city palate T H E
F L AV O U R
O F C A L G A R Y â€™ S S I N C E 1 9 9 3
F O O D
S C E N E
the wine & beer issue
MAY JUNE 2018
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table of contents
CITY PALATE MAY JUNE 2018
FEATU RE S
The Iron Sommelier
1 dish, 3 sommeliers, 3 judges, 3 wines, 3 beers Shelley Boettcher
Go for the Food, Enjoy the Design
Calgary restaurants can look as good and interesting as the food tastes Richard White
Unearthing a Village Mystery
Semi-underground wine villages in Spain BJ Oudman
Secrets to business success in Calgary’s economic downturn Erin Lawrence
D EPA RTME NT S
5 n word of mouth
Notable culinary happenings around town
7 n eat this
What to eat in May and June Ellen Kelly
8 n get this
Must Have Kitchen Stuff Wanda Baker
Fresco means ‘fresh’, which is how we approach summer at our shops – with an abundance of delicious, seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Perfect for your backyard barbecue.
10 n one ingredient
Cooking with Wine Julie Van Rosendaal
12 n the sunday project
Wonton Soup with Karen Ralph
24 n stockpot
Stirrings around Calgary
28 n 8 quick ways with...
Corn Chris Halpin
30 n back burner... shewchuk on simmer
Force Fed Allan Shewchuk
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CITYPALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2018
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CITYPALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2018
word of mouth
NOTABLE CULINARY HAPPENINGS AROUND TOWN IN OU R OPIN ION
Pig & Pinot 2018
We are so pleased to be collaborating for the 7th year with Calgary Meals on Wheels (CMOW) for our very fun Pig & Pinot event at Hotel Arts, 119 - 12th Ave. SW, June 15, 6-10 p.m. 12 talented chef teams compete for the coveted “Divine Swine” as they create delicious and original pork dishes with free-range pork from Spragg’s Meat Shop. And nothing pairs so well with the porcine than great pinot wines. And good music and super items at a silent auction that benefits CMOW and a wine raffle and lots of good company! Fun! Participating food venues include Smokehouse at Symons Valley Ranch, Meals on Wheels, Bow Valley Ranche, Yellow Door Bistro, Urban Grub/Indulge Catering, The Guild, Elwood & The Rabbit and Starbelly, just to name a few. Wine participants include Bin 905, The Promo Syndicate Importer Miranda Lambert Wines/ Red 55 Winery, Spirits West Bragg Creek, Latitude Wine Imports, Vintage West Wine Marketing, Co-op Wine Spirits Beer and Bricks Wine Co.
Toast & Jam The Wednesday Room on the 8th Ave. mall downtown hosts a unique brunch series, Toast & Jam, the last Sunday of every month. Dates for upcoming brunches are May 27, June 24, July 29, with seatings at 12 noon and 3 p.m. The delicious brunch menu will be curated by Chef Derek Wilkins and will include sweet, savoury and all options that pair perfectly with a glass (or bottle) of champagne. When we were there we ate so well and for long enough that we called it dinner, too.
Much more than worthy…. We found this super good jam at the amazing Empire Provisions and were delighted to read that it’s made in Priddis, Alberta! WORTHY Earl Grey Lavender Peach Jam, small batch jams and preserves worthy of your palate, the web site says. Visit enjoyworthy.com so that you can see what WORTHY makes, like jams, salsas, pickles and peppers. This jam is the kind you just spoon out of the jar into your mouth – though it is delish on toast, where we usually eat it at breakfast! Total yum!
A free trip to Italy – maybe…
8 Cakes dessert shop has recently opened in the heart of Marda Loop. It specializes in 3D flower cakes and cupcakes, new to Calgary, and customers are loving them. Check it out at 109, 3411- 20th St. SW, 403-455-2253 and visit 8cakes.com to see the elevated classics, elegant desserts to wow your guests and serve at very special occasions.
Uncommon Flavors of Europe launches a “learn & earn” study trip to Italy contest to visit the production areas of the campaign partners: Asiago PDO, Speck Alto Adige PDI and Pecorino Romano PDO. PDO and PDI are European quality certifications. Seven winners will be chosen on May 31, 2019 and the trip will take place in the fall of 2019. Flights, hotels, meals and transportation are included in the trip. To register for the contest, visit uncommoneurope.eu/learn-earn.
New owner/chef for old tasty places The Main Dish, a place we like hanging out in, has been sold to a chef, Saravanan Senniappan, who has extensive experience in hotels and restaurants and who also owns Big Fish and Open Range as well as Main Dish. You can bet he’s busy! We recently tried the new menu there and loved what we had – a burger on a brioche bun with a side of butternut squash wild rice and a cashew and herb crusted Arctic char, one of the best fish dishes we’ve ever had. And for dessert, a perfect citrus crème brûlée and bourbon pecan pie. The menu will continue to change a bit, but the food is very good, so you’ll want to have some! We also tried his menu at Open Range and the lamb dish was just incredible!
Longtime City Palate contributor, Holly Quan, has published her first novel, The Sow’s Ear Café. This adult contemporary romance, set in the foothills of southwestern Alberta, is about love, trust, and the transformative nature of gorgeous landscape. The story unfolds through lively dialogue and lyrical description. The café featured in the book is modeled on Route 40 Soup Company, a terrific café in Turner Valley (now closed), named by John Gilchrist as the top new Calgary restaurant of 2006 (though NOT in Calgary!). And the “sow’s ear” reference? The fictional chef creates wonderful dishes from offal and offcuts – silk purses from sow’s ears – though the sow’s ear itself is not on the menu. The Sow’s Ear Café is self-published by FriesenPress. For more information, go to hollyquan.ca or books.friesenpress.com/store. Well done, Holly, it’s a great read! Pancake Inventor’s Notebook, A Photographer’s Cookbook is a visual and epicurian feast for the eyes and palate. It launched at the Imageseekers Urban Concept Gallery, 2104 - 23 Ave. SW, where we sampled pancake inventions while authors David Leech (the photographer) and Lizzy Davies signed books (published in Calgary, $35, paper cover). This has been 15 years in the making – bursts of hungry inspiration in-between life, travel and work! Find it there, or online at urbanconceptgallery.ca/ product/pancake-inventors-notebook. The Donut King by Ted Ngoy is the rags to riches story of a poor immigrant who changed the world – donuts and all! (Smith Publicity, $14.95, paper cover) A Cambodian refugee, Ngoy arrived penniless in southern California with his family. He worked at the church that was sponsoring his family’s stay, then took another job as a gas station attendant. Less than a decade later, he was a multimillionaire at the helm of an unlikely empire of independent donut shops and became widely known as The Donut King. But then he became addicted to gambling in Las Vegas, struggled with it for years, then it cost him his empire and family. Such an interesting story! Available from Amazon and in book stores.
CITYPALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2018
2220 centre street ne
your favourite $5 pizza happy hour & daily specials coming to centre st north at the beginning of june
by Ellen Kelly
WHAT TO EAT IN MAY AND JUNE
Even with our all-too-frequent freak snowstorms in May (I like to euphemistically think of them as much-needed and well-placed moisture), we are finally out of the woods! After a particularly hard winter this year, how glorious are the welcome signs of a real spring appearing like green mist over the landscape. Our own gardens are still trying to catch up, but there is now an abundance of spring and summer produce from close to home, rapidly coming our way. Once again, we are grateful recipients of an earlier spring farther afield. No matter, local green beans are a special treat, while quick-growing radishes may even be ready to pull in our own early plots. Artichokes (newly found at markets and thanks to the tireless Innisfail Growers) will take longer for our local producers, but watch for a new crop coming up from the south.
Illustrations by Eden Thompson
There’s nothing easy about an ARTICHOKE – not preparing it, not eating it, not growing it. Perhaps that’s where much of the pleasure is derived. For the intrepid novice, I suggest the large globe artichoke, cooked in light lemony stock until a skewer pierces the base or heart. Depending on size, this can take 40 minutes, more or less. Drain the artichokes and allow them to cool enough to handle. You can now pull away any extraneous outer petals and snip off any scary looking thorns at the tips. Trim up the bottom of the “bud,” saving the stem, if there is one, as the cook’s treat; often lovely and sweet once peeled. Pull open the petals a bit and arrange on a large platter. Serve, one to a diner, with a garlic, tarragon or lemon (or all three) aioli and settle in to chat and enjoy. Begin by pulling off the petals, one by one, and dipping the fleshy bit at the base in aioli before dragging it across your teeth. Proceed until you reach the choke, which is the inedible fuzzy bit in the centre that needs to be carefully removed with a sharp-edged spoon (my tool of choice) and discarded. Now comes your reward. The fleshy base or heart of the artichoke makes all this worthwhile. It is meaty and succulent and somehow tastes earthy and green all at the same time.
BUY: Choose artichokes that are heavy for their size and squeak when you squeeze them. Yes, really. Frost blisters on the outer petals are not a concern and can even mean a sweeter flavour.
Although I have offered recipes for cooked RADISHES in the past, their true worth lies in the bright peppery crunch that clears the palate and whets the appetite. There are few things prettier (or more appetizing) than a dish of perfect red white-tipped radishes, greens attached, accompanied by a little bowl of good salt, good brown bread and even better butter. Jane Grigson recommends buttering the radish and then dipping it in the salt… and we always listen to Jane Grigson, bless her memory. This homely herald of all that is fresh and spring-like has even become an emblem of famed Berkley restaurant Chez Panisse, symbolizing in this one little vegetable all they represent.
BUY: Look for radishes that are hard when pressed, unblemished and without any cracks. Buy bunches with fresh, bright green tops attached; avoid buying trimmed radishes packed in plastic bags.
TIPS: Artichokes and wine are not always the best of friends because of a compound called cyanin, but walnut oil certainly is and can help ameliorate the sometimes oddly sweet effect. The good news is that cyanin is believed to reduce high cholesterol, lower blood pressure and help with liver, kidney and gall bladder ailments. DID YOU KNOW? An artichoke is the immature unopened bud of a giant cultivated thistle that only really thrives (outside of Italy, of course, where the American artichoke came from) on the coast of California (Castroville, to be precise) in what is delightfully and perhaps a little pompously known as the “Artichoke Capital of the World.”
