Formerly City Palate
The flavour of Edmontonâ€™s food scene | January February 2012 | thetomato.ca
A woman in the kitchen A dozen professional cooks share their stories
CITY HAUL Visit us year round.
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Contents editor Mary Bailey email@example.com
publisher BGP Publishing
copy editor Amanda LeNeve
designer Bossanova Communications Inc.
contributing writers Peter Bailey Jan Hostyn Kristine Kowalchuk Judy Schultz Kathy Somerville
illustration/photography Gerry Rasmussen RAW manipulations, Curtis Cheriwchan To Be In Pictures
design and prepress Bossanova Communications Inc.
distribution The Globe and Mail For editorial inquires, information, letters, suggestions or ideas, contact The Tomato at 780-431-1802, fax 780-433-0492, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For advertising information call 780-431-1802.
the tomato is published six times per year: January/February March/April May/June July/August September/October November/December
6 10 18 20
At the Mercy of the New Moon & the Fox Ice fishing at Jackfish Lake | Kristine Kowalchuk
A Woman in the Kitchen A dozen professional cooks share their stories | Mary Bailey
Comfort Food Warm your winter with baked beans | Kathy Somerville
The Kids are All Right The Staff Meal Collective | Mary Bailey
5 8 14 16 22 24 26
Dish Gastronomic happenings around town
Feeding People Janâ€™s cocoa | Jan Hostyn
In Season What would cooks do without the onion? | Mary Bailey
The Proust Culinary Questionnaire Jan Trittenbach, excutive chef Pack Rat Louie
Beer Guy New Beer Resolutions | Peter Bailey
Kitchen Sink Whatâ€™s new and notable
According to Judy Summer on the sandbar | Judy Schultz
Cover: Chef Doreen Prei, sous chef Zinc Restaurant. Photo by To Be In Pictures.
by BGP Publishing 9833 84 Avenue Edmonton, AB T6E 2G1 780-431-1802 Subscriptions are available for $25 per year.
KeepEdmontonOriginal.com Exercise your power as a consumer thoughtfully.
The Tomato | January February 2012 3
Love wine? Take a WSET class with The Art Institute of Vancouver.
Level 2 Intermediate Studies in Wines & Spirits Mondays, Jan 9 - Mar 26 No classes Family Day weekend.
Level 1 Foundation in Wine & Wine Service Thursdays, Feb 16- Mar 8
Love French wine?
Become a French Wine Scholar. Mondays, Jan 9 - Mar 13 No classes Family Day weekend.
To register www.winecollege.ca or 1-800-667-7288 Highly practical and exciting professional wine education programs by the London based Wine Spirit Education Trust (WSET) are designed to satisfy every palate; novice, enthusiast and expert. WSET is considered the gold standard and is offered in over 50 countries, The Art institute of Vancouver, shortlisted for WSET Educator of the Year and awarded the 2009 WSET Highly Commended Trophy, offers WSET programs in Edmonton.
gastronomic happenings around town |
I love Paris in the springtime
beyond food and wine
Books going to Paris to compete in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards: Island Wineries of British Columbia (EAT Magazine); Spilling the Beans by Julie Van Rosendaal and Sue Duncan (Whitecap); Back to Baking by Anna Olson (Whitecap); Everyday Exotic by Roger Mooking (Whitecap); Bal’s Quick and Healthy Indian by Bal Arneson (Whitecap); How to Cook Bouillabaisse in 37 Easy Steps by Diane Shaskin and Mark Craft (Voconces Culinary). Last year, 8000 books were entered and 230 Best in Worlds were awarded in various categories. Congratulations to all Canadian category winners and good luck in Paris!
Did you know that terpenes, a form of hydrocarbon, are responsible for rosemary’s heady aroma? Terpenes are also found in the wine grapes muscat and riesling, citrus fruits and spruce needles. Taste Buds and Molecules is chock full of this sort of highly technical information; also diagrams, lists, recipes, photos, illustrations and the science behind why beer and hot peppers are an accident waiting to happen. Francois Chartier is a Quebec sommelier in demand for his molecular approaches. Think of Francois as Harold McGee’s (On Food and Cooking) liquid counterpoint. Taste Buds and Molecules: The Art and Science of Food with Wine, Francois Chartier (M&S, $39.99)
Hurrah for Fan Fare! Edmonton chef/writer Sally Vaughan Johnston teamed up with the Best of Bridge ladies to produce their all-new Fan Fare! cookbook. With easy, well-written recipes in the popular ring binder format, Fan Fare will keep Bridgers happy and gain new fans for the successful series. Sally has a light touch, the recipes display sound technique, yet she is not above using the occasional prepared food such as frozen hash browns or dried noodle packets — a boon to busy home cooks. Fan Fare! Best of Bridge Cookbook (Robert Rose, $29.95)
Like wine? Read this book! Anybody who serves or drinks wine in a restaurant should read this book. Anyone who says they love wine should read this book. Jordan Mackay delves into the world of the sommelier not for the celebrity dirt or the don’t order fish on Monday stories, but to find out what makes the best soms in the world tick. Rajat Parr is considered one of the world’s best palates. His take on wine is intelligent yet humble. Secrets is thoughtful, precise, and most of all, illustrates that wine is about people and enjoyment — no matter what its score. Secrets of the Sommeliers (Rajat Parr and Jordan Mackay, (Ten Speed Press, $37.50)
everyday cookbook The Art of Eating Magazine is a delight due to Ed Behr’s voice and compelling way with food. The cookbook, a collection of recipes from 25 years of the magazine, is just as compelling. It makes you want to cook, right now. The instructions are personal and precise (from the recipe for turnip gratin, page 122: grind in pepper and a few gratings of nutmeg, just enough to detect). You’ll find yourself perusing the Art of Eating daily, as much for its lyrical prose as for its great dinner ideas. The Art of Eating: Essential recipes from the first 25 years, Ed Behr (University of California Press, $39.95)
sugar, honey honey Annie Dam, owner of Cake Couture Cake Boutique in Edmonton has created a fabulous, visually appealing how-to book with detailed instructions and wonderful photography. You could make your own specialty cake. Or you could call Annie and order one of these fantastic creations. Either way, you’re a winner. Cake Couture: Modern Sugar-craft for the Stylish Baker, Annie Dam (Firefly Books, $19.95)
The Tomato | January February 2012 5
k r i s t i n e Kowa l c h u k
At the mercy
of the new
moon & the fox
I’ve been a vegetarian since I was fifteen.
It began as simply a teenage girl thing to do: my sister quit eating meat, and so I did too. (Her conversion was particularly exasperating for our parents, as it occurred between her ordering filet mignon at an expensive restaurant, and the arrival of the dish.) But I continued to eat fish and shellfish; at some point, I realized they were different because they were animals I was willing to dispatch with myself. I could never kill a deer or a cow or a chicken, but I’ve shucked oysters, steamed mussels and clams, even collected sea urchins — and enjoyed eating them all. Fish, I told myself, I could do in, too. Except I never did. Then my friend Cindy’s Uncle Les invited us to go ice fishing. It was a lastminute thing to take advantage of the new moon, he said, when the fish bite the best. This was my chance to act on my principles. So, for the first time in my life, I bought a fishing license. It was mid-January, and minus twenty-nine the morning of the new moon when I got up at 5:30, packed peanut butter sandwiches, and piled on the warmest clothing I could find — including an oversized down parka with a moth-eaten, coyote-fur collar and a pair of fuchsia and turquoise Sorel boots. Cindy and I drove out to Uncle Les’ in Redwater (she was wearing the same parka — we’d worked at Eddie Bauer together in university), and we squeezed into the back of his truck next to the tackle box, a bottle of Baileys and a bag of maggots. Then we drove north, just as the pink sunrise revealed bush covered in hoarfrost and Ukrainian churches rising like iced cakes in the frozen fields. We spotted a moose, a coyote mid-pounce over a mouse, and even a fox, which Uncle Les said was a good sign the fish would bite. When we arrived at Jackfish Lake, Uncle Les’ fishing friend Gord and his grandson Tyler were already there, surrounded by a half-dozen holes in the
6 January February 2012 | The Tomato
ice. As Gord set up a small black nylon tent, Uncle Les handed Cindy and me each a stick the length of a ruler — mine was a piece of baseboard, Cindy’s was an old Color Your World paint stirrer — with fishing line tied around it and a maggot on the end. I thought it was a joke. But no, Uncle Les turned over a 12-gallon pail next to a hole, dropped in his line, and he was fishing. No casting, no fancy reeling, no skill, really, as far as I could see. We were at the mercy of the new moon and the fox. Ice fishing is not quite social. The distance between everyone, stuck next to his or her respective hole, makes for somewhat sparse talk. But as we waited, and waited, Tyler did occasionally wander over to my spot to offer instruction. He taught me I had to stir the water in my fishing hole from time to time, to keep it from freezing over. Then, that I had to break the ice off my line. And when I lost my maggot, he replaced it. Then he’d go back to, and stay in, the tent, where the darkness apparently allowed one to see the fish down the hole. Midmorning, I couldn’t feel my fingers and toes. None of us had even had a bite. Cindy asked if I wanted a cup of hot chocolate and Baileys; of course I did. We drank it in the truck with the heater on, and Uncle Les mouthed a word at us that suggested in no uncertain terms that we were wimps. When we went back out, he said: “if you get cold again, I’ll make you auger some holes by hand.” Uncle Les and Gord decided to expand the chances of catching a fish, and set up a line tied to a plastic milk jug that was just larger than an augered hole. No one was using the tent and I thought it might be warmer inside, so I took a turn. Tyler zipped the door shut and it was suddenly black as night. I looked at the hole with its cloudy grey water and realized I was terrified of catching a fish zipped into the darkness on my own. Before even dropping my line, I wanted out.
