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MAY 2012



NOT TO MENTION THE PORK AND THE VENISON AND ...? We take a tender, juicy look at why Calgary is a prime destination for MEAT LOVERS.













Culinaire Magazine is not just a food and drink publication, it’s an interactive experience. It’s a place for you to learn more about your favourite culinary personalities in Calgary, be inspired, and try something new. It’s a place for you to share your stories, your experiences, and have your questions answered. One way that we encourage interaction is through our competitions. In each issue of Culinaire, there will be featured competitions, or contests, that involve participation from our readers; and this month we have a special treat that will help you kick off spring! Barbecue season is fast approaching (though, for most Calgarians it never really ended) and we want you to start out right. To celebrate the premiere issue of Culinaire, we are awarding one lucky reader with the ultimate Calgary barbecue experience! Yes, you could have the taste of Open Range brought home, grilled up, and enjoyed alongside Chef Dwayne Ennest. What’s Included: Open Range’s Chef Dwayne Ennest will come to the winner’s home and grill up a three course meal for four to six people. The meal will include a starter, a main, and a dessert, and will take place on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon (details to be arranged with the contest winner). Ennest will prepare the meal using a few of his favourite recipes, while sharing some handy tips and tricks of the grill!

How To Enter: Tell us all about your most memorable outdoor dining experience! Was it a picnic in the mountains? An al fresco meal at a café in Paris? A juicy burger devoured on a park bench? It doesn’t have to be elegant or outrageous; it just has to be memorable. To enter, visit www.culinairemagazine. ca before May 31, 2012, and let us know what and where the experience was and what made it so special for you. A winner will be selected by our team and contacted shortly afterwards. Good luck! Open Range is located at 1114 Edmonton Trail Northeast. (403) 277-3408 www.open-range.ca



Buchanan’s Chop House & Whisky Bar


Chef Shortcuts


On The Grind

There’s a sign as you walk in that clearly states restaurant critics are not welcome. We went in anyway ... and we were greeted warmly! by Adrian Bryksa

We spoke to eight of Calgary’s top chefs to get their tips on the proper way to buy and prepare meat. by Fred Malley

From smashing heads on the gridiron to creating a casing-stuffed empire, the boys from Spolumbo’s Fine Foods & Deli have forever made their mark on Calgary. by Cory Knibutat


Embracing the Dark Side


Chef Profile: Dwayne Ennest of Open Range


Whether you’re dining on a juicy steak, pulled pork or a hearty stew, these bold, rich beers are sure to quench your thirst. by David Nuttall

Our first visit into the world of culinary genius takes us into the kitchen of one of Calgary’s most prolific chefs. Not only did he agree to sit down and speak with us, he even offered to cook one of our lucky readers a private barbecued meal! by Stephanie Arsenault

Don’t Cry for Malbec, Argentina

If not for the growers in Argentina, this wonderful little grape may not have survived. by Tom Firth

Chef Thierry Meret’s Lyonnaise Steak & Onion Soup (above) and Bacon & Corn Chowder (left) Get the recipes on pgs 42&43





Past Events

A look at some of the recent events that got us out of the kitchen.


Be Sure to Join Us!

10 38

Some of the upcoming events we’ve already scratched into our calendar.



Ask the Expert

Wine expert and appraiser, Dan Hertz, looks at some options for storing wine properly in your home.


Let’s Get Fired Up!

It’s grilling season once again! We’ve found some of the best BBQs and smokers on the market.


Buying Meat



Finding Food

We polled our contributors to find out where they prefer to purchase their meat.

From Bison Grass Vodka to our trusted meat associations, this ain’t just a load of bull.

Before there were grocery stores, we foraged. And some of us still do.


Inside Job : The Butcher Have you ever displayed any prowess when it comes to handling the carving knife? Well, we just might have the job for you!


Prepare for the Wurst


Kitchen Gardener

We take a closer look at the design of this Calgary restaurant to see how the ambiance plays into the dining experience.

People think they can’t grow veggies and fruit in Calgary. We know differently!


Going With the Grain


The Perfect Table

The words may be pronounced the same way, but make no mistake, there is a genuine difference between whisky and whiskey.

Whether it’s formal or casual, setting your table is an expression of one’s self.


The Soup Kitchen


Simply Livestock


The Great Steak Tour

Some of Calgary’s restaurants have put a wonderful spin on plain old steak and potatoes.


Menu Gems

Chef Thierry Meret gives us two hearty soup recipes to warm us on those rainy Spring days.

Has anybody ever told you “You’ve gotta eat here and try this!” Some of our contributors are about to do the same thing.


The Great Quaich

Are you a scotch lover? Join the club! (No, seriously.)


Chew on This


Cab is King!


What is Charcuterie?

Beverage options with your meal go beyond the traditional wine and beer. Give these a try.

Cabernet Sauvignon is the quintessential staple in any wine cellar. And yes, there’s a reason.

A look at how this plattered pleasure came to be and at some of the eateries around town who are doing it right.


Open That Bottle


Taking the Game Out of Game

Here are seven tips to prevent your venison from going gamy.

Saving that bottle for a special occassion that never seems to arrive?



64 The Mighty Meaty Caesar We’ve just discovered the perfect way to get your meat and potatoes in the form of a tasty cocktail.


Welcome to the inaugural issue of Culinaire. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to write that! I’m delighted to be instrumental in creating a brand new food and beverage magazine for Calgary, and thrilled at the excitement it has generated. I’d like to take this opportunity to say a big thanks to those who have supported us and had faith in the concept of Culinaire from the start. Your encouragement and enthusiasm have played a big part in creating the buzz and anticipation for our magazine around our city. Thanks very much, too, to all of our hard-working contributors who have chomped, sipped and glugged their way through many drinks and dishes, and now share their expertise as well as their thoughts and recommendations. It’s a tough life in food and beverage journalism, but I’m immensely proud of our outstanding team of writers who embraced our vision at the outset and have worked so hard to ensure Culinaire’s success. You can contact all of our contributors on the Culinaire website, to ask questions and let us have your feedback. In the few years that I have been living in Calgary, I’ve watched our culinary scene explode with new restaurants, bars, markets and liquor stores. I hope, that as the creator of Vine and Dine, I’ve played a small part in opening people’s minds to new foods, wines and ways of eating over the last seven years. I’m really impressed at the changes in our city; Calgary has embraced new cultures and become so much more adventurous and ready to try new and different cuisines and the drinks that complement them. And it’s because of this eagerness to learn, along with our burgeoning food and beverage scene, that all of us at Culinaire feel it’s the right time to launch the magazine. So what can you expect to see inside Culinaire? We decided to theme our ten issues each year by main ingredient, and where better to start for Calgary than with our Meat and Game Issue (well, we couldn’t really come out of the gate with a chicken issue, could we?!). We are blessed with an abundance of energetic and talented people in our city and you’ll be able to read about these Calgary success stories across all areas of the culinary scene. Local chefs are sharing their tips and recipes, and we go behind the scenes at some of Calgary’s favourite restaurants to discover the people, dishes and drinks that are the key to their longstanding success. In this issue, we get to know Dwayne Ennest, chef/owner of meat-lovers’ paradise, Open Range. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to win a BBQ party catered by Dwayne himself! See inside for competition details. We also learn how some local lads went from football players to building the Spolumbo’s sausage empire. We had such fun photographing the dishes they created for us. During our day at Spolumbo’s, it turns out it was also the day the Grey Cup came to visit! There were police cars everywhere and a lot of excitement inside. The Cup was locked away in its aluminium flight case and made a great substitute tripod for balancing our camera! We asked for our foodies’ favourite places to buy meats and for meaty menu gems from some of their favourite eateries. But not everyone in Alberta buys their food in a store, so we persuaded our hunters, foragers and gardeners to reveal some of their secrets as well. Culinaire is not only about food, but also the drinks that accompany it, so for our “meaty” issue, we delve into the world of bold and strong beers, “beefy spirits”, and two muscular red wines. In each issue we’ll be creating new cocktails for you too, and this month we couldn’t resist a “Meat and Potato Caesar” - charcuterie in a glass! I sincerely hope you enjoy Culinaire, and find lots to excite and interest you. I welcome your feedback and suggestions, and would love to hear your thoughts, so please stay in touch. Cheers!

Linda Garson Editor-in-Chief linda@culinairemagazine.ca


Cu inaire Editor Art Director Contributors

Linda Garson Mark Bilodeau Stephanie Arsenault Mike Bradley Leonard Brown Wendy Brownie Adrian Bryksa Dan Clapson Jeff Collins James Denis Andrew Ferguson Tom Firth Heather Hartmann Dan Hertz Brenda Holder Corinne Keddie Heather Kingston Cory Knibutat Patricia Koyich Dan Leahul Fred Malley Carmen Mathes Thierry Meret Andrea Mikkelsen Karen Miller David Nuttall Meaghan O’Brien Justin Poulsen Peter Vetsch

Advertising Account Executive

Joanne Black 403-401-9643


To Contact Us Culinaire Magazine Box 28007 Cranston RPO Calgary, AB T3M 1K4 Send us email to: info@culinairemagazine.ca Visit: www.culinairemagazine.ca All Trademarks presented in this magazine are owned by the registered owner. All advertisements appearing in this magazine are the sole responsibility of the person, business or corporation advertising their product or service. For more information on Culinaire Magazine’s Privacy Policy and Intention of Use, please see our website at www. culinairemagazine.ca. All content, photographs and articles appearing in this magazine are represented by the contributor as original content and the contributor will hold Culinaire Magazine harmless against any and all damages that may arise from their contribution. All public correspondence, which may include, but is not limited to letters, e-mail, images and contact information, received by Culinaire Magazine becomes the property of Culinaire Magazine and is subject to publication. Culinaire Magazine may not be held responsible for the safety or return of any unsolicited manuscripts, photographs and other materials. Reproduction of this publication in whole or in part without written consent from Culinaire Magazine is strictly prohibited.



  PAST    EVENTS  Lawson Lundell Celebrity Hors D’Oeuvres February 24

This 19th annual fundraiser for Alberta Theatre projects was a fun, fun, fun event! “Calgary’s Famous Food Frenzy” evening started at 9:30pm in the Telus Convention Centre, after a performance of Ash Rizin with Greenthumb Theatre. It’s a fast-paced and ‘sort-offriendly’ competition where Celebrity and Restaurant Teams deviously try to sell more hors d’oeuvres than the next, and with a fast-paced live auction of extraordinary experiences to bid on. Ten competing restaurants vied for five awards. This year’s winners were: Home Tasting Room for Prettiest Plate, best overall presentation Shiraz for Beautiful Bite, best individual hors d’oeuvre JARO Blue for Sumptuous Spread, best overall food - their parsnip pave and Yorkshire pudding Chicago Chophouse for the Spirit Award, the team with the best spirit and theme Calgary Marriott for Edible Encore Audience Choice Award, the team that raised the most money for ATP Congratulations to all the winning restaurants and to Alberta Theatre projects for such an enjoyable and entertaining way of fundraising. Watch out for the 20th anniversary fundraiser next year! reviewed by Linda Garson



Winefest Calgary 2012 February 24-25

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One of finest wine events in Calgary takes place in February each year. Winefest is a pay one price (evenings, $80), sample all you care to drink and eat affair. This year’s event was held in the new location at the Stampede Park Big Four building. There were over 230 wines and 57 wineries from around the world. The unlimited tastings, using the complementary Riedel wine glass, lent itself well to learning more about wine. There was a ‘sample before you buy’ approach in case you had not tried the wine, but were curious. Here are some tips on how to enjoy a wine event where there are so many wines to choose from: Eat before you arrive. If you have food in your stomach you can get right to the main event instead of needing to eat first. The food will be available throughout the evening and a bite mid way through the event is a good idea. Try if you can, the white wines, then the red wines and then the sweet dessert wines last. This means navigating the room up to three times, but there is a method to this footwork. Your palate will thank you when it can enjoy light whites, then the heavier reds. When switching back and forth, the wines will loose their appeal by drowning each other out. Dessert wines are so sweet they should be enjoyed at the end of the evening. This goes with sweet snacking as well. Try something new! You have a wonderful opportunity to expand your wine world. Be open to suggestions from the person at the booth pouring the wine. Keep track of the wine by making a note in the tasting book given to you at the door.

Take a picture of the wine label. Everyone seems to have a camera in their cell phone. By taking a picture, you can go into a wine store and show the staff a photo of the wines you most enjoyed. They can assist you finding the wine, or you can use www.liquorconnect.com to find the wine online. reviewed by Heather Kingston, ISG Certified Sommelier

photo: David Niddrie

Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival February 27 - March 4

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The Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival grew from humble roots as a fund-raising initiative of a Playhouse board member in 1979, featuring one vintner with around 1,000 people attending the two-day event. This year, the festival featured 180 wineries from 15 countries, with 1,700 wines to sample, 64 events over 7 days, and around 25,000 attendees. The theme country was Chile and the global focus was Cabernet Sauvignon. This festival attracts some of the biggest industry names from around the world, and is unarguably one of the highest caliber wine events I have ever attended (and I attend a lot of festivals!). As we’re featuring Cabernet Sauvignon in this issue, I made a point of attending two seminars dedicated to the grape. “The Kings Of Cabernet Sauvignon” ($95) was a comparative tasting of 14 top class Cabernets from all over the world, with either the winemaker or vineyard principal there to tell us about them. A memorable experience to hear Miguel Torres Jnr, Brian Lynn of Majella, Jane Ferrari of Yalumba, Chuck Wagner of Caymus, Ray Signorello, Steven Spadarotto of Stag’s Leap and John Simes of Mission Hill talk about their wines, to name just a few! “New World Expressions” the following day ($60), was an equally impressive seminar with 8 Cabernets ranging from a $20 Beringer Founders’ Estate, through $80 Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cepages and all the way to $160 Penfolds Bin 707 (BC pricing). No wonder both seminars were completely sold out with such high quality offerings. The International Festival Tasting ran for 3 evenings, and again was a first class event. Each booth was manned by the winemaker or a senior member of the vineyard, and only premium wines were sampled. It’s a hefty price tag at $95 per person and there’s no food on offer, but for wine lovers and enthusiasts, it’s as close to heaven as we’ll experience on this continent.

Bottlescrew Bill’s Beerfest March 3

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As one of the best “little” beer festivals in Calgary, Bottlescrew Bill’s festival has been around for 18 years. Stuart Allen has been the sole proprietor and owner of this pub, and its sister restaurant, Buzzard’s, since the 1980’s - a lifetime for a restaurant in this city. The mood of this festival is always upbeat, as the 25 different stations slotted throughout the pub pour an amazing selection of over 100 imported and domestic beers. Some are on the Bottlescrew Bill’s beer list (and with around 300 bottles, it is amongst the best in the city), while others are specialty beers, only available in spring. For $20, the 250 or so members of the public who attend get to try the beers and take part in the carnival, which allows them to spin a wheel and win various items of swag - always a hit with the locals. This is the best place to collect glassware, coasters, shirts and other paraphernalia from your favourite breweries. While this festival has no judging and no declared winners of best beer, the true winner is the Mustard Seed, to whom the proceeds from this event are donated, over $3,000 this year. This event is held every year at the beginning of March, so mark it in your calendars for 2013. reviewed by David Nuttall

reviewed by Linda Garson




JOIN US! New Zealand Wine Fair

Thursday May 3rd 2012, 7:00 - 9:30pm The Art Gallery of Calgary This year, the New Zealand Wine Fair has moved venue and will now be held at The Art Gallery of Calgary on 8th Avenue. At this once-a-year tasting, attendees can sample a new world of wine, meet the winemakers from twenty-three participating wineries and discover New Zealand in a Glass. The wines are accompanied by a sample of fine foods and cheeses. Taste over 85 wines from these wineries: Akarua Elephant Hill Jackson Estate Matua Valley Wines Oyster Bay Saint Clair Family Estate Spy Valley Wines The People’s Wine Waimea Estates

Babich Wines Brancott Estate Huia Vineyards Invivo Wines Kim Crawford Marisco Vineyards Monkey Bay Mud House Wines Rock Ferry Wines Selaks Premium Selection Stoneleigh Te Mara Estate Villa Maria Estate Whitehaven Wine Yealands Estate

Ticket Price: $60.00 For more information and to buy tickets visit: http://www.nzwine.com/events/new-zealand-wine-fair-calgary/

Banff Rocky Mountain Food and Wine Festival! May 4-6, 2012

Springtime is here, and there could be no better excuse for a weekend getaway to the mountains than to experience the fabulous array of food and drink at the 2012 Rocky Mountain Food and Wine Festival! From May 4th to 6th, Banff’s most popular event is back again featuring fine wines and other delicious libations, along with gourmet cuisine to sip and sample, all from Banff’s most celebrated restaurants and hotels. This community event is in its 5th year and continues to grow each year. The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel will be host to the festival’s Grand Tasting Hall and will highlight dozens of local and international wines, beer and spirits, all complemented by some of Banff’s top culinary talent, providing a range of enticing canapés and small plates. As well as the Food and Wine Festival, Banff’s leading restaurants and pubs are involved in showcasing their food and beverage passion with events such as the “Taste of Switzerland”, “Baby Back Rib Cook Off”, “Great Canadian Lobster Boil”, “New England Clam Bake”, Vodka Parties and exclusive Wine Maker Dinners. Grand Tasting Halls Times and Ticket prices Friday and Saturday, May 4th and 5th 2012 - Evening Tasting Session 7:00-10:00pm Saturday, May 5th, 2012 Afternoon Tasting Session – 2:00-5:00pm Regular Online $27 - At The Door - $30 Corporate Rate - $20 Groups $24 Tickets are day-specific and valid for one session only (all sessions are the same). They are your entrance to the Grand Tasting Hall where you can purchase Festival sampling coupons, to customize what you try and how much you spend. Tickets are based on availability and will not be sold at the door if the tasting session sells out prior to the event. For a full listing of all scheduled events and participating restaurants and hotels visit www. rockymountainwine.com

event preview by James Denis



photos © Banff Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festivals

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Calgary International Beerfest

