each sample on their individual merits, rather than with biases for or against certain types. We had an excellent selection of brews from Canada and around the world, but given the incredible range available in Alberta, I would have liked to see more beers in this competition. Craft beers are more popular than ever before, and many are so new to the market that with more entries, we can truly put them to the taste test against their peers. The top scoring beer in the 2013 Alberta Beverage Awards was the local Village Brewery with their refreshing Cucumber Farmhouse Ale, but we also saw 14 Canadian beers win awards, proving that not only do we like beer up here in Canada, but we also know how to make it.

BEST IN CLASS Mill Street Brewery Belgian Wit, Ontario, Canada, $13 (6 pack)

Wheat Beers

Wheat beers can be quite diverse. Although many are refreshingly light and somewhat subtle, some can be extremely complex with dark malt flavours and rich spicy aromas. In any case, most wheat beers tend to follow either the German or Belgian brewing tradition. German wheat beers – usually called Weizen, Hefeweizen, or Weissbier – are often light yet somewhat malty, with the best examples being rich in complex aromas derived from the specialty yeast, combining banana and clove and sometimes even bubble-gum characters. Belgian wheat beers, on the other hand - usually referred to as Witbier – also tend to be a lighter style of beer, though instead of the banana/clove thing they are all about citrus and spice. This is due to the common addition of coriander and orange peels. Wheat beers are perfect food beers. Quite simply they are hard to mess up, due to their general light character and subtle fruitiness. They are light enough to go with salad or even seafood – especially if there is a citrus element. Though, at the risk of sounding repetitive, I absolutely love to pair Hefeweizen with Indian food as well. There is something about the banana and clove quality and the complex spice flavours common in Indian food that are simply amazing together – trust me! (KB)

JUDGES SELECTION Kronenbourg Blanc, France, $14 (6 pack)

Erdinger Weissbier Dunkel, Germany, $4 (500mL) Minhas Microbrewery Lazy Mutt Alberta Wheat Ale, Alberta, Canada $5 (650mL) 52

Ales and Lagers

It’s really quite simple; the difference between these two types of beer is the yeast. Most yeasts for beer generally fall into one of two categories: top fermenting or ale yeasts, and bottom-fermenting or lager yeasts. Top-fermenting yeasts perform their magic at higher temperatures; they typically ferment fairly quickly, usually in a matter of days. So ales can be brewed more quickly and thus have been around much longer (many thousands of years). Because of that longer history, ales have far more variety and complexity than lagers. Lagers are fermented at lower temperatures and the fermentation process can take weeks, or months. The bottom-fermenting yeasts in lagers take longer to impart their distinct characteristics; the term “lager” actually means, “to store.” Lagers are typically smoother, cleaner, and less varied than ales, which in turn, makes them a more accessible beverage for consumers. However, most beer enthusiasts will agree, ales typically trump lagers in ratings and competitions. Beer connoisseurs tend to favour the complexity and bolder flavours of well-made ale over the crisper, easy-drinking style of lager. Lagers are often maligned by association because of the conglomerate-produced, watered-down beer that most North Americans have grown up with. I, like most beer drinkers, started drinking lagers and then eventually found my way to ales. Ales offer more opportunities for me to exercise my tasting muscles because there are more qualities to look for. But recently I have had the good fortune to get to try some really exceptional lagers and I must say I am once again beginning to appreciate the simple and subtle attributes of these great beers. (JP)

JUDGES SELECTION (ALES) BEST IN CLASS Fernie Brewing Company First Trax Brown Ale, British Columbia, Canada $12 (6 pack)

Ales:

Innis & Gunn Canadian Cherry Wood Ale, Scotland, $5 (330mL)

Lager:

Big Rock Brewery Scottish Heavy Ale, Alberta, Canada, $15 (6 pack)

JUDGES SELECTION (LAGER) Guinness Black Lager, Ireland, $14 (6 pack) Philips Beer Analogue 78 Kolsch, British Columbia, Canada, $12 (6 pack)

Mill Street Brewery Organic Lager, Ontario, Canada $13 (6 pack)

JUDGE: JOHN PAPAVACILOPOULOS John Papavacilopoulos is the owner-operator of Oak & Vine Wine and Spirits. After working 20+ years as a senior manager in large retail stores, he left corporate Canada behind and opened his own craft beer/wine shop. He’s a member of the Cowtown Yeast Wranglers and is working on his Cicerone certification. Follow John on Facebook or Twitter @OakandVine.

