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From Field to Fork:





Cu inaire


Find us online at www.culinairemagazine.ca | Friend us on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter: @culinairemag | Subscribe to our hardcopy




Going The Distance


Back To Basics


Sustainable Dining

Experiencing Ethiopian authenticity at Calgary’s Marathon Restaurant. by Naomi Cromwell

Developing the culinary passion in our city’s youth. by Cory Knibutat

Two local foundations that keep our food and beverage industry environmentally responsible. by Vincci Tsui

48 Elegantly Fortified

Grapes can produce so much more than fine wine to boost our spirits. by Andrew Ferguson COVER PHOTO: by Natalie Findlay PHOTO ON THIS PAGE:

by Stephanie Arsenault









Cooking By The Book

by Karen Miller & Wendy Ell


Festivals & Events



Ask Culinaire


Growing Local, Growing Strong

by Elizabeth Chorney-Booth


Learning From The Best

by Fred Malley, CCC


Slow Down!

by Karen Miller


The Napkin/Serviette Dilema

by Wendy Brownie


Find That Fruit

by Peter Vetsch


Chef’s Tips

by Silvia Pikal





by Dan Clapson

A Tale Of Two Turnips


by Jeff Collins

The Joy Of The Grape Harvest


The Humble Spud by Vincci Tsui

Eating-In At Calgary’s Markets by Natalie Findlay

Picking A Winner

by David Nuttall


What’s In A Name? (pt.1 of 2)


Open That Bottle

by Tom Firth

by Linda Garson


Step-By-Step: Corn Tortillas


Que Sera, Syrah (pt.2 of 2)



by Natalie Findlay

Fresh & Fabulous In Calgary


by Adrian Bryksa

The Kitchen Gardener


by Brenda Holder

by Adrian Bryksa

Just Desserts by Stephanie Arsenault

Fruit Wine

by Leonard Brown


Menu Gems


Fruit Bearing Beers

62 Is Organic Better Than Conventional?


The Soup Kitchen

Cider Houses Rule by David Nuttall

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by Tom Firth

by Vincci Tsui


Chilean Sunshine

by Meaghan O’Brien & David Nuttall

by Linda Garson

OUR CONTRIBUTORS < ADRIAN BRYKSA Always relevant and never compromising, his poignant observations and astute questions strive to answer the mythical query “What makes life taste good?” He is one of the voices behind YYC Wine - http://yycwine.com and has freelanced for Wine Spectator (New York) and Good Bottle of Wine (London, England). He is married with two children.

Editor Art Director Contributors

< STEPHANIE ARSENAULT Stephanie is a freelance writer and photographer, and the creator of food blog, GlobalDish.ca. She has been educated in journalism, photography, travel and tourism, and nutrition, and has her WSET ISG Wine Fundamentals certificate. When sheʼs not writing or taking photos, Stephanie can be found baking up a storm in the kitchen, hiking in the Rockies, or with a glass of craft beer in one hand and a fork in the other.

< TOM FIRTH Tom Firth is a freelance wine writer, wine consultant, wine judge, and a member of the National Tasting Panel reviewing wines for Wine Access Magazine, his work frequently appears in Wine Access, City Palate, and a few other publications along with his online content at wineaccess.ca and avenuemagazine.ca and others, he tweets as @cowtownwine and is a general nuisance around the office. If he ever gets to the point where he thinks he knows everything about wine, he plans to start a new career in interpretive dance.

< VINCCI TSUI Vincci is a Calgary-based registered dietitian who loves delicious food that nourishes. She is frequently called upon to provide expert advice on nutrition and food in print media and television. She has appeared on CityTV’s Breakfast Television and Global TV news, and has contributed to Calgary’s Child magazine. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Calgary, Vincci received her Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences from McGill University in Montreal and completed the university’s Integrated Dietetic Internship. She is registered with the College of Dietitians of Alberta and is an active member of Dietitians of Canada. She tweets about nutrition @VincciRD and everything else @VincciT.

< WENDY BROWNIE Accessories designer, marketing person and shop owner of Inspirati Fine Linens, Wendy Brownie, loves providing solutions for creating authentic and fun environments in home decor. Having a passion for ‘threads’, Wendy’s travels take her to Europe to source a remarkable collection of linens and tableware. With a focus on innovative design and the needs of everyday living, she combines the joy of colour with the neutral palate resulting in an easy elegance for setting the table. In addition to sharing her knowledge of fine linens with those who are also ‘addicted to fabrics’, Wendy organizes cooking school trips to Spain and Italy in search of the perfect table.


A rookie journalist at the beginning of his food writing journey, but his love affair with food has been a life-long fling. He blames his mother for this for teaching him how to make scrambled eggs when he was still short enough to need a step-stool to look over the stove. Since then he’s always been curious to cook new foods and sample dishes from any culture. Having worked in restaurants since the age of 14, Cory translated his passion for food into his journalistic ambitions, not necessarily critiquing food but to meet the people who make it and find out what inspires them.

For more information about some of our many other talented contributors please visit us online at www.culinairemagazine.ca.


Cu inaire


Linda Garson Mark Bilodeau Stephanie Arsenault Leonard Brown Wendy Brownie Adrian Bryksa Elizabeth Chorney-Booth Dan Clapson Jeff Collins Naomi Cromwell Wendy Ell Andrew Ferguson Natalie Findlay Tom Firth Heather Hartmann Dan Hertz Brenda Holder Corinne Keddie Heather Kingston Cory Knibutat Patricia Koyich Fred Malley Thierry Meret Karen Miller David Nuttall Meaghan O’Brien Silvia Pikal Vincci Tsui Peter Vetsch Joanne Black 403-401-9463


Natalie Findlay 403-771-7757


Maureen Maki 587-899-6254


Lindsey Schneider 587-434-3450


To Contact Us Culinaire Magazine Box 28007 Cranston RPO Calgary, AB T3M 1K4 info@culinairemagazine.ca www.culinairemagazine.ca Twitter: @culinairemag 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.


“Hello. What a fantastic layout and content! Am so proud of this magazine! I love the “step by step”. It is great to have instruction in photos to follow! Everything looks great!” ~HK, Calgary

“Hi Linda. My husband and I just moved to Calgary from Switzerland and very much like your magazine. It is hard to come to north amerika and stay eager to eat healthy and enjoy the variaty of good cooks a City has to offer. Any how, we have been trying many restaurants you suggest and like them a lot. And I love your different recepies for making moules... So thanks.” ~ Jessica E, Calgary

Salutes and Shout Outs 4


hanks for your very kind comments on our summer issue. We’re thrilled that you loved the front cover (so many compliments, and it’s great to know that you think it’s the best yet!), all the seafood and beverage articles, and recipes.

September means harvest time, and in this issue our focus is on vegetables and fruits. There’s an abundance of fresh local produce available now, and our talented writers have been scouring the city’s markets to tell us not only what’s available to purchase for cooking at home, but also taking a closer look at eating in at the markets and the vast array of choices for breakfast, lunch and a tasty break from shopping. It’s time too for harvesting grapes in the northern hemisphere, and vineyards are buzzing with activity as teams of pickers work day and night to bring in the carefully tended fruit of the vine. We read about wines that taste like fruit as well as featuring fruity beers, ciders, and spirits made from grapes, along with cocktail recipes for South America’s most famous grape-based spirit, Pisco. We take a closer look at organic produce and peep behind the scenes of the Slow Food movement, as well as understanding the organizations that help make our meals out a little more sustainable – Respect for the Earth and All People (REAP) and Leaders in Environmentally Accountable Foodservice (LEAF).

We’re all very excited for the opening of the new Candela Lounge, projected for around September 4th. The owners of Alloy Restaurant, Chefs Rogelio Herrera and Uri Heilik, are continuing with their globally influenced food, with Rogelio overseeing both kitchens - but it will be all small plates – small delicious plates, we’re sure! Keep an eye out for Candela Lounge at 1919 4th Street SW. Almost across the road at 2116 – 4th Street SW and opening around the same time, will be Añejo Restaurant, from the owners of The Living Room. We’re expecting fabulous, flavourful Mexican and Tex-Mex food with a great tequila and cocktail list!

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September is also back to school time, and in this issue we look at two fabulous programs designed to teach young people how easy it is to make delicious, simple food at home. Epicurious Kids Cookery teaches children aged three to thirteen the importance of a healthy lifestyle and the basics of how to prepare food, while Start From Scratch is a free program designed for post-secondary students to learn how to cook for themselves, and to become more aware of nutrition. We also talk to the people who teach our future chefs and find out how and why they entered the profession, and the pros and cons of being a cookery teacher. Our competition this month is in conjunction with Casel Marche and Yelp, and there’s an opportunity to win a generous basket of goodies as well as showing off your skills in the kitchen and with wine. Help is at hand, so visit www. culinairemagazine.ca for details and to enter the competition. We love to hear from you, so do let us have your feedback and comments on the Culinaire website too. Finally, I’d like to thank our writers and the advertisers who make it possible to publish Culinaire Magazine. We’re here to support Calgary’s food and beverage industry and we’re very grateful to those who support us too. Please show your appreciation to them. Cheers!

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

And there’s more! Watch out for Eat Cucina Bistro and market café, a brand new Italian Bistro open for lunches, coffees and after dinner drinks until about 7:00pm, and coming soon to Eighth Avenue Place (previously Penny Lane). A new venture from our friends at Teatro! Lastly, but certainly not least, it’s farewell to AKA Wine Bar at 709, Edmonton Trail NE, who closed their doors on August 5th, only to emerge three days later, reborn as Carino’s Japanese Bistro. Congratulations to Toshi Karino, we’re looking forward to more of your amazing Italian-inspired Japanese dishes/Japanese-inspired Italian dishes!

Cooking By The Book reviews by Karen Miller

Extra Virginity

The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil Tom Mueller W.W.Norton & Company $30

Mueller lives in an olive grove in Genoa and says that olive oil does something to people. This story is about the passion and the problems surrounding it. The history of the “oleaster” tree is fascinating, they can live for thousands of years in rocky soil with little sunlight and rainwater. Olives are a seasonal fruit and like all fruits need to be harvested. Olive oil is a fresh pressed fruit juice. No one is sure whether the olives were first harvested to eat or pressing for oil. The ancient Greeks used the oil for everything, including fuel, the base for perfume, skin oils and it was often prescribed for various ailments. However in the modern world, despite what we would consider a flourishing market, producers around the world struggle. The wholesale price is low and there is a history of fraud and scandals. These struggles are intriguing and may make you think twice about the olive oil you buy at your grocery store. Mueller tells how the industry has become scientific, with diplomas in olive oil tasting and chemists dealing strictly with different grades of olive oils. Olive oil is produced not just in the Mediterranean anymore but has major producers fighting for market share in Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. They fight against modern-day issues of subsidies and import restrictions from the European Union (not much different from its use as power in ancient Rome). Mueller makes his case for a better understanding of the now almost arbitrary designations of the different grades of olive oil, the lack of their enforcement, and how since 2004 a new group is trying to promote a “super premium” quality. He says once you have tasted the real deal you will never go back. I get the impression all would be better if less were labeled by category and more was said about the actual tasting qualities of the oil, like wine.

*with the exception of Food And The City, reviewed by Wendy Ell


An Edible Alberta Alphabet Dee Hobsbawn-Smith TouchWood Editions 2012 $19.95

Dee Hobsbawn-Smith has the credentials and more. She has been writing about local growers for over two decades. She was the leader of The Cookbook Company’s first “Foodie Tootle” tours, as well as being on the steering committee of Slow Food Calgary for 10 years. Dee has even worked with the government of Alberta in promoting local food. This writing is a culmination of many years of living and eating local. The A-Z format allows for a crossreference of Alberta producers and with some creative license, covers apples to wild rice (or “zizania”). Dee has known these farmers for a long time. She has nurtured her relationships with them and it shows. Their stories are personal and real, sharing the drama of illnesses and family matters. But throughout all this, it is the deep connection to the land that stands out. Some do what they can to keep the family farm, some do what they can to get back to it. Many have jobs outside farming to support their “habit”. The author herself has returned to her family homestead and has spent the last year rediscovering its pitfalls and rewards. The recurring theme of living off the land has made many realize the need for value-added business to survive. There are many little cafés, retail stores or just plain old farm stands selling wares. The bonus here is the connection with the people buying their product, establishing a sense of community. Dee includes a recipe at the end of each chapter, and although the ingredients may not be from afar, the recipes go beyond our borders, such as “Canadian Cassoulet”. I am happy to say I have supported many of the farmers in the book throughout my years of “foraging” for food in Alberta, and am proud they are still around. I too love the connection with the people working hard to make things for my table. Supporting them now will do your part in ensuring they will be around for generations to come. Look some up and make some friends.


Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi Yotum Ottolenghi Chronicle Books 2011 $39.95

Ottolenghi became famous in London for his fabulous flavours, as people lined up at his establishments for take-away foods. Although not a vegetarian himself he is known for what he did with vegetables. Plenty does not simply celebrate the harvest, but rather places the ingredients on a pedestal. In most cases one vegetable is the centre of the dish. Onions are not just for sautéeing to give flavour to the rest of the dish, they are the dish. Lettuce for salads are lightly dressed and combined with only the necessary ingredients to elevate the dish to what can truly be called a meal. His flavours are diverse and centered around the Mediterranean with influences from around the globe, including the Middle East, Japan, Vietnam, Africa and Mexico. Ottolenghi talks with passion about the various markets around the world where vegetables look and taste as they should, as they have been grown close by and not trucked across continents. With many recipes for pulses, grains and squashes, this book will serve our western palates well for the entire year. A personal favourite is “shakshuka”, a North African dish where eggs are cooked in a richly perfumed sauce of tomatoes, peppers and herbs. Without doubt, for vegetable lovers and meat eaters alike, this book ensures plenty.

Food And The City Jennifer Cockrall-King Prometheus Books 2012 $24.50

Jennifer Cockrall-King, an award-winning magazine writer and first-time novelist, is “Talking about a Revolution” – a new urban food revolution. In Food and the City she tells us, “Cities (or rather, those of us who live in cities) can no longer continue to be simply consumers of food and producers of waste. We need to grow some of our own food, re-localize our diets and compost our food waste. By doing these things, we liberate ourselves from the sinking global industrial food system”. In the early sections of the book, she shows grave concern around the security of our global food system and warns of fallout from climate concerns, peak oil, peak land and peak water situations. On a quest for answers, she then graces readers with a collection of interesting travel stories. My favourite stories were about the rooftop gardeners and beekeepers in Paris, the modeled vertical garden set within an old Chicago meat-packing plant, and the clever real estate deals and use of abandoned buildings in Detroit. Cockrall-King’s intentions are clear: that we can learn much from observing the motivations, behaviours and actions of other communities. Now we all know that course-correcting global economics and consumer habits isn’t a quick fix, so her view that consumers themselves have the ultimate power to make change, is encouraging. In the context of my own actions, I personally vow to nurture my homegrown tomato plants, where possible buy what’s seasonal in my area, and start to use my composting unit. What will you do?

