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city palate T H E


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the travel issue CITYPALATE.CA





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SLOW POKE BUYS LUNCH! A romp through Mother Nature’s backyard, whether on a bike, skis or snowshoes, deserves a refreshing reward. With so many restaurants, eateries and coffee shops, not to mention the many artisan shops, there’s so much to experience before or after a visit to the woods. Come take a deep breath of the freshest air on the planet and slide into an experience only Bragg Creek can deliver.

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22 n

Eating India, with Alberta Food Tours

Catherine Van Brunschot

24 n

A Parsee New Year's Dinner

26 n

Gadgets for the Foodie Traveller

Erin Lawrence

28 n

Feasting on a One-Mile Nautical Diet Aboard the MV Swell

30 n

It’s Delicious, it’s Diverting… it’s: Devour!

32 n

Road Tripping Beyond Australia’s Great Ocean Road

Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

34 n

Eating Montréal

For the Irani household, New Year comes twice, if not three times, a year Susan Scott

Like the bears that roam B.C.’s vast Great Bear Rainforest, we turn out to be “opportunivores” Lisa Monforton

This enlightening, energizing Food Film Festival is coming to a province near you Kate Zimmerman

Kathy Richardier


9 n word of mouth

Notable culinary happenings around town

11 n eat this

What to eat in March and April Ellen Kelly

12 n drink this

Vermouth – it’s not just for martinis anymore Geoff Last

14 n get this

(un MUN-doe dee sah-POH-ree) That’s Italian for ‘a world of flavour’, which is what you’ll find every time you visit our shop.

Must have kitchen stuff Karen Anderson

16 n one ingredient

Un mondo di sapori. Now let’s go make some spaghetti tacos.

Cauliflower Julie Van Rosendaal

18 n feeding people

D.I.Y. Kombucha Karen Ralph

20 n the sunday project

Making Pizza with chef Robert Jewell

36 n stockpot

Stirrings around Calgary

40 n 6 quick ways with...

Buttermilk Chris Halpin

42 n back burner... shewchuk on simmer

Downtrodden traveller Allan Shewchuk

Cover artist: Pierre Lamielle is the award-winning author and illustrator of Alice Eats and Kitchen Scraps. He is a cooking instructor at Atco Blue Flame Kitchen and also runs foodonyourshirt.com.


Grocery. Bakery. Deli. Café. EDMONTON Little Italy | Southside | West End CALGARY Willow Park




city palate Over 250 Plates

publisher/editor Kathy Richardier (kathy@citypalate.ca)


magazine design Carol Slezak, Yellow Brick Studios (carol@citypalate.ca) contributing editor Kate Zimmerman contributors Karen Anderson Chris Halpin Robert Jewell Carolyne Kauser-Abbott Ellen Kelly Geoff Last Erin Lawrence Lisa Monforton Karen Ralph Susan Scott Allan Shewchuk Catherine Van Brunschot Julie Van Rosendaal Kate Zimmerman contributing photographers Karen Anderson for advertising enquiries, please contact advertising@citypalate.ca account manager Doug Proctor (doug@citypalate.ca) account executives Ellen Kelly (ellen@citypalate.ca) Liz Tompkins (liz@citypalate.ca) Janet Henderson (janet@citypalate.ca) prepress/printing CentralWeb distribution Gallant Distribution Systems Inc.




website management Jane Pratico (jane@citypalate.ca)

Explore the flavours of Morocco!

1331 - 9th Ave SE 403.532.8222



City Palate is published 6 times per year: January-February, March-April, May-June, July-August, September-October and November-December by City Palate Inc., 722 -11 Avenue SW Calgary, AB T2R 0E4 Subscriptions are available for $48 per year within Canada and $68 per year outside Canada. Editorial Enquiries: Please email kathy@citypalate.ca For questions or comments please contact us via our website:


word of mouth


pig & pinot 2017 Join us at our seventh annual Pig & Pinot Festival at Hotel Arts, June 15, 7-10 p.m., a fun fundraiser for Calgary Meals on Wheels. Talented chef teams create delicious and original pork dishes while boutiques wine stores pour pinot wines city palate’s SEVENTH ANNUAL from around the world. Check the ad on page 42 for details.

pig & pinot

Tickets available now at pigandpinot2017.eventbrite.ca

plan for poutine week Poutine Week is the seven days of the year, April 21-29, Calgarians can eat poutine guilt free! Why? Every poutine sold during Poutine Week in any of the participating restaurants provides a free meal to someone in need thanks to Mealshare. Poutine with a purpose. Go to calgarypoutine.com for details and participating restaurants.

the meal tree  Sometimes preparing meals drives us crazy, too much else going on or just can’t get inspired. Here’s a good solution – The Meal Tree is a healthy meal prep and delivery service that enables busy people to take control of their nutrition. And Meal Tree food is thoughtfully crafted for a perfect balance of health, taste and cost – delicious and nutritious meals that won’t hurt your wallet. We know, we’ve tried them. Try it and claim 10% off your first week – themealtree.com

We were horrified, like everyone else, to learn of the SYMONS VALLEY RANCH fire, and the destruction of one of Calgary's excellent and most fun farmers’ markets, putting a great group of vendors out of business. But you’ll find them at other farmers’ market locations, so go support them. Go to symonsvalleyranch.com for vendor locations and for the temporary home site until the new facility is built.

top honours for local chocolatier

fun and tasty

Calgary’s Cochu Chocolatier was awarded top honours as “6-Star Grand Master Chocolatier” in the International Chocolate Salon’s Best Chocolatiers & Confectioners in America Awards in San Francisco. This super chocolatier is Anne Sellmer, Julie Van Rosendaal’s sister. cochu.ca

Homemade pizza is easy and fun to do and totally tasty, ‘cause you can dress it any way you want, pretty much. Look at our Sunday Project with Double Zero’s pizza maestro, page 20, and learn how. We make lotsa pizza and often buy the dough at Lina’s Italian Market because we don’t always feel like making it. We also get Lina’s pizza sauce, mozzarella, sliced deli meats and herbs, then pizza for dinner, even several nights running!

more delicious chocolate

read these:

In the food world, good chocolate is one of those delights that makes us feel so good. We have a lot of good chocolate in the city, we are very lucky on that front. Now we can also search out the beautiful, delicious chocolates produced by JACEK Chocolate Couture. Started by Jacqueline Jacek in 2009 in a basement in Sherwood Park, Jacek is committed to innovation, artistry, the best ingredients and, best of all, spreading joy through fine chocolate. Visit jacekchocolate.com to find where to find both the bars and individual chocolates – not in Calgary, however – and to buy them online. Find them also at Stonewaters in Canmore.

more good local mustard As we know, not all the good mustard comes from France. Luco Farms in Lethbridge, owner Robert Luco, makes GREAT mustard. We’ve tried his Prairie Sweet ‘n’ Hot and love it. Find Luco at The Cookbook Co. Cooks.

rickety uncles Hah, funny name, tasty treat from Wade Sirois, Forage, Farm to Fork Foods to Go. He’s been eating them all his life and has no idea where the name came from. Made with Highwood Farms old-fashioned rolled oats, butter, brown sugar and vanilla. Simple and delicious. Find them at Forage, 3510 - 19 St. SW.

the kitchen surfer WüSTHOF’S new Kitchen Surfer knife allows cooks to “surf” from job to job in the kitchen. With its special blade shape, it chops vegetables, minces herbs, slices meat and moves to the dinner table to slice your Easter dinner lamb. It does it all and does it well! Regular, $119, now $65 at your favourite kitchen store.

United Farmers of Alberta (UFA) Co-operative Limited has published a cookbook that offers down-home, farm-style recipes, Meals in the Field (paper, spiralbound, $20). These recipes from Alberta’s farm women are real comfort-food recipes, like Wild Rice Chicken Soup from Kim Selte, Vermilion, and Rhubarb Custard Pie from Cathy Lindquist, Elk Point. Some of the recipes are from the original United Farm Women of Alberta (UFWA) cookbook, published in 1928. Available at all UFA petroleum agencies, UFA Farm & Ranch Supply stores and the UFA Calgary support office. If you’ve read the blog The Kitchen Magpie, you’ll be familiar with Edmontonian Karlynn Johnston who has also published a baking cookbook, Flapper Pie and a Blue Prairie Sky, A Modern Baker’s Guide to Old-Fashioned Desserts (Appetite by Random House, $32.95, hard cover). Talk about delicious comfort food, try Ooooooh! Caramel Cake or Apple Bacon Spice Fritters. And… Canadian Prairie Flapper Pie. In fact, you could say that this book offers the perfect solution to what we all know – life is short, eat dessert first.



mix & match

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eat this

Ellen Kelly


Nothing announces spring to our winter weary kitchens like those first spiky, green chives poking up from still-chilly ground. Measuring the progress of our hardy rhubarb as it pushes determinedly into another season fills us with delight. And those early sprouted radishes? Well, quite simply, they give us hope. I know we tend to get ahead of ourselves in March and April. We chomp at the bit, but that’s what spring should do – make us whoop and whirl and shake off those winter doldrums. Even if we don’t yet see much evidence of it in our own backyards, we know it’s coming and we rejoice. RADISHES, members in good standing of the illustrious brassica family, are a wonderful way to wake up our taste buds in the spring. Prepared raw, the small round or cylindrical roots are colourful, crunchy and spicy, adding a welcome zip to almost anything. Although I was sceptical at first, oven-roasted radishes really surprised me. Wash and trim a couple of bunches of red, round radishes, cutting the larger ones in half. Pat dry and toss in a mild flavoured oil (like grapeseed) and some Maldon salt. Roast for 10-12 minutes at 450°F, until the white parts are slightly browned. Toss again in chopped parsley and a little minced garlic. Try roasting them with thick fennel slices and very small potatoes; served alongside a roast chicken, they won’t disappoint. You probably know that CHIVES are alliums, closely related to onions. We love the delicate flavour and pretty presence of their chopped leaves strewn over everything from omelettes to soups and salads. What you may not know is that the tiny, light purple, star-shaped flowers, arranged in an almost comical pom-pom, are also tasty and versatile. When I’m not pulling them out and scattering them willy-nilly, I make a compound butter. Take room temperature butter and mix in chive flowers, finely chopped chive scapes (leaves), white pepper and Maldon salt, lemon zest, and a small amount of lemon juice. Be gentle so you don’t crush the flowers or the salt too much. Scrape the butter onto a piece of cling film or parchment paper and quickly work it into a 1-1/2-inch log. Roll it up, twist the ends and refrigerate until needed. You can then slice pretty ¼-inch rounds and place them atop hot grilled meat. Compound butters freeze (and refreeze) well and are an excellent and easy way to elevate a simple piece of fish or chicken.

I do tend to go on about RHUBARB, I know, but it really is an important spring observance, especially for those of us on the prairies. Many of us grew up looking forward to those first rhubarb pies, not to mention the ensuing parade of cakes, crumbles, muffins and crisps. Under my grandmother’s thrifty regime, the elephant-eared patch of rhubarb, tucked into a corner of the yard, morphed into beverages, jams, relishes and chutneys. Once the stalks were up enough to harvest, there was always a bottomless bowl of stewed rhubarb in the fridge. I remember sitting on the back steps with my grandfather eating rhubarb dipped in salt, a childhood rite that exists now only in memory. For him, rhubarb was an essential spring diuretic, cleaning out the pipes after a long winter. It was free, close at hand and good for you; it checked all the boxes. There are so many things you can do with rhubarb, but a simple treatment always seems best. Rhubarb Fool, whimsically named and easy to make, strikes the right note. Coarsely chop about 2 lbs. washed and trimmed rhubarb. Mix thoroughly with 1 t. lemon zest, 1 t. grated fresh ginger and 1 c. berry sugar, and then bake until completely soft, about 45 minutes to an hour, in a foil covered baking dish. Drain the fruit and reduce the liquid by about half. Let the reduction cool at room temperature. Purée the fruit and chill. Whip 2 c. heavy cream and carefully fold in the purée and a little of the reduction, creating swirls of white and bright pink. You can serve the rest of the rhubarb syrup in a small pitcher with the fool, dolloped into pretty parfait glasses and garnished with fresh mint leaves. Or you can save it to splash into prosecco for the ultimate brunch cocktail.

Illustrations by Pierre Lamielle

BUY: I prefer to buy radishes with the greens attached. Look for fresh, unblemished leafy greens without any decay and make sure the roots are hard; a little squeeze will tell you if the radishes are pithy, or not. TIPS: The small colourful radishes germinate and mature quickly. By planting them in the same rows as other vegetables like carrots and beets, you’ll be able to see where the rows are right away. DID YOU KNOW? Like chives and rhubarb, radishes are considered a diuretic and a natural detox for the liver. They’re believed to be a much-needed tonic after a long winter, their high-fibre content makes them a tasty and smart spring snack.

BUY: In supermarkets, chives are most often found with herbs and in small quantities. Look for fresh, clean leaves with vibrant colour. Don’t bother with anything yellowed or with a musty smell. TIPS: Chives, including garlic chives, are trusted perrenials and should have a place in every garden, patio or balcony. A pot of chives will flourish in a sunny window well into the winter. DID YOU KNOW? Chives are the only species of Allium that are native to both the Old and New Worlds. Further, they not only repel unwanted garden pests, but they attract important pollinators like bees and butterflies, a must-have in any garden.

BUY: If you aren’t picking your own (or your neighbour’s), look for firm, unblemished stems with clean cuts. TIPS: Forced and hothouse rhubarb is often available well before our own and is usually bright red and quite sweet. Sometimes you just can’t wait. DID YOU KNOW? Rhubarb stems, the only edible part of the plant, can be red, pink, pink-and-green speckled or light green. The colour is not necessarily an indication of quality or even sweetness. Red skinned rhubarb is certainly prettier in preparations where the colour is prominent, but the green will do just fine for jams, relishes and the like.

Ellen Kelly is a chef and regular contributor to City Palate.




Geoff Last



“I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.” Frank Sinatra, singer and alcohol aficionado.



drink this

Most people regard vermouth as a minor player for team martini or as a supporting “actor” in a Manhattan or a Negroni. But this aromatized, fortified wine – its technical categorization – has come into its own as a bonafide aperitif.