May 4-5, 2012 BMO Centre, Stampede Park Calgary International Beerfest is now in its 8th year, and has moved to a new location. Beginning at SAIT, then moving to the Big Four Building on the Stampede grounds, the festival is now to be held at the BMO Centre there. Having sold out for the past 6 years, the new, bigger space will allow for up to 15,000 people over the weekend to pass through the doors. Each year the Calgary International Beerfest strives to add new elements to its repertoire. Gluten-free beer (a growing category) will now be added to the judging, and there are new Mill Street Beer Geek VIP Weekend and Daily Passes, allowing a limited number of people into the hall one hour earlier than the general public. Also new is an “Alberta Beer Passport” for this year’s festival. So far Wild Rose, Village, Big Rock, Brew Brothers, Alley Kat, Amber’s, Banff Ave, Jasper, Ribstone Creek and Grizzly Paw will all be participating in the passport. In addition, there are two brewmaster seminar areas, where interested people will get information from the creators of the brew around them. There is also a new Pilsner Urquell Cooking Stage with beer and cooking seminars presented by chefs from different restaurants around Calgary. The Calgary International Beerfest is a celebration of beer to increase beer knowledge and maybe even help find a new favourite, with more than 200 different choices. Attendees are welcome to take part in beer seminars, vote for the People’s Choice awards, meet new people, sample delicious foods, enjoy the atmosphere and entertainment, and have a great time. Upon entry, each guest will receive an official Calgary International Beerfest sample mug to use throughout the event and take home with them afterwards.

photos: Mike Bradley

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Friday, May 4: Beer Geek VIP- 3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. General Admission: 4:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Saturday, May 5: Beer Geek VIP- 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. General Admission: 2:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Tickets (subject to capacity): $17 early bird / $19 in advance / $25 at the door Weekend Pass: $29 Beer Geek VIP Daily Ticket: $22 early bird Beer Geek VIP Weekend Pass: $35

event preview by David Nuttall



ask the



by Dan Hertz

Do you have a wine, spirit or collector’s question? Post it at culinairemagazine.ca

I have a small collection of 90 or so bottles. Do I need a dual-temperature wine fridge, or would it be fine to have a single-temperature unit for both red and white? ~ Kristen J, Calgary AB

I RECOMMEND A SINGLE TEMPERATURE UNIT FOR SEVERAL REASONS: First, its 12-13 degree temperature also suits white wines. Many full-bodied and aromatic whites should be served at that temperature, which makes going from cellar to table a snap. If you want them colder, just pop them in the fridge before serving. Second, not all wines benefit from aging, and those that do – gaining in value or becoming more complex, aromatic and layered – are generally the reds. There are exceptions, including white Burgundy (Meursault, the Montrachets, Cortons and Charlemagnes), vintage Champagne, German/Alsatian/Austrian Rieslings, and certain fortified and dessert wines such as Madeira, Sauternes and Vin Santo; but given the limited capacity of a cooler and higher perbottle storage cost, you may want to reserve its space for reds. Make sure the unit: a) has good insulation (the less the motor runs the better) b) is vibration free (so it doesn’t shake a wine’s sediment) c) is dark (the less light the better) d) has a solid, error-free track record (so you don’t get home from holiday to find your wines baked more than you). Once you get the wine bug, you’ll probably discover that your collection quickly outpaces your fridge’s capacity, so one way to extend its usefulness is to pick a design that fits with your kitchen or entertaining-area decor. That way, it can be relocated to a new space, becoming an easily accessed “wines to drink” unit. A blessing of our northerly climate is that many Calgarians have successfully built “passive” cellars from a north or northeast-facing basement room or closet. Passive cellars are cooled naturally without a dedicated air conditioner or wine-

cooling system. Choose a dark room with very good insulation, good airflow, and a stable temperature of around 12-16 °C. To keep the humidity at around 60-70%, place a pail of water beside the collection. Note though, that from a resale pointof-view, passively-cellared wines are generally less desirable, and sell for less than those stored professionally off-site or in actively-cooled cellars.

Dan Hertz is a Fine Wine Appraiser and Consultant providing bespoke wine services for collectors and the trade. His forthcoming book, The Fine Wine Report 2013, profiles the most collectable wines of the secondary auction markets. Copyright © 2012 Dan Hertz. All rights reserved.



Let’s Get

FiredUp! by Andrea Mikkelsen



The Broil King Keg $900

Book Reviews by Karen Miller

This is Broil King’s popular addition to the growing family of egg-shaped charcoal cookers that are increasingly finding their place in Canadian backyards. This unit differs from the crowd in that it is made of steel – not ceramic. Ceramic walls have a lot of caché, but the steel walls in this unit are at least as efficient and hold heat incredibly well. Strictly a charcoal machine, the Broil King Keg is not best-suited to the speedy mid-winter backyard grill-and-go barbecuer perhaps. Instead, the versatile Keg is perfect for that slow summer weekend experience, cooking low and slow (think pork shoulder) AND at blazingly high temperatures for searing steak. It produces an incredible pizza at those high temperatures too (the ceramic pizza stone is essential), rivaling anything you can bake in a pizza oven (with or without papers). The Keg is also highly mobile, equipped with a locking hood and integrated wheels so you can wheel the whole rig over to your neighbours when your fridge is empty - and you can even get a Broil King Keg trailer hitch!



Weber Summit Grill Centre with Social Area $5000

As the most recognized name in the barbecue business, Weber has earned their reputation with a longstanding record of well-designed and reliable products, from their 1950s functional Weber Kettle to some new and incredibly well-appointed built-in units like the Weber Summit Grill Centre with Social Area. Clearly not just a barbecue, this is a ready-made outdoor kitchen. Plan for this in your next backyard remodel, and you can be rest assured of a little (ok, a lot!) more respect from your neighbours. The incredibly large cooking area includes all the available extras out there, including side-burners, rotisserie features, lights, stainless steel grills, a garbage chute, smoker burners and enough cabinetry to store every single toy your kids usually leave laying around the yard. Anything and everything is on the menu with this barbecue, except, perhaps, humility.

Odd Bits ($40 from HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.) by Jennifer McLagan

How to cook the rest of the animal. Wow! Expect the unexpected. Odd Bits centres on animal parts that people have forgotten how to cook and how to eat. There has been a renewed interest from restaurant chefs in using all parts of the animal (the author calls it a return to the past, not a revolution) and this is now following through to the home cook. McLagan goes way beyond the everfashionable sweetbreads found on restaurant menus to parts of the animal not easily found in supermarkets. Some parts are not so beautiful, some are even banned in this


country. Yet somehow she makes it all sound enticing, backed up by stunning pictures. While I am not convinced the book will have everyone going out to cook up “TwiceCooked Pig’s Ear Salad”, it is a very informed and intriguing read. McLagan acknowledges squeamishness and shows many ways to start, “Beginners Tripe” for one. She tackles a difficult subject matter not with kid gloves, but with information and respect. If more of us do the same, these bits will not be so odd for long.

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Weber’s Smoky Mountain Cooker $340


Broil King Signet 20 $400

Also known by those in the industry as ‘The Bullet’ – this simple machine is the top-of-the-line in charcoal smokers, and is used to tasty effect by award-winning professionals and tipsy weekend warriors with equal enthusiasm. The Bullet may be short on bells and whistles, but it’s long on simple, functional design. Straightforward and easy to use, The Bullet’s bottom cooking chamber is for the charcoal (all-natural whenever possible), which can then be sprinkled with your choice of sweet, smoky wood chips for added flavour. The upper chamber is for the meat. Briskets and pork butts are probably the most common Bullet-produced menu items in the Smoky Mountains and barbecue competitions, but it will do a fine job and add tons of smoky flavour to just about any meal you have the time and inclination to think up.

Another grilling machine from Ontario’s Broil King family. Unlike the Keg, this one is a simple “gasser” (that’s barbecue-nerd-speak for a non-charcoal unit – meaning it uses propane or natural gas). This is about as basic as a gas barbecue gets these days. Basic, but well-made, and utterly reliable. This machine is designed for Canadian consumers tired of buying semi-disposable barbecues made offshore. It has three burners in the main compartment which provide plenty of heat, and its stainless steel dividers between the burners gives you plenty of control as well. These cooking zones mean that if you want your steak rare and your brother-in-law wants his steak cooked to shoe-leather perfection, no problem. The cooking chamber is long-lasting cast aluminum and all the other components are solid and sturdy. This feels like a true Canadian product: not much flash but it gets the job done well.

The Cook and the Cowboy ($35 to order at www.heritageangus.com) by Frank Widmer and Christoph E. Weder

Connecting the pasture to the plate. This book lives up to its billing. The idea started around a campfire and is built upon the connection between animal husbandry and the beef being served in a restaurant. Beginning with beautiful personal stories and pictures of the Alberta landscape, it sets the scene for the recipes. I love the short history and heritage of the Wild West and Cowboy culture. The Cook, Widmer, gives us Rules of Thumb for basic preparations and quite a range of recipes centered around traditional cuts of beef. There are the expected braised

beef dishes as well as some less home-onthe-range, “Warm Carpaccio with Summer Greens”. The Cowboy, Weder, tells of the journey to his appreciation of our food sources and the support needed for community food producers. The recurring theme is that we need to know where our food comes from. With a story as informative and beautiful as this, our senses will be awakened and at least some of us may be so inclined to follow the advice.



With so many options in Calgary and the surrounding area when it comes to buying fresh meat, we asked our trusty Culinaire contributors to recommend their favourite places and tell us what they buy.

David Nuttall The best meat pies are at Bon Ton. I’ve being eating those since I was a kid. My Dad (from Burnley, Lancashire) thinks they are the truest to the English style. The Steak and Kidney are the best and the crust (of any style) is by far the best I have ever had. If you freeze them and reheat in an oven (not microwave), they taste just as fresh.

Dan Clapson As far as grocery store chains go, Calgary Co-op’s downtown marketplace has one fantastic meat counter. The butchers there are extremely knowledgeable and will do many specialized meat cuts by request, which is why it’s my go-to place for meat in downtown Calgary.

Karen Miller Andrew Ferguson Mueller’s European Delicatessan - 8409 Elbow Drive SW. This well-established German deli was recently bought by Dale Green who is making his own sausages, and smoking his own meats. My daughter loves his Kolbalsa, and I’m a fan of his Bratwurst. His sausages are made without preservatives and have lots of character. I just tried the breakfast sausages this weekend and they were a huge hit with the family!


Fred Malley When I am looking for a special cut like beef brisket, Bon Ton is my go-to place.

Jeff Collins I like visiting the value added meat-counters in the Safeway chain. I simply don’t have the skill, or patience, to stuff a pork chop or produce my own “London Broil”. The cutters at Safeway are very inventive. They come up with ingenious methods to add vegetables to a carnivore’s diet in a way I can actually enjoy. They wrap them in meat!

Meaghan O’Brien Silver Sage beef, located in the Farmers’ Market, has become a favourite in our household, especially for their juicy, preseasoned beef burger patties. These mouth-watering burgers are an absolute staple for the barbeque season, sprinkled with blue cheese, topped with sautéed mushrooms or plain and simple on a toasted Kaiser bun.

My family loves the Spanish chorizo sausage from Spragg Meat Shoppe in the Kingsland and Calgary’s Farmers’ Markets. It has just the right amount of spice and lots of flavour. It is so versatile and I use it in potato and sausage quesadillas, pasta dishes and paella.

Brenda Holder Dan Leahul I love Second to None Meats in Mission, a friendly neighbourhood butcher with some fantastic meats. I can’t get enough of the shop’s nitrate free bacon, thick strips of streaky pork belly that are in high demand at the breakfast table come Sunday brunch.


Really? Buy meat? Well if one actually had to buy rather than go out and hunt it for yourself, I’d say my best choice would be the Alberta Beef at Valbella’s meats in Canmore. These guys know about service and they are very picky about what they serve, so I don’t have to be. A good roast beef dinner cooked in a clay pot can’t be beat!

Cory Knibutat Adrian Bryksa One of my favourite places to buy meat is from Costco, especially the whole beef tenderloin or New York Strips. These cuts are so versatile as they can be pared down into steaks for the BBQ or into roasting cuts when we are entertaining. Their quality and value, from a price comparison perspective, are unbeatable.

Patricia Koyich A few of my favourites for sure are Crossroads Farmers’ Market where you will find Regina’s butcher shop. The best pepperoni ever! On Edmonton Trail southbound (also know as 4th St. NE) there is Rocky’s Sausage Haus, serving award-winning Kielbasa and they make an amazing beef jerky. When I’m looking for Italian, there’s no place like Lina’s on Centre Street N. Prosciutto, bresaola (air dried beef), sopressata salami, spicy capicola and she makes her own porchetta (seasoned and slow roasted pork) which you can have put in a fresh baked bun in their little deli. A perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon… Hope to see you there!

Wendy Brownie My favourites are the delicious Baseball-Cut Rib Eye steaks from Sunterra at Westhills – fabulous flavour, tender and well-priced, the perfect combination. Plus the butchers are very helpful!

Barbecue season, to me, means ribs. Anybody can cook a steak but to able to put the time in and cook truly juicy, sticky, fall-off-the-bone ribs is what I love to do and the first place I look is Spragg’s Meat Shop at KIngsland Farmer’s Market. I can also pick up the starch and veggies I need to crowd my plate, since I’m already at the farmer’s market, but to be honest, that’s not the reason I left my house, the beautiful baby back ribs are.

Stephanie Arsenault I love the tri-tip roast from Hoven Farms at Kingsland Farmers’ Market. It’s the most tender, lean, drool-worthy cut of meat I’ve ever had, and it’s a staple in my kitchen. I like to slice it up extra thin and use it in stir fry; or rub the roast with chopped fresh jalapenos, garlic, salt, and pepper, grill, and serve over a fresh green salad with chopped nectarines and soft goat cheese.

Peter Vetsch My current top meat obsession is the Bündnerfleisch (salted, air-dried, seasoned beef, thinly sliced) at Sunterra Market in Sirocco. It’s a total standout on a meat-andcheese platter, chewy without being tough - like prosciutto crossed with beef jerky.

Heather Hartmann It’s no secret that I eat out a lot. I rarely cook at home unless I’m entertaining. When I do, several of my favourite recipes involve prosciutto, but I find a number of guests are turned off if it’s very fatty. That’s why I was so delighted to discover prosciuttini at Sunterra. It’s a leaner version of prosciutto that still retains the flavour.

Dan Hertz I really don’t like to cook, and as chili is an easily-made, one-pot comfort food, I head to Sunterra Market for a burger and various cuts of Sunterra Farms beef. I usually stick with a mix of round, sirloin and chuck, throwing in some pork and/or bacon for flavour. You’re pretty much guaranteed a tasty, affordable cut of beef from Sunterra Farms – and they’re local, which is a bonus.

Inside Job: Getting To Know Your by Fred Malley


Butcher, baker, candlestick maker…what’s in a name? Purveyors of fine meat prefer to call themselves meat cutters; to them a butcher is an abattoir. Abbatoirs are more often found in towns scattered around the province where many have a storefront with a selection of fresh and frozen meats plus sausages made on site. The industrial plants employ people willing to work on an assembly line, which is very different from owning your own store or cutting for a grocery store. SUNTERRA FARMS AND MARKETS, the quintessential Price family business integrating farm to fork, raise their own pigs and cattle, process them, retail raw meat and deli, and operate restaurants and catering. Gary Smith, the Sunterra Keystone meat manager, is proud of their unique position in the market place; he says, ‘we know where our meat comes from and leverage all aspects of food production and service’. That takes brains and savvy; may be a good place to get a job? DARRELL CAPUNE GREW UP IN THE BUSINESS. He owns Gourmart in Bowness, started by his father and familiar to hunters. He’s particularly proud of their dry-aged Rockwurst sausage. He advises aspiring entrepreneurs to ‘learn from a veteran, get some schooling, focus on quality and service, and get the right staff’.


SAIT’S ABE VAN MELLE PREFERRED WORKING IN THE MEAT SHOP next door to his father’s bakery and made a career of his passion, although he still eats doughnuts! He earned a teaching degree and was a meat manager for Safeway before instructing SAIT’s Meat Operation Management Program, focusing on retail and value added. He makes great fresh and smoked sausages, available beside the bakery counter in the campus Market Place. He echoes Smith’s advice to ‘get college training to learn the fundamentals and get past any queasiness’. And also, ‘talk to your meat cutter, they can help you select the best cut and tell you how to cook it’.