TIPS: When you get home with your groceries, fill a bowl with cold water and ice cubes and immerse your loosened bunches of radishes for 1-2 hours. They will be immeasurably improved. DID YOU KNOW? The radish, a member in good standing of the Mustard family, has been cultivated and extolled in Europe and Asia for thousands of years.
GREEN BEANS, as a general topic, can cover a lot of ground. From the earliest and slightest haricots verts to the end-of-summer mature beans harvested to dry for winter eating and next spring’s planting, beans are nothing less than one of the greatest gifts from the New World to the old. Like so many fresh and fragile spring vegetables, the less you do to a green bean the better. Eight minutes, uncovered, in rolling salted water is all that you should need. Most often I drain the beans and return them to their original pot with a splash of good olive oil, 1-2 crushed garlic cloves, salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Put the lid on and give the beans a good toss; leave for a few minutes, still covered, before serving. Always cook more than you need for one meal and turn the rest into salade niçoise, that perennial favourite, by adding small boiled potatoes, ripe tomatoes, hard-cooked eggs, niçoise olives and grilled or canned tuna. A simple lemony vinaigrette with capers is the finishing touch.
BUY: Often called snap beans, put the green beans to the test and make sure they snap. Look for bright green colour, no blemishes and uniform size. TIPS: Only if you think they’ve gone a bit too long in the boiling water (and you are serving them at room temperature) should you plunge them in ice water. The flavour is better if you don’t. DID YOU KNOW? Beans are eaten, much like a different vegetable each time, at three distinct stages of growth. The young bean, be it pole or bush (green, yellow or purple), is edible pod and seed; shelled beans (without pods), slightly older, but still toothsome; and finally, dried beans for myriad uses.
Ellen Kelly is a chef and regular contributor to City Palate.
CITYPALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2018
by Wanda Baker
MUST HAVE KITCHEN STUFF
Rise to the occasion Baking bread and getting that artisan bread look to impress your family becomes easy with Banneton Bread Proofing Baskets. Bring a rustic French sophistication into your kitchen and to your bread as it proofs in the Banneton bowls providing the loaf its shape while wicking moisture away from the crust. Made from 100% natural cane and secured with stainless-steel rustfree pins, these proofing baskets will give you the spiral pattern found on artisan breads in bakeries and cafes. Banneton Bread Proofing Bowls, Savour Fine Foods & Kitchenware, $20.95 to $31.95
Chocolate pre-prohibition cocktail bites
H OW D O YO U T U R N O FF T H E E V E R Y D AY S T R E S S ?
YOU TURN ON THE S TOV E . When you’re standing in the kitchen, you’re finally able to focus on the smallest details. And the everyday grind, the daily commute, and that big presentation disappear beyond the horizon, while your taste buds venture off on a journey of discovery. The per fect companion? The per fect tool!
For everyone who lives to cook:
the new EPICURE knives from WÜSTHOF. Learn more at wuesthof.com/epicure
CITYPALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2018
The Golden Age of pre-prohibition cocktails produced classic drinks like the Manhattan, Martini and Rob Roy, made using only the finest quality spirits and juices. The ban on alcohol during Prohibition in the 19th century led to some of the most innovative and creative drinks in the history of cocktails using lesser-quality spirits. The Chocolate Lab has created a selection of chocolate bonbons paying homage to six classic pre-prohibition cocktails inspired by the 1935 Waldorf-Astoria bar book. Each chocolate is constructed by pairing a classic cocktail with a highquality spirit and unique origin fine flavour chocolate from cacao-producing regions, resulting in six beautifully packaged bonbons. Waldorf-Astoria Collection No. 1, The Chocolate Lab, $15
Cold brew to go May and June bring warmer weather and with this the need for cold drinks. We do enjoy a good cup of cold-brew coffee and this slowed-down version of hot coffee continues to take the world by storm. Cold brew offers a deeper, less acidic, subtle taste and is more concentrated than conventionally brewed coffee. Without heat, the extraction of oils is avoided making cold brew taste sweeter. The stainless steel serving carafe in the Asobu Cold Brew Portable Brewer keeps coffee vacuum-insulated and fresh. Using a simple brewing method that combines coarse coffee grounds, cold water and a longer steeping time results in delicious tasting coffee anytime, anywhere. Asobu Cold Brew Portable Brewer, Zest Kitchenware, $59.95
Learn local landmarks while you dry your dishes Created locally, the YYC dishtowel showcases a variety of easily recognizable Calgary landmarks. Towels are hand screen-printed using non-toxic water-based inks and the print is then sealed giving it a longer life cycle. The Alberta tea towel was inspired by the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. The towel is sewn, silkscreened and printed in a studio in Vancouver and both towels are a cotton linen blend. Gift these by wrapping up a beautiful bowl or bottle of wine in one of these towels instead of tissue or wrapping paper. Guessing all the landmarks is part of the fun.
. FINEST AUTHENTIC SUSHI . . AND JAPANESE CUISINE .
YYC Buildings Tea Towel and Alberta Dish Towel, Steeling Home, $25 and $26
SUSHI BAR & JAPANESE CUISINE
Become a pie junkie while enjoying prosecco Combining four generations of family recipes, including a British father’s pastry skills and an Italian mother’s passion for cooking, owner Nancy Goemans created Pie Junkie to share her love of pies. Offering a selection of sweet and savoury pies in full- and individual-sized servings, each pie is baked in its own custom-made, branded wood ring and filled with seasonal and locally sourced items. Recipes are either tried-and-true handme-downs or new recipes created and tested in house. The pastry is made with butter and contains only 4 ingredients. In this special-order box, mini pies or full-sized pies are combined with a bottle of prosecco and packaged in a wooden box making the perfect gift for Mother’s or Father’s Day. Pie & Prosecco Gift Box, Pie Junkie, $80
207 9 Ave SW . 403.263.3003 . sukiyakihouse.com FREE EVENING PARKING
U b g rban ru
Real Food Made Easy
Just a drizzle After years of leading a rooftop beekeeping project for SAIT’s culinary and research department, environmental scientist Aja Horsley was inspired to start Drizzle, a company committed to showcasing the unique qualities of raw, unadulterated honey. Working with traditional and local bee farms in Alberta, Drizzle supports the health of local bee populations while empowering sustainable production in beekeeping. Drizzle Honeycomb is 100% edible and filled with fresh honey from the hive. A raw and healthy form of honey, it can be eaten with a spoon, paired with cheese on a charcuterie board, added to Greek yogurt or even used as an ice cream topping. Once you’ve made your artisan bread with the Banneton Bread Proofing Bowls, top a slice of bread with a piece of brie cheese and honeycomb for a sweet afternoon snack. Drizzle Honeycomb, Sunterra Market, $29.99 Wanda Baker is a Calgary food writer and author of bakersbeans.ca who writes about life, adventures and food.
CITYPALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2018
Your coffee is our business.
by Julie Van Rosendaal
COOKING WITH WINE
Cooks have been cooking with wine since there was wine to cook with. It can be, or do, everything in the kitchen; a poaching or deglazing liquid, or a braising medium, or serving as the cook’s cocktail. An open bottle on the countertop can ease the burden of the cook while making an almost instant pan sauce or rich gravy, infusing food with flavour as it steams, marinates and macerates. Adding a splash to your pan and your glass makes you feel like you’re actually cooking. Besides the fact that food cooked with wine will make it taste deliciously like wine, it also adds sweetness and acidity (both essential for a well-balanced dish). It also contributes a bit of booze – it’s a myth that all the alcohol cooks off in the oven or on the stovetop, although most will evaporate when it’s splashed in a hot pan or simmers for several hours in the oven. Some recommend freezing leftover wine (is that a thing?) in ice cube trays (are they still things?) to store in Ziploc bags to pop into soups, gravies and pan sauces.
Since 2011, at Eight Ounce, we've worked hard to bring a wide variety of quality coffee, tea and kitchen equipment for baristas, restaurants and the aficionado at home. Visit us in store for honest advice and hands-on experience brewing at your very best at home or work. #1–4005 9TH STREET SE, CALGARY SHOWROOM MON-FRI 9-5 SAT 10-4
(403) 457-9844 or shop online at eightouncecoffee.ca
You could certainly do this; or freeze wine flat in the same resealable bags so you can either snap off a piece or thaw the whole bagful and add it all. If you have fresh herbs you know won’t last, consider tossing them into the bag to infuse the wine as it lies in wait. I’ve been known to freeze leftover red with orange peels and a cinnamon stick for sangria, or to cook down into mulled wine syrup later. Sparkling wine or rosé that has lost its sparkle will, like other wines, last in the fridge about a week and can also be frozen and recycled for use in any dish that wine suits. It’s a common school of thought that you shouldn’t cook with wine you wouldn’t drink straight. I’m on the fence about this, hesitant to pour a good bottle over lamb shanks, and convinced you lose much of a wine’s nuances once it’s been simmered for hours with meat, onions, garlic, rosemary and salt. I tend to go for cheap (but still tasty) bottles for cooking, and keep the good stuff for sipping at the stove. When choosing a bottle for your pot, some chefs advise that you select a variety from the same region where the dish you’re cooking or ingredients you’re using originated. Dry white wine tends to be better with seafood, and big, bold reds, even sweet ones, can stand up to hearty stews and meaty braises. Go for even bolder fortified wines like port and sherry in smaller doses – they tend to do well with (and in) desserts, and you know whatever you’ve used in the dish will pair well served in small glasses alongside.
Mussels with Garlic and Wine Fresh mussels are surprisingly fast and easy to cook, and a great reason to crack open a dry white wine to then finish with dinner. All you need is a good loaf of crusty bread to mop up the winey, garlicky, creamy juices. 1 T. good olive oil 1 T. butter 2-3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 1 lemon 1 lb. fresh mussels, scrubbed and debearded (toss any that are already open) a splash of white wine (about 1/3 c.) a splash of cream (about 1/4 c.) chopped Italian parsley, for garnish
Drink More Better Wine 722 11 Avenue SW, Calgary, AB 403.205.3356 | email@example.com metrovino.com
In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for a minute. Add the juice of half a lemon, the mussels and the white wine and cook for a minute, to reduce the liquid; add the cream, cover and simmer until the mussels are opened, which will take about 5 minutes. Discard any that don’t open. Divide between two wide, shallow bowls; scatter with chopped parsley and serve with crusty bread or freshly cooked fries. Serves 2.
CITYPALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2018
Coq au Vin Everyone is familiar with beef bourguignon; coq au vin may be familiar, but not part of most Canadians’ at-home recipe repertoire. It’s a similar process, the chicken pieces taking less time to braise than stewing beef, and worth the effort even on a regular weekday. 1/2 lb. (250 g) bacon, chopped 3 lbs. chicken pieces, such as thighs and legs, bone-in, skin-on salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped 1 carrot, peeled and diced 3 garlic cloves, crushed 2 T. (30 mL) all-purpose flour 1 c. (250 mL) chicken stock 1/2 bottle (375 mL) hearty red wine, such as burgundy 1/4-1/2 c. (60-125 mL) chopped flat-leaf parsley 3-4 sprigs thyme, leaves pulled off the stems 2 c. (500 mL) sliced or quartered mushrooms
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large, heavy skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until the fat has rendered and the bacon is crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside in a casserole dish.
Meanwhile, season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Brown them in batches in the skillet, in the bacon drippings, turning until browned on all sides. Transfer to the baking dish with the bacon as they brown. Pour off all but about a tablespoon of the fat from the skillet, reserving it, and sauté the onion, carrot and garlic in the skillet for 3-4 minutes, until soft and turning golden. Shake the flour over the veggies and stir to coat, then transfer to the baking dish with the chicken. Pour the chicken stock into the skillet and stir to loosen any browned bits. Pour the stock and wine over the chicken, and top with parsley and thyme. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Just before the chicken is finished cooking, heat a drizzle of the reserved drippings in the same skillet and sauté the mushrooms until they turn golden. Remove the chicken from the oven and carefully pour most of the juices off into the skillet with the mushrooms. Return the chicken to the oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Bring the juices to a simmer, turn the heat to low and cook, stirring often, until the sauce has reduced. Pour over the chicken and serve. Serves 6-8.
Rosé Wine Jellies
Mulled Wine Milkshakes
Yes, you can make your own wine jellies that actually taste of wine and aren’t as hard on your teeth as what you find in a store! Rosé has good colour and flavour, but the recipe works with white or red, too – a great way to use up the last cup in a bottle, or some prosecco that has gone flat.
My friend Dana introduced me to bright burgundy mulled wine milkshakes; hers came about after the last of a batch of mulled wine cooked down until it was thick and syrupy, and she added the cold bit at the bottom of the pot to vanilla ice cream in a blender. Now she makes it on purpose – it’s a great way to use up leftover wine, and the syrup would be as delicious poured over ice cream, fruit or cake.
1 c. rosé wine (red or white wine works too) 1/2 c. sugar 2 pkg. unflavoured gelatin 1 drop red food colouring (optional) sugar, for coating
Red Wine or Port Brownies
1/4 c. red wine or port
Stir in the cocoa and flour just until the mixture is combined. Spread into a parchment-lined 8x8or 9x9-inch pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the brownies are dry and cracked on top and the edges are beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan. Serve warm.
1 c. packed brown sugar
Makes 9 brownies.
Red wine or even port adds a fruity acidity to dense, intensely chocolate brownies. 1/2 c. butter, cut into pieces 4 oz. dark chocolate, chopped (or pieces)
pinch salt 2 large eggs 3/4 c. cocoa 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate with the red wine over medium-high heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the brown sugar and salt until no lumps remain. Let sit for a few minutes to cool slightly, then stir in the eggs one at a time.
In a medium saucepan, stir together the rosé and sugar and sprinkle the gelatin over top; let stand for a few minutes to soften. Set over medium high heat and bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar and gelatin have dissolved. Stir in a drop of food colouring if it’s not quite pink enough. Pour into a loaf pan (or small silicone candy moulds, if you have them) and refrigerate until firm. Cut into small 1/2-inch cubes and roll in a shallow dish of sugar to coat. Makes about 100 jellies.
2 c. red wine, such as merlot, cabernet sauvignon or pinot noir 1/2 c. sugar 1/4 c. orange juice a few whole cloves a few allspice berries (optional) 1 cinnamon stick vanilla ice cream milk
Combine the red wine, sugar, orange juice, cloves, allspice and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook over medium-high heat for 30-45 minutes, or until reduced to about 3/4 c. Pour the mixture through a sieve to strain out the spices and cool completely, then refrigerate until cold. Blend ice cream, milk and syrup to taste in a blender until it’s the milkshake consistency you like. Dana recommended 1/2 c. ice cream, 1/4 c. milk and 1/4 c. wine syrup, but I found that a little runny for my taste, and, in fact, after a couple of tries, just ditched the milk completely! Makes 3/4 c. of wine syrup, enough for about 4 milkshakes.
Julie Van Rosendaal is a cookbook author and blogs at dinnerwithjulie.com
CITYPALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2018
the sunday project
19489 Seton Cres. SE
Introducing our new menu!
Wonton soup is one of my favourite comfort foods. I can’t remember the first time I ate it, but chances are it was at The Pagoda restaurant in Dawson Creek. My aunt, an adventurous world traveller, would lead the ordering, introducing us to black cloud fungus soup, spicy tripe and various noodle dishes. My brother tried to recreate the magic by frying wieners in a cast-iron pan, adding ketchup, white vinegar and brown sugar. Late at night after quite a few drinks, his sweet and sour wieners were pretty good. We entered the Ichiban years, delighted that a packet of noodles and powdered flavouring could be so delicious and inexpensive and naturally tried making wontons, first with ground beef, (not good) then mixing ground chicken and pork (not necessary). Twenty years and hundreds of experimental wontons later, my friend Christina Appave offered to show me how to make traditional Hakka wontons. Her family is from Mauritius, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar, home to diverse ethnicities, cultures, languages and religions, mostly Indians, Africans, Europeans and Chinese, all influencing the cuisine. She had grown up making them. Her dad would mix up the meat, give the kids a bowl and a pile of wrappers and they’d wrap wontons. She gave me a shopping list for T & T in Pacific Place Mall in northeast Calgary. Unable to resist an unusual (to me) condiment or deal on chicken wings I ended up with four bulging bags of meat, sauces, tofu, pickles, wonton wrappers and produce for about $100. On Sunday, following her father’s guidelines and eschewing what she called “ghost” shapes (wrapper pinched at base of meat ball) she had me expertly rolling little tortellini wontons. Over the course of the afternoon we made enough Hakka-style, tender, umami-laden nuggets for ten people for less then $50. Behold!
CITYPALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2018
Traditional Hakka Pork Wontons
Non-Traditional Shrimp Wontons
fresh square wonton wrappers
fresh square or round wonton wrappers
2 lbs. ground pork
1/2 lb. raw prawns, tails removed
1 T. chopped, dried shrimp
1 peeled shallot, cut in half lengthwise, mince half
1 T. cornstarch
2 chopped green onions
an i g r di c o o a r
with Karen Ralph
2 T. dark soya sauce 1/2 t. each white sugar grind of black pepper 1 t. fish sauce
Mix the pork and the rest of the ingredients in a bowl, it should smell rich, pungent and peppery, with a hint of onion. The aroma will slowly evolve into a sweeter smell but the wontons will not taste sweet. You’re now ready to roll!
knob of peeled fresh ginger 2 green onions dash of fish sauce 3 large shiitake mushrooms, minced handful of rehydrated black fungus, cut into thin strips 1 T. cornstarch good grind of black pepper
Into a food processor, put the prawns, unminced shallot half, peeled ginger, green onions and fish sauce. Blend into a fine paste and scrape the mixture into a bowl. Stir in the shiitake mushrooms, black fungus, minced shallot, cornstarch and pepper. The mixture should smell clean and slightly gingery. You’re now ready to roll!
Soup Broth 3 cans chicken stock (I used canned Asian chicken stock) bunch of enoki mushrooms, bottoms chopped off handful of baby bok choy barbecued pork, sliced thin
Start heating the chicken stock in a soup pot.
Rolling Wontons Make a wonton by placing a small teaspoon of meat or shrimp mixture on a corner of the wrapper. Roll halfway, then turn wrapper so that it points towards you, press gently onto the middle of the meat or shrimp pocket and draw ends of the wrapper together and pinch, folding the flap down. Place on parchment paper and continue rolling, keeping the wontons covered with a cloth to prevent drying out.
1. Place mixture on corner of wrapper.
2. Roll away from you.
3.Turn so that pointy end faces you.
4. Press in middle, pinch top together, tucking bottom flap down.
5. Moisten tips at ends to stick, look like this.
6. Wontons ready to be cooked.
7. Boiling wontons.
8. A boiled wonton.
9. Adding enoki mushrooms to the soup broth.
10. Adding BBQ pork, bok choy to the soup.
11. Wonton soup, yum!.
12. Wontons with pickled veg, instead of soup.
Cooking Bring a large pot of water to a gentle rolling boil and cook the pork wontons in gently rolling water in batches of ten for 12 minutes. Boil the shrimp wontons for 6 minutes – both are done when the wontons float. Use a slotted spoon to gently lift from the water and place in the heated soup broth. Then, add the enoki mushrooms, baby bok choy and barbecued pork. Cook your wonton soup for five minutes and serve.
Not Just for Soup! After cooking, the wontons can be eaten in soup or as a snack. Simply place in a small bowl and top with pickled vegetables, a dash of fish sauce or citrusy ponzu sauce, thinly sliced green onions and a few sesame seeds.
Shopping T & T Supermarket Pacific Place Mall 999 - 36 St NE, (403) 569-6888
Trouble Shooting • Check the date on the wonton wrappers so you get the freshest, and make sure there are no tears in the cellophane that might dry them out. • Boil wontons until they float before putting them in the broth. Use fresh water for every batch of ten. • If salt is needed use fish sauce, Golden Baby or other brand. • For deep frying use thinner wrappers and pre-cook the meat. • Wontons also freeze really well.
Karen Ralph is a regular City Palate contributor, pie maker and SCOBY farmer. Photos by Karen Ralph.
CITYPALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2018
The Iron Sommelier
1 dish, 3 sommeliers, 3 judges,
by Shelley Boettcher, photos by Regan Johnson
Not every food and wine (or beer) pairing is spectacular, but sometimes, as in life, it’s good to take risks. Maybe you’ll find a brilliant match. Maybe you won’t. But if you don’t try something new, you’ll never know what it might have been. With that in mind, a small group of sommeliers, chefs and culinary-minded folk gathered at Cilantro on a sunny afternoon in March. They were all taking part in City Palate’s 13th annual Iron Sommelier Challenge. They had just one goal: to find two perfect pairings – one beer and one wine – for the dish.
Our chef and his dish A bison short rib braised in red wine and Coca Cola atop a butter poached parsnip purée with sumac roasted carrots, garnished with mustard and arugula microgreens. Prepared by Lance Monteiro, chef at Cilantro and Urban Butcher, and his team, it was served at the recently renovated Cilantro on 17th Avenue S.W.
The way it works: This year, the sommeliers had to pair one beer and one wine with chef Monteiro’s dish. Each sommelier had an opportunity to try the dish a few days earlier, before the official judging, so they then could go away, taste like mad and come up with what they believed were the perfect pairings. A few days later, they had to present their choices to the three judges, who then had to taste the dish with each of the selected beers and wines. Once the booze was poured and the tasting started, sommeliers and judges were kept apart, so the sommeliers couldn’t influence the judges’ opinions. Finally, as a group, the judges had to choose one beer and one wine that they felt paired best with the dish. And all along the way, they shared their opinions on each pairing with City Palate.
CITYPALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2018
Our judges: (L-R) Judy Wood, chef and owner of Meez Cuisine and Catering Jamie “The Coach” Herbison, morning radio personality at XL103 Karen Kho, co-owner of Empire Provisions
3 wines, 3 beers
The sommeliers and their beverages: (L to R): Brad Nelson, Andrea Robinson and Geoff Last
Brad Nelson, assistant manager, Richmond Hill Wines
Andrea Robinson, general manager/ partner, Two Penny Chinese
Geoff Last, general manager, Bin 905 Wine & Spirits
(Geoff has over 30 years experience in the wine industry and formal WSET wine education)
Best’s Great Western 2013 Sparkling Shiraz (Victoria, Australia, $36)
Pierre Gaillard 2015 Saint-Joseph Clos de Cuminaille (Rhone Valley, France, $41)
“Best’s is one of the oldest wineries in Australia. They have a slightly cooler climate and a more terroirdriven approach to the production of their wines. Great value while maintaining high quality, and a bright, uplifting, fruity, more Europeaninfluenced style of sparkling wine.”
“There’s a freshness, a brightness to this wine that I thought would work with the braise, which had a bit of sweetness with an underlying earthiness, that this wine also has. I wanted to enhance this dish with a delicious wine.”
Wine: Azienda Agricola Montevertine 2015 Pian del Ciampolo (Tuscany, Italy, $47.50) “I wanted something succulent and lush that could cut through the dryness of the beef and work with the sweetness of the parsnips and the pepperiness of the baby arugula.”
4 Mile Brewing Co., Stiff Upper Lip, Bourbon Oak-Aged English Strong Ale (Victoria, BC, $12.50 for a 650 ml. bottle)
The Dandy Brewing Company, Dandy in the Underworld Oyster Stout (Calgary, Alberta, $8.50 for a 650 ml. bottle)
Troubled Monk Open Road American Brown Ale (Red Deer, Alberta, $15.75 for a six-pack of cans)
“There’s a touch of sweetness here, but it’s not overly sweet, and it’s higher in alcohol than a lot of beers, but it’s not overpowering.”
“The mousse on this beer was so creamy. I liked how it felt on the palate, and I felt it would work with the texture of the bison. And a bonus: It’s local and I wanted to support them. This is something I would want to drink.”
“A nice, full, round, not overly hopped style of beer which, I think, works really well with the dish.”
continued on page 16
CITYPALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2018
The Iron Sommelier continued from page 15
The Judges (L to R) (JW) Judy Wood, chef and owner of Meez Cuisine and Catering (JH) Jamie “The Coach” Herbison, morning radio personality at XL103 (KK) Karen Kho, co-owner of Empire Provisions
What the judges said ON WINE
What the judges said ON BEER
Best’s Great Western 2013 Sparkling Shiraz
4 Mile Brewing Co., Stiff Upper Lip, Bourbon Oak-Aged English Strong Ale
JW: “To me, it totally overpowers the dish, unfortunately. It’s fruitforward, but it’s dry.”
JW: “I liked it. On its own, it’s quite a strong beer. With the food, it takes over.”
JH: “Maybe if the dish had a berry reduction, it would work better.”
JH: “I would drink this. I would eat this dish, and I would be a happy boy.”
KK: “I found this to be an adventurous pairing and conceptually speaking, it could definitely work if the dish was a bit richer. That being said, the carbonation is killing the dish, and in the end, the wine has washed out the flavours it’s meant to complement. Points for thinking outside the box, though.”
KK: “A lot of alcohol, a lot of carbonation. The beer took over the dish and masked the subtleties of the food.”
Pierre Gaillard 2015 Saint-Joseph Clos de Cuminaille
JW: “I get bitter notes from it. I like the beer, but I don’t think it’s a really good pairing. They don’t connect or complement one another.”
JW: “My first mouthful was a good balance, the right balance of flavours. I really do enjoy it but it’s my second favourite.”
JH: “The dark maltiness was almost overpowering. It would have been great paired with something charred and smoky.”
JH: “It’s an elegant syrah. Initially I thought the bison was a little overpowering, but when I took a full forkful, the sweetness of the parsnip and the jus brought the wine back to life. All together, it came to be more harmonious.”
KK: “Really great beer alongside a really great dish. That being said, they felt like separate entities from each other, as opposed to a marriage of flavours. There’s nothing clashing but it’s very safe.”
KK: “The pairing was perfect when taking into account all the elements on the plate. The micro arugula is a big player in this dish, and it gently pulls out the pepperiness of the syrah – a youthful wine. The roundness and richness of the syrah mirrored the similar elements of the dish.” Azienda Agricola Montevertine 2015 Pian del Ciampolo JW: “This is my favourite. This pairs just beautifully together.” JH: “Tuscan wines come from the home of wild boar, and braised bison rib is not that far from wild boar in flavour. I like the Italian totality of the dish.” KK: “If it was just the meat we were considering, this would be a very strong pairing, but I think the other elements of the dish are fighting a bit with the wine.”
The Dandy Brewing Company, Dandy in the Underworld Oyster Stout
CITYPALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2018
Troubled Monk Open Road American Brown Ale JW: “This is No. 1 for me. It doesn’t overpower the meat or the parsnip. I never thought I’d say that about a beer, but it really did marry well together. I liked the strength of it, but I didn’t find it overpowering.” JH: “The nose is so pronounced. Deep and rich. There was almost a salinity or minerality on the nose, and I thought that would be good, but I found the malting too pronounced. I would have wanted a stronger preparation on the dish.” KK: “Yes. A spot-on pairing for me: the carbonation, the sweet maltiness. Both were balanced and left room for food. The beer really did bring the dish together. It highlighted the bison’s game notes and complemented the sweetness of the root vegetables. I landed on this pairing and I didn’t stray.”
The Iron Sommelier Recipes Created and prepared by Chef Lancelot Monteiro, Cilantro Restaurant
Travel Plans In Your Future?
Cola Braised Bison Short Ribs with Sumac Roasted Carrots and Butter Poached Parsnip Purée Serves 4
Cola Braised Bison Short Ribs
2 carrots (medium dice)
In a large mixing bowl, toss the carrots with salt, pepper and sumac spice. Add the cream, fresh thyme, champagne vinegar, honey and olive oil. Place contents in a large roasting pan and cover with aluminum foil. Bake in oven for 30 minutes, then take off the foil and stir.
3 celery sticks (medium dice)
Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
cold pressed canola oil (for frying) 8 bison short ribs – 3 to 4 inches long 1 medium sized yellow onion (medium dice)
5 sprigs fresh thyme 2 sprigs fresh rosemary 16 black peppercorns 3 bay leaves 1 garlic head (cut in half) 2 cans of 355ml cola
*Find sumac at The Silk Road Spice Merchant,
Dalbrent Spice Rack and Spiceland.
Butter Poached Parsnip Purée 4 parsnips, sliced into thin coins
250 ml (1 cup) dry red wine
1 small yellow onion cut into long, thin strips (julienne style)
1L (4 cups) bison or beef stock
1 garlic clove
salt and pepper (to taste)
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Preheat oven to 300° F. Season bison short ribs with salt and pepper. Set aside. Using a large braising pot, heat oil to a medium/high heat, sear the ribs on all sides until browned, not cooked. Remove the ribs from the pot and set aside. Add the celery, carrots and onions to the pot and sear for 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme and rosemary, cook for 2 minutes, then deglaze with the cola and wine. Add the bison stock, seared ribs and bring to a boil.
1 sprig fresh rosemary 1 bay leaf 200 g (6 oz.) unsalted butter 125 ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine 250 ml (1 cup) 35% cream 250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock salt and white pepper (to taste)
Heat the butter on medium/high heat until it comes to a boil. Remove any foam that comes to the surface when it reaches boiling point. Add the onions and garlic to the butter. Cook on medium/low heat for 10-15 minutes, but do not brown the onions. Add the herbs and parsnips and cook for 5 minutes. Deglaze with white wine, add the cream and stock.
Sumac Roasted Carrots
Remove the thyme, rosemary and bay leaf.
Puree using food processor until smooth, and season with salt and white pepper to taste.
125 ml (1/2 cup) 35% cream
Simmer for 20-30 mins on low heat.
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Place pot in the pre-heated oven with no lid and braise for 4.5-6 hours. When the ribs are tender, remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the ribs from the braise and set aside. Strain the braising liquid into a new pot, reducing the liquid by half.