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To say that vermouth has been with us for some time is an understatement, since there’s evidence to suggest the first examples date back to about 1200 BC, during the Shang and Zhou dynasties in China, likely as a concoction of herbs, roots and wine (and used primarily for medicinal purposes). Modern vermouth dates back to the 18th century in and around Piedmont and in the French Savoie region. Both were part of the Kingdom of Sardinia at that time. Vermouth is regarded as an aperitif, a drink that should, ideally, stimulate the appetite with an intriguing combination of sweet and bitter components. The word itself is derived from wormwood (known as wermut or vermut in European dialects), the infamous herb of absinthe fame. I say infamous because wormwood – with its psychoactive component thujone – was once thought to induce madness and other generally unwanted symptoms. Early vermouth contained a significant amount of the bitter herb but it was eventually classified as a banned substance in most countries. Van Gogh, a notorious absinthe drinker, reportedly lopped off his ear after binging on the drink. As it turns out, it takes an awful lot of wormwood – far more than the traceable amount in a bottle – to induce such conditions, and it’s been reintroduced in some modern versions of both absinthe and vermouth. Vermouth begins life as a neutral white wine that’s infused with herbs and other botanicals and fortified – to between 16% -20% alcohol – with a neutral grape brandy. Most of the sweeter red versions achieve their colour from a colouring agent – typically caramel – as opposed to a red wine base. This is done simply because a neutral white wine base has little flavour, whereas red wine would contribute too much of its own character. Some use a mistelle base, a mixture of unfermented white grape juice and alcohol. The bitterness of wormwood was the defining note in early vermouth, but now botanicals such as quinine – made from cinchona bark – nutmeg and cloves often contribute their characteristics. The flavour additions are done either through hot infusion or cold extraction, methods that have been employed for centuries. Antonio Benedetto Carpano is often credited with creating the first modern vermouth in Turin in 1786, and his formula still exists, now produced by Fratelli Branca in Milan. This part of Italy produces a lot of vermouth, as does France, most notably from the appellation of Chambéry in the Savoie, located in the AuvergneRhône-Alpes region in southeastern France. Vermouth can be produced virtually anywhere, however, and as it continues to rise in popularity, we are bound to see more great examples arriving in short order. It’s important to note that vermouth will oxidize, just like wine. It should be kept in the fridge after being opened and will last up to two months (the white styles are particularly subject to oxidization). That bottle that has been sitting in your liquor cabinet for five years should be terminated with prejudice.

Here’s a partial list of what’s available in our market. Prices are for 750 ml bottles, unless otherwise noted.


Carpano Antica Formula - $62 (1 litre) Produced by the Fratelli Branca distillery, this is based on the original formula created in 1786 by Benedetto Carpano, and it may well be the best red vermouth you can buy. As is the case with all vermouth, the formulas are carefully guarded secrets but the company lists vanilla, wormwood and saffron as the key botanicals. It is made with all-natural ingredients and is traditionally served over ice with a slice of orange, but it will kick your Manhattan or Negroni up several notches as well. Highly recommended. Cocchi Vermouth Amaro - $33 Cocchi, based in Turin, Italy, produces two vermouths (both red), a traditional vermouth di Torino and a vermouth amaro. The amaro is very good and relies on botanicals that include rhubarb and chiretta flowers, with a strong quinine presence. It’s traditionally served on its own over ice with some lemon zest – the style is called “dopo teatro,” because of the tradition of drinking it after attending a theatre performance. Sounds like a good reason to go to the theatre.

Eau Claire Soda Company is excited to announce our artisanal tonics and sodas.

Dolin Vermouth of Chambéry (white) - $32 Dolin is probably the most respected of the French Chambéry producers, offering a range of three traditional styles, a red, white and dry white. The basic white is ideal for martinis and other cocktails requiring white vermouth. Noilly Prat – a Marseille vermouth – would be the main competition to Dolin, but it hasn’t been available in Alberta for years, for some strange reason.

Available at select retailers April, 2017. Check our website for more details.

La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Blanc - $25 (375 ml) This upstart premium French vermouth, founded in 2013, is made in the Cognac region and uses a mistelle base, with strong notes of sage and rosemary on the list of 18 botanicals. There’s also a red and a dry white style. All of them are good to drink on their own, or in a premium cocktail. Lustau Vermut - $29 Lustau is regarded by many as Spain’s best sherry producer and this intriguing vermouth uses a blend of Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez sherries with 10 botanicals that include sage, wormwood and coriander in the blend. It is unique and delicious, contributing traditional sherry notes but still recognizable as vermouth. Highly recommended.

@ e aucl ai r e s o d a

EAUCL AIRE SODA.CA    

  

Maidenii Materia Medica (white) - $66 This Australian contribution is the most expensive vermouth on the market, and it uses a significant amount of fresh wormwood in the mix. The company does a dry white and a sweet red style and both are very good, but I’m not sure they justify the price. Martini & Rossi Vermouth (red and white) - $10 (375 ml) This is the best-selling Italian brand that most bars and restaurants use. It’s not bad in a cocktail where just a few drops are required, most notably in a dry martini. Miro Vermut Blanco - $24 (1 litre) These Spanish vermouths – the Spaniards are big consumers of vermouth – are new to the market. They are very good value, offering a red, white and extra dry white. Stylistically they are similar to Martini and Rossi but they’re somewhat more refined. Odd Society Bittersweet Vermouth - $25 (375 ml) Odd Society is a Vancouver spirits company producing a nice range of quality spirits and vermouth. This Bittersweet is based on viognier grapes and uses 25 different local and international herbs and botanicals, including citrus, rhubarb root, wormwood, cinchona bark and centaury. This one is very drinkable on its own as an aperitif, as well as being well-suited to a Negroni or Manhattan. Punt E Mas Vermouth - $37 Punt E Mas is produced by Fratelli Branca, and is a traditional Italian style of red vermouth known as “con bitter,” which means it has extra bitters added. Its bitterness reminds me of Campari, and it would do well either in a cocktail or on its own, over ice with a slice of orange.

Geoff Last, Bin 905 manager, is a long-time Calgary wine merchant, writer and broadcaster and a regular contributor to City Palate, the Calgary Herald and other publications. He instructs on food and wine at the Cookbook Company Cooks and was recently awarded a fellowship to the Symposium of Professional Wine Writers based on his articles in the Calgary Herald and City Palate.


101, 902 - 9th Avenue SE 587.535.9463 | www.brickswine.ca




A cozy and intimate Calgary classic.

c ilantro

Every month we put together a box of 6 stellar wines. Receive 20% off the wines as a member. Join Online! Visit bin905.com for upcoming tastings, events and to order online.

BIN 905


2311 4 St SW / 403.261.1600 / bin905.com

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get this

Karen Anderson


money in = soup out Called MISO for short, this is the latest ladle of genius from Soup Sisters in their ongoing efforts to feed the vulnerable. Usually they host soup-making events in 21 cities in North America and deliver the soup to shelters in each of those cities. Now they’ve partnered with select 7-Eleven stores to sell one litre packages of their soups. For every package sold, Soup Sisters receives the proceeds and guarantees another package of soup will be delivered to The Calgary and Veterans Food Banks. In their second month in operation they sold 8000 packages of their always comforting Chicken Noodle and very hearty Mushroom Barley. Check soupsisters.org for a location, pick up a package or two and know you’ve just fed someone else the same.

136 2nd Street SW

Warm Hospitality, Brazilian Style

Soup Sisters Soup Packages, $9.99/ 1L or $18 for 2, select 7-Elevens Tip: If you love the idea, you can also donate by the truckload, kettle or pot.

batter up! This Chennai Caters dosa batter knocks it out of the park. Dosas are very thin crispy crêpes made of finely ground, then fermented, rice and urad dal. They are eaten alone or stuffed with potatoes and vegetables for breakfast and as snacks all across South India. Because they are so delicious, their popularity has spread across India and around the world. Traditionally the grinding of the batter was always done by mortar and pestle resulting in a very smooth-textured paste. Most recipes for home cooks call for a food processor that results in cutting not grinding so the texture just isn’t right. So when I found this batter recently, it felt like a culinary home run. With this batter up, there will be some dosas going down. Chennai Caters Dosa Batter, $8.99/900mL, Dalbrent Spice Rack

real treat Crystal McKenzie is a cheese monger extraordinaire, chef and sommelier. As owner of Peasant Cheese, she knows a thing (or three) about good taste so when she offered me a little spiced pecan biscuit topped with local favourite Dancing Goats Farm chèvre and a nicely spiced cajeta I was happy to oblige. I was even happier to learn that both the biscuit and the cajeta are also made locally by Jacqueline Day in Cochrane. Day’s a purist about using only real ingredients. Her company Real Treat is certified organic by EcoCert and she uses Highwood Crossing flour and Vital Greens Organic dairy in her products. While the pecan cookie and cajeta were seasonal products, you can treat yourself to Lemon Sablés, Dark Chocolate Chunk, Double Dark Chocolate with a Twist and Salted Caramel Shorties year round.

Not your typical Brazilian Steakhouse! new BBQ meats, NEW prices!

Churrascaria & Restaurante OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK

Real Treat cookies, $9.95/160g, Peasant Cheese

Karen Anderson is the owner of Alberta Food Tours.



join us

The Cookbook Co. Cooks welcomes authors Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller to celebrate the launch of their new cookbook!


Recipes and Stories from a Canadian Road Trip

Thursday, March 2, 6:30-9 pm $42pp – includes a copy of the book, a glass of wine and delish, fresh recipes from the book.

THE COOKBOOK CO. COOKS 722 - 11th Avenue SW, 403-265-6066, ext #1

Call now to register!

Two friends. Five months. One car. Ten provinces. Three territories. Seven islands. Eight ferries. Two flights. One 48-hour train ride. And only one call to CAA. The result: over 100 incredible Canadian recipes from coast to coast and the Great White North.

one ingredient

Julie Van Rosendaal


Who would have guessed that the bland brassicas of our childhoods, the broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower that were habitually cooked to a soft shade of grey-green before being forced upon us, with cheese sauce only if we were lucky, would become hip among vegetables, the darlings of Pinterest? As generations have relaxed a bit about vegetable cooking times, brassicas have become less sulphur-y and more celebrated – for their health benefits as well as their easygoing flavour. At one time, cauliflower was separated into florets and steamed, buttered and salted, and that was about it. These days, heads of cauliflower are sliced into thick steaks and seared in hot pans, chipped in the food processor into a substitute for rice, or roasted whole, nestled or doused in sauce (try butter chicken sauce – truly) and served in wedges. Its benign flavour means cauliflower pairs well with other ingredients, from curry paste to tomato sauce to blue cheese. Try it with browned butter, lemon and capers, spicy harissa or garlicky chimichurri. Stir leftovers into curries, pastas, quiche and sandwiches. Don’t be afraid to treat cauliflower like meat, pushing its limits in the oven or on the stovetop or grill – those extra-crispy bits are the best part. The intense heat of the oven, a cast-iron skillet or grill caramelizes its natural sugars, giving it a smoky-crispy exterior and buttery soft interior. Simmered into submission, cauliflower purees perfectly into mellow soups. And if you like its dense texture and crunch, cauliflower is just about perfect raw, shaved into salads, marinated or pickled. (Want to try cauliflower “rice”? Pulse raw florets in the food processor until they have a texture that resembles rice, place in a covered bowl and microwave for a few minutes, or stir-fry in a hot pan with a little oil until tender.) Once relegated to frozen mixed veggies and meatloaf’s supporting cast, cauliflower is in its prime, inspiring chefs, diners and now home cooks. The next time you pick up a head, let it pull you outside your culinary comfort zone.

Cauliflower Fritters with Lemony Mayo These tasty fritters are a staple at Bistro Rouge, where they serve them with hollandaise sauce for dipping. A garlicky, lemony aioli makes a tasty substitute. Fritters: 1 small cauliflower, cut into florets 1-1/2 c. beer 2 c. all-purpose flour Salt, to taste

Lemony mayo: 1/2 c. mayonnaise finely grated zest and juice of a lemon (or to taste) 1 garlic clove, finely crushed 1 t. grainy mustard salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Steam the cauliflower florets until tender; cool and refrigerate until needed. In a deep bowl, whisk the flour and beer with a big pinch of salt until smooth. Heat a couple of inches of oil in a shallow pot set over medium-high heat until it’s hot but not smoking; a thermometer should read 350°F. Dip the cooked cauliflower florets into the beer batter to coat and carefully place them one at a time in the hot oil, frying them until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt. To make the mayo, stir all the ingredients together in a bowl, adding enough juice to keep it thick, yet tangy, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the fritters immediately, with the mayo for dipping. Serves 4-6.



recipe photos by Julie Van Rosendaal

canola oil, for frying

Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan and Lime If you want to rekindle your relationship with the cauliflower in the back of your fridge, break it into florets and spread it out on a baking sheet, roast it in the oven, scattering it with parmesan cheese toward the end of the cooking time, then squeeze a little lime over it before serving.

Ten Foot Henry’s Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Yogurt and Salsa Verde Thanks to chef Bern Glatz for sharing this recipe, which has been one of the most popular at the new(ish) veggie-heavy eatery, Ten Foot Henry. 1 whole cauliflower

1 whole cauliflower, separated into florets


olive or canola oil, for cooking

1/4 c. pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)

salt and freshly ground black pepper

olive oil

freshly grated parmesan cheese


lime wedges

Salsa verde:

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spread the cauliflower florets out in a single layer on a parchmentlined sheet. Drizzle with oil and toss with your hands to coat the pieces, spreading them back out again. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 15 minutes.

1 bunch cilantro, washed

Remove the pan from the oven stir the cauliflower and shower it with finely grated parmesan. Return the pan to the oven for another 10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and golden, and the cheese has melted. Squeeze some lime over it while it’s still warm, and serve immediately. Serves 6.


1 bunch parsley, washed 2 garlic cloves 1 t. salt 1/2 c. olive oil 1-1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt juice of 4 lemons (about 1/3 c.) 2 t. salt pinch pepper

Core the cauliflower and blanch it in a large pot of boiling salted water for 3 minutes. Drain well and place on a baking sheet or in a cast-iron skillet and roast, uncovered, at 350°F for 35 minutes, or until tender and deep golden. Toss the pepitas with a drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and toast alongside the cauliflower for 5-10 minutes, or until golden. Set aside. To make the salsa verde, set aside a small handful of the herbs and finely chop the rest of the cilantro, parsley and garlic (or pulse it in the food processor); add a big pinch of salt and slowly pour in the oil until you have the right consistency. To make the yogurt, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve the roasted cauliflower drizzled with salsa verde and lemon yogurt, scattered with toasted pepitas. Serves 6-8.

Julie Van Rosendaal is a cookbook author and blogs at dinnerwithjulie.com

The best tools for the best kitchens. 1316 9 Avenue SE • 403-514-0577 • @knifewearYYC • knifewear.com



feeding people

Karen Ralph


The morning after a Bacchanalian revel, I woke with a raging headache, tongue like a stick and eyes that felt like two burnt holes in a blanket. It wasn’t fair. I’d made a point of drinking as much water as wine, but the wine had won. Craving something cold, bubbly and healthy, I walked to our local health food store and stood in front of the cooler. At first glance, there seemed to be a huge amount of choice, but the majority of the beverages were different types of kombucha, a fermented tea. This magical elixir wasn’t humble – regardless of brand, every version promised a variety of Zen-instilling, life-affirming health benefits and meaningful connections. Choosing a simple bottle of raw, organic, black tea kombucha, I paid, opened it in the parking lot and chugged straight from the bottle. It was unexpectedly and pleasantly tart, but I gagged as a stomach-curling wisp of slime slid over my tongue to the back of my throat. A closer look revealed translucent, gelatinous clouds undulating in the fizzy, amber liquid. Apparently rejuvenation, revitalization, restoration, positive enzymes, probiotic-laden hydration and eternal youth looked and tasted like slightly effervescent, raw apple cider vinegar. As a fan of most things pickled, smoked, cured, charred, fermented and/ or raw, I found this intriguing.

