Formerly City Palate
The flavour of Edmontonâ€™s food scene | March April 2012 | thetomato.ca
The Travel Issue: Lima, Georgia London, Victoria
A Woman in the Kitchen: Part Two The Cocktail Revolution
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contributing writers Peter Bailey David Constable Jack Danylchuk Darcy Dietz Amanda LeNeve Judy Schultz Qin Xie
illustration/photography Mary Bailey Kevan Morin, Curtis Comeau Photography Jack Danylchuk Gerry Rasmussen To Be In Pictures
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Peruvian cuisine is winning international recognition | Jack Danylchuk
Brunch City Victoria Jennifer Crosby
A Woman in the Kitchen Part II: Entrepreneurs
The Dumpling Could it be the worldâ€™s most universal food? | Mary Bailey
On the Line at Stella An orthodontist takes a working culinary vacation | Darcy Dietz
Canadian Culinary Championships Kelowna, 2012
London Calling Where to eat and play during the Olympics | Qin Xie and David Constable
design and prepress Bossanova Communications Inc.
5 8 20 22 24 28 30
Dish Gastronomic happenings around town
Drink The Cocktail Revolution | Amanda LeNeve
Beer Guy Wood is Good | Peter Bailey
The Proust Culinary Questionnaire Brad Smoliak, Kitchen
Kitchen Sink Whatâ€™s new and notable
Wine Maven According to Judy Snails for Sale | Judy Schultz
Cover: LA 73 (Lima, Peru) bartender Fernando Romero mixes a classic pisco sour. Jack Danylchuk photo.
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thetomato.ca The Tomato | March April 2012 3
Love wine? Take a WSET class with The Art Institute of Vancouver. Level 1 Foundation in Wine & Wine Service Mondays, April 2 to May 7 Level 2 Intermediate Studies in Wines & Spirits TBC
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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 | farmers jane
a new kind of alphabet soup
Three Saanich Peninsula (Vancouver Island) women, Heather Stretch, Northbrook Farms; Robin Tunnicliffe, Feisty Field; and Rachel Fisher, Three Oaks Farm have written a book on farming. All the dirt: Reflections on organic farming (Touchwood Editions) Wait, not so simple. They didn’t own a farm? They didn’t grow up on a farm? Didn’t marry a farmer? No. They started from scratch. Therein lies the beauty. The book is all the dirt — from tales of stinky dumpsterdiving farm hands to reams of sales charts and profit and loss statements. Along the way they bought the distribution business Saanich Organics, expanding their community of farmers and people who love what they grow, and by doing so, help preserve the stunningly beautiful agricultural heritage of the peninsula. It’s a joyful, and hopeful, book about hard work and the benefits of collaboration. Whether you are an armchair farmer, backyard gardener, thinking of becoming a farmer or operating a market garden — read All the Dirt.
One of our favourite restaurant people, Clint Zaiffdeen (Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, Hardware Grill) is part of the ownership group at the new Famoso in West Edmonton mall. It’s been a heady ride. “We opened right after Christmas, getting staff then was really tough, but we’re ok now,” says Clint. “So far we’ve made about 15,000 pizzas. Our most popular is the margarita with house made tomato sauce, Italian flor de latte (cow’s milk mozzarella) and fresh basil. I’m here making dough about 7am. We go through three 25 kg bags of Caputo Tipo 00 flour and about 16 big cans (3000 g each) of San Marzano DOP tomatoes a day.” Clint talks about the pleasures of ownership. “I loved going to Naples and discovering their passion for pizza. Now we’re helping the west end discover real pizza made with authentic ingredients.”
Chef/poet Dee Hobsbawn-Smith has a new book this spring called Foodshed: An Edible Alberta Alphabet (TouchWood Editions). The first section, Faces and Fences, has a charming set-up. As Dee says in her introduction: “I hope you enjoy the slightly goofy thought processes that also landed ducks under Q (for Quackers) and ensured, like any frugal prairie cook, that every letter of the alphabet was used.” For example, K for kale allows the opportunity to tell the story of the Thompson Small Farm near Sundre where Clydesdales rather than tractors do the fieldwork. M for milk’s immortal leap (aka cheese) relates Rhonda Headon’s foray into making pecorino at the Cheesiry near Kitscoty. Part two: Facts and Figures, contains definitions, policy discussion and a lengthy reading list, ideal for anyone interested in food, eating, Alberta farmers, agriculture and public policy. Dee’s message: “Cook at home. Grow things. Share. Sit down and eat with others. Visit a farm.” Words to live by.
Zofia Trebaczkiewicz of the Prairie Baker in the Enjoy Centre has been hard at work developing a new line of breads with baker Gabor Dobos including a toothsome, slow-rise whole-wheat baguette made with a spelt starter. “The Prairie loaf uses only sour dough as a leavening agent; half the weight of the bread is a rye starter. Our amazing traditional double fermented rye is flying off the shelves, as well as the carrot loaf,” says Zofia. Curtis Jones, formerly of Kerstin's Chocolates, creates colourful, sweetly delicious macaron, cake, tarts and stunning truffles. If the delicate Valentine’s Day samples we tried, with flavours of citrus and tropical fruit in glorious shades of pinks and corals, is any indication of the quality — we’re sold. Next up is a wheat free, sugar-free vegan line of bakery items using the gluten free flour mix made in-house.
charpop pops Calgary for dinner? Yes! Especially when the cooks are Connie De Sousa, her husband John Jackson and Toronto’s Black Hoof founder Grant Van Gameren. CharPop happened for three nights with 60 people per night at Aviv Fried’s Sidewalk Citizen Bakery off McLeod Trail. They hauled in some furniture, brought dishes and crew from CharCut and cooked an amazing a la carte menu — open face croissant with lamb, sumac, nigella seed and mint; rabbit pie topped with shaved lardo; beef heart steak on bannock.
bread and bon bons
Prairie Baker bread
Kevan Morin, Curtis Comeau Photogaphy
Connie De Sousa and Calgary Petroleum Club exec chef Liana Robberecht arm wrestle for the last bite of carrots in beef shank jus.
Olive Me (8613 109 Sreet, 780 988-3281) has a new stuffed olive called the Lucky Maud in honour of the movie Maud Mary & the Titanic. Filmmaker Geraldine Carr tells the story of her great-grandmother who missed the boat. In 1912, Maud Mary Price of Liverpool was a widow with three children under ten. She purchased four tickets on the maiden voyage of the most unsinkable ship of all time, the RMS Titanic. The olive recipe is still in development but we know the Lucky Maud has fresh cilantro, roasted coriander and tangy fresh lemon. It will be featured during April as Olive Me’s Olive of the Month. See the movie in April at Metro Cinema (metrocinema.org).
The Tomato | March April 2012 5
Jack Danylchuk Summer brings fog to Lima’s malecón, where runners, cyclists and walkers take the warm, moist morning air.
Lima revealed Maybe
it’s the gloomy skies forever threatening rain that almost never falls, or the vistas of somber, dun-brown hills on a desert coast beside a cold, restless sea, but tourists who land in Lima are inclined to move on to Peru’s star attractions: Machu Pichu, the Nazca Lines or the beaches at Mancora.
That cranky assessment was rendered 30 years ago, just as Peru descended into 20 years of bloody civil war. The country is still coming to terms with the bitter conflict, but foreign consulates no longer warn travelers to keep clear. Lima has changed greatly, and for the better.
Popular anthropologist Ronald Wright hated Lima, couldn’t wait to get out of the city conquistador Francisco Pizzaro founded in 1535. Everything about the teeming metropolis offended Wright’s sensibilities.
Pizaro’s Lima is all but lost amid the 30 independent municipalities that have grown up around it. After losing my way on a casual walk, I bought a city map. Spread out on the floor, it measured almost 15 square feet. I could not easily step across it and a magnifying glass was necessary to read the street names.
“Lima, as usual, is depressing me,” he complained in his widely acclaimed travelogue Cut Stones and Crossroads. “There is little Peruvian about the place. It began as the beachhead of a foreign power and never learned to change.”
The city would take a lifetime to digest. But the downtown neighbourhoods that verge the Pacific are easy to explore on foot. Following the malecon along the oceanfront cliffs, it takes about an hour to walk from downtown Miraflores to
6 March April 2012 | The Tomato
suburban Barranco, where I found, at the end of a quiet, shaded lane, Second Home Peru, a stylish bed and breakfast run by Lillian Delfin.
consultant from Milan, Ms. Delfin related a brief anecdote that summed up the changes that have transformed her native city.
Second Home Peru is a rambling three-storey Tudorstyle cottage that shares a dramatic cliff-edge property with a studio and atelier constructed over a lifetime by Ms. Delfin’s father Victor, one of Peru’s best known and most influential artists of the last 50 years.
On her way to see a play, she found herself alone on a dark street in Barranco. “I suddenly realized my situation: there I was, a woman, alone. It was only eight o’clock, but when I was growing up in Lima, such a thing would have been unthinkable. Then I laughed at myself for being afraid. People used to race through Lima. They would say, ‘oh, I really should spend more time here.’ Now they do.”
They enjoy a view that is becoming unique in Lima. From working-class Chorrillos to prosperous Miraflores and San Isidro, sleek high-rise condominiums crowd the coastal cliffs. New towers are rising as quickly as the homes of earlier architectural eras can be razed. Over breakfast shared with regular guests — a Canadian mining executive from Vancouver and a marketing
What holds tourists is the new spirit of pride Limeneos take in their city and Peru’s growing international reputation for food that fuses the flavours of every continent. After simmering quietly on the backburner, Peruvian cuisine is winning international recognition. Lima’s bookstores
Acurio learned his craft at the Cordon Bleu school in Paris, but aspiring chefs no longer have to leave Peru. There is a Cordon Bleu School in Lima and Acurio runs his own culinary training centre in a shantytown suburb 40 kilometres north of Lima.
are filled with weighty tomes devoted to Peruvian food. There are cooking schools and a magazine that every month sniffs out the hottest new restaurants in the country. It is almost impossible to get a mediocre meal, even in sketchy joints where some contend the most authentic food is found.
Peru’s three distinct regions, the Pacific coast, Andes and Amazon, and a hundred different ecosystems bring diverse flavours to the banquet, but in Peruvian cooking, chiles, especially the bright yellow and slightly piquante aji, often take the lead. It adds a spicy note to ceviche, and brightens the mellow yellow of papa huayro in causa, Peru’s salute to its most prized potato.
“To understand Peru’s mélange of flavors, you need a history lesson,” says Tony Custer, author of the weighty The Art of Peruvian Cuisine. “As different groups arrived in Peru, they brought things from around the world. Peru’s fusion was historical and it developed over time.” Africans brought limon, a semisweet citrus; indentured Chinese rail builders introduced stirfrying, soy sauce and ginger. Japanese shared their techniques with seafood, and Italians added pasta to the mix. The cuisine underwent a revolution 20 years ago with Novoandina, as chefs applied modern techniques and presentation to pre-Incan dishes and ingredients.