Thankfully, excitement began shortly afterward outside and I forgot my frozen fingers and toes. Cindy caught three fish, and Uncle Les and Gord each caught four. I still hadn’t caught anything, so when Cindy felt another bite, she and I traded spots. A minute later, she caught another fish, at my spot. But then it happened: I felt a tug, an unmistakable tug. I pulled, and began the slightly awkward motion of winding the line up around my baseboard stick. And suddenly, there it was: a perch, beautiful silver, green and orange body flopping around on the ice. Tyler ran up with a broken hockey stick and hit the fish square between the eyes and it was all over. I had (with help) taken responsibility for my meal.
Gather dough into a ball and knead it until it is smooth. Let dough rest in refrigerator for half an hour.
¾ c (or more) dried bread crumbs ¼ t
Tyler rebaited my hook — much worse than catching a fish — and I caught four more perch, and Cindy caught two. Uncle Les and Gord each caught seven; the moon and the fox came through for them. Tyler caught four, and the milk jug caught one: a relatively large jackfish that wasn’t as pretty as the perch. By this point, our shadows were long on the ice, and we called it a day. Uncle Les and Gord cleaned all the fish (thanks again, Uncle Les and Gord) and told Cindy and me to eat ours that evening. We were tired and chilled and had really bad hair from the toques we’d worn under our parka hoods. But the perch were delicious. And now I can say: it tastes even better when you catch it yourself. Kristine Kowalchuk still won't bait her own hook.
fish pot pie biscuit dough
6 medium carrots, sliced into 1 cm rounds 3 medium leeks, sliced into 1 cm rounds 2 cloves
chopped fresh dill
salt and pepper to taste
fresh fish fillets, chopped
coarse salt for sprinkling
In a large pot, melt oil and butter. Add carrots and leeks and sauté approximately seven minutes, until the leeks are golden. Lower heat; add garlic. Cover and sweat vegetables for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly about one minute — until light brown and frothy. Stir in white wine. Add milk, dill, salt and pepper. Bring sauce to a gentle boil, then simmer about three minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove filling from heat. Stir in fish.
assembly Spoon filling into ramekins or individual soup pots. Roll out biscuit dough and cut into four circles. Brush egg wash over ramekin edges. Place biscuit circles on top of ramekins. Brush dough with egg wash. Sprinkle a little coarse salt on top of dough.
Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes, until biscuits are golden brown.
Makes 4 fish pot pies.
milk or cream
fresh fish fillets
chopped fresh dill
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 t water, to make egg wash In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in milk or cream and herbs until mixture comes together.
¼ T chopped fresh parsley or chives, or a mixture 1
egg yolk, beaten
juice from ½ lemon
Simmer about 2 cm of water in a large skillet. Season fish and add to pan. Cover pan and simmer fish over low heat until just done, about 6-8 minutes. Set aside and let fish cool slightly, then pat completely dry. Flake fish into a medium bowl, removing any bones. Add yogurt, parsley/chives, egg yolk, mustard, lemon juice, 6 T of the bread crumbs, pepper and remaining ¼ t salt. Stir to combine. Shape mixture into eight round cakes. Roll cakes in remaining bread crumbs and pat off excess. Heat 2 T oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add fish cakes and cook until brown and crisp on one side, about 2-3 minutes. Add a bit more oil, turn cakes and cook 2-3 minutes longer. Drain on paper towels. Serve with aïoli or curried mayonnaise. Serves 4.
fish pâté Kathryn Joel, Get Cooking: “The original is from Tamasin Day-Lewis’s Kitchen Bible. I've stuck to the ingredients list, but changed the quantities a little, and added parsley as a garnish. The fillets weighed 160g with skin on. I used 2 tablespoons crème fraiche, but best to adjust this to get the right texture depending on how dry the trout is.” 2 fillets
Where to find
The term local fish is a bit of a misnomer as most of the northern pickerel is from Manitoba and Saskatchewan lakes. Occasionally, Alberta fish does enter the market and trout is farmed here. In any case, it’s wise to call first or order a few weeks before you may need it. Your best bets are the following: Rebekah’s at the Old Strathcona Farmers Market. A newish vendor at Strathcona with frozen northern fish. Ocean Odyssey Inland, 10027 167 Street (780 930-1901), also at the City Market in City Hall and on 104 Street come summer. K and K Foodliner, 9944 82 Avenue (780 439-6913), has excellent smoked trout. It’s also the best source for schmaltz (chicken fat), in case you were wondering. Fin's Seafood Distributors, 298 Cree Road Sherwood Park (780 449-3710). Most chefs get their fish from Fin’s. They are an excellent resource in the hunt for local fish.
2 freshly grated horseradish, or to taste
juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
flat-leaf parsley, chopped
fresh-cracked black pepper
Skin the trout fillets and flake the flesh into a bowl. Mix in the cream cheese and crème fraiche (adding a little more crème fraiche if necessary to make a spreadable pâté). Mix in the lemon juice and grated horseradish to taste, and season with black pepper. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve. The Tomato | January February 2012 7
| jan hostyn
Jan’s cocoa Here it is, my little secret. Well, secret might be a bit strong. Let’s just call it my thing, my indulgence... okay, my obsession. I — a fully grown, sometimes mature and rapidly aging adult — am totally addicted to hot chocolate. Yup, not coffee, not tea, but that oh-so-adult beverage, hot chocolate. Not just any hot chocolate, mind you. Cocoa. Homemade, carefully concocted, highly evolved cocoa. Whenever I say “cocoa” to anyone, though, I’m often met with a confused, glazed-over, what-theheck-is-she-talking-about look — even from my kids. So, for the sake of simplicity, and since it is hot and divinely chocolaty, let’s just call it hot chocolate.
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10/19/09 9:43:47 AM
It all started years ago with my mom, her big pot, some milk and a tin of Fry’s cocoa powder along with a few glugs of honey and some cream — copious amounts of cream, actually. She’s Ukrainian, after all. The pot came into play because there were no magical microwaves back then and, with five demanding stomachs to fill, making hot chocolate was always an in-bulk endeavour. I remember it as being rich and creamy and beyond yummy, something I always wanted more of. It was served in a tiny little mug festooned with cheery little elves, similar to the one my dad downed his morning coffee from, only his was bigger and sadly lacking in the elf department. And the most exciting part? I was always allowed to plunk exactly ten carefully-counted-out miniature marshmallows on top.
Oh, and I didn’t add cream — I was trying my best to embrace the whole moderation-and-control thing. I still used Fry’s cocoa, I still used honey and I still topped it with mini marshmallows. Always more than ten, though. And although I made it often, it still wasn’t enough — the moderation-and-control mantra again. And then a wonderful thing happened: I became pregnant and needed milk. Doctor’s orders, you know. And so my nightly hot chocolate ritual was born. That ritual has since taken on a life of its own, morphing into something of an addiction that my obsessive-compulsive self refuses to relinquish — even when it’s a sweltering 32 degrees outside.
We moved to a farm — a real one with cows and pigs and chickens and the like — and, thanks to a plethora of cream, the hot chocolate got even creamier. My ten marshmallows were replaced with mounds of whipped cream (not by choice, I might add), and the mugs got bigger. Essentially, though, it was still the same drink. Back then, I didn’t have hot chocolate every night. Far from it. My mother would have had a fit. But I did have it whenever I could coerce her into making it for me. Once I grew up, I enthusiastically unleashed my own hot chocolatemaking powers. My creations resembled my mom’s, but with a few minor changes: microwaves had been invented — yay — rendering the more labourintensive pot method obsolete and, since my stomach was the only stomach around that needed satisfying, I could focus all of my energy on a single, solitary cup.