Grizzly Paw Brewing Company Big Head Nut Brown Ale, Alberta, Canada, $12 (6 pack)

Singha Lager, Thailand, $14, (6 pack)

IPA

It’s currently “IPA o’clock” in Canada. We have definitely developed a palate for hoppy beers and to say that India Pale Ales are all about the hops would be somewhat of an understatement. The style is dependent on liberal additions of hops to create the characteristic bitterness as well as the typical citrus, pine, or even flowery flavours and aromas that IPAs are famous for. As a bit of a hophead myself, I do like me a big bitter IPA every now and then, though for me, the difference between a good and a great example is all in the balance between the massive hop character and the malt; a good IPA shouldn’t be a one trick pony! The top IPA fit this bill quite well. When pairing food with IPAs, go with dishes that can handle the bitterness as well as the hop flavours. Although a fully loaded juicy burger would handle the job nicely (the bitterness would cut through the fat very well), try Indian or Thai – the bitterness and citrus character of many IPAs play very nicely with the heat in the food. (KB)

BEST IN CLASS Muskoka Brewery Twice as Mad Tom IPA, Ontario, Canada, $11 (4 pack)

JUDGES SELECTION (IPA) Fernie Brewing Company Lone Wolf IPA, British Columbia, Canada, $6 (650mL) Muskoka Brewery Mad Tom IPA, Ontario, Canada, $14 (6 pack)

Philips Beer Hop Circle IPA, British Columbia, Canada, $12 (6 pack)

JUDGE: KIRK BODNAR

54

Kirk Bodnar is the Beer Cellar Steward at Charcut Roast House in Calgary, as well as a beer consultant for some of Calgary’s better beer destinations. He is also a certified BJCP beer judge and is working his way through the ranks of the Cicerone Certification Program. Follow him on Twitter @beersnsuch and on Facebook at facebook.com/beersnsuch

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2012 Rum Howler Awards Best Dark/ Amber Mixer

2012 Rum Howler Awards Runner Up Best Flavoured Rum

2012 Best in Class at Miami Rum Renaissance

Fruit Beers

You might eventually talk to a German brewer and if you started talking about fruit beers they may make an angry face because of the Bavarian purity law of 1516, which permits only using water, yeast, barley, and hops - and fruit is not one of them. Belgians on the other hand figured out the way to add fruit to the mix and make it into a magical sensation of sweet and sour characteristics that leave you feeling like you just took a bite out of a ripe or slightly unripe fruit. For me, fruit beers are best enjoyed when they are made the Lambic way which is quite sour, but this way you capture real fruit not sugar, they pair well with just about the same things as Champagne like pâtés, difficult to pair salads, and always wonderful with stinky cheeses. (DG)

BEST IN CLASS

JUDGES SELECTION

Village Brewery Cucumber Farmhouse Ale, Alberta, Canada, $13 (2 L)

Steigl Grapefruit Radler, Austria, $3 (500mL)

Grizzly Paw Brewing Company Beavertail Raspberry, Alberta, Canada, $11 (6 pack)

St Ambroise Apricot Wheat Ale, Quebec, Canada $13 (6 pack)

JUDGE: DAVE GINGRICH

Fondly referred to as ‘The Beer Guy’, David Gingrich brings an infectious passion for beer, and really anything containing alcohol, to Willow Park Wines & Spirits. From judging beer, to the cover of an English magazine, special host on TV show ‘Divine Life’, to hosting beer events at Willow Park, David now has an even greater appreciation and knowledge of beer, and welcomes sharing his expertise.

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Spirits Competition

By TOM FIRTH - COMPETITION DIRECTOR Given the range of styles, prices, and products entered in the spirits category of the 2013 Alberta Beverage Awards, it was a category that I watched closely to see which products would be the favourite of the judges. We worked the palates of our spirits judges hard during the competition, switching flights between white and brown spirits, liqueurs, and everything in between. Asking a panel to score samples and determine the best Añejo tequila, and then to switch gears later to a flight of spiced rum is a difficult task. Our spirits judges were drawn from some of the finest drinking establishments in the city and two retail shops with some of the best whiskies in the world on their shelves. We had Christopher Cho from CHARCUT, Franz Swinton from Añejo, and Nathan Head of Milk Tiger Lounge, while on the retail side we had two of the top whisky experts in the city, Andrew Ferguson of Kensington Wine Market and David Michiels of Willow Park Wines and Spirits, who rounded out the diverse panel. We know you’ll enjoy the results of their hard work and expertise!