Causa started life as a humble casserole of mashed potato, canned tuna, and mayo, but chefs
have transformed it into something ethereal. The first time causa appeared on my plate at Canta Rana as a golden mound studded with shrimp, I assumed it was polenta. A taste revealed nutty potato, sweet limon, and spicy aji. On the next occasion, layers of potato, tuna tartare and avocado sat on a vivid yellow aji glaze. Limon and fresh seafood, especially linguado, or flounder as it’s known in North America and Europe, are the basis of ceviche, Peru’s signature dish. It is seasoned with aji and onion and served chilled with sides of sweet potato and corn, offering sour, sweet and savoury on one plate. My favourite comfort food is aroz con mariscos — seafood with rice. Every plate is an adventure and a sampling of the catch of the day:
squid, scallops, clams, octopus, shrimp in whatever measure pleases the chef. In the best versions, the seafood is steamed separately and dropped on a bed of savoury rice. And then there is Peru’s signature drink. No, not the beloved Inca Cola, a bright yellow pop that smells like paint thinner and tastes of sweet cherry, but Pisco, a grappa-like brandy distilled from white grapes. Chile also lays claim to Pisco, but their version of a Pisco Sour is a pale imitation of the Peruvian classic: pisco and limon topped with a froth of egg white and a drop of bitters. The first Sunday of February is National Pisco Sour Day. The Ica region south of Lima is home to the oldest vineyards in South America. Tabernero, Tacama and Ocucaje wineries are winning international recognition for their robust reds, but they face stiff competition from more plentiful Chilean and Argentinian vintners. Excellent beers are brewed in Peru and there is endless debate over which is best, Pilsen Callao or Cusquenea, a lager. Either is better than Cristal, a weak, watery brew, and both go well with a plate of ceviche.
Raul Modensi remembers when it was otherwise, when Lima’s top restaurants served European food and the wealthy looked to Miami for style. Modensi took the food served in the chifa joints and cevicherias like Sonia’s in Chorrillos and Canta Rana in Barranco and in 1972 put it on the tables in Costa Verde, his elegant beachfront restaurant in Miraflores.
Love it or hate it, there is no avoiding Lima. Peru’s capital and largest city has the country’s only international airport. Unless you’re arriving by bus or boat from a neighbouring country, your first port of call will be Lima.
“When I opened this place and featured the seafood of the city, everybody said I was crazy, but I knew instinctively that I was right,” he said. “I was the first, the pioneer.”
Whether you stay a day, a week or a month, the first rule of getting the most from the city is where you set up camp. Choose Miraflores where there are numerous options in every price range, or Barranco, and avoid the old city of Lima.
Photos Jack Danylchuk
If Modensi is the godfather, then Gaston Acurio and his partner Astrid Gutsche are the undisputed stars, even if Tony Custer’s weighty and expensive paen to Peruvian cuisine has elbowed Acurio’s 500 years of Fusion from prime space on bookstore shelves. Their company, La Macha, has 30 restaurants in 12 countries and is opening more.
The cold water of the Humboldt Current casts a foggy shadow on Lima and the cost of Peru but rewards the country with the richest fishery in the world. This is the catch of the day, Chorrillos.
Jack Danylchuk’s pathological dislike of cold weather takes him on an annual migration from Yellowknife and Edmonton to Mexico and South America where he has developed a taste for most southern cooking, except cuy, in any form.
Planning to visit Lima? Log on to thetomato.ca first for a list of the author’s recommended restaurants, accommodations and must-see attactions.
The Tomato | March April 2012 7
| amanda leneve
Drink: The cocktail revolution I’m over it. The cosmopolitans, the appletinis, the rye and cokes… I want something that doesn’t totally mask a spirit’s flavour helping me cruise easily into a state of inebriation. I want to celebrate the juniperiness of gin, the oakiness of bourbon and the spiciness of rum. I want to play around with bitters. I want my mixes to add dimension and complexity. I want more from a cocktail. Is that too much to ask?
Fine Wines by Liquor Select Fine Wines | Exceptional Staff | Private Tasting Room Join us for weekly tastings, private events and corporate functions in our private tasting room — equipped with LCD projector and screen. 8924 149 Street | 780.481.6868 | liquorselect.com | email@example.com
• Extensive malt whisky selection • By-the-glass wine, champagne & sparkling • Cheese, paté, charcuterie & gourmet haggis • Available for private functions
5482 Calgary Trail
Fortunately for cocktail lovers like me, there is a vibrant and healthy cocktail culture gaining momentum challenging what we drink and how we drink it. On a trip to Portland, Oregon this past summer, I learned that it isn’t too much to ask for more from a cocktail and plenty of people are enthusiastically exploring what a cocktail can be. In this cocktail revolution, bartenders, mixologists and cocktail enthusiasts focus on flavour and ingredients by experimenting with the classic combination of spirit + sugar + water + bitter. It all matters — from the spirit to the mix, to the bitters, to the garnishes. (I did encounter a strong anti-vodka movement in Portland, the town that has birthed several modern food and drink trends. One small lounge downtown carried a dozen gins with nary a vodka in sight.) Flavour and provenance are king — perhaps a boozy extension of concepts made popular through the Slow Food movement. Craft plays a significant role in this trend. Many of the lounges I visited in Portland had their own house-made something or other — be it ginger beer, piña colada mix,
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tonic or syrups. They all prided themselves in this home-madeness. The craft philosophy includes the spirits themselves, too. Artisinal distilleries have had the opportunity to showcase their spirits in this reinvented approach to cocktails. Portland is home to several craft distilleries producing spirits used at cocktail bars throughout the city — a handful are located in Portland’s downtown core including House Spirits, makers of the flavorful Aviation Gin. Artisan spirits aren’t just a Portland thing. Canadian aficionados are making a name for themselves as well, with new outfits such as Hornby Island’s Island Spirits Distillery, Pemberton Distillery and Barking Dog Vineyards in Victoria, who produce the award winning Victoria Gin. The cocktail trend may be old news in cities like Portland, London, New York and Vancouver. Perhaps Edmonton has been a bit slower to catch on. Recently, though, our city of Caesars and Crown & Coke has begun to make cocktail culture gains. Late last year a duo called The Volstead Act — Winnipeg natives Andrew Borley and Jeremy Bouw — held their first public event celebrating the anniversary of Repeal Day pouring cocktails inspired by the classics at a prohibition-era themed event. Their goal? To change the way Edmontonians think about cocktails. “We want to challenge people to not just have rum and cokes — not that we’re so pretentious that we think those are bad,” said Volstead’s Jeremy Bouw. “We just know it can be better and we want
It’s as easy as
to encourage people to try new things.” These two cocktail enthusiasts are quick to defend the role of the bartender suggesting that this new cocktail culture isn’t meant to redefine what the job of a bartender is, but instead is meant to expand on what a bartender can serve with the goal of diversifying drink and spirit menus around the city. Their event was a sell-out, generating a buzz around the city about old-school cocktails. Recent announcements of new businesses in the downtown core — including a whiskey bar — also show some promise for a new cocktail culture in Edmonton. Unfortunately, Volstead doesn’t yet have firm plans for a lounge, but they’re certainly talking about it. In the meantime, they are continuing to plan events introducing more Edmontonians to this new approach to cocktails and its charming culture. I think we can take this cue to rise up ourselves, too. Here are a few things you could do to get into the cocktail revolution: • Challenge the drink menu! Try something with bitters, order a
spirit you’ve never had before and spend some time thinking about the flavours. • Get your hands on tickets to one of the Volstead Act’s upcoming events, which are advertised on their website and Facebook page. • Become a cocktail enthusiast yourself. The cocktail community is a collaborative and friendly one, with numerous blogs and online articles dedicated to cocktails, what to put in them, how to mix them, how to make bitters and mixes at home, and so much more. Check thetomato.ca for a list of online resources. • Visit other cities and explore their cocktail culture. Of course, I highly recommend Portland — if you go there, be sure to check out Clyde Common, Teardrop and anywhere bartenders at either of those places recommend; it’ll be the newest and the coolest. Also the Cascade Room in Vancouver (one of my favourites), Raw Bar in Calgary, Cannon in Seattle and the Pegu Club in New York. Amanda LeNeve will spend spring trying to replicate a bourbon and ginger cocktail she fell in love with in Portland.
1-2-3! west to kentucky by andrew borley, the volstead act This cocktail looks forward to the first produce of spring, while still including enough aged whiskey to weather any cold snaps that the final days of winter might bring. 1.5 oz
pear eau de vie
1 oz rhubarb ginger syrup (recipe below)
The largest selection of Beer in Canada!
The largest selection of Rum in Edmonton!
The largest selection of Scotch on our block!
11819 St. Albert Trail, Edmonton www.sherbrookeliquor.com
1/4 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice Shake with ice and strain into a chilled Sherbrooke_12V.indd coupe.
10-12-10 7:44 AM
Rhubarb Ginger Syrup 3 c
zest of one lemon
simple syrup (equal parts cane sugar and water) Combine rhubarb and sugar in a saucepan. Let stand at room temperature until the rhubarb begins to exude some juice, approximately 15 minutes. Add the lemon zest and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, adding small amounts of water as necessary to prevent the rhubarb from boiling dry. Stir occasionally until you have achieved a thick, porridgelike consistency, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and add ginger. Allow the ginger to infuse for 15 minutes.
Beautiful Parties c aT e r e D h e r e .
Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer, pressing with the back of a spoon to extract as much juice as possible. Combine the resulting measure of juice with a half measure of simple syrup. Makes about two cups. he Volstead Act mixes it up. T Aaron Vanimere photo
T he B u Tler D iD i T 780.455.5228 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tomato | March April 2012 9
b r un c h c i t y Jennifer Crosby
The text messages start rolling in when I’m still ten minutes from the restaurant. Running late! Wardrobe malfunction! Order me a mimosa! As I scramble down the sidewalk I fire off my own message, ‘On my way!’ It’s four minutes to ten on a sunny Sunday morning. Welcome to Victoria, Brunch City. BC’s capital, nestled on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, is most often described with various forms of the word quaint: adorable, picturesque, charming. Surrounded by Pacific Ocean views,
dotted with craggy hills and lined with the warm brick facades of heritage buildings, the description is apt. The look of staunch Old England reinforces its reputation as “the home of the newly wed and the nearly dead.” But make no mistake; this is no sleepy Canadian outpost. Vancouver Island is a foodie haven where the locals produce charcuterie, bacon jam, and mozzarella with the milk of Canada’s first water buffalo herd. Authentic barbecue and craft cocktails are more than passing fads. According to Tourism Victoria, San Francisco is the only place in North America with more restaurants per capita. In this city, if you want something deliciously unique and want it quickly, there’s no reason you can’t have it. The exception? Sunday brunch. You know that saying ‘good things come to those who wait?’ The person who wrote that was waiting for brunch in Victoria. You mustn’t get the impression that demand is too high to have a great dining
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experience; that couldn’t be further from the truth. The city’s compact, walkable core means you can stroll by several proudly local eateries before making your choice. In many cases, the wait is so short there’s barely time to eye earlier birds with envy. But Victorians, showing great loyalty to their favourite eateries, are willing to line up for good food. Anticipation becomes part of the experience. It’s about not having to rush. The best brunches are the ones that last hours, leaving you sated on both the social and nutritional levels. “Brunch is an event,” says Josh Miller, owner-operator of Mo:Le Restaurant. “You’re going out yet it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.” Customer enthusiasm has lead to an unofficial partnership between two of my favourite places: Mo:Le (pronounced like the Mexican sauce) and Habit Coffee. Tucked into side-by-side brick spaces with skylights overhead and local art on the walls, strangers to the city often think the two are one business. The system is so
simple, it’s genius. If there’s a wait, put your name on Mo:Le’s list. Pop next door and visit the baristas at Habit. Find a cozy corner, read one of the house magazines and listen in on local chatter. Someone from Mo:Le will fetch you when your table is ready. Not finished your latte? Bring it with you. The dishes will find their way back. Miller and Habit Coffee owneroperator Shane Devereaux respectively and separately describe their relationship with the same word: symbiotic. Thanks to small-city neighbourliness, their system developed organically. Says Devereaux, “We end up being a bit busier and he doesn’t send people away. In general in Victoria, small businesses, especially food-related ones, tend to work together.” Side-note: if your day is not complete without great coffee, Habit is a must-do. This carbonneutral outlet has forged a new standard in ethically delicious coffee, what Devereaux calls “quality-driven, from seed to cup.” For a sublime brunch experience, you can’t go wrong with Ferris’ Upstairs Saturday brunch. The gorgeous room is highlighted with hardwood flooring and a teensy behind-the-bar kitchen that pumps out taste so big you’d never guess there is
“only one cook & only one burner” if it weren’t printed on the menu. Try French toast stuffed with Brie and roasted walnuts, or order some of the oysters that have made the initial location downstairs famous.
go with a crispy ham and cheese croissant and window-shop in the fashion district, just up Johnson Street — or stay for eggs benedict with chipotle hollandaise in the courtyard.