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I couldn’t help but notice that a large bottle of organic kombucha costs roughly the same as a supermarket chicken. Considering the expense and requirements of raising chickens compared to those required to make kombucha, I knew that my inner urban homesteader wouldn’t be building coops any time soon. Plus, since I was already making red wine vinegar and shrub, a vinegarbased concoction sweetened with honey and flavoured with fruit, berries or herbs, kombucha was a natural progression. Made from sweetened black tea, it’s fermented with the help of a SCOBY: Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. Like a mother of vinegar, the SCOBY is responsible for the flavour and life of kombucha. Starting out as a series of tiny bubbles on the surface of the sweet tea, it forms a thin veil that eventually thickens into a soft, often multi-layered “puck” composed of cellulose and bacteria, and, like a healthy goldfish, grows to the size of its container. The main difference between a SCOBY and a vinegar mother is that the mother grows in wine and the SCOBY grows in sweet tea. While a mother converts ethanol (alcohol) to acetic acid (vinegar), the air-borne yeasts in the SCOBY digest the sugar and produce carbon dioxide (bubbles) and ethanol (alcohol), which the bacteria consume and convert into healthy amino acids, trace vitamins and minerals. Depending on the length of the fermentation, kombucha’s flavour profile can be very tart and dry, closer to vinegar than tea.

Storing SCOBYS in a jar, feed them sweet tea every 2 weeks

Kombucha with SCOBY

Well-established SCOBY on kombucha

Kombucha Kombucha is easy to make. This recipe will get you started: 8 cups of water (I use tap water) 1 cup white sugar* 4 black tea bags* 2 quart-sized sterilized canning jars 1/2 cup of raw kombucha containing a little SCOBY (available at health food stores)



paper towel and elastic bands or sealer rings

Boil the water, add the sugar and the tea bags, turn off the heat and let the sweet tea cool completely. Remove the teabags and pour the liquid into the quart jars or a large glass jar with a loose-fitting lid and a spigot at the bottom. Gently stir 1/4 cup of the raw kombucha into each jar, cover it with paper towel affixed with a sealer ring or elastic bands, and let the mixture sit undisturbed in a warm place out of direct sunlight (mine lives on top of the fridge).

by Michael Healey Directed by

Within a few days, you will notice tiny bubbles on the edge of the liquid, followed by the beginnings of a film, which will eventually form a thicker veil. This will become your first SCOBY. Let it develop for about a week, allowing the bacteria and yeast to work their magic. When a veil is formed, you can start a new batch and experiment by adding fruit, spices or herbs for flavour, or let it continue to ferment as a plain tea. Taste occasionally, and when it has reached the best flavour for your palate, pour it into a clean bottle with a lid and keep it in the fridge. This will slow down the fermentation. Kombucha is a living thing, and each batch will be slightly different, reflecting fluctuations in temperature, humidity and type of tea used.

Miles Potter

Joe Clark by Joan MacLeodVS A Co-Production with

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A Hilarious Battle of wits Directed by Vanessa Porteous about Canadian politics

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*Stuff to keep in mind: • You have to use white sugar. Honey has its own bacteria, which will fight with and kill the bacteria you’re trying to encourage, and other sweeteners won’t work.

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Photo by Kenneth Locke

• Don’t use oily teas like Earl Grey – it has bergamot oil in it. There will be no fermentation. Red Rose has worked the best for me. • If you want to use herbal teas, like ones that are fruit based, make sure to include a black or green tea bag. Black and green teas have the nutrients Mr. SCOBY needs to feed on. Once you have a batch going, SCOBYs multiply like rabbits and you can peel off the layers to give away or make more kombucha.

Local celebrities and the city’s finest chefs team up and battle it out in support of Alberta Theatre Projects

• I can personally attest that nothing quenches a raging hangover thirst like a small glass of kombucha in the morning.

Karen Ralph is an adventurous urban homesteader.

Saturday, April 8, 2017 Tickets $100 | VIP Tickets $125 403-294-7402 | ATPlive.com Photo by Jeff Yee



the sunday project

with chef Robert Jewell


Executive chef Robert Jewell is the pizza maestro at Double Zero restaurant. One night Double Zero Chinook hosted the media types and Jewell showed us how to make Neapolitan-style pizza, then we made pizza. We had so much fun, we make pizza at home and can’t resist sharing the recipe with our readers. While you can use regular flour, we used 00 flour, the signature Italian brand available to purchase at both Double Zero restaurants. Just ask your server. Mess around with toppings and have fun making your own pizza. Recipe makes 2 pizzas. Making Pizza Dough

1/2 t. active dry yeast

Too much topping, like sauce, cheese, vegetables can cause pizza to become soggy because of the water content. A quick fix is to give the crust a quick brush of olive oil before topping – it acts as a barrier between dough and steam.

1-1/2 t. fine sea salt

But best to portion the toppings to just right.

Put the yeast in a small bowl with the warm water and whisk vigorously for 30 seconds. Put the flour in a stand mixer equipped with a dough hook. With the mixer running at its lowest speed, add in the cold water, reserving 2 T. Add the warm water, yeast mixture and keep mixing. Put the extra cold water into the yeast bowl to get out any remains and add to mixer. Mix for 1 minute until most of dough comes together on the hook. Stop the mixer, pull the dough from the hook and, using a spatula, clean dough off the bowl. Add the salt and mix on lowest speed about 1 minute. Rub dough between fingers, if you feel salt, mix for another minute.

Too little toppings contribute to a dry, crackerlike pizza with little flavour.

1 c. 00 flour, packed, plus 3/4 c. not packed 1/2 c. cold water plus 4-1/4 T. 3-3/4 T. warm water (80 - 85°F.)

Transfer dough to an unfloured surface and knead for 2 to 3 minutes until smooth. If the dough is sticky, sprinkle with some flour. When dough is smooth, cover it with a damp tea towel and let it rest for about 20 minutes. Then, loosen the dough and cut it into two even pieces. Form each into a ball, place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet about 3” apart and double plastic wrap the pan airtight sealing the wrap well under the pan. Place the pan level in the fridge and leave for 36 to 48 hours – 48 is best.

When your pizzas are topped just right – Robert has opted for tomato sauce, mozzarella, thin slices of chorizo salami, roasted red pepper slices, chèvre and chopped olives – into the oven it goes. Start your pizzas on the top to cook the crust and the topping, then after 3/4 cooked, transfer to the bottom rack so the crust finishes, since there’s more heat held in the bottom deck of the oven. Cook for about 10 minutes total, but you can tell what it’s doing by looking at it! Note: if your oven isn’t large enough for two pizzas, prepare, cook and eat one at a time. OR, you can leave one ball of dough in the fridge and make pizza the next night! Pizza is fun to make and everyone loves it!

Making Pizza When ready to make pizza, remove the dough and allow it to sit on the counter at room temp for about 30 minutes to come to room temp. (You don’t want to put cold dough into a hot oven.) When the dough balls are ready, press them on a lightly floured surface, from the centre out, to about 6”- 8”. Then slap or toss it to the right size – never use a rolling pin, or you’ll squish out all the natural gas the yeast has created. Preheat the oven to 500°F. Place your stretchedout dough onto your pizza stones or steels and top it. An even distribution of toppings helps the pizza look good and cook evenly, and you don’t want too much or too little. Tomato sauce should be room temp, too, definitely not cold.



1. ingredients

2. kneading dough

3. pizza dough balls

4. getting dough ready to be tossed to its right size

5. tossing it from hand to hand

7. pressing dough into pizza size, NEVER use a rolling pin

8. dressing the pizza

9. more dressing

10. all dressed, ready to cook

11. in the oven cooking

photos by Regan Johnson

6. dough is now the right size



EATING W I T H A L B E RTA F O O D T O U R S by Catherine Van Brunschot

From the semi-circle of garden chairs arranged under a ficus tree, I can just pick out the corner of a swimming pool edging out into the lawn. Birds trill and hoot their unfamiliar tunes in trees frothed with pink blooms. Beneath the ficus, our host takes his place behind a table laid with a propane stove and an assortment of cooking pots. The call to prayer rises from an unseen minaret and someone hands me a Kingfisher beer. Welcome to my cooking class in Delhi. Our host is Sumeet Nair – fashion industry leader, cookbook author, organic farmer, and home-chef extraordinaire – and we 21 travellers are here in his gorgeous garden through the efforts of Karen Anderson, owner of Alberta Food Tours. Karen has brought food enthusiasts to India annually since 2012, and this is Day Two of her “Eat, Pray, Play” tour – a two-week immersion into northern India’s culinary and religious traditions. As we taste, scribble notes, and photograph our way through tandoori cauliflower, prawn masala and green beans poriyal, we couldn’t feel farther from the bustle of our Delhi expectations.

The bustle of Chandni Chowk Bazaar in Old Delhi, photo by Karen Anderson

Cooking class at Sumeet Nair’s, photo by Karen Anderson

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OLD DELHI Not that some of those expectations haven’t been met. Yesterday saw us

combing the courtyards of the Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque, before plunging into Chandni Chowk, Delhi’s oldest market. We threaded by bicycle rickshaw through the traffic din, then squeezed through the crowd on foot, past vendors of cheese and housewares and statues of Hindu gods. At a hole-in-the-wall bursting with dried fruits, nuts, and packets of spice, we plundered the stocks of Kashmiri chiles and saffron before diving back into the sidewalk fray. Gandhi’s memorial park provided us refuge, candle-lit Chor Bizarre restaurant promised more. But here my jet-lag-addled brain failed me entirely, as the 18-course Wazwan feast arrived at dizzying speed. Lotus root and lentil dishes, cottage cheeses and kebabs, all, sadly, descended into a blur.

AMRITSAR Days later, we fly to Amritsar, home to the Golden Temple, spiritual epicentre for the world’s Sikhs. We splash through the footbaths at the temple gate and catch our first glimpse of the shrine’s gold-leafed walls reflected in the surrounding lake. The air is awash with hymns as we join the barefoot pilgrims in their walk on the clean white marble perimeter.

Midway along the circuit, we detour into a vast community kitchen, where we are welcome to join the volunteers who peel vegetables, prepare flatbreads, and wash the dishes that serve thousands of free meals to pilgrims every day. We can eat here as well, but Amritsar’s other major claim to fame is calling – the Punjabi dhabas (street eateries), said to draw Bollywood stars 1,400 kilometres from Mumbai. Top of the list is Surjit Food Plaza, whose bright white sign proclaims it “The Most Famous Eating Joint in Punjab Recommended by Lonely Planet.” Propelled from a lowly railway stand to this modern cafe by the popularity of his makhan fish, Surjit Singh is on hand to welcome us personally and to take his turn at the kadhai pan. Chicken arrives in several delicious renderings – tandoori, butter, and tikka masala – along with his signature fish and sweet dough-balls known as gulab jamun.

VARANASI Next up is Varanasi, a city considered most holy by Indian Hindus – and most

challenging by my Indian friends. Two-and-a-half million people live within its crumbling centre, and millions more descend annually to bathe in the waters of the sacred Ganges river and to cremate their dead upon its banks. Amid the throng of residents, pilgrims, tourists, cows, dogs and goats that converge each night along the river, we witness the sunset prayers, watch mourners burn their deceased on the ghat steps and set votives afloat on the water with our own personal devotions. As the music fades, our boat drifts away to the lamp-lit steps of heritage mansion, Amrit Rao Peshwa Haveli. Here, we are showered with marigold and rose petals amid a chorus of chanting Brahmin priests, before viewing a private classical dance performance on the rooftop terrace. An array of vegetarian dishes arrive on silver thali platters and we dine royally while a lone musician plays haunting tunes.

LUCKNOW We’re soon off to the city of Lucknow, with its wide modern streets, well-pre-

served 18th and 19th century architecture, and new green initiatives that keep its boulevards tidy. We tour the British Residency – still bearing its wounds from India’s first war of independence – as well as two Muslim shrines, ornate in their manicured gardens. But Lucknow is famed, too, for its Awadhi cuisine, grounded in long marinating and slow cooking – a culinary tradition that comes alive each night in the city’s old market district, Chowk, where we go for an adrenalin-infused food tour. We sample melt-in-the-mouth kebabs of water buffalo and chicken, and bone-marrow-rich mutton nihari, sided by flatbreads plucked hot from tandoor ovens and grills. Amid sparks showering from charcoal braziers and roast fowl impaled on rotisserie spikes, we close out the night with habshi halwa, a sweet milk reduction with chopped nuts and dried fruit, and terracotta bowls of phirni rice pudding.

NARENDER NAGAR The trip’s final destination is Ananda Spa, a former palace high in

the foothills of the western Himalayas. Here, copper pots glisten overhead in the resort’s demonstration kitchen, as chef Arun Kala describes the local, organic ingredients with which he conjures spinach soup, dhal, and lentil patties (Karen Anderson tells us Calgary sources for similar ingredients). No Bollywood stars appear in the treed gardens of this five-star oasis, but among the other bathrobed guests sipping tea between spa treatments, we chat with a Saudi princess and an international fashion model. It’s an oh-so-peaceful place to unwind and reflect. On my final trek to a mountaintop temple, I stare across the landscape and ponder the ultimate question – ”How soon can I sign up for another India tour?”

Jojo helps out, photo by Catherine Van Brunschot

FINDING INDIA IN by Karen Anderson, Alberta Food Tours Believe it or not my annual cuisine and culture trips to India were inspired by food tours I led in Calgary’s “little India” with my mentor Noorbanu Nimji. We co-authored and published A Spicy Touch – Family Favourites from Noorbanu Nimji’s Kitchen in 2015 after a decade of working together. Happily, the book earned silver medals at both the Independent Book Publisher’s Awards and the Taste Canada Awards this year. There’s lots of recipe testing and grocery shopping that goes into a cookbook with 225 recipes. When Noorbanu and I shop for Indian goods in Calgary these are the places we typically visit. APNA PUNJAB GROCERY STORE 300, 5075 Falconridge Blvd. NE, 403-590-1611 Here you’ll find the best selection of South Asian produce and herbs. Find fresh coriander, mint, curry and fenugreek leaves, as well as karela (bitter melon), Indian eggplant, drumsticks, mangoes and tamarind. Tip: Stock arrives Thursday and is always freshest on weekends. OK FOOD & PRODUCE 1023, 5075 Falconridge Blvd. NE, 403-293-1188 Get the best prices on bulk spices. Look for lovely Indian copper cooking implements in the housewares aisle. APNA DESI MEAT MASALA 734, 5075 Falconridge Blvd NE and 7171, 80 Ave NE, 403-568-4455 Apna means good. Desi means local. The owner, Baldev Gill, is famous for the goodness of his spice masalas (mixtures of spices). Find an abundance of fish and local lamb, goat and chicken freshly marinated and ready for your home grill. Tip: They also cater and do a brisk take-out business. DALBRENT SPICE RACK 132, 3604 - 52 St. NW, 403-289-1409 Find a friendly owner and easy access to spices in the city’s northwest. Check out their dosa batter in Get This, page 14. SHAHEEN GROCERY and KABULI NAAN 4655 - 54 Ave. NE, 403-293-0909 Great prices on basmati rice, dried fruit and nuts. THE SILK ROAD SPICE MERCHANT 1403 - 9 Ave. SE and Calgary Farmers’ Market, 403-261-1955, silkroadspices.ca Because they have the freshest spices in town, I chose to partner with owners Colin Leach and Kelci Hind to create our branded A Spicy Touch Masala Daba Spice Boxes. They provide the spices and I import the high quality stainless steel dabas. I found a factory in New Delhi where the employees have a caring employer and excellent working conditions. These boxes are an indispensible aid for Indian cooks and ours contains the 11 most commonly used spices from A Spicy Touch: Family Favourites from Noorbanu Nimji’s Kitchen. ✤

Prawn Masala, photo by Catherine Van Brunschot

Ananda Spa, photo by Karen Anderson Chef Arun Kala, photo by K. Anderson Dressed up for Diwali Festival in New Delhi, photo by Karen Anderson Catherine Van Brunschot is a Calgary-based food and travel writer, a regular contributor to Taste & Travel International magazine. Read more of her work at catherinevanbrunschot.com.