*With thanks to Pages of Kensington for their assistance with review copies of the books.



Singing The Praises ... by Linda Garson

photos by Natalie Findlay

Calgary Folk Music Festival was a gourmand’s delight this year, with so many tempting choices from every corner of the world that it took three of us to try just a sampling of them. This festival certainly satisfies all five senses, here’s just a few of our tasty highlights:

Spudmobeel’s poutine ($7.75) is their most popular dish, and even though I jokingly asked for a children’s portion, my container of fries, gravy, white cheese and green onions would easily feed three grown-ups. Guess what? I gingerly tried one or two fries and then I have no idea how it happened, but within minutes the container was empty and my tummy was full! It’s completely satisfying, pure comfort food.

Faux Real’s dishes are fresh tasting and satisfying, and you don’t have to waddle afterwards. Their Far East Chowder ($9) is a coconut vegetable stew with a crispy-exterior rice ball of sticky short-grain rice. It’s delicately spiced with balanced flavours; freshly squeezed lime juice sharpening the subtle coconut taste. You can spice it to your liking by adding as much sambal oelek as your tastebuds allow.


Mediterranean BBQ are very generous with their portions. The Merguez plate includes 2 sausages, roasted eggplant, red peppers and zucchini, homous, tzatziki and a toasted pita bread – all for $12. The roasted veggies are cooked perfectly crunchy, the tzatziki is light and palatecleansing, the homous is tasty and not too garlicky, and the heat from the paprika in the Merguez sausage just tickles the back of your throat. Great value and great quality.

The Onigiri Company serves up their sushi rice with a cooked savoury filling wrapped in Nori for $4. Very generously sized with delicious fillings, these make a hearty meal for the gluten-intolerant. Happy and healthy eating!

Tao Events’ Lemongrass Chicken ($8) is pleasingly warming with ginger spice rather than hot chilli peppers and is moist and flavourful.

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Sunterra were making fresh smoothies from fruit and berries, while you watch ($5). Refreshing and not too thick, the acai and blueberry was delicious, as was the raspberry and orange, the pink grapefruit ...

Food For Thought

Sunday, September 23 from 12:00 – 4:00 pm Simmons Building, East Village (618 Confluence Way SE) REAP’s 3rd annual Food for Thought event is a harvest celebration that brings together all of the participants in a sustainable local food system: consumers, producers, retailers and chefs. It’s designed to raise awareness for sustainably produced food and encourage Calgarians to make more informed daily choices for greater enjoyment and improved health. Through the use of multimedia displays and sampling stations, producers and businesses that promote healthy, sustainable food buying choices will be showcased, giving Calgarians an opportunity to discover and savour their products. Imagine meeting the farmer that grew the local, organic tomato alongside the independent chef that prepared the gazpacho you are enjoying. You can taste the local food difference,

learn about participants’ commitment to sustainable and clean growing practices, and where to get their products. The event will also include presentations by select local food authors, followed by book signings as well as live music. Celebrate local food and be inspired by Calgary’s bounty! You’ll leave with resources that will keep you connected to our local food system all year long. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. All food is included and beverages will be available for purchase. Food For Thought is part of National Organic Week 2012 (running September 22-29) and presented in partnership with Community Natural Foods, First Calgary Financial, and The Calgary Herald. For details visit www.reapcalgary.com/F4T.

Fall Harvest Sale by Stephanie Arsenault

On September 8th and 9th, enjoy a blast from the past while taking advantage of the best prices on fresh fruits and vegetables in the city. Heritage Park’s Fall Harvest Sale, held by the Calgary Produce Marketing Association, offers a wide assortment of produce (similar to those found in local grocery stores) at discounted prices. Many of the items are in bulk, so be prepared to bring home a haul; flats of berries, boxes of oranges, and big bags of onions, potatoes, apples, and avocados are just some of the items to expect. It is encouraged that customers come early, bring a wagon or dolly for all of their purchases, and then spend the rest of the day enjoying Heritage Park.

The sale is run by hundreds of volunteers in the produce industry and will benefit local charities including the Alberta Children’s Hospital, the Calgary Community Kitchen, and the Heritage Park Society. By attending the Harvest Sale, you’ll not only be saving a load of money for yourself, but you’ll be making a positive impact on the community. The Calgary Produce Marketing Association Fall Harvest Sale runs September 8-9, from 9:30am to 5:00pm; regular admission ($14.89$19.99) applies. For more information on the CPMA, visit www.calgarypma.ca, and for information on the Fall Harvest Sale, visit www.heritagepark.ca.




Ask Cu inaire If you have a question regarding anything dining, beverage, event and ingredient related, we will make every effort to answer you to the best of our abilities. Visit us at culinairemagazine.ca, click on “Contact Us” and ask away! We hope to hear from you soon!

I love to experience different things; one of my favourite things to do is find restaurants to visit where I feel like I am having an “out of town” experience. Like I forget which city I am in. Where would you suggest that might be in Calgary? Well now, I certainly enjoy a similar experience. Recently I visited one of the newer restaurants in town – Cassis Bistro. Not only did I feel like I was in a busy urban centre, I was euphoric with all of the European influences and authenticities! The staff, the food, the music, the black and white film playing on the wall, we lost ourselves for the meal, for the wine, for the moment. I’m trying to throw a shower for my best girlfriend getting married, where would we go for brunch that might be kid friendly and still a great venue? Congratulations to your girlfriend! Such a special time! Summer setting perfect for any blushing bride to be speaks of River Café, I am not sure what your budget is but I know they have free corkage on Sundays, so that might help if you plan on wine with your event. I am sure they are kid friendly and one of the most beautiful settings in the city. I am entertaining some guests from out of town that want the “Alberta” beef experience, I have heard different opinions about all of our “Chop Houses” in Calgary and was wondering what your thoughts were? That is a difficult question, considering how many of our restaurants serve Alberta beef, but I would still have to suggest you take them to Caesar’s downtown. 40 years old, with an old-school menu, it is what I would propose for any person looking for the true quality “meat and potato” experience. The servers have been there forever, they have a great wine list and the food comes highly recommended.


I would like to stock my pantry with unique cooking items, where do you suggest I shop? Calgary has some unique places to shop depending on ethnicity. Generally speaking, the Cookbook Company has a great selection of out-of-the-norm items. I love Lina’s Italian Market for quality Italian ingredients that are fresh and delicious. For Asian influences, I love to visit T&T Asian market; it is huge and the selection can even be overwhelming! When you are shopping for unique and quality you will most probably pay a little more because you are using less as the influence on the palate is much more intense and delicious! Happy Hunting! My friends are starting a supper club and I want to bring a host/hostess gift that is unique and still appropriate, any ideas that’s not wine or food? Depending on your budget there are several ideas for you. One of my favourites are fun wine charms for the glassware, that identifies each guest with their glass so they don’t lose it when they set it down. The uniqueness may vary based on the personality of the host/ hostess. My all time favourite is a little game that can be played after dinner called Foodie Fight, it’s a food trivia game for food lovers, which I am assuming your group is. It’s fun, interactive and allows for all sorts of different conversation - sure to be a good time! Published by Chronicle Books $25

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Cassis Bistro: 2505, 17 Avenue SW 403 262-0036 River Café: 25 Prince’s Island Park 403 261-7670 Caesar’s Steakhouse: 512 – 4th Avenue SW 403 264-1222 Cookbook Company: 722 11 Avenue SW 403 265-6066 Lina’s Italian Market: 2202 Centre St N 403 277-9166 T & T: 3516 8 Ave NE 403 569-6888 and 9650 Harvest Hills Boulevard 403 237-6608

Growing Local Growing Strong by Elizabeth Chorney-Booth

Growing and selling organic produce isn’t just a business for Robert Horricks ... it’s a way of life. Along with his business partner, Matthew Paulson,

and their respective families, Horricks runs Blush Lane Organics, one of Calgary’s most recognizable organic produce brands. In the 14 years since Horricks started working with organics, his business has grown from an organic delivery service to a local organics empire that includes a fully operational orchard in Keremeos, BC, stalls in various farmers’ markets, and natural food markets in both Calgary and Edmonton. Horricks started selling in the Calgary Farmers’ Market under the “Blush Lane” name in 2004, and knew early on that he wanted to grow the business beyond a simple produce stand. He was already passionate about the quality and health benefits of organically grown food and wanted an outlet to increase his knowledge base and to become more entrenched in the organic growing community. In 2005 he purchased an orchard in BC’s Similkameen Valley, where he spends his summers with his wife Zenya and their teenage daughter, growing fruit and running a bustling fruit stand. While the orchard does provide the Blush Lane stores and farmers’ market outlets with some fruit and provides revenue via the fruit stand, Horricks says that a very small percentage of Blush Lane’s inventory actually comes from the orchard. Owning a growing space is more of a strategic move that helps Horricks to understand the organics industry while earning some farming credibility. “It’s been extremely helpful

for me to understand the farmer’s perspective and to support that side of organics. Farming is incredibly tough. It’s a really hard gig to make any money at,” Horricks says. “When I’m out there, other farmers are showing up at my place on a regular basis. Seeing what’s ready and when it’s ready to go gives me much greater quality control and much better access to product — basically I get first dibs on just about whatever I want in the valley.” With a new store open on Edmonton’s Whyte Avenue and his flagship market in Calgary’s Aspen Woods going strong, Horricks says that Alberta has been the perfect place to grow his business. Organic fruits and veggies tend to be priced higher than their non-organic counterparts, but in such an affluent province, patrons don’t mind a paying more for a premium product and to support the local produce community. “People enjoy coming and being connected and seeing that their money will ultimately end up in a hard-working organic farmer’s pocket,” Horricks says. “People make a lot of money out here with all of the oil, and I think a lot of people like the feeling that they’re going to impact their surroundings positively.” Horricks plans to continue expanding Blush Lane, either by opening more stores or cultivating more growing space, preferably in the prairies. With his continuing mandate of supporting local growers first while offering worldwide selection, and Calgarians’ enthusiasm for organic food, there’s no limit to how big Blush Lane can grow.



Learning From The words and chef’s photos by Fred Malley, CCC

“I thoroughly recommend teaching as a career - it’s a gift to pass it on.” SAIT’s Victoria German instructs pastry. She trained and worked in London’s west end as a cook before stints in Bermuda, Manitoba and at the Fairmont Palliser. She fondly remembers the aromas of shops (cigars, cheese, cappuccino, smoked salmon) while walking to work in London. She was a ground-breaker - the first female in the kitchen to work garde manger and pastry. Pursuing her Master Pastry Chef takes a huge piece from family time, much as


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BEST competing in the Culinary Olympics did. “I was young then and didn’t have commitments.” Teaching rewards? “How much you learn and have the time to learn. You can pass it on. Time with family.” The downside? “Students who miss-use telephones or misunderstand when to put them away.” Advice to aspiring teachers: “You need different industry experiences to draw on for examples. Travel; use the opportunities to get life experiences along with professional ones. Use the right tool for the job and know your classical foundation - then you can make anything.”

“Wooing a chef…he stepped up his game plan”, because the object of his desire was in the same industry. Calgary Board of Education culinary teacher, Sabrina del Ben, reminisces about husband, Simon Dunn, culinary instructor at SAIT. She obviously enjoyed the meals. “Home life tends to be very food centric.” Sabrina pursued

SAIT instructor, Gerd Steinmeyer, left a fulfilling

Fairmont Hotels career to join the school 25 years ago. ”It was time for a change, and Calgary summers are the time to be off work. I had a young family.” His career began in Germany’s Frankfurter Hof hotel, then to Bermuda, England and Switzerland. Calgary’s Four Seasons Hotel followed before joining the Palliser. ”Teaching has allowed me to travel all over the world for culinary competitions as coach. It is rewarding to come back with the top awards for competitions in Singapore and the Culinary Olympics. Competitions are a job on their own, so I have to treat it as a hobby.” What bugs him? ”How do we approach the next generation? Kitchen culture has a reality for survival in the industry. It’s not all stars.” To pursue teaching? ”Get a solid career and knowledge. Confidence comes from having been there. Excellence motivates - do it better the next time! Make food beautiful and simple, cook it perfect and to taste like what it is.”

With the recent explosion of interest in food and cooking, we asked Fred Malley CCC to peep behind the scenes and investigate the other side of the coin: life as a culinary educator. Here he shares insights from Calgary instructors who teach our upcoming chefs.

a B.Ed. after 10 years working at every station in hotel and restaurant kitchens. ”It’s a lifestyle choice, I wanted a family and working nights and weekends lost its appeal. I’m not as hard-nosed as some and like teaching and learning. The reward is a longterm investment, when a former student returns to say thanks, you made a difference.” She believes, ”keep food realistic and accessible; organic and local is sometimes not in the budget.” Advice to aspiring teachers: ”Network, get support from those who do it to determine your voice in the classroom.” Biggest peeve? The ”whatever attitude; they don’t invest in themselves.”

Mikael Volke grew up in Copenhagen House restaurant and worked for the Palliser, Smed Falkridge and Moxies; the latter as corporate chef, which meant lots of teaching. ”It’s a gift to be able to train young people and develop great professional relationships. People who don’t care annoy me. You need to be yourself and know your subject matter. No BS. Keep food fresh and simple, unadulterated. Respect the food, techniques and methods”. Joining SAIT two and a half years ago to spend more time with a young family, he’s a hockey dad and soccer coach. He takes pride in ”knowing I’m affecting students in a positive way. I see the industry in a different light, both environmental and sustainable.” 35 years later Larry Frandle is Chef Instructor at Centennial high school. He enjoys working with young people and takes pride in student success, particularly challenged students. ”Kids look up to you and seek positive attention.” He dislikes lazy people, works at Stampede Park part-time and continually upgrades himself - most recently to the US for a vegetable and fruit carving course. He believes food should be health conscious, ”know what you eat.” Advice for pursuing teaching: ”Work in industry for knowledge and experience. I started too soon.”

Andrew Springett left the coast to join SAIT one year ago - far from the Wickaninish Inn and the Black Rock Resort. He competed in four Olympics and was Canada’s Bocuse d’Or representative. He loves food and believes it’s important to ”pass down history and tradition along with modern techniques. Capture the product and enhance, rather than manipulate it. Try teaching before committing, you need to enjoy the work.’” Andrew coaches students for competition and is pursuing the Certified Chef de Cuisine designation.