THE BON TON FIRST OPENED ITS DOORS IN 1921. Gary Keller is the second family owner, Rouge’s Paul Rogalski’s granddad started it. On getting into the business, he recommends ‘have deep pockets, a friendly banker, soak up knowledge - the technical aspects of meat and marketing, and learn accounting and culinary knowledge. Don’t betray your customer’s trust; you can enhance their social entertainment around the smoker, BBQ or slow cooker.’ Keller recalls his father’s advice, ‘Why ruin a meal with poor quality meat?’ They age their Prime and AAA beef for 21 to 28 days and still make the famous meat pies! SOME RESTAURANTS FABRICATE THEIR OWN MEATS, such as Charcut Roast House. Connie de Sousa learned to skin a pig’s head in record time for their in-house Mortadella sausage. She can process an entire pig and put it on the menu. Think you have what it takes? Do you enjoy working with your hands and your brain? Are you a people person who can learn to fabricate a great cut of meat and tell someone how to cook it? Can you take pride in creating top quality products? Then it may be the job for you.

No Cigars

No Handguns

No Nuclear Weapons

No Restaurant Critics by Adrian Bryksa

Our intrepid restaurant reviewer and fearless wine list critic teamed up and braved the sign that greets every patron at Buchanan’s Chop House & Whisky Bar to bring us the lowdown on one of Calgary’s favourite dining spots.


hat is it that keeps a restaurant continuing to serve after 24 years?

Is it the long thankless hours toiling to make ends meet? Is it the years of struggle through the peaks and valleys of booms and recessions? Is it the sacrifices of building a special bond with your clientele that supersedes the desire to take time for holidays and travel? I would posit that it is none of the above in the case of Buchanan’s. For this family operation, it is a passion for food and service and a desire to build a legacy for the next generation. We sat down with Michael and Carol Buchanan to learn just a few of the fascinating tidbits in the history of this San Francisco styled Chop and Sea Food house. It was founded in 1988, after the family relocated to Calgary from England. Mr. Buchanan told of when they secured their location on the corner of 7th Street and 3rd Ave SW, the neighbourhood was dotted with the odd office building, dilapidated warehouses and vacant lots. The downtown office crowd caught wind and provided patronage to keep the doors open as luxury condominiums were built around them. Buchanan’s built its following as

an upscale lunch spot and quickly was adopted by the after work crowd looking for libation and nosh after a tough day. Fast forward 24 years and their reputation as one of the best seafood and chop restaurants in our city has been forged. As you enter, the theme inside is traditional with natural foliage, vibrant yellow and blue painted walls married to wood paneled dividers with stained glass accents. To the right is the bar housing 275 incredible whiskies and further right is a private room. There are signs of irreverence everywhere, especially at the front with the bronzed signage indicating “No Cigars, No Handguns, No Nuclear Weapons and No Restaurant Critics”. This is further demonstrated with little notes in their lunch and dinner menus indicating “Words to Live By: No Separate Checks; If You Can’t Trust Your Friends, Don’t Go Out to Lunch With ‘Em” and “Fish have bones and sometimes we miss ’em…be a man about it”. The walls are chock full of black and white photos, movie and sports memorabilia, celebrity kitsch and a huge Swordfish. Each piece holds special connection or meaning for the Buchanan’s and was a gift from family or friends. Call us suckers for sentiment but we dig this dining room, a lot! We sampled the warm buttermilk biscuits and the Double



Header; a selection of crab cakes, seared scallop, bruschetta and seafood skewers. The scallops were perfectly executed and were uplifted by the combined sweetness of the cauliflower sauce and almond slivers. “Firecrackers” is an apt description of the seasoned prawn and sushi grade sesame-crusted seared Ahi tuna skewers. You’ll notice that the menu is dotted with Cajun influence and these skewers see a dusting of New Orleans influenced cayenne spicing that kicks things up a notch. The platter paired deftly with the 2010 Chateau St. Cosme White Cote du Rhone, where the wine’s tropical fruit and acidity punctuated the seafood well. We moved into the chop section where Mr. Buchanan suggested the Delmonico steak. For those unfamiliar, the Delmonico is a centre cut of Prime Rib. This 10 oz serving of Certified AAA Alberta Angus was cooked to liking and was accentuated by a braised bison short rib in a Chipotle Mushroom sauce. Forget about à la carte here as the starch, veg and creamed Spinach come with the protein. The flavours and nuances of the beef are expressed and accentuated, not overpowered by the short rib and sauce. We would be remiss not to mention their signature Caesar salad which is a traditional style presentation of full leaves of baby romaine with





a sweet wasabi dressing. Diners can choose either rare ahi tuna or tender strips of spicy, seasoned beef to dress the salad up. This presentation would have done its inventor, Caesar Cardini proud. While being a chop house, Buchanan’s is renowned for their award-winning bacon cheeseburger. The 2 inch patty of ground sirloin can safely be cooked and eaten just like one would eat a steak and we ordered ours medium rare. It was perfectly seasoned, juicy and worthy of its honor as being one of the best in Calgary. Pair this one up with an ice-cold lager or for wine, look to a peppery, fruit forward zinfandel like the 2010 Seghesio Sonoma County blend. While we really didn’t have room, we tested the dessert menu and chose the warm Sticky Toffee Pudding. This date and molasses tinged cake is ethereal and you’ll want to share it, it is over the top but only in the best way. When surveying the culinary landscape, there are plenty of cookie cutter themed offerings that offer bland consistency and inability to impart a memorable dining experience. When you have become tired of being treated like a cog of a food assembly line, make a reservation at Buchanan’s. You’ll quickly find out what 24 years of passion for food and service is all about.

Wine List by Tom Firth

eeping in mind that Buchanan’s is best known as a Chop House, the wine list reflects the menu with a number of beef friendly offerings. Over 200 wines are currently listed on the wine list along with a short by the glass list that manages to cover all the basics. When Buchanan’s opened, the wine list heavily favoured Californian wines, and gradually expanded to include French, Australian, and other offerings, but almost always focused on those fuller bodied reds suitable for a town known for its beef. Thankfully, the list has matured since then and now offers a complete and well thought out list that includes a number of great bottles from around the world, and all at very good prices. The wine service is conscientious, but not overbearing and with weekly staff training tastings, they are familiar with the list and able to make recommendation with confidence. With plenty of big reds on the list, tableside decanting is frequent but not obtrusive. It would be hard to talk about the wine list at Buchanan’s without mentioning the scotch list. With around 275 different bottles, it’s one of the most impressive spirits lists anywhere. All the major distilleries and all the regions are represented, and pretty much everything available in Alberta is on the shelf (along with a few bottles that are no longer available). Especially welcome is knowing the water is filtered at Buchanan’s (yes, even for the ice machine), no funny flavours in the water glasses and no “glass stink” in the wine glasses. Even for whisky lovers that like a drop or two of water in their glass, knowing the water is free of flavours and aromas is yet another confirmation that Buchanan’s “gets” whisky. This is a place that takes wine seriously, but is still willing to have some fun with it.

Picks Off The List Whites Calera Central Coast Chardonnay Cave Spring Cellars “Reserve Riesling” Rabl Grüner Veltliner Reds Deerfield Ranch Winery “Red Rex” Allegrini Palazzo della Torre Seghesio Sangiovese Chateau Saint Cosme Gigondas




Grain the

by Andrew Ferguson

An introduction to the “beefy spirits” of Scotland and Ireland and understanding the difference between Whisky and Whiskey!


here is a little-known subculture in Calgary

that exists right under our noses. Its devotees come from all walks of life, professions, genders, ages and ethnicities. They have chat rooms on the web, take trips together, gather at conventions and meet privately in clubs for shared experiences. Chances are you know someone who is in to “it”, but before you let your mind get carried away, relax, we’re just talking about whisk(e)y! To some, whisk(e)y may just be that stuff you mix with coke or shoot at the bar to prove your manhood. To the true believer it is a realm of tastes and experiences, broader and more complex than that offered by any other beverage. Whisk(e)y is made all over the world but has a few general rules. It is, in short, an oak aged spirit bottled at lower than 40% alcohol, and the product of distilled fermented grains. Distillers can use any of four different grains (or a


mix thereof) to make their spirit: corn, wheat, rye or barley. The grains sugars are fermented by yeast to create wort, which is a beer of sorts. The wort is then distilled to refine the alcohol and separate it from most of the water and the sediment. This newly-made spirit is then filled into oak barrels and must mature for at least 2-3 years before it can legally be called whisk(e)y. The world of whisk(e)y is a broad and fascinating place. The Irish claim to have invented it, a supposition which is seldom challenged, while the Scots claim to have perfected it, an argument which could be easily defended by taking note of their market share. Their early whiskies were mostly the product of barley and sometimes wheat, or a mix of the two. Scottish and Irish settlers of the Americas took their knowledge of making whisk(e)y with them and applied it to native corn, rye (which they had introduced from Europe) as well as wheat and barley. American whiskies tended to favour corn with a mix of


the other three grains while Canadian whiskies tended to have a higher content of rye, though this is largely not the case today. From Ireland and Scotland to the Americas and beyond, whisky is made all over the world today. Scottish whisky or Scotch, is the easiest place to start because it is the most heavily regulated. A whisky cannot be called Scotch unless it is distilled, matured and bottled in Scotland. There are five different types of Scotch whisky, with the most common being Blended and Single Malt. Single malt whiskies are produced by a single distillery and are made from malted barley. These are the most complex whiskies in the world, because of the malting process used on the barley and the unique stills employed by each distillery. It is during this malting process that peaty flavours can be introduced to the whisky. Traditionally, the barley would have been dried over a peat fire leaving traces, called phenols, on and in the husk. These phenols are

the source of the peaty/earthy flavours that carry through into the final product. Blended whiskies consist of malt and grain whiskies blended together to create specific flavour profiles. Irish whiskey (note it is spelled with an “e” as is American whiskey) is sadly but a shell of its former self. Where once it was the sweetheart of the world’s whisk(e)y drinkers, today it is at best second fiddle to the Scots. As with Scotch whisky there are many different types of Irish Whiskey, with Blended and Single Malt being the most common. There is also one style of whiskey unique to Ireland - Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey, which involves using a mix of unmalted and malted grain in the mash. Generally speaking, Irish Single Malt and Pot Still whiskies are triple distilled and unpeated, whereas Scotch whisky is generally double distilled with some employing the use of peat in the malting process. This has led to the pernicious rumour that Irish Whiskey is always lighter and smoother than Scotch

Whisky. They are generally speaking lighter, but most Irish whiskies were peated until the industry’s decline began in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. To acquaint yourself with Irish whiskey you could do no better than to start with Red Breast 12 Year ($42-$44). Red Breast uses a mash of malted and unmalted barley distilled thrice in copper pot stills. It is soft, sweet and spicy. Red Breast, like most Irish whisky, is produced by the massive New Midleton distillery in Cork. Another great Irish whiskey for consideration is Connemara, produced by Cooley Distillery ($55-$57). The whiskey is a lightly peated Irish single malt, which helps refute the myth that Irish whiskey is never peated. In fact most Irish whiskies would have traditionally had some degree of peat. The Connemara whiskies all have a lovely toasted banana chip note and soft grassy peat smoke. It would be impossible to understand Scotch whisky by tasting five or six

whiskies let alone three. That said the following three whiskies should start you on the path: Compass Box Asyla ($46-$48) is a lovely Blended Scotch whisky crafted by a boutique whisky company. It is an exemplary blend, soft, smooth and sweet with notes of grain, malt and lush vanilla. Single malts come in bewildering range of styles. Glenfarclas is a wonderful Speyside distillery, and its 15 year-old ($85-$87) is a rich fruity whisky with layers of depth and complexity. The distillery is the second oldest family owned in Scotland, in its 6th generation. For a third whisky to continue your tutelage into Scotch whisky, Ardbeg 10 Year ($68-$70) would be an ideal subject. The malt used to produce Ardbeg single malt is heavily peated, imparting a smoky-earthy character in the whisky. Ardbeg 10 Year abounds with chewy malt, citric notes, soft vanilla, gentle-earthy-oils, tobacco and smoke.



Have you, or someone you love, fallen spell to the cult of the

Uisge Beatha?

Great Quaich Preparing For The

by Dan Leahul

Quaich Maestro Andrew Ferguson



Early warning signs may include: rapid heartbeat around peaty single malts; speaking in foreign tongues—particularly, a braying Scottish brogue; and most importantly, affiliation with the groups’ leader, Andrew Ferguson. Mr. Ferguson heads the Calgary contingent of the “Companions of the Quaich”, a 60-strong group who hold in common a devotion to a distinctive smoky, golden nectar found mainly in the Scottish Highlands, known to its followers simply as scotch, or whisky (but never whiskey). “The Companions of the Quaich” is Canada’s premier outlet for enthusiasts of uisge beatha - the Gaelic name for Scotch, meaning literally, water of life. The group, now in its sixth year in Calgary, hosts scotch tastings every other month, as well as various dinners and events throughout the year. Ferguson, a legend in Calgary’s scotch scene, not to mention the “Scotch guy” at the Kensington Wine Market, is the groups’ president. He says that appreciation of Scotch, no longer considered just a white-collar drink, is indiscriminate anyone can be a closet Scotch lover. “Our youngest member is in his late 20’s and our oldest is in his early 70’s, it covers the whole spectrum,” says Ferguson. “A lot of younger people are getting into it and a lot of women are getting into it as well - a quarter of our club are women.” A typical “Companions” tasting will feature six single malt whiskies, often with a theme, such as a vertical tasting highlighting a single distillery or region, or a “peaty” tasting, showcasing Scotch with its signature smoky palette. Most importantly, the group’s tastings will always strive to deliver Scotch that is not readily offered in the province’s liquor stores, or is simply out of the price range of the average member. The Companions of the Quaich (pronounced “kweykh,” named for the traditional whisky-drinking vessel) started in Ontario over a decade ago and now boasts over 20 chapters across the country. Despite the group’s mantra, “to promote and share knowledge and enjoyment of single malt whisky,” Ferguson says being a “Companion” offers much more than the chance to taste some great Scotch. “The club has fostered a lot of friendships, people from all walks of life,” he said. “There will always be a whisky subculture, we just provide the social environment. As a result, I’ve met some amazing people here.” Those interested in becoming a Companion should visit thequaich.com or contact Ferguson through the Kensington Wine Market (scotchguy@kensingtonwinemarket.com). Membership is $50 per year or $90 for two, and members get first crack at tasting events around the city as well as a member discount at participating Scotch merchants. Not to mention the chance to taste some unique and interesting whiskies, and who knows, make a new friend or two.


Chewing by Andrew Ferguson


If you’re a foodie or frequent a specialty liquor store, you’ve almost certainly dabbled a little in pairings. Restaurants and specialty liquor stores frequently hold such events and offer advice on how to pair wine or beer with your dish of choice. Spirits have long been regarded as aperitif or digestif, but they can be just as complementary a pairing to your meal as wine or beer. This concept may feel alien to some, but when you delve closer into the origins of the spirits you see that they would have originally been consumed with the local cuisine. Here are some great pairings for red meat.

Herencia Historico Tequila

El Dorado 15-Year Demerara Rum

On May 27th 1997 the European Union ratified a law protecting “Tequila” as a “Denomination of Origin” protecting the use of the name “Tequila” in the same way that Bordeaux and Champagne are protected. In recognition of this event, Herencia produced a tequila aged 10 years in exSpanish sherry casks. This is an unusual tequila for two reasons: firstly, because most tequilas are matured in ex-Bourbon casks; and secondly, because tequila is rarely matured more than 3 years. The fusion of the ex-sherry casks with agave spirit has produced a tequila with deep, dark fruit character and notes of cocoa, marzipan, chocolate and a whiff of smoke.

El Dorado is the ownlabel brand of Demerara Distillers of Guyana, formed by the merger of the three remaining large Guyanese distilleries in 1992: Port Morant, Enmore and Uitvlugt. Interestingly, the company has the only remaining wooden pot and wooden column stills in the world. Of all their rums, the 15-Year Old is without a doubt the best to pair with beef. This blended dark Demerara rum has an intensely fruity, full-bodied character. Its dark fruits, spices and tobacco notes make it the Cabernet Sauvignon of rums, and the ideal rum pairing for a juicy piece of red meat. ($57-$59)


The Black Grouse Blended Scotch Whisky

Chateau Montifaud XO Cognac

The Black Grouse is a relatively new offering from the people who make Low Flyer (the Scots’ name for Famous Grouse). It has a more heavily peated base than its siblings, relying heavily on whiskies from the Isle of Islay. Though priced like a mixing whisky, the Black Grouse is surprisingly drinkable for its cost. This blended Scotch has both sweet and smoky elements that will help it cut through the fats and protein of a good cut of meat. The key to pairing a whisky with meat is to choose one with flavours that will both complement and contrast with it, but also one with enough body to be its match!

It’s hard to find a better bang for your buck in the world of cognac than Chateau Montifaud. This small family-owned producer has been in the industry since 1837 with vineyards in Petit and Grande Champagne. Their cognacs are generally speaking very fruity and complex, and nearly twice the age and half the price of the VS, VSOP and XO cognacs of other major brands. Chateau Montifaud’s XO is produced with grapes from Petit Champagne and is matured 30-35 years in oak before bottling. The result is an exceptionally smooth, rich cognac, which retains a delicate floral character while also developing notes of brown sugar, spices and ripe fruits.