Exactly what ends up in my mug at the end of the day is in a constant state of evolution. Cayenne, salt and cinnamon have all found their way in, only to find their way out again. I went through a soy milk phase, followed by an almond milk phase, followed by an a-little-bitof-each phase. I added caramel and then I didn’t. Oh, and I ditched the marshmallows ages ago. I couldn’t have any unnecessary distractions muting the pure, chocolaty bliss of my hot chocolate. I have to say, my current concoction is quite the keeper: a few heaping teaspoons of cocoa — half Callebaut, half Dutch process — a five-second squeeze of honey, a splash of vanilla and a couple of spoonfuls of skim milk powder, all topped off with skim milk. I mix it and warm it, give it another stir, and then treat it to a final blast of heat. Oh, and that milk? It absolutely has to go to the very top of the mug, much to the chagrin of husbands and floors and carpets. Why? There’s nothing like a full mug of cocoa to transport me back to childhood, in the best possible way. Jan Hostyn always tries to maintain some degree of moderation — except when it comes to anything chocolate.
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The Tomato | January February 2012 9
Carla Alexander executive chef /co-owner MARKT “My experience with woman cooks is: sure we’ll get together and have wine, but after a shift we’d go home and look at cookbooks.”
Professional cooking Mary Bailey
with photos by To Be In Pictures
is not for the faint of heart, however glamourous it may look on the Food Network. It has a rep for being one of the more macho trades. It’s one that, in Edmonton, few women have achieved what is considered the pinnacle — executive chef positions in operations with multi-million dollar budgets. What we do have: extremely talented women doing their own thing — owning restaurants, creating food products, running catering operations, and as second in command at the Shaw and at Zinc.
10 January February 2012 | The Tomato
in the kitchen
Carla Alexander, executive chef and co-owner MARKT
would drop things; I couldn’t hold a pork loin in one hand.
Originally, Carla wanted to be a food photographer, but ended up taking the two-year commercial cooking program at NAIT.
“Now, after lugging 50 litre soup kettles at Soul Soup for four years, strength is not an issue.
“I worked at Pack Rat Louie for three years,” says Carla. “Barbara Lipanauer, the chef de cuisine then, taught me discipline and I started to develop the metal toughness you need. Then, with Brad Lazarenko. I consider Barbara, Peter Johner (then owner) and Brad as mentors.
“I do think that suck-it-up culture leads to people bottling up. Many cooks find relief in cocaine, cigarettes, pot and 20 cups of coffee a day. My experience with woman cooks is a bit different. Sure we’ll get together and have wine but generally after a shift we’d go home and look at cookbooks.
“I was the little black girl in the beanie. I had to prove myself. Burn your finger? Suck it up. Not feeling well? Too bad. Wash your hands, put an apron on, and get to it. I
“I went to Culina to work with Brad. Culina was also the first kitchen I had worked in with lots of women — it’s inspiring.
“Brad said we should go into business together, and we opened up Soul Soup with Sal Di Maio.
“I chose a Michelin star restaurant called First Floor. I was lucky get in.
“From that came MRKT where food is meant to be shared. It’s a modern indoor picnic, people elbow to elbow sharing food.
“In 2006, my partner Carrie and I decided to move to Dublin. I cooked in the Four Seasons there and worked with my first Canadians. ‘We have to move to Canada,’ I had said to Kari. ‘Canadians are super super nice.’
“I’m hands-on. This is what I do; it’s what I love.
Lupe Ratcliffe, executive sous chef Shaw Conference Centre Lupe has spent her entire cooking career at the Shaw. No wonder she considers the Shaw’s executive chef Simon Smotkowicz her mentor. But there was also Annette, the chef de partie who comforted Lupe with a kind ‘never mind’ when things were not going well in the beginning. “To succeed in cooking you have to enjoy it, you have to focus, and you need personal support,” says Lupe. “I met my husband Tony when we were both on vacation in Acapulco. We married and I came to Canada shortly after. My friends and coworkers thought I was crazy. I didn’t speak English. I couldn’t nurse (her profession at the time) so I took an introduction to cooking course at Keyano College. “When we moved to Edmonton, I started part time at the Shaw. Two days later it was: ‘can you come tomorrow?’ From that, I became the executive sous chef. “I oversee the hot and cold kitchen on a daily basis, including purchasing. My role is active management. I work with the team on the line; I am rarely sitting. “Our local food initiative started with one per cent of our food budget — it’s way beyond that now. All our carrots, onions and potatoes are local year ‘round. We work with the local companies Centennial and Full Course Strategies to source from farmers like Spring Creek Ranch and Irvings.
Doreen Prei, sous chef Zinc restaurant, Art Gallery of Alberta Doreen was a university student in Berlin when she discovered cooking by accident in a Mexican restaurant where she was the dishwasher. “One night the cook was sick and the manager asked if I could fill in,” says Doreen. “I went to the line and started cooking. That was it! I was never sure what I wanted to do until I discovered the pots and pans. “I’m from East Germany. I had never seen basil or eggplants. Before the wall fell it was pretty basic, we had cabbage and berries. “The German system works like this: you go to school for one day a week learning basic skills, wine, coffee, maths for the business side of cooking, health, safety and nutrition and for four days you work at a restaurant of your choosing.
Lupe Radcliffe, executive sous chef, Shaw Conference Centre “When you need to cut veg for 3000 people, you have to be able to work as a team.”
“In the German system they push hard for the first year — they break you down and then build you back up. I cried at home, never in the kitchen. “Maybe this system could be a bit more like Germany’s: push, but in a nice Canadian way. “Next was a Ritz Carlton opening near Dublin with a Gordon Ramsay restaurant. I was there for 10 months until Carrie became a professor at University of Alberta. “The sous chef at Gordon Ramsay had worked at Fairmont and sent my cv. I started at Hotel MacDonald and within six weeks was the sous chef in the Harvest Room. “Then I met Dave (David Omar, executive chef) who asked me to come to Zinc pre-opening. We do have to play it safe here in Edmonton sometimes. People expect an art gallery restaurant to be cheap cafeteria-style food, not a nice fine dining room. “My biggest adjustment is that almost everything is frozen — meats, fish. Our catch of the day depends on what we can get that’s good and fresh. During her time at Zinc, Doreen gave birth to Leopold, now 16 months old. “The pace at Zinc is much more suited to family life. I can work 8-10 hours per day rather than 12-14, or the 16 in Europe when I was starting out. “My next goal is chef de cuisine at Zinc. Eventually, I would love to have my own spot, but not until Leopold is older. “My greatest influence is the person who eats my food. My mentor is Herr Horn, the First Floor sous chef. He was far over 60 and such a brilliant chef. He taught me terrines, pates, mousse, with classic French and German technique.
Doreen Prei, sous chef, Zinc Restaurant “Never sure what I wanted to do until I discovered the pots and pans.”
“In Europe the majority of women work in the pastry or garde manger no matter how good they are. The Zinc kitchen includes a few female chefs who always have the opportunity to do the real cookin’.”
Tracy Zizek, executive chef and co-owner Café de Ville Tracy is a 2002 graduate of the NAIT Culinary Program whose primary interest was pastry. “I always wanted to be a cook. I spent a lot of time with my grandmother — she was always doing something exciting, like working in the garden, or making bread. Please see ”Women” page 12
Tracy Zizek executive chef/ co-owner Café de Ville “Never thought I’d be running a kitchen. I was happy putzing around in pastry.”
The Tomato | January February 2012 11
Zana Murray director of catering, Culina family Zana, mother of two, has worked with Brad Lazarenko from his days at Savoy. She is now director of catering, working out of the Culina Canteen at Edmonton Police Service. What excites Zana about food? She loves how it brings people together, and to cook the food of your grandmother keeps the memories alive. ”I did my practicum at Red Ox Inn. Brad was there helping out (he had left Pack Rat by then) and I’ve been following him around since — first Savoy, then Sugarbowl, followed by Culina Millcreek.
Culina Family chefs Heather Dosman, Zana Murray, Christine Sandford “Happiness is finding the right employer/mentor.” — Zana Murray “Advice to girls: If you want it, go get it. Portray yourself as a chef with confidence, and back it up with skills. Show initiative and don’t be afraid to say ‘look what I’ve done.’” — Christine Sandford “Brad is my mentor. He respects food, he’s interested in how the animals are treated, he works well with women.” — Heather Dosman
Women Continued from page 11
“I didn’t have any female instructors at NAIT. I didn’t think anything of it at the time — I thought head chefs were men. “I never thought I’d be running a kitchen. I was happy putzing around in pastry. When the Sherwood Park café became a reality, I was offered co-ownership in this location. It’s a big deal for me, and I’ve discovered a new passion, wine.
Judy Wu, executive chef/ co owner Wild Tangerine “I cook the food, people eat it, I’m happy.”
“As much as I’d like to work with other chefs I admire, and would love to do more traveling and cooking stages, I’m happy here. I worked for Paul Campbell for 10 years. He and Anita have allow me to spend time on the volunteer work I consider important, such as Indulgence, a Slow Food Edmonton event I co-chair, and they have always given me opportunity to grow.”