SLOW by Karen Miller

Now we have an organization aiming to put the pleasure back in our food, but also, in the words of current Slow Food Calgary president and farmer, Kris Vester, “to give agriculture, and our food system as a whole, an ecologically and socially sound foundation”. The Slow Food organization was started in 1989 after a number of delegates at a meeting in Paris, France signed a manifesto. It was called “Slow” as a response to the invasion of the “fast food” industry in Europe. Slow Food organizations now exist in 130 countries around the world and comprise about 100,000 members. We have 34 local chapters, or “convivia”, in Canada. The mandate of Slow Food Calgary is to make local connections between consumers, chefs, food processors, and producers of good, clean, fair food, to build public awareness of agricultural systems and to promote the concepts of equality and responsibility for our food system. The idea is to protect regional dishes and cuisines, recipes and their ingredients, and small purveyors, from industrialization by educating the public. There are more than 5,000 initiatives or campaigns taken on by Slow Food International yearly and each convivium can autonomously choose which ones to participate in. The convivia are member-driven, and Slow Food Calgary takes on an initiative by hosting events to build public awareness and acknowledging local farmers and producers, and the restaurants that support them. These include events such as Roots and Shoots, to celebrate the imminent arrival of spring in Calgary (imminent might not be the appropriate word but we


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can always hope) and Feast of Fields to celebrate the harvest in September. There are workshops with local food producers, as well as field trips to those producers and farmers. Apart from the events organized by Slow Food Calgary, Vester believes it is equally important to engage in the much broader work of community engagement and education. “Slow Food Calgary puts on some fantastic culinary events showcasing local chefs and producers, but the largest of these may have 300 people present. If we look at the connections we are able to make at an event like Seedy Saturday, the Calgary Horticultural Show or the Calgary Folk Music Festival, as a prime example, there we feed and have contact with thousands of people. Slow Food is not just about good, clean, fair food for

DOWN! No I am not a traffic cop. But in order to keep up with our fast paced and hectic lives, the food industry has provided us with instant everything. Worldwide we have instant oatmeal, instant rice, complete microwavable dinners, sushi from vending machines and much more. those who can procure a ticket to one of our events, it is about good, clean, fair food for everyone, everywhere. That’s why the international initiatives of Slow Food, such as “A Thousand Gardens in Africa” are just as important as anything we do here in Calgary.” Membership in Slow Food International is open to anyone. You can sign up online at the Slow Food International website, www.slowfood.com/joinus or at any Calgary Slow Food event. An individual membership is around $90 (it is paid in euros) or you can add on an individual or as a family for $20. Junior memberships are $45. Membership includes a Slow Food International Card, discounts to events and publications, and a year of “Slow” the quarterly magazine produced by Slow Food International. Ask Vester what the value of membership in Slow Food is and he will tell you, “it is an opportunity to collaborate with other engaged, intelligent and passionate citizens in creating a food system which is good for all of us and the planet, all while remembering it is the pleasure we take in our culture, whether culinary, artistic or literary which makes life worth living”. So, take a look around you, sit back and go slow. Smell your food and appreciate every bite and thank all the people who make it happen! Make the connection and know your farmer. I love that Juniors can get their own membership, a great example. Get your kids involved, the earlier the better. Do not think of it as moving backwards in development but rather as an investment in our future. Lets all go slow!

Feast of Fields is held in the beautiful historic gardens of Rouge Restaurant. It is a chance to graze and sip, meet the people who grow your food, and to meet local chefs showcasing their creative cooking with our wonderful Alberta harvest. It goes rain or shine. Many of Calgary’s established restaurants and chefs will pair with local producers this September, including Boxwood, Brava Restaurant, The Cookbook Company, District, Il Sogno, Janice Beaton Fine Cheese and Notable. River Cafe will feature Driview Farms, known for their delicious Alberta lamb. New kids on the block such as Cuisine et Chateau’s Thierry Meret will pair with Manuel Latruwe and Broek farms to create their dishes. Not to forget liquid libations, wineries from Niagara, Kelowna, Naramata and Okanagan Falls will also be represented, and you can taste in-demand wines from Blackhill Winery, Joie Farms, Blasted Church Vineyards, Vineland Estates Winery, Tinhorn Creek, Summerhill, Desert Hills and Kettle Valley Winery. Chinook Arch Meadery will be sampling their mead wine and you’ll be able to try sparkling cider and ice cider from Pinnacle in Quebec. Feast of Fields is on Sunday September 16th, 2012, 1:00- 4:00 pm at Rouge Restaurant, 1240 8th Avenue SE, Calgary. Tickets can be purchased online at the Slow Food Calgary website, www.slowfoodcalgary.ca Individual adult tickets are $65 for members, $85 for nonmembers. Families with children under age 8 can purchase a pass for $170 for members and $210 non-members.



Napkin/Serviette Dilemma


by Wendy Brownie

Which is it? And does it actually make a difference? For many people, the words describing our dining rituals and etiquette change from country of origin and also from one generation to the next. For example, the square of cloth or paper used while eating to protect the clothes, and wipe the mouth and hands, is referred to by some as a napkin and by others as a serviette. In the United Kingdom and Canada both terms are used. The word ‘napkin’ comes from Middle English, borrowing the French ‘nappe’, translated as a cloth covering a table. ‘Serviette’ is from the French verb ‘servir’, meaning ‘to serve’. Language evolves, and today, as society relaxes with new dining experiences, the serviette in North America is often referred to as the paper


square purchased in stationery stores and party supply shops. Napkins, on the other hand, are made of heavier material, likely cotton or linen. They are easier to fold into shapes than their paper relatives. Spain denotes serviettes and napkins similar to the French understanding of serviette by calling each one ‘la servilleta’. Italy refers to a napkin and a serviette as ‘il tavagliolo’. Many countries have kept the original usage ‘napkin’, instead choosing to define the difference by saying ‘paper napkin’ or ‘cloth napkin’. I am often asked about the choice of table linens to accompany a lunch or dinner party. A colour code chosen by the host allows for a more informal table, whereas

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pristine white linen napkins shaped as birds or fleur-de-lis can be set for a more formal table. Smaller sized napkins are appropriate for a luncheon, while larger napkins accompany a dinner. A common complaint with regard to the care of cloth napkins is laundering and subsequent ironing. My answer is quite simple: a napkin is a flat surface and possibly the easiest thing in the universe to iron. Paper napkins are to be used once and then thrown away. To me, there is nothing nicer than a linen napkin, however it is presented, whether crisply ironed or naturally wrinkled. You say paper serviette – I say cloth napkin. ~ Bon Appetit!

Find That Fruit The Many Flavours of Wine by Peter Vetsch

One of the most remarkable things about wine is also one of the things most taken for granted: the fact that this beverage made entirely from crushed grapes and yeast can smell and taste like so many other different fruits and vegetables. This chameleon-like variability of flavour is a rarity - the exception rather than the rule for fermented drinks derived from fruit. You would be hard-pressed to find an apple cider that tastes like grapes or strawberries or anything other than apples. But finding a grape-based wine that tastes like apples? That’s a snap – there is no shortage of bottles from around the globe that feature this flavour. If you want a bottle bursting with green apple flavours, a Kabinettlevel riesling from Germany’s Mosel Valley would do the trick; if you prefer red apples, a dry furmint from Hungary would fit the bill perfectly. A huge part of the allure of wine is its ability to harness the best and purest expressions of other fruits and showcase them with startling clarity in the glass. The simplest way to go about finding the fruit in your glass of wine is to start generally and work your way down to specifics. Red wines most often give off impressions of red fruits (strawberry/raspberry/cherry), black fruits (blackberry/blackcurrant) or blue fruits (blueberry/saskatoon berry), while whites tend to smell and taste most like citrus fruits (lemon/lime/grapefruit), stone fruits (peach/apricot) or tropical fruits (pineapple/melon/mango). If you focus first on which fruit group you are sensing on your nose or palate, it will become much easier to zone in on the specific fruit(s) the wine is displaying. Certain wine grapes also have particular fruit hallmarks, flavours that define what the varietal should taste like: cabernet sauvignon’s calling card is usually blackcurrant, while gewürztraminer is almost synonymous with lychee. If you know what grape is in the bottle you will have a big head start on the fruit flavours that should be found inside.

On rare occasions you will come across a wine that so epitomizes the characteristics and nuances of a particular fruit that it is like finding the very essence of the fruit in a bottle. If you want to marvel at how the noble grape can be a perfect mirror of its sister produce, I would start with one of these two bottles, all available locally: Antiyal “Kuyen” (Chile, $28): This intriguing blend of syrah, cabernet sauvignon, carmenere and petit verdot from Chile’s Maipo Valley is the absolute apex of the flavour “blackcurrant” – it is one of the most singular expressions of a specific fruit that I have ever tasted in a wine. If you have ever struggled to locate cassis notes in a red, try this one and it will forever be your guide. CARM Douro Reserva (Portugal, $38): Made from the best-known Port varietals (touriga nacional, tinta roriz, tinta francisca, touriga franca), the flavours of this wine are as blue as its label. Blueberry can be a tough fruit flavour to isolate in a glass of wine, but this one smells and tastes bright, ripe and blue. For a very different type of wine but with an equally unmistakable fruit flavour ... Ben Rye (Sicily, Italy, 375 mL $35): A lusciously rich dessert wine made in the passito style from 100% Zibibbo (Moscato d’Alessandria) grapes, many of which are left to dry naturally in the sun and the wind for 20-30 days. A bright amber colour, the wine greets you with you an intense, ripe apricot flavour that carries right through to the prolonged finish.



Going the Distance

Restaurateur, father, engineer and soccer champion, Michael Bogale, brings passion for his cultural cuisine to the heart of Kensington. 16

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It’s 8:00 on a Wednesday night in a Kensington restaurant. Warm, richly-coloured and filled with art, the dining room is buzzing with conversation as guests sip wine and dine on fragrant dishes. This scene is familiar to most restaurantgoers, but there is one notable difference - nobody is using cutlery. Although fork-free eating may be unusual in Calgary, it is the norm when dining on Michael and Mimi Bogale’s Ethiopian cuisine. “To be honest, when we first opened up we never thought we’d get this kind of vibe,” says Michael Bogale. “My wife is a cook and we thought let’s see where it will take us, and here we are!” Since first opening its doors in August 1997, Marathon has gone through many changes, including temporarily opening a second location on 17th Avenue SW in 2002, and undergoing

story and photos by Naomi Cromwell

recent renovations at their permanent 10th St NW location. Despite these changes, Marathon has stayed true to its roots and has consistently offered high-quality, delicious and flavourful fare made with care. Ethiopia is located in the Horn of Africa and one of the oldest sites of human existence known to scientists. Its rich ancient cultural history spans back many centuries and was one of the major world powers in the third century AD. Aside from a brief period of Italian occupation in the mid 20th century, it is the only African country that resisted colonial control and maintained its sovereignty. The majority of Ethiopians are Orthodox Christians and eat vegan foods for 200 days of the year, all through Lent and on Wednesdays and Fridays. As a result, vegetables and legumes constitute a large part of the traditional gastronomy.

”Restaurants are not easy, especially ethnic restaurants,” says Michael, when asked about Marathon’s success. “You have to be here. It’s not like another business where someone else can take care of it for you while you are off somewhere else. It’s always a challenge.” Jokingly, he adds “I always tell (Mimi), this is my second wife.” Michael was born in Ethiopia where he lived for the duration of his childhood and post-secondary education. In 1994, he emigrated to Rome, Italy, where he met Mimi, whose parents worked for the Ethiopian embassy. They dated, fell in love and got married. Having been educated as a civil engineer, Michael hoped to continue his education, but it proved difficult in Italy since one had to speak fluent Italian in order to attend courses. Upon learning that he had a cousin in Calgary, he decided to take the trek across the globe to begin a new chapter in his life. When he arrived in Canada, Michael was disappointed to find that there were many barriers facing him in order for his education to be recognized. He hadn’t expected to start over, and found himself working at jobs for which he was overqualified, including driving taxi and at a meat plant in High River. In 1996, he brought Mimi to Calgary where they were able to be together and start a family. It was Mimi’s idea to open the restaurant. Having learned the art of cooking from her mother, a tradition that had been



passed down through generations in her family, she was eager to share her talents and enrich the Calgary restaurant scene. Michael was a bit apprehensive at first, having never before been in the business in any capacity, but soon warmed to the idea. Despite Michael’s reservations, Marathon was well received by the vibrant community of Kensington. People were curious and excited about this new cuisine. For the first year or so, Michael made a point of going to each table and educating diners on the proper way to enjoy the cuisine: using their fingers. Mimi makes sure not to make the food too spicy, to cater to the North American palate. The rest, as they say, is history. Although most of the food is vegetarian, Marathon also serves meat dishes such as lamb, chicken and beef. Using recipes passed down from Mimi’s mother and authentic spices imported directly from Ethiopia, it is easy to taste the love, time and care that goes into each dish. Wot, an aromatic vegetable stew, is a staple of Ethiopian cuisine. This stew has many different expressions, depending on the cook, and can contain lentils, chickpeas, split peas, kidney beans, cabbage and carrots. It is served on Injera, a spongy flatbread about 20 inches in diameter. Injera is akin to a sourdough pancake, and traditionally made from an ancient grain called teff, which is gluten-free,


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has many health benefits and is gaining popularity on the world stage. However, teff is difficult to find in the western world. Due to the recent popularity of gluten-free foods and high-nutrient grains, some producers in North America have started growing and distributing the crop, although not yet widely, so local injera-makers need to improvise and be creative with what is readily available. “We still use (teff), but not as much,” Michael explains. “It has some barley, wheat, self-rising wheat flour, water, love! That’s it!” Similarly to sourdough, the batter is mixed and fermented for about 8 hours and then cooked in a skillet. Even though Injera is incredibly delicious, it is also very filling. Since the food is eaten with the fingers, it is easy to use too much bread, so Michael has started putting cutlery on the tables. This allows guests to savour and enjoy the nuances

and complex flavours of each expertly crafted dish, without filling up too quickly. When asked what brings people back to the restaurant, Michael responds, “I would probably say the uniqueness of it. Not too many places will you be eating with your fingers and you wouldn’t be eating communally. It’s a sign of friendship... It would give you a sense of commonality and we are very careful not to make it too spicy. We try to make it as authentic as possible. That’s the whole point of it.” Many appetizers are available and prepared in-house, including sambusas, beef- or lentil-filled pastries served with a side of Berbere, a traditional hot sauce. If you are brand new to Ethiopian food, Michael recommends ordering the House Specialty platter, allowing you to explore the menu by featuring six dishes served atop

Injera. One exceptional selection is Inguday Tibs, a slightly spicy portobello mushroom and onion dish that is earthy, flavourful, juicy and succulent. Another way to acquaint oneself Marathon’s wide variety of dishes is to visit their lunch buffet, served Monday through Saturday from 11:30am to 2:30pm at a cost of $12.99 per person. Boasting an array of 15 choices (which works out to be less than a dollar per dish), the buffet allows guests to enjoy many different flavours and go back for seconds (or thirds) of their new favourite dishes. Marathon’s dishes are also a welcome addition at cultural festivals in Calgary, including the Kensington Sun and Salsa Festival and Heritage Day at Prince’s Island Park. Marathon offers a modest but quality selection of wines and beers, including Tusker Beer imported from Kenya; a malty, crisp, slightly sweet and refreshing beer with a clean, hoppy finish. Aside from engineering, restaurant proprietorship and fatherhood, Michael is a soccer (known in Ethiopia as football) enthusiast and has no qualms about proudly displaying the trophies he’s won over the years, in the dining room. When asked what he does in his spare time, Michael shares that he is currently going back to night school at SAIT to take engineering - “for fun”. “Obviously I do have a passion for it,” he smiles humbly.