OPEN THAT by Linda Garson


Whether your wine

cellar runs from a few

bottles to a few hundred bottles, I suspect that most of us have one special bottle that we’re not opening, and saving for a “special occasion”. I’m certainly guilty of it and prize my bottles signed by winemakers, but when a close friend called last year less than a month after the sudden death her husband, it started me thinking. “Linda”, she sobbed, “I’ve been clearing out now that Paul’s gone and I’ve found all the wines we were saving for special occasions. But now there won’t be any more special occasions and I don’t know what to do with them?” I offered to help drink the wines with her and we certainly made a valiant attempt on New Year’s Eve, but I wondered - how many people are storing wines for a special occasion that may never come – and if it does come, will the wines still be drinkable? Intrigued by the prospect of some of the world’s finest wines languishing in Calgary cellars, I set about finding out what some of our city’s respected palates have stashed away for that special day, and what occasion they were saving them for? Joseph De Angelis is the Patron of La Chaumière, Calgary’s premier French restaurant, since 1978. He came to Calgary in 1968 after leaving his hometown of Ischia near Naples


Joseph De Angelis Patron, La Chaumière

in Italy, a spell working at the iconic Claridge’s Hotel in London, and stints in Switzerland and Oakland, CA. Joseph’s goal was to have 5,000 bottles in his private cellar, but when he reached 2,500 bottles, he realized that there were too many to drink at the right time and started to slow down. “You have to drink wine when the vintages are ready”, he explained “and I couldn’t keep up”. La Chaumière can boast a wine cellar of over 800 wines and vintages, from all over the world, so what could possibly be the bottle that Joseph was saving for a special event, and what would be the occasion when he would open it? He tells us his story here. “When my daughter was born, I bought a case of Grand Vin de Chateau


Latour from a local Calgary store to keep for her special birthday. She knew I was saving it for the big day, but when I went to open it, she said “papa, if you open this wine and make a party then you will invite all your friends and it will become your party and not mine? Please open something that all my 18-year-old friends will enjoy? So I opened a Crozes Hermitage from the Rhone Valley. But every year since then I open one bottle of the Latour for a special occasion, like the time she was called to the bar.” Each issue we’ll be telling you which special bottle another Calgary personality is, or was, holding on to and what the occasion is that they’ll open it. Watch out very soon for details of a citywide “Open That Bottle” night too!

Culinaire’s Salutes &

Acknowledgements Caesar’s Steak House is 40 years old this year! Congratulations to a Calgary institution! Since April 26th 1972, Julius Caesar’s Steakhouse and Lounge has been broiling first-class AAA and Sterling Silver aged Alberta beef, all aged a minimum of 28 days, in their 4th Avenue SW location. And they have a firstclass wine list to match. We couldn’t launch our “meaty issue” of Culinaire without wishing them a very happy ruby anniversary! May we still be enjoying their excellent beef in another 40 years!

We can’t wait for the opening of AVEC BISTRO very soon, a brand new modern French Bistro opening at 105, 550 11th Avenue, where Maru Korean Restaurant & Bar used to be. We have great expectations, as some of our favourite Calgary food and wine people are behind it!

Congratulations to Toshi Karino! From award-winning wine director of Teatro to becoming the owner of AKA WINE BAR at 709 Edmonton Trail NE. We’re looking forward to some wonderful Italian/Japanese fusion food with great wines, of course!

We’re looking forward to the opening of another new restaurant, 80th AND IVY at 1129 - 17th Avenue SW at the end of May! We’ll be enjoying this modern kitchen’s globalinspired bites and some interesting hand-crafted cocktails too!

Another new restaurant opening to get very excited about is CIBO, pronounced Chee-Boh. We’re excited for many reasons, not least that it’s from the restaurateurs behind Bonterra Trattoria. Who wouldn’t be excited to try their market-fresh, fun and inspired Italian street food?! Watch out for it at 1012, 17th Avenue SW.

Chef’s Shortcuts

by Fred Malley

Masters of

Visit us on www line a .culin t a ire to try delec magazine .ca tabl from some e recipes o ft talen ted c hese hefs!

Meat Management

Fred Malley, Certified Chef de Cuisine, has been behind the scenes in some of the area’s best kitchens to bring us hints from eight of the industry’s top chefs.

I know it goes against today’s

secondary cut trend, yielding flavourful slow-cooked braised dishes, but New York strip loin is one of my favourite cuts. It’s versatile, naturally tender and has excellent flavour, whether cooked on the BBQ or stovetop. Cooked whole, it makes a great roast beef. Less thick than rib-eye, NY Strip roasts in less time and has just enough fat to self-baste. AAA Alberta beef means it is among the best, with ample marbling to yield a succulent slice

To portion your aged meat: 1. Remove the cryovac packaging in the sink, and allow the liquid to drain away. Rinse the meat briefly under cold running water and pat it dry - yes, the odour is normal and will dissipate quickly. 2. Lay the strip loin on a cutting board with the rounded side facing you and insert the tip of a boning knife at 45°, just under the fat, so it comes out 5 cm away from you. The knife will be under the very tough back strap tendon. 3. Cut towards one end of the strip, keeping a slight upward pressure on the blade, until you reach the end. Lift the back strap portion and return the knife to the starting point and cut to the other end. There should be very little meat on the trim (use it for stir fry). Cut away excess fat and discard it. 4. Now, flip the loin and trim the connective tissue that the guy at the processing plant left for you. Ensure your knife is sharp!

of meat. You can control the amount of fat left on the top; trim it or ask your butcher to do it for you. Purchase meat aged a minimum of 14 days, or my preference is to buy a whole strip at Costco and leave it in its original wrapping, in the coldest part of the fridge, for 3 to 4 weeks. Less expensive than ribeye, it’s not difficult to portion; all you need is a sharp knife. A hint is to buy the smaller strip loins (Hereford or Angus) so you can cut thicker steaks! Large strips are good for roasts.

Double thick steaks are ideal for the BBQ and feed two. The thicker end of the strip has an internal seam, making about a quarter of it better-suited to roasting or cutting down into smaller pieces; you can cut seam steaks it you wish, just like some stores. Wrap each piece in cling film and place in a heavy plastic, sealable bag for freezing.

You are now ready to cut steaks, roasts, kebobs and stir fry/ fondue - I told you it’s versatile!

To roast a strip loin: 1. Allow 225 g raw meat per person (or more if you really like your meat!) 2. Season the outer surface with a dry rub, or my favourite, Brassica Horseradish Mustard. 3. Set the roast on a rack in a tray, and place it in a preheated, 275°F oven until a meat thermometer reads 55°C (135°F). Allow 1½ hours and it will be medium rare throughout. 4. Remove from the oven, tent with foil and let it rest for 20 minutes before carving, while you bake the Yorkshires and finish everything. A wild mushroom ragout makes a great accompaniment.

When chefs and meat cutters were polled about their favourite cut of meat, Rib eye is the repeat offender. Cut thick and grilled, it was the common thread among most. ‘You can’t beat it for flavour, tenderness and juiciness.’ Pork rib chops are

a popular choice too, followed by short rib and chuck cuts for slow braises. My last hint is to talk to your meat cutter and make a new friend.



Colombian born Rogelio Herrera, Chef and co-owner of Alloy Restaurant, is known for his blended Latin and Mediterranean flavours with an Asian touch. Before Alloy, he gathered a following with Teatro, Divino, Wildwood and the Vintage Chop House along with a stint of world travels. He is a great guy who definitely loves meat, especially beef. Rogelio advises not to be afraid to buy a tougher cut, marinate it, and sear it quickly to rare or medium rare. He shares a full flavoured, robust flank steak recipe with us (pg29) that is easy to prepare, either on the BBQ or stove top.

Chef Rogelio Herrera’s

Flank Steak with Pepper Vinaigrette and Watercress Salad (Serves 4)

Vying to be Canada’s next Top Chef, Xavier Lacaze of Muse, loves veal. His advice, ‘convince farmers to raise more veal in Alberta. I’m a big fan of veal cheeks or breast; confit or braised - I could eat it every day’. He likes all the other cuts too and likes to cook with duck fat. Visit www.culinairemagazine.ca for his recipe: ‘Espelette Crusted Veal Chop, Potato Fries and Wild Mushrooms’.

Chefs’ favourite beef cuts run the gamut from tender prime cuts to those flavourful braising cuts - and occasionally a surprise. We checked in with Jan Hansen at Heritage Park, and his current favourites are Angus chuck flats and boneless short ribs. His advice is simple, ‘braise tougher cuts and cook tender ones medium rare’.

4 - 175g Flank Steaks 1 Tbsp Cumin ½ tsp Turmeric 1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika 50 mL Canola Oil 2 Garlic Cloves, minced 1 Small Red Onion, sliced 1 Tbsp Achiote Paste 1 Roasted Red Pepper, sliced ¼ cup Honey ½ cup White Wine Vinegar 1 Tbsp Red Chili Paste 1 Roma Tomato, diced 225 mL Olive Oil 1 tsp Salt 2 bunches Watercress

1. Combine the cumin, turmeric, paprika, oil, garlic, onion and achiote paste. Marinate the steak in this mixture for a few hours, or preferably overnight. 2. Sear the meat on a hot grill or skillet until it is rare to medium rare. Let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing thinly on an angle. 3. For the salad, make a dressing from the remaining ingredients. Rinse and drain the cress well. 4. To assemble, portion some vinaigrette in the bottom of a rimmed bowl or plate. Slice the flank steak on top of the dressing, toss the cress with the salt and place a mound on top of the steak. Enjoy! * If you venture to one of Calgary’s Latin stores, pick up some Rocoto pepper paste and coconut vinegar to use instead of Achiote paste and white wine vinegar, for a South American treat.

To pair with the dish, Rogelio recommends: Markus Molitor Riesling 2010, Germany ($20-$22) Carinae Malbec 2010, Argentina ($15-$17) Wild Rose Velvet Fog, Calgary, AB (341 mL x 6, $13-$14)

Liana Robberecht, the effulgent Calgary Petroleum Club Executive Chef and Alberta Foodservice Expo/Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News magazine’s Chef of the Year 2011, wears a trademark pink chef’s jacket and enjoys comforting slow braises; she recommends buying short ribs and simmering them in bourbon for heady comfort food. ‘The whisky adds a distinctive sweet flavour to the meat’, she explains, and the house smells great too. Add caramelized onions to the short rib meat and you have the makings of robust ravioli. Get Liana’s Bourbon-Braised Short Rib Ravioli recipe at www.culinairemagazine.ca



Beef connoisseur, Andrew Stevens, is constantly searching out the best products, and confirms that Alberta beef is Number 1 - but with a twist. He prefers natural, slow raised, grass-fed animals from ranchers such as Bite Beef. Vintage age their meat up to 55 days, to impart a robust flavour and undeniable tenderness and Andrew snoops retail meat counters looking for meat with abundant marbling that melts during cooking for the juiciest steaks. He cooks his rib eye steak the way my rancher grandfather did. It’s about the caramelization of the meat surface, that rich brown crust that comes from contact with a hot surface.

Chef Andrew Stevens’

Cast Iron Rib Eye Steak 1 – 350g Rib Eye Steak, AAA, boneless 1 Tbsp Canola Oil Kosher Salt Fresh Ground Black Pepper Herb Butter: 125g Unsalted Butter, softened 1 clove Garlic, crushed 1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme, chopped 1 Tbsp Fresh Italian Parsley, chopped Pinch of Salt

Make the herb butter ahead of time by combining all the ingredients, mixing and forming the butter into a cylinder using parchment paper. Refrigerate, then slice 1 cm thick to serve.

(Serves 1)

1. Place a large 30 cm cast iron skillet in a 500°F oven. Let the steak sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before cooking. When the oven reaches temperature, carefully remove the pan and place it on the range over high heat. Turn on the fan and open the window. 2. Pat the steak dry and coat it lightly with oil. Season both sides generously with salt and pepper. 3. Place the steak in the middle of the hot pan and sear for 30 seconds without moving it. Flip the steak over with tongs and cook a further 30 seconds. 4. Place the pan in the oven to finish cooking; for medium rare, cook two minutes, flip the steak and cook 2 minutes more. If medium is your preference, go for 3 minutes per side. 5. Remove from heat and tent with foil for 2 minutes and serve topped with herb butter.

Connie de Sousa and John Jackson at Charcut Roast House

have a menu unabashedly about rotisserie meats enhanced with house-made preserves. Her tip is to ‘cook meat with a bone in it, you get so much more flavour.’ They do a great burger too and have featured heart for the not so faint.

Rob Cordonier, executive chef at Hillside Winery in the Okanagan For a great pairing with this steak try: Scotland’s Traquair House Ale or Domaine La Berangeraie Cuvee Juline, Cahors France ($19-$20) Familia Schroeder Pinot Noir/Malbec, Argentina ($51-$53)

Fred Zimmerman, Culinary Team Canada coach, says his favourite beef cut is ‘sirloin, the top butt; lots of flavour when it’s aged’. That’s the piece between the NY and hip. It’s a great cut and excellent value; a lot of restaurants use it for steak sandwiches. Ask your meat cutter for full size steaks, 21 day aged, 5-6cm thick. Because it’s so thick, it takes a while to BBQ, and you have to turn it over a couple of times to cook it evenly and develop that caramelized crust we all love. To die for!



loves heart. ‘Many consider it tough’, he says, ‘but it’s the most pure expression of flavour. It’s lean, with a fine grain and velvety texture. The trick is to sear it quickly to rare, slice it thinly and serve it with aioli and fried capers….and Hillside Mosaic wine’.


Splendour in the by Linda Garson

Żubrówka is a distillate of rye flavoured with Bison Grass (Hierochloe Odorata), which grows in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Bialowieza Forest in northeast Poland. It’s the favourite food of the endangered bison - “żubr” in Polish and Ukrainian, which is the origin of the vodka’s name. Żubrówka has been made in the region since the 14th century, and by 18th century was one of

the favourite drinks of the nobility. It’s also featured in W. Somerset Maugham’s novel from 1944, “The Razor’s Edge.” The grass is harvested by hand, washed and then the extract is added to the twicedistilled vodka, which gives it the characteristic pale olive colour. A blade of the grass is also placed in each bottle. Żubrówka has attractive aromas of lavender, almond, coconut and vanilla with

Żubrówka Bison Grass Vodka, 40% ABV, $28-$30

herbaceous notes that are echoed on the palate, and a silky smooth, velvety mouthfeel. Serve Żubrówka chilled on its own or mix with apple juice. This is known in the UK as a “Frisky Bison” and in America as a “Polish Kiss.” Mixed with blackcurrant juice, Żubrówka becomes a “Black Bison.”

IN LIVESTOCK ASSOCIATIONS WE TRUST You’re an adventurous eater.

A confident customer in restaurants,

you order chicken and everything that’s purported to taste like it. What about when you’re the chef? Are you equally assured of your ability to conquer different meats? Or do you panic at the idea of serving dry pot roast, and avert your eyes when you open the freezer, avoiding that wild game someone gave you? If you’re not master of all meats in your home, there’s no reason to despair. Virtually every meat able to be sourced locally has a corresponding livestock association, many with a wealth of information for consumers. As you’d expect, the mainstream meat associations have some of the most extensive resources available. Canada Beef’s Consumer Culinary Marketing Manager Joyce Parslow says “If you’ve got a beefy question, this is the place to get the answer – our focus is all around Canadian beef so we know beef best! Our recipes and cooking instructions are all developed and managed here, with Standard Cooking Instructions for each cut of beef being vetted by beef experts.” If you have a question not covered by their library of resources (www.beefinfo.org), including a blog featuring the wife of a rancher and step-by-step cooking videos, there is also a feature where consumers can ask a beef expert. Depending who on their team (which also includes butchers, a dietician, and food safety expert, among others) is involved in the response, you can generally expect a reply within 48 hours. If the request is urgent, such as the “Help save my holiday roast!” message they received one Christmas Eve, staff will act immediately. They replied to the frazzled cook within the hour, saving

by Heather Hartmann Christmas, and the roast. Pork Marketing Canada’s website (www.putporkonyourfork.com) also has an interactive “Ask the Food Expert” feature, as well as a virtual meat counter, cross-referencing each cut by name and by the part of the animal, explaining their uses, and offering recipes for each. Some of the lesser-known organizations also have excellent material available. If you’re cooking to make an impression, the Alberta Lamb Producers’ consumer website (www.albertalamb.ca) features recipes developed by Chef Darren Nixon, of Café Divine in Okotoks. Likewise, the Alberta Farmed Elk website (www.albertaelk.ca) features recipes by Lovoni Walker, host of Simple, Fresh, Delicious; and Food Network Canada’s Ned Bell. The Canadian Ostrich Association’s website (www.ostrich.ca) has not only cooking tips but also suggested uses, for those who are truly new to the bird. If you’re confident in your cooking skills, but concerned with eating locally, the multi-species Alberta Farm Fresh Producers Association is a great resource. Their website details sources broken out by variety (of produce as well as livestock). Want to buy turkey near Innisfail? Goat near Linden? They’ve got you covered with their pamphlet that includes a roadmap of 139 participating farm locations, complete with driving directions and contact information. Even if these resources cannot convince you to step into the kitchen, the associations can still be of use to you, as many of their websites list restaurants serving their products, as well as nutritional data to assist with your dining choices whether in or out. Next time you’re mystified by a meat, check out it’s association. Who better to help you than the people who produced it?