Dal Masoor 2 c. red lentils salt to taste 1 t. turmeric 1/2 t. cumin seeds

Garnish: 1/4 c. melted butter or ghee 1 t. cumin seeds 4 cloves finely sliced garlic




By Susan Scott

For the Irani household, New Year comes twice, if not three times, a year. “As Parsees, we celebrate Nowruz, the beginning of our year, but we also take part in the festivities on December 31,” says Yasmin Irani, who, with her husband Jamsheed (Jimmy), and daughter, Shireen, is a member of Calgary’s Zoroastrian community. There’s yet a third celebration in August.

Wash the lentils until the water runs clear. To speed up cooking, you can soak them for an hour beforehand. Drain and place in a pot. Add about twice the volume of water, salt, turmeric and cumin seeds. (Yasmin likes to bruise the cumin seeds lightly using a mortar and pestle). Bring to the boil with the lid off so that it doesn’t boil over. Once boiling, lower the heat, skim the foam off and place the lid halfway over the pan. When the lentils start to thicken, you can put the lid on completely. Once the lentils have disintegrated, (about 30 minutes), whisk them to make a thick purée. To prepare the garnish, melt the butter or ghee in a small pan until it sizzles. Add slightly crushed cumin seeds and garlic – they should be swimming – until the garlic browns. Some people like to pour this over the lentils. Yasmin prefers to serve it on the side so that people watching their diets can take as little, or as much, as they want. Keep it warm in a small fondue pot.

The Parsees arrived in India in two waves from their homeland of Persia, present-day Iran. The first group of Zoroastrians fled in the 8th to 10th centuries, after the Muslim invasion. They landed on the shores of Gujarat and settled in and around Mumbai. They were called Parsees in recognition of their homeland. The second group arrived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, after another bout of persecution, and frequently take the last name Irani. Zoroastrianism, one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions, is the ancient faith of Persia and has influenced Judaism, Christianity and Islam, in turn. The Prophet Zoroaster’s teachings tell of Ahura Mazda, or the Wise Lord, and that the world is formed by a ceaseless struggle between good and evil. Originally Nowruz coincided with the spring equinox, but the complicated calculations required to keep this going fell apart in both Persia and India. In 1925, Iran – including both its Muslims and its remaining Zoroastrians – adopted March 21st as Nowruz. However, in India, the Zoroastrian calendar has fallen completely out of synch, so that the start of the New Year is now in August. The Parsees quickly adapted to their new country. Although their numbers were small, like many immigrants, they quickly gave back to the wider community and absorbed some of its influences, including its cuisine. Parsee cooking is a supreme example of fusion food, combining the flavours of Iran with the sweetness of Gujarati cuisine, which is very different from the curries we tend to consume in Calgary, most of which hail from Punjab. Parsees take pride in being omnivorous. “We eat everything,” says Yasmin, mentioning that goat trotters are a delicacy. “Food is very important to us. It’s all about food.” In Calgary, Zoroastrian families still cook the traditional dishes. Those who arrived from India, like Yasmin and Jamsheed, prepare Parsee food, and those from Iran, Persian food. Yasmin’s roots extend back to the first wave to reach India, so her family’s customs are a little different from Jamsheed’s, whose family arrived in the second wave to reach India. Yasmin and Jamsheed are very health conscious, so in Canada she’s made adjustments to the recipes handed down from her mother. Instead of ghee, she uses olive or canola oil and has cut back on quantity. The food, however, still has a distinctive zing on the palate. Yasmin says a typical Nowruz menu includes chawal (rice), dal (lentils), a spicy shrimp dish with a bit of sweet/sour taste, and either a rich custard or a semolina-based dessert. They’re all easy to prepare and the ingredients are readily available at larger local supermarkets or at East Indian stores. For vegetarians, she has included an eggplant recipe that bursts with flavour. As Yasmin would say, “Nowruz Mubarak!” (Happy New Year!) The menu serves 4.



Kolmi-no Patia (Spicy Prawns) (Everyone has a favourite version of this recipe). 1/3 c. oil 1 large onion, or 2 medium, chopped 1 hot green pepper (or more if you like more heat), chopped 1 t. turmeric 1 t. red chile powder 1/2 t. ground cumin 1/2 t. ground coriander 2 heaped t. ginger-garlic paste* 2 medium tomatoes, chopped 10 oz. peeled, deveined fresh or frozen shrimp 1/3 c. washed, chopped cilantro leaves 1/2 t. granulated sugar, or to taste 2 T. malt vinegar

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion and hot pepper until soft and golden brown. Turn down the heat and add all the spices and the gingergarlic paste. Fry lightly to bring out the flavour. Add the tomatoes, stir, and let the mixture cook on medium heat. Add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp are just done. Be careful not to overcook. Throw in the cilantro and then stir in the sugar and vinegar. Taste and adjust seasonings.



3/4 c. desiccated coconut*

Yasmin has happy memories of her mother Mehroo Wadia making this for special occasions like birthdays and other festivals.

1-1/2 t. turmeric red chile powder to taste 1 t. salt 12 baby eggplants of similar size, washed 1/3 c. oil 2 pieces of jaggery, a form of sugar*

1/4 c. butter, plus extra for frying the nuts 1/3 c. cream of wheat 1/3 c. granulated sugar, or Splenda to taste 4 c. milk heated in large pan ground nutmeg and cardamom

2 T. tamarind concentrate*

1 t. vanilla

1 c. water

sliced almonds and raisins

Grind coconut in something like a coffee grinder until it is almost a powder and place in a small bowl. Mix in turmeric, chile powder and salt, then stirring, add sufficient water to make it the consistency of cookie dough. You will end up with about 1/2 cup.

Melt the 1/4 cup of butter in a large saucepan and gently sauté the cream of wheat in it, stirring all the while because it sticks very easily. The grains will separate and brown very slightly. Mix in the sugar and quickly add some of the warm milk to prevent the sugar from caramelizing. Stir it well until the milk is absorbed, then add another cup of milk. The process is like making risotto, so continue adding milk and stirring until it is absorbed. The cream of wheat will be very smooth, the granules will have almost disappeared, and it will have turned from light brown to cream-coloured. Take it off the heat and stir in a pinch each of nutmeg and cardamom, then stir in the vanilla. Pour into a pretty bowl and set aside.

Cut a cross in the bottom of each eggplant almost as far as the stem end and gently separate the quarters. Fill each gash with some of the desiccated coconut mixture so that both directions of the cross contain some of the filling. Heat the oil in a large skillet until it’s hot enough to singe the eggplants. If you don’t have one big enough you’ll have to work in batches. Place the eggplants in the oil and roll them over to coat and brown on all sides. If you have extra paste, add it to the oil, too. When the eggplants are browned, cover and let them cook on medium heat. Meanwhile, place the jaggery, tamarind and water in a microwavable bowl and blast for about a minute. Remove and stir until everything has dissolved. When the eggplant is tender, add the jaggery sauce and let it cook for a few minutes with the lid on to meld the flavours. If there’s too much sauce, reduce it by boiling it down to the right consistency.

In a small frying pan, melt the extra butter and, when sizzling, add the sliced almonds and stir gently. Then add the raisins. When the raisins are plump, remove from the heat, or the raisins will harden. Sprinkle more nutmeg and cardamom on top of the cream of wheat and sprinkle the almonds and raisins over it. If you have access to chemical-free rose petals, sprinkle some on for a very festive look. Ravo can be served hot, room temperature or from the fridge.

Lagan nu Custard (Wedding Custard) The Parsees always admired the British even to the extent of making a beautiful variation on a basic nursery dessert. 4 c. whole milk

Chawal (Rice) You can cook the rice the way you like, or follow Yasmin’s method, which produces perfect, fluffy individual grains.

2/3 c. granulated sugar 6 eggs separated into 6 yolks and 3 whites (freeze the remaining whites and use them to make meringues) 1 c. whipping cream

2 c. Basmati rice

2 t. or less rosewater or vanilla essence

1 T. oil

2 oz. blanched, finely chopped almonds (you can use half pistachios if you like)

2 t. cumin seeds 4 c. hot tap water

Rinse rice 4 or 5 times until the water runs clear, then drain well. Bruise the cumin seeds using a mortar and pestle. Heat the oil in a large pot and stir in the cumin seeds to coat. Add the rice and stir it to coat, too. Pour in the hot water and let it boil without a lid until no water bubbles up through the depressions in the rice. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting, put the lid on and let the pot sit for about 10 minutes, by which time any remaining liquid will be absorbed.

1/2 t. ground nutmeg

Boil the milk with the sugar until it is reduced by 1/3. Stir to prevent sticking. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Beat together 6 egg yolks and 3 whites. Add the cream, the cool milk, rosewater or vanilla, nuts and nutmeg and mix well. Pour into a greased baking dish and bake at 350°F. for 30 minutes. Note: Go easy on the rosewater, or use vanilla. (*Available at some supermarkets and at East Indian stores. See the sidebar of the Eating India article, page 23, for East Indian stores) ✤

Susan thanks her friends from the Indian-subcontinent who have educated her palate.



Gadgets for the Foodie Traveller by Erin Lawrence

Often travelling can mean meals out at great restaurants, or grabbing a quick bite on the go. But savvy travellers know that a plan to eat and drink well while on vacation or a business trip can make a long journey feel more comfortable. Packing these gadgets in your carry-on or checked bag can ensure your morning cup of coffee wakes you up right, or it can make sure you have a relaxing cocktail in your room after a long day – without paying hotel markup!


What good is a quality portable espresso maker without fresh ground espresso? This manual ceramic burr grinder from Porlex has a removable handle that straps to the side so it’s compact. Plus, a variety of settings lets you spin out anything from powdery Turkish coffee to a coarser French press-ready grind. Made in Japan, this grinder is durable and easy to stow.


Sometimes there’s just no room for even the smallest portable coffee maker. When space is at a premium and the weight of your bag needs to be low, slip a few of these Japanese-made Kantan Drip flat paper coffee filters in. They pop up and sit directly over your cup allowing you to make an easy single serving of fresh brewed coffee. When they’re done, toss them in the garbage.


If you’re in Paris, L.A, or Toronto, getting a good cup of coffee is easy enough. But camping in the desert in Joshua Tree National Park, visiting tiny Strathroy, Ontario, or waking up early for a flight when nothing is open may mean you have to forgo your favourite morning java. Not if you pack the very handy Handpresso. This banana-sized gadget is small enough to fit in a carry on, but powerful enough to press out a perfect espresso shot, with crema, in about 30 seconds. Load the small coffee basket with your favourite pre-ground espresso, then fill the small tank with boiling water (from a coffee maker, tea tap, microwave, or restaurant). Pump the Handpresso’s bicycle pump-like handle to the proper pressure, then release the trigger. Instantly one perfect shot of espresso drips into your cup. Available at Cappuccino King in Calgary, or from handpresso-canada.myshopify.com


If tea is your thing, a nice cuppa is easy to brew on the go. Cold brew tea bottles from Hario allow you to steep tea leaves in the durable bottle, then pour with nary a leaf escaping. They come in two sizes so you can bring as much or as little as you need. Coffee grinder, paper pop up filters, and tea bottles available at Eight Ounce Coffee Supply in Calgary. eightouncecoffee.ca


These glasses weigh nothing at all and are made from durable shatterproof plastic that looks like delicate glass. Stash two in your bag, and stuff them with socks (economizing space in a suitcase is important!) and you’ve got nice glassware to sip from when you pick up a bottle of wine for a picnic or in-room drink. These glasses are available in wine, champagne, beer or rocks sizes. They’re also dishwasher safe. You know, for when you get home. Available at J Webb Wine Merchant in Calgary, or GovinoWine.com


If you’ve ever rented an AirBnB or a VRBO home, you know they’re sometimes well stocked. Except for one thing that will drive a home chef nuts; there’s never a good sharp knife when you want to cook at the house. Bringing along your favourite chef’s knife is a great way to guarantee you’ll be able to prep food with ease; just be sure to wrap it in a proper sheath and put it in your checked bag. Check out the gorgeous knives at Calgary's Knifewear, where you can also get slip-on safety covers, or even fine leather or canvas knife bags if you’re really serious about your knives. Knives from knifewear.ca




A lifesaver when it comes to AirBnB or home rentals (or even lacklustre allinclusive food) is to plan to bring some of your favourite spices. Often you’ll find salt and pepper left in rental homes, but if your preferences are for bolder and more unique flavours like curries, hot chiles or za’atar, you’ll need to fend for yourself. Here’s how to cope:


Get a small set or two of screw-together stacking containers (Lee Valley has them inexpensively), and fill them with spices. The containers are secure and hold enough to get you through a week. Stick small labels on or use Sharpie or dry-erase marker to note what’s inside. Stacking mini jars available at Lee Valley in Calgary, leevalley.com


You can go one step further and employ the spice trick that’s insanely popular in Asia; mini ceramic burr spice grinders. Three of these lipstick-sized tubes can hold fresh pink peppercorns, cumin or sesame seeds, or gourmet pepper flakes, allowing you to spice up your food whether you’re dining out or cooking in your AirBnB rental. Spices grind into the lid where they’re held securely until you need them. Mini spice grinders available at Eight Ounce Coffee Supply in Calgary. eightouncecoffee.ca

join us The Cookbook Co. Cooks welcomes

Vikram Vij

to celebrate the launch of his newest book!

VIJ: A Chef’s One-Way Ticket to Canada with Indian Spices in His Suitcase Monday, March 27, 6:30-9 pm $85pp – This event includes a copy of Vikram’s new memoir, VIJ, and a copy of Vij’s Indian, a spectacular cookbook co-written with partner Meeru Dhalwala.