Chef’s Tips story and photos by Silvia Pikal


While our city will probably never slap “I LOVE ALBERTA PARSNIPS” on the bumpers of its pick-up trucks, Calgary’s “Cowtown” reputation hasn’t stopped chefs from embracing vegetables in their cooking. These chefs prove that properly prepared vegetables can be as juicy and flavourful as the hunk of steak on your plate, and that there are no limits to taste when vegetables are the main dish. We’ve asked local chefs who thrive at working with vegetables for their best tips on preparing and cooking them.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: CHARCUT While a restaurant known for its rotisserie meats might not be the first place that pops into your mind when you think of vegetables, John Jackson and Connie DeSousa of CHARCUT Roast House prove their talents are not limited to cooking meat. CHARCUT’s menu features inseason vegetables, with produce from local farms in Innisfail and fruit from the Okanagan. Jackson suggests trying to avoid overcomplicating vegetable dishes. “Let the natural flavours shine. It is about simplicity and showcasing them to their fullest. Example dishes would be our Poplar Bluff potatoes and heirloom carrots slow roasted in the pan drippings from our smoker rotisserie. Or to simply toss black kale with a little olive oil and sea salt then roast until slightly crisp. This served with a slow cooked egg and preserve lemon is delicious!” CHEF’S TIP: “When cleaning artichokes use a peeler as Connie did on Top Chef Canada. That is how she won the challenge. It curves better than any paring knife and is super accurate.”

Try pairing this dish with: Poggerino Il Labirinto from Italy $21-$24 Domaine du Bourdieu Rosé from France $19-$20 Phillips Hop Circle from Victoria B.C. (6 x 341 mL) $12-$13

Roasted Pepper Cashew Pesto Serves 6

2 125 mL (1/2 cup) 750 mL (3 cups) 60 mL (4 Tbs) 15 mL (1 Tbs) 2.5 mL (1/2 tsp) 1.25 mL (1/4 tsp) 125 mL (1/2 cup) 2 Salt

peppers (red or yellow) sundried tomatoes (in oil) toasted cashews local basil curry powder tandoori masala cayenne powder sundried tomato oil garlic cloves to taste

1. Cut in half and deseed local organic peppers. Flatten the peppers with your palm - give them a good squish! 2. Broil on high for 25 minutes on the top oven rack. 3. Place in an airtight container for at least 30 minutes, or until cool then peel - the skin will fall right off! 4. While peppers are in the oven, process garlic first in a food processor and add all other ingredients. Leave a little bit chunky. It is great on everything, from a sandwich spread, pasta sauce, or wrap it up in grilled eggplant slices!

THE COUP Ev Foley, chef and kitchen manager of The Coup, studied at the Culinary Institute at Vancouver Island University. Her passion for food began at an early age. “I have loved food and cooking ever since I can remember,” Foley said. “My mother always made vegetarian fare from Moosewood and Laurel’s kitchen cookbooks. There was always amazing food on our table. At 13 I gravitated towards trouble, so I cooked for my family to get out of being grounded! It always worked!” The Coup’s eclectic menu relies on local vegetables to provide freshness and flavour, which includes bringing in products from Leaf and Lyre, an urban gardening project. “It keeps us on our toes because we don’t know what will turn up in our order. It’s loads of fun and we can create some quality food with these products. There are so many intriguing, bountiful gardens, greenhouses and farms around us. I encourage people to explore their local growers!” CHEF’s TIP: “Roast lovely local peppers. They are too easy to prepare and these simple vegetables give your dish rich colour, sweet texture and flavourful depth!”



Try pairing this dish with: Joseph Drouhin Laforet from France $19-$20 Graham Beck Brut from South Africa $26-$28 Erdinger Weissbier (500 mL) $3-$4

Vegetable Pakoras Serves 4

1. Mix together flour, ginger and garlic paste, cumin, coriander, oil, salt and baking soda in a large bowl and mix with water until the batter is thick and not too runny. 2. Dip vegetables in batter and fry in 350º F hot oil for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. 3. Sprinkle chaat masala on top of pakoras and serve with ketchup or mint chutney. *(Chaat masala is available at Silk Road Spice Merchant in Inglewood)

240 mL (1 cup) 30 mL (2 Tbs) 5 mL (1 tsp) 5 mL (1 tsp) 5 mL (1 tsp) 7 mL (1 1/2 tsp) Pinch 1-2 120 mL (1/2 cup) 1 1 Oil Pinch

chickpea flour oil ground cumin coarse coriander seeds ginger and garlic paste salt baking soda green chillies, chopped water potato small cauliflower (or your favourite vegetables) to fry Chaat masala, optional

GLORY OF INDIA Glory of India chef and owner Jassie Bakhshi trained at the Culinary Institute of America and lived in 56 cities in nine countries before settling in Calgary. He opened Glory of India in 2002, bringing his world experience and infectious enthusiasm for Indian cuisine to Calgarians. He admits that his restaurant is better known for its butter chicken, but gives the same attention to vegetables in his Delhi-style menu. The vegetarian section boasts such dishes as clay oven roasted eggplants, and vegetable dumplings with paneer cooked in a rich almond and cashew gravy. “We work for food, but we often don’t pay attention to what we are eating,” Bakhshi said. “It’s important to put your love and passion into your food.” CHEF’s TIP: “Pakoras will turn out crispier if a little corn flour is added to the chickpea flour while preparing the batter. Don’t follow the recipe line by line. Use your instinct and change it to what you like. It’s your food; eat it in your style.”


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Try pairing this dish with: Vignoble Barron Lucky Bug from France $18-$20 Winery Guy Chaumont Givry Chardonnay from France $24-$26 Wild Rose Brewery WRaspberry Ale (6 x 341 mL) $12-$13

Fresh Greens Wrap Serves 2

2 leaves of kale, collards or swiss chard 30 mL (2 Tbs) guacamole 30 mL (2 Tbs) nut butter 10 mL (2 tsp) hemp seeds 2 sheets of nori paper, shredded 120 mL (1/2 cup) sprouted quinoa, lentils or beans Vegetables of your choice 1. Pick up some collards, swiss chard, butter lettuce or kale leaves as your “shell.” 2. Layer with ingredients and roll up.

GRATITUDE CAFE Recognizing a demand for vegetarian and gluten-free food in Calgary, gratitude café chef and owner Kristi Reich created a menu that caters to a diverse clientele. Dishes like cashew french toast, raw Mexican enchilada lettuce cups and gluten-free rustic thin crust pizza offer a twist on familiar foods. Everything at gratitude café is made from scratch, and the kitchen takes advantage of Calgary’s organic markets to create a daily soup. “When you work with all types of veggies there is no wrong answer. No matter what kind of dish you are making, all veggies go together and it will always work out perfectly as long as you focus on the proper herbs and spices!” CHEF’s TIP: “I recommend that you wrap everything in “leaves” and learn how to sprout. It is an awesome and healthy way to ingest a delicious assortment of living foods. Wrapping your food in green leaves is a great alternative to bread and the creative ideas for the fillings are endless!”



Cider Houses by David Nuttall

Cider is the name given to the alcoholic beverage made from the fermented juice of apples, pears and other fruits.


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Hard cider is a term more common in the United States, although it is used in Canada. Soft cider is the term for nonalcoholic cider. Cider used to be the most common alcoholic beverage in North America from colonial times up until the mid 19th century, when westward expansion led to the harvesting of grain rather than fruit, leading to beer becoming the most common drink. Two world wars, prohibition, the Great Depression, the destruction of orchards due to urban expansion, the poor quality of existing ciders, and the growth of cheap beer through most of the twentieth century almost drove cider into extinction. However, thanks to little cideries in the U.K., north eastern and north western United States, eastern Canada, and British Columbia, cider has begun to enjoy a renaissance in the last 15 years. While apple cider is the by far the most popular cider, pear cider (or perry, as it is sometimes called), is also quite common.


Other fruits are also made into cider; Growers Cider Company out of B.C. alone has 17 different varieties of cider listed in Alberta. Cider is not too difficult to make, and is made much like wine; the fruit is picked, crushed, and pressed to extract the juice, then fermented using either cultivated yeast or the wild yeasts found on the fruit’s skin. Different fruits have their own unique requirements due to different sugar, acid and tannin levels, but the process is essentially the same for all of them. Most apples and pears used for cider are grown specifically for that purpose, and are otherwise inedible. Many ciders are a blend of several different varieties; Magners/Bulmers cider uses 17 different kinds of apples. Some ciders are then aged for a few months, some for up to three years. Much like beer, cider can be made to various alcohol strengths. The most common in Canada is between 6% and 7%, but ciders can range anywhere from 3% to 13%. Ciders also

come in different levels of sweetness; from “dry” (with almost no residual sugar) to “medium” (sometimes referred to as “off-dry” or “semi-sweet”) to “sweet”, which has over 4% residual sugar, but sometimes can go as high as 10%. In addition, carbonation can vary from flat to an almost champagne level. Little or no carbonation is termed “still”, while a moderate level is termed “petillant”. “Sparkling” is the term for a highly carbonated cider. Most ciders found in Alberta tend to be petllant to sparkling, with very few still ciders. Some ciders are naturally carbonated, while some have added CO2. Ciders can range in clarity from good to brilliant, with modern filtration techniques removing all evidence of pulp. Most ciders have the clarity of young white wine. Finally, the colour is determined by the fruit used in the cider. Enough jokes are made about the unfortunate similarity between the colour of apple juice and certain bodily fluids, but in truth, most apple and pear ciders are almost colourless or have a slight straw colour. Today, most other ciders are usually artificially coloured to represent the fruit within. In Quebec, some cider producers, obviously inspired by icewine, have created cidre de glace (ice cider). Much like the wine, the apples are frozen either before or after being harvested. Because the juice is more concentrated, a completely different style of cider is created. It is darker, sweeter, and still, with a higher alcohol concentration, between 9% and 13% ABV. There are three different ice ciders available in Alberta, and one, Domaine Pinnacle, also produces a sparkling version. Drawing a parallel to the growth of the craft beer culture, cider also is expanding in styles and quality. While there are still some mass-produced, artificially sweetened and coloured, adjunct ladened, bland tasting ciders out there (sound familiar to beer lovers?), there is a trend toward natural and organic ciders. There are at least six different organic ciders listed in Alberta, and some, like Sea Cider out of Vancouver Island, are recreating the old farmhouse style of ciders, using traditional methods, and even bottling them in resealable 750 mL bottles. If the importation of upscale foreign ciders continues to rise, we may soon see ciders divided up into regions and countries in catalogs and lists. Restaurants are also adding more ciders to their menus, realizing their wide variety and versatility can fill the gap between beer and wine. Being gluten free, cider has also become popular with those who can’t drink (most) beers. Because ciders come in an almost limitless variety of flavours, they can pair up with almost any food. They are also useful in cooking in sauces, soups and dressings. They are a natural with ham, sausages, roast pork, cold cuts, chicken and feathered game. Since they range in sweetness and in levels of carbonation, they can be used in much the same way as wine, at a fraction of the cost. Even the most expensive bottles of regular cider come in at the price level of very cheap wine, and those packaged in six-packs are cheaper than most beers. Ice cider is about one-third the cost of icewine. While cider will never replace the elegance of wine, or become as popular as beer for the everyday drink, there should always be room for quality cider in anybody’s cellar or fridge.



Back Basics to

written and photographed by Cory Knibutat

Four ovens, a giant fridge, plenty of counter space, plastic knives and step-stools. A typical kitchen, this is not. It’s designed specifically to make it possible for children as young as age three to learn the basics of how to prepare food at home. With parental supervision of course.

For just over a year, Epicurious Kids Cookery, located in Crowfoot Crossing, has aimed to teach kids to be more confident and comfortable in the kitchen when they cook, as well as being more adventurous when trying new foods. Michelle Friese, founder and instructor, uses her background in teaching, and love of food from all over the world, to teach children how to prepare practical meals that they can be proud to cook for their families. “I started off as a traveler and teaching English overseas, and I just made money and used it to travel from country to country for five or six years,” Friese said. “I got a taste for a lot of different kinds of food that I hadn’t really tried here.” “Traveling really opened me up to be able to create things myself once I got back here,” Friese added. Maternity leave three years ago left Friese with plenty of time on her hands and she used that opportunity to spend more time cooking and experimenting with the flavours she had come to love around the world. “I had my own daughter and I was hyper-aware of everything that was going into her mouth, so it became really crucial that I made everything from scratch,” Friese said. “I wanted to give her the best start that I could.” A rise in childhood obesity and wanting to teach kids the importance of a healthy lifestyle also helped Friese decide to teach cooking classes. “I think that kids really will benefit from learning how to make their own meals from scratch and not rely on fast food or processed food,” Friese said. “The kids have made pasta from scratch, they’ve made their own sauce from scratch, they make tortillas from scratch and they don’t buy them,” Friese added. “They can make all of this stuff and it gives them such confidence.” Kids, of course, are notoriously picky eaters and Epicurious Cookery encourages them to be more open-minded with ingredients and flavours that they might usually avoid or have never tried before. “What I did was just take from different cultures and try to have a balance with familiar ingredients and then throw in a few exotic ingredients,” Friese explained. “So maybe cilantro or cumin.“ “Everybody takes an oath that they have to try a bite,” Friese added. “If you don’t like the first bite, give it a second and try another one. They all do and sometimes they don’t like it, and that’s totally fine, but at least they’re open to trying new things.”


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Aside from learning to create meals, Epicurious Kids Cookery teaches kids the importance of planning, working together and being organized. Classes of up to a dozen are divided into smaller groups and encouraged to share the workload to be more efficient and to let each student have a chance to learn. “It’s very hands on, they all get to chop things or measure things and they can all contribute to the same recipe, so that there is not one kid standing and watching,” Friese said. “We start off with a lot of just chopping vegetables and putting stuff together like that. We go through everything. By the time they’re done they can make a complete meal.” Friese added: “I love it when the kids go to their parents and say, ‘Look what I made!’ and their parents are so excited and cannot believe that they made that. The kids can’t wait to take the recipes home and cook for their family.” Multi-session classes for children aged three to 13, are held once a week for five weeks during the school year, starting at 4:30 and lasting roughly 3 hours. Summer classes are also offered with morning and afternoon classes available. For more information visit www.epicuriouskids.ca

Start From Scratch, a cooking program offered to students at the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University, was designed from the start to make post-secondary students more aware of proper nutrition and to show them how easy it is to make delicious, simple food. The program is taught by food journalist and founder Dan Clapson, along with fellow instructor Jacinthe Koddo, and structured to demystify cookery to students who have a love or fascination with it but have never had the proper guidance to explore their curiosity. “Dan and I developed a curriculum than we felt covered the starting bases,” Koddo said. “Everything from a simple tomato sauce to making lasagna. We do themes as well with a date-night dinner where you’re trying to impress someone, and cooking for the family so they’re roasting a chicken. So it’s all really simple and classic stuff to learn but definitely very versatile as well.” Start From Scratch also stresses the importance of safety in the kitchen and good hygiene, teaching students basic knife skills as well as proper hand-washing. “Even stuff like having damp paper-towels underneath a cutting board to keep it from sliding around,” Koddo added. “There’s definitely a lot of tips and tricks to help make it more safe and keep all your fingers on.”