Plum Wine & Sake BEST IN CLASS Artisan Sake Maker, Osake Junmai Nama Genshu Sake, BC, Canada, $43

About the only thing Plum Wine and Sake have in common is their Japanese roots. Plum wine is mainly produced in Japan and Korea, and to a lesser extent in China. In Japan fruit wines made from non-grape fruits are called Ume. Plum wines, or ume can vary greatly in sweetness. Sake is the term we in the west associate with Japanese rice wine, though it is actually a generic Japanese term for liquor. In Japan, rice wine is called nihonshu. Sake or nihonshu is made from rice in a process more similar to brewing than wine making. Sakes range in style from dry to savoury to very sweet. Some are served at different temperatures to different effect. Many of the sakes available in North America today are actually brewed here. (AF)

JUDGES SELECTION Seol Joong Mae Plum Wine, South Korea, $12

Artisan Sake Maker, Osake Junmai Nama, $35

JUDGE: ANDREW FERGUSON Andrew has been at Kensington Wine Market since 2003 as the In-House Single Malt Scotch expert and comanager, and has been organizing and guiding premium whisky tours in Scotland (fergusonswhiskytours.com) since 2008. Andrew has been a contributor for Culinaire Magazine since the beginning. 58

Tequila I found this to be a tough category for me to judge, as I have tasted at least 250 tequilas in the last year and they got in my head a bit, not to mention that we were tasting blancos, reposados and añejos against each other. But tequila is all about preference. Personally, I tend to gravitate to agave-forward tequilas in the blanco and reposado categories, although the average consumer looks for a softer, less aggressive style. I would be happy to enjoy a cerveza and any of these quality tequilas neat at home. But I also would choose my tequila seasonally, blanco in the dead of summer, reposado in the spring and the aged añejo in the winter. They could all make a great Margarita, but neat is for sure the way to go. Try out a tequila Manhattan, I like a touch of agave syrup to add a touch of sweetness, red vermouth and bitters of your choice, and it’s sure to get you where you need to go. (FS)

JUDGES SELECTION

BEST IN CLASS

www.lemonhartrum.com

Lunazul Reposado Tequila, Mexico, $45 Uno Mas Tequila Añejo, Mexico, $47

El Amo Edicion Premium Añejo, Mexico, $75

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Lunazul Blanco Tequila, Mexico, $45

El Amo 100% Reposado, Mexico, $43

JUDGE: FRANZ SWINTON Franz has been bartending in Calgary for a decade. He cut his teeth in Dubai, and has been a staple atop many of the city’s cocktail competitions since. Franz was recently named Canada’s most imaginative bartender, at the world championships in Italy. He is a VP with the Canadian Professional Bartenders Association Alberta and currently Bar Manager at Añejo restaurant.

300 years

of expertise, simply this is a taste of tradition!

www.no3gin.com

Rye/Canadian Whiskey Although still colloquially referred to as Rye, most Canadian whiskies today are produced with little to no rye in their grain bill. For decades, spirit made from corn has been used for the bulk of the body of most Canadian whiskies. Interestingly the two top performing Canadian whiskies tasted by our panel both have high rye contents. The addition of rye to the mashbill can add a lot of weight and flavour to the whisky. In the case of a Rye and Coke made with a 100% rye, like Alberta Premium, the rye will almost always wash out the flavour of the coke. Not that I’d suggest mixing a good Rye Whiskey with coke… The Best in Class Canadian whiskey came from Wiser’s; we enjoyed the elegant, floral, and creamy character with a mix of grains evident, finishing with a hint of sweet corn with spicy rye notes. (AF)

BEST IN CLASS Rye:

Wiser’s Legacy, Canada, $47

JUDGES SELECTION Highwood Distillers Ninety 20 Year Old Over-proof Canadian Whisky, Canada, $40

Dark Horse, Canada, $29

Lot 40, Canada, $43

Bourbon:

Buffalo Trace, Kentucky, USA, $40

Bourbon/American Whiskey Not all American whiskies are Bourbons, but Bourbon can only be made in the US. Bourbon may be the spirit that America is most famous for, but a boom in craft distilling has seen a proliferation of other whiskey styles. Our purview was mostly restricted to Bourbon, but there were also a few Tennessee whiskies in contention. Tennessee Whiskey being a style where the spirit is mellowed through filtering in sugar maple charcoal before aging in oak. (AF)