THE COOKBOOK CO. COOKS 722 - 11th Avenue SW, 403-265-6066, ext #1

Call now to register!






Come and meet Vikram! Raise a glass, share some of his favourite food, and celebrate his latest book release – a memoir of one of Canada’s most celebrated chefs and entrepreneurs.



Sometimes it’s nice not to have to cook, but maybe you don’t want to eat out for the fifth meal in a row. If you’re in a big city, a stop at a local deli will provide everything you need for a delicious charcuterie supper with your favourite (or exotic) meats, salamis and cheeses. If you’ve packed some supplies, this is an easy spread to lay out in a hotel room, or even by a campfire. A roll-up cutting board like ones we found by Norpro inexpensively on Amazon.ca will give you a clean place to spread out or cut into your nibbles.



Pair the board with a melamine cheese knife, also by Norpro, or even a set of mini steel cheese knives (knives in your checked bag, of course) and you can enjoy dinner with ease. Available at Amazon.ca: Search Norpro ✤ Erin is a Calgary writer, TV producer and frequent traveller who refuses to begin the day without a proper cup of coffee. Check out her website ErinLYYC.com

Join our Brand Ambassador & Executive Chef as they walk you through a unique beer pairing in our cellar. Visit THEGRIZZLYPAW.COM for more information.

taylorfladgate.com @thegrizzlypaw 310 OLD CANMORE ROAD

To find a retailer visit: liquorconnect.com/783727



Feasting on a One-Mile Nautical Diet Aboard the MV Swell Like the bears that roam B.C.’s vast Great Bear Rainforest, we turn out to be “opportunivores” by Lisa Monforton

Lila Ruzicka, our onboard chef, hops into the Zodiac with a first mate at the helm. Soon they’re just a speck on the water, dwarfed by the towering Coastal Mountains and mist-shrouded fjords that stretch endlessly into the horizon. Their mission? To nab some spot prawns for our dinner tonight. They’ll get them from one of the local fishermen who troll the bountiful waters in what will be our gloriously remote backyard for the next week – the legendary Great Bear Rainforest. Within the hour, the chef and first mate are back aboard the MV Swell. The smile on Ruzicka’s face tells us she’s returned with the goods – in-season, lusciously sweet speckled prawns, packed snug in a container. As primed as we’ve been to see the elusive white spirit bear – also known as the Kermode, and unique to this region – we’re just almost as excited that Ruzicka’s expedition yielded these tender delicacies to make up for the fact we never did spot the spirit bear.

She sequesters herself in the tiny galley kitchen to start dinner. Some of our fellow guests settle in to read on the coveted couch on the upper deck, while others scan the shores through binoculars, trying to spot one of the Big Five – a Pacific coastal wolf, black or white bears, moose, whales and cougars – in this version of a truly Canadian safari. Yet others opt for a pre-dinner nap in their rooms. Such is much of life aboard the MV Swell, a 1920s vessel that, in its early years, plied the West Coast waters as a working tugboat. After a $4-million refurbishment, it found a new job as a classic and comfortable expedition boat, ferrying five crew and up to 12 guests. It now threads its way through this lushly treed and magical part of British Columbia’s complicated coastline, which always reminds me of an unfinished jigsaw puzzle. When we’re not on an excursion, zipping by Zodiac to a remote beach where we hope to spot the wolves who’ve left their paw prints in the sand, or walking through purple lupines dancing in a breeze on a tiny island – all this fresh air has some of us thinking about the next meal from Ruzicka’s kitchen. We’ve learned that the elusive coastal bears in our midst are called “opportunivores.” I guess you could call us that, too, because way out here, we are entirely dependent on Chef Lila. James Main, head chef and food and beverage co-ordinator for Maple Leaf Adventures, which owns and operates the MV Swell, says the chefs who take turns cooking on board often joke with guests – “Thanks for dining with us… because you don’t have any other options out here.” Each morning, we step into the honey-hued, wood-panelled dining room and the small chalkboard menu in the corner outside Ruzicka’s kitchen lists the menu of the day. The descriptions hardly do justice to what ends up on our plates in this communal space, where we eat family-style three times a day. We’re teased by the aromas of pumpkin scones, baking in the oven for a mid-morning snack. At other times, the scent of a hearty broth for an upcoming Thai spot prawn soup wafts from beneath the door (see recipe), or we can hear the crackling of salmon skin sizzling in the oven. Outside the dining-room, the pristine air around us is infused with the scent of towering cedar trees. Being surrounded by this massive slice of the planet’s largest temperate coastal rainforest makes a human ravenous. And it’s Ruzicka’s job to feed us. From her “office” – her vantage point through a porthole – she’s been awed by sights like that of humpback whales breaching under a double rainbow. Cooking here in this 10 x 10 space has been Ruzicka’s “dream job” for the past six years, and it’s fed her philosophy for satisfying MV Swell guests. She calls it adapting to a sense of place and being ready for the unexpected. After all, in these remote waters, we are hundreds of kilometres from any market or grocery store. Resourcefulness is a prerequisite for cooking aboard the Swell, and she happily accepts the challenge.

aragus d Sea Asp the prawns to make n a d e e w a ls of p with Se zing the shel re lucky rawn Sou Ruzicka recommends freew out (or overboard) if you’he P t o p S i a h of at to ro f Lila Fragrant T are in season in May. Che of flavour so don’t ever th ly need the lightest touchns. are full awns sh, they on tinian praw Local spot pr prawn stock. The heads sweet firm fle ot prawns is wild Argen a ve ha of ns h Spot praw a big batc tute for sp Peel the t them fresh. nable substi enough to ge rfection. A good sustai ly in th ed ic pe prawns and alk sl cook them to 1 celery st e shells

s set asid mushroom awns the 1 c. sliced ) ite ur 1 lb. spot pr vo if using for fa y (oyster is m the d e ne ac lt en Pl li sa broth. 1 t. sea t pepper, ju ee sw d re rge 1 gar prawns in la 1 t. white su mes li 2 add scallion single layer. of n e ic ju er to a boil, smashed roasting pa at w c. 8 d 1 scallion an uce gar awns, cover 1 T. fish sa Bring salt, su ur boiling liquid over pr ngal own sugar t, br t gh li or Po 1 slice gala . gar . In a large po , me oil and galangal 1 t. palm su rain and cool er D at . ble or sesa w ta es ly k, ut ge in oc in ve th st m , T. ed 1 n shells d let sit 5 aw k an g allions slic pr in oc sc e st d ud 3 th h cl an é fis in ut ic or es, and sa iles, garl 8 c. prawn lantro leav heat the oil , galangal, ch hour. Strain es g handful ci stems av bi le e lim 1 ped 4 c. water lemongrass, simmer for . finely chop hed with Bring to boil, . grass, smas 2” slices d red pepper ilk on an m m s t le m nu oo ks co hr 1/ co : us to 3 stal al m , n in o dd in ry ti A ed le Op ion, ce inutes. ife, slic s, soaked back of kn another 2 m a asparagu s broth. Add on handful se simmer for hr 2 a es r herbs and to av fo r, le at er ga e at he su m w Reduce 4 kaffir li and palm e fresh cold d uc pe wl and sa op h ch fis e juice, ns in each bo langal seaweed, lim aw h e pr es th fr w l fe fu ed a 4 slices ga hand . Place ro and thinly iles, slic if dry tional greens top. Garnish with cilant s eye red ch or crumbled rd op e, bi l fin al sm 2 h over rves 6-8. rnish leaves, ga ore heat. Se pour hot brot e minced m ro ov e nt at cl la lik he ci u ic e rl yo or 1 ga ile if , for m milk inly sliced sliced red ch at coconut red chile, th rnish 1 can full-f ga (optional), ed thinly 1 onion slic



“You have to be creative with ingredients, but at the same time… you can follow the one-nautical-mile diet. You have this amazing ocean right at your fingertips, which is really thrilling,” she says.

Which brings us back to that meal we’ve all been anticipating. Gathered in the dining room, Lila and the crew set down bowls before us. And there the spot prawns are, sitting in a pillowy cluster on top of rich and heady-smelling broth.

“I might not have my microgreens, but I’ve got fresh halibut and spot prawns and we can forage in the forest for rice root or sea asparagus. I love working like that.” Because Ruzicka is usually busy preparing meals while we are out exploring, onboard naturalist Sherry Kirkvold can be on the hunt for something the chef could use in the kitchen. It might be rice root, edible mushrooms or fir sprigs, perhaps for a fir-infused shortbread cookie. All are ingredients that First Nations cooks would have foraged and eaten while living off this land. A special and sacred place, the Great Bear Rainforest has been home to First Nations for thousands of years. It was named by environmental groups, but forestry companies for decades called it the “mid-coast timber supply area.” After years of negotiations between governments, loggers, First Nations and environmental groups, the B.C. government officially recognized the name Great Bear Rainforest in February 2016, and agreed to forever protect 85 per cent of the old-growth forest area from industrial logging. The ultimate goal is to make it fully protected from any kind of industry or hunting. Everyone on board feels so privileged to be here. Surprises await around every corner, like ribbons of waterfalls shooting out of cedar-tufted shoreline. Or a yearling black bear swimming across an estuary and scrambling up the shore on a fallen tree. Porpoises frolicking alongside our boat as the sun sets. Bald eagles by the dozens patiently waiting in treetops to swoop down and catch dinner.

Moments before, we were all chatting about our day in the rainforest. Now, the only sounds around the table are “mmmms.” The spirits of this contented group are filled with the beauty of the magical rainforest around us, and our bellies are filled with some of the bounty of the sea.

IF YOU GO: Maple Leaf Adventures offers several trips aboard the MV Swell between May and October. Among them are the Great Bear Rainforest, Inside Passage and Gulf Islands. Find details at mapleleafadventures.com, seeking out “dates and rates.” Included in the price are all meals and snacks (including a glorious wine and cheese party on the beach one day) and wine or beer with dinners. Special dietary requests can be made. ✤ Lisa Monforton is a Calgary-based freelance writer who’s always planning her next travel adventure.


Willow Park Village 10816 Macleod Trail South | 403.278.1220


S e a s o n a l Ca n a d i a n c u i s i n e

i n s p i r e d l i b at i o n s & e t c e t e r a s 8 0 6 - 9 t h Av e n u e S E deanehouse.com

@ d e a n e h o us e y yc



It’s Delicious, it’s Diverting… it’s: This enlightening, energizing Food Film Festival is coming to a province near you


Kuterra salmon with fish skin "chicharron".

Devour takes place at the Watermark Beach Resort.

by Kate Zimmerman, photos by Ron Shewchuk

Sometimes your palate just needs a break. Not a break from eating, but a breather from the same-old, same-old of your own cooking and your regular haunts. The brain can use a re-boot, too, which is why Osoyoos’ Devour! The Food Film Fest comes as such a treat in May. The festival, which will celebrate its second year in Western Canada in 2017, and its seventh in Nova Scotia in October, pairs delectable food with short films about the ingredients that go into it. Osoyoos's Devour! takes place May 5-7 at the Watermark Beach Resort, with the final day given over to a modest Slow Food Market. The original festival was founded by Chef Michael Howell in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Howell owned a celebrated restaurant there called Tempest. A proponent of Slow Food and local products, the chef wanted to find a creative way to lure people into the Annapolis Valley in November, traditionally a slow month for local businesses. He started Devour! in 2009 as a one-day event called the Slow Motion Food Film Festival. “We showed three films – Babette’s Feast, Robert Kenner’s seminal Food Inc., and a film called The End of the Line, which was about over-fishing – an amazingly depressing film,” Howell said in an interview in Osoyoos. Wolfville’s initial Devour! sold 1,000 tickets and packed Tempest. It launched a yearly foodie film fest that now lasts five days, includes appearances by celebrity chefs like Anthony Bourdain, and offers 27 screenings of more than 80 films. Howell eventually sold his restaurant to his sous-chef, re-named the festival “Devour!” and threw himself into it almost full-time. In 2015, he staged a two-day version in Seattle. “We realized that we had the opportunity to do this everywhere,” he said. Since then, there have been Devour! events in Toronto, L.A., and at the Canadian Embassy in Berlin. Howell was approached by Watermark Beach Resort to launch Devour! in Osoyoos in 2016, and the inaugural event took place with a modest film component during the waterfront resort’s shoulder season. Friday night launched the weekend with a cocktail party and East versus West showdown, with Watermark’s exec chef Adair Scott and his team serving up tasty appetizers like salmon tartare on marble rye, and Howell handing out samples of his scrumptious award-winning grilled cheese sandwich, with prosciutto, Havarti, lemon aioli, figs and arugula. One big draw was a table where guests could compare the surprisingly distinct flavours of raw West Coast and East Coast oysters. Saturday night’s special dinner featured six courses, made by Scott, local chef Jeff Zver’s Two Rivers Specialty Meats, and two Vancouver chefs – Felix Zhou of Beach Bay Café & Patio and Ricardo Valverde of Ancora Waterfront Dining & Patio. Each course was paired with wines from the Similkameen Valley’s Clos Du Soleil, Orofino, Rustic Roots, Robin Ridge, Eau Vivre, Hugging Tree and Seven Stones wineries. Before every dish, a short film – from 90 seconds to five minutes – was shown that depicted one of that dish’s key ingredients. Some were food porn-y, up-close looks at food being made, one of them showing the process in reverse. But Hannah



Cheesman’s Cheese, which preceded Chef Zhou’s cheese course, was a funny look at a young woman, who apparently knows nothing about cheese, being assigned to supply a gourmet’s party with a sophisticated array of same. “Just don’t make it bourgeois,” the hostess warns gaily as we watch our heroine braving a hardcore Toronto cheese emporium (hannahcheesman.com/cheese).

The great thing about combining shorts with a multi-course feast, Howell pointed out, is that the movies give you something new to talk about with your seatmates every 15 Chefs Adair Scott and Michael Howell. minutes or so. The first item on Saturday night’s bill was Bullrush Films’ documentary, The Oyster Men, which depicts the hand-harvesting of “superior” wild oysters – once endangered – by scuba-divers in Long Island Sound (you can watch this Scuba diver harvests wild oysters in The Oyster Men. (Screen grab) film on Vimeo). Watching The Oyster Men beforehand prompted Watermark chef Scott to offer a first course consisting of a solitary raw oyster with lemon seafoam. The next day, Howell explained that he’d opted for simplicity after marveling at the oyster men’s efforts. “How fast do you eat an oyster? It takes, like, one second to eat an oyster, and that poor guy’s in that suit and under water for seven to eight hours, just to get a couple of oysters at a time. Now, I almost feel a little bit guilty every time I eat an oyster. It’s like, go pick your OWN oyster.” Over the course of preparations for Devour! Scott was also inspired by the chefs’ idea exchange. Both he and Howell were impressed by the crunchy dehydrated olive “dust” Zhou made to accompany his goat cheese with rhubarb, and the fish skin “chicharron” Valverde used as a garnish for his barely cooked roulade of Kuterra salmon (Atlantic salmon sustainably raised on Northern Vancouver Island by the ‘Namgis First Nation). Howell was taken with the stinging nettle orecchiette ravioli that Van Geest served with morel mushrooms, ramps, local asparagus, burrata cheese and green chickpeas, an ingredient the East Coaster had never tried. Meanwhile, Howell got the chance to introduce Scott to Nova Scotia’s Hama Nori seaweed, most of which it exports to Japan. It seemed that Devour’s participating chefs got as much of a jolt to their imaginations as the event’s guests did. “It’s the perfect spring event for us to do,” said Scott. “Everyone’s waking up.” ✤ For details on Devour! in Osoyoos, BC, May 5-6, 2017, visit: watermarkbeachresort.com For details on the 7th edition of Devour! in Wolfville, NS, October 25-29, 2017, visit: devourfest.com Vancouver writer Kate Zimmerman was overjoyed to be present at the Osoyoos marriage of her two favourite things – food and films.