To transport yourself into a bustling 1970s dining room with Arborite tables and Corelle dishware, step into Lady Marmalade which serves dishes like cheddar and spinach waffles slathered in tomato-orange cream along with tangy salad. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll know how right this combo can be.
Back at Mo:Le, Mo’s Biscuit combines their signature cream cheese scrambled eggs with bacon, roasted red pepper, Havarti and a divine aioli atop a buttermilk biscuit. The restaurant also offers a daily fresh sheet with three gluten-free options.
Victorians in the know vie for one of Avalon’s twenty seats and order the house-made Oaten Toast. The deliciously dense bread is topped with cheddar or homemade jam and is available for sale; five dollars a loaf. A trip to Willie’s Bakery should include the freshsqueezed orange juice. Take it to
So leave your watch at home and engage in a great tradition. Brunch is more than a meal here. It’s a culture, an obsession, a religion. Chat, order coffee, weigh menu options, sip a mimosa, savour, get a second coffee… and repeat. Global Morning News Anchor Jennifer Crosby orders her bacon crispy and her lattes — often.
b r un c h c i t y
Mo:Le Restaurant 554 Pandora Ave., molerestaurant.ca Habit Coffee 552 Pandora Ave., or 808 Yates St. habitcoffee.com Ferris’ Upstairs Oyster Bar 536 Yates St., ferrisoysterbar.com Ferris’ Downstairs Grill is equally delicious, louder and more traditional Lady Marmalade 608 Johnson St., ladymarmalade.ca Avalon 1075 Fort St. Willie’s Bakery 537 Johnson St., williesbakery.com Blue Fox Walk up Fort Street until you see the big group of people 919 Fort St., 250-380-1683 Their biggest hits include a Moroccan Chicken Benedict, and Oranges del Sol French toast (topped with vanilla velvet sour cream sauce, oranges, Triple Sec syrup and pecans). Floyd’s 866 Yates St., floydsdinervictoria.ca Along with John’s Place, Floyd’s was recently featured on Food Network
all about home Gourmet k i t c h en tab let op & f i ne li nens bri dal reG i s t ry
Crestwood Centre | 9646 142 Street | 780.437.4190 | www.bellacasaDCL.com
Shop where the chefs shop.
Canada’s “You Gotta Eat Here.” Order a Breakfast Scramble with eggs, spinach, roasted garlic, herb pesto and feta to help you recover from too much night before. John’s Place 723 Pandora Ave., johnsplace.ca Big portions for small prices. John’s lengthy menu will be easy on your wallet and tough on your waistline — but the waffles are worth it. Opt for the cream cheese syrup.
278 Cree Road in Sherwood Park • 780.449-.3710 Open Monday to Thursday 10-5 • Friday to Saturday 9-6
Shine Café 1548 Fort St. or 1320 Blanshard St. shinecafe.ca Shine specializes in variations on the classic Eggs Benedict. Choose the densely delicious Scottish pancake scone as your side — more pancake than scone. Zambri’s 820 Yates Street, zambris.ca This Victoria mainstay recently moved into the imposing new Atrium Building. Full disclosure: I’ve enjoyed Zambri’s amazing dinner, but the new location opened after I moved to Edmonton. Tomato web editor Amanda LeNeve waxes rhapsodic about the meatballs and eggs.
We change our menus with the seasons, using only local & natural ingredients.
The Tomato | March April 2012 11
Wendy Lee, Matahari “Our food at Matahari isn’t typical Chinese food — it’s a mixture of Asian regional flavours and textures.”
A Woman From left: Wendy, Annie,Sherrill
in the kitchen • part ii Mary Bailey with photos by To Be In Pictures
The Kitchen entrepreneurs profiled on these pages followed their passion for food into business. Some cater, others bought an existing restaurant, a few are no longer owners. Several carry on a family business. They share an enduring love of food and a highly developed ability to collaborate. Here are their stories.
Wendy Lee, Matahari Have engineering degree and MBA, will open a restaurant. Wendy Lee’s journey to restaurant proprietor includes coming to Canada to study, then opening a restaurant with her sisters. “I got married!” says Wendy Lee, when I asked her where she was over the holidays. “To a high school classmate in Brunei who now lives in Korea. We reconnected in 2010. My husband started a manufacturing business three years ago, so for a while we’ll have a long-distance marriage. “After six years in school (U of A, Mechanical Engineering, Western MBA), I thought I’d visit with family for a while before looking
12 March April 2012 | The Tomato
for another engineering job. My sister Sherrill worked for a company that was closing as the owners were retiring, and my other sister Annie had been a hairdresser for 20 years, but her passion was food not hair.
out front of house especially when I’m away.
“Food was our passion. We all love cooking, we all want our own business, why don’t we open a restaurant? It was a pivotal time — we understood that. If we hadn’t made this business together we’d be all over — this keeps us together as a family.
“Family business? We’re together all the time! Perhaps there’s a trade off in privacy and we have minor disagreements but we agree on the big things and that’s what counts.”
“We started looking for a space and a year later, opened Matahari. “Our food at Matahari isn’t typical Chinese food; it’s a mixture of Asian regional flavours and textures — Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia. My favourite dish on the menu is the shaking beef; I love the fresh, citrusy taste. My mother is Malaysian, but we grew up in Brunei and that’s where she taught us to cook. Annie runs the kitchen. I take care of front of house and Sherrill is mostly kitchen, but helps
“There is a community of Chinese from Brunei who started to come here in the late 1980s. I came to study, my sister, and then the rest of the family, immigrated.
Mandy Quon, The Lingnan The Lingnan became known across Canada with the TV series Family Restaurant. The women in the family business are front and centre, at least from a customer’s perspective. “My mom and I don’t do any cooking. My mom is the entertainer and I do all the work. But my mom does run Chicken for Lunch, Monday to Friday. She started it when I was in grade three; everybody said don’t buy it, but look how well it’s done. I work in sales at Fairmont responsible for the mountain region. We’re both at the Lingnan only on the weekends.
That’s when it’s busiest because everyone wants to come when my mom is working.
“Anaid Productions asked us to do a demo, then we filmed for a year three, four times per week. It’s been really good for business, which is up at least 30 per cent. People had forgotten about Lingnan. We’re in the third season now and there is the Quon Dynasty spinoff. That’s been really good, not only for business but for my dad, it brought out his personality. He’s extremely private but enjoys people more now, and he’s a better communicator.
“My brother Miles really looks after the restaurant — he’ll be carrying on after my dad. Marty has a job outside the restaurant as well. But everyone we date ends up working at the restaurant; otherwise when would we see them? “I’m a little bit of a shopaholic. When I have two hours to spare, I go shopping, it’s relaxing. But I’m not as bad as my mom. She has so many clothes her closet fell over — she still had clothes from the 80s — jumpsuits.”
Michelle DeLand, caterer Extraordinary Food Many Edmontonians still mourn the demise of River City Grill, Michelle’s Crestwood area restaurant that closed in 1999 to make way for Crestwood Centre. “I took a break from cooking,” says Michelle. “For about five years. “I had been a private chef for a family, catered, did dinners and weddings. Extraordinary Food is an extension of that. “My mentor is Madeleine Kamman. She taught a course at Tante Marie in San Fransisco. At the end of the course we had to create a menu in order to graduate. Students were doing a lot of different things and I was worried my menu might be too plain Jane. She said: ‘Your menu, I want to eat.’ I’ve never forgotten that — make food people want to eat. “Peter Jackson is also a mentor. I cooked at Jack’s Grill in the beginning and went back recently to help with training and the transition to the new owners. The kids at Jacks are crazy for food. There’s something about these kids — they are amazing, they give me hope. “The body is not able to do what it used to do. I’ve never been a clipboard chef, but then I’ve always been in pretty much boutique kitchens working the line. I was happy; I could do 92 covers on Valentine’s Day and still walk the next day. This is not something I want to be doing when I retire. If you’re doing a good job, it’s very physical. Plus there’s all the schlepping. “This is still an underpaid and overworked profession. The rate of pay for cooks is about $14 an hour when starting out. But it’s important to take the opportunity to work in environments where you can learn.”
cleaning company. My cleaning clients needed help at their parties to serve, to hang the coats, to wash dishes, to set the table — really, to make them look like Martha — we started saying we’ll mop, shop, and chop. “We were planning and styling the parties and hiring the caterers. I found at the time there was a void for caterers who wanted to do small stylish things with restaurant quality food. ‘Want the radishes carved in the shape of a Buddha? Sure, we can do that.’ Of course, now, I understand why no one was doing this sort of thing then, but we didn’t know any better. After several years of trying to do it all, we are going back to what we do best — what I call diva dinners: small elegant affairs, intimate stuff. Things have changed, more people want our sort of thing. “I love beautiful food. Every time we do a party we get raves for the food and for the service. It’s very personal. We don’t do cookie cutter affairs and I go to every party. It takes time to do this kind of thing, labour costs are high, and we have lovely people who work hard to make it beautiful. I am a disciple of local, but not all of our clients understand the difference or want to pay for it. ”Our clients can’t or don’t want to do it themselves. They say: ‘I know you’ll leave me with a spotless kitchen — there won’t be toothpicks lying around.’”
Anna Muse, Il Forno Ristorante Pack Rat Louie’s operations manager Anna Muse bought Il Forno from the founder, the larger than life character Ralph Maio. Her challenge? Keep what was good about the restaurant and improve on the rest, all under the watchful eye of a regular clientele who liked things just the way they were.
Marianne’s passion for entertaining led her to expand a cleaning company into a fine catering operation.
“I have a business degree. At some point I walked into a restaurant and thought: ‘this is something I’d like.’ I started at Sorrento, then Sorrentino, then Peter Johner’s Pack Rat Louie where I was the operations manager for nine years.