Remarkably, the program is free to students who are notoriously broke from tuition fees to begin with. “Calgary Co-op generously donates all of our groceries for each session,” Koddo said. “We put in a bit of our own money here and there because it is a bit of a start-up business but we’re actually in the process of applying to be a non-profit so that we can apply for grants and have fundraisers and cover more costs that way.” A few local chefs and food personalities will also be donating their time and wisdom to better educate participants about the fantastic local produce found seasonally in Calgary. “We offer two extra events within the 10-week program,” Koddo said. “One is a Saturday farmer’s market tour with John (Jackson) and Connie (DeSousa) from Charcut taking us around the Kingsland Farmer’s Market. The other event is a wine tasting with Home Tasting Room. Chef Geoff Rogers and his whole crew put together five different wines with five different courses and we give a bit of a wine education to the students.” Students can apply online at www.startfromscratch.ca for the 10week program offered in the fall and spring semesters. Registration runs from August 1st until September 14th, with classes starting September 25th.



The Soup Kitchen recipes and photos by Dan Clapson

In September there’s no shortage of ripe fruit and vegetables, so whether you grow your own or buy at the market, make the most of nature’s bounty with Dan Clapson’s two favourite easy-to-prepare, delicious and satisfying soup Ginger Cherry Bisque recipes. Serves 4 Total cook time 35 min 1 1 1 1

yellow onion, chopped garlic clove gala apple (peeled, cut into 1” cubes) red potato (peeled, cut into 1” cubes)

1. Cook the onion and garlic with a drizzle of olive oil in a medium-sized pot until softened, about 5 minutes. Then add the chopped apple, potato, and cherries and let cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 2. Pour the stock into the pot and stir in the ginger, lime juice, sriracha, and chili powder. When mixture comes to a boil, reduce to low heat and let simmer on stove for 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper 160 mL (2/3 cup) cherries (pitted and halved) 750 mL (3 cups) chicken stock (or vegetable stock) 15 mL (1 Tbs) ginger (freshly grated) 15 mL (1 Tbs) lime juice 15 mL (1 Tbs) sriracha 20 mL (4 tsp) chili powder salt and pepper to taste olive oil Garnish with radish & cucumber, thinly sliced (optional)


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3. Remove pot from heat to let cool slightly. Then puree soup until smooth using a food processor or blender. Return to pot and keep warm until ready to serve. 4. Garnish with thinly sliced radish and cucumber for a cooling contrast to the spicy soup.

Summer Squash Beer Bisque Serves 4 Total cook time 40 min 1 2 240 mL (1 cup) 750 mL (3 cups)

yellow onion garlic cloves beer, light pilsner zucchini squash

240 mL (1 cup)


(peeled, cut into 1” cubes) (peeled, cut into 1” cubes)

550 mL (2½ cups) chicken broth

(or vegetable broth)

1. Cook the onion and garlic with a drizzle of olive oil in a medium-sized pot until softened, about 5 minutes. Then pour the beer into the pot and let cook until liquid has reduced by half, about 8-10 minutes. 2. Add the zucchini, rutabaga, broth, mustard and soy sauce to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat and let simmer for 25 minutes.

15 mL (1 Tbs) grainy dijon mustard 30 mL (2 Tbs) soy sauce 125 mL (½ cup) fresh basil (chiffonaded) 1 lemon (zested and juiced) salt and pepper to taste olive oil Garnish with sour cream (optional)

3. Remove pot from heat to let cool slightly. When cool, puree soup until smooth using a food processor or blender. Return to pot, stir in the chopped basil (reserve some for garnish), fresh lemon juice and zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 4. For serving, place a spoonful of sour cream on top and sprinkle with a few ribbons of fresh basil.



A Tale Of

Two Turnips story and photos by Jeff Collins

Jeff Collins is a retired Calgary broadcaster.

I am not, “just off the turnip truck”. I am 56 years old, college-educated, and happily retired after more than 30 years in broadcasting. I thought I knew what I was putting in my mouth. Wrong! This year, I found out that the wonderful veggie that I called “turnip” was actually “rutabaga”. Growing up in Newfoundland, I ate a lot of rutabaga. My Mom called them turnips. My classmates called them turnips. Back then, I imagine, even the signs at the Dominion Supermarket called them “nips”. I fled the island in the seventies to go to school “up along”, on the “mainland”. In Toronto, I first heard the word “rutabaga”. I thought it was some kind of Upper Canadian affectation! As though “turnip” was too humble a name for such a colourful and toothsome veg! Only now do I realize that the turnip and the rutabaga are two different things. Rutabaga may well be the first GMO (Genetically Modified Organism). The modification appears to have been arranged by Mother Nature herself. In 1935, a Korean-Japanese botanist named Woo Jang-Choon came up with a theory to explain the homely rutabaga. He felt it was the result of a blind date between the real turnip and a cabbage sometime in the eighteenth century. The result is the rutabaga, the


red-headed stepchild of the vegetable world. The turnip is not exactly a showstopper for looks. But put it next to its progeny, the rutabaga, and the turnip takes on a whole new glow. The rutabaga is ugly. A yellowish tinge to its skin and flesh. A bulbous propensity. The turnip, by comparison is almost prettily pale, delightfully rotund, with just a touch of purple on top. Why, it looks like it may be wearing eye shadow! I wandered into the Sunterra Market recently and found both turnips and rutabagas side by side. So I picked up samples of both and cooked them. I sampled some raw and found the turnip came out on top. Turnip sticks have a slightly more chewable texture than “rutabaga rods”. Cooked, the rutabaga wins hands down. The flesh turns a bright orange and the earthy flavour is entirely appealing. Turnip, on the other hand, looses the hint of horseradish it displays as a crudité. Pity. It is disheartening to learn you’ve been wrong about something your whole life. Humbling too. The turnip truck leaves town at dusk. I’ll be on it.

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ChopChop! Chef, poet, author, and food advocate, Dee Hobsbawn-Smith told me once, “Nothing is more dangerous than a dull knife.” Trying to slice a rutabaga with a bad blade is a good way to prove her theory. Step One: Sharpen your knife before you approach your roly-poly victim, lying on the cutting board. Step Two: Make him less prone to roll. Cut off each end, then invert the rutabaga and produce another flat surface by taking off a sliver from the side. Step Three: Now the thing will lie flat and passive as you turn it into slices ready to be peeled. I find the fibrous nature of raw rutabaga has a tendency to turn the knife as you cut into it, so be prepared with a little clockwise counter pressure as you rock the knife back and forth and down. Slow and steady wins the race. You don’t want your career as a piano player or guitarist ended by a recalcitrant rutabaga!

The Joy of the

Grape Harvest by David Nuttall

photograph courtesy of CARM Winery

As late summer and early autumn arrive, thoughts on the prairie turn to the harvest. While visions of combines and threshers usually come to mind, on the other side of the Rocky Mountains, a whole different harvest begins. From August to October, vineyards in British Columbia and the rest of the northern hemisphere become furious with activity, as there is only a small window of opportunity for the pickers to get the grapes off the vine at just the right time. Just what is the right time? There is no easy answer to that question. Latitude, altitude, soil type, climate, microclimate, aspect, drainage, topography - all the very definition of the word terroir, play a part. Weather forecasts are also important, as no one wants to lose a crop to extreme heat, frost or hail. The human element comes in when the winemaker makes decisions on irrigation, pruning, and which grape varietals are picked, when and where. Different parts of the vineyard may be harvested at different times depending on ripeness; the levels of tannins, sugars and acids present in the grapes. These properties will determine what style of wine will be produced. Some winemakers will use refractometers and phenolphthalein indicators, others just like to taste the grapes. Once the grapes have achieved the desired ripeness, an army of workers will descend into the vineyard. Where do these people come

from? While a few are oenology students, almost all are migrant workers, mostly from Mexico, who work their way through California up the west coast to B.C. from July to October. While mechanical harvesters are used in some regions, most wineries dismiss them as being too primitive in their inability to distinguish ripe grapes from the unripe or rotten ones, or even mud, branches, clumps of leaves or other unwanted bits. Machines can also damage the fruit or break the skins when beating the vines with rubber tubing in order to get the grape bunches to drop on conveyer belts. And machines donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t work at all on steep hillsides. Human harvesters are gentler with the fruit and can discern ripe grapes from those needing more time. Also, since they get paid by the weight of their pickings, it is in their best interest to work as efficiently and quickly as they can. A good worker can pick 1-2 tons of fruit a day. While this seems like it might be fun, as in almost all manual labour, it is hard work. Bending down (almost all bunches lie within one to four feet off the ground), contorting yourself into positions in order to get a pair of shears to cut off at the top of the cluster (and not your fingers) without damaging the grapes, and then getting up to gently toss them into a bin, is no easy task. Having spent 30 minutes doing it one afternoon, I speak from experience. I also know I would be a very poor (both literally and financially) migrant worker. At any rate, do yourself a favour and visit B.C. during the fall harvest. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fall Wine Festival runs from September 28 to October 7, and there are over 165 events happening all through the Okanagan. With more wineries popping up every year, there is always something new to see, and new vintages to drink!



Sustainable Dining story by Vincci Tsui

photos by Ingrid Kuenzel

It is estimated that restaurants and commercial kitchens use 250% more energy than any other type of commercial building. Fortunately, here in Calgary there are not one, but two organizations looking to make our meals out a little more sustainable – Respect for the Earth and All People (REAP) and Leaders in Environmentally Accountable Foodservice (LEAF). REAP founder Stephanie Jackman left her career in marketing in 2004 after becoming disillusioned by promoting products and services that were not always local, environmentally friendly or socially responsible. “I woke up one morning and I just thought, ‘Geez, I think I’m part of the problem,’” she says. “And I thought, wouldn’t it be great to just focus on progressive, locally owned businesses that are making a greater contribution?” After hiring a life coach to help her map out a plan, Jackman officially launched REAP in 2008 with the objective of bringing together Calgary businesses who are leaders in helping to create a more sustainable future for the city. While the three founding members were not from the foodservice industry, more restaurants and other food-related businesses are joining the 80 plus members that are now a part of REAP. One of those businesses is LEAF, a nationwide foodservice sustainability certification program founded by local dietitian Janine Windsor. “I worked in foodservice putting myself through university and I was


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always bothered by the amount of waste I saw in the industry,” she says. “There didn’t seem to be anyone who was doing anything about it.” Inspired by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program as well as sustainable foodservice organizations in the United States, LEAF was launched in 2009. Working with a team of environmental consultants, Windsor created a list of 10 areas of sustainability in which restaurants are evaluated, including Food Purchasing and Menu Items, Energy Use, Water Use, Waste and Recycling, Chemicals, and Policy and Innovation. Within each category there are different criteria where restaurants can earn points; their “level” of certification is based on the total number of points earned. “A lot of restaurants are surprised when we go in and do our audits and they actually see how specific and extensive it is, because there are so many things they are not addressing,” Windsor says. Alex Joseph, a LEAF environmental auditor and board member, agrees. “[The restaurants] may have initially been focused on the actual food choices or food products. For example, they may have organic, fair trade or vegetarian products across the board, and that may be a real strength area for them,” he says. “Typically if they’ve gone one way, then perhaps they haven’t thought as much about the other components of the operation.” Foodservice businesses can work with auditors like Joseph to

Did you know that the foodservice industry is one of the largest consumers of electricity and water in the country?

discuss areas where they can change and thus improve their rating while cutting down operational costs. “As soon as they learn about the potential to save lots of money, that always speaks to a lot of business owners,” Windsor says. “Time’s always a barrier, money’s always a barrier, but when we show them that they are able to save X amount of money in a year, they are always very keen on it.” Windsor and Joseph point out that small, inexpensive changes, such as creating a start-up/shut-down schedule for kitchen equipment, switching to energy efficient lighting, using low-flow aerators on sinks, and proper maintenance of equipment can significantly reduce the impact that a restaurant has on the environment. REAP, on the other hand, does not have such stringent criteria, but still requires that members be locally owned, manufacture or sell sustainable products or services and demonstrate a commitment to sustainability in their operations. “Any business that would meet LEAF’s certification criteria would qualify to be a REAP member if it was locally owned,” Jackman says. “We’re not like LEAF where we’re going to delve into the nitty gritty of your operations, we’re more about having some conversations, looking at the documentation a business has to support what it’s doing, completing a sustainability profile and then moving them into membership very quickly.” Both organizations say that members benefit from increasing their exposure and raising their profile amongst consumers.

“The public loves to hear what restaurants are getting involved [with LEAF]. They’re always asking for lists and are always eager to support those restaurants,” Windsor says. REAP goes one step further, organizing many events and introducing opportunities to connect restaurateurs and producers with their clients. Last year, the organization launched its “Be Local” campaign, which looks to educate the public on the benefits of buying from local businesses and living a more sustainable lifestyle. REAP also hosts an annual “Food for Thought” event, which is coming up on September 23. For $20, visitors will have the chance to sample local foods while meeting the farmers, chefs and shop owners that produce, cook and sell them. See page 7 for more details. “You can’t really talk about local living without talking about food,” Jackman says. “We have been very focused on offering food sampling and experiential opportunities as well as educational opportunities for consumers, about the local food system.” While REAP and LEAF are well-known and respected amongst those who are already environmentally aware, both organizations are working hard to reach out to those who are less “green”. “Right now we’re getting the ‘leading edge’, where the operations see themselves as the top performers on every level, and they see the environmental piece as something they can add to their portfolio of high performance.” Joseph says. “It’ll be interesting to see when you start to get that next level, for example the top 15 or 20% trying to push their level of performance to reach the top 5%.”



Name ? What’s in a

(Part 1 of a special 2-part article)

To the French wine maker and to the old world wine aficionado, the name of the grape was “Syrah”, while to the new world such as in Australia the very same grape operated under the name “Shiraz”. For a time, the traditional producers such as in the Rhone valley pretended not to notice that the Australians were on to something. Wine drinkers loved the thick, jammy fruit, the spice, and even a little sweetness that was completely at odds to the traditional peppery or perfumed examples coming out of France. Despite the fact that the grape is planted from Chile to Greece, it really only comes in two types, warmer climate, fruit driven Australian styles or leaner, spicier traditional styles such as in France-these are the two sides of the same coin that we will focus on. Australia’s history with shiraz goes back to the settling of the continent “down under” and with vine cuttings brought from Europe by James Busby in 1832. From the approximately 400 different cuttings brought by Busby, syrah was one of the most successful at handling the hotter and drier climate of Australia. When exactly it started going by the name shiraz is open to debate, but I like to think it comes from the plural of syrah-said in your worst Crocodile Dundee accent.