Saturday, March 25, 2017 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

BMO Centre, Halls D & E, Stampede Park Ticket Cost: $65 + gst

coopwinespiritsbeer.com CITYPALATE.ca MARCH APRIL 2017


Road Tripping Beyond Australia’s Great Ocean Road by Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

Lunch at a car wash – the Water Café – with a selection of stale breakfast buns was not how I expected to begin our drive from Melbourne to Australia’s legendary Great Ocean Road. We weren’t starving, however, only surprised that this restaurant did not embrace the “Paddock to Plate” philosophy followed by so many local kitchens.

The Great Ocean Road (GOR) was a farsighted work project for returning World War I veterans. A permanent route allowing access to remote fishing communities was envisioned in the 1880s; however, the southern coastal road only became a reality once survey work began in 1918. Some 3,000 veterans worked with pickaxes, shovels and small machinery on the GOR’s construction. Completed in 1932, the GOR remains a striking memorial to the sacrifice of those who were involved in the war effort. It’s an easy drive from Melbourne to the official start of the 243-km coastal road in Torquay, which is Australia’s surfing capital and hometown to retailers Rip Curl and Quicksilver. This town, with its throng of surf shops, is a magnet for surfers hoping for a “wicked right-hander” on legendary Bells Beach. We stopped for mid-afternoon flat whites at Surfcoast Wholefoods, where the coffees appeared, finally, on “surfer time.” We covered the first section of the GOR in the dying light of an autumn afternoon, passing the Memorial Arch and Split Point Lighthouse, at Aireys Inlet. Our road trip coincided with a long weekend and a school break, bad timing that limited our accommodation options. The Lorne Coachman Inn was located on the edge of town, next to a caravan park, and our first impressions of it were grim. The damp evening restricted our desire for exploration to the closest restaurant, but the team at Saporitalia exceeded our expectations with a delicious tomato, red pepper and goat cheese soup, spicy prawn pizza and Tasmanian salmon salad. The portions were generous, and we were happy to have to walk home. The next morning, we awoke to the noisy combination of cockatoos fighting to open garbage cans (these birds are not to be reckoned with) and the preparations of campers for the next legs of their road trips. We headed to Lorne, a popular destination graced with a long curve of sand, a family-friendly beach with enough white water to satisfy some surfers. We ventured out for a pre-breakfast walk to Teddy’s Lookout, a hilltop vista point, where the sun sparkled on the water like treasure stretching towards Tasmania. Australians have perfected the art of great coffee and healthy, satisfying breakfasts. It was hard to choose between the tempting coffee shops, bakeries and restaurants on Lorne’s energetic main street. We picked Moons Espresso Bar, based on its apparent popularity with the Saturday morning crowd, and shared a table with a lady psychologist from the Country Fire Authority. As we ate fried eggs on sourdough, sides of bacon and spinach, she explained that we would see kilometres of charred trees along the next section of the GOR, the results of a devastating Christmas Day (2015) bushfire that destroyed 116 Wye River homes, but blessedly took no lives. We thought maybe Saturday was not the best day to drive the GOR – we were jockeying for parking and conscious of photo-bombers at the notable stops. We made several pit stops along the route, including at the Inukshuk-style rock piles at Carisbrook Creek, the farmers market at Apollo Bay, and the viewpoint at Cape Patton. We descended to the beach via the Gibson’s Steps to gawk at the first of the towering limestone stacks in the ocean just off the beach – the 12 Apostles. The 12 Apostles Visitors Centre serves a purpose in attempting to control and safely corral the crowds, prevent erosion and eliminate the possibility of someone falling from the steep cliffs. But, for me, arriving at what seemed like a bus terminal diminished my interest in seeing the iconic rock formations. We toughed it out for a few photos. Our next choice was the most challenging of the whole trip: Do we stick to the official GOR route to see the balance of the coastline, or drift off and explore a portion of the 12 Apostles Gourmet Trail? We chose to leave the mobs behind on the coast and sample some of the wares from food artisans located along a 75-km route. Afternoon munchies enticed us to stop at the Timboon Cheesery, which carries products from the Schulz Organic Dairy. Re-fuelled after eating hot vegetable soup, toasted sandwiches and samples from the cheese selection, we headed to the Timboon Railway Shed Distillery. Local records confirm that whisky has been made in the village – not always legally – since the 1890s. The owners of Timboon Fine Ice Cream opened an outlet in the town’s old railway shed, where you can buy products from several of the food producers found along the Gourmet Trail. Stop by this gathering place for a light lunch, stay for a pizza dinner and sample the single malt whisky or other spirits made in the 600-litre copper pot still.

2 of the 12 Apostles

The drive through the countryside from Timboon to Port Fairy reminded us of Ireland, with verdant rolling hills and grazing dairy cows and sheep. We rejoined the GOR at Port Campbell, knowing we’d missed some coastal sights, but happy we’d taken the time for a foodie detour. Warrnambool may be the official termination of the GOR, but it’s not the end of Victoria’s beautiful seascapes. We spent the night in Port Fairy, a fishing town with plenty of history and a beach that stretches to the horizon. Our charming hosts at Douglas Riverside Inn welcomed us with a glass of Yellow Tail’s pink bubbles. It was a perfect way to toast our journey along the Great Ocean Road.

12 Apostles Food Tour



Visitor information on the Great Ocean Road: visitgreatoceanroad.org.au/visitor-information 12 Apostles: visit12apostles.com.au/#&panel1-1 12 Apostles Gourmet Trail: 12apostlesfoodartisans.com and visit12apostles.com.au/food-wine/12-apostles-gourmet-trail Timboon Cheesery: schulzorganicfarms.com.au Timboon Railway Shed Distillery: timboondistillery.com.au

Carolyne writes about food travel for Perfectly Provence, Ginger and Nutmeg, and curates Canadian designer products for e-commerce site Atelier.

Travel healTh advice: GeT vaccinaTed Today! Bowmont Travel clinic is a designated yellow Fever centre: all vaccines done on site.

bowmonttravel.ca | travel@bowmont.ca | 403-247-0787

See your future. Come in for a free consultation. 403.547.9775 | westernlasereye.com | facebook.com/WesternLaserEyeAssociates

a 21st century diner in the heart of Bowness, where friends meet for great food, super fine coffee, and fresh baking!

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Small BuSineSS creaTeS communiTy and SupporTS The local economy. viSiT The Fine merchanTS oF mainSTreeT BoWneSS!









by Kathy Richardier

Zibo burger

When Halloween rolls around, my friend Doug and I like to see what other cities do to celebrate our favourite yearly celebration. The best Halloween we’ve had so far has been in New Orleans, a city that really gets into the action. Last Halloween, we decided to visit friends in Montréal, Claude and Isobel David, and see what Montréal got up to. We took our lead for October 31 from our friends, and ended up at their place for dinner. We thought there might be a party, but ended up yakking instead, which was OK, ‘cause we like hanging with them, party or no. So, no Halloween tricks, but plenty of treats, because in the four days we were there, we did our fair share of eating, it’s such a good city for eating! This is probably not news to anyone. Most everyone we knew had suggested lots of restaurants we just had to try. I made a list and took it with us. But, our style is to walk the city and investigate whatever interestinglooking places we find along the way. That’s what we did in this city of great eats. For one thing, we parked ourselves, on the recommendation of our friends, at the Alt Hotel Montréal, one of the Le Germain Hotels. It’s located in the Griffintown neighbourhood, practically on the Lachine Canal, and within easy walking distance to Old Montréal and the downtown. Perfect! Also, it’s kinda funky, very modern, and staffed with charming people.

Zibo salad

Zibo apple caramel dessert

Alt Hotel is attached to good restaurants, and the evening we arrived we went next door to Zibo, a busy, lively reztaurant bar – that’s how they zpell it – perfect for people watching and, as it turned out, also perfect for great food. Ours included the Zibo! salad, a full meal of greens, Asian veg, avocado, sliced chicken and skewered teriyaki-glazed shrimp. A big salad was what I craved, so this did the trick. Doug went for a sumptuous portobello and smoked bacon burger and perfectly crisp fries. We returned more than once and indulged in delish appetizers, including the best poutine, topped with shredded duck confit – OMG! – crispy shrimp pogos (shrimp on a stick) and crispy chicken rolls. A good wine list, too, with a chablis by the glass, but the only rosé was that rather dreadful California “white zinfandel.” Gotta upgrade the rosé, Zibo.

Bistro Magasin General cronut

Bistro Magasin General Mac 'n' Cheese

We headed to Vieux Montréal on our first walking day, ending up at the Old Port on Rue de la Commune. We found a charming place, a combo of general store and bistro – Bistro Magasin Général – where we found tasty food in a very casual setting that featured a young, male pianist at lunchtime. How very civilized, we thought. We chose from the “amuse-gueules” menu – Spek Involtini of prosciutto wrapped around lightly dressed arugula, shreds of parmesan, and mac ‘n’ cheese done up with bacon. We polished this meal off with a shared cronut, since it was offered, and we’d never had one – “cronut grand format” filled with pastry cream. Oh, my, you wouldn’t want to eat more than one of these in a lifetime.

Bistro Magasin General Spek Involtini

Bistro Magasin General

Much more walking around Vieux Montréal to get rid of that cronut, then, later, to the highly recommended Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grille because we like to find the music of the city. The word “Upstairs” is upside-down because it’s actually downstairs, below street level. Jazz pianist Rafael Zaldivar introduced his new project “Evolution” and we shared a wellappointed appetizer plate. Doug tried the banana nut cocktail, but we decided the flavours worked better as bread.

Upstairs Jazz Bar appetizer plate

Science Centre student designed food senses

"Nixon" at Bistro La Societe

Science Centre lips filled with food

The next day we walked the downtown, a lively place with lots of good shopping. We nearly went into a restaurant called Mr. Steer to see what he was about. We nixed that idea and ended up at at the charming Bistro La Société attached to Loew’s Hotel on the Rue de la Montagne not far from the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal. Brunch was “Eggs in a Basket” – poached eggs in French toast – and quiche and salad, straightforward comfort food on a Sunday. Day next-to-last had us trundling back to the Old Port and the fabulous Science Centre, which had many displays dealing with food, many of which were created by elementary school students. A very fun place. The food court had closed the last day of October and this was November 1, so we wandered rue St. Paul Est and stopped into Restaurant Papillon, near the Basilique Notre-Dame, for more delicious food. This time, smoked salmon bruschetta and the Papillon salad, a dinner-sized vegetable salad, dressing on the side, which we appreciate. This area of Old Montréal reminded us of New Orleans’ French Quarter. The day was drizzly, and as we wandered west on rue St. Paul, it started pouring, so we dodged into the very cute epicerie, Cantinho De Lisboa, for coffee and a large pumpkin cookie. The store sells Portuguese ingredients and baked goods.

Holder lobster ravioli

Day last, we had a 7 p.m. flight back to Calgary, so strolled the old streets and lunched at one of the restaurants on our list of recommendations – brasserie Holder on rue McGill. This was madly recommended by my daughter Chloé who has pretty well eaten her way around the world. Holder offers a perfection of French food. The lobster ravioli was succulent, the beurre blanc just lightly touched with truffle oil to which we added a squeeze of lemon for some zing. The fish and chips delivered panko-crisped fish, perfectly crisp and tender. We sipped a beautiful French rosé to help it slide down. As for the other restaurant recommendations we didn’t get to... next time. The first four days in Montréal let you know where you’ll test your palate the next time you’re there.

Cantinho De Lisboa


Holder dense chocolate and coffee ice cream


Alt Hotel Montréal: althotels.com/en/montreal ✤





Please go to City Palate’s web site, citypalate.ca, for the culinary crossword answers. And thanks to all those who participated. It was a tough one, but you did good! The Culinary Race returns Saturday, June 3rd, challenging participants to team up and race through Calgary discovering hidden secrets about local landmarks and buildings, explore new cafes and restaurants, and compete to win prizes. Tickets on sale soon. Follow the website for updates and information. culinaryrace.ca Don’t miss The Big Taste – presented by Downtown Calgary, Open Table and Wines of British Columbia – March 3-12. It’s the city’s big fun foodie festival where more than 250 plates open wide for The Big Taste. Details and restaurants at bigtastecalgary.com

restaurant ramblings ■ Chef Daryl Kerr, executive chef for Geat Events Group who oversees the menu program at the Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant, has been named Chef of the Year by the Calgary Academy of Chefs and Cooks. Good show chef Kerr! ■ Yay! One of our fave chefs in the world – Duncan Ly – is now doing his thing in his Foreign Concept Alternative Asian restaurant at 1011 -1st St. SW., ex-Vicious Circle. This dude has seduced our taste buds for years at Raw Bar in Hotel Arts and now we get to have him seduce them all over again – taste buds will be soooooo happy. Or, we should say, Jinhee Lee, winner of the gold medal at Gold Medal Plates, who worked with Ly at Raw Bar, will be leading the kitchen and feeding us. ■ Feeling a little winter blues? Drop into Hy’s Steakhouse for Happy Hour, and warm up with the cool stylings of contemporary Canadian musicians. Hy’s offers a great happy hour menu, with delicious bites and classic cocktails, priced to suit the strictest resolutions. Try Prime beef sliders at just $5, fresh-shucked oysters for $1.50 each, and other signature items. Featured wines by the glass are priced to please at $8, and all bubbly is 40% off. Enjoy live music Monday - Friday from 4-8 p.m. Check out all the details at hyssteakhouse.com ■ For all things wedding and whimsy for River Café and Deane House, visit riverweddings.ca. During Calgary’s Big Taste, March 3-12, River Café and Deane House feature a $15 3-course lunch and a $65 gourmet tasting menu. Early Bird menu daily from 4:30-5:30 at River, and corkage-free Sundays at both restaurants. Dine in daylight then candlelight April 22 on Earth Day at River Café. On April 23, Michael Ableman, co-founder and director of Sole Food Street Farms, joins Deane for dinner and a talk at Fort Calgary, in partnership with REAP’s Down to Earth Week. More information at belocal.org/events. Deane House welcomes brewmasters, winemakers and Inglewood neighbours from Cold Garden and High Line Brewing for an evening of food, drink and nightcaps. Details at deanehouse.com ■ Minas Brazilian Steakhouse is a churrascaria serving nine meats for lunch and 13 meats for dinner, all at exceptionally affordable prices. And look for more than 10 delicious traditional hot side dishes plus traditional pastry and sweets included at no extra cost. Enjoy live entertainment every Friday and Saturday! Located beside the Eau Claire Market, visit minassteakhouse.com ■ Jackie Cooke and Kirk Shaw of Avec Bistro fame bought Boxwood in Central Memorial