“I have a marketing background, but at one point I started a
“When Peter sold the restaurant, I agreed to stay on for a year to help
Marianne Brown, caterer, The Butler Did It
with the transition. I hadn’t really thought about what would happen after that. “One day I was having dinner at Il Forno, chatting with the owner Ralph Maio, who told me he wanted to sell. I didn’t really believe him, but when I told my son he said, ‘Are you serious? Call him!’ “The hardest thing was to establish myself as the new owner and to have our clientele accept me. There was a lot of ‘who the hell are you and why are you here?’ Some of the customers responded well, some didn’t. I do recall one saying ‘this is a good restaurant; don’t screw it up.’ I listened to that.
Mandy Quon, The Lingnan “Everyone we date ends up working at the restaurant; otherwise when would we see them?” From left: Amy (mom), Mandy
“I’ve had a lot of fun. Yes, there’s issues. When the economy is good we couldn’t get staff. Thank God for the foreign worker program. Two fellows were able to get permanent residency and they became my everything in the kitchen. When the economy is not so good we had fewer customers and had to put some major renos on hold. “Pricing is tough. Costs, including our rent, have increased 20 per cent in five years; we pay a cook $18 to cook $10 pasta. We’ve raised our prices only once in three years. Customers sometimes don’t want you to do anything differently. We redid the bathrooms, and several customers asked, ‘Why?’
Michelle De Land, caterer Extraordinary Food “Make food people want to eat.”
“We want to be able to do more things in the community. We just had a successful fundraiser for Pilgrim’s Hospice. We’re going to change the menu a bit, with more baked pastas such as lasagna and cannelloni. We hope to redo the ceiling and lighting and make the space a bit more flexible for private dinners and events. “It has to be in your heart — there is nothing else I want to do.”
Jennifer Ogle, Under the High Wheel We’ve loved Jennifer’s food since her days at Blonde in Calgary. Now she embarks on a new venture. “My background is Acadian French — I grew up in a family that loved good food. I worked at various places in Edmonton, operated a catering company Continued next page
Marianne Brown, The Butler Did It “Our clients say, ‘I know you’ll leave me with a spotless kitchen’.”
The Tomato | March April 2012 13
Anna Muse Il Forno Ristorante “It has to be in your heart — there is nothing else I want to do.”
called Jennabeans, then worked at the Cookbook Company in Calgary. Everything changed for me then, working with chefs from all over the world who would come to do cooking classes. But it wasn’t until I did a stage with Lesley Stowe in Vancouver (a Bill Clinton dinner) that I seriously considered cooking school. Gail Norton from the Cookbook Co. and others encouraged me. I received a scholarship to La Varenne. I did a four-month program there, then a stage in a Michelin star restaurant. After that came Blonde, then I traveled in Europe and came back to Edmonton to Organic Roots, and kept my knife skills honed. “Blake Mckay and I had always talked about opening a place together and the opportunity came at Leva. Antonio Bilotti had moved on so we leased the space. Blake moved to Montreal and when my lease came up I knew I wanted to do some thing else, with the focus more on food, less on coffee. “Now here we are, Under the High Wheel at Roots on Whyte. Ada Kalinowski is my business partner. We’ll start with old world comfort food, delicious food that nourishes the body and makes taste buds dance.”
Anita Lewis, Café de Ville
Jennifer Ogle, Under the High Wheel “You need a certain work ethic to be in this business.”
Anita Lewis, Cafe de Ville “The banks laughed at us. Imagine, two women wanting to be in the restaurant business.” 14 March April 2012 | The Tomato
Anita carried on a 124 street eatery tradition, brought it into the 21st century and created partners out of staff. “Jane Pawson-Loblaw and I had worked at Sidetrack, I was the office manager for 12 years; Jane was the front end manager. Michael and Robert were in for drinks one night and said they wanted to sell Café de Ville. They were thrilled we wanted to buy it. “The banks laughed at us. Imagine, two women wanting to be in the restaurant business. My husband co-signed and Jane’s father gave her the money. That’s how it ended up being Jane, Mark and I on the ownership documents. Jane had some health issues and moved back to Saskatchewan. Mark and I decided we needed to have Paul (our son and the executive chef at the time) and Sal, our manager as partners in the business. A
few years ago Tracy our exec chef became a partner too. Now there are five people in ownership and a second location in Sherwood Park. This will provide us with an exit strategy eventually. Right now we’re having fun — both Mark and I work at the Sherwood Park location — but we will want to ease out at some point.
Shabathira and Youmashni and their husbands come and help on busy nights.
“Ownership is different, you notice everything. I have no regrets.
Amanda Babichuk, D’lish Urban Kitchen and Wine Bar
“Business is up, and our clientele is getting younger which is good as aging clientele was my biggest fear. “Tracy has great relationships with suppliers — our customers know local is a must for us.”
Selwa Naidoo, Narayanni's Restaurant The Naidoo family opened Block 1912 several years ago, introducing a relaxed European coffee house vibe to Whyte Avenue and Selwa’s exuberant flavours to a legion of fans. Their next act, Narayanni’s, allows Selwa’s cooking to take centre stage. “My mother loved to cook and entertain. I would climb up beside the coal stove and watch while she made a dish. I was always curious, what was the cinnamon stick doing in there? Even now, if I want to know something, I call my 83 yearold mother. “I use all good ingredients. Not too much oil, no cream, no fat when we make a soup — some salt, some pepper, some thyme, some onion, then all your vegetables. First turmeric, then your home made masala. “I made all the salads and we had a pastry chef at Block 1912. After 15 years we sold it. We outgrew it. I wanted a restaurant. I found the site, a heritage building on the south side. The restaurant is named after our granddaughter Narainee, also the goodess of wealth. “Most Indian cooks have been trained for the American market. But we are South African — it’s a mix of white, African and Indian food cultures. We serve European desserts and salads, we have vegan night, we like to mix it up. I blend all my own spices. Our girls
“Our granddaughter, five going on six, likes to get on a step stool beside me. She’ll say, ‘Don’t think you are cooking the food; I’ll do it.’ “There is a lot of love in our food.”
Amanda brings superb marketing skills to D’lish. Her ability to capture a trend, then move on when the concept doesn’t work, is helping create a viable food business. “I had moved from the suburbs to downtown to embrace a more urban lifestyle. I had discovered a place called Simply Supper and in an hour and a half or so, had made enough food for three weeks, and I knew every ingredient that went into it. ‘We need more of these,’ I thought. “In November 2008 I started a meal assembly kitchen featuring clean, seasonal regional food. Within two years it was obvious that the whole meal replacement segment was not doing well. People thought it was a great idea for allergies but it was seen as a luxury service, not an essential service. “In spring 2010 I rebranded as D’lish Urban Kitchen and Wine Bar, and continued catering. “The restaurant business has a steep learning curve. It was painful. I had been a junior person in a corporate environment, now I was the senior person. I had no experience, I needed strong experienced people with me. I had never managed young people. How to motivate? How to inspire? I had a hard time finding the right mix of people. “We’ve stayed true to our principles of seasonal regional food. We have some great people with fresh perspectives. We have new things going on: we’re going to try alley breakfast out the back door of our kitchen; we’ll be open for lunch again in the spring; and we’ll start serving weekend brunch. Life on 124 street is burgeoning. I love being part of it.”
Zofia Trebaczkiewicz and Julia Kundera, Enjoy Centre From the early days of Café Mosaic, through Two Rooms and then Flavours Modern Bistro, the sisters created oases of flavour on Whyte Avenue — casual spots for breakfast, lunch and dinner that were accessible and delicious. Now, they are instrumental in the evolution of food at the Enjoy Centre. “Café Mosaics was the first nonsmoking restaurant in the city,” says Zofia. “Then we opened Two Rooms Café, the Backroom Vodka Bar, then Flavours. Flavours was a good business with good food but with lease issues, things like that, we got out. “Julia worked at Planet Organic. I went to work at a library (my other love is books) but food kept calling. Someone told me about the Enjoy Centre. “We missed producing food. It feels like home here. Julia is the sous chef, and designs the salad bar, also organizes catering. I was still working at the library at first, but helped out with prep part time. “Our ideas about flavour and serving standards are in sync with the people here. I’ve moved to the bakery — it was missing support and direction. We are involved in an educational process for both counter staff and our customers. What is sourdough? Why are these breads different than those made
with conventional yeast? We have four, no, five starters on the go including the one Gabor the baker brought from Hungary. “Curtis is bringing his knowledge of fine pastry and chocolate. He’s actually building a machine to make chocolates. We’re developing a whole line of gluten free biscuits, breads, a beautiful banana muffin. “I have a lot of satisfaction and pleasure and freedom to do the things we want to do — not so tied down with the pressures of running a business. “The sky is the limit here. Catering, totally gluten free catering, healthy options, wholesome foods, with beautiful bursts of flavour, with room for the occasional indulgence.
Lynn Heard, Unheardof Lynn started Unheardof with her brother David and his wife Claudia. Now 31 years later, Dave and Lynn show no signs of stopping. “Yes, we started 31 years ago, complete and utter idiocy,” says Lynn Heard. “Dave was a NAIT culinary graduate, working in motorcycles; he and Claudia had a young family but wanted to do something together in food. We started catering — mainly a weekend thing — eight months later, we were still getting along. Originally we planned to do a large development on 104 Street, 150 seats, with entertainment
Zofia Trebaczkiewicz (left) and Julia Kundera, Enjoy Centre “We have a lot of satisfaction and pleasure and freedom to do the things we want. We’re not so tied down with the pressures of running a business.”
“What were we thinking? I look back at the early days and cringe, as the food scene has changed so much. I look at some of the young chefs coming on and I’m in awe of what they’re doing. We’ve introduced new flavours. If someone said 10 years ago you’ll have lentils on the menu, I wouldn’t have believed it. “The key is to increase sales while controlling costs. Labour is always a big expense. But at the same time, cooks train for two years to make 1/3 of what other trades make. It’s a calling; they do it because they love it.
Selwa Naidoo, Narayanni's Restaurant “There is a lot of love in our food.”
“My advice to someone just getting started? Be prepared to be married to it for a while, but eventually you find a balance. We’re not open for lunch and we’re not open late. “I get bored easily — this business is always different and always changing. “It’s still fun, from March 15 to April 15 we have a bring-a-seniorto-dinner promotion in recognition of my 65th birthday. A highlight was our staff trip to New Zealand last year.”
Cindy Lazarenko Cindy Lazarenko, one of our favourite kitchen women sold her restaurant Highlands Kitchen and is now taking some time off.
Amanda Babichuk, D’lish Urban Kitchen and Wine Bar “Life on 124 street is burgeoning, and I love being part of it.”
Mary Bailey is the editor of The Tomato food & drink.
Lynn Heard, Unheardof “We’ve finally reached the point where I can say ‘I get to do this my way’.”