Heather Dosman, chef, Culina Muttart Heather thought she wanted to be a cellular biologist, but discovered she wanted to cook instead. “My mom was a recipe tester for Company’s Coming,” says Heather. “That certainly influenced my knowledge of food. “I did my apprenticeship with Brad at Culina and stayed on. I have my Red Seal, which means I am a certified journeyman cook (two years plus 1600 apprentice hours). “What I like the most is the ability to be creative. But first you have to learn skills. My first job was in the kitchen at OPM. I was at Millcreek for about two years, then Brad needed somebody for Muttart.
Yvonne Borbolla, restaurateur/ food product developer “Canada has been the land of opportunity for us.” 12 January February 2012 | The Tomato
“Brad is my mentor. He respects food, he’s interested in how the animals are treated; he works well with women. We were joking at the photo shoot that we’re Brad’s Angels.”
“Restaurants are such a dynamic environment. It takes passion and talent. If you’re not passionate, you’re not going to make it. When I ran the kitchen at Culina, I tended to hire people who perhaps had more passion than experience. “I have an interesting routine now. It’s less about being on the line and more about planning, such as prep spreadsheets. I can do those from home. “Brad has always been supportive around family. Happiness is finding the right employer/mentor.”
Christine Sandford, Chef de cuisine Culina Mill Creek Christine is a graduate of the NAIT two-year commercial cooking program and a member of the Staff Meal collective. “I grew up cooking with my mom, and after high school traveled around Europe,” Christine says. “All I thought about was the food. ”I started catering with fellow chef Andrew Hess and John Lizotte; I worked at Il Portico and Delish, which was challenging and a great experience — that’s where I started developing relationships with farmers and producers. “I’ve worked at Culina for three years, starting as a sous chef. I’ve been able to meet more suppliers and have been able to develop my own cooking style — it’s grown and expanded. “I always envisioned my chef would be a man. I didn’t have a single woman instructor at NAIT. I asked somebody once and they said that they had never found a woman who wanted to teach there. I think there should be some women. “Culina is the first place I’ve worked with lots of girls in the kitchen. “Maybe some men are overprotective and think women are not meant to lift heavy things, hear dirty jokes, do dirty jobs. But we are, and we do. “My advice to girls: if you want it, go get it. Portray yourself as a chef with confidence, and back it up with skills. Show initiative and don’t be afraid to say ‘Look what I’ve done.’”
Judy Wu, Wild Tangerine Chef Wu co-owns Wild Tangerine with her brother Wilson, and their popular university area restaurant, Polos, for 11 years before that. Judy, an accomplished chef with 30 years experience, was
Edmonton Gold Medal Plates champion in 2007. She learned to cook in Hong Kong, then cooked in her friend’s restaurant in Vancouver, “Shanghai style.” “I love slow cooking — braising,” says Judy. “Like our bison; we use miso and it’s slow cooked, amazing flavours. I also like to cook fish — simply steamed with a sauce dried scallop maybe, or black bean and garlic. It tastes very good. I cook the food, people eat it, I’m happy.”
Yvonne Borbolla, chef/owner Mexico Lindo restaurant/Borbolla Foods (La Abuela brand chorizo) Yvonne Borbolla has created a line of chorizo (sausage) using Alberta pork. Their casual west end restaurant, Mexico Lindo, will be closing at the end of February — get there before then for a delicious meal. “My parents entertained often,” says Yvonne. There were always elaborate meals to be made, and not Mexican food. My father loved French cuisine so that’s what we cooked “Later it was a business. I liked using the flavours of Mexico, things like flor de calabaza (squash flower) and huitlacoche, a special corn fungus. “We were invited by Ian Clarke to come to Canada to develop lamb products that would increase the consumption of lamb. My husband was a very large lamb producer in Mexico. We needed a kitchen factory where we developed products and thought might as well have a bit of a restaurant out front. Now we work with pork. “We have created three unique products, a Mexican chorizo, Spanish chorizo and chistorra. Our pork is from Sturgeon Valley, Sunterra and Irvings’. It’s available at the Italian Centre Shops and through Wild Game Consultants. We expect to be across Canada in two years, and into the US as well. “Canada has been the land of opportunity for us.”
Shannon Ethier, executive chef Ital-Canadian Seniors Centre Shannon runs the food service operation of the non-profit Ital-Canadian Seniors Centre. The hall is available for rent for dinners and celebrations. “You don’t have to be Italian to rent the hall,” says Shannon. “But those are our most popular menus. “It’s fairly straightforward food, but it’s all made here. The vegetables are fresh, and I make all the stocks and sauces. Most of the service staff and bartenders are volunteers from the community. “I’ve been here for eight years and I like it. It’s something different with every event. I find working with the volunteers and the seniors rewarding.
“I’ve been cooking for 25 years. I’ve worked in hotels, in pastry, at high-end restaurants. I’ve worked with a lot of good chefs. Two I consider mentors: Marcel Perron was my chef at the Derrick Club, and Cesar Gentile at the Mayfair. Funny that they are both Italian.”
Shannon Ethier, executive chef Ital-Canadian Seniors Centre “I find working with volunteers and seniors rewarding.”
Jenna Beard, NAIT apprentice of the year 2010 Jenna is taking a break from cooking at the moment, but intends to be back on the line in February. “My grandmother used to own a restaurant,” says Jenna. “I liked the work style, it’s fast paced. Red Ox was a great experience; Frank and Andrea are great. I’ve learned that in small working environments like a restaurant kitchen, you have to like the people you work with. “I’ve learned about how far you have to go to create a meal for people with sensitivities or allergies. “I’d like to travel a bit, do some stages in Canada and abroad. One day I would like to own a restaurant. “I don’t know exactly what I want. I’m only 21 years old. I’m winging it.”
Maurin Arellano, NAIT culinary student Maurin is finishing her practicum at the Manor Café.
Jenna Beard, NAIT Apprentice of the Year 2010 “At Red Ox, I learned how far you have to go to create a meal for people with sensitivities or allergies.”
“My partner is taking a job in Montreal so we’re moving there,” says Maurin. “For the past few years I worked for a management team opening seven quick service type restaurants in northern Alberta. My skills were primarily front of house administration and management. I knew how to set up a kitchen, where to place equipment and inventories, but not how to cook in one. “I would like to own a restaurant, a small place with a chalkboard menu. For that, I needed to learn to cook. “My plan in Montreal is this: to improve my French (Maurin speaks English and Spanish), take a business course, learn who the good producers are. But first, get there and eat for a month to figure out where I want to work.”
This is part one of A Woman in the Kitchen. In March/April we meet women who own restaurants, but do not cook in them.
Maurin Arellano, NAIT culinary student “During my practicum I learned you have to be strong as everyone else, both physically and mentally — there’s pressure to accomplish.”
Having trouble distinguishing your chef de parties from your garde mangers? Check the web version of A Woman in the Kitchen for The TOMATO Guide to Kitchen Hierarchy at thetomato.ca. Mary Bailey cooked in a professional kitchen, once. She now prefers to burn things at home.
The Tomato | January February 2012 13
in season | mary bailey
Sip up. Slurp. Kiss the noodle.
What would cooks do without the onion?
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“ There is in every cook's opinion
No savoury dish without an onion
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The onion must be thoroughly boiled.”
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It’s as easy as
The onion is a member of the allium (lily) family, sharing its characteristic fragrance and flavour wallop with several culinary kin: scallions, leeks, shallots and garlic, not to mention the native North American wild onion called the ramp.
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The onion figures prominently in all cuisine, especially the cooking of Northern China (in the trio of strong flavours: onions, garlic and ginger). It has been called the truffle of the poor. It is the number one flavour builder in a dish — recipes that start with “sauté an onion” are countless. What would cooks do without the onion?