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by Tom Firth

Shiraz was first planted in the Hunter Valley in the 1830’s and in the iconic Barossa in the 1840’s (which by the 1930’s was producing about 75 percent of Australia’s wine-most of it fortified rather than table wines. Australia didn’t get a reputation for quality table wine until the latter half of the 20th century. The exact decade quality Australian table wines appeared is open to interpretation, but safe to say by the late 1980’s they pretty much figured it out. These days shiraz remains Australia’s flagship grape representing about a quarter of the countries total plantings. Shiraz is grown all over Australia with notable areas in the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra, Margaret River, and many others. McLaren Vale and Barossa are considered warmer climates with wines showing higher alcohol, bigger tannins, full and rich flavours. McLaren Vale has producers such as d’Arenberg, Chapel Hill, and Rosemount and flavours typically include dark chocolate and blueberries. The Barossa is home to Peter Lehmann, Penfolds, Yalumba and many more, and to some this area is the purest form of shiraz out there-wines are big, lush, and velvety. The cooler climates producers tend to be smaller and less well known to

Wine Picks

Tahbilk Shiraz $24 Ngambie Lakes

Showing both lush fruit and a serious earthiness about it. Roasted coffee, spice, raisins, and chocolate complement berry fruits and earth. Ngambie Lakes is an up and coming area to keep an eye on from Australia.

Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz $80 Australia A world class wine from the people that produce the iconic Grange-without the jaw-dropping price tag. Ripe fruit with tobacco, spice, menthol, liquorice, and firm tannins drink with your best steaks or by the fire.

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, so does it really matter whether a wine says Syrah or Shiraz on the label? It used to.

Mollydooker, The Boxer Shiraz $35 Australia Subtle like a monster truck, the Boxer is boozy, thick with extracted black fruits, spicy, and delicious all the way through. Some might find it too much, but with our fleeting barbecue season and great local meats, you know what to do with this bottle.

Two Oceans Shiraz $11 South Africa Two Oceans brings great value to wine shelves everywhere. A nose of chocolate and black fruits, with some of that South African smokiness and wet herb lead into lush fruits on the palate with easy tannins and drinkability.

Canadian consumers, but Tahbilk from Nagambie Lakes, De Bortoli from Yarra Valley, and Henschke from the Eden Valley are all worth trying. Here in Canada, we still love these wines, importing almost 21 million litres of Australian shiraz in 2010/11. Most of this volume was in “value priced” offerings which cater to a couple of notoriously fickle wine buying demographics - the bargain seeker and the wine novice. The novice or casual wine drinker loved the sweetness and the fruit of shiraz and the bargain seeker loved the price. Coupled with excellent branding including the entire menagerie of Australian critters (Koala Crossing anyone?) gracing labels these wines flew off shelves. Other countries and wine regions followed suit labelling their own wines with the Aussie spelling where before they labelled it as syrah. Most wine produced these days is released ready to drink and if you are buying for long term cellaring, syrah tends to mature better when cellaring past a decade. This is slightly skewed by a greater number of very high end French bottles over very high end Australian, but examples of both are capable of cellaring 5-10 years and beyond if desired.

For shiraz, its success was starting to work against itself. The name had become synonymous with a simple fruit bomb, and many consumers were fatigued by shiraz. Australia, though still on top, was noticing the excitement for Australian wine was waning and the way forward was not in value wines, but in premium wines across the board. For shiraz, and Australian wine in general, this meant slightly cooler climates, better site selection of vineyards and focussing on the diversity of styles coming from the land down under. These days, having syrah vs. shiraz on the label is more a marketing decision rather than a winemakers decision. Exceptions exist everywhere, but generally cooler climate producers will label as syrah and warmer as shiraz. The spectrum of styles has also narrowed in recent years, the intensity of shiraz has been dialled down some and the syrahs have a richness to them they didn’t always have in the past. So what do I prefer? There is a time and place for both, but sometimes, you just need a wine to enjoy rather than talk too much about-and a bottle of shiraz just begs to be enjoyed. (Find Part 2 of this special 2-part article on page 56)



The Step-by-Step to

Corn Tortillas by Natalie Findlay

photos by Mark Bilodeau

Corn tortillas are very versatile and can be used in many Mexican dishes. They are readily available to buy in stores, but here the master of Mexican cuisine, Norma French of Los Sabores de Mexico, shows us the art of making them at home. They are traditionally made from either yellow or white corn flour and water to form a dough, which is then shaped into “pancakes” and cooked. Since they are made from corn, they are considered gluten-free.

Our recipe makes approximately eight tortillas of 150mm diameter and 3mm thick. It will take just five minutes to prepare and five minutes to cook each tortilla. A tortilla press will eliminate the need to roll out the dough, and can be found at any Latino/ Mexican Market, like UniMarket for $25 - $35.

You will need:

240 mL (1 cup) 80 mL (1/3 cup)

1. Place flour in a bowl and add 3/4 of the warm water (60 mL). 2. Stir together with your hand to combine. The flour and water should come together to form a slightly sticky dough. Add more water as needed, but don’t worry if you add too much as you can add more flour till you reach the correct consistency. Continue to knead for 3-5 minutes. The dough should become smoother and less sticky, and you should lose the grittiness of the corn flour. It should transform into the texture of playdough. * Note: Having found the perfect ratio of flour to water once, unfortunately it doesn’t mean that it will always be correct. Humidity and temperature can affect how the dough comes together, so it’s best to judge by how the dough feels, rather than by measurements.


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corn flour, yellow or white warm water

3. Turn on a burner to medium heat and warm up a skillet. 4. Tear off some dough and roll it into a ball about 50mm in diameter, then flatten on two sides. Roll out the dough to about 3mm thick, or if you are using a tortilla press, lightly flour one side of the paper that comes with it and place the dough ball in the centre. Close the press with the handle, then open and peel back one side of the paper. Peel away the other side of the paper. Place the tortilla in the dry heated skillet to cook for about two minutes on each side. An excellent dough will have bubbles or air pockets that appear when the tortillas are cooked. 5. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

Tortillas can be stored in the fridge for 4 days for later use, but if you are going to freeze or refrigerate them, do make sure to cook them beforehand and don’t freeze the raw dough. They can be kept in the freezer for 2 months layered between wax paper to prevent sticking together. Wrap the tortillas in foil and then in plastic wrap, or place in a freezer container. Thaw frozen tortillas in the fridge before reheating in a dry skillet for 10-15 seconds per side. Chef Norma also let us have some ideas for easy-to-make dishes with homemade tortillas, there are more recipes on her website at www.lastortillasinc.com Quesadilla - a tortilla with cheese Take a cooked tortilla and cover with Queso Oaxaca (a fresh curd like cheese from Mexico). Fold the tortilla in half and lightly brush oil on the outside, then reheat in a dry skillet until the cheese melts. Serve with salsa. Sope - a savoury Mexican “tart” Make a tortilla twice as thick as a regular tortilla and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side. When you remove the tortilla from pan, pinch the edges all the way around to form a wall on the outside. Be careful, as the tortilla will be very hot. Spread refried beans over the base then add salsa to cover and crumble queso fresco on top (queso fresco can be found at SpringBank Cheese and Janice Beaton Fine Cheese). Corn Dough Chile - fun and spicy Better than store-bought jalapeno poppers, corn dough chilies are made from the dough plus queso fresco, a finely diced jalapeno and salt to taste. This isn’t an exact recipe so you can use as much jalapeno as you like. Just make sure you have less cheese than dough or your chile won’t stay together. Mix all the ingredients together till completely combined, than make a 50mm ball of the new dough and form it into the shape of a chile pepper. Use the stem of a real chile and place it where the stem should go on your dough chile. Pan fry for 6-8 minutes in a small amount of oil.

Gorditas - bean (frijoles) or pork (chicharron) corn tortilla pockets Take a tablespoon of refried beans or slow-cooked pork (see Norma’s website for recipe) and wrap it in corn dough. Roll out, or press the ball with the tortilla press till it is 3 times as thick as a regular tortilla, about 1cm, and cook in a dry heated skillet for 6 - 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and cut open like a pita (leave a half to a third attached). The inside should be slightly fluffy and the steam will be very hot. Add toppings of salsa, queso fresco and a dollop of Mexican crema. Chef’s tip: If you decide to buy tortillas instead of making your own, then be sure to toast them in a dry skillet for about 10 to 15 seconds on each side to warm them. This will make them pliable and more enjoyable to eat.



written and photographed by Adrian Bryksa

There are sixteen year-round approved farmers markets in Alberta and Calgarians get to enjoy three of them within our city limits. Farmers markets are defined as places, typically outdoors in public spaces where farmers can sell produce to the public. Since our seasons, especially winter and spring, put a damper on outdoor sales, these three markets are indoors, providing buyers and sellers with services and amenities akin to a shopping centre. These markets aren’t limited to items off the farm either, with vendors offering a wide variety of products other than produce for purchase. Shoppers can browse for jewellery, collectables, cosmetics, pottery, carpets and art all under the same roof. If you thought these markets were just for local meats, vegetables and cheeses, you’d be dead wrong. Lets take a look at what our year-round big three markets contain and see what visitors have in store.

Kingsland Farmers Market Thursday through Saturday - 9am to 5pm Sunday 10am to 4pm

Founded in 2010, and located conveniently off of MacLeod Trail - 7711 Macleod Trail S and just a short walk north from Heritage C-Train Station, Kingsland Farmers Market has a real food focus to it. The market took over the former auto dealership of Shaganappi Pontiac Buick GMC and now represents 23 farmers and producers, 22 eateries, 7 bakeries and 9 artisans. Their vendors have a community feel where one larger vendor like Big Tomato Produce Market will sell the produce of, for example, Avalon Orchards out of Oliver, BC and Hoven Farms, and while representing their own beef products, also sell veal from Vital Greens Farms of Picture Butte, Alberta. It is this kind of collaboration and cooperation where larger vendors help out smaller producers that makes the Kingsland Market. Find the market online at kfmcalgary.com or via twitter @KingslandFM

Vendors to Keep an Eye Out For : Primal Soup Company - Stop by and visit Margaret for a taste of her amazing organic and gluten-free soups. If you are in the mood for a hot dog, check out her side booth “Hold the Mustard”, for a gluten free frank or sausage. Sylvan Star Cheese - Head over to this vendor for their selection of locally produced and imported cheeses. Be sure to try their Goudas, which have been cleaning up the Canadian Cheese Grandprix year after year. I recommend the Grizzly and Smoked Medium. Big Tomato Produce Market - this is a “must shop” to load up on fresh seasonal vegetables, organic dairy and pesticide-free fruit from a variety of local growers.

Cross Roads Market

Friday - 9am to 5pm (Farmers Market Only) Saturday through Sunday - 9am to 5pm This market holds the distinction as being Calgary’s most central year-round market, as it is located in Inglewood at the intersection of Blackfoot Trail and Ogden Road. It has been around for almost 25 years and continues to be the Calgary Herald’s Readers Choice award winner for the past 8 years. The market consists of 42 indoor and outdoor farm vendors and 53 boutique vendors covering categories like antiques, art, fashion and jewellery. In case you get hungry while shopping, there are 16 food vendors that offer meals to eat on site or to take away. There is good access for parking and it is a twelve minute bus ride from the City Hall C-Train station. Check them out online at crossroadsmarket.ca

Vendors to Keep an Eye Out For: Ukrainian Bakery - If you’re in the mood for some flavours of the old country, check out the Ukrainian Bakery for their Marble Rye or Kolach breads. For those with looking for something sweet, their fruit turnovers are worth the trip on their own. Purple Gorilla Comics - For fans of graphic novels and comics, Purple Gorilla is an absolute must. With tens of thousands of comics in stock and in storage, and the ability to source unique and hard to find issues. There is something for all tastes in store and we doubt you will leave empty handed. Tour De France - As most know, I have a bit of an obsession with French pastries and the selection made available from proprietors Oliver and Aline are second to none. Whether you fancy almond croissants or strawberry tarts, you can be sure to find something to tickle your taste buds.

Calgary’s Farmers Market Thursday through Sunday - 9am to 5pm

Opened in 2004, the Calgary Farmer’s Market recently celebrated its first anniversary at its new home at #510-77th Ave SE just off Blackfoot Trail and Heritage Drive. Featuring a fresh, bright feel with over 75 vendors, 2 outdoor patios and a food court area seating for 250, it hosts over a million visitors a year. The market also has a farm-themed play area for children. It boasts 600 parking stalls for auto access and is about a 10 minute bus ride from Heritage C Train station. Follow them on twitter @calgaryfarmersmarket or visit online at calgaryfarmersmarket.ca

Vendors to Keep an Eye Out For: Lone Pine Colony provides an excellent selection of farm-grown vegetables all the way to the end of November. If you are looking for radishes, beets, peas, potatoes, corn or carrots, the quality and freshness is tough to beat. For choco-holics, check out Choklat for their selection of 22 different hand crafted truffle creations. I’d suggest the Dark Chocolate Buttercream with your favourite Port for a sinfully delicious chocolate and wine pairing. Do you love mini donuts but hate waiting for Stampede or Callaway Park? If so, then check out Calgary Mini Donuts for their traditional take with cinnamon or icing sugar glaze. If you are feeling saucy and in the mood to experiment, try them with pistachio icing topped with crushed peanuts.

I hope that this coverage of Calgary Farmer’s Markets inspires you to get down and check them out. Buy locally and support local growers, artisans and the vendors that represent them and you’ll have a hard time going back to your supermarket and mall again.



The Kitchen Gardener It's the time of year when we pick, prep and store. by Leonard Brown

Hopefully summer’s hot temperatures have produced an abundance of fruit and vegetables that you are now enjoying. Greens and leaf vegetables such as lettuce and kale can be picked from the outside of the whorl, leaving the core from which the greens continue to grow. Try not to let them get too large, as they become tough and bitter. The flowers of some greens, such as arugula, are very tasty and visually complement any salad. Root vegetables such as beets, potatoes and carrots should be left in the ground and harvested in October before the ground starts to freeze. At this time, most berries should be ripening well and ready for picking. Now is the time to start getting creative and using your produce in different ways. Eating fresh is my preference, but most often too much is ripe at once. So now begins the process of sharing with friends, freezing, bottling and making preserves, wines or liqueurs from the fruit. Fruits and berries can be frozen directly in bags or sealed containers, or frozen in water which tends to maintain the freshness longer. Freeze in convenient amounts, so that portions can be retrieved and used individually,without having to defrost wasteful larger amounts. You can use ice cube trays to freeze herbs in water, and then just add a cube to your food preparations whenever called for. You can also add different herbs to oils and vinegars and seal in jars or bottles for a period of time before using. This allows the flavour to slowly permeate the liquid.