The Tomato | March April 2012 15
Could it be the world’s most universal food? mary bailey
Consider the South American empanada, the central European pyrohy, the Chinese pot sticker, the Japanese gyoza, the Indian samosa, the English Cornish pasty, the Georgian khinkali. What culture doesn’t make a dough and wrap a filling in it? Dumplings I have known: the spicy beef empanada sold by girls on the street at the flea market in Buenos Aires; the large, drippily delicious Georgian khinkali; the pyrohy, of course the pyrohy; various Asian dumplings; in soup, steamed, panfried, won tons. Boiled, baked, filled with potato, meat, vegetables, cheese or seafood, eaten in soup, with a knife and fork, or out of hand, the dumpling is the most ubiquitous of foods.
pyrohy Brad Smoliak calls the pyrohy Ukrainian comfort food. In the early days of the Hardware Grill, Brad elevated the lowly pyrohy by creating a sublime truffled
16 March April 2012 | The Tomato
potato filling. Chris Wood sold a modern version with fillings such as goat cheese and blueberry in six packs at Debaji’s. There is the wildly successful Cheemo, that savior of mothers. (I’ll admit to the occasional bag of Cheemo potato perogies in the ‘fridge.) Joe Makowecki, head of the family company that manufactures them in Edmonton, told me that they use the Polish spelling due to Cheemo’s large following in the Chicago area. The pyrohy is nothing if not versatile, even in its spelling. “They’re not an everyday food, they’re a treat. So don’t mess with them,” says Brad, alluding to the high calorie load of the Ukrainian pyrohy in all its glory — boiled, then pan-fried and served with bacon and sour cream. “The secret to a good pyrohy? Don’t go lowfat — they are not a low-fat thing, don’t put turkey bacon on them. My baba used to fry them in bacon fat.” Brad says the best way to enjoy pyrohy is to make a party. “It’s
more fun to make them as a group. Somebody makes the dough and everyone brings a filling, and you make them together.”
asian dumplings With Chinatown full of great places to eat dumplings, I must admit it was many years before I actually made them from scratch. The book Asian Dumplings: Mastering Gyoza, Spring Rolls, Samosa and More by Andre Nguyen has been my bible on the road to dumpling mastery. But even Ms. Nguyen says it’s ok to cheat and use won ton wrappers when you are in a pinch.
khinkali The Asian dumpling and the central European pyrohy are similar in looks, both being fairly small, two-three bites. The Georgian khinkali looks like a palm
sized chef’s hat and may take two hands to eat. It takes a lot of work to make khinkali. Just how much I found out when I asked the ladies in the kitchen at a hotel in rural Georgia if they could show me. The next morning we made dumplings from scratch in the outdoor kitchen. First, we made a flour and water dough, kneaded until elastic, then left to rest. After about a half hour, the dough was rolled to ¼ inch thickness. We cut out small discs using a lovely wooden contraption, and rolled again until the discs were paper thin, about four inches in diameter. The filling was a simple affair of minced pork and beef with chopped onion, salt, and generous amounts of red and black pepper. To that is added a large quantity of water. The filling is worked until it is, essentially, a slurry. This sits while the meat absorbs the liquid. A small spoonful of filling is put in the centre of each disc. The next step is fast and furious. Quick
Photos by Mary Bailey
duck and mushroom pyrohy Brad Smoliak, Kitchen by Brad Smoliak
duck leg confit*, shredded
1c mushrooms, mixed (fine chopped) oyster, shitake, cremini, (portabella can turn the filing gray) ½ c
¼ c fine chopped, dried cranberries ¼ c
fresh thyme, chopped
In a heavy sauté pan heat the butter until the foam subsides, then add the onions and cook until soft, then add the mushrooms, and cook until all the moisture has come out and the mushrooms have begun to caramelize. Add the duck and the remaining ingredients and cook until the filling sticks together. Chill for 30 minutes. *You can buy duck confit at specialty grocery stores, and if you can’t find it, or can’t make your own, you can always use roasted chicken legs (flavor won’t be as rich). The dark meat is more flavorful and will stay moister. Same for the demi glace, if you can’t find it, you can use gravy; just something to moisten and hold the filling together.
dough 3 c
This is the easiest dough recipe, but it is not an exact measurement, it will depend on the moisture content of the sour cream that you are using. hands rapidly pleat the edges of the dumpling until it looks like a chef’s hat. The pleating has to be precise and not too thick. Essentially, the rim of the hat acts as a handle, the dumplings are eaten by hand, carefully, as the meat mixture has made its own divine sauce and you don’t want to miss one bit. The cheese and potato versions are a bit simpler to eat and as delicious. On our last night in Georgia, we went to dinner at a Tbilisi restaurant along the river, then met cousins of our hosts at a casual bar down the road. It was kind of a blue-collar, after-work hangout filled with convivial tables of revelers downing beers and platters heaped with khinkali. We had a platter of dumplings as well, which sat untouched. (Where there’s drinks, there’s food, you won’t go hungry in Georgia.)
Everybody sings, everybody dances. After one such foray on to the dance floor, we came back to another towering pile of khinkali, this time with browned bottoms, like gyoza; “not more dumplings!” “No, these are the same dumplings — they take them back to the kitchen to heat them up.” I bit into one. It wasn’t the best dumpling of the trip, being a bit doughy with a dry, somewhat bland filling; but, if we had spent most of the night dancing and drinking like the tables around us, the platter would have been gone in a Tbilisi minute.
Using a dough hook, mix the ingredients together until a soft dough forms, the dough should not be sticky, and should come away from the bowl cleanly. I also use this dough for crackers, pizza, etc. Roll the dough out to about ¼” thick. Cut in circles approximately 3 inches wide. Place 1 tablespoon of filling inside, pinch closed. Repeat until all filling and dough is done, there may be extra of one or the other. Cook pyrohy in gently boiling water, until they float to the surface. Drain and pan fry in butter with a few fresh sage leaves. Serve with pan sauce and a dollop of sour cream if desired.
Mary Bailey likes to boil dumplings in a cast iron pot over a crackling wood fire. Please see ”Dumplings’ on page 23.
The Tomato | March April 2012 17
O n t h e l i n e at
Darcy Dietz photos
An orthodontist takes a working culinary vacation
bonded instantly, and anyone would with him. He never stopped smiling and seemingly never tires of engaging anyone in the macro- and microscopic debates of food production. We talked about food theory and execution well into the night.
Ever since I dragged a friend to the Culinary Institute of America in New York for Advanced Boot Camp, I've been wanting to take another food immersion vacation. While I had become a voracious reader of books and websites, I was finding that most of the information for amateur chefs was about how, rather than why. I wanted a deeper understanding. I stumbled upon a website called Free Culinary School (stellaculinary.com) by chef Jacob Burton. Chef Burton is the executive chef at Stella in the Cedar House Sport Hotel, Lake Tahoe. He was a California Culinary Academy grad who had worked with Roland Passot at La Folie in San Francisco. I became engrossed with the website and contacted him, asking if there was a chance of doing a mini-internship at Stella. My friend was keen to join me, but as self-employed orthodontists,
18 March April 2012 | The Tomato
Front of house (top) and the front lines (above) at Stella.
we couldn't be away from our practices for a long trip. A week at Stella sounded like exactly the experience we were looking for. At first, Jacob thought we wanted to learn to chop. But due to the experience and confidence gained from our boot camp experience, we convinced Jacob we could do more.
While we were somewhat nervous about this adventure, neither of us had any notion of how much we were about to learn by actually completing the myriad steps of a dinner service. We arrived at Stella, and within minutes of greeting the owners, were taken to chef Jacob who had just finished dinner service. We
He sent us off to our rooms, suggesting we show up for breakfast rested and ready to learn. We never slept, but went over the menu in our heads, wondering how 20-plus items, with five to 10 ingredients each, presented attractively at the perfect temperature, could possibly be learned and prepared by humans. We were about to find out. After an incredible breakfast and bread making demo by the early crew, we began slicing and prepping, grinding spices, steaming vegetables, cooking the evening’s pumpkin crème brûlée custard, and whisking until our arms felt like lead weights. Please see “On the Line” on page 23
Canadian Culinary Championships
As the crowd boogied on into the night, led by Barney Bentall and Ed Robertson creating a fabulous best-house-party-ever vibe, I was thinking about food, about nine chefs, the triumphs and the missed-the-mark dishes, and the odd but right combination of athletic prowess, music, entertainment, fund-raising, wine and top-notch cooking that is the Canadian Culinary Championships.
The gold medal winner, Ottawa’s Marc Lepine of Atelier led from the start. His plates were smart, modern, inventive and exploding with flavour — food that is a joy to eat.
The setting couldn’t be better. In the benign air of a Kelowna February, the charming lakeside Eldorado Hotel was venue for the mystery wine pairing; Okanagan Community College for the black box, and the spectacular finale at the Delta Grand Okanagan Hotel.
Saturday is brutal: 18 mini meals during Black Box, then nine more that evening. My strategy? Get the flavour and the understanding of the dish in one, maybe two bites. Otherwise it’s game over — too much food. I watched the other, more experienced judges. How do they do it? Without a one bite/two bite strategy apparently. If they liked it, they ate it — down to the last microgreen.
Be proud Kelowna — you did a great job. Food at this level is complex, layered with flavour, bursting with craft. It’s not about show-offy, but a profound understanding of flavour and texture principles. Also important is the ability to surprise and delight, especially if you are dish number nine.
Montreal’s JP St Denis’ GMP dish was in a similar vein — a refreshing take on vitello tonnato with impeccably fresh tuna and tiny bits of veal tongue, such flavours, proving once again the adage: simple isn’t easy.
Edmonton’s Gold Medal Plates chef Jan Trittenbach brought his mother and brother from Switzerland to the competition. Every time I saw Jan his smile was a mile wide. “We were beside Marc and his sous during black box,”
he said. “They are a machine, like clockwork, so fast and so quiet!” He was like a kid meeting his favourite hockey player. We all cried a little when it became apparent that Jan would lose 10 per cent of his marks for forgetting a black box ingredient. The goose breast and wild rice of the black box did prove to be a challenge for most of the chefs in the 50 minutes allotted cooking time. And how about us poor judges having to sample 18 dishes so early in the morning? Said Ottawa judge Anne DesBrisay in a cheeky email after the competition: “And surely we should be thinking more of our needs at these 9am competitions. May I suggest next year’s BB: Eggs. Yogurt. Frozen Wild blueberries. Bacon. Espresso beans.” Forget Iron Chef: the Canadian Culinary Championships have excitement, drama, and conviviality. They are worth your attention. I can’t wait until next year.