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14 January February 2012 | The Tomato
Alberta onions are the most pungent of all. “We grow long-day onions here. That is, the yellow, or storage, onion thrives in our climate. The long sunny days and cool nights of our summers help create the sulphur compounds in the onions,” says Wesley Johnson of Alberta Agriculture. 7:44 AM The sweeter, short-day onion, such as the Walla Walla from Washington or Vidalias, cannot be direct seeded, and they do not store well. Some Alberta growers are experimenting with the sweeter onions. Sundog Organics grow Walla Wallas, starting them in the greenhouse in February, planting out when weather permits. “I’m learning that the key
to good onions is to get as many layers on it before it bulbs out,” says James Vriend of Sundog. Eric Chen from Peas on Earth grows several varieties of long day onions: Candy, Norstar, Red Wing, but to my untrained eye, they all look pretty much like an onion. Now, with a shallot I can tell the difference. “Shallots grow very well here,” he says, “and they get quite big.” Shallots (allium ascalonicum after the ancient city of Ascalon) possess fine layers with less water, and they store well. “This is a good place to grow onions”, says Eric. “We don’t have the disease and bug problems that other places do.” “Onions are not very picky at all,” says James Vriend of Sundog Organics. Not for us the southern charms of the sweet and juicy Vidalia. We'll stay with the fierce character of the sulphurous local onion, if only to experience the metamorphosis of flavours when gentled by long, slow cooking. Look for onions that are heavy for their size, without soft spots. The skin should be dry and papery. All onions benefit from storing in a cool, dark place with the skins on. Short day onions do not store well.
caramelized onions The secret of many good cooks? Packets of caramelized onions in the freezer — a few hours work on a snowy Sunday afternoon yields a ton of flavour. Caramelized onions are versatile; eat a heap by themselves as a vegetable side, add a few bits of cheese to make an hors d'oeuvre or pizza topping, or swirl into any soup. Start with any amount of onions — as many sliced onions as a large pan will hold. Put about 2 T canola oil in the pan and heat. Layer in the sliced onions, and stir to prevent sticking until the onions start to release liquid and brown, about 10-15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently until onions have softened and are medium goldentawny, about 20-30 minutes longer. The volume in the pan will have reduced by about 2/3. Add up to a cup of dry sherry and stir to break up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Reduce, stirring occasionally. Take off the heat. Cool. Variation: add balsamic vinegar instead of the sherry (the result will be a pinky colour).
caramelized onion hors d’oeuvres Use store-bought pizza dough (Treestone Bakery’s is good), your own dough, flatbread, pita, naan or whole wheat tortillas as the base.
cambazola cheese with toasted walnuts and red grapes Place about a heaping teaspoon of Cambazola cheese on each piece. Arrange a toasted walnut on one side of the cheese and a red grape cut in two on the other. Drape about a teaspoon of caramelized onion on and around the cheese.
arugula with soft goat cheese Spread each piece of your base layer with soft goat cheese and cover with caramelized onions. Scatter arugula on top.
aged cheddar and crisp apple Slice a Macintosh or Granny Smith apple into uniform bite-sized slices. Place in acidulated water (water with the juice of one lemon squeezed into it) to prevent browning. Place a bite-sized shard of aged cheddar on each piece. Place a dollop of balsamic onions, then follow with a slice of apple.
pissaladiere (nicoise onion tart) 1 c
minced fresh thyme
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper 1 sheet
frozen puff pastry, thawed
10 fillets anchovy, packed in oil ¼ c pitted and halved Nicoise olives (use Kalamata if Nicoise are not available)
extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place caramelized onions in a saucepan with garlic and thyme, and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Season and reserve. On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry into a rectangle (approximately 16” by 12”). Transfer to a greased cookie sheet. Make a border by wetting the outer edge and rolling in. Lightly prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork. Spread the onion filling evenly over the middle up to, but not including, the border. Arrange anchovy fillets over the onions, then olives around the anchovies in an attractive pattern. Bake until the bottom and edges are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve warm, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil.
french onion soup Retro food is fun — fondue, Tournedos Rossini, angels on horseback — why not French onion soup, the mainstay of 1980's restaurant menus? You can often find onion soup bowl sets at Value Village or garage sales. 5 large onions, peeled and sliced thinly 3 T
dry sherry or white wine
1 Bouquet garni (thyme sprigs, bay leaf and parsley tied together with kitchen string)
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1 loaf stale bread or baguette, preferably sourdough WINE BAR LUNCH DINNER PATIO WORLD BEER GREAT SELECTION OF WINES
1 c grated Sylvan Star mild Gouda (or Fontina, Gruyere or Comte) Cook butter and onions in a large saucepan over med-low until the onions are translucent. Stir occasionally and allow the onions to reduce down until they are a rich tawny-brown colour, and about 2 c in volume, about one hour. Add the wine, turn heat to medium-high and reduce until the onions are syrupy and all the liquid has been taken up. Add stock and herbs, and simmer on med-low for about 30 minutes, until you have a thick, oniony soup. Soup can be made and reserved up to this point. To serve: cut rounds of bread to fit the mouths of oven-safe soup bowls. Put on a baking sheet and place under broiler to brown and crisp, about one minute.
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Heat soup, if reserved, check seasoning. Remove bouquet garni and ladle soup into bowls, leaving room for the bread, about an inch. Place bread, toasted side down, on top of soup and top with grated cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbly and golden, 1 to 2 minutes. 278 Cree Road in Sherwood Park • 780.449-.3710 Open Monday to Thursday 10-5 • Friday to Saturday 9-6 Please see “Onions” on page 17
The Tomato | January February 2012 15
the proust culinary questionnaire Jan Trittenbach, executive chef Pack Rat Louie In the late nineteenth century, French novelist Marcel Proust participated in an exercise, which could be thought of as the Facebook of its era — he answered a questionnaire about himself in a friend’s Confession Album. Proust’s answers have been published, in one form or another, for more than a century. Many have used the questionnaire for their own devices, the most notable being Vanity Fair’s Proust Questionnaire featuring celebrities. The Tomato now gives it a culinary twist. Jan Trittenbach, gold medal winner at Edmonton Gold Medal Plates, is the executive chef at Pack Rat Louie (10335 83 Avenue, 780-433-0123). There he runs a kitchen of 10 cooking staff. “Everyone gets along so well, both front and back of house, we are like a big family; and my boss gives me a free hand,” says Jan. How did a young Swiss guy end up cooking in Edmonton? It was the lure of long days and aurora borealis of a northern Canadian summer. “Our family loved the north,” says Jan. “To drive an hour and be in no man’s land, we loved that — so different from Europe. “We had a vacation home in Lac la Biche. In 1990, my mother met Peter Johner (popular Edmonton chef/restaurateur). Peter said ‘when you want to come to Canada to learn English, I’ll help you.’ I cooked with Peter for four years at Pack Rat.” Hometown? Zug, Switzerland. Years cooking? 15 years. Where would you like to live? I love Canada. If I was near to the mountains with a lake close by, I would love that. Your favourite food and drink? Steak and good red wine. What would you be doing if you weren’t cooking? I’ve always been interested in the police force. I was in the army for two years. It’s mandatory in Switzerland.
16 January February 2012 | The Tomato
What do you most appreciate in your friends? Honesty, and I’m always happy to have a laugh with my friends.
$1999 per person and that didn’t include the wine — 16 courses of dishes like caviar, lobster, chateaubriand.
Your favourite qualities in a dish? I love flavours, love colours.
Mentors? My Dad, the way he lives and, of course, Peter Johner.
A cook? Somebody who is interested and enthusiastic.
Favourite casual cheap and cheerful/ afterwork food? Pizza.
A wine? Not too sweet, and probably a shiraz or cabernet.
Philosophy? Positive thinking, treat people well, be open and interested.
Who would be at your dream dinner table (dead or alive)? Tennis player Roger Federer and Jennifer Love Hewitt.
What’s next? The Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna. Eventually, I would like to open a little restaurant, because that’s where you can cook just what you want.
Who would cook? Gordon Ramsay. Current culinary obsession/ exploration? Knife skills — especially everything you can do with a paring knife. Meaningful/crazy cooking experience? I was working in the kitchen for the Millennium New Years dinner at Hotel Suvretta House in St. Moritz. It was
onions Continued from page 15
herb-roasted onions Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa, by Ina Garten
winter vegetable roast This is a flexible recipe, suitable for a group or pot-luck dinners. The list below is a suggestion; use what root vegetables you have in the crisper and be lavish with the herbs. Note: Cholula brand is a good hot sauce, flavoursome yet not blow-your-head off hot. The goal is a sweet-hot tension between the maple syrup and the hot sauce, not an all-out war.
freshly-squeezed lemon juice
minced fresh thyme leaves
fresh cracked black pepper
2-3 shallots or cipollini (if available) cut in half
extra virgin olive oil
2-4 cloves garlic, whole, peeled
½ T fresh parsley leaves, chopped fine Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove the stem end of each onion and carefully slice off the brown part of the root end, leaving the root intact. Peel the onion. Stand each onion root end up on a cutting board and cut the onion in wedges through the root. Place the wedges in a bowl. For the dressing, combine the lemon juice, mustard, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil. Pour the dressing over the onions and toss well. With a slotted spoon, transfer the onions to a sheet pan, reserving the vinaigrette that remains in the bowl. Bake the onions for 30-45 minutes, until tender and browned. Toss the onions once during cooking. Remove from the oven, and drizzle with the reserved dressing. Sprinkle with parsley. Season to taste and serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 4-6.