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Most Mexican towns have at least one ‘paleteria’ or ice pop store, which supplies fruity, refreshing ‘paletas’. The incredible flavoured pops combine a wide array of fruits, herbs and spices. A creative and fun way to enjoy your garden produce is to make your own. 1. Make a simple syrup by combining 120 mL (1/2 cup) granulated sugar, 120 mL (1/2 cup) water and a pinch of Kosher salt over medium heat. Choose and add a flavouring such as cardamom pods, dried chilies, vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, lemon thyme sprigs, coriander seeds, pink peppercorns, citrus zest, lemongrass, jasmine tea and juniper berries. 2. Purée or blend 2 cups of fruit and add it, or simply add fruit juice, to the reserved syrup from step 1. You can replace half the purée or juice with 240 mL (1 cup) Greek yoghurt, if you wish to make creamy yoghurt pops. 3. Prepare one cup of optional stir-ins. These give flavouring and texture to the pops. Stir-ins include citrus segments, blackberries, unsweetened dried coconut, berries, fresh mint, cucumber, papaya, pineapple or other fruit. 4. Distribute stirrings among Popsicle moulds, and then add the fruit mixture, leaving about 5 cm of room at the top for freezing expansion. Partially freeze for about an hour, then insert sticks and freeze again for 4-6 hours Each combination of ingredients will create a refreshing unique popsicle to enjoy anytime!

• • • Menu Gems Here are some of our favourite veggie dishes!



Heather ~ Hartmann

We suffer from a lack of Mexican food in Calgary, but luckily there is Salsita (formerly Boca Loca). They have the best guacamole in the city, as well as some really good salsas (try the mango)! Though they’ve closed the location closest to me off 17th Avenue SW, for them I’ll make the trek to Northmount Drive (and, since I published this, apparently give up pretending I made the guac myself).

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Heather ~ Kingston

Vero Bistro has one of my favourite salads. The Heirloom Tomato Salad is filled with Hotchkiss tomatoes, a local specialty herb and produce enterprise in Rockyview. The tiny tomatoes are little bites of intense flavour that match well with cucumber, feta, olives, chives, shallots and basil.


Stephanie ~ Arsenault

I can’t get enough of Granny Bee’s Mountain Roughage at the Grizzly Paw in Canmore. This hearty salad, a great combination of mixed greens, beets, grated veggies, cheese, and egg, is just the thing to enjoy with a pint of their in-house brewed beer after a hot day of hiking in the mountains.

~ Patricia Koyich ~ I absolutely crave the brussel sprouts at Muse restaurant, they are seared and then drizzled in maple syrup and pine nuts....a true addiction! I am also a huge fan of the side of sautéed mushrooms at Mercato, they are truly something else, a little olive oil, chile flake, salt and pepper unbelievably simple and so delicious!!

~ Linda Garson ~ As usual, I could fill a page with the wonderful veggie dishes available in our meat-eating city. Have you tried Escoba’s Signature Mushroom Soup? It’s chock full of wild mushrooms and used-to-be-secret ingredients such as sherry and grainy mustard! Then there’s eggplant dips; I could eat a bucket of Shiraz’s Kashk-e-Bademjan (warm roasted eggplant dip with garlic, onions & mint) and another of Santorini’s Melitzanosalata (eggplant salad paté with olive oil and lemon), equally scrumptious! And I can’t leave out Safari Grill’s plate-licking Vegetable Korma (vegetables cooked in pistachio, cashew and almond cream sauce).

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~ Wendy Ell ~ I really like the Vegetarian Summer Rolls from King and I: Rice paper crepes are stuffed with cucumbers and carrots then served cold with a soy-wasabi sauce and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds.


Meaghan ~ O’Brien

I am a meat-lover at heart, but of the vegetable dishes I have tried in the city, Moti Mahal’s Eggplant Bartha is a hearty and delicious meatless dish!

• Elizabeth ~ ~ Chorney-Booth Most people go to Una on 17th Avenue SW for the pizza, but they also have some really spectacular salads on the menu. My all-time favourite, their hearts of romaine salad, wasn’t on the menu at press time, but I’d also heartily recommend their Caesar or the butter lettuce salad. The Una salads are simple, big enough to share, and really flavourful without being over-dressed.

~ Vincci Tsui ~

~ Adrian Bryksa ~

My favourite vegetarian dish in Calgary is the Crispy Tofu with Sauteed Kimchi and Citrus Aioli from Anju. The crisp, light breading dressed with the sweet citrus aioli gives way to soft, pillowy tofu. I usually don’t like the harsh flavours in kimchi, but the sauteed kimchi here is mild and sweet. I’m sure it’ll even convert the staunchest “meatatarian” or tofu hater!

If you are new to the vegetarian scene or need to dine out with one, I suggest The Coup on 17th Ave SW. Some menu favourites are the Satay Bowl with Spicy Almond Sauce, and the Organic Rainbow Greens Salad combined with their in-house made Tahini Lemon Garlic dressing. The food here tastes so good that you’ll quickly forget that it is meat-free.

~ Silvia Pikal ~ I love the deep-fried eggplant at Buddha’s Veggie Restaurant on Macleod Trail. The spicy dish really succeeds at turning vegetables into a comfort food. It’s also perfect for sharing!

~ Fred Malley ~

~ Karen Miller ~

Two places come to mind for a tasty lunch. Co-op Market downtown for a thin crust veggie pizza and new in Victoria Park, Cafe Rosso for their roasted vegetable panini. Makes for a satisfying lunch without bogging you down for the afternoon.

Potatoes are a vegetable, right? Then the perfect French fries at Clive Burger are my favourite vegetable dish. Perfectly cooked, no need for ketchup although I would not turn down their special Clive sauce!

~ Peter Vetsch ~ My favourite restaurant veggies in Calgary, without question, are the tempura haricots verts offered as a side dish at Divino Restaurant. There is nothing complicated about them; they’re just simple food executed perfectly. The tempura batter is cloud-light, the frying crispy, but not overdone, and the beans fresh and bright. The side dipping sauce (Fireweed Honey-Hot Mustard) is a welcome burst of sweetness and spiciness that brings the whole thing together. A must-have dish for the table.

• ~ Naomi Cromwell ~ My favourite vegetable dish available in Calgary, hands down, is Eggplant Bartha served at Moti Mahal on 14th St SW. The eggplant is baked in a tandoor oven, then mashed and sauteed with onions, tomatoes and spices. Its texture, flavour and aroma is incomparable and I always order it when I get take-out, usually with saffron rice. It’s great with a glass of Riesling or a cold Tiger beer.



Fruit Bearing by Meaghan O’Brien and David Nuttall

Beers They are often misinterpreted as being too feminine and sweet, and some beer geeks admonish them for straying too far from the Reinheitsgebot purity law of just malt, hops and yeast added to water. If you have yet to find a fruit beer that tastes like a real beer, you will be happy to learn that this style of beer is actually not just that carbonated, sugary beer imposter that you once thought. Fruit beers have been around for centuries, brewed in almost every country, in a wide-ranging array of styles. For our September harvest issue, we take a look at the different types of fruit beers available in Calgary, what characteristics they have, and what foods you can easily pair with them. There are endless beers that are gently-to-moderately fashioned with fruit notes but still maintain the taste of the underlying style of beer. Though some fruit beers have a more powerful and apparent fruit flavour, the fruit should still balance with the taste of the beer. Almost any fruit can be used, but some have a more powerful taste and tartness, which, while allowing for more complexity in the beer, should not be overwhelming. Fruit can be incorporated in the brewing process of any type of beer, from dark porters to light, crisp lagers, and even the wheat beers that we looked at in the July/August issue. As a means to incorporate fruit notes to beers, the fruit can either be fermented, added whole or in syrup form, or extracts can simply be added to the finished product. Fruit extracts or cordials have often been added to beer after it has left the brewery by the experimental beer drinker (or someone who just wants to change the taste of any given beer). Lime and blackcurrant cordials can both be added to light lagers or wheat beers, and a dash of blackcurrant is particularly heavenly in a pint of Guinness. Many pure and flavourful fruit beers come from breweries right here in Canada, some even from our local Calgary breweries. Wild Rose Brewery is no rookie to fruit beer, and has been brewing their WRaspberry Ale since their foundation in 1996. This beer is infused with whole raspberries and has a touch of tartness. WRaspberry is a straight-up, crisp, thirst quenching fruit beer


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with no preservatives, artificial flavour or colour and has become a favourite of Calgarians. Big Rock Lime is a light lager with just a touch of lime and balanced barley malt characteristics. Pumphouse Blueberry Ale is a refreshing fruit beer from Moncton, New Brunswick with an aroma jam-packed with blueberries, and a mouthfeel featuring moderate blueberry and pepper notes. If you’re a dark beer lover, there are two beers produced in B.C. that are full-bodied porters with fruit incorporated. Blackberry Porter from Penticton’s Cannery Brewing and Raspberry Porter from Kelowna’s Tree Brewing are both bold and forward beers with hints of fruit from the start to finish of each sip. The barley malt balances the natural fruit and offers a variety of subtle bitterness and sweetness. Be sure to sip these slowly either on their own, or with a rich chocolate dessert. These rich fruit porters just scream indulgence, so enjoy! Kicking it up a notch with even more fruit, are two beers from Belgium, Liefmans Fruitesse (Fruitbier) and Früli. These are quite possibly the perfect dessert beers to accompany a rich chocolate fondue dipped with angel food cake or fresh berries. Liefmans is an aged fruit beer, left to mature with whole cherries for 18 months. The beer is then blended with natural strawberry, raspberry, cherry, elderberry and bilberry juices. Früli is probably one of the best-selling fruit beers in Alberta, produced by Brouwerij Huyghe, and is a blend of 70% white beer and 30% strawberry juice. The complexity and sweetness of these fruit beers are more intense than those beers discussed above, and they are definitely intended as after dinner or dessert libations. There are also lighter fruit beers than those already mentioned and, at 2.5% ABV and only 35 calories, these tart fruit beers are the ultimate brew to quench your thirst. Stiegl Radler comes from Salzburg, Austria and is a grapefruit shandy created by combining Stiegl’s Goldbräu, soda and all natural grapefruit flavour. Similarly, Schöfferhofer Grapefruit, a German wheat beer, has more of a pink grapefruit

Fruit beers are often treated like the baby sibling of the brewing family to many beer lovers. Yes, they’re endearing, but only in small doses, otherwise they seem annoying to be around, and you hate having to take them anywhere. But nevertheless, you know you love them, although you never admit it publicly.

taste in its 50% wheat beer and 50% juice blend. These crisp and clean fruit beers are among many of the lighter fruit beers available that can be paired with summer greens, drizzled with raspberry or citrus vinaigrette and topped with mozzarella cheese. This leads to perhaps the most unique fruit beer in the world fruit lambics. Made only in the Senne Valley, just west of Brussels, these wheat beers are spontaneously fermented by wild airborne yeasts, and then usually aged in oaked casks for up to three years. This unusual process gives the beer its distinctive dry, cider-like flavour. About halfway through the aging process, 10%-30% fruit is added and the result is usually blended with other vintages of the beer to create what many think are the world’s best fruit beers. And what a variety there is! While cherry (kriek), raspberry (framboise),

peach (pêche), blackcurrant (cassis), and apple (pomme) are the most common, they are also blended with strawberry, blueberry, banana, lemon, muscat and merlot grapes, apricot, pineapple, plum, cloudberry and more. In Alberta, search out fruit lambics from Boon, Brasserie Cantillon, Mort Subite, and Lindemans. Fruit beers tend to divide the beer community into lovers and those who pretend to hate them. Certainly, fruit beers have been around almost as long as any other beer, and have grown in popularity recently due to greater availability and variety of quality beers. They are also becoming increasingly popular with the one category of consumers beer marketers have long overlooked - women. There are many creative and uniquely crafted beers for any palate and for any reason, so search out and try a fruit beer. You’ll be glad you did.




Humble Spud 46

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by Vincci Tsui

Potatoes have had a bad rap in recent years, thanks to the low-carb craze that seems to finally be on its way out. The starchy tuber is not completely undeserving of its reputation, however, it is the most consumed vegetable in Canada (meaning that we probably do overeat it), and it is often eaten in highfat, high-calorie forms like french fries, chips, hash browns, buttery mashed potatoes, creamy potato salads or baked potatoes with all the fixings. Potatoes are actually a great source

Basic Gnocchi

Gnocchi, Italian potato dumplings, are hearty, versatile and surprisingly simple to prepare. This dish is shown here with Pesto Genovese and pine nuts, but can be served with almost any type of sauce, allowing you to be experimental and creative. 2 large potatoes 1 egg 240-480 mL pastry flour (all purpose flour can also be used, although slightly heavier) 30 mL salt Olive Oil

of fibre and nutrients. A medium potato has more than double the potassium in a banana (great news for those who are watching their blood pressure), more fibre than a slice of whole wheat bread, more folate than ½ cup of raw spinach and almost as much vitamin C as an orange! We love potatoes and are always looking for ways to prepare them, so starting this month with our veggie issue, Culinaire cooks will be sharing their potato recipes with us.

1. Add potatoes to a pot of cold water. Bring to a boil and let cook for 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat and drain. Using a tea towel to protect your hands from the heat, peel skin from the potatoes with a paring knife. 2. Put a large pot of water and 1 tbs of salt on med-high and bring to a boil. 3. Mash the potatoes until chunky then run them through a food mill, passattuto or work through a metal sieve with a wooden spoon. 4. Crack the egg into the potatoes and stir quickly so egg doesn’t cook. Add 15 mL salt. 5. Continue to stir while adding flour gradually until dough is formed. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead lightly, continuing to add flour until dough is workable. Cut into 4 even pieces. 6. Take one piece and roll with fingers, starting from the centre and working outwards, into a long snake-like strip about 2cm in diameter. Cut crosswise into small pieces, about 1.5 cm in width. Repeat with the other 3 pieces. *Optional: Using your thumb, roll each piece across the back of a dinner fork to give it grooves. 7. Drop the gnocchi into the pot of boiling salted water. They are done when they float to the surface. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and toss with olive oil to prevent sticking. Finish with the sauce of your choice.