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3 T. butter 2 sprigs fresh thyme 1 T. sumac powder* 2 T. champagne vinegar 1 T. honey 1 T. olive oil salt and pepper (to taste)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut and peel carrots to have a pointy end. Melt the butter and stir in cream in a small pot; remove from heat. AND T HE W I N N E RS A R E : Andrea Robinson’s WINE: Pierre Gaillard 2015 Saint-Joseph Clos de Cuminaille Geoff Last’s BEER: Troubled Monk Open Road American Brown Ale ✤
A T D A L H O U S I E S T A T I O N 403.286.5220 www.zestkitchenware.com
CITYPALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2018
Go for the Food, Enjoy the Design CALGARY RESTAURANTS CAN LOOK AS GOOD AND INTERESTING AS THE FOOD TASTES by Richard White
When it comes to shaping a city, architects (building and landscape) and artists (public art, muralists) get the lion’s share of the media and public attention, both good and bad. However, interior designers play an important role, too, especially when it comes to restaurant design. After all, you probably only glance at a building or public artwork for a minute, maybe less, but you are in a restaurant for an hour or more.
While some argue a well-designed restaurant doesn’t distract from the food and conversation, I say “bah hamburg!” Good restaurant design has numerous eye-catching components – features like a cool mural, a quirky bathroom, funky artwork, unique furniture or creative use of materials – all common conversation starters. To make my point, I chose seven Calgary restaurants I believe combine great design – all by Calgary designers – and reflect Calgary’s personality, i.e. youthful, colourful and playful.
YELLOW DOOR BISTRO 119 - 12th Avenue SW Yellow Door at Hotel Arts is a great example of creating fun eye candy. Full disclosure: yellow is my favourite colour. Carl and Andrea Raimondi from Ingenium Designs created a space full of “delightful surprises,” the intent, according to Fraser Abbott, Director of Business Development at Hotel Arts. Beginning with the human-sized horse with lampshade on its head to the plastic, Lego-like chairs, this place is full of surprises. The colour yellow pops up everywhere – chairs, window shades and yes, the yellow door at the 12th Ave SW entrance. Yellow Door remains as fresh and playful as when it opened.
OEB 222 - 5th Avenue SW John Gilchrist very fittingly describes OEB’s downtown location’s interior as “yolky” in his CBC review, others might think of it as an “eggs gone wild” theme. The entire room is adorned with yolk yellow and egg white elements. And the huge, egg-shaped booths are a modern twist on furniture designer Arne Jacobsen’s famous 1958 Egg chair. Designed by Hribar Design Group, the interior has a definite mid-century feel with a contemporary twist, mixing uncluttered and sleek lines with geometric forms, strange juxtapositions and bold use of colour. The result: a cheerful and charming atmosphere. Overall, the design creates a visual vibrancy that mirrors the vitality of a packed restaurant at breakfast or brunch.
HOME & AWAY CALGARY KITCHEN 1331 - 17th Avenue SW I love this place because it focuses mostly on local sports history. It’s not a cookie cutter sports bar that could be anywhere in North America. Sarah Ward, one of Calgary’s busiest restaurant designers, was able to access and recycle the hardwood floor from the Deer Run Community Centre gym. The floorboards were installed randomly so the colourful basketball, volleyball and badminton markings pop out everywhere, creating an after-the-ticker tape-like parade atmosphere. The feature wall, covered with 50 vintage skateboards from California, is clever, given it’s located a few blocks from Shaw Millennium Park, home of one of the world’s largest public skate parks. The subtle use of old trophy figures as tap handles is simply brilliant.
BRIDGETTE BAR 739 - 10th Avenue SW Bridgette Bar is divided into three rooms – the bar, the living room and the kitchen/dining room. Overall, the décor is an eclectic mix of artifacts, everything from two motorcycles to a large Chris Cran psychedelic artwork. Many of the pieces are the personal property of Victor Choy, one of the owners who worked with Kelly Morrison of Frank Architecture to create Bridgette’s whimsical design. The living room has an inviting mid-century modern feel with its oval teak coffee table, wood accented chairs and retro hanging fireplace, oh-so popular in the ‘70s. The most puckish artifacts are the many macramé pieces that adorn the dining room. As they say, “everything old is new again.”
CITYPALATE.ca MARCH APRIL 2018
ALLOY 220 - 42nd Avenue SE It has been said by many the McKinley Burkart-designed Alloy restaurant is one of the prettiest and coolest rooms in the city. Faux cherry blossom trees share the space with white decorative brick walls back-lit with soft pink lighting.The result: a light and airy, spring-like feel – no wonder Alloy is a popular wedding spot. The six large white leather semi-circular banquettes with warm walnut tables in the center of the room are so popular there have literally been fights over who gets one. Restaurants are often defined by their art. In Alloy’s case, it is the lounge’s harmless but very visually aggressive Mark Mullin abstract painting. Perhaps too aggressive for some as one patron demanded another table because she “wasn’t going to face that painting that looks like intestines.” Interestingly, the title of the piece is “Meltdown.”
RE:GRUB 625 - 11th Avenue SW RE:GRUB is a tiny space that packs a big punch, from the street art on its patio wall to the peacock blue and canary yellow interior colour scheme. You might want to leave your sunglasses on. When you walk in you are immediately accosted by the cut out metal barrels wonderfully transformed into chairs. Quickly your eyes dart to the dramatic yellow rope strung from floor to ceiling, creating a see-through wall separating the larger dining area from the entrance. Once your eyes adjust to the bright colours, you notice one wall is actually made up of asphalt shingles. Yes, the same ones you see on the roofs of tens of thousands of Calgary homes. Another wall is made from recycled warehouse pallets, as is the light fixture, chipboard walls and tabletops. The corrugated metal undersides of the counters add to this fun industrial chic vibe. RE:GRUB’s design is a collaborative effort of Lindsay O. Creative and owner Jose Azares.
FOREIGN CONCEPT 1011 - 1st Street SW Owner/chef Duncan Ly and designer Alykhan Velji worked together to create a colonial-inspired decor with sleek modernist elements for Foreign Concept. An immediate feeling of tranquility sets in as you enter and see the large mural of birds and butterflies playing in a garden behind the reception desk. Colourized floor-to-ceiling images of a Chinese man in one dining room and Vietnamese woman in the other create an old-world charm and acknowledge the importance of respecting the past. The wall of antique moon cake moulds in the lounge adds an element of both past and playfulness. Ly and Velji also make great use of the large sidewalk windows of its corner site, allowing patrons to enjoy the street theatre while dining.
Calgary: A Design City? One could easily have chosen dozens of other Calgary restaurants with interesting and inventive designs – Model Milk, Teatro, Klein/Harris, Rouge, River Café or Vin Room at the airport immediately come to mind. Indeed, Calgary is becoming not only one of North America’s most interesting foodie cities, but also one of the most interesting design cities when it comes to architecture, public art (good, bad and ugly), public space, restaurant and retail design. ✤
Richard White, aka the Everyday Tourist, has been a scientist, artist, curator, executive director and now a freelance writer (everydaytourist.ca)
CITYPALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2018
Unearthing a Village Mystery S E M I - U N D E R G R O U N D W I N E V I L L A G E S I N S PA I N by BJ Oudman
Mention Spanish wine and most people think of Rioja. No wonder, since according to Decanter magazine, that region produced the most wine consumed worldwide in 2015. However, exploring Spain’s wine country involves much more than one appellation. Rioja is beautiful, with its rolling hills and proximity to the ocean, but branch out for some vines less discovered. The Duero River valley in northwest Spain is lined by many fantastic Denominaciones de Origen (DO). Ribera Del Duero is the best known, being home to Vega Sicilia, the most famous winery in Spain. Nearby are other smaller DOs including Cigales, best known for rosé, Rueda, home of rich white verdejo and Toro, growing Tinta de Toro, its unique clone of tempranillo. Being less famous, these regions produce wines that are not only delicious but are often great value. In celebration of our 10-year anniversary, my partner and I decided on a road trip through northern Spain to explore the home of many of our favourite wines. After landing in Barcelona followed by days of tapas indulgence in the town of Logrono, we headed west, leaving behind the Rioja landscape rich with vibrant fall colours in the rolling vineyards. The land became less mountainous, the vegetation more sparse. As we traveled the scenic byways, I noticed occasional clusters of odd buildings – small old rundown shacks built in no particular pattern, no formal roads in sight. Not just a singular incidence, this phenomenon existed near almost every town we passed. Perhaps this was simply just a less popular region of Spain, showing its age and a lack of affluence?
Historic bodega village.
Our destination was the town of Valoria la Buena in Cigales, where our hotel was in fact a magnificent castle restored by the proprietor, Enrique Concejo, who also turned out to be the owner and winemaker of Concejo Bodegas. Tradition prevailing over a corporate lifestyle, he felt compelled to leave Madrid and return to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps in this tiny town, population 658. We checked into our luxurious suite and with four hours to kill before dinner (the Spaniards consider eating at 9 p.m. early), we jumped at Enrique’s offer of a tour, starting off at his family’s 300-year-old winery. We drove up and there it was – the mystery of the shanty towns revealed! The shacks were actually all small bodegas. In centuries past, every Spanish family made wine. But rather than taking up space in their homes, they built small buildings for that purpose within a short walk from town, creating a “wine village”. There were more than 50 buildings – some decrepit and falling apart, some completely underground, others lovingly rebuilt, complete with shingled roofs. The sole common factor was that all required a venting outlet, officially called a zarcera. From mismatched stone domes that resembled giant mushrooms to the more traditional chimney, zarceras led to the surface from deep underground rooms, allowing air to enter and CO2 created during the fermentation process to leave, visible evidence of winemaking in times gone by. Unwittingly, these wind outlets were also energy efficient, assisting in temperature control and reduction of underground humidity, vital for the proper storage and aging of wine, and a concept currently used in architectural design of new underground cellars.
Some of the bodegas appeared non-operational, including the one we visited. Stepping through the door and down a steep and rickety staircase led to a veritable museum of wine – vertical screw press, earthenware storage vessels, a table holding glasses, now filled only with stories. Large wooden fermentation barrels were clearly marked with numerical chalk lines, a rudimentary method of tracking the volume of wine tapped from the barrel to prevent running out, as well as to monitor unauthorized consumption! Valoria la Buena.
Amongst all the bodegas sat a grassy area scattered with picnic tables and children’s play sets. Historically the centre of the community, this site still lures locals to gather at the village on Sundays to tap their wine, cook on fire pits and socialize in these unique villages found only in a tiny region of the world. Tempranillo may be Spain’s best-known grape, but despite regional variance in terroir and vinification, it truly is the stories emanating from the zarceras that make the wines of the Duero River Valley unique. ✤
Concejo Bodegas wine is available in Calgary. Go to liquorconnect.ca to find a store near you and pick up one of the four options available – two red and two rosé – to sip with this story at home! Village tucked into the landscape.
CITYPALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2018
BJ Oudman is in continual pursuit of creating the next great memory.
ad e r B nd ders a t n sa ng Sli a e h P uddi P
Find the recipe and how to harvest wild game at Taber Pheasant Festival registration opens June 4th!
Summer Patio Opening Soon
Peanuts Public House is an iconic Calgary sports bar located in the Carriage House Inn. Offering genuine hospitality, daily food and drink specials and a great summer patio serving 16 brands of ice-cold beer on tap. Visit our website for our patio opening details.
www.peanutspublichouse.com Carriage House Inn, 9030 Macleod Trail SE, Calgary
CITYPALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2018
SECRETS TO BUSINESS SUCCESS IN CALGARY’S ECONOMIC DOWNTURN by Erin Lawrence
There’s an ordinary-looking building in a northeast industrial park. It’s a hulking grey warehouse-style structure that looks like it was conceived during the heyday of Brutalist architecture. Everything changes once you’re through the door. The building houses Eight Ounce Coffee. The room is bright and white, the ceilings high and a small showroom dominates the front. A bearded and bespectacled man who looks to be in his 20s is enthusiastically showing a customer, old enough to be his grandfather, a Japanese coffee extraction gadget, and they’re laughing like old friends. Nearby a high-performance espresso machine is humming while owner Wes Farnell pulls espresso shots to perfection as he bubbles over with enthusiasm for his products and his business. There’s a different vibe here; it’s casual, cool, fun and friendly. The employees seem genuinely interested in being here, and in helping the customers as they trickle in. Business, says Farnell, is going gangbusters, despite the sluggish Calgary economy. So what’s the secret?
Eight Ounce Coffee
“It’s giving a s--t about your customers and your employees and the area in which you live and where you do business,” enthuses Farnell. “It’s about being ethical and aware when you do business.” While some may shriek, “Platitudes!” Farnell and his wife Jen are putting their money where their mouths are. “Fundamentally, when we started our business, we knew if we wanted to be successful we couldn’t treat our customers and staff as disposable commodities. We wanted to be sustainable, so our employees have to be able to have a job that sustains their lives, too. Not just pays the bills, but lets them enjoy their lives – take vacations, go out for meals, save some money and have financial security.”
Pushing through the door at Knifewear in Inglewood, there’s a definite buzz in the store, too. An employee is sharpening a beautiful Japanese knife near the front window, and there’s laughter near the back as another staff member demonstrates the sharpness of a blade. Knifewear Group owner Kevin Kent has opened stores in four Canadian cities in the 10-plus years he’s been in business, and he says the reason for his success is no mystery. “We have an undeniably better product and we have an engaged, entertaining staff who take care of our customers.”
Kent says that having a happy crew of employees pays dividends in the form of growing sales, and customers that keep coming back. “Customers come to the shop and instead of being greeted by someone who doesn’t care about their job, they’re greeted by someone who wants to be there,” explains Kent. “It’s our rule that everyone must leave happier than they arrived Knifewear and Eight Ounce are just two local businesses that have been very successful during Calgary’s economic slump. Calgary’s Market restaurant has also seen growth in the past year.
Rosso Coffee Roasters
CITYPALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2018
“So much has changed since the Baby Boomers were running businesses,” says Vanessa Salopek,
owner of Market Restaurant. “Being a millennial and growing up with technology at our fingertips has definitely made it easier. Social media plays a huge role in the success of my restaurant. Because millennials grew up with technology and social media, it makes them much better at utilizing this to benefit their businesses.” While some have suggested that indeed there is a new “millennial” way of doing things, others say it has to do with embracing the basic principles of running a successful business. “We don’t necessarily hire coffee people, we hire positive, friendly, energetic hospitality-first kinds of people,” explains Cole Torode, a partner at Calgary’s Rosso Coffee Roasters. “Then we teach them how to make coffee.” While finding just the right employees can help a business be successful, it’s a two-way street, say most of the business owners I spoke to. “I have found that the two key principles with managing people are respect and acknowledgement of their work,” says Fence and Post’s chef Chris Hartman. “Both are very simple to implement and both are invaluable. If employees do not feel respected, they will not treat their workplace, and you, with respect. Simple acknowledgement of the hard work they put in makes them feel more invested and more of a part of the business as opposed to just another cog in the wheel.” It seems that no matter which way you slice it, being able to recognize someone who can make a positive contribution to your company is key. Even so, there’s another component of being successful in a downturn, and that’s being able to seize an opportunity. Many shops, restaurants, bars and cafés in Calgary have used the downturn to negotiate better commercial leases and cheaper rents, even as they struggle with significant changes to the industry. “We saw this as an opportunity to grow and to lock ourselves into cheaper rates per square foot in neighbourhoods that are better, and maybe even more up-and-coming. We saw the downturn as more of an opportunity, rather than a worry for us, in terms of growth,” says Torode. Market’s Salopek says the shaky economy paired with the new employment legislation and minimum wage hikes have made it very hard for small business owners to survive. “I think the general population thinks that restaurants and small business owners are rolling in money, which is laughable, because I know even the most successful restaurants that have been around for years are truly struggling during these hard times. I don’t know a single restaurateur who opened because they wanted to become rich. I personally opened up Market because I have a genuine passion for the industry and love making people happy through great food and hospitality.” ✤ Erin Lawrence is a Calgary TV producer, journalist, and freelance writer who loves food, technology and travel. Find her online at ErinLYYC.com or on Twitter & Instagram @ErinLYYC.
Pig & Pinot 2018 June 15th at Hotel Arts, 6-10pm Amazing food, a selection of pinot wines, fantastic music, a beautiful boutique hotel and a silent auction for a vital charity make for a fun evening. Twelve talented Chef teams compete for the coveted “Divine Swine,” sponsored by City Palate, as they create delicious and original pork dishes with free-range pork from Spragg’s Meat Shop. Nothing pairs better with the perfect porcine than a great pinot! Seven wine stations ensure you can try the many different pinots available. Enter into the draw for a wine raffle while sampling the food. Try a specialty coffee and peruse the many items in the silent auction. Featuring fantastic music by Ben Rose and the World’s Best Wedding Band. Emcee for the evening and spokesperson for Calgary Meals on Wheels is Phoenix Phillips, former TV & Radio Host and now owner of Hodprod Media. City Palate is proud to be in its 7th year of collaboration with Calgary Meals on Wheels for this top-rated event, bigger and better than ever before.
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TASTE OF WATERTON MAY 25 - JUNE 3, 2018
n Rodney’s Oyster House invites you to the 2nd Annual Alberta Oyster Festival on June 24, a day full of food, drinks, a shucking competition and the best oysters in the land, at 355 - 10 Ave. SW. Don’t miss it! Visit rodneysoysterhouse.com for all the tasty details. n Calgary-born Edo Japan, that introduced us to its tasty hot Japanese teppan-style cooking in shopping centres and food courts, has introduced a new in-store concept, Edo’s Fresh Take, that was introduced at the recently renovated Shawnessy location. Look for a refreshed logo, store design, updated menu options and more, including grab-and-go market walls with imported Japanese snacks like Pocky biscuit sticks with chocolate coating, Sriracha peas, refreshing Hi-Chews chewy fruit candy, GGE Ramen Snacks – barbecue cubes are very tasty – and more. Check it out. And Edo is moving into eastern Canada with plans for more than 20 new locations. Good for you Edo! n The space is called 8th Street Food Co-operative – where Ric’s used to be on the ground floor of a tall, modern building – and houses three separately owned and operated businesses, Noodlebox, Paros Soulva and Little Lot Diner. Each location focuses on quality food prepared fresh in a timely manner; fast casual. The concept is to come in and enjoy any one of the three options and then sit wherever you would like, similar to a food court style. They want to encourage people to try each vendor out, if you were a diehard Paros fan, come try Noodlebox and so on. Each vendor offers a unique food experience so you can make it a daily lunch stop and never get bored. Once the spring/summer weather hits they will be opening their patio which can seat 60 and will soon become the place to be. This is a new concept to Calgary and one that 8th Street Food Co-operative believes will catch on. n Cibo is moving up north and will be like its cousin in the south with great daily specials, the same look and feel inside and everyone’s favourite $5 pizza happy hour. Cibo plans to launch June 1 with a big party in the neighbourhood on June 16 for Neighbour Day. Cibo’s 6th Anniversary party will be on May 31. $25 to enjoy samples of wine, beer and cocktails with tasty bites from the Cibo kitchen and from some of the other Creative Restaurants. Visit cibocalgary. com for tickets and more information.
CITYPALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2018
n Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria on 4th Street SW has undergone a great renovation and is up for serving you its good pizza in its newly vibrant setting. Look for floor to ceiling windows overlooking 4th St., a granite centre bar, 65 seats on the main floor and a
semi-private downstairs space that seats 20. Check it out in the heart of Mission at 105, 2303 - 4th St. SW and eat good Neapolitanstyle pizza. Take the whole family. n The Teatro Group wants to spoil your Mom! Join them at Alforno, Cucina, Royale, Vendome and Teatro for special Mother’s Day treats and events. Whether you’re looking for a classy brunch, celebratory mimosas or a three-course dinner with wine pairing, they’ve got it all. Secure being mom’s favourite for another year. Make your reservation on the websites. n YYC Burger Battle hits town June 15 to 24, don’t miss it! The city’s burgers battle for supremacy yet again. It’ll be fun, eating burgers is fun. Check in with yycburgerbattle.com to find out whose burgers are competing, then go eat burgers! Burger Battle has teamed up with The Alex, that changes how we look at health care in Calgary, how we support the city’s most vulnerable people. n Update: Django’s Smokehouse at Symons Valley Ranch is now owned and operated by Ken Aylesworth and his wife, Tracy, and has a new name: The Smokehouse at Symons Valley Ranch. As owner Ken says: “We are passionate about good food, good friends and making our guests feel right at home. The team at The Smokehouse Restaurant at Symons Valley Ranch takes pride in our business and it shows. Located in the heart of the historic Symons Valley, this charming restaurant is not a typical smokehouse joint. The rustic wooden charm of the interior décor and furnishings holds years of history just waiting to tell its story. Our unique menu boasts dishes and sides inspired by classic smokehouse staples – Alberta brisket, sausage, pork and chicken. But what makes us unique? In keeping with the rich farming and ranching history of Symons Valley, we pride ourselves on using the freshest local ingredients from the Symons Valley Ranch Farmers Market vendors whenever possible. You might even catch one of our chefs shopping local at the Farmers Market – after all we share the same property. We are proud to say that all our sauces, dressings, and side dishes are made from scratch. You should be able to taste a hint of Jack Daniels Whiskey or a Wild Rose Brew in our secret BBQ sauces. Unlike others, we use old school smoking techniques – open fire with only charcoal, apple & cherry wood. It takes about 12 hours to smoke our famous mouthwatering Alberta Brisket to perfection. You have to try our smoking meat board – one pound of meaty deliciousness. Our outdoor patio space boasts one of the best views in the City – overlooking the beautiful untouched Symons Valley municipal reserve. It’s not uncommon to see cows from a neighbouring ranch grazing and the
odd coyote ambling along. We really are a touch of country right in the city. Our rotating craft beer list features many of the best local Alberta craft breweries. We invite you to come on in and chow down on some of the best smokehouse grub around - better yet – we dare you to wear white!” The Smokehouse at Symons Valley Ranch, 14555 Symons Valley Road NW, 587-7555009. symonsvalleysmokehouse.com. Open Wednesday thru Sunday, Check website for hours of operation. DRINKS DOCKET n Calgary International Beerfest, May 4 (3-10 p.m.) and 5 (2-10 p.m.), at the BMO Centre, Stampede Park. Don’t miss it, it’s fun – increase your beer knowledge and find a new favourite by sampling some of the more than 500 different types of beer on site. Take in beer seminars, vote for the People’s Choice awards, sample delicious foods, enjoy the atmosphere and have a great time! Information and tickets at albertabeerfestivals.com, go to the Calgary International Beerfest page. Canadian International Beer Awards are presented to the best breweries and beers of the Calgary International Beer Festival. AND, the first-ever Beerfest After Party features a live concert at the newly renovated Big 4 Roadhouse at Stampede Park. On Friday, May 4, rising star J.J.Shiplett will perform hits such as, “Something to Believe In.” On Saturday, May 5, The Dudes will take the stage to perform hit songs like, “Do the Right Thing.” Tickets can be had with your ticket to the Beerfest at albertabeerfestivals. com and available to the public at showpass. com/afterparty-cibf
n Speaking of beer, Vancouver’s Granville Island Brewing has launched a very tasty new small-batch beer, Pacific Northwest Porter. Part of Granville Island’s Small Batch beers, which are made with a simple philosophy in mind: beer styles that excite them brewed with quality ingredients and crafted by hand at the original Small Batch Brewery on Granville Island since 1984. The beer gets its pleasant pine aroma and taste from whole leaf hops, atop roasted malt notes, for a distinctly West Coast take on a traditional British brew. n Virtual Vino is Alberta’s newest online wine retailer that has added 10 new pick-up locations in Sobeys and Safeway liquor stores and at Rocky Mountain Wine, Spirits & Beer. And you can have the wine delivered to your door, too. Virtual Vino specializes in Mix Six packs of wine in a variety of themes that are always on sale, as well as Six of the Same and Splurge Worthy Gems. Visit virtualvino.com for all the tasty details. n Here’s a weird and handy product for your wine bottle – Wine Condoms! Seals flush with the bottle rim, easier fridge shelf storage, allows unfinished bottles of nonsparkling wine to be stored sideways, and reusable. Check them out and order from winecondoms.com. Perfect gift for wine lovers who will laugh, too, of course.
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stockpot continued from page 25 COOKING CLASSES n Poppy Innovations spring and summer classes: Gate to Plate Teen/Adult Class, May 16; Cooking with Cast Iron, May 26; Canning & Preserving: two kinds of Fermenting, May 5 and June 2; Sweet and Savoury Preserves, July 22; Perfectly Pickled, August 22 – all at the South Health Campus; Mayland Heights HEAL Club “Cooking,” June 5. Summer Camp classes at the South Health Campus: Farm to Fork, July 4/August 23, Culinary Masters, July 5/August 8, Kids on the Go, July 18/ August 9, Homesteaders, July 19/August 22. n Week long summer camp classes at the Strathcona Community Association: Farm to Fork, July 19-23 and Culinary Masters, August 20-24. Visit poppyinnovations,ca/ classes-events for details and to register. n Learn how to make your own French macarons at Ollia Macarons & Tea, 810C-16th Ave. SW. Upcoming classes are May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 and June 5, 12, 19, 26. Details at byollia.com or phone 403-457-9775. n SAIT’s downtown Culinary Campus: Mexican, May 2; Artisan Bread, May 5; Viennoiserie, May 12, May 26 or June 23; Thrill of the Grill, May 16, June 14 or June 26; Date Night, May 25 or June 15; Introduction to Cooking; May 28-June 25. n The Tastemarket by SAIT: Date Night at The Tastemarket, May 4 or June 22; Cooking for Your Health, May 29-June 12. Visit culinarycampus.ca for details and more courses. n At The Cookbook Co. Cooks: Tuesdays on Ice: Whiskey-Based Cocktails and Tapas;
Fabulous Burgers, 4 Craft Beers; Girls’ Night Out: Cocktails & Hors d’Oeuvres; A Night Out: Couples' Classes; Thai Classics; Perfecting Paella; Jamaican Reggae Party!; Off the Menu of The Coup: Bold Vegetarian Dishes; The Return of the Florentine: Allan Shewchuk’s Greatest Hits; Rockin’ Ronnie’s Grilling Essentials; Secrets of Championship Barbecue Workshop with Ron Shewchuk, and much more. Visit cookbookcooks.com for more classes, register at 403-265-6066, ext. #1. GENERAL STIRRINGS n The Italian Store and Scarpone’s celebrated 60 years in business in April. The Italian Store offers authentic European meats, cheese and antipasti. A sit-down café provides a true Italian experience with pastries, coffee and house-made Gelato 55. Scarpone’s is one of the oldest and largest Italian import-distribution houses in Western Canada, providing the best products from Italy. Follow the website italianstore.ca or social media for celebration announcements @scarpones_yyc or @theitalianstoreyyc. n Got dog? The Calgary Humane Society invites you to the annual Dog Jog, a fundraiser for the animals, followed by a party, June 2 at South Glenmore Park. Registration opens for the Dog Jog on April 5 at calgaryhumane.ca, then jog your dog with lots of other dogs along the Weaselhead Trail followed by the outdoor festival featuring the Barkingville Marketplace, Kids’ Zone, Paw Spa and the Mutt & Mingle food trucks and beverage gardens. Fun! n June 9 is the Eight Ounce Coffee Garage Sale. You’re invited to give the "less than pristine" coffee gear a home for a sweet price!
n If you’re heading to Whistler anytime soon, don’t miss the Third Annual Bici Gusti Culinary Cycling Celebration Ride On! May 18 to 20 at Four Seasons Resort & Residences Whistler. Eat, drink, ride and repeat, enjoy a weekend filled with beautiful scenery, great friends and gourmet food created by celebrity chefs. Visit bicigusti.com for more information. n Calgary residents can now have groceries and everyday essentials delivered to their doorsteps, same-day, in as little as one hour, through Instacart – instacart.ca – as part of their expanding partnership with Loblaws Companies Ltd. We can order from fave local retailers, including Real Canadian Superstore and T & T Supermarket, and have same-day delivery. n Westman Village, Jayman BUILT’s much-anticipated lake-side community located in south Calgary, will harmonize convenience and accessibility with a selection of more than 15 hand-picked retailer and commercial partners opening in the heart of the suburban community. With 42,000 sq. ft. of commercial, dining and retail space, Westman Village will bring some of Calgary’s most popular inner-city amenities to its Mahogany residents, such as a unique collection of restaurants and services, including Vintage Group’s new Chairman’s Steakhouse, Diner Deluxe, Analog Coffee, The Chopped Leaf, TREC Dental (Mahogany Village Dental), Create Pharmacy and Marquise-led Headquarters Restaurant. The focus at Westman Village is to provide residents with the lifestyle they seek and the amenities they need, introducing boutique retailers and restaurants to build a community based on convenience and first-class service.
n Look for a great new food truck around town – Crack’d YYC – that specializes in egg dishes. Chef and owner Jordon Henkel has teamed up with Egg Farmers of Alberta and the truck will be found around Calgary and Edmonton this spring and summer serving up egg-inspired dishes like chorizo scotch eggs, bread pudding and wagyu beef tacos. Stay up to date on Crack’d YYC’s location, events and menu items by following along at instagram.com/crackdyyc/ n Canmore Uncorked Food & Drink Festival returns to Canmore from May 3-13. From culinary biking tours led by local Olympians, to an aptly-named Long Table Dinner seating 150 guests, to dining with musicians then listening to music directly inspired by your four-course meal, to in-house beverage festivals and more, this year's festival is the perfect way to sip, sample and savour a true taste of Canmore. Visit canmoreuncorked.com for details and tickets. n Fuel the Future helps create new opportunities for Calgary’s public school students. Students in the culinary program at Lester B. Pearson High School will cater a reception celebrating public education in our city. Accomplished guests, including 2016 Olympic gold medalist Erica Wiebe, CBC health and medicine columnist Dr. Raj Bhardwaj, and business trailblazer Bonnie DuPont will participate in a panel discussion about what fuels them and how we can prepare the next generation to achieve more. May 9, 5:30-8:30 p.m., Calgary Board of Education Centre, 1221 - 8 St. SW, $125. For more information, visit educationmatters.ca/fuel-the-future.
CITYPALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2018
8 quick ways with...
by Chris Halpin
Corn is real comfort food for me, when it sits beside a mound of mashed potatoes, butter melting and a generous amount of salt and pepper – the whole world just melts away. Here are some other corn comfort foods that top my list. Frozen Corn Made Fresh Frozen corn can have a funny taste to it, but this can be dealt with and it is easy. In a colander place 2 c. frozen corn, rinse under running warm water until it has thawed, about 2 minutes. Place the corn in a microwavable bowl and cover with cool water, add 1 t. salt and 1 t. sugar, mix to dissolve. Let this stand for at least 10 minute and up to 1 hour. Drain, cover with a plate and heat in the microwave for 1 minute, stir and do a minute more. Drain and serve. Serves 4.