Top: winners on the podium; gold medal winner Marc Lepine of Ottawa’s Atelier is flanked by Vancouver’s Rob Feenie (right, silver medal) and Montreal’s JP St. Denis (left, bronze medal). Above: Edmonton’s Gold Medal Plates chef Jan Trittenbach competes in the black box event. Photography ScoutMagazine.ca
Mary Bailey’s first trip to CCC as senior judge for Edmonton was enlightening. The Tomato | March April 2012 19
| peter bailey
Wood is Good The new thing in beer is old: wood-aging. Forward-looking beer makers are looking back to the past for the future of beer. Est. 1996
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
For centuries wooden barrels were the standard container for storing, shipping and serving beer. In my mind’s eye I see a mighty British wooden clipper as it rounds the Cape of Good Hope, its hold filled with firkins of India pale ale bound for Calcutta and Bombay. A youthful diet of C.S. Forester and Patrick O’Brian seafaring novels will do that to your mind. But yesterday’s brewers weren’t interested in their beer tasting of wood. New oak barrels were flushed with boiling water and hydrochloric acid or lined with pitch to prevent beer tasting of wood. In the 20th century, beer makers happily switched to sterile stainless steel tanks and kegs. Yet whisky makers continued to use wood in creating their beverages. And both traditional winemakers and innovators like Robert Mondavi used wood to create both classic and revolutionary new wines. Only recently have some inventive brewers taken a page from whisky and wine and turned to wood to create interesting, new, flavourful beers. These innovators have shown that aging beer in wood can add complexity, with unique flavours and aromas the happy result. Wood-aged beers are especially well-suited to Canadian winters as they need to be stronger, more robust styles to avoid having the wood dominate the flavour. Wood-
20 March April 2012 | The Tomato
aged beers are more potent, darker and spicier styles like barley wine, imperial stout and strong ale. The wood used by beer makers most often is American oak in barrels used for making bourbon whiskey. By U.S. law, bourbon must be aged a minimum of two years in new, never-used oak barrels. This means there is a supply of gentlyused bourbon barrels available for beer makers. In addition, brewers have made use of oak barrels used for aging wine, sherry, as well as more unusual ones such as Japanese brewer Hitachino’s use of cedar barrels used for aging sake. The most harmonious recycling is the use of barrels used to age Scotch whisky, given that beer and scotch start life as brothers, both made of malt and water. Like many great innovations, the idea of aging beer in wood barrels was a happy accident. In 2002 the distillers of Glenfiddich, William Grant & Sons, wanted to make an ale-finished whisky. They asked an Edinburgh brewer to make a beer, which was put into oak barrels. After 30 days, the beer was taken out and whisky put in to finish. The alefinished whisky was a real success. But the beer used to season the barrels was poured away. After a few months the brewer discovered that the distillery workers were drinking the discarded beer, calling it “absolutely fantastic.” A company was formed to market the beer and now Innis & Gunn is not only one of Britain’s top independent brewers, it is the most popular bottled British beer in Canada. And I like to imagine that beer crossing the Atlantic to Canada in wooden casks in the hold of a tall ship.
Wood is Good Six Pack Innis & Gunn Highland Cask (7.1%) Scotland Innis & Gunn Original is a sweet, strong ale aged in bourbon whiskey barrels. Think of it as Johnnie Walker Red Label. The limited release Highland Cask then is Johnny Walker Gold Label, matured for 69 days in 18 year-old Scotch whisky barrels. It is moderately sweet, tasting and smelling of toffee and vanilla, with a touch of malt plus whisky warmth.
Harviestoun Ola Dubh 12 (8.0%) Scotland Harviestoun partnered with distiller Highland Park to create a spectacular beer. Their porter, Old Engine Oil, is aged in barrels used to age Highland Park’s 12 year-old Scotch, creating Ola Dubh (“Black Oil” in Gaelic). This is a perfect Alberta beer — black and viscous as bitumen, subtle smoky aroma and a roasty, bittersweet chocolate taste to carry us through our long winter nights.
St. Ambroise Imperial Russian Stout (9.2%) Montreal Wooden tall ships from Britain not only carried pale ale to India, but also powerful stout to Russia, where it gained the name Imperial as it supplied the Tsar Catherine the Great’s court. Aged in bourbon wood barrels, this pitch-black ale has a smoky aroma and a rich taste with hints of chocolate, licorice and coffee. Smooth but with a hop kick and some alcohol warmth.
Phillips The Hammer Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout (8.3%) Victoria, BC What a delight having innovative BC brewer Phillips now available in Alberta! With The Hammer, Phillips ages their already-delicious Russian imperial stout in bourbon barrels to create a mellower beer with woody and smoky flavours. Less bombastic than its name implies, this is a nice entrylevel introduction to a robust, demanding style.
Dieu du Ciel Solstice d'Hiver (10.2%) Montreal Barley wine is another historic British big beer style given a tweak by today’s craft brewers. Montreal mavericks Dieu du Ciel age brew their Winter Solstice beer in summer and age it in bourbon wood barrels for five months. The resulting beer is powerful, bitter and liqueur-like — perfect for sipping on a chilly Edmonton winter’s eve.
Alley Kat Glenda Sherbrooke (18.5%) Edmonton Edmonton’s Alley Kat brews where others fear to brew. Egged on by Sherbrooke Liquor Store, Alley Kat has brewed a powerful and powerfully good beer not for the faint of palate. By aging their renowned Old Deuteronomy barley wine in 10-year-old single malt whisky barrels from Nova Scotia’s Glenora Distillery, Alley Kat has created Canada’s strongest beer. Peter Bailey is an Edmonton-area librarian who simply asks for a tall ship and a star to steer her by. And maybe a pint of porter. The Tomato | March April 2012 21
the proust culinary questionnaire Brad Smoliak, Kitchen 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. Chef Brad Smoliak has worked in many kitchens: professional, research, home kitchens. His latest venture is Kitchen by Brad Smoliak, which will house his research and development business. It’s also a place to gather with other chefs, to do cooking classes, have wine and food nights. His approach is straightforward — it’s about the people. “The food is there to help the people enjoy themselves. I like to keep it simple.” Hometown? Edmonton. Years cooking? 20. Where would you like to live? Greece. Your favourite food and drink? Italian — spaghetti and meatballs, red wine. What would you be doing if you weren’t cooking? Hairdresser, or a tailor. What do you most appreciate in your friends? Honesty... no, that’s not true — that they are fun to hang out with. Your favourite qualities in a dish? Flavour and taste. A dish can look great, but if it doesn’t taste good, forget it. A cook? Someone willing to learn but who also understands the importance of fundamentals.
22 March April 2012 | The Tomato
A wine? Volume. Who would be at your dream dinner table (dead or alive)? My dad, Fred Flinstone, and Dean Martin. Who would cook? Wilma. Which words or phrases do you most overuse? 'How do you think that makes me feel?’ and ‘Are you out of your mind?’ Current culinary obsession/ exploration? Growing San Marzano tomatoes. Meaningful/crazy cooking experience? The kooky experience was the 2010 Olympics — no kitchen, no trained staff — it was crazy! The most meaningful is cooking with my son Nicholas. Best (cooking) thing that ever happened to you? Opening the Hardware Grill. Mentors? My dad, and Jacques Pepin. Favourite casual cheap and cheerful/ afterwork food? Ragazzi pizza. Philosophy? Don’t get so wrapped up in the food. Enjoy food for pleasure and as a catalyst for enjoying the people.
What’s next? Getting my research chef certification (CRC) at the end of March. This is the marriage of science and the culinary arts — less than 20 people in Canada have this certification. I’ve been working towards it for about four years. I’ll be happy to put it behind me. And the development of Kitchen; the theme is having fun in the kitchen.
Continued from page 18
har gao (shrimp dumplings)
After each task, we were given another, and the morning and afternoon rapidly disappeared. Dinner service began shortly after 5pm. Each cook has a station (cold kitchen, appetizer/fryer, grill, wood-fired oven) overseen by Jacob.
egg white, lightly beaten
4 oz shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed, minced minced water chestnuts
minced fresh minced ginger
2 very thinly sliced, then minced scallions, white part only
salt, to taste
3½" round gyoza wrappers
½ c hoisin sauce, or chile garlic sauce, for dipping 2 T chopped scallions or green onion In a medium bowl, whisk cornstarch, oyster sauce, sugar, sesame oil, pepper and egg white. Add shrimp, water chestnuts, scallions, bamboo shoots and salt, and mix until combined. Cover and chill for 2 hours. Working with one wrapper at a time, place a small spoonful (about ½ teaspoon) of filling in the centre of the wrapper, and fold in half to form a half-moon. Grip a single edge of the wrapper near one side of the dumpling, fold it inward, and pinch to form a pleat. Repeat to create 6 pleats total. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in the bottom of a 12" skillet. Place dumplings into a 12" three-tiered bamboo steamer lined with parchment paper that has been poked with holes, and place steamer over water. Cover and steam until dumplings are cooked through, about 4 minutes. Serve with hoisin sauce mixed with scallions for dipping. Makes 16 dumplings.
After service, Jacob invited us to join the rest of the kitchen for the night’s debriefing, a continuous give and take discussion centering on preparation principles and customer service. Every day we made stocks and sauces; fried, grilled, and withstood the intense heat of the 800-degree wall oven. We felt like part of the team, and were treated like line cooks. This was the first time Jacob had opened his kitchen, and after the week was over, he said he would definitely do it again. He felt a tremendous sense of satisfaction from teaching a couple of amateurs how a real kitchen works. Would we do it again? Yes. We've already booked another stay in late spring. For anyone who has ever wanted to run their own restaurant and isn’t sure they should invest the time or capital, we recommend an immersion with Chef Jacob. What did we learn? The complexity of a restaurant kitchen — we’ll think long and hard before being critical when out to dinner from now on. The second thing? Nobody in a successful restaurant ever calls in sick. Ever. Darcy Dietz loves culinary gadgets, especially his vacuum sealer and sous vide machine.
6 . 197 Est
1 T minced canned bamboo shoots (optional)
UM QUAL MI IT RE
The restaurant was almost fully booked each night for the winter season, with about 70-85 guests ordering either a four-course menu or à la carte. Jacob’s seasonal menu is as local as can be bragged about, and inventive without being too fussy or over the top; divided into Starters, Next, Continue, and Finish. From the moment the ticket grinder spat out its first order until the end of service about five hours later, three wait-staff were kept busy and efficiently delivering orders without a hitch to my untrained eye.
Keep in mind that won ton wrappers are quite fragile; steam, don’t boil, and always mince filling ingredients so nothing can poke through and ruin your seal.
on the line
Continued from page 17
The flavour of Edmonton’s food scene
Take a byte of the online Tomato! Visit thetomato.ca and check out our special online features including: • DIY Event Listing • Recipe of the Week • Recipe Archive Take a bite of your city. Take a bite of the tomato.