JUDGES SELECTION Evan William Black Label, Kentucky, USA, $27

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Scotch Whisky Over the years, I have found that the best scotch for the occasion depends on the season. During the summer months I find Scotch aged in Bourbon casks are easier to drink as they typically have a shorter finish with hints of vanilla that doesn’t linger long on the tongue. When the weather is cooler, during the spring and fall, I prefer to drink Scotch that has spent time in a Sherry cask for it has a longer finish and notes of dried fruit, which I find offers just the perfect amount of warmth. Finally, during the winter months, I find that Scotches with good peat and smoke are the way to go as they give you a warm feeling inside. What people should remember is that scotch is a social drink, and is meant to be shared with family and friends. There is no such thing as a bad Scotch, you just may have picked the wrong time of year to drink a particular scotch. (DM)

JUDGES SELECTION

BEST IN CLASS

GlenGlassaugh Master Distillers Selection, Scotland, $700 (Exclusive to Kensington Wine Market)

Scotch:

Ardbeg 10, Scotland, $73

Cutty Sark Storm Blended Scotch, Scotland, $35

Cognac/Armagnac Cognac is one of those touchy subjects when it comes to spirit purists and mixologists. Do you ruin the craftsmanship that the distiller painstakingly worked on by blending it or using in a mixed drink? Obviously I’m not about to take the beautiful Hennessy Paradis and mix it with your run-of-the-mill mixes, but the other cognacs and brandys were very mixable and wouldn’t cost you a couple of brown bills for a single cocktail. If you haven’t had the pleasure of a Sazerac this would be a great time to get your hands on some Peychaud’s bitters and get yourself acquainted. 2 oz cognac, sugar, Peychaud’s and a Pastis washed glass. Stir, pour into chilled washed glass, garnish with lemon peel, put on some jazz and chill New Orleans style. (FS)

JUDGES SELECTION

Cognac:

Hennessy Paradis Imperial Cognac, France, $2500-$2800

Comte De Lauvia XO Imperial 12 YR Armagnac, France, $55 Pierre Ferrand 1840 Special Edition Cognac, France, $60

JUDGE: DAVID MICHIELS David is the Resident Scotch Expert at Willow Park Wines & Spirits, with over 15 years experience buying and selling exclusive single malts, and conducting Scotch Whisky tastings. On a recent trip to Scotland, David was inducted into the Keepers of the Quaich; a society of Scotland’s whisky distillers to advance the industry and raise funds for charitable causes in Scotland.

61

Vodka Well, vodka was a tough category to judge for our panel, as it really isn’t one of our favourite spirit categories. As a whole we judged vodka not so much as a flavourless neutral spirit but looked for depth and a somewhat clean finish on the palate. There were definitely a few brands that stood out, but the bartending crew felt that all were very mixable vodkas. Vodka is funny because each consumer wants different things from it; depending on how you drink it, each will have its own strengths. Some were great for on the rocks or chilled with pronounced notes of citrus or vanilla. Others would be ideal for a mixed drink with long, even grassy finishes. (FS)

BEST IN CLASS

JUDGES SELECTION

Vodka:

Burnett’s Vodka, USA, $24

ABSOLUT Elyx, Sweden $45

New Amsterdam Vodka, USA, $23

Khortytsa Platinum Vodka, Ukraine, $24

Tito’s Handmade Vodka, USA, $33

Flavoured Vodka:

Finlandia Grapefruit Vodka, Finland, $29

Flavoured Vodka Flavoured vodkas are not all that new; the first commercial ones were introduced more than three decades ago. The last few years however have seen a dramatic proliferation in them, with producers launching variants ranging from peanut butter and bacon to marshmallow and whipped cream. Name a flavour for your vodka, and chances are someone has already produced it. Judges were impressed by the Finlandia’s balance and subtlety. The spirit and flavours were well-blended and did not feel artificial. (AF)

JUDGES SELECTION Spirit Bear Espresso Vodka, Canada, $40

Smirnoff Sorbet Light Raspberry Pomegranate, USA, $29 62

Gin

The gin category was all quite close for me, I found that the botanical depth was quite strong through the lot. The level of quality of botanicals makes it very difficult to choose, as the gins were all good. I think some of the uniqueness of some of the gins, like Beefeater 24, were overlooked for the more classic gin styles from some of the other offerings. Good tonic (we have so much to choose from these days, try Fentiman’s, Fever Tree or Q), a good measure of gin and lemon peel-not a lime, and I will never complain on a hot day in Calgary. (FS)

JUDGES SELECTION

BEST IN CLASS

Spirit Bear Okanagan Gin, Canada, $40

Gin:

No.3 Gin, Netherlands, $47

Beefeater 24, United Kingdom, $39

New Amsterdam Gin, USA, $25

Liqueurs The Liqueurs category was probably the most difficult to judge, having a very broad range of styles and base spirits employed. We sampled whisky and cognac based liqueurs, cream liqueurs, limoncellos, and much more. The top two liqueurs were both American whiskey liqueurs. This may have something to do with the complexity of an aged base spirit adding to the depth of liqueurs flavour profiles for the judges this year. Whisper Creek’s Tennessee Sipping Cream is Tennessee’s answer to Bailey’s-rich and creamy with a pleasant, natural palate. (AF)

Liqueur:

Whisper Creek (Cream Liqueur), USA, $32

JUDGES SELECTION: Evan Williams Honey Reserve, USA, $30

Menthe Pastille, France, $27

Maya Horchata (Cream Liqueur), USA, $20

63

Rum This was a very interesting category as we dealt with various ages of rums and even had flights of spiced rum in the mix. Personally I was surprised how much I enjoyed the spiced rums in the competition. I found beautiful Christmas tones like allspice, cloves and cinnamon. The easy choice would be eggnog but I think made as an Old Fashioned with a touch of citrus peel, these rums would shine. A beautiful cigar and a patio wouldn’t hurt either come to think of it, for best enjoying these rums. (FS)

BEST IN CLASS

JUDGES SELECTION

Rum:

Plantation 5 Year Old Rum, Barbados, $38

Mount Gay XO Rum, Barbados, $42

Legendario - Ron Anejo, Cuba, $50

Goslings Family Reserve Rum, Bermuda, $73

One Barrel 5 Year, Belize, $40

Spiced Rum Spiced Rum:

Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum, USA, $27

The first spiced rums were created to hide poor quality spirit, and often to make up for the lack of aging in oak casks. Today spiced rums are one of the hottest segments of the spirits category, popular with both bartenders and consumers. We sampled a broad range of spiced rums most of which were good representations of the style. A couple stood out, and not the most expensive ones either. The Captain Morgan Black rose to the top with a soft nose, but big on the palate. Dark and spicy with brown sugars, fruit, and molasses. (AF)

JUDGES SELECTION Lemon Hart Navy Spiced Rum, Guyana, $30

Admiral Vernon’s - Old J Spiced Rum, United Kingdom, $32

Lamb’s Black Sheep Rum, Canada, $22

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Still Life By JEFF COLLINS

December and January were interesting months for people in the business of booze. The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission was in a mood for change. If you make any kind of alcohol for sale in the province, you need a license from the AGLC to do it legally. Last winter, the Commission asked people in the industry if getting a license was too tough and required too much of an investment in equipment. “That’s the rub in all of this,” says Bill Robinson, the President and CEO of the AGLC, “In the entire discussion around liquor, the balance is how you equate a market... it’s how you level the marketplace to provide innovation and the growth of small business in the province of Alberta with the large manufacturer who (already) exists in the marketplace.” Right now, you have to be big to be a distiller in Alberta. Your still must be able to produce 250,000 litres of pure alcohol to be licensed by the AGLC. If you operate a still any smaller, you can’t get a license, and you slip from manufacturer to moonshiner. “There is some really interesting history that goes on with the old time moonshiners back in the days of prohibition, but that’s not who I am and that’s not what I do.” What Steve Cage can do is sell you a still for little more than a well-tricked out pick-up truck. His company, Artisan Still Design, has one model that will convert about 230 litres of mash into roughly 22 litres of pure alcohol. He operates out of Lethbridge but deals mostly with clients in the US. He appeared before the Commission to

support changes to the current system of licenses. However, he is not optimistic.

of rules or regulations that will make it very difficult to start a craft distillery.”

“I would really love to see the definition of a new class of distilled producer as being an artisanal class, or craft class, of producer. I don’t think that is necessarily what’s going to happen. They are either going to eliminate the minimum requirements or create a different licensing structure that all distillers will fall under which then will still leave a lot

The Board of the Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission will decide if there is an appetite for change in its licensing of both breweries and distilleries at a meeting this fall. Jeff Collins is a retired Calgary broadcaster; he is an avid target shooter and hunter, and an enthusiastic, if not entirely competent, cook. 

winner, “best in clAss”

winner, “best vodkA” And double gold medAls

Handcrafted luxury. Absolut® elyx is mAde of single estAte wheAt from the råbelöf cAstle in southern sweden. eAch bAtch is distilled by hAnd in A 1921 copper still to creAte A remArkAbly silky vodkA.


Culinaire #2:5 (october 2013)