Park and set up a second restaurant called Provision, cooking up comfort food in a space that feels like a cozy mountain lodge. The dinner menu is designed for sharing and lingering, the lunch menu for the business crowd that needs to be in and out. Brunch on the weekend, and wines geared to the seasons, like lighter in spring and summer, more robust in fall and winter, and local beers on tap. Visit provisionyyc.ca for all the tasty details. ■ On March 3, enjoy a special Winemaker’s Dinner at Heritage Park in the Selkirk Grille Restaurant with the winemaker at Summerhill Estate Winery, one of the most-awarded winemakers in the British Columbia wine industry. The wine will be paired with a seasonal four-course dinner. Tickets are $89.95. Visit heritagepark.ca to view the menu and reserve your table. ■ Located in South Calgary in the Seton neighbourhood, Starbelly Kitchen + Lounge offers a local and urban brunch. With rotating offerings on Saturdays from hop-cured salmon eggs benedict to lemon curd-stuffed French toast with saskatoon berry jam and a market-style buffet on Sunday, which includes everything from locally-sourced charcuterie, a waffle station with fruits, chocolate, whipped cream, ice cream, and made-to-order eggs, Starbelly’s brunch is worth checking out! starbelly.ca ■ Ève Café will be part of the first Simons store – the 176-year-old Quebec City fashion retailer – opening in Calgary in March in the CORE Shopping Centre, downtown. Look for a French Canadian-inspired menu with hot and cold, sweet and savoury treats. The café acts as a transition area between women’s on level one and two and men’s on level three and four. ■ Vero Bistro Moderne’s No Menu Tuesdays, #nomenu, allows you to enjoy chef Jenny’s flavours and textures of each dish that’s been created for the evening. Can’t go wrong here, and it’s fun to leave the “menu” up to chef Jenny, because it’s always going to be tasty. Pasta Night Thursdays presents a pasta platter special for 2 for $89 per couple – this includes a cocktail, Italian-style tapas to start, a pasta platter of three pastas to share and dessert to finish. What’s not to love! Resesrvations at 403-283-8988 or opentable.com/ vero-bistro-moderne ■ Pigeonhole, one of Canada’s most celebrated restaurants, has named chef Douglas King the new chef de cuisine. Originally from Alberta, chef King has worked in some of Canada’s most influential restaurants, including Lumière, La Querica, Hawksworth and most recently Kissa Tanto in Vancouver, which was just named Canada’s Best New Restaurant in 2016 by enRoute Magazine. Pigeonhole was

also awarded Canada’s Best New Restaurant by enRoute Magazine in the previous year. Chef Justin Leboe met up with King in Vancouver and said he was looking for a new chef. King said he’d love to be closer to his family in Calgary, so win-win for both of them – and for us! ■ When a growing group of cyclists routinely met at Cassis Bistro, owner and avid cyclist Gilles Brassart (owner of Cassis Bistro, Suzette Bistro and Market 17) saw the need to create Velo Café, a space dedicated to their lifestyle and sense of community. Velo Café is one of Calgary’s first true cycling cafés, a cozy meeting place for cyclists and food lovers to chat with other enthusiasts, sip on great coffee and eat delicious café fare. Velo Café is nestled in Market 17, next door to Cassis. ■ Smuggler’s Group restaurants: Tango Bistro invites you to shake off the winter chill with its bottomless bouillabaisse served with bread and beignets on Sundays for a more-thanaffordable $22 for one of the world’s most luscious and satisfying soups. tangobistro.com Check out Raw Bar Happy Hour, from 2:30 to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday, and enjoy a great cold seafood bar. Open Sesame says Go Stir Crazy! You choose selections from the fresh Asian market and take it to the wok chef who will stir-fry it (403-259-0123). Smuggler’s Inn has prime rib to go with all the trimminge to wow your dinner guests, $160, 6-8 guests; $300, 12-14 guests (403-253-5355). Bolero offers the Brazilian-style steakhouse churrasco experience with 16 skewers slow-roasted on the rodizio, brought to your table and includes gourmet fresco and tasty sides (403-259-3119). ■ Celebrate Easter weekend with three great dining options from the Carriage House Inn. Take home a complete Easter family feast with your choice of ham, turkey or prime rib, available for pick up between 2-5 p.m. on April 15 and 16. On Easter Sunday, Carriage House offers its award-winning Sunday brunch, and in the evening, a three-course served dinner. For more information and full menu details, visit carriagehouse.net or phone 403-253-1101 or email restaurant@carriagehouse.net. 9030 Macleod Trail South. ■ Join Vin Room West every Saturday night for Jeans & Jazz, 8-11 p.m., live jazz to accompany the offering of 100+ wines by the glass, beer, spirits and globally inspired small plates and tapas. Totally casual, reservations recommended, 587-353-8812, vinroom.com

drinks docket ■ At Co-op Wine Spirits Beer tasting centres, look for great tasting events, like Grape Battles, Cabernet Sauvignon vs. Merlot, March 4; Value Wines under $20, March 15; Wine & Cheese, Classic Pairings, March 3/30; An Afternoon of Tuscan Nobles, March 18; Heartbreak Grape, March 23; An Afternoon Stroll Through the South of France, March 25 – and much more. Visit coopwinespiritsbeer. com for all the tasty details. ■ Eau Claire Distillery Events: Whisky 101, February 25; St. Patrick’s Day Cocktail Class, March 11; Spring Equinox Mixology Class, March 25; Mixology 101, April 29; Mother’s Day at the Distillery, May 14; Mojito Making Master Class, June 10; Father’s Day at the Distillery, June 18; Whisky 101: National Scotch Whisky Day, July 27. Details at eauclairedistillery.ca/ calendar, phone 403-933-5404. continued on page 38

EASTER Celebrations April

15 &16

3 Course Served Dinner

Entrée choice of Halibut, Chicken Prime Rib, or Lamb Adults $43 Children’s menu available

Easter Sunday Brunch Buffet

Seating times: 9:45am, 10:15am, 12:15pm & 12:45 pm Adults $34 Children (4-10) $17

Easter Dinner-to-Go

A full family feast with your choice of Ham, Turkey or Prime Rib For more information, call 403-253-1101, email: restaurant@carriagehouse.net or visit www.carriagehouse.net

157 Guestrooms | 4 On-site Dining Options | 24 hr Fitness Centre Pet Luv Inn Program | Year Round Heated Pool & Hot Tub Multiple Event & Convention Rooms

Carriage House Inn 9030 Macleod Trail South. Calgary, Alberta T2H 0M4 | 403-253-1101 | www.carriagehouse.net

love at first bite Come visit our newly renovated Eatery in the heart of Inglewood open Daily Mon-Fri 11am-8pm take-out available Weekend brunch Sat & Sun 9am-3pm HeritageParkYYC




“HANDCRAFTED” A KICK OFF TO ST. PATRICK’S DAY Join us Thursday, March 16 for a Big Rock Brewmaster’s Dinner with special guest Ashley MacIsaac! Enjoy a four-course culinary experience with beer pairings. Tickets $119 +GST / person at HeritagePark.ca Presented by Heritage Park and Big Rock Brewery

biteyyc.com • 1023 9th ave S.E. • one hour free parking



stockpot continued from page 36 ■ Eau Claire Distillery presents its Eau Claire Soda Company launching Original and Elderflower-flavoured tonic water April 1. Available at select Alberta retailers, check eauclairesoda.ca for details – because good gin deserves good tonic! Amen to that.

Offering a locally-inspired menu, featuring items that are meticulously handcrafted.


■ The Alberta Beer Festivals, Olds College Brewmaster Program and Just Beer APP team partnership, #BeTheBrewer contest, is drawing to a close, having chosen witbier as the style, a name and label and now are looking for someone to create video, digital and print ads, March 1-22. That could be you – visit albertabeerfestivals.com/bethebrewer for all the details. Fun for beer lovers and great prizes too.

2008 Airport Road NE

■ Calgary International Beerfest, May 5 and 6, presented by Sobeys Liquor and Safeway Wine & Spirits, will occupy more than 250,000 sq. ft. at Stampede Park, making it the largest beer festival in Western Canada! Everyone will find a new favourite with more than 500 local, national and international craft beers, while being able to sample tasty food from more than 30 of Calgary’s best restaurants, pubs and eateries. Increase your beer knowledge and find a new favourite by taking part in the Brew Master and Cooking with Beer seminars, attending Beer University, and visiting the new Distillery District! ■ Who doesn’t need a kick of good energy? Here’s something we’ve tried and it’s great. Made with no artificial sweeteners, colours or preservatives, PilotsFriend’s caffeine is derived from cola nuts and guarana seeds and is designed to release the effects of caffeine over an extended period of time. From digestion aids to anti-aging, PilotsFriend hand picks its ingredients to deliver you the ultimate health tonic that tastes great and won’t stain your teeth. Check out all the great ingredients at pilotsfriend.ca. Find it at the Italian Super Market, Italian Centre Shop, Marcello’s Market & Deli, Kalamata Grocery, Farmers’ Market on MacLeod, Tonic Kitchen & Bar.

Our housemade Indian tea starts with the best spices. 19



• 2 015

cooking classes ■ At SAIT’s downtown campus: Fish cookery, March 1; Caribbean, March 8; East Coast, March 15; Centennial Date Night, March 17; Advanced Cooking, March 27-April 24; Desserts, April 5; Savoury Brunch, April 11; Portuguese, April 26. SAIT’s main campus: Cake Decorating, March 10-April 7; Chinese Stirfry, March 14; Introduction to Baking, March 18 & 25; Introduction to Cooking, March 22-April 19; Chocolate, April 1 or 8; Knife Skills, Butchery, April 4; Sushi, April 7, Baking Cakes, April 8. Visit culinarycampus.ca for details and more courses. ■ Traditional Italian cooking taught by Momma D at The Italian Supermarket! Classes will be hands on, fun and super delicious. For details call 403-277-7898.

1990 - 2017

Great coffee, tea and conversation.


general stirrings


Ollia Macarons & Tea offers Macarons Baking Class 101, March 7, 14, 21, 28 and April 4, 11, 18, 25. Also, check out these French Wine and Macarons pairing events on Fridays, March 10-24 and April 7-21. Get all the tasty details at byollia.com/french-wine-macaron-pairing ■ Join the Cookbook Co. Cooks for a night with the renowned Vikram Vij to celebrate the release of his new book, Vij: A Chef’s One-Way Ticket to Canada with Indian Spices in His Suitcase. Meet Vikram, raise a glass, share food – registration includes a copy of this book plus a copy of Vij’s Indian, another of his recent cookbooks. To register, call 403-265-6066, ext. 1. For a complete schedule of classes, go to cookbookcooks.com.

■ Canada’s top Gold Medal Plates chefs competed in three events in February in Kelowna to be crowned the 11th Canadian Culinary Champion. Congratulations to our own chef Jinhee Lee, of Foreign Concept, who was crowned the champion with her finale dish “Cha Ca La Vong” featuring turmeric fish mosaic with dill paired with Bartier Brothers’ 2014 Gewürztraminer. Chef Lee’s reaction when she realized she won: “This is such an honour, I’m so shocked and proud, so happy to win and thankful for my team.” And beyond bragging rights, her prize is a two-year lease of a BMW 435i xDrive Gran Coupe, donated by BMW Canada. ■ The 2017 Alberta Magazines Conference and Awards Gala, March 16 & 17 at the Hyatt Regency, features 15 speakers from some of the world’s leading media brands (like Bon Appetit, Food52 and the New Yorker). These industry leaders, innovators and vanguards will be touching on topics in publishing, editorial, digital, design and ad sales. The full conference lineup is on a new website dedicated to all things conference, including registration details and everything else you need to know about the event. Visit albertamagazines.com. ■ The 3rd Annual Capital for Cause will be held on April 25, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. as part of REAP’s Down to Earth Week. Theme: Investment Strategies for Social Change – Housing and Food. More information plus location and ticket price will be posted in early March at REAP.org and DexterityEvents.com ■ Don’t miss Taste of Bragg Creek, March 31, 5-9 p.m. Each year food and wine merchants and Bragg Creek restaurants create and share delish, unique local food. It’s not at one venue but you get to visit Bragg Creek restaurants and tour the area. Every tasting ticket sold will donate $.50 to funding children’s programming at the Bragg Creek Community Association. Tickets are $1.50 available through the community centre, participating merchants and on-site. Visit tasteofbraggcreek.ca for details. ■ ArtsinBraggCreek.ca is a new website that features many of the talented artists found in the Bragg Creek area, always a haven for artistic souls that continues to foster creativity. The website links to all the professional artists’ websites where you can view their works and contact them. Check the site often, as more artists and events are added. ■ Knifewear wants to save you from being dull and cutting your finger off. Dull knives are dangerous – don’t be dull! Learn to sharpen your blades and keep them in tip-top condition at a hands-on class. And to keep you safe in the kitchen and chopping like a pro, Knifewear offers a Cut Like a Chef class. Classes are $65 and participants receive 10% discount on knives and sharpening equipment. Cut like a Chef is Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 10 a.m. Knife Sharpening is Thursdays at 6 p.m. and Sundays at 10 a.m. Call Knifewear at 403514-0577 to book.