Some say cutting the onion under water, freezing the onion for 20 minutes, or wearing contacts helps prevent eye and sinus aggravation from onion fumes. Our tried and true? Tight-fitting swim goggles and a quick hand with the knife.
yellow or red onions, cut in small wedges
2-3 green onions, chopped 1-3 yellow-fleshed potatoes, depending on size
carrot celery 10-12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 T canola or extra virgin olive oil ½ c
juice of one fresh lemon
(or to taste) maple syrup
hot sauce (to taste)
event calendar mons, jan 9 - mar 26
1 bay leaf, several sprigs fresh thyme and a few of rosemary and oregano
Wine Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level Two Intermediate winecollege.ca
Canadian Culinary Championships, Kelowna, email@example.com
sea salt and fresh-cracked black pepper
mons, jan 9 - mar 13
Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
French Wine School, winecollege.ca
Wine Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level One Foundation, winecollege.ca
Cut the vegetables into a mediumlarge dice and toss with the onions and garlic in large bowl with the oil. Add white wine, lemon juice, maple syrup and hot sauce to taste. Add herbs, season and place in a roasting pan. Roast, uncovered, for about one hour, stirring occasionally. The vegetables should be fork-tender. Serves 8-12 people as a part of a buffet.
tue, jan 10 Towards a Vibrant Local Food Economy, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development 1800-387-6030
january 10-12 Veuve Clicquot in the Snow, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, 1-888-270-3374, fairmont.com/jasper
january 18-22 Sun Peaks Winter Festival of Wine 1-866-667-4777, AMATravel.ca
thus, Feb 16 - Mar 8
february 17-18 Winefest Edmonton celebratewinefest.com
fri, february 17 Winefest Trade Tasting celebratewinefest.com
tue, february 21 Exploring the Allergic and Gluten-free Marketplace, Agriculture and Rural Development, 1-800-387-6030
mark your calendars may 3-6 Slow Food Canada National Meeting
The Tomato | January February 2012 17
Comfortfoo Warm your winter with baked beans — Kathy Somerville — Summer, with its light salads and fresh local produce, is nice, but now it’s time for some seriously tantalizing smells to fill my house. Once the cold weather sets in, my thoughts turn to my beloved Dutch oven and anything that can be cooked in it. What could be cozier and more rewarding than taking a few simple ingredients and, with very little attention, turning them into a rich and filling comfort food? Bring on the baked beans!
Making baked beans is easier than you think. First, forget the whole soak-the-beans-the-night-before thing; I’ll save you the trouble. I’ve tried soaking in water and even brined water. The difference in the flavour and texture of the beans is not consistently better in my experience. Pre-soaking reduces the cooking time by about 20 minutes or so, but that doesn’t motivate me enough to think ahead.
What kind of beans to buy? It wasn’t until I was in my twenties and living away from home that I discovered baked beans could be made easily from scratch. Up until then, my experiences with baked beans involved cans. I honestly thought little white beans were just for pea-shooters. It took me years to accept that what my brother called ammo when we were kids was actually food. Look for beans that might commonly be labeled as small white beans or navy beans. Try a busy grocery store that is likely to have new stock on hand. Older beans will take longer to cook. Great Northern beans will do in a pinch but, generally, aren’t the best for baked beans. They are bigger, and tend to fall apart more easily. My favourite recipe is Uncle Ralph’s Baked Beans — a Prince Edward Island recipe I found in a Canadian Living Readers’ Recipe article. Use Harvest thick-cut or Valbella bacon for the full pound of bacon the recipe asks for. Both have great flavour and seem less salty than other brands. Former Bagel Tree co-owner Kathy Somerville spends far too much time thinking about her Dutch oven and most weekends can be found keeping it company in her kitchen. Kathy is grateful for the 36 co-workers who ate and rated their way through four batches of beans in the name of culinary research.
18 January February 2012 | The Tomato
ood uncle ralph’s baked beans
barbecued baked beans My other go-to recipe is a surprisingly simple one for barbecued baked beans from Cook’s Illustrated. Not too sweet, with a lovely complex flavour and no pre-cooking or soaking. I’ve adapted the recipe slightly because I refuse to buy a special mustard to make beans. ¼ lb bacon, diced (Harvest or Valbella) 1
medium onion, diced
Canadian Living, November 2000
1 c strong black coffee (or 1 T espresso powder in 1 c hot water)
white (navy) beans
onion, peeled (whole)
1½ T Dijon mustard
½ c barbecue sauce (Bulls-Eye has a nice smoky flavor)
1 sml can tomato paste (5.5 oz) 1 t ¼ t
Cover two cups of rinsed small white beans (pick out any discoloured beans) with about 8 cups of water in a Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook gently until they are tender and the bean squishes easily and smoothly in your mouth, and the inside doesn’t taste chalky — this will take about an hour, maybe a bit longer depending on the beans. Drain and rinse. Arrange the beans and bacon in alternating layers in the Dutch oven. Set the whole, peeled onion in the centre of the mixture. Mix the molasses, sugar, tomato paste and dry mustard in a four cup measure. Add boiling water to make four cups. Pour over the beans. Cover and bake at 250°F for about six hours. Peek in periodically to make sure there’s enough liquid. If it doesn’t seem thick enough at six hours, take the lid off and keep going until you’re satisfied with the thickness.
hot pepper sauce
salt Toss the bacon into your beloved Dutch oven and cook over mediumhigh heat for 5 minutes. Add onion and cook until softened. Add garlic and give it a couple of stirs. Rinse the beans and pick out any discoloured ones. Add the beans, coffee, brown sugar, molasses, mustard, barbecue sauce, a couple squirts hot sauce, several shakes of salt and 8 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover the pot and put it into a 300°F degree oven. Cook for about 4 hours. Check every hour or so and give it a stir if it looks like it needs it. At about four hours, take the lid off and continue to cook for another one to two hours — the sauce will thicken; take it out when you approve of the thickness. Add another dash of barbecue sauce just before serving to punch up the flavour, if you like. Make yourself some buttered toast and sit down to enjoy a feast of beans that taste even better than your house smelled all day!
Spilling the Beans Cooking and Baking with Beans and Grains Everyday Julie van Rosendaal and Sue Duncan (Whitecap) They’re cheap, they’re easy to cook, we know we’re supposed to eat them. Yet, beans, or pulses as they are technically called, are just not sexy. In fact they were downright dowdy. Until now. Sue Duncan and Julie van Rosendal have finessed the culinary makeover of the kitchen’s most dutiful food — turning boring into va va voom. In their book Spilling the Beans, Julie and Sue let beans play many roles — from star of the white bean risotto, to a walk-on part in the pumpkin chocolate chip loaf cake. You’ll not only learn how to hide beans in waffles and other gastronomic sleights of hand, you’ll find out how to take the tedium out of the prep; with tips on soaking; using canned beans; even preventing the dreaded after effects of too many beans. The most compelling reason to run out and buy this book? Beans help you lose weight, pronto. Who doesn’t need a little help with that in the new year?
The Tomato | January February 2012 19
in many restaurant kitchens the staff gather before service and have dinner together. Generally, it’s kitchen staff only: chefs, cooks and dishwashers. It might be the night’s special, or hamburgers. But it’s always hearty — Hardware Grill has fried chicken day — supplying fuel for the night ahead for young staff who do not yet worry about counting calories. It’s called, simply, staff meal. A group of young cooks in Edmonton are taking the friendly concept out of the kitchen. Christine Sandford, Roger Letourneau, Andrew Hess, Chris Tom-ke and Heather Dosman got together December 17 to produce their first in a series of Staff Meal dinners. They like to cook together. Not only will the dinners create moments of youthful collaboration, they plan to further their culinary knowledge by cooking in Spain later this year. They borrowed Culina Mill Creek and invited family, friends and colleagues.
“We want to get people together to eat, and for chefs to mix and mingle,” says Christine Sandford, also the chef de cuisine at Culina Mill Creek. Suppliers were generous with donations: whole goats from Sangudo meats, beautiful vegetables from Sparrow’s Nest Organics, a delicious blue cheese from Spain called Valdeon donated by Everything Cheese. Everything was made by the cooks: the chorizo and blood sausage, the preserved lemon, the breads, even the fresh cheese. “We’ve all been friends for awhile,” says Christine. “Andrew, Chris and I were within a year or so of each other in school. “We started out having dinner at each other’s homes, each bringing a dish, and cooking the kinds of things we were interested in exploring, but didn’t necessarily get the chance to do at work. Things like nose to tail cooking — what we would want to eat when we weren’t working. Then we thought: why don’t we do this with bigger groups?”
the kids are all rig menu
The next Staff Meal, an Eastern European themed dinner, is at the Orange Hall, January 16. Tickets: facebook.com/pages/ Staff-Meal-Edmonton
first Spanish style chorizo, queso fresca Valdeon blue cheese, assorted preserves Spanish goat's tripe and Gull Valley tomato soup Cold fermented bread
second Whole trout paella, mussels, clams Preserved lemon Sofrito
third Bierra De Chivo style whole goat Pickled peppers and tomatillos Cippolini onion and lemon creme fraiche
fourth Morcilla blood sausage Sauteed apples, parsnip puree Parsley and cider vinigarette
fifth Pistachio and olive oil cake Milk jam 20 January February 2012 | The Tomato
Photos RAW manipulations, Curtis Cheriwchan
OVER ONE HUNDRED
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GREEK FOODS olive oil olives Greek cheeses spanakopita/tiropita homemade dips
ght Staff Meal Collective from left to right: Heather Dosman, Christine Sandford, Roger Letourneau, Andrew Hess and Chris Tom-ke.