OnTheGrind Strong work ethic and unique vision helped Spolumbo’s forge their own success. story and photos by Cory Knibutat

A half-dozen

staff buzz around the deli counter, darting from station to station, pausing to

greet hungry customers and take their orders. Some sauce baguettes and build sandwiches, assembly line-style, as others scamper from one workstation to the next, helping as needed, to keep a sense of order in the rising chaos as orders continue to roll in. The line balloons from a handful of people to a couple of dozen in the span of ten minutes as yet another lunch rush is upon Spolumbo’s Fine Foods & Deli in Inglewood. Part owner and founder, Tony Spoletini, navigates the bustling 100-seat deli making a point to greet regulars and newer customers alike, sharing laughs and making sure they are pleased with their meal. It’s a scene that will be repeated all week; the enthusiastic customers, big smiles, and absurdly good food have been a common fixture of Spolumbo’s for nearly 20 years. In the early winter months of 1992, Tony, along with cousin Tom Spoletini and their long-time friend Mike Polumbo were recently retired professional football players, having played for several Canadian Football League franchises but all ending their careers as Stampeders in city they were born and raised. Although their athletic resumes were legitimate, transitioning into the sausage and deli business seems mystifying at first glance. All three, however, were raised to know and appreciate quality meat and vegetables as their families took an old-world approach to food. “Our parents are Italian immigrants who did a lot of home



preparation,” Tony said. “They made their own wine, they made their own sausages, and they jarred their own tomatoes. After the war, there wasn’t a lot of money in Italy so you had to be self-sufficient and they took those customs with them to Canada.” “We had fresh veggies for three quarters of the year because 90 percent of our backyard was a garden,” Tony added. Much like their appreciation for homegrown vegetables, knowing where the animals came from and the best ways to make sausages was learned early on. Once or twice a year, their parents would visit a family friend who owned a farm to buy a pig. The farmer would then raise the pig to a proper size before killing and butchering it for them. “We grew up as kids making it (sausage) at home with our parents,” said Mike Polumbo. “That’s where the idea came from. We knew the process of making the sausage and we tweaked the recipe here and there to please the masses but we stuck to the basic rules and steps.” Tony added: “The initial sausage recipe, the bulk of it, came from Tom’s mother-in-law so it was a trusted family recipe.” A trusted recipe using the best ingredients to make the best food, family favourite or not, doesn’t guarantee a successful sausage business right away. Much like football, Tom, Mike and Tony earned every inch of success through hard work, sacrifice and a commitment to each other through friends and family. “It’s like a marriage, you have your ups and downs,” Tony said. “You’re in tough times and you’re getting on each others nerves. The sports things make you realize you have to stick together through good and bad.”

Tom’s father-in-law, quality.” and restaurateur, the late “We’re always promoting Joe Tudda, who ran Villa our quality and over the Firenze in Bridgeland, years we’ve built our brand allowed Tom, Tony and Mike and now our brand speaks access to their kitchen to quality,” added Tom. work after hours, using an Through their commitment old-fashioned hand-crank to quality and becoming grinder. a sought-after product “We would go in there, in Calgary restaurants, early in the morning, before Spolumbo’s jumped at the they opened up and grind opportunity to branch out by Spolumbo’s Traditional Mediterranean and stuff the sausage in purchasing the 9th Avenue Shared Field Platter their kitchen basement and Deli in July of 1992. Serves 3-4 then get it all cleaned up for “It had some decent them,” Tony said. German sausage equipment 1 Spolumbo’s Pork & the spices, or cook the milder The new company that was old but a lot better Roasted Red Pepper flavours first and the spicy decided the best way to than the hand crank that we sausage link last. Only a little oil is needed make a name for itself was were using at Villa Firenze 1 Spolumbo’s Red Wine since the sausage will cook to convince chefs to use and it also had a deli in the & Orange sausage link in its own melt-off. Turn 1 Spolumbo’s Spicy Italian all sausages over halfway their sausages rather than front,” Tony said. sausage link through to sear and seal both selling them in supermarkets “We had no clue about the 60g Well-aged crumbly sides of the exposed meat. first. front,” Mike added. “We’re goat cheese (Pecorino, 2. Skewer the sausage pieces This wasn’t the quickest home-bred Italian boys, Crotonese, etc.) with toothpicks or to get fancy, way to establish a business who never made a thing for 60g Feta cheese use colour-coded spears to 60g Fresh ricotta cheese identify the different flavours. but it helped build some ourselves in our lives. We’re 2 cups Mixed, cracked and 3. Spoon the mixed olives much-needed credibility mama’s boys.” By Stampede dressed olives next to the sausages in the throughout Calgary’s food Week, however, Spolumbo’s (spiced with salt, center of the platter and add community. Deli & Fine Foods was open herbs and olive oil) cheeses to the other side “We wanted to be for business. 6-8 Slices of crusty bread or of the olives, so they don’t crostini melt from touching the hot different, in the sense that “Initially, the deli grew sausages. the sausage market was faster than the sausage end, 1. Slice sausages into equal 4. Garnish with whole basil pretty saturated with the big which was fine because we bite-sized rounds and fast fry leaves. Serve bread in a meat companies,” Tony said. needed the cash,” Tony said. them in a pan over medium separate basket or on a “Once they got their good Business became pretty heat in separate pans to cutting board at the table. avoid cross-contaminating cut, the loins, the ribs or steady, lines were getting what have you, they would longer and the deli actually make sausage with all the started losing customers Remo recommends combining this with a side of wine-seared figs and fresh grapes, or a traditional Italian tomato salad. by-products. So sausage because people couldn’t was always known as the get seats. Expansion Try with an Italian beer, such as lips and the ears and so on.” seemed the logical next Peroni Nastro Azzuro (6 x 330ml $13-$14) Spolumbo’s created their step, however not enough or a full-flavoured red wine, like the new own market by essentially progress had been made Trim Cabernet Sauvignon from California ($16-$17) offering sausages made with retail sales as the or Tuscan Rocca Guicciarda Chianti Classico DOCG from the best cuts of meat; sausages were not yet from Barone Ricasoli ($25-$27) leaner meat that didn’t available in supermarkets. render all it’s fat when “Chefs, restaurants and cooked, which would result in greasy shriveled sausages patrons of those restaurants would come to supermarkets and that lost a lot of their flavour and size. With their spice blends say, ‘Hey, why don’t you have Spolumbo’s?’” Mike said. “So it rooted in traditional Italian cooking, they also added striking got to the point that they had to carry it, which was big for us, depths of flavour that weren’t available at the time in cheaper absolutely.” sausages on the market. In 1995, Co-op began carrying their sausages and not long “We weren’t the same pricing as everybody else and there after the dominoes fell, with Spolumbo’s becoming available in was a reason for it,” Mike said. “Through word of mouth, it grocery store chains such as Safeway, Sobey’s, and Save-On changed and people understood that we were associated with Foods.



Where Spolumbo’s Deli & Fine Foods currently resides was once a grocery store before the boys at Spolumbo’s found it. As luck would have it, they scooped up the property for a reasonable price before property value in Inglewood went through the roof. “We got in just under the radar,” Tony said. “We bought the land but still needed a loan, but banks didn’t want to take a chance on some deli and sausage makers. We ended up winning the Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year award in 1997 and then that justified us as being successful and then the banks were willing to give us money to develop this new facility.” “Pretty well 80 per cent of the menu is the same as it was 20 years ago,” Tony added. “People still love the Spolumbo’s Special, the Sausage on a Bun and the Meatballs.” Their new facility, a 100-seat deli situated in front of the company’s 4,000 sq ft sausage-making plant, has been a fixture of the Inglewood community for the past 14 years. Success by no means came easy for Spolumbo’s founders though, and the lessons learned through decades of hard work resonate to this day. ”It wasn’t uncommon for us to put in 15, 16, 20-hour days at the beginning,” Mike said. We couldn’t afford to pay anyone to do it. The sacrifices and not getting paid, are very difficult. Not only was it hard on us, but on our families.” “We’re all very blessed that we’ve got three very wonderful ladies behind us, so it makes a big difference,” he added. “I don’t know if I could do that again but you did whatever you had to do to get things going. None of us were afraid of work.” “Make sure you’re passionate about it and don’t have the fear of failure,” Tom added. “Believe in what you do, eventually that will pave the way.”

Spolumbo’s Chicken Blueberry Spring Salad Serves 2 (or 4 as an appetizer) 1 Spolumbo’s Chicken Blueberry Sausage link (155g) Spring mixed salad greens ½ Fresh red pepper ½ Fresh yellow pepper ¼ cup Olive oil ¼ cup Sweet balsamic vinegar 1 Orange peeled/sectioned (Mandarin if possible) 1 Dollop of creamy goat cheese (optional) ¼ cup Blueberries 1. In a pre-heated oven, roast sausage for approximately 25 minutes at 375º F until cooked throughout. Place directly

into a bowl of ice to cool and rotate until chilled. 2. Juice one half of the orange and section the other for use later on. 3. Mix olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and the juice of the ½ orange to make a vinaigrette dressing, add salt to taste. 4. Thinly slice the sausage and both peppers, and add to the spring greens along with the other half of the orange. Toss all ingredients together, dress with vinaigrette, and consider finishing with a dollop of creamy goat cheese and some cracked black pepper.

Enjoy with a fruity beer such as Rickard’s White (12 x 340ml $22-$25) or a chilled, crisp Italian white wine such as Alois Lageder’s Riff Pinot Grigio ($17-$19) and Benefizion ($36-$38)


DARK SIDE by David Nuttall

Welcome to Culinaire’s first beer article. We hope to educate and inform you as a reader, and (hopefully) beer drinker, about the many diverse styles of beers available in Alberta. While we’ll concentrate on beer, we’ll also be traveling into the world of sakes, ciders, and meads along the way too, as beverages which tread somewhere between wine and beer. Culinaire’s focus is specifically the Calgary region first, with a secondary consideration to areas west, east and south of us. To that end, beer styles and examples mentioned will be readily available in the Alberta market, either in stores or in selected pubs/ restaurant/bars. In addition, each issue of Culinaire has a specific food focus, and beer pairings will be discussed which go with each month’s theme.

Visit www.culinairemagazine.ca regularly as we’ll be introducing you to a number of brand new products that have arrived in the province since the last issue.

So, now that the parameters of this space have been described, let’s identify exactly what we will be exploring. “Beer” is defined as an alcoholic beverage derived from fermenting malted or unmalted grain (usually, but not always, barley) in water with yeast and then flavouring it with hops. So this becomes the basic definition of beer; an alcoholic beverage made from malt, water, hops and yeast. It is no coincidence that the first three ingredients are the only ingredients that could be used in the production of beer under The Reinheitsgebot of 1516 (“Bavarian Purity Law” in English), a regulation concerning the production of beer in Germany. Note that yeast was not mentioned, only because its role in beer making was not understood until the 19th century. While the law has long since been repealed, it is the basic tenet that breweries throughout the world employ. Now the beer community has played fast and loose with this rule over the past 500 years, but the beer-drinking public has been the beneficiary. While the four main ingredients remain the base, the use of different grains, the addition of adjuncts such as fruit, vegetables, sweeteners, spices, herbs and whatever else pops into the brewmaster’s head, have led to a profusion of beer styles.

That said, almost all beers can be divided into two simple groups; ales and lagers. Ales are made with top fermenting yeasts and brewed at a warmer temperature (16-24°C) than lagers, which are made with bottom fermenting yeasts at cooler temperatures (7-14°C). While this overly simplistic description only scratches the surface of what makes up the wonderful world of beer, we’ll be delving into more detail in future articles. As it’s our Meat and Game issue, we’re concentrating on BOLD beers, and while Webster’s defines bold as “standing out prominently”, in beer parlance that could refer to colour, flavour, sweetness, hoppiness, alcohol content or anything else which makes a beer different from “normal” (a word that is impossible to attribute to beer). To be clear, beer styles are not always cleanly pigeonholed. Separate styles are far more fluid (no pun intended) and many have sub-categories, which causes much overlapping. However for our meaty issue, we’ll explore higher alcohol beers, specifically Bocks and Strong Ales.



Strong Ales

Bock Beers

As we’re now into spring, Bock beer is a natural. Its very presence in a glass brings to mind the end of winter and the promise of warmer months. Traditional bock was originally brewed in Einbeck in Northern Germany as early as the 14th century. Adopted by brewers in Munich in the 17th century, the word “bock” was a Bavarian corruption of the word “Einbeck”. It’s also the name for a male goat in German, an animal often found around breweries, often used as a four legged garbage disposal, and is frequently part of the logos of many bock beers. Bock beers represent dark strong beers (over 6% ABV. up to as much as 10% ABV.) with strong, complex malty flavours. While indigenous to Germany, like almost all beer styles, it has spread to many breweries in North America and beyond. Ayinger Weizen-Bock from Germany, and Portugal’s Super Bock are examples available in Alberta. While it used to be just a seasonal beer brewed in the Spring, today it is commonly brewed all year round. Maibock (Mai is German for May), which is a lighter coloured, less malty, but more bitter and hoppy beer than traditional bock, tends to be the only style that is still seasonal. Holsten Maibock from Germany is available all year round, and Paddock Wood Maibock from Saskatoon is seasonal, but there will be others arriving in May, so look for them in your local liquor store. Dopplebocks (double- bocks) were first created in Munich in 1629, by the monks of St. Francis of Paula. Naming their beer Salvator, that became the generic name for this style until the 20th century, when the now commercial Paulaner Brewery claimed the name. Most brewers still use the suffix “ator” in the names of their Dopplebocks as an homage to the original. This style is bolder, darker and richer than the varieties mentioned above. While the original Salvator seems to have dropped out of the Alberta market, several excellent examples can be found. Schneider Weisse Aventinus from Germany, Eggenberg’s Dopplebock from Austria, and Quebec’s Les Trois Mousquetaire’s Dopplebock are all well worth trying.



For strong ales we will look at three styles; American and British Barley Wines, and Strong Scotch Ale. All are known for their high alcohol, and many can be stored for years, as their flavours develop in the bottle. Barley wines have their origins in 18th century England as strong ales that could replace the (usually French) wine on the tables of the upper class. With its dark copper colour, high alcohol content and full-bodied malty and hoppy flavour, this beer can change characteristics and mature over time, much like wine. While it seems almost no British Barley Wine makes it into Alberta anymore, several Canadian breweries have taken up the mantle and produce barley wines true to this style. Garrison’s Ol’ Fog Burner out of Halifax, Edmonton’s Alley Kat Olde Deuteronomy, Phillips Trainwreck from Victoria, Dieu du Ciel Solstice d’hiver from Quebec, and Mill Street’s Barley Wine from Toronto all can be found locally. American Barley Wine is similar to the British but with more hops (a common theme, as we’ll see in forthcoming articles)

and even a higher alcohol content, sometimes as much as 12% ABV. The use of American hops also contributes to unique aromas and flavours. Rogue’s Old Crustacean is found in Alberta. Strong Scotch Ale, also known as “wee heavy” is the richest tasting of the Scotch Ales. Not quite as alcoholic as barley wine, at usually 6-10% ABV., they also have a malty sweetness to them and far less hopping too. Historically, Scotland had no native hops, and they were an expensive additive, so the brewmasters used them judiciously. In addition, Scotland’s cooler climate translated into cooler fermentation temperatures, resulting in a clean, more intense malt flavour. Traquair House Ale is a true native Scottish brands of this style. Cannery’s Squire Scotch Ales of B.C. and New Brunswick’s Pumphouse Scotch Ale are Canadian interpretations of the style. From the U.S., Pike’s Kiltlifter can also be found in Alberta.

Meat and Game Pairing with Beer

With apologies to red wine drinkers, beer is as least an even match in pairing with meat, and in many cases even better. The carbonation in beer helps cut through fatty textures in the mouth, and the malty, caramel flavours of many beers are a natural pairing to grilled, roasted and charred cuts of meat. In addition, beer’s versatility and many varieties allows it to pair up with any sauce, marinade, gravy, glaze, seasoning, au jus, etc. that often accompanies meats. Beer can actually be used in any of the above to add flavours and textures that wine never can. Beer’s acidity in marinades also naturally tenderizes the meat. As meat comes from different animals, can be cut and cooked in a variety of ways and served with a plethora of flavourings, there is often more than one beer style that will match a dish. The important rules are not much different than pairing with wine: keep the meat and accompanying dishes in balance with the beer; light bodied beers go with lighter fare, and bolder beers go with heavier dishes. Beers can complement or contrast with the meal. Let the hoppiness play with the spiciness or fattiness of the meat. Almost every beer goes with some kind of meat, and every meat has a matching beer. Most importantly, let your own palate be the ultimate arbitrator. Experiment with different beers with different meats and see which ones you enjoy.

OUR PAIRING RECOMMENDATIONS Steak { Roast Beef { Liver { Hamburger { BBQ Beef { Veal { Roast Lamb { Shish Kabob { Ham { Roast Pork {

Porter, Brown Ale Scotch Ale, Amber Ale, Pale Ale, ESB, Dunkelweisen, Saisson, English Bitter Trappist Ale, Dark Lager Amber Lager, Pilsner, Pale Ale Rauchbier, Porter, Brown Ale, Oktoberfest-Marzen, Pale Ale Pilsner, Saisson, Stout, Smoked Ale, English Bitter, Porter English Bitter, IPA, Doppelbock, Trappist Ale Irish Stout, Bock, Amber Lager, ESB, Vienna Lager, Altbier Smoked Ale, Stout, Brown Ale Amber lager, Vienna Lager, Oktoberfest-Marzen

Sausages {

Almost any beer, especially German and Belgian, depending on spiciness.