■ Home-style breakfast buffet returns to Heritage Park at the Wainwright Hotel, Sundays, 9 a.m. 2 p.m. through April 30, excluding April 16. Easter Brunch, April 16, Wainwright Hotel, includes Easter egg decorating. Don’t forget to reserve your spot at 403-268-8645. heritagepark.ca. Upcoming events: March 2/ April 6, Big Rock Brewing Workshop; March 3, Winemaker’s Dinner in the Selkirk Grille Restaurant; March 4 & 5, Calgary Maple Festival Des Sucres; March 7; Dinner and a Movie, Singin’ in the Rain, March 7; St. Patrick’s Day Brewmaster’s Dinner, March 16; Dinner and a Movie: Chicago, March 21, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, April 4, Canadian Film Fan Favourite, April 19. Details at heritagepark.ca ■ Meez Fast Home Cuisine introduces Cochu Chocolatier to Calgary in April at an evening of wine and chocolate. Meet the maker of this new line of chocolate confections, Anne Sellmer (Julie Van Rosendaal’s sister) – check meezcuisine.com for dates and details. For cooking classes, phone the retail store at 403264-6336 to sign up or stop into the store. ■ Tres Marias in Marda Loop invites you to indulge in a delish Mexican breakfast, Monday through Saturday, served all day Fridays and Saturdays – huevos rancheros, chilaquiles or tamales for less than $10! Looks like a good, tasty deal to us. tresmarias.ca ■ Seasons Harvest harvest boxes are back at The Cookbook Co. bringing the best of British Columbia produce to keep us going until spring. Deliveries are bi-weekly until April, then weekly deliveries. Get on the Seasons Harvest mailing list to receive updates at cook@cookbookcooks.com. ■ Don’t miss the 12-day fun food and drink festival, Canmore Uncorked, May 3 to 14. Take part in a series of daily prix-fixe menus and culinary experiences at more than 50 locations, as well as signature events, like the long table dinner, wine, beer and whisky festivals, progressive dinner tours, the big brunch and the culinary symphony. This event is so good, it’s won awards, like Event of the Year at the prestigious Canadian Tourism Awards. Don’t miss it! ■ Healthy Crunch Kale chips make a great snack that’s both tasty and healthy – organic raw kale is lightly and tastily flavoured and air dried in a dehydrator so no nutrients are lost. Tasty, fun flavours, like Say Cheese, The Big Chipotle, Bollywood Blast and Monkey Business, a blend of chocolate, coconut and banana! Look for them in your fave grocery store, including London Drugs, Winners, Loblaws City Market. ■ Fit Kitchen, located in McKenzie Towne but delivering city-wide to Calgary and surrounding areas, has teamed up with Storm Division, a creative technology company, to launch Fit Kitchen’s innovative online ordering tool. Order healthy meals and meal plans, and the unique software allows you to decide exactly what you should eat, with the calorie calculator to find your personal macro-nutrients (daily calories, protein, carbs and fats) based on lifestyle and goal, easily filter for dietary restrictions and choose meals based on weight-loss, lean meals or active lifestyle performance meals. It’s unlike any software currently on the market. Find meals that will work best for you and the results you’re looking for. Details at fitkitchen.ca. Fit Kitchen, sibling of The Main Dish, is focused on helping people eat well to feel their best. ■ Friends of Fish Creek host a free public information session about leaving a lasting legacy for cherished green spaces and healthy families,

■ Visit the newly renovated Eatery at Bite – Grocer & Eatery, 1023-9th Ave S.E. in Inglewood. This little gem of a dining area opens at 11 a.m., Monday to Friday, and 9 a.m. on weekends for brunch. Come try the delicious

■ The Prana Yoga Festival is March 17-19. Hosted at the Chinese Cultural Center, it will be three days of yoga, meditation, nutrition, movement and deep connection. The Prana Yoga Festival is a homegrown festival, unique to Calgary, with its yoga classes taught by industry experts and featuring a marketplace and live entertainment. ■ Calgary Home & Garden Show kicks off March 2-5 at the BMO Centre and Corral at Stampede Park. All kinds of good stuff going on, as usual, including Living Green workshops

feel good about eating. With protein, fibre and a whole lot of whole grains, Harvest Bakes give you the nutrition and energy you need to own your day. Find them at Calgary Co-op stores.

■ Edmonton-based CANOVA Pasticceria will launch la Colomba di Pasqua, Easter Dove, a sweet bread, the counterpart to Christmas panettone. Made with candied orange peel and raisins, then topped with almonds and sugar, the dove-shaped holiday confection marks the start of spring and Easter celebrations. Find it at Safeway and Sobeys. canova.ca

■ On March 3rd, Calgary Produce Marketing hosts its Inaugural Half Your Plate Chef’s Dinner taking place at the Markin MacPhail Centre at Winsport. Six local chefs – Liana Robberecht, Melanie Hennessey, Andrea Harling, Kerry Bennett, Mike Aurigemma and Nicole Buckton – feed you the versatility of produce that you will love. The $89 tickets include hors d’oeuvres, a four-course meal and live entertainment. calgarypma.ca/chefs-dinner

■ Oh! Natural Snacks are 100% fruit and vegetable snacks, gluten free, nut free, vegan and preservative free. Healthy eating. Affiliated during March nutrition month with the new Power Rangers movie coming out March 24. Enter to win $1,000 online shopping spree at ohnaturalscontest.ca. The movie link is youtube.com/watch?v=Q-C4qqsgs8w. Find these snacks at Safeway, Sobeys, London Drugs and Walmart online.

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■ We’ve all rushed to get to work early, skipping breakfast. Country Harvest has introduced Harvest Bakes, a fresh anytime, anywhere snack. The delicious flatbread snacks are packed with real fruit and seeds that you can



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■ To broaden your coffee horizons, Eight Ounce Coffee now offers a rotating selection of coffee beans from some of the world’s best roasters. And look for Canada’s widest selection of specialty coffee brewing gear, as well as advice on how to get the best from whatever you choose to brew with. eightouncecoffee.ca

■ ClickDishes is a mobile app and platform that partners with local restaurants to enable their customers to order in-app, streamlining to-go ordering, dine-in eating, and payment services. There are several restaurant partners already signed-up including Carls Jr. and select Opa and Koryo locations. Visit try.clickdishes.com for details and to request your access code.

presented by Blue Grass Garden Centre. Visit calgaryhgs.com for details and tickets.


■ Alberta Theatre Projects presents Cocktails in the Commons, April 20, 6 p.m., the Martha Cohen theatre in Arts Commons. An exclusive cocktail tasting inspired by the Canadian politicians in Michael Healey’s play, 1979 – Joe Clark, Pierre Trudeau, Brian Mulroney, Stephen Harper. Includes hors d’oeuvres and a post-show toast with the cast. Tickets, $35 (not including the performance) at 403-294-7402 or visit ATPlive.com

English muffin with the weekend bennies or grab a coffee from the café featuring locally roasted Big Mountain Coffee. And, for your convenience, Bite is a full local grocer.


March 4, 2-4 p.m., Fish Creek Environmental Learning Centre, Shannon Terrace, Fish Creek Park. Details at friendsoffishcreek.org/estate-2








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6 quick ways with...

Chris Halpin


Buttermilk is a remarkable thing; it has various interesting qualities, making it the essential ingredient for so many recipes. Buttermilk is the by-product of making butter, the liquid that is left over and allowed to ferment with a probiotic bacteria. This gives buttermilk its remarkable ability to thicken cream, tenderize meat and make baked goods light. It’s also great for our guts. crème fraîche Crème fraîche is the French version of sour cream, only richer and not as tangy. I like to use this instead of whipped cream or cream cheese. The live culture found in the buttermilk is what makes the cream thicken. Put 1 c. whipping cream into a glass or ceramic container and stir in 1 T. buttermilk. Cover with a tea towel, place on a counter and let stand for 48 hours. Cover with a lid and refrigerate. This will be good 10 to 14 days refrigerated. Makes 1 cup.

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buttermilk biscuits with pepper, dill crème fraîche and smoked salmon The tangy quality of buttermilk is due to a heightened acidity that occurs in the fermentation. This acid breaks down the gluten strands and this is why it makes baking fluff and crucial for biscuits. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a bowl, whisk together well 2 c. flour, 1-1/2 t. baking powder, 1/2 t. salt and 1/2 t. sugar. Grate 1/2 c. cold salted butter into the flour mixture, and with your hands, gently mix. Stir in 1 c. buttermilk and work into a ball. Do not over work the dough or it toughens. Divide the ball into 3 and pat into 6-inch disks and place on a baking sheet. Cut each round into 4 wedges, leaving them in a tight circle and lightly brush the tops with buttermilk. Bake in the oven until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. While the biscuits are baking, flavour the crème fraîche. In a bowl, put 1/2 c. crème fraîche, 1/2 t. white pepper, 1/2 t. salt, 1/2 t. sugar, 1 t. finely chopped chives and 2 T. chopped dill. Mix well. When the biscuits are done, allow them to cool enough that you can handle them comfortably. Split and ribbon a piece of smoked salmon on top, then dollop with the dill crème. Makes 12 biscuits.

pecan buttermilk pancakes with clove crème fraîche

No Added Hormones • No Antibiotics Free Range • Great tasting

Buttermilk makes pancakes both fluffy and spongy, so worth it! In a small bowl, put 1 c. flour, 1/2 t. baking powder, 1/2 t. baking soda and 1 T. sugar. Mix well. In a larger bow, put 1 egg and 2 T. oil, and beat until fully incorporated. Beat in 2 c. buttermilk and 1 t. vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture and don’t worry too much about some lumps, these will work their way out while cooking. To make the clove crème fraîche, combine 1/2 c. crème fraîche with 1 T. brown sugar and a pinch of ground cloves. Set aside for later. Place a large skillet over high heat, when it’s very hot, add 1 t. canola oil and, with a paper towel, wipe the surface so only a slick of oil remains. Spoon 4 large spoonsful of batter into the pan and sprinkle each with pecan pieces. When the pancakes have bubbles on the surface, flip them. Serve with the clove crème fraiche and maple syrup. Makes 12, 4-inch pancakes.



wedge salad with buttermilk herb dressing and st. agur blue cheese Buttermilk dressing is classic Canadiana. In a bowl, put 1/2 c. mayonnaise, 2 T. cider vinegar, 1/2 c. buttermilk, 1 T. honey, 1/2 t. salt, 1 t. dry mustard and 1 T. each finely chopped dill, chive and parsley. Whisk until smooth. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving, this allows the dressing time to thicken. Cut a small head of iceberg lettuce into 4 wedges and place them onto salad plates. Drizzle with the dressing, crumble the blue cheese over and garnish with freshly ground pepper. Serves 4.

fried chicken Fried chicken is one of my favourite guilty pleasures. Using buttermilk for fried chicken both tenderizes it and makes the crust crispy. Rub 6 pieces of chicken with salt and pepper to taste. In a bowl put 2 c. buttermilk, 1 T. onion powder, 1 t. Sriracha hot sauce and mix well. Place the chicken into this mixture and evenly coat it. Place in the fridge for 1 hour or up to 24 hours. While this is marinating, in a bowl put 2 c. flour, 1/2 t. each dried sage, savoury and oregano, 1 t. each salt, white pepper and baking powder. Mix well and set aside for later. Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a large deep pot put 2 inches of canola oil. Place over high heat and allow the oil to get very hot – this will take about 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk and roll in the flour mixture, making sure to get as much flour as possible onto the chicken skin. Fry in 2 batches, until the crust is golden. Place the chicken pieces on a wire rack on a baking tray. Place the baking tray in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the chicken is done. This method allows the chicken to drain fat while baking, making it a little more reasonable on the fat scale. Serves 2 to 6 people.

recipe photos by Chris Halpin

lamb curry with buttermilk and kaffir lime leaves Buttermilk is the base for a lovely rich sauce, and it mellows the fire of the curry. Place a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat and brown 1 kg. sliced lamb leg in 2 T. butter. I slice my own, but you can buy it already sliced at the Superstore in the frozen meat section. When the meat is browned, add 1 large onion, coarsely chopped, and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add 2 T. Madras curry paste plus 1 t. salt and sauté a minute more. Then stir in 2 c. buttermilk and 2 kaffir lime leaves. Bring to a rolling boil and allow the sauce to reduce until thick, about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time. Stir in 2 roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped and 1 c. green peas. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes more, adjust the salt and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve over rice. Serves 4. Chris Halpin has been teaching Calgarians to make fast, fun urban food since 1997 and is the owner of Manna Catering Service. mannaonline.com

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Allan Shewchuk


I was almost 21 when the travel bug first bit me. Before that I hadn’t flown on a jet plane, jumped a passenger train or even headed off on a long road trip. Suddenly, in the space of a few short months, I flew to the Maritimes, drove along the California coast, and rode a Eurail pass through Italy, with which I fell in love. From then on, I was the Happy Wanderer, and I loved packing up and heading anywhere. But sadly, travel nowadays has sucked that joy out of me. I was a modern day Phileas Fogg in Around the World in Eighty Days, but now I am Mr. Stay-cation, content to see the world on my couch via Wifi. When it comes to travel, I am a beaten man. The first crushing blow was the advent of ridiculously early airline departures. I don’t remember having to be on a 6:05 a.m. flight years ago. I thought they forbade planes from landing too late or taking off too early so that wretched souls with houses by the airport could get some shuteye. Now, to catch a connecting flight anywhere, you have to board at an ungodly hour and be at the airport at an even ungodlier hour. It’s hell having to wake up at 2:30 a.m. to get ready and catch a taxi so you arrive two hours before your flight. Inevitably, you can’t sleep for checking the alarm clock every minute.

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It becomes like Chinese water torture. The cab is always late, making you all sweaty. At security, it takes all of your strength not to lie down in a plastic box and catch 40 winks on the conveyor belt going through the scanner. At the gate, the other passengers look like extras from a Living Dead episode, carrying espressolaced coffees the size of umbrella stands. After takeoff, everyone falls into a deep sleep and it looks like the plane is full of crash test dummies. I wake up jetlagged after going through only one time zone. Then there is the horror of customs any time of the day, and anywhere. I understand that airports needed to step up security, but I don’t think agents need to get in your face so much that it makes entry into their country the equivalent of being waterboarded. The worst was when, before we were married, my wife and I were in line at U.S. customs when the agent said “Next!” Signs clearly said “One person at a time,” but my darling insisted we go up together. This started a firestorm. The agent screamed out at me, “What is she to you?” I was rattled. Again he yelled, “What is she to you?” I stuttered that I didn’t know what he meant. Finally he hollered, “Why did you come up together? What is your relationship?” Since we were only shacking up, I blurted out “I don’t know – we sleep together and she has all my money!” The agent finally grinned and relented. As our plane ascended, my beloved was furious. “Your description wasn’t very romantic!” I tried to get some credit – my answer had just prevented us from getting shipped to Guantanamo Bay. But she was resolute. The temperature outside the plane was minus 100 – probably about the same as the chill between our seats. The biggest irritant that has made me give up travel is something none of us can escape: The Trivago Guy. Oh, at first he was kind of refreshing – handsome, calm, a sort of Everyman – and, as an online hotel price comparison site, Trivago sounded like a good thing. But then he started to appear at every commercial break. Then several times a commercial break. Then in stupid costumes or tap dancing as he pushed his stupid little airborne buttons. I grew to hate him. I hate him even more than I hated that insufferable Canadian Tire guy with the mangy beard. I hate the Trivago guy so much now that I would rather stay in a van down by the river than book a hotel online. So now I just fantasize about traveling. In my fantasy, the Trivago guy ends up having to catch the same 6 a.m. flight as me. He is late getting to customs, so they tie him up and beat him with phonebooks. Security does a nasty cavity search on him and when he gets to the gate, we sleepless zombie passengers eat him alive and bloodstain that stupid untucked shirt of his. Aaaah. I can feel my joy coming back. Allan Shewchuk is a lawyer, food writer and sought-after Italian food and wine guru. He currently has kitchens in both Calgary and Florence, Italy, but will drink wine pretty much anywhere.



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Profile for City Palate

City Palate March April 2017  

The Flavour of Calgary’s Food Scene - The Travel Issue

City Palate March April 2017  

The Flavour of Calgary’s Food Scene - The Travel Issue


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