Grilled Corn on the Cob I find that a lot of people think that fresh corn has to be cooked for a long time. In fact, not true. Grilled corn on the cob in the summer is heavenly and so simple. In your hand place about 1 t. of canola oil and coat a peeled corn on the cob, repeat this 3 more times. Place them onto a hot grill and turn every 2 minutes, until the corn is evenly scorched. Makes 4 cobs.
Roasted Corn Salsa I love salsas of all kinds. This one is bright and fresh. Place a skillet over high heat and allow the pan to get very hot before adding 1 c. frozen corn and allow this to scorch. (For this to work properly, the pan must have no oil, be very hot and the corn must be fully frozen.) Once the corn has browned and smells like popcorn, remove from heat. Dice 3 roma tomatoes and blot dry. Rough chop 1/2 c. black beans. Add all 3 into a bowl with 1 t. salt, 1 t. sumac and 1/2 t. ground cumin, 1/4 c. lime juice, 1/2 jalapeño, minced, 1 clove of garlic, minced, 1 shallot, diced. Mix well and serve with chips or over any grilled fish. Makes 3 cups.
Spicy Cornbread This is not a sweet cornbread. It is a lovely accompaniment to stews or soups. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a bowl, put 2 c. cornmeal, 1/2 c. flour, 1 t. baking powder, 1/2 t. baking soda, 1 T. chile powder, mix well and set aside. In another bowl, put 1 egg and whisk in 2 T. oil, then beat in 2 c. buttermilk. Stir in the dry mixture, but don’t over-mix. Spoon into 12 lightly greased muffin cups. Bake in the oven until fluffy and golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Makes 12.
Corn and Bacon Chowder This is a soup that is so quick and satisfying, on its own, but try adding any kind of shellfish and make it your own. In a large pot over medium heat, put 1/2 c. diced smoky bacon and 1 T. olive oil, sauté until the bacon is starting to get crispy, then add 1 large red onion, diced, 1/2 t. each, nutmeg, tarragon and black pepper and sauté 2 more minutes. Add 4 c. vegetable stock, 1 large potato, peeled and grated, 2 c. corn, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer. Add salt to taste and simmer until the potatoes start to thicken the soup and are tender, about 10 minutes. Add 1/2 c. cream and adjust the salt just before serving. Ladle into 4 bowls and garnish with a little chopped parsley. Serves 4.
CITYPALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2018
Polenta with Brandy Cream Mushrooms This polenta will rock your world! Adding the baking soda at the very end makes it fluffy and is transformative. Into a pot, put 2 c. milk, 1 c. cream and 1 t. salt, place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Once this is boiling, stir in 3/4 c. cornmeal. Continue to stir until it thickens completely, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand while you make the mushrooms. In a pan over high heat put 2 T. butter and 6 c. sliced cremini mushrooms, salt and pepper, sauté for about 5 minutes then add 1/4 c. brandy, 2 garlic cloves, minced, and sauté until almost all the liquid is gone, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 c. cream and 1/4 c. grated parmesan. Allow the mixture to boil rapidly until it thickens. Remove from the heat and adjust the salt. Once you see that the mushrooms are just about finished, add to the polenta 2 T. grated parmesan and 1/2 t. baking soda, and stir. Once this is fully incorporated and the polenta is fluffy, stop stirring. Spoon some of the polenta onto plates, then some of the mushrooms, garnish with chopped chives. Serves 4.
Corn Fritters with Sriracha Crème These corn fritters are a great bite with a cocktail. These can be made ahead of time and quickly heated in the oven. To make the crème – in a bowl put 1/2 c. crème fraiche, 1 t. honey and 1/2 t. Sriracha, mix well, cover, and place in the fridge for later. For the fritters, in a bowl put 1/2 c. corn meal, 1/2 c. flour, 1 T. sugar, 1 t. baking powder, 1 t. Chinese 5-spice and mix well. Set aside. In another bowl, put 1 egg and lightly beat. Whisk in 1/2 c. milk, then stir in the dry mixture then stir in 2 c. corn, thawed. Into a large sauté pan, put enough canola oil to have it 1/2-inch deep. Place this over high heat and let the oil get very hot before starting. Test with a little blob of dough. When it’s a nice golden colour, you are good to go. Drop tablespoon-sized blobs of batter into the fat about 6 at a time. Flip them over when you see a golden ring. Remove from the oil and blot on paper towels. Repeat 3 more times. Serve warm with the sriracha crème. Makes 24.
Salted Caramel Popcorn Salt – caramel – popcorn – umm, what else do you want me to say? This is so good and so easy, you’ll be surprised. Put 10 c. plain popped corn in a large bowl, set aside. In a pan over medium heat put 1 c. salted butter and 1 c. brown sugar, stir until it has all melted and become a smooth bubbling sauce. Allow this to bubble for a minute more, then quickly stir in 1/2 t. baking soda. When the mixtures has gone all foaming pour it over the popcorn and work quickly to get the caramel evenly coated over the popcorn. Spread it out onto a parchment-lined baking pan and allow to cool before serving it. Makes 10 cups. Chris Halpin has been teaching Calgarians to make fast, fun urban food since 1997 and is the owner of Manna Catering Service. mannaonline.com. Recipe photos by Chris Halpin.
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Chef de Cuisine Tobias Larcher
SHEWCHUK ON SIMMER
Social media is now officially creepy. Recently, my daughter moved out on her own and needed to stock her new apartment. She is a modern shopper and made all of her purchases online, including a neat rolling kitchen island from Canadian Tire. After she pushed the “Buy” button, she proudly showed me the photo of her new acquisition and I gushed about what a score it was. As she shut her laptop, I opened my Macbook to check out what my friends had posted on Facebook overnight. I logged in and was completely jolted to find, in the middle of my Facebook feed, an ad from Canadian Tire for the very same rolling kitchen island which only seconds before was on my daughter’s screen. I muttered “Wow! Whatever super-algorithms Mark Zuckerberg has developed know everything I am doing! No wonder Russia hacked the American election!” It crossed my mind to escape Big Brother and delete my Facebook account right there and then. But I couldn’t. By deleting Facebook, I realized I would lose an easy way to keep up with things like new babies and updates from real friends. But I have to admit that the guilty FB pleasures that I couldn’t bear to part with are those rare video clips of people dancing and then wiping out, or drunkards lurching around, which make me laugh so hard that I snort cappuccino out my nose in the morning. I saw a brilliant one the other day: a toddler in a high chair is being fed and is offered a piece of pizza. When the kid opens wide for the treat, sneaky Dad shoves a spoon of mushy carrots in her mouth, after which the look of betrayal on the baby’s face is positively Shakespearian. A tantrum follows with full back-arching and blue-faced anger. It was wonderful theatre, but it did have one down side. That video of the poor, tricked infant transported me back to all of the times I was force-fed stuff that I couldn’t stand. There may be no worse feeling in the world than involuntary ingestion of unwanted food.
Explore Your Happy Place
I have had many brushes with force-feeding disasters. In Ethiopia, for example, there is an age-old tradition of “gursha,” which means that any guest around a table, as a sign of generosity, gets to take food from their plate and shove it into another guest’s mouth unannounced. I adore Ethiopian food, but I once got an involuntary mouthful of gumfoo, which is a kind of cream of wheat dipped in stale, spicy goat butter. I couldn’t bring myself to swallow for nearly a half an hour after getting gursha-ed. It was the quietest I have ever been at a dinner party. Another gursha-like disaster happened when a dear friend of mine emerged from his kitchen with a spoon in hand and shovelled its contents into my mouth without warning, so I could have a taste of his creation. It turned out it contained shrimp, to which I am deathly allergic. For about an hour, my heart raced like a rabbit as I waited for an allergic reaction. Luckily, it appears that the Chardonnay I guzzled for the rest of the night to rinse out the shellfish saved my life. I now rely on Chardonnay as a failsafe cure and have tossed my Epi-pen.
Stay . Spa . Hike . Bike . Dine . Located just outside of Fernie BC, our 2 restaurants are a must stop for those seeking a special culinary experience. We encourage our chefs to expand their creative flair to make your mountain dining unforgettable. Gaining their education and inspiration from around the world, the culinary team sources international influences and top quality ingredients to create a spectacular dining experience. Check our website for spa specials, guided hiking, packages and other info islandlakelodge.com 1.250.423.3700 Follow: @islandlakelodge #ferniefoodie
CITYPALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2018
The insult of imposed food was just recently reaffirmed for me when a winemaker friend recounted a dinner, featuring his vintages, put on by a Michelin-starred chef. A series of dishes was presented, but due to the size of the chef’s ego, there was no menu, nor description of what was being offered. Early on an amuse bouche arrived that appeared to be a perfect croissant. No one knew what the course actually was, but it looked stunning and smelled delicious. Guests dug into their first bites and froze – it turned out that, indeed, the croissant was perfect, but it was stuffed with fried calf brains. Upon discovering that the filling was bovine gray matter, one female guest fainted face-first into her brains. Not her own brains, but you get the picture. The moral is that inflicting unwanted food is always scary, except in hilarious Facebook videos, which I will continue to watch. The fact that Facebook is harvesting my personal data while I am doing that and is sending me advertisements is also scary. But what may be scariest is that Russia may not be colluding with Trump, but with Canadian Tire. Enjoy your rolling kitchen islands, comrades! 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.
Thank you for being a part of our family legacy! Our family legacy began right here in Calgary on April 1, 1958. We are so proud and grateful to be celebrating our 60th Anniversary in this wonderful city. Thank you to every person who has walked through our doors. You have inspired, encouraged and supported us all through our journey. Without you, none of this would be possible. The Scarpone Family
ItalianStore.ca 5140 SKYLINE WAY NE â€˘ 403.275.3300 MONDAY TO SATURDAY, 9 am to 5 pm
The Flavour of Calgary's Food Scene since 1993 - The Wine & Beer Issue