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The Tomato | January February 2012 21
beer guy | peter bailey New Beers Resolutions Please, no tears in your beer for the year that’s done. Raise high your pint and drink to the year to come. Let us resolve to fill this year with good beer, for life is too short to drink bad beer. Drink local. There are many good reasons to buy local beer, but the best reason is that world-class beer is made here at home. Using quality local ingredients like North Saskatchewan River water and Alberta grains, Edmonton beer is an expression of who we are: friendly, humble and prone to freezing if left in the cold.
UM QUAL MI IT RE
22 January February 2012 | The Tomato
Take the next step and support a local establishment that supports local beer. If your favourite place doesn’t carry local beer, ask them why not. Visit a local brewery and get to know the people behind your beer. How great is it that you can pop into Alley Kat Brewing and have a good chance of talking beer with owner Neil Herbst?
Or, go hyper-local and home brew. The best beer is the beer you brew yourself and January is the perfect time to start homebrewing. Local brew shops can set you up for under $100, and in no time you will be talking carboys and wort chillers. Drink global. Didn’t I just say drink local? Sure, drink local — just someone else’s local beer! Made mostly of water, beer is a fluid expression of place, an inexpensive trip to an exotic locale. I hear the
waves on Delaware’s Rehoboth Beach when I drink a Dogfish Head ale. Your liquor store’s beer cooler is actually a geography lecture hall, with beers for textbooks. Drink different. My Dad was a Molson Export man. Full stop. One man, one beer — strictly monogamous. But times have changed, and now beer promiscuity is okay. Go ahead, play the field. Try the Blonde Ale tonight and the Amber tomorrow. Just be sure to use a glass. And fear no beer. Drink with food. Invite beer to the grown-ups’ table. Beer’s diverse tastes matches with all sorts of flavours. Learn about food pairings at one of the beer dinners around town. Cook with beer. Beer can add something extra to many types of food. Drink with others. Beer is a social drink that unglues tongues and gets relationships started. As the Edmonton Beer Geeks group notes: “the search for good beer need not be lonely.” They and the Homebrewers Guild meet monthly to talk beer and all are welcome. Bring beer to dinner parties. Host a beer tasting. And remember: friends don’t let friends drink crappy beer. Drink better. Think before you drink. Don’t settle. Drink something awesome instead of something ordinary. Educate yourself. Attend a tasting, a beer dinner or a beer launch. Talk to people at better beer stores. Pick up a beer book from your local library. And most importantly, read The Tomato! Carpe beer.
New Year’s Beer Six Pack Alley Kat Three Bears Oatmeal Stout, Edmonton Drink local by drinking beer from local heroes Alley Kat. First brewed for their Big Bottle series, Three Bears was such a hit that they brought it back in a six-pack version. This delicious beer is everything you want in an oatmeal stout — dark black with a roasty aroma, a slightly sweet, chocolate-roast taste and the characteristic silky mouth feel from the oats. Your new winter beer.
Zeos Blue Mak Lager, Argos, Greece Drink global with a Greek beer of Canadian heritage. Greek émigré Christos Papadimas returned home to brew Greek beer modeled after the Canadian beer he loved while living in Canada. Partnered with two Vancouver brewers, he started Zeos Brewing in Peleponesia. In a gorgeous cobalt blue bottle, Blue Mak is a decent lager with a pleasant sweet taste focused on the malt.
Ommegang Three Philosophers Quadrupel, Cooperstown, New York Drink different with this unique beer. “OMG it’s Ommegang!” cried local beer geeks when legendary Ommegang beer came to Alberta in 2010. Ommegang brews Belgian beer in America, and they brew it very well. Three Philosophers is an intriguing, intoxicating blend of rich, malty strong Belgian Ale and Kriek (cherry Lambic). Sip this blissfully by the fireside this winter.
Garrison Hop Yard Pale Ale, Halifax Drink this beer with food, all sorts of food — American Pale Ale is a versatile style that matches well with a wide variety of flavours. Brewed on the east coast, Hop Yard is an assertively bitter, hoppy west coast ale. It is perfectly suited for cutting through the fat of pub food like burgers and fish and chips, as well as spicier fare.
Phillips Hop Circle IPA, Victoria Drink with others, like the eager hop heads who welcomed brewer Matt Phillips and his flagship India Pale Ale to Edmonton in 2010. Before last year, Alberta hop heads had to travel to BC to sample Phillips’ flavour-forward brews. Hop Circle is a classic Pacific Northwest hop bomb, with a big citrus-pine nose and thirst-busting bitterness all through the taste. Handle with care.
Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale, Tadcaster, Yorkshire, UK Drink better with this classic English Brown Ale from the historic brewery founded in 1758. Walnut in colour, with a touch of almonds and halzenut in taste, Smith’s Nut Brown is malty rather than hoppy, matching well with traditional English foods like Stilton cheese and roasts, but up to the challenge of today’s English cuisine — Indian and Thai food. Peter Bailey is an Edmonton-area librarian who resolves to exercise more this year to make room for beer.
haute comfort food three course early dining: monday to saturday 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. $50/person
lunch: monday to friday 11:30 am to 2:00 pm. dinner: monday to saturday from 5:00 pm.
located at the corner of 97 street and jasper avenue reservations 780-423-0969 www.hardwaregrill.com wine spectator magazine award of excellence 1997-2003 / best of award of excellence 2004-2011
The Tomato | January February 2012 23
kitchen sink | what’s new and notable restaurant ramblings Give yourself a new year’s present: visit Narayanni’s (10131 81 Avenue, 780 7567112) to enjoy their compelling South African Indian flavours. The chef, and matriarch of the Naidoo family, Selwa Naidoo is a flavour maven bar none. Highlights include impeccable vegetable dishes such as spiced squash and cabbage with kale, crispy chickpea fritters and toothsome curries. The Naidoos, known for their hospitality, opened Block 1912 several years ago. Looking forward to visiting the new Mediterranean bistro Ouasi, bringing some life to the 109 street end of Whyte Avenue. Open Tuesday through Sunday for dinner, and Sunday from 10am-4pm. Expect two new opportunities for steak downtown: Chop Steakhouse in the Sutton Place Hotel and a Keg in the Westin Edmonton. 2010 Gold Medal Plates: Bronze: Paul Campbell, Café de Ville. Braised Alberta lamb shoulder, tender sage and porcini gnocchi and a knockout porcini crisp, paired with 2007 Ex Nihilo Winery Night. Silver: Deependra Singh, Guru Restaurant & Bar. Prawn in chickpea batter, beef tenderloin skewer, and tangy butter chicken potli, paired with 2008 Little Straw Vineyards Pinot Rosé. Gold: Jan Trittenbach, Packrat Louie. Braised beef chuck flat in venison tenderloin cooked sous vide, with blackberry gastrique, beet purée, shaved purple and green cauliflower, and a refreshing watercress salad in lemon vinaigrette, paired with 2007 Peller estate Private Reserve Syrah. Congratulations to the winners and to all restaurants and chefs who participated in the sold out event. Brad Smoliak is cooking up something downtown on 105 street in the former Butler did It space. Expect a research and development kitchen, cooking lessons, events and private dinners come March. Jennifer Ogle is leaving Leva. We’re not sure what her next step is but wherever she goes we’ll follow. She’s an excellent cook and flavour maven.
24 January February 2012 | The Tomato
A local resto group plans a German-style beer hall (wie Wurst in Calgary) to be opened late 2012. (Mittel-Europe cuisine is a strong trend in the US, for example, Grüner in Portland.) In the meantime, check out the classic Baurenschmaus (6796 99 Street, 780-433-8272, or Continental Treat (10560 82 Avenue, 780-433-7432). Wild Earth Bakery Café’s (8902 99 Street 780-425-8423) new spot in Laurier Heights (14238 85 Avenue) is now open and, we’ve been told, they’re working on a third location in Epcor Tower. We’re hoping that the denizens of Epcor Tower take advantage of their proximity to Chinatown for lunch. Bonjour Boulangerie/Treestone Bakery (8612 99 Street, 780-433-5924) café renovations should be complete late January. Pick up their delicious breads on Friday and Saturday at Everything Cheese (14912 45 Avenue, 780-757-8532) Coming soon: a bigger menu of pizza, foccacia, soup and pasta at the Italian Centre cafes. “We should be ready to go in a couple of days”, says owner Teresa Spinelli. “By February we should be experts!” Looking for a terrific spot for weekend brunch? The Blue Chair (9624 76 Avenue, 780-989-2861) offers great music, real hollandaise sauce, delish bacon and the best pancakes in town. Saturday mornings also feature the brunch menu sans tunes. Friday and Saturday music nights still rock with the right talent, and they will be selling tickets. All events online at café bluechair.ca soon. Check out the new Cibo (11244 104 Avenue, 780-757-2426), a handsome room in Oliver Square. Contemporary Italian, good wine list, lunch, Tuesday through Friday, dinner, Tuesday through Saturday. Many of our favourite spots are taking a break early in the year: Everything Cheese will be closed January 9-16; The Blue Pear is closed January 1-10, Hardware Grill reopens January 6, and Wild Tangerine is closed until January 9. Jonesing for a sandwich? You’ll have to wait. Elm Café (10140 117 Street, 780-563-356) is closed until January 16.