The Tomato | March April 2012 23
| what’s new and notable
restaurant ramblings Kitchen by Brad Smoliak is looking good. The handsome rooms at 10130 105 Street (the former Butler Did It space) are in dark woods, oiled bronze and stainless steel, with 12 seats around an induction cooktop, plus seating for another dozen or so at a long wood table. Brad will operate his food research and development kitchen, as well as offer cooking lessons, wine tastings, private dinners, products, and farm-totable events. Opening mid-March. Under the High Wheel Noshery and Catering (8135 102 Street) just opened, vastly expanding lunch options on east Whyte. Yaay! The new café, by one of our favourite chefs, Jennifer Ogle, and her business partner Ada Kalinowski, has 45 seats in the new Roots on Whyte complex. We’re also thrilled by the Blush Lane Organics (started in Calgary by Sunworks folks Ron and Sheila Hamilton’s daughter Erin) signs fronting the building. If you haven’t checked out Cibo (11244 104 Avenue, 780-757-2426), a handsome room in Oliver Square featuring modern Italian inspired cuisine, get over there! Choose from an excellent fresh sheet, or toothsome osso bucco, for dinner, Tuesday through Saturday. We love the $10 lunch, Tuesday through Friday.
wine tastings happenings and events Francophiles rejoice! French Wine School night classes begin Tuesday April 3 to May 29. The course is designed for those seeking in-depth understanding of France’s amazing oenological diversity. We’ll taste our way through France region by region. Visit winecollege.ca. for information and registration. Let's get together for a little California Dreamin'! Start spring off right with a tasting of California wines at the Royal Glenora Club, Friday, April 13, 6:30-9:30 pm. Tickets are $65, eventbrite.com from Monday, March 19. Visit sherbrookeliquor. com for more information. Mark the date for the launch of Foodshed: An Edible Alberta Alphabet by Dee Hobsbawn-Smith with guest Jennifer
24 March April 2012 | The Tomato
Cockrall-King, hosted by Judy Schultz, Thursday evening, April 26, Culina at the Muttart (9626 96A Street). Wine and jazz lovers come together for a night of vibrant wines, light hors d’oeuvres, live music and a silent auction to benefit the Edmonton Jazz Festival Society. Taste over 150 wines from Argentina at a Taste of Argentina, Thursday, May 3, 7-9:30pm. Tickets, $65, available from Tix On The Square, 780-420-1757, or visit edmontonjazz.com. Terry and Sherry Sept of Leduc’s La Pisana Italian Eatery wanted to generate some excitement for their Leduc Food Bank fundraiser. They found the Food Network’s David Adjey on Twitter and asked him to be their celebrity chef. “We thought a celebrity chef would help the fund raiser,” says Terry. “He said yes right away, but it took about three months to iron out the details. He consulted on the menu, and he’ll be around all day. The semi-private David table has already sold out.” For tickets for the exclusive wine tasting with Dennis Miller, and five course family-style dinner with David Adjey, March 10, call 780-9862010, La Pisana Italian Eatery, #110, 5401 Discovery Way, Leduc. Want to know your merlots from your cabs and your chards from your rieslings? Wine Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level One Foundation begins Monday, April 2 until May 7. Visit winecollege.ca. for information and registration. Edmonton hosts the Slow Food Canada National Meeting, May 3-6. Of note to local foodies: three events are open to all: the Rural Tour on Thursday, May 3, the Pyrohy Supper on May 4, and the Roots, Shoots and Garden Boots Gala, May 5. Details slowfoodedmonton.ca. Alberta Pulse Growers invite the public to attend the 2012 Pulse Product Development Competition showcasing the ingenuity of Team NAIT Culinary Arts vs UofA Nutrition and Food Science, Monday, March 19. Tix, email@example.com Expect two days of professional development seminars with some of Canada’s best food and wine writers and editors, along with culinary experiences and wine country touring at the Okanagan Food and Wine Writers Workshop, June 12-16 in Kelowna. For details visit okanaganfoodandwinewritersworkshop.com.
Enjoy Gail Hall’s Seasoned Solutions Culinary Tour of New York (May 1721) with food tastings from delis and bakeries in Little Italy, Hell’s Kitchen, Meat Packing District and Chinatown, a cooking class and a visit to Eataly. Details, seasonedsolutions.ca. Sunterra’s Catch of the Day Cooking Class Tuesday, March 27, 6:30pm, $49.99 plus GST/person. Learn how to cook with crustaceans, from shucking oysters to lobster mac ‘n’ cheese. Classes are held at Sunterra Market in Commerce Place (201, 10150 Jasper Avenue). Call 780-426-3791 to book. Gail Hall’s Seasoned Solutions Loft Cooking Classes for Spring include Cooking Inspired by Sonoma, March 31; Cooking Inspired by Vietnam and Cambodia, April 14, 28. Classes are $175 plus GST. Call 780-437-0761 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register. Check out seasonedsolutions.ca for all the details. The Hardware Grill, Promethus Books and Greenwood’s Books present Food and The City: Urban Agriculture and the New Food Revolution at the Hardware Grill, March 22 from 4:30 to 6:30. Meet author Jennifer Cockrall King for a slide show, book signing and chat about urban agriculture. Jennifer, an Edmonton native and Slow Food Edmonton member, now lives part time in the Okanagan. We look forward to reading this book, which promises to be a thoughtful treatise on how people approach growing food now and in the decades to come.
product news The Bon Ton Bakery (8720 149 Street, 780489-7717) has had pride of place among Edmonton bakeries since 1956, but there’s no resting on laurels here. It just keeps getting better and better. Along with an excellent selection of traditional hearty breads such as an excellent caraway rye, slow rise breads and fine French baking, their new pastry chef Arnaud Valade is creating beautifully classic tartes such as citron, citron meringue chocolate, amandine (pear) and normandie (apple custard). New, and so delicious, is the Trio: three layers of white, milk, and dark chocolate mousse on a hazelnut praline base, with beautifully balanced flavours. The Trio is a perfect party dessert or
decadent individual indulgence. Three Farmers Camelina Oil from Saskatchewan and Jacek Chocolate Couture, the awardwinning and visually stunning bon bons made in Sherwood Park, are now available at Bon Ton. Stasia Nawrocki from Dansk (335 Southgate Centre 780-434-4013) always comes back from the gift shows with cool stuff. No more whacking jars on the side of the counter. This handy tool made in Denmark works like a bottle opener with a simple up/down movement. Works like a charm. Worlds Easiest Jar Opener, $6. Need some tools to help you eat more vegetables? Use the new Lotus Silicone Steamer Basket. The metal ones from the dollar store are fine for a bit but they rust and scalded fingers are pretty much a given when you try to take the basket out. This colourful non-scratch unit with a heat resistant finger guard is much more modern, and safe, $18. While the veg are steaming indulge in a Wild Hibiscus Kir. Add a spoonful of wild hibiscus flower in syrup to a glass of sparkling wine — tastes like raspberries with a hint of refreshing rhubarb. Find recipes atsamoras.com and wildhibiscus. com. Wild Hibiscus Flower in Syrup, $12. Find all at Dansk. Spend more time hunting for eggs: Enjoy Sunterra’s four-course, fully-prepared Easter dinner: carrot and ginger soup, birchwoodsmoked spiral ham, herb-crusted roast salmon, with lemon pepper yams, finishing with carrot cake. Order ahead: $21.99/ person. sunterramarket.com. Cally’s Teas has a new location at 10151 Whyte Avenue (just east of the new Roots on Whyte) with a new shop and tea café opening soon. “We’re going to focus on full-fat and decadent. We’ll start with a simple menu — scones, a home-made bread, savoury tarts and salad at lunch, and in the afternoon, cream tea,” says Cally Slater-Dowson. Cally’s will continue the tea culture theme in
giftware and teas for sale as well. We’re thrilled to see Cally back with an expanded retail shop, and a lovely place for tea. Wondering what all the excitement around the bars during intermission at the Winspear is about? Sherbrooke Liquor is now the beer sponsor, serving Alley Kat Amber and Charlie Flint, as well as Amber’s Lunch Pail Ale. A rotating beer of the month selection will round out the offerings — they plan to include Canadian favourites and themed beers as well. For example, in honour of the upcoming ESO visit to NYC, the Winspear will be serving Brooklyn Lager at the Dreaming of Carnegie concert series.
Select wines from small producers with a passion for their product. 9658 - 142 Street | 780-488-7800 | crestwoodfinewines.com
More Sherbrooke news: Along with the crazy high-alcohol Sink the Bismarck ($112.50/375ml) and several other beer oddities in their lineup of over 900 beers — Sherbrook now stocks Mamma Mia Pizza Beer ($6.25/473ml), brewed with oregano, basil, tomato and garlic, which according to manager Tara Smith, is surprisingly good. The flavour of tomato and oregano dominates, followed by a pleasant, subtle finish of what I swear was pepperoni. Which is odd, as it’s a vegan beer.” Paddy’s Cheese (12509 102 Avenue, 780-413-0367) is also stocking Three Farmers Camelina Oil. It sounds like a wonderful addition to the pantry — cold-pressed, nonGMO oil with a high smoke point (475°F). It’s also high in Omega-3 and Omega-6 as well as vitamin E, with a shelf life of 12-15 months, $19.99/500ml. Looking for some different crackers to enjoy with cheese? Paddy’s stocks the gluten free Denby and Co. Polenta Crisps in three flavours; onion, pepper, garlic, $7.99/120gm box. Send new and/or interesting food and drink related news for The Kitchen Sink to thetomato.ca.
A PA N - A S I A N D I N I N G E X P E R I E N C E
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Ample free parking at rear with rear entrance available. Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday to Sunday, hours vary.
The Tomato | March April 2012 25
London Calling: Where to eat and play during the Olympics
Suspend the stereotypes,
Going to the Olympics this summer? Got your hotel resos? Check. Event tickets? Check. Dinner reservations? Gahhhh! To prevent the convenient but boring prospect of falling into the nearest Prêt a Manger or the perfectly dreadful idea of a burger at Wimpy, we asked two London food journalists to give us the goods on their fave spots. From Dinner, Heston Blumenthal’s London outpost, to vegan eatery Counter Café close by the stadium, journalists David Constable and Qin Xie offer their takes on where, and what, to eat to guarantee you a full-on London experience. Don’t forget to log on to thetomato.ca before you leave for the addresses and booking info for David and Qin Xie’s recommendations.
26 March April 2012 | The Tomato
because once you get beyond the medieval notion of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, there’s an entire universe of culinary delights to discover in London during the Olympics. A new enthusiasm for food has developed in the UK that takes the best parts of European aliment, a dose of international flair, and melds with British traditionalism. The result is the reemergence of great British food and the resulting product is one of the finest food destinations in the world. With the Olympics fast approaching, London is promising a tastier, healthier, greener Games, endeavoring to enhance the experience by ‘celebrating the great diversity and quality of British food, and delivering it at affordable prices.’ London’s reputation as a food capital no longer rests on the sayso of Londoners. Indeed, up until very recently you’d be hard pressed to find a punter wax-lyrical about anything food-related. In addition to a more precise focus on local ingredients, visiting chefs — and the gospel according to Jamie Oliver — London has emerged from its post-war grey nation into colour and vibrancy; with exotic flavours and a destination in which culinary wizardry blossoms. Famed historical destinations such at The Ritz and The Wolsely (Piccadilly), Le Gavroche (Mayfair) and The Ivy (Covent Garden) remain staples in the capital; however new, hipper locations have caused a food storm in recent
years, and the likes of The Ledbury (Notting Hill), Pollen Street Social (Hanover Square) and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (Knightsbridge) have gained world recognition (as well as Michelin stars). The culinary trail extends to the home counties too: forty-minutes train journey from Paddington and you can be in Bray (Berkshire), home to Blumenthal’s threestar restaurant, The Fat Duck plus another trio-star boaster, The Waterside Inn, founded by the famed Roux brothers. In Marlow (Buckinghamshire) is Tom Kerridge’s pub, The Hand & Flowers which recently became the only pub in the world to be awarded two Michelin stars. Back in the hubbub and pockets of London, you’re spoilt for choice. The culinary output is immense, channeling all prices and from across all cuisines. The capital is now devoted to its position of gastronomic excellence, pushing beyond humdrum pub grub and fish & chips, and into the fireworks of the twenty-first century. The likes of Polpetto and Duck Soup (Soho), and Great Queen Street (Covent Garden) are focused on seasonal dishes such as Cornish cod cheeks, and roasted pork shoulder and rhubarb. They are the essence of British cooking: traditional, slow cooked, strong in flavour; using tasty and cheaper cuts of meat with the addition of herbs and spices (an education learnt from the country’s multicultural inhabitants). London cuisine picks from the smorgasbord of earthy,
ethical ingredients presenting adventurous, enthralling dishes. Take Nuno Mendes, the Portuguese chef of Viajante (Bethnal Green), whose food synthesizes the warmth of the Mediterranean with British ingredients. And local to Stratford and the Olympic stadium, Counter Café which serves a veggie breakfast that has the East End ceremonialising: balsamic mushrooms, spicy beans and Bürgen toast. Dip-in-dip-out, and give the fruit a miss this Olympic year. Head for more pleasant treats: bone marrow at St John (Farringdon), roast rabbit cottage pie at Arbutus (Soho) or pizza at Franco Manca (Stratford). David J Constable is a freelance food and travel writer. He has written for numerous titles including Esquire, London’s Evening Standard and The Arbuturian. He lives in London.