Wild Boar {

Barley Wine, Double IPA, oak-aged beers, ESB

Venison { Rabbit { Stews { Meat Pies {

ESB, Brown Ale, Barley Wine, IPA, Porter, Dunkelweisen Belgian Ales Barley Wine, Stout, Smoked Ale, English Bitter Porter, Stout, English Bitter, Dunkelweisen

Flemish Beef Serves 2-3

Dark beers add richness and depth to slow-cooked meat dishes. Here’s an easy and delicious Belgian recipe, requiring very little preparation time, using brown ale instead of stock for the stew. Any brown ale will pair well with this dish, but why not get in the spirit and try one from Belgium or a dubbel like Mikkeller Jackie Brown, or a dark Trappist ale such as those from Orval, Westmalle, Chimay, Achel, or Rochefort. 1 tbsp oil for cooking 350g stewing beef cut into 1” cubes 1 large onion (diced) 1 clove garlic (crushed) 2 strips of bacon (diced) 300ml brown ale ¼ tsp ground nutmeg 1 tsp vinegar 1 bay leaf 1 tsp sugar 2 carrots (chopped) 2 tsp cornstarch in 2 tbsp water Fried mushrooms to garnish Salt & pepper to taste

1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and brown the meat all over. Transfer to an ovenproof dish. 2. Fry the onion, garlic and bacon in the pan till browned. 3. Drain off any excess fat then stir in the brown ale, plenty of salt and pepper, the nutmeg, bay leaf, vinegar and sugar, and stir well. 4. Cover tightly and cook at 350˚F for about 1 1/2 hours or until meat is tender. 5. Discard the bay leaf and thicken with the dissolved cornflour (optional). Garnish with fried mushrooms.



Hoping For The Best?

Prepare For



by Corinne Keddie photos by Justin Poulsen

There’s a lot more to dining out than the meal alone. At Culinaire, we’re looking taking a closer look at the design and ambience of the restaurant to see how it enhances the overall experience.

If you remember the rustic look and feel of Wildwood, you might think that

some of the design remains in Wurst. The layout of the restaurant has some similarities, including a long bar along the north wall, the raised dining area and washrooms at the back, and a lower “beer” level. But talking to Sara Ward, Director of Interior Design at McKinley Burkart, the restaurant was entirely gutted and nothing original remains, other than the interior brick wall, now painted white and exterior window walls. The history of the building, as Franzl’s Gasthaus, played into the overall concept. What was the former Mission Bridge Brewing Company in the basement is now a Bavarian-inspired beer hall. It comes complete with long wooden picnic tables, made of white oak imported from Germany for authenticity, and a feature Stein locker wall. Similar to other restaurants that have wine or scotch storage areas for patrons, Wurst customers can rent a locker to store their personal and somewhat eclectic stein collection. Each year they donate a locker or two to a charity auction. In the initial planning stages, rather than focusing on maximizing the seating upstairs, a large opening was cut into the floor at the front of the building. From here you can look down to the lower level and the prominent stein locker wall. As a result, you now enter both the



restaurant and the beer hall across a steel bridge that spans the new opening. “This was the single most important decision we made to tie the two spaces together,” says Ward, “We really wanted people walking along the street to be able to look in and see the energy downstairs. We felt this would be critical to its success.” The space has an industrial-meetsold-prairie-barn look and feel, with exposed steel structure, detailing and mesh railings. The ceiling and back bar millwork of the restaurant is made from reclaimed barn wood and the floor is a hand-scraped oak in a similar tone. The exposed ductwork is painted black. The lighting, also black, is almost utilitarian, like something you would see in a warehouse and is meant to just blend in to the background. This allows the trees, with clear bulbs strung throughout, to become the main feature in the space, especially at night. “They give the restaurant a sense of brand and concept – the biergarten – as well as life and colour, says owner Mike Mendelman, “It feels like sitting in a park in the middle of our eight month winter in Calgary.” Functionally, the trees help to create separation and a sense of intimacy for customers within the large open dining

area. “No they are not fake,” laughs Ward, “they are actually preserved. We sourced them from a company in the US who outfits Disneyland.” This tie to nature will relate to the new pergolacovered south-facing patio, which they

hope to have opened for this summer. The furniture is a contrast of rustic fragile-looking wood chairs, elegant tufted leather banquettes, and almost over-scaled linen upholstered chairs and barstools. They have turned wood legs and rivet detailing and are reminiscent of something you might have found in an old castle. The hard lines of the beer hall tables strike a contrast to the upper level. But do not let the look of these fool you, as most nights there is nary a seat to be found! And while the design is definitely not kitsch, there are a few whimsical elements dispersed throughout the design. Some of these, such as the cuckoo clocks, are perhaps expected. While others, like the deer skulls with antlers or the large dark and moody portrait of a well-endowed pig, by artist Brad Woodfin, might make you pause in wonder or delight. The success of Wurst is that it ties the food program, the branding and the interior design together to create an entire experience. And whether you are looking to have a quick beer with some friends, a business lunch or a romantic dinner, you will find a place designed for all.



Wendy Brownie presents

THE PERFECT TABLE Whether you’re planning a formal dinner or a casual get-together, if you have the essentials of a well-set table, you’ll be the most confident host no matter what the occasion. Formal settings can vary by country and there’s no right or wrong way, but understanding a few basic guidelines will come in very handy.

After the guests and menu are decided, try to think of it as not just setting the table, but having fun creating an atmosphere for the best dining experience. The following components supplied by our resident, ‘Jeeves the Butler’, will help you to set the perfect formal table:  Start off with table linens to highlight the occasion or create a theme. These can be tablecloths, place mats or runners, and coordinating napkins.  Place a cover plate/charger in front of each chair.  Plates and dishes for salad, soup and dinner are placed on the charger, which stays on the table until the dessert course is served.  With cutlery, we work from outside to inside in order of use, with forks on the left. For example, if salad is being served after the main course, then the salad fork will sit closer to the dinner plate.


 When more than one knife is to be used, it is placed outside and to the right, of the dinner knife.  The bread plate is placed to the left of the forks with the butter knife facing left and the blade down.  The soup spoon sits outside and to the right of the dinner knife.  Dessert utensils lie flat across the top of the place setting, parallel to each other with the dessert spoon on top facing left, and dessert fork below facing right.  Multiple glasses form a triangle to the right of the place setting above the knives. The water glass is set at the tip of the knife and the wine glass(es) just beside it, with the white wine glass placed closest and the red wine glass to its right.


The Informal Plan, however, is your opportunity to follow the motto: ‘freestyle mixing and matching!’ Here, RELAX is the key word. Individual place settings or buffet-style servings come into play – whatever fits your mood – no rules. Each place setting can even be different to create a casual atmosphere for your dinner. Bon appetit!

The Soup Kitchen We all love homemade soups - they’re so rewarding and comforting. French chef, Thierry Meret, shares his recipes for two meaty soups that are very easy to prepare and incredibly delicious!

Bacon & Corn Chowder

(Serves 4-6)

Chowder is a generic name for a wide variety of meat, seafood or vegetable thickened soups. While the method of making chowder is the same across many recipes, the vast choice of ingredients can provide chefs with unlimited creations. 300g 1 1 2 2 Tbsp 50g 1L 1 Tbsp 1 tsp 1 tsp ½ tsp 1 cup 1 1 300ml 1 tsp

Bacon (diced) Yellow Onion (minced) Lg Carrot (diced) Celery Stalks (diced) Olive Oil Flour Chicken Stock Sea Salt White Pepper (ground) Cayenne Pepper Ground Nutmeg Corn Kernels Red Pepper (diced) Green Pepper (diced) Cream 10% Worcestershire Sauce

1. In a pot large enough to hold all the ingredients, place the diced bacon and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the fat has rendered. 2. Add the onion, carrot and celery and 1 Tbs of olive oil, and cook on low heat until just soft. 3. Add the flour and mix well until the flour starts to bubble gently. 4. Remove from the heat and add chicken stock until well mixed, whisking constantly. Add the corn, nutmeg, salt, and both the white and cayenne pepper.

5. Keep whisking on high heat for about 3-5 minutes or until the soup starts to thicken. 6. Simmer for 20 minutes for the flavours to develop (stirring occasionally to prevent the soup from sticking). 7. In a separate frying pan, cook the red and green peppers in the remaining olive oil with salt and pepper until just soft. Add to the soup. 8. Add the cream and cook gently for another 3 minutes. *Adjust seasoning with the Worcestershire sauce.

Chef’s Tip: Use smoked bacon along with a Tbsp of maple syrup for deeper flavour.

Lyonnaise Steak & Onion Soup

(Serves 3-4)

This soup is a simple French onion soup that has been simmered with lean beef for a deeper and richer flavour. It’s addictive! 1 Tbsp 1½ Tbsp 1 cup 3 ¼ cup 3 cups 2 cups 3 1 2½ tsp 1 tsp

Unsalted Butter Canola Oil Lean Beef * (cubed) Yellow Onions (sliced) Sherry or Dry White Wine Beef Broth Chicken Broth Sprigs of Fresh Thyme Bay Leaf Sea Salt Ground Black Pepper

* Try using Top Sirloin or Round Roast.

1. Peel the onions and cut lengthwise into thin slices. 2. Heat butter and oil in a pan large enough to hold all the ingredients. When hot, add the diced beef and brown gently. Remove the meat and set aside. 3. Add the sliced onions to the pot with 1½ tsp of salt and stir well. Allow the onions to brown evenly at medium heat, stirring occasionally (this may take up to 20 minutes). 4. When the onions are browned, turn the heat to low and add the sherry/wine, followed by the beef and chicken broths.

5. Add the herbs, diced beef and seasoning, and bring to a simmer. 6. Gently simmer the soup for about 1½ hours, occasionally skimming the surface with a small ladle to remove any traces of fat. 7. Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves, taste the soup and adjust seasoning if required. Serve with a slice of toasted baguette, topped with melted Gruyere cheese or a generous slice of Tomme de Savoie, a mild, semi-firm cow’s milk cheese from the French Alps.

Chef’s Tip: If making the soup ahead, put in a container that is placed in a cold-water bath (such as the kitchen sink), and stir the soup to speed up the cooling process. Refrigerate as soon as the soup reaches room temperature. This will increase your soup’s shelf life and will preserve its entire flavour!

Can Yes, You

Go Home

Again (... and flourish!) story and photos by Stephanie Arsenault


It’s a chilly Thursday

afternoon and the white spring sun is streaming into the kitchen at Calgary’s Open Range. Chef and owner,

Dwayne Ennest, moves around seamlessly, simultaneously cooking up some Braised Buffalo Short Ribs (one of his favourites) and preparing a rib steak for the grill. I watch on, in awe of his ease, while the scent of the nearby seasonings permeates my nose. “We make all our own spice rubs,” he says, nudging a bowl of green herbs mixed with local canola oil and a combination of spices. I nod, and then watch on as he generously coats the hefty flank steak in the mixture. Ennest, 47, is a staple in the city’s food scene (he’s the man originally behind Diner Deluxe, Vue Café, Piato Greek House, and Big Fish) and has been involved with some of the most successful restaurants in Calgary. There’s no doubt that he’s a big player in the current culinary boom; in addition to the bevy of restaurant success stories under his belt, Ennest was also the original Executive Chef at River Café, Executive Chef at Mescalero, and Day Chef at Teatro. Is he accomplished?



Absolutely. Pretentious? Not in the slightest. In fact, Calgary-born Ennest comes from humble beginnings; he was raised, for the most part, in Horsefly, British Columbia, just north of William’s Lake. “When I grew up we didn’t have electricity. We had a wood stove and kerosene lamps,” he says, “we grew up in the country.” He smiles at the memory of his mom being a camp cook, smoking her own salmon, making her own sausage (a process that Ennest himself now does for his restaurant). He takes a sip from his mug of hot tea as he talks about moving out of the family home at a very young

age and getting a job as a dishwasher at a nearby dude ranch. The chef at the traditional European steakhouse Springhouse Trails Ranch took Ennest under his wing, encouraged him, and pointed him in the right direction. His love affair with cooking had taken root, but Ennest didn’t run off to culinary school after his experience at the ranch. Instead, he did what he refers to as “on the job training,” but agrees that going to school is a good option for many. “(It) gives you a certain background, of course, but I think you learn more in the industry itself… the applications are hands-on,

and for me, that’s the way I learn best.” He credits the people he has met along the way – such as Sal Howell, the founder and proprietor of the River Café – for much of his success, as well as their ideas and perceptions of success in the industry. “I’m influenced by the people who put it out there, that take chances.” He’s taken this influence and the advice of others and combined it with his own strong work ethic to make Open Range what it is today: a local ingredient-focused restaurant that highlights the best of Alberta’s farmers. Ennest, a big



advocate of the local food movement, has close relationships with many of the province’s farmers, and insists, “I’m not a preacher, but we need to do as much as we can for our local economy and our farmers and producers… it’s our responsibility.” Preacher or not, Ennest follows his own advice and lightly drizzles some more local canola oil on a white plate, creating a prairie-tinted halo around the grilled steak. Aside from finding inspiration within Alberta, Ennest finds travel to be one of the best ways to provoke his palate. He created Open Range’s next-door neighbour, Big Fish, after a few visits to Vancouver oyster bars. “We (Ennest and his wife, the aptly named Alberta) realized that Calgary needed more of an approachable restaurant; something more casual with the feel of an east coast dockside café.” Across the globe, one of Ennest’s favourite food-oriented destinations is France. He loves French cooking methods and attitudes, especially in Paris, “What I love about Parisians is that they believe their cuisine has the background to be not messed with – it can be as simple or extravagant as you want, but, it’s traditional.” He also loves the way people eat in Greece because they live off of what they produce locally – while it’s a growing trend here, it’s how the Greeks have always done it. It’s also how he and his wife try to eat at home: using simple and fresh ingredients. For Ennest, work life and family life mirror one another; he and Alberta are partners in their company, Cuisine Concepts Restaurant Group. “My wife and I are very close,” he says, grinning, “she’s as passionate as I



am, so it’s a really good marriage in life as well as business.” Despite the long hours and demanding schedule of Ennest’s position, his life doesn’t revolve entirely around food. He stresses that it’s important to have a hobby outside of his day job; something that will really separate work from home life. He finds this in fly fishing (a hobby he’s recently taken up for the second time), and in collecting vintage cars. When asked how many he has, he silently counts them out on his fingers and says, “Seven right now, five of which are vintage.” He adds that the ‘61 Austin Healey 3000 may be his most beloved, but his first car, a ‘73 MGB convertible comes in a close second because of sentimental value. When the meal is done, he sits down in the sunlight of the quiet dining room; hanging above him is a stunning painting from the Virginia Christopher Fine Art Gallery (Virginia Christopher is his mother-in-law). Though the room is silent in this moment, it will surely be a full house later on in the evening. Ennest, in his white chef coat, cuts into the flank steak and I watch as the house-made Chilli Pine Nut Butter melts deliciously over the grilled meat. Right then, it occurs to me that for Chef Dwayne Ennest, life has come full circle in the most wonderful way.

Chef Dwayne Ennest’s

Braised Buffalo Short Ribs with Ancho Chillies (Serves 6) Meat: 2½ kg of 2-inch buffalo short ribs (separated)

Rub Mixture (combine): 1 tsp Salt 1 tsp Pepper 2 Tbsp Crushed, Dried Ancho Chilies 1 Tbsp Roasted garlic 1 Tbsp Dried Epazote 1 cup Fresh Lime Juice

Chef Dwayne Ennest’s

Rib Steak Spice Rub Part A: ½ cup Whole Fennel ¼ cup Whole Coriander ¼ cup Mixed Peppercorns

Part B: ½ cup Greek Oregano ¼ cup Lemon Balm ¼ cup Savory 2 Tbsp Chamomile Tea 1 cup Sea Salt

1. Toast and grind Part A. 2. In a medium bowl, mix Part B and pulse in a spice grinder until you have a coarse texture, and then combine this mixture with Part A. 3. Rub into raw rib steak prior to grilling.

Braising Stock (combine): 1 L 1L ½L 2 Tbsp

1. Marinate ribs in rub mixture for 2 hours 2. Roast at 500º F until golden, about 15 minutes 3. Remove from oven and drain any excess oil 4. Cover with braising stock 5. Bake at 375º F until tender, about 3 hours 6. Serve over mashed potatoes or polenta

BBQ Sauce (your fav) Veal Stock Red Wine Rosemary (chopped)

TRY PAIRING WITH: Hillside Estates Pinotage, British Columbia ($31-$33) Henry of Pelham Baco Noir, Ontario ($18-$20) Rutting Elk Red Amber Ale, Grizzly Paw Brewing, Alberta ($12-$13, 6 x 341ml)



The King is Cab...