product news The City Market on 104 has moved into City Hall for the winter. You’ll find over 50 vendors including Irvings’ Meats, Kuhlmann’s and Natures Green Acres set up in the beautiful main floor rotunda. More 104 Street news: expect more coffee come 2012 with the opening of the Mercer Roast House in the historic Mercer Warehouse. Dansk (Southgate Mall, 780-434-4013) sent along something new: the Cuisipro Egg Poacher. We like the hook that allows the poacher to sit on the edge of the pan and be hung up when not in use, the sassy red colour, and the drainage holes. Sold in a set of two, $99. The Butler did It has relocated and, as owner Marianne Brown says, “rightsized.” No more retail or lunches, just a concentration on fine catering. Reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org or 780-455-5228. Queen of Tarts (10129 104 Street, 780-421-4410) has a new name: Dauphin. Wine from Brazil? Yes, Brazil. The wine region is not in the tropics, but at the same latitude as Mendoza. Pampa is carrying several Brazilian wines from the Salton and Miolo wineries. We were especially impressed with the Salton Talento a wellbalanced Cabernet Sauvignon dominant blend. It has aromas of berries and cedar, juicy black fruit and chewy tannins, perfect to have with roasted beef ribs. Try the crisp and lively Salton Sauvignon Blanc with salads and chicken. A very good source told us that the mega natural foods retailer Whole Foods is coming to town. Plans are under way for their first location on Jasper and 123 Street, near Planet Organic. Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development is holding two informative sessions this winter: January 10, Towards a Vibrant Local Food Economy, geared to food producers and food service businesses. February 21, Exploring the Allergic and Gluten-free Marketplace is of interest to farmers, producers, chefs, researchers and marketers. The all-day event includes an allergy free lunch at Ernest’s, NAIT. Register by February 17,
$30. Call 1-800-387-6030 for more information on either session and to book.
wine tastings, happenings and events Love French wine? Become a French wine scholar! French Wine School is introducing night classes on Mondays from 6-9pm starting January 9 ending March 13. No class Family Day weekend. Visit winecollege.ca to book. Winefest Edmonton is back! The all-wine event, February 1718 features red and whites, port, sparkling and dessert wines from the world’s most celebrated wine regions. Tickets from $65 include wine sampling, hors d’oeuvres and a Riedel tasting glass. Visit celebratewinefest.com for tickets. The Winefest Trade Tasting is on Friday, February 17, 2pm-5pm. Bring two business cards for admission. Enjoy Veuve Clicquot in the Snow at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge January 10-12. Treat yourself to a weekend of fine dining, spectacular Champagne and an abundance of outdoor activities in a sparkling winter wonderland. The package (from $698 per couple) includes two nights accommodation,Veuve Cliquot welcome reception, après ski canapés and gala dinner. To book: call 1-888-270-3374, visit fairmont.com/jasper. Aligra Wine & Spirits (1423, 8882 178th Street, WEM Entrance 58, 780-483-1083) offers a Wine Fundamentals evening January 9 from 7-9pm, $41.95 per person (includes GST). Look forward to a series of Italian wine tastings from Piedmont to the islands at Crestwood Fine Wines & Spirits (9658 142 Street, 780-488-7800) wines starting in mid-winter.
The winter schedule for the popular Wine Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Programs is confirmed: Level One Foundation is five classes Thursdays, February 16 to March 8; Level Two Intermediate, Mondays, January 9 to March 26; and Level 3 continues on January 4. For more information, and to register visit winecollege.ca.
gastronomic travel Enjoy the delicious pairing of culinary events, wine tastings and outdoor sports, January 18-22 at the Sun Peaks Winter Festival of Wine with a package from AMA Travel. Includes four nights, two days skiing, three events and airport transfers. From $799 per person, land only. Call 1-866-6674777, AMATravel.ca.
M o d e r n I ta l ian B ist r o Tuesday - Friday 11:30am - 2:00pm for Lunch Tuesday - Saturday 5:00pm - 10:00pm for Dinner 11244 - 104 Avenue (Oliver Square) 780-757-2426 | www.cibobistro.com
Visiting Calgary for a weekend of checking out what’s new on the dining scene? This could help save you some dough. Calgary and Banff area restaurant reviewer John Gilchrist has developed an iPhone app for his Cheap Eats 2 book, http://bit.ly/cheapeats2. Southern Italy Pleasures of the Table, June 22-July 2. The elevenday, CAA hosted tour of Southern Italy begins in Rome and ends in Palermo, Sicily. Prices from $6,409 per person, includes airfare, accommodation, sightseeing, daily breakfast, lunch and dinner with wine, and all gratuities. Call AMA Travel, 1-866-667-4777. Seasoned Solutions Culinary Tours for 2012: February 17 to 20, 2012, spa and wine tour in Sonoma over Family Day Weekend. Tour Vietnam and Cambodia from March 9 to 24, 2012 and from May 17 to 21, experience a gastronomic adventure in New York City. Check out the itineraries and registration details at seasonedsolutions.ca. New and/or interesting food and drink related news for The Kitchen Sink can be faxed to 780-433-0492 or email email@example.com.
Man u li fe Place 10180 - 101 Street 780.423.3083 Pleasantvi ew 11004 - 51 Avenue 780.436.0908 G le nora 12325 - 102 Avenue 780.488.0690
The Tomato | January February 2012 25
according to judy | judy schultz Summer on the sandbar First good food news of 2012? The return of the divine Miss Piggy. Remember her philosophy: life is short, eat dessert first. Second bit of good news? Here on our Tasman sandbar, summer is in full bloom. The weather is soft. The rain, when it comes, is a kind of Scotch mist. Magnolias produce huge creamy blossoms the size of café au lait bowls. They smell of honey.
Henry buys his glasses at Women With Vision ...
Olives have already set their berries. They’re hard, green, bitter, no bigger than my little fingernail, but soon they’ll be bursting with oil. There’s a rumor that we might harvest our first crop this summer, joining some other olive amateurs at a co-op press. If it happens, I’ll make a batch of dukkah, a spicy concoction of nuts and seeds for dipping. This is, in fact, a juicy part of the world. Wine, olive oil, and spoon sweets, which start with juice. Our friend Cora, who lives up the hill, sells spoon sweets at the Sunday market. Feijoa jelly, kiwi jam, figs-in-syrup, lime conserve, tamarillo butter, passion fruit curd. We save the jars and recycle them back up the hill.
... that’s why he gets all the hot chicks!
10515 - 109 Street 780.423.3937 firstname.lastname@example.org
26 January February 2012 | The Tomato
In the garden, we’re experimenting with kaffir limes, taro, ginger, super-hot chilies and lemon grass. In spite of being babied and sheltered, the mango tree has failed to thrive. The fruit world is small and climate-specific. Sadly, my grape vines are still iffy. The blue one grows like a weed, producing fat clumps of berries with four big seeds per grape, but the green seedless variety, the one our local garden guru confidently predicted would flourish, turned up its toes and died.
The artichokes look magnificent, big ruffled leaves everywhere, but have they produced a single edible artichoke? No. Along with the mango and the green grape, they were another of our local garden guru’s confident choices. Never mind, the asparagus is still growing a couple of inches a day, and the reluctant lemon tree is finally producing full-sized lemons. The honesty boxes along the back roads are pushing avocados, the big round Reed variety. Like green butter, those Reeds. Not far from here, a chef who once ran a restaurant in Quebec grows ugli fruit. He confides that although an ugli is honey-sweet in the Caribbean, it’ll be sour here in NZ. He blames global warming. The odd name — ugli — was acquired when this warty, misshapen citrus showed up in a Montreal fruit market and somebody said, “Mon Dieu, that’s an ugly orange.” Ugly it may be, but with its aromatic skin, it makes terrific preserves. So says the jam lady. Here on the sand bar, just across the harbour from Auckland, we’re far enough removed from city ways to feel that shoes are an unnecessary hindrance. Also, we’re allowed to eat with our fingers. Predictable menus: deep-fried hoki fish with chips on Wednesday, scampi on the barbie on Thursday, and every other Friday is movie and pizza night at the Social Club. Admission is five bucks, bring your own lawn chair. The new Muppet flick should be heading our way soon. Pizza and Miss Piggy. Awesome. Read Judy’s food blog from New Zealand at judyink.ca.
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