There has never been a better time to visit London, home to some of the world’s best restaurants and bars, as well as host of the 2012 Olympic Games. This year, the city’s culinary landscape, bolstered by a whole score of new openings, is as international as its visitors — from the Russian Mari Vanna to the Peruvian Lima and Ceviche, there’s bound to be something for everyone. Visitors don’t have far to go either. Right outside the main Olympic Stadium is the recently opened Westfield Shopping Centre, offering a small cluster of eateries. The likes of Franco Manca, Pho
and Comptoir Libanais, all part of small chains, wave the flag for good food at accessible prices. For something more unique in London, visitors should head west on the Central Line. Stop briefly at Bethnal Green to sample Nuno Mendes’ creative fare at Viajante and Corner Room. Mendes, previously of El Bulli, never fails to plate up interesting flavour combinations. Close by is Shoreditch, more easily accessed via Old Street Station, the area of London where some of the trendiest bars paint a unique map of cool. Callooh Callay and Nightjar are some of the East End’s favourites. A constellation of gems can be found around Soho, where eating and drinking integrate seamlessly. Oxford Circus is your portal to this gastronome’s paradise. This is where you will discover Italian wine bar and restaurant Dego with its unusual Champagne and Franciacorta list. If wine is really your thing, do stop by Terroirs near Charing Cross for some of the most interesting natural wines around. Proceed further south to discover NOPI, the restaurant that’s a unique Yotam Ottolenghi blend of Mediterranean, Middle-eastern and Asian cuisines, where the restrooms are as much a talking point as the food. Nearby is Hix, the bar and restaurant that feeds London with some of the meatiest feasts and the most potent cocktails. Just to the east of NOPI is where you’ll find Polpo, part of Russell
Norman’s mini-empire of small plate eateries. Always busy, this bacaro offers Venetian décor matched to Italian cichetti and Aperol Spritzes. And across the road from Polpo is Bob Bob Ricard, described by some as a “pleasure palace,” where sumptuous delights await in the form of champagne and caviar. But, interestingly, it's often celebrated for having the most accessible wine list in London with some of the lowest mark up rates. Further east still is Yauatcha, known for dim sum, tea and faultless Michelin meals at a fraction of the price you might expect. Speaking of Michelin, The Ledbury, St John and Hibiscus are all worthy of that detour and all are named in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Equally, Roganic, a two-year pop up by Michelin-starred Simon Rogan, and Dinner, Heston Blumenthal’s London outpost, also require your attention. But make sure you’ve left enough room and time for a reservation at Rules, London’s oldest restaurant, before you leave. Qin Xie is a freelance journalist based in London specialising in food and drink, and an occasional chef. When she’s not involved in gastronomy or oenology, she likes to photograph the rooftops of London at sunset. Note: Most restaurants can be booked online via systems such as toptable.com. Some have more economical dining options promoted on these sites, while others have set menus which are cheaper than the à la carte option.
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The Tomato | March April 2012 27
wine maven |
single malt, always appropriate Tony Le, exec chef at Lux, created a special menu to be enjoyed with Ridge Zin and Auchentoshan single malt; roasted beet deviled eggs, duck with jalapeño hash, and a grilled angus striploin, which Jamie MacKenzie, Auchetoshan manager for North America, said was at least as good as Scottish beef. The single malts, including Auchentoshan 12 were a welcome tipple during the only cold week of the winter.
Piero Incisa (Bodegas Chacra) Juanita Roos, (Crestwood Wines) and Jacques Lurton (The Islander)
tasting wine with winemakers Tony Le (Lux), Julie Ward (Saverio Schirali Agencies), Jamie MacKenzie (Auchentoshan)
save the date Slow Food Edmonton’s Indulgence, a Canadian epic of food and wine, Monday June 11, 6:30-9:00pm at the Delta Edmonton South. It’s a magic night: farmers and producers from the region collaborate with our best chefs to create delicious local dishes paired with Canadian estate wines. Funds raised support the Junior League’s food and children endeavours. Tickets go on sale May 1, $60/person, through the Junior League of Edmonton. Visit indulgenceedmonton.ca or slowfoodedmonton.ca for the latest details.
28 March April 2012 | The Tomato
Trialto had a portfolio tasting in Calgary with several producers on hand including Piero Incisa. His quest to make thrilling ”wines of consequence” at the end of the world has resulted in Bodega Chacra; the Pinot Noir, a deliciously accessible 2010 Brada and the spellbinding 2009 Treinta y Dos. We loved Jacques Lurton’s expressive and distinctive Semillon and Cabernet Franc from Kangaroo Island, Australia. More gems from the Trialto tasting included Isabelle Meunier’s hand-crafted Evening Land Oregon Pinot — worth seeking out, at Calgary’s Metrovino only for now. We tasted Telmo Rodriguez’ evocative wines from Toro, Ribera del Duero, and, again, in Rioja at family estate Remelluri; and the high altitude Malbecs of the extremely organized Laura Catena (emergency medical doctor, and director of Bodegas Catena and Luca).
Nelson Gomes, (Fine Wine Imports), Oscar Lopez (Pampa), Michael Green, (Wineboy Importers).
wine from brazil? Yes, Brazil. The wine region is not in the tropics, but at the same latitude as Mendoza. Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse serves several wines from the Salton and Miolo wineries. Looking for the full churrasco experience? Start with Miolo Millesime sparkling. Millesime’s hand-picked blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay has a fine bubble with creamy notes of bread dough, strawberry and ripe apples. Elegantly delicious. Carry on with a crisp and lively Salton Sauvignon Blanc with salad. Then enjoy Salton Talento, a well-balanced Cabernet Sauvignon dominant blend — fragrant aromas of berry and cedar are followed by juicy black fruit flavours with chewy tannins, perfect to have with Pampa’s roasted beef ribs.
event calendar saturday, march 10 Leduc Food Bank Fundraiser with David Adjey, La Pisana, 780-986-2010, lapisana.ca
monday, march 19 2012 Pulse Product Development Competition, Alberta Pulse Growers, email@example.com
MORIARTY’S BISTRO|WINE BAR
thursday, march 22
10154 100 Street, Rice Howard Way | Edmonton, Alberta | 780.757.2005 | moriartysbistro.com
WINE. LUNCH. DINNER. WORLD BEER.
Book launch: Food and The City: Urban Agriculture and the New Food Revolution, Hardware Grill
monday, april 2 - monday, may 7 Wine Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level One Foundation, winecollege.ca.
tueday, april 3 - tuesday, may 29 French Wine School, winecollege.ca.
Friday, april 13 California Dreamin’!, sherbrookeliquor.com
wednesday, may 2 Rural Tour: Slow Food Canada, slowfoodedmonton.ca
thursday, may 3 Taste of Argentina, edmontonjazz.com
friday, may 4 Pyrohy Supper Slow Food Canada, slowfoodedmonton.ca
saturday, may 5 Roots, Shoots and Garden Boots Gala, Slow Food Canada slowfoodedmonton.ca
sunday, may 10 Concordia Lobster Fest, concordia.ab.ca
monday, june 11 Slow Food Edmonton’s Indulgence, a Canadian epic of food and wine, indulgenceedmonton.ca 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 | March April 2012 29
according to judy
| judy schultz
Snails for sale Our rosemary hedge is being visited by helix aspera. Snails. Escargots. Petit-gris, the elegant mollusk beloved of Frenchmen who walk around with garlic butter dribbled on their shirts. In this climate, rosemary grows into a massive shrub, and ours is two metres high. Snail heaven. Not far south of here, a farming family produces free-range organic snails for local chefs. I’ve long hoped to justify my existence by becoming a food producer. So far I’ve failed at olives, grapes and figs, and my bold plan for growing Mexican limes in the north field interests nobody. Now, fresh inspiration. Wild escargots, free-range and organic. Technically they aren’t my snails, so I asked my daughter-in-law if she had any plans for them. She gave me one of those looks reserved for mothers-in-law and infants, and said, “You’re kidding, right?”
So much for free-range feeding. “You’re better to feed snails a dry ration, rather than letting them gorge on green fodder,” Oz explained. I wondered about a catch limit, this being wild game of sorts. It seems there isn’t one. “A mature petit-gris weighs about 10 grams. You’ll need at least 24, or it won’t be worth your trouble.” Determined to get it right this time, I took a flashlight. (Okay, a torch). I managed to capture seven. An eighth was squashed in my olive-scooper, and I dropped a few. God only knows how many were crushed underfoot. It’s a cruel world. I corralled my catch in a plastic box and sought further information online.
At last, I have a crop! I appealed to fellow snail farmers here in New Zealand for further information.
“Before cooking, you must purge them,” advised a fellow snailfarmer, this one in Singapore. “Ten days to fatten on cornmeal, four days starvation to purge.”
“Pick them in the early morning. Put them in a box. Be sure you have a lid that fastens tight, because they’ll force it off and make a break for it.”
Fourteen days? What am I supposed to eat in the meantime? While my snails are fattening and purging, I could be starving here. Back to the hedges.
Armed with my fancy Christmas olive scoopers and a large plastic box with a lid to prevent runaways, I headed for the rosemary hedge before sunrise. There wasn’t a sound, except for the rooster down the road. That, and an odd crunching underfoot.
“Please note,” said Singapore. “They will push off a loose lid, and you’ll be stepping on escapees.” (Yes. Well, that ship has pretty much sailed.) “I don’t suppose you have snail forks?”
By the time I realized what the crunching was, I’d wiped out an entire night’s harvest. Back to the experts, who advised that stepping on the little buggers was no way to further my enterprise. I turned to an online source in Oz. (We snail-farmers are an international lot.) “We use more intensive farming techniques, with reproduction and
30 March April 2012 | The Tomato
nursery-raising all done indoors in a climate-controlled area,” said my source. “The fatten-to-finish is done outside, in special pens.”
I do. And I have a recipe for filet of escargot with blue cheese, but it would take my entire stock, currently fattening in their plastic box. I may have to supplement my catch. I’ve checked with The Italian Grocer, a local guy who assures me that his free-range organic snails are fresh-picked, just like mine. Then they travel to restaurants in little tin cans. Judy’s new novel is Freddy’s War. Read her food and travel blog at Judyink.ca
A Canadian Epic
of Food and Wine
June 11, 2012 6:30pm to 9:00pm Tickets $60 Indulge in an evening of fine VQA wines and prairie cuisine presented by Slow Food Edmonton. Tickets on sale May 1, 2012 from The Junior League of Edmonton