Long Live the King! by Tom Firth



Ah,thecabernet sauvignon, classic vitis vinifera grape loved the world over. It’s the heart of Bordeaux, a staple of the new world and the soul of red wine lovers everywhere. Cabernet’s gift and curse is its golden period… not only Coonawarra Lombardy to Langhe. distinctive varietal flavours that taste and Margaret River come to mind, but Yet, despite its ubiquitous presence, the same the world over, yet is still able also newer areas in South Australia having cabernet sauvignon on the label to express the terroir of the region it is (such as) Robe and Wrattonbully.” Even can sell a lot of wine. Its success also grown in. Italy has come around to finding the generates its fair share of detractors The result of crossing cabernet strengths of blending sangiovese with since the popularity of the grape can franc and sauvignon blanc, its small cabernet sauvignon in super Tuscans mean that indigenous varietals, or even berries allow for a great skin-to-pulp blends, and in other regions from varietals that are better suited for an ratio, meaning cabernet sauvignon area, are ripped out and replanted with can pack a punch. Reaching good old cabernet sauvignon. its best in slightly warmer Cabernet possesses an ability climates where it can avoid to marry well with new oak excessive greenness or harder making it an easy choice for tannins, cabernet is pretty new world palates that like Concha y Toro much planted, and thrives their wine a little richer and fruit 2009 Marques de Casa Concha wherever a viticulturist has driven. Cabernet Sauvignon a mind to plant it. Classic To talk about cabernet, it has Maipo Valley, Chile characteristics of cabernet to be mentioned that it isn’t Classic aromas of cabernet sauvignon, cherry, cassis, include bell pepper, cassis that common to be bottled as graphite, and cedar with nice weight and balance in the or blackcurrant, black cherry, a 100 percent cabernet. The mouth. Excellent value. mint, cedar, and often tobacco famous Bordeaux blend of (around $20) as well. Providing backbone in France typically sees cabernet red blends, the natural acidity sauvignon blended with Maculan and intensity of its tannins also cabernet franc, merlot, and to Palazotto Cabernet Sauvignon mean that most expressions lesser extents, petit verdot and Breganze, Italy of cabernet sauvignon will malbec. Most often, it will be Made with 100 percent cabernet sauvignon, varietally age well. Generally speaking, blended with merlot to soften sound aromas with a pleasing cocoa quality. Big fruits on the palate with equally big tannins. most cabernets will mature in the tannins in other parts of the (around $48) the cellar up to 5 or 10 years world, though the Australian’s before gradually declining. aren’t afraid to blend it with Penfolds Rare (and usually expensive) Shiraz. 2008 Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon examples may last closer to 20 If you enjoy red wine, you South Australia years and beyond. are probably familiar with Despite being found all over cabernet sauvignon, and An excellent example of Australian cabernet, big cedar and cassis characters, largish tannins, plenty of the viticultural world, cabernet whether it’s enjoyed at home oak, and a big, slightly tarry finish to round it out. At a has had its best success in or brought as a guest, in a suitable price for drinking now or cellaring 5-10 years. California, with Napa Valley restaurant or en plein air, its (around $40) leading the way in a number of distinctive characteristics pair offerings ranging from everyday well with our famous Alberta Miguel Torres Chile wines to break-the-bank beef as well as lamb or game. 2010 Santa Digna pricing. Australia’s Coonawarra Whether in the dead of winter Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé cabernets also have a wellor at the first barbecue of the Curico, Chile deserved reputation for season, someone is opening A very well made example of a varietal rosé that retains their quality. Penfolds Chief up a bottle of cabernet the cabernet character. Herb and cherry, with cedar and Winemaker Peter Gago feels sauvignon - and enjoying it! fresh strawberries. Fairly dry, and perfect for outdoor that, “Australian Cabernet sipping. Pairs well with seafood and Asian cuisine. continues to shine through a (around $15)

Tom’s Recommendations



Taking the Stage



by Tom Firth

Malbec: a grape that was generally doomed

to be overshadowed by other varieties - until it found a new home in Argentina. Malbec’s history starts where it was at its best, a minor blending grape in the famous red wines of Bordeaux. It ripened irregularly, was susceptible to a variety of diseases, and was generally falling out of favour. After a severe frost in Bordeaux in 1956, in which a number of vines were lost, malbec (which was hit harder than other varieties) wasn’t replanted to the same extent that cabernet and merlot were. In Cahors, where it is sometimes still called auxerrois, malbec is the dominant red grape but is frequently at the whims of the vintage. In the very best years, the wine is incredible, while in poor or even average years, the wine could be forgettable. Then along came Argentina. Well, it might be fairer to say that Argentina caught up. Malbec has been planted in



Argentina since the 1850’s with cuttings from Bordeaux, and the European-heritage Argentineans were drinking a lot of wine. It was in the 1980’s, with falling domestic consumption, that some producers started looking towards export markets for their juice. It was also around this time that low prices coupled with the falling consumption, meant that a significant number of older vines were being pulled out as well. It wasn’t until the 90’s that producers caught on to what they had with their malbec and started planting again with an eye towards quality rather than quantity. The love affair with Argentinean malbec had begun. The magic ingredient for malbec was the Mendoza region of Argentina, the higher altitude, continental climate, and alluvial

Tom’s Recommendations Vina Cobos

2008 Bramare Malbec Lujan de Cuyo, Argentina

A top tier malbec, look for intense fruits of blueberry, black cherry, and prune with sage, menthol, and smoky qualities. Big, teeth staining, and massively structured, it’s a wine for special occasions or careful cellaring. (around $43)


2009 Malbec

Mendoza, Argentina This is the entry level malbec from one of the most highly esteemed wine families in Argentina. Look for ripe fruits, mocha, and blueberry notes with spice, well made and a pleasure to drink. (about $17)


2009 Broquel Malbec Mendoza, Argentina

Fruit driven with mocha, black truffle, fig, and chocolate qualities. It’s a barbecue gem due to its easy to drink nature and beef-friendly tannins. (around $17)


2008 Malbec

Mendoza, Argentina A producer specializing in malbec and well known for top quality at every price tier. Incredibly intense fruits, bold tannins, and great spice tones. Look for the single vineyard offerings if you can. All are suitable for cellaring or with some decanting, for drinking with friends. (around $25 / $40-$100 for single vineyards)

Clos la Coutale

2009 Cahors France

soils just seemed to work for producing the kind of red wine that consumers were looking for. At its finest, malbec is about deep colour, big tannins, ripe damson plum fruit, and deep flavours often including violets, raisin, and tobacco. It also works well with a generous amount of oak, perfect for budding North American palates. The success of malbec has spawned high quality plantings and vineyard selection around the world. Malbec can be found in Australia, Chile, New Zealand, and even in Canada. Most are produced in the riper, Argentine style but expect, as palates change, to see more malbec available in Alberta in the style of Cahors. Pairing malbec with food is incredibly easy in Calgary.

The French expression of malbec (blended with 20 percent merlot) earthy, spicy, and with large tannins, its distinctively malbec, but with the fruit a little dialled down. (around $20)

Beef, lots and lots of beef is where to start. Malbec is nearly ideal for the barbecue when the weather is nice enough to enjoy outdoor grilling and entertaining. Homemade bacon cheeseburgers, steak with mushrooms, or even fuller flavoured lamb dishes and cheese plates. Old world malbec is generally best suited to earthy or beef based stews or prime ribs, but those lush new world styles favour barbecue-friendly fare and grilling sauces.



Sippin’ World On Top Of The

book review by Peter Vetsch

Vino Argentino:

An Insider’s Guide to the Wines and Wine Country of Argentina by Laura Catena Chronicle Books $31.95

The Catena family

has been central to the recent modern quality revolution in Argentine wine and the global ascent of Malbec. This rare inside look at the country’s wine industry through the eyes of one of its top producers, gracefully blends professional insight with a welcoming sense of familiarity born of experience


and a powerful underlying passion for the land and its wines. Catena’s writing style is warm and personal, and the accompanying array of breathtaking, full-colour photographs brings the prose to life on the page. And Vino Argentino does not just stop at wine. It also explores regional cuisine and recipes, colonial history, and the other threads of cultural fabric that tie each and every bottle to its homeland. Part viticulture textbook, part family biography, and part travel guide, this is a truly holistic journey through one of the world’s most dynamic and popular wine regions. It is a true joy to read and an enticing invitation to see this remarkable land for yourself. Vino Argentino is available at: Pages on Kensington

1135 Kensington Road NW, Calgary, AB.



WINE CONTEST Argentina’s vineyards are planted at higher altitudes than any others in the world. Some grow over 5,000 feet above sea level, in the foothills of the Andes. In the right conditions, altitude and fine wine make an incredible pairing. If you have discovered this incredible combination for yourself, we want you to tell us all about it! We have a hardcover edition of Vino Argentino, autographed by the author, Laura Catena, and are eager to find it a worthy home. Enter your name to win this incredible book about all things wine-related in Argentina! Head to our website at www.culinairemagazine.ca and send us the tale of your best all-time highaltitude wine experience. Have you ever cracked a special bottle while on a mountain top?… in a ski chalet?… on a helicopter flight?… or otherwise on top of the world? Fill us in and let us know what you did, what you opened, and of course, how it tasted. We’ll publish the top response and declare our favourite high-altitude vinous adventure as the winner. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Here Honey, Cook This: Seven Steps to Delectable Deer by Jeff Collins

Times change. Back when every man was

expected to be a hunter-gatherer, and refrigeration was hard to

come by, venison didn’t taste right unless it was gamy. The words used to describe that taste range from “tangy” to “tainted”. Today, it is hard to persuade anyone who grew up on farm-raised beef, to appreciate a “gamy” piece of meat. A careful hunter is adept at keeping that wild taste to a minimum. So the recipe for preparing delectable deer has seven distinct steps.



Step 1: Shoot Straight

I became a hunter on a crisp fall day, about ten years ago. That morning, I found myself looking through a riflescope at a big fat mule deer walking along a sand bar in the middle of the Milk River. “Easy, “said my friend, mentor and guide, Roy, “take your time.” Seconds later, a shot rang out. The animal spun around twice and gently dropped to the ground. “Ok”, said Roy, “Don’t shoot again. She’s done. Let her go in peace.” Hunters will tell you the work starts after the shooting stops. If you don’t shoot the animal fatally, the first time, you are then obliged by the ethics of the hunting community to search for, and finish off, that wounded animal. It is almost guaranteed that your meat will be flooded with adrenaline, one of the factors that cause “haut goût”. So a single, fatal shot is the first step to serving someone a fine venison entrée.

Step 2: Formal Field-Dressing

There is nothing delicate about field-dressing a deer. It is butchery, not surgery. Still, care must be taken if you are to avoid serving your family venison that tastes more like liver. Try to keep hair off the meat as it causes gaminess, and avoid prolonged contact between the meat and the animal’s fluids so as not to contaminate the delicious roasts.

Step 3: Keep Cool

I have been blessed with great weather on most of my hunting trips. Once, it was too great. My buddies and I had a very productive hunt on private land near Fort MacLeod. We piled our carcasses into the back of a pick-up truck. When we pulled the animals out in Calgary to hang and butcher them, there was a distinctive petroleum smell to one of the bigger deer on the bottom of the truck bed. “No good”, said Tim, the most senior hunter among us. The rest of us agreed. If your deer meat smells bad, don’t cook it.

Step 4: Masterful Meat-Cutting

The guys I hunt with take terrific pride in the skilful, dare I say, picky way they butcher deer. The animal is hung, skinned, quartered, and then deboned. After that, the “spiffy up” team steps in, and each piece is checked for hair, fat, and the white membrane that divides the muscle groups. Only when a piece is clean and reflects that lovely uniform burgundy colour, does it go in either a zip-lock freezer bag, or a larger “burger bag”.

Step 5: A Rare Bit

If you like meat medium to well done, steer clear of deer. In cooking your deer, sear the meat in a well-oiled pan. Use a meat thermometer and be brave. The second it starts to hover between 40º and 50º C, pull it away from the heat, and let it rest. If you slice into it and it is not blue rare in the center, surrounded by rare, then a thin crust of well done, you will not like the tough texture of your meat.

Step 8: What to Drink

Step 6: Add Fat & Moisture

Deer meat dries out quickly when cooked so brining the meat before you cook it is a great idea. I will often take out a frozen piece of deer, open up the zip-lock bag, put a scoop of salt, and a scoop of sugar, and then fill it with cold water. The meat thaws in the brine. It really helps to keep the deer moist. If I am sautéing medallions of venison, I make the pan screaming hot, and then add a fair bit of oil with a high smoking point, to sear it. Often searing is all I do depending on the thickness of the medallions. See Step 5. Marinades are wonderful with game. Even an oil and vinegar salad dressing works wonders. Brine first, marinate second, cook third and your venison will be a hit.

Step 7: Serve With Pride

After I shot my first deer, Roy asked me to hold my arm straight out from my body. I did as I was told. My hand shook like a fall leaf in a stiff breeze. “Good”, said Roy, “you’ve taken a life and you are conscious of that. I worry about hunters who are stone cold”. I am proud of being a hunter. My friends and I consider ourselves part of “Alberta’s Game Management Team”. We are harvesting the bounty offered by this beautiful province. So I serve it with pride.

by Carmen Mathes

After all that work putting together a gorgeous meal, there’s still one more question to ask yourself: What kind of wine would best complement this dish? Here are some suggestions for the wines that pair best with venison, elk and moose. Game meats like these love a Cabernet Sauvignon in all its delicious iterations, from Bordeaux blends to Super Tuscans, such as Tenuta San Guido’s La Difese ($33-$35) or their Sassicaia ($160-$165). Here, the sauce must be taken into account, for the difference between wine to pair with an elk medallion in béarnaise sauce and a deer roast with a red wine reduction is huge. Match bolder wines with heavier sauces and save the Merlot and Zinfandel for lighter preparations.

FINDING FOOD Did you know that there was once a time when we couldn’t buy our groceries at supermarkets that were open 24/7? How on earth did we eat?

story and photo by Brenda Holder

The question of finding food in early-mid spring is a very common one from people on my cultural walks. Though it can be challenging at this time of year, it is still fairly abundant if you know what to look for. Game is present, and in some cases our snows make it a little easier to find animals, whereas in other cases such as in a big storm, it can make it more difficult. But we mustn’t forget there is a plethora of food in plants as well. Yes, even in the cold, and as I write in mid-April, it’s snowing outside!

Witches Hair or Horses

Hair, the common name for black tree lichen known as Bryoria

fremontii, is very common in the mountain regions outside Calgary, and grows profusely in non-polluted areas. Though it is edible, you must be confident in your ability to identify it because it’s similar-looking relative, B. tortuosa (not generally found in the local area), is rather toxic to us. While the thought of Witches Hair as a culinary delight isn’t the first thing on one’s mind, it does have some traditional recipes that may surprise you! And though the name doesn’t sound particularly appealing, it does, have a slightly sweet nutty flavour and is rich in iron. So what can we do with this odd edible? My own grandmother would dry it, roast it and grind it into flour, which would then be used to flavour soups or even make flat bread. The powdered lichen could also be boiled into a thick dark jelly, dried and preserved as a travel food since it would keep for many months. This travel food was quite sweet and a welcome treat when hunger pangs were plentiful and fresh food was not. Witches Hair goes great with meat, fish and eggs! Some tribes would dig pits lined with leaves and steam it with wild onions, wild meat and berries. The juices of the meat and berries would mix with the lichen and produce a jellylike gravy that was tasty and nutritious. There are a variety of different lichens that you can find as cool weather food and they produce everything from syrup to bread. And when we talk about all the other non-edible uses of these amazing lichens, well that could fill an entire book!



Kitchen Gardener New York strip loin and arugula salad...

by Leonard Brown

Beef kebabs with roasted peppers... Herb crusted sirloin roast with pepper sauce and roasted baby potatoes... It’s our kitchen “meats” garden. A true kitchen experience can only be enhanced by fresh seasonal accompaniments, especially if you grow the vegetables in your own yard. May is the garden enthusiast’s busy month. It’s time to plant seeds, get vegetables and other edibles growing, and harden-off seedlings that have been started inside. A cold frame or greenhouse helps with an easy transition to the outside, as at this time of year the nights are still cool. The best time to plant out is after the full moon closest to the end

Chives are quick-growing and can be harvested as soon as you like. If you want to let them flower, then cut them once they’re blooming. The green stems can be frozen fresh in ice cubes trays, or dried and stored. How about blending the flower heads with melted butter and allowing it to set in small moulds? This is tasty and different, and makes a very attractive presentation.

of May, and while May long weekend is the “official” date, you could be fooled! However, do make sure that your vegetable seeds are planted in well-prepared, fertilized and composted soil. I find that covering the seeded bed loosely with plastic sheeting creates a greenhouse effect, and enables rapid germination. When seedlings sprout, you can gradually remove the cover and allow them to adapt to the environment. If there’s a possibility of a cool night though, cover them up again until all danger of frost has passed.

Rhubarb appears early and grows

rapidly. The stems are best pulled when firm and then chopped into small pieces to freeze or use fresh. You can make rhubarb jam and pies, or could stew the stalks until soft and eat them with yoghurt. It makes a great sauce for white fish too! Keep pulling the stems and new ones will grow, ready to use in just a few weeks.


are everywhere in May and although broadly considered a weed, they do have significant nutritional value. However, make sure that your dandelions have not been treated or exposed to pesticides. They should come from areas with trusted organic soil maintenance. The leaves are best picked in early spring when they are soft and not too bitter, and can be used in soups, salads, pastas and many other ways. They are low in saturated fat, very low in cholesterol and are also a good source of folate, fiber and many vitamins and minerals.


is also a spring crop, and if you have an established patch of roots it’s likely that you will see early growth. You can harvest them repeatedly, as new shoots will replace cut ones as long as the sun shines and there’s some degree of warmth. No need to elaborate on the many uses of this fine vegetable!

You’ll need to continue to nurture your seedlings throughout May, when there is no frost and your cold-susceptible vegetables can get a good start. Next month we’ll be planting, caring for, and waiting for a, hopefully, abundant harvest.



G N I R E T T SHA Steak Stereotypes writing and photos by Dan Clapson

Medium rare. It’s not simply an order request.

Here, in our city of Calgary, it is a (steak) state of mind.

Living in this meat-centric land of Alberta beef, there’s often a generalization that the steaks dished out here consist of a simple sear with a foil-wrapped baked potato side. Well, it’s not 1992 anymore and this city’s culinary scene ditched the foil long ago. Although, an exception can be made for dinner leftovers wrapped up in little tin swans. (They’re just so darn cute!) Here’s how five restaurants are taking meat and ‘tater dishes to another level, along with wine and beer pairings to complete the meal. 58


Ox and Angela

A restaurant with Latin flare, Ox and Angela serves up a simple flat iron steak. The flare is brought to life, not by the steak itself, but rather by the array of complementary side dishes. As far as the latter half of ‘meat and potatoes’ goes, Ox knocks it out of the park. The patatas bravas here represent a lovely marriage of lemon and a quality of crispiness that all roasted potatoes should strive towards.

Try pairing with: Torres, “Salmos” (Syrah/Cariñena) Priorat, Spain Estrella Damm Inedit, Spain



Known for their innovation and creativity, owner Paul Rogalski and his culinary team at Rouge takes the word steak and turns it on its head. Creating a sous vide pork tenderloin (the word ‘steak’ isn’t solely loyal to beef you know!) with amazing tenderness sitting beside a bone marrow and foie gras spring roll. (Say that ten times fast. No, wait… Better yet… Eat that ten times slowly and savouringly!) To choose a winner between the pork and it’s accompanying spring roll would be unfair. Just relish each bite. Try pairing with: Calera Pinot Noir Mount Harlan Cuvee, California Innis & Gunn Original Oak Aged Beer, Scotland

No stranger to uniqueness, Charcut has, as of lately, added a beef heart steak to their ever-evolving menu. The heart, marinated in red wine vinegar and spices, grilled medium-rare (of course!) is accompanied by matchstick potatoes and drizzled with their signature chimichurri sauce. Once you get past the ‘Oh my god, I’m eating an animal’s heart!’ shock factor, you’ll fall in love with this fine grain version Try pairing with: Andeluna Cellars Malbec, Argentina of steak. Cannery Brewing’s Naramatta Nut Brown Ale, BC


When you hear the phrase ‘Korean tapas’, a traditional steak is not exactly the first thing that comes to mind. But at Anju, chef Roy Oh’s soy and sesame marinated steak with fingerling potatoes is a dish that should be experienced by any self-respecting Calgarian. The Asian-style marinade is all-things sweet and savoury. I’d recommend ordering at least two of this menu item for your table. Otherwise, you’ll be fighting over the last few bites. It won’t be pretty… the fight I mean, not the steak. The steak Try pairing with: Grant Burge Holy Trinity is gorgeous! (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre) Barossa Valley, S. Australia Mill Street Original Organic Lager, Ontario

Raw Bar (at Hotel Arts)

This steak is beef on beef. Double the meat, double the fun, right? Here, chef Duncan Ly serves up beef tenderloin and a soy-braised short rib with a herb crust. This luscious steak is served with a side of coconut lime potato croquettes and caramelized teriyaki jus. Since this restaurant is situated in one of Calgary’s top hotels, it’s only appropriate that this kind of dish is as beautiful to look at, as it is to taste. Try pairing with: Belle Glos Meiomi, California Coast Okanagan Spring Pale Ale, BC



Menu Gems When a friend tells you that ‘You absolutely must try the ABC dish at XYZ restaurant’, are you as easily influenced as we are? We love getting these kinds of recommendations from people, so our palatiously-evolved contributors are disclosing some of their favourite meat dishes from some local restaurant menus.

~ Adrian Bryksa ~ I have a special place in my heart for the “00” meatballs from Double Zero Pizza - they are a house blend of pork and beef served in tomato gravy with shaved parma. They are tremendous with a back vintage Chianti Classico, like the 2007 from Villa Caffagio, as the earthy, leathery characters of the Sangiovese pair perfectly with the garlic-tinged meat and cheese, and the wine’s acidity is a spot-on foil to the gravy.

~ Fred Malley ~ I enjoy the venison at the Bears Den and the Flat Iron at NOtaBLE. I also like the Ginger Fried Beef at Wok with Dave in Ranchlands. He was there when the dish was created and his version is still one of the best. It’s take-out only now, far from the days when he had three restaurants on the go.


~ Andrew Ferguson ~

~ Brenda Holder ~

I love the Bison Short Rib made by request (and a few days’ notice) at Buchanan’s Chop House. It is slowly cooked over a few days so that it peels effortlessly from the bone, and melts in your mouth. Best paired with a sweet and peaty malt, like Ardbeg 10 or BenRiach Curiositas!

As far as restaurant dining, my favourite meat dish has to be at Aroma in Canmore! Mexican cuisine at it’s finest, a true and authentic restaurant serving traditional Mexican food which is rare to find! By far my favourite meat dish is the fajita beef platter - a make-ityourself dish that comes with a tantalizing array of homemade guacamole, salsa and tortillas. I haven’t sampled their wine list yet (but I will!), though I would imagine this dish would go down well with a nice Shiraz!

~ Peter Vetcsh ~ I don’t even have to think about this one: it’s the red curry-braised beef short ribs at Alloy restaurant. This has been one of the only mainstays on Alloy’s dinner menu since they opened, and for good reason...it absolutely falls off the bone, and the exotic spices in the braising mixture perfectly balance the ultra-savoury, almost primal flavour profile that’s unique to short rib. I’ve had this meal more than any other Calgary restaurant dinner item.


~ Dan Leahul ~ Beef on a bun with horseradish sauce at the Cowtown Beef Shack. Beautifully prepared brisket with that deep smoky southern barbecue flavour. A Calgary institution.

~ Corinne Keddie ~ One item that I have been ordering for as long as I can remember is the Seared Beef Tenderloin Slices at Cilantro. It comes with crispy sliced French bread, Dijon mustard and sun-dried cherry chutney and you build your own little canapés. The flavours meld perfectly and it is a great sharing plate. I always take friends here from out of town and they cannot get enough of it!


Stephanie ~ Arsenault

The “Best Wurst” at Wild Rose Brewery is a favourite of mine. It’s fresh and simple, and the bratwurst is full of flavour, unbelievably moist, and not greasy. I like to pair it with the brewery’s Velvet Fog wheat ale – it’s crisp and refreshing without being too light, and its tanginess complements the flavours of the dish without being overpowering.

~ Dan Hertz ~ I’m addicted to the burgers at Sunterra Market 17th Avenue West. For $5.99, you get a freshly grilled beef patty, topped with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions and their special sauce (other toppings available). The kicker is that it comes with a side: for example, freshlymade soup, salad, grilled vegetables or baked baby potatoes. Add in a mountainesque café ambiance, and you have one of the best, affordable experiences in town. No wine on the menu, but plenty of alternatives – including CauseH2O water, where 100% of the net proceeds go to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Prairies/NWT.

~ Dan Clapson ~ I have had a lot of fleeting love affairs with carnivorous dishes in this city, but the only one that truly owns my heart would have to be the bison tartar from Home Tasting Room. Executive chef Geoff Rogers finds the perfect marriage of flavours on this plate. I’m convinced that even a vegetarian would fall in love with this.

~ Jeff Collins ~

~ Thierry Meret ~

The first time I visited NOtaBLE, I ordered the porchetta, and fell instantly in love. Sadly, in keeping with his seasonal theme, Chef Michael Noble changes his menu, so porchetta is not always on his rotisserie. Pity.

Take the Murray Grey cattle that have consistently placed very well at the Stampede Quality Beef Carcass Competition for their extremely tender meat yield. Make sure to feed the steer with some free choice hay and 2-3 lb/ day of barley rations. Then slaughter between 13 to 17 months of age and you will get an extremely rewarding dining experience. Or you could visit my friend Terry, a passionate Murray Grey cattle producer as well as restaurant owner, at his very own Chuck Wagon allday breakfast grill in Turner Valley. My memorable dish? The flat iron steak Benedict! So tender and so full of flavour that every single bite makes the scenic trip that much better!

~ Cory Knibutat ~ I guess pork is my weakness because if I’m craving one particular meat dish more than any other it would have to be the Smoked Pulled Pork from JoJo’s BBQ. They’re one of Calgary’s first food trucks, so finding them can be a bit tricky, but a quick glance at their website or Twitter feed will help you track them down pretty easily. The pork though, is worth the effort. Full of rich smoky flavour, authentic to its southern barbecue roots, you can’t go wrong for under 10 dollars. The best thing I ever heard as I was ordering was, ‘Sorry sir, but it will be a few extra minutes for your order, we’re just pulling the pork now.’ Who could be mad at that?

~ Tom Firth ~ I just love Alberta beef and rarely pass up a chance to try it on the menu. A favourite place or dish with beef? Couldn’t just pick one or even two to top my list. Recently though, the beef tenderloin at Catch, the braised short rib at Blink, and anything beef at Rouge.

~ Linda Garson ~ Having run Vine and Dine at many superb restaurants in this city over the last six years, I have so many favourites. But to mention just a few stunning menu meat dishes: Grilled Flank Steak over Roasted Garlic & Truffle Mashed Potato with Red Wine Jus at Escoba, Bison Short Rib braised with Ancho Chile at Open Range, Koiji Restolounge’s Signature AAA Alberta beef tenderloin with asparagus and black truffle butter, Carne Porco à Alentejano (marinaded pork and mussel casserole) at Mimo, Arni Kleftiko - Santorini’s Special Roast Lamb with Roast Potatoes at Santorini, Kabob-e-Barg (beef tenderloin skewer) at Shiraz, Beef Satay with Chilli Sauce at TOA Vietnamese, 72hr Braised Diamond Willow organic beef short rib at Vero Bistro, Cumin Crusted AAA Grade Beef Tenderloin with Coriander Citrus Butter at Rasoi Kitchen and the Mildly Spiced Beef Ribs at Safari Grill.

~ Meaghan O’Brien ~ For a mouth-watering meat dish I always turn to Seoul Korean BBQ on MacLeod Trail, for their marinated beef (Galbi). After spending a year in South Korea I have discovered this place to be the most authentic Korean BBQ in the city. The variety and quality of the marinated meats available always have me returning for more. The next best thing to the tasty and tender meats is the tradition of cooking the meat right at your table with a side of Korean pepper paste (gochujang) and a dish of Kimchi.


Heather ~ Hartmann

The fillet at Ruth’s Chris. Although they are an American chain, with my Canadian agricultural background, it’s important to me that they have both Alberta beef options on the complete menu and USDA grain-fed on the a la carte menu. No matter which one you prefer, it’s always a perfectly cut piece of meat, served to order in one of the most elegant restaurants in the city.



What Exactly Is

Charcut by Thierry Meret

“The majority of food critics are food critics because it is much easier than being a charcutier” ~Jean Dutourd

(French writer, 1920-2011)

We’ve been spoiled for choice with the fabulous array of charcuterie platters available in our restaurants, but Calgary Restaurant Examiner, Heather Hartmann, is a charcuterie connoisseur and brings us her top three favourite places to indulge. 62

THE ART OF MAKING CHARCUTERIE, developed and regulated

by the Romans under a bylaw called Porcella, was originally a method of preserving or pickling pork offal for public consumption before the advent of refrigeration. They were already using pork intestine to contain pork parts, and occasionally even dog or monkey meat too. Medieval Paris was just to follow in their footsteps. Today, Charcuterie is in high demand and, with the help of new cooking techniques and a huge palette of flavours available, the art of making charcuteries, smaller and refined, has evolved into a lighter and healthier array of products. More creative combinations include seafood, herbs, spices, and vegetables, with a vast choice of tasty garnishes. One of the most popular and simple preparations is “rillettes”. This stringy and spreadable paté, originally made from pork slowly cooked in its own fat, originated from the Sarthe region of north west France. This was also the birthplace of Louis Francois Drome, named the “Carème of Charcuterie”, who wrote the first book about the subject in 1869 called “Charcuterie ancienne et moderne” (safely guarded at the National History Library in Paris). Today, French charcuterie is as rich in offerings and varieties as their cheese selection and it is easy to learn and understand the authentic cuisine and traditions of the land by visiting regional charcuterie throughout the country.

The Oak Room at the Fairmont Palliser

133 - 9 Avenue SW, Calgary, AB (403) 262-1234

WHY I LOVE IT: For those of you who don’t want to choose for yourselves, one of Calgary’s most elegant and enduring dining destinations offers a fixed charcuterie platter ($20). All the Palliser menus demonstrate a strong commitment to local producers and the charcuterie platter is no exception, featuring European-inspired meats (Coppa, Bündnerfleisch, smoked duck and pork terrine) from Valbella Gourmet Foods of Canmore, cheeses and a good assortment of pickled vegetables. HINT: While you’re there, make sure you sample some of the cocktail confections from one of Calgary’s classic bars.


From the French: Chair (Flesh) / Cuite (Cook) Chair-Cuitier = Charcuterie

erie? L’Epicerie

1325 - 1 Street SE, Calgary, AB (403) 514-0555

WHY I LOVE IT: What’s not to love about this tiny French deli? From the old-world atmosphere to the option to eat in or take out, it’s all-around delightful. Of course, the big draw is the food of Dominique Moussou, former chef at Teatro and current partner in Cassis Bistro. If I’m having a party, there will be charcuterie from L’Epicerie on the table. There’s a wide selection to choose from, including many pâtés. ALWAYS ON MY LIST ARE: Rosette de Lyon $5.90 - this salami is flavourful and not overly lean (in a good way) Duck rillette $7.50 - it’s marvellously decadent Pâté de pistaches $4.60 - the pistachios that stud this pâté make it stand apart from others both in flavour and texture. Cheese terrine $9.50 - blended with herbs, I could eat this with a spoon All prices at are per 100g portion HINTS: If you’re planning a party, pick up your charcuterie at lunchtime, and while you’re there, have a croque-monsieur and an Orangina. Don’t miss the baguette. It’s one of the best in the city and you’ll need something to spread that rillette on.


607 - 11 Avenue SW, Calgary, AB (403) 233-2433

WHY I LOVE IT: Likely the most unusual concept in charcuterie in the city. At District Tavern you order your choices in meat, cheese and accompaniments by checking off boxes on an order sheet, much like you would at a sushi bar. The regular menu is equally whimsical, featuring a choose-your-own-poutine option and menus on wall-mounted and rolling chalkboards. The commitment to local producers is impressive, as is the variety in drink selections and price. MY FAVOURITES ARE: Dry pork blue cheese sausage $6.75 - it’s blue cheese in a sausage - genius! Paprika sausage $3.75 - has a little kick Elk salami $6.75 - you can literally taste the smokiness Air-cured bison $5.50 - a lean, mild option to balance the others Grey owl cheese $6.25 - a nice, creamy, spreadable option Cheese portions are 1 oz. per selection. Meat portions vary. HINTS: The complementary accompaniments are a huge selling point. The Saskatoon berry and black currant preserves are out of this world.

Meat & Potatoes Glass in a

Stir up your next cocktail with some potato vodka and a pickled pepperoni stick. Pickled pepperoni, you ask? That’s right... All by Patricia Koyich

Hail the Mighty Meaty Caesar!


job in the local Co-op meat department brought about the passion to open his own meat processing plant, Back Country Butchering, in 1998 in Cowley, AB. Much of his butchering requires diverse custom cutting, and sausage and jerky processing for the local hunting/ranching community. And it was Tim’s refined butchery skills that ironically resulted in the invention of the “Mighty Meaty Caesar” during his most hectic time of year… Hunting Season. Now, for those who don’t know, the original Caesar was invented here in Calgary in 1969. It is a perfect pre-dinner drink, and it’s very likely that many of Tim’s hunting buddies would partake as they unwound from a day spent out in the woods. The original seems so simple when we reflect upon it now; celery salted rim, vodka, clamato and seasoning. So simple and yet so delicious. Over the years, there have been several variations, from shrimp garnishes, pickled asparagus, beans, carrots, hot peppers, olives and a whole bunch more. So it is not surprising that Tim came up with the idea of using his craft to replace the pickled vegetables with the delicious meats he and his friends had been hunting. Thus, the pickled pepperoni stick was born! Naturally, he tested the “market” (his hunting buddies) with an original batch of only 25 jars. But because of the success of his little invention, he wound up selling out of the first batch in his store. As the word quickly spread, he could not keep up with the demand. Success! Now, for those skeptics, you don’t have to take our word for it. You can order your own jar of pickled pepperoni from Tim’s shop for only $18.99 per jar (12 sticks). (Unfortunately, the product is not yet available at any local shops here in Calgary.) Tim Ewing can be reached at Back Country Butchering Railway Ave, Cowley, AB T0K 0P0 Telephone: 403 628 2686

Rimmer spice: celery salt, ground pepper medley and steak spice 3 stuffed olives (pickled jalapeño for more “kick”) 1 tbsp of olive juice 3-4 drops Tabasco 3-4 drops Worcestershire 1 ½ oz Luksusowa Vodka Motts Clamato juice to fill

1. Dip the rim of the glass in olive juice, then dip in the seasoning mixture and shake off excess. 2. Fill glass half full of ice and add olives, olive juice, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, vodka and fill with clamato juice. 3. Sprinkle spice medley on top and finish with a stick of pickled pepperoni. (hot or garlic)

Lukusowa Potato Vodka, Poland Extreme Pickled Sausage Sticks Back Country Butchering, Cowley, AB

Profile for Culinaire Magazine

Culinaire #1 (May2012)  

Buchanan's Chop House & Whisky Bar | Chef's Shortcuts: Meat Masters | Spolumbo's: On The Grind | Dark Beers | Chef Profile: Dwayne E...

Culinaire #1 (May2012)  

Buchanan's Chop House & Whisky Bar | Chef's Shortcuts: Meat Masters | Spolumbo's: On The Grind | Dark Beers | Chef Profile: Dwayne E...