Suggested Sauces: • Pesto is an incredibly tasty and easy sauce to make. Pesto Genovese/Basil Pesto is available in most grocery stores, but can be prepared quickly at home by whizzing fresh basil leaves, grated parmesan, Romano or pecorino cheese, pine nuts and extra virgin olive oil in a food processor. • Make a lovely homemade tomato sauce by sautéing chopped garlic, red wine, diced tomatoes (canned or fresh, but if using fresh be sure to remove the skins), fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Serve topped with cheese. • Simple and scrumptious - extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, toasted pine nuts and shaved parmesan. • Sautee garlic in butter and add your favourite chopped mushrooms. Add red wine and reduce. Remove a spicy sausage from its casing and fry until almost cooked through. Add mushroom mixture and finish cooking. Finish with parmesan and fresh herbs. recipe and photo by Naomi Cromwell



Elegantly Fortified by Andrew Ferguson

Cognac, Brandy de Jerez, pisco and grappa are as different as north, south, east and west with distinct styles and profiles, yet all are types of brandy, and all are made from distilled grapes. Virtually every wine-making nation in Europe, and many others around the world, make some form of their own brandy. The term “brandy” can be applied to any spirit made from distilled wine or the pomace left over from the crush of grapes. Grape spirit can be aged in oak to make a fine brandy, distilled until pure enough for creating vodka or even further refined into a neutral grain spirit for the creation of liqueurs and the fortification of wine. Some countries like France even turn some of their surplus with into ethanol fuel. The grapes used to make your favourite wine have uses and potential that extends far beyond your Australian Shiraz, California Cab or Bordeaux. 48

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While the first distilled spirits date back to the 11th century, Brandy as a drink didn’t become popular until the 14th. It first started to take off in the South of Spain in Jerez, and in what is now the Armagnac region of France. Surprisingly, Cognac, which is without question the most well-known brandy producing region today, didn’t get its start until the 1600s. The term brandy is derived from the Dutch “brandewijn” or burnt wine, and without the Dutch, Cognac brandy may never have been. In the 17th century the Dutch were the world’s preeminent traders, and they used copious amounts of brandy to make the water onboard their ships potable and to fortify wine for long sea voyages. Brandy from the Cognac region, or “cogniacke” as it was initially known, took off very quickly. The region was ideal, with a dry chalky soil perfect for viticulture, forests of mature oak and a cool microclimate along the river. Crucially, the area could be accessed by the Charente River, which was navigable well inland from the reliable port at La Rochelle. English merchants discovered Cognac early too and within a few decades it was the drink of the growing middle classes of Northern and Western Europe. Through the 19th century the trade in Cognac continued to grow to such a point that much of the industry began to be monopolized by a handful of major houses. Cognac today is a controlled appellation like Bordeaux, with recognized sub-regions and grades within it. The spirit is legally protected both geographically and stylistically. It must be produced in the region of Cognac, from a strictly controlled list of grape varietals, distilled twice in copper pot stills and aged for a minimum of two years in oak from Limousin or Troncais before bottling. Brandies, like wines and whiskies, benefit from maturation in oak casks and can change dramatically over time. The oak has additive and subtractive qualities, smoothing out some of the rougher, more volatile aspects, of the spirit and adding character. VS or Very Special Cognac refers to a Cognac matured at least two years. VSOP or Very Superior Old Pale is matured four years but often longer. And XO or Extra Old is aged a minimum of six years in oak, but on average more than twenty. The oak also adds natural colour, which some brandy producers enhance with artificial colouring. Still in France, the Armagnac region had nearly a 300 year head start in brandy-making over Cognac, in part because it was geographically protected from the near continuous wars fought between England and France in the 12th through 16th centuries. Though it had an early lead and its brandies were beloved of the Dutch, the largest buyers, it fell out of favour for the very reason Cognac fell in: ease of access. Armagnac is further from the coast and the two rivers flowing from there were less reliable for transport as well as its port prone to silting up. Stylistically, there are a few key differences between modern Armagnac and Cognac, the most important being the use of continuous distillation. Armagnac is primarily produced in column stills and distilled once versus the double distillation of Cognac in copper pot stills. This single distillation results in a more robust and fruity spirit when compared to the more floral, delicate nature of Cognac. There is also a considerable difference in the ownership of production, which is far less concentrated, with most vineyards distilling their own brandies rather than selling their grapes to larger operations. Cognac and Armagnac may be the most prestigious styles, but we cannot talk about brandy without mentioning Brandy de Jerez. The southern Spanish city was almost certainly where the first distilled spirits were produced in Europe, and there is evidence for its origins tracing back to the 900s AD. The Phoenicians had brought vines with them and the Moors the knowledge of distilling. While the Muslims could not themselves partake of brandy or wine, they were generally benign rulers when it came to their Christian and Jewish subjects. The earliest brandies would have been of low



quality and were mostly used for fortifying wine. It wasn’t until the Dutch traders came into the picture that brandy started to be exported from Spain. Today the best quality spirit used in Spanish brandies is still called “holandas”, a reference to copious quantities of Spanish brandy traded and sold to the Dutch in sherry casks. Many other nations also produce brandy including Armenia, Greece, the United States and Portugal to name just a few. In the South American nations of Chile and Peru they have been producing a distinct form of brandy since the early 1600’s. The drink became popular with sailors in the 1640’s and took its name from the Peruvian port of Pisco. Chilean and Peruvian piscos are both distilled twice in copper pot stills but vary considerably in their varietal compositions and profiles. Brandy can be produced by distilling wine or by fermenting and distilling the skins, seeds and stems of grapes. This second type of brandy, Pomace brandy, is much less common, but is a popular style most notably in Italy. Pomace brandy is created by fermenting and distilling the grape skins, stems and seeds (collectively the pomace) left behind after the grapes have been pressed to

extract their juice. Most pomace brandies are unaged and colourless. Without question, the most well-known type of pomace brandy is grappa, which is primarily produced in Italy. For grappa, the pomace must be fermented and distilled without added water using a steam-fired still to prevent burning. After production, the spirit can be served clear and unaged, or it can be matured. Curiously, while most spirits prohibit maturation in anything but oak, grappa has also been successfully matured in other types of wood including: acacia, ash and cherry wood. The style and profile of grappas can vary widely depending on the grape type, shape and size of the stills, and whether or not the spirit has been aged. In the late 1900’s the vineyards of Europe were dealt a cruel blow, the phylloxera epidemic. Most of Europe’s vines were destroyed and had to be grafted onto disease-resistant American rootstocks. Wine and brandy production plummeted, opening the door for other spirits like whisky. Cognac and Armagnac are going through another renaissance, but it is not the Dutch traders driving these categories today, but rather the newly affluent Chinese!

Andrew’s Lucky 13 Picks

Napa Vodka is produced from single

vintage Sauvignon Blanc grapes, just 2,600 bottles of 2008 vintage. Curiously not classified as vodka in Alberta, but a “vodka style beverage.” The nose is very soft and clean with hints of grape juice. On the palate it is clean, lithe and elegant; vodka-like with perfumed fruits and grappa. $90-$95

Ararat 10 Year Armenian Brandy

Being an ancient wine region, it is not surprising that they also make their own brandy, in this case using the French Cognac method. Named for the mountain central to Armenian culture, Ararat was said to be a favourite of Churchill. Smooth and rich, muscavado sugars, dark fruit and Christmas spices. $49-$53

Torres 20 Year Brandy

Comparable in quality to fine aged Cognacs, this brandy is made from the Parellada and Ugni Blanc varietals, and is distilled in copper pot stills. Also like cognac, it is matured in French Limousin oak casks. Velvety smooth, sweet and decadently spicy, with soft oak notes. $66-$70

Monte Sabotino 24 Year

Distilled in continuous copper stills in small batches, this brandy is laid down to mature in Slovenian oak for 24 years before bottling. The result is a robust but smooth brandy with delicate layers of wood, dried fruit, chocolate and spice. $70-$75

Drouet VSOP Cognac

This Grande Champagne cognac is matured no less than ten years, far more than the

minimum for VSOPs, which is 4 years. Very floral, perfumed and woody with a soft coating mouth feel. This family owned producer has been making Cognac since 1848. $70-$75

Delamain XO Cognac

Called a pale and dry Cognac by the producers because it has no artificial colour or added sweeteners. Floral and very fruity with strong vanilla notes, this Cognac is matured in Limousin oak and matured for two years before bottling. Like the Montifaud, it is excellent value! $84-$88

Chateau Montifaud 50 Year Cognac This is without doubt the best deal in Cognac, a bonafide 50 year old Cognac for less than some XO brands (usually 6-20 years). The nose is elegant, fruity and floral and the plate shows lots of dried fruit and smooth oak notes. Surprisingly lithe for its age! $205-$215

Castarede Armagnac XO

Another bargain in the world of spirits, this XO Armagnac is twenty years old, more than three times the minimum of six. More robust than Cognac, which is true to the style, this brandy is nutty and woody with dried berry fruits and tobacco. Produced from Folle Blanche, Ugni Blanc and Colombard varietals. $72-$78

Sarpa di Poli Grappa

From the fermented sarpa (pomace) of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot grapes this is an unaged, or young, grappa. Distilled in a continuous copper still, which consists of

a series of cauldrons, this grappa is aromatic with herbs on the nose, dark fruits and honey on the palate. $53-$58

Marcati Bacio delle Muse Grappa

Marcati’s signature grappa from Veneto is “The Kiss of the Muse”, as the founder Pietro Marcati once said. This family-owned business still makes grappa the traditional way from selected pomaces. The spirit is aged at least 18 months in oak, giving it a softer, sweeter palate than unaged grappas. $57-$63

Okanagan Spirits Grappa Gewürztraminer

Produced in Vernon, this boutique Canadian grappa is fermented from the skins of Gewürztraminer grapes and then distilled in a traditional copper pot still. But don’t expect it to be sweet – it’s dry, peachy, floral and spicy. $38-$43

Pisco Aba is a traditional pisco made

from muscat grapes, distilled in copper stills and left to “settle” in barrels to soften the spirit and introduce subtle flavours. Pisco is traditionally enjoyed as a pisco sour (see page 64) or in a cocktail. Spicy and floral with lime and peach notes. $21-$24

Napa Valley Limoncello is made with

a base of grape spirit into which organic Meyer lemon peels are added to infuse the spirit with their essential oils. The nose is reminiscent of lemon wood soap and lemon drops. On the palate it is very sweet and surprisingly light, fruity and clean with subtle oils. $50-$54



written and photographed by Natalie Findlay


Calgary’s Markets

Calgary Farmer’s Market, Kingsland Farmer’s Market and Crossroad’s Market all carry an abundance of fresh foods for you to take home, but what about their eat-in fare?

At the Calgary Farmer’s Market, you will find most of the stay and eat foods at the south end: everything from freshly made coffee to gluten-free and vegetarian. The Chinese restaurant, Shanghai Fine Food, serves classics such as ginger beef, shanghai noodles and dim sum; not your usual food court fare. Wild Fire Wings has a number of wing flavours to choose and as well as notable deep fried pickles. Silver Sage Burgers have three different sizes of burgers; the 3oz wanna be, 6oz classic, and since we are in Calgary, two 6oz patties called The Cowboy. Saunter on up and choose your fixings. If you are looking for a lighter lunch, then 2GreekGals make a Greek salad as well as a selection of other Greek specialities such as calamari, gyro, chicken souvlaki and, of course, spanakopita. There’s Baba’s Kitchen run by Itzhak Likver serving up delicious Mediterranean cuisine with favourites such as chicken shawarma, falafel pita, and Moroccan lamb kefta. Los Chilitos entices with their traditional Mexican fare and has great breakfast items. Margarita’s


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serves up a selection of Eastern European dishes, with delicious cabbage rolls, schnitzel, perogies and stuffed peppers to name just a few. They also make fresh vegetable and fruit juices that are healthy, light and refreshing. Simply Good Eats serves up traditional fare of eggs, pancakes, burgers and sandwiches. For a little taste of Indian and Thai cuisine, head next door to Shef’s Fiery Kitchen and enjoy butter chicken, lamb and lentil curry or aloo gobhi, a vegetarian dish of curried potatoes and cauliflower. Farmer’s Daughter serves up frosty fruit granitas and selfproclaimed best smoothies in Calgary; the Mocha Chill or Maui Sunrise could make a great breakfast drink. Speaking of your morning drink, Fratello Analog Cafe makes your coffee special with their coffee art, taking the time to make it right. Simple Simon Pies serves up myriad choices of savoury and sweet pies. Next door is Big D’s Smokehouse preparing all your bbq meats and accompaniments. They have a great “build a bbq box” where you can choose your own

favourites. Chilly Willy has a great selection of gelatos. Le Petit Mousse serves up sweet and savoury crepes and a French inspired sandwich collection. Wayne’s Bagels will make you a breakfast or lunch on a variety of their delicious bagels. New to the market is Crazy Pasta, you can choose your favourite pasta and sauce or pizza to enjoy. Who can resist mini donuts, shaken with cinnamon sugar and still warm? I could eat a bucket as I write. They also have some fun donuts that have been decorated with vibrant colours and designs. Two other places to temper your sweet tooth would be Cruffs for filled cream puffs and Yum for really anything baking. Kingsland Farmer’s Market spreads the eat-in food vendors throughout the market so take a look around the market and you will find a large variety of food styles. Kaffir Lime serves Indonesian

as you shop; The Bagel Place has a great selection for breakfast and lunch and there is a hot dog stop called Hold The Mustard. Crossroad’s Market has a similar layout as Calgary’s Farmer’s Market; it’s eat-in food section encompassing one area of the market. Ukranian Fine Foods has a selection of cabbage rolls, perogies and kolbasa. The Hot Dog has a hootin‘ tootin‘ dog (chili and cheese) and more fun choices. Donairs and Wraps make empanadas, donairs and a torta de mill ojas (thousand leaf cake) for dessert. Palini’s European Deli specializes in bratwurst, schnitzel and Hungarian fried bread. Anatolia’s addition of Turkish specialties contributes lamb kabobs, donairs, a vegetarian eggplant dish and sweet baklava. Tour de France Sweets adds more desserts and savoury quiches. Taqueria Mexicana serves breakfast and lunches. Roxy’s Burger

cuisine, offering delicious chicken satay with peanut sauce, coconut rice and salad. Le Creperie and Delicatesse prepare French-inspired crepes, sandwiches, soups and pastries for both breakfast and lunch. Sabores is a Mexican restaurant serving up the likes of moles, tacos, soups, enchiladas and more, along with the sweet Mexican classic of 3 milks cake. The Mediterranean stop is Sichani’s, where you can try their beef donair, falafel wraps veggie plate and many more. Community Natural Foods regularly change their dishes, including choices such as turkey lasagna, 100 mile beef stew, and chickpea curry. They add lighter fare in the summer and good hearty dishes in the winter. A Touch of India has a selection of six items to eat in the market and more to take home frozen. Lund’s has changed their set-up in order to sell fresh fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies. Carrot juice from those amazing Lund’s carrots, packs a carotin punch. There are a few more places around the market to grab something

Bar entices with their ‘eggcellent’ breakfast along with burgers. The Rotisserie by Cuisine Chic has delicious rotisserie chicken, ribs and serves breakfast too. A new sushi restaurant, Asahi Sushi offers sushi made fresh daily. A booth that embodies a quaint house, holds Crossroad’s Old Munich, serving up Eastern European delights. And to finish on a sweet note head over to Apple-Liscious for fresh apple fritters and ice cream. The restaurants at all three of the markets are committed to providing customers with the best possible product. Each restaurant has embraced their food style of choice and made it into a flavourful eating experience that rounds out your market shopping. All the markets have restaurants that serve breakfast as well as lunch. They also cater to kids and a variety of vegetarian and gluten-free options. Eating at the markets adds so much to a shopping day and I look forward to trying each and every one of them.



Picking aWinner by Brenda Holder

I’ve been looking forward to our fruit and vegetable issue to talk about berries:


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They are one of my favourite foods on the planet. I constantly tease my poor husband that I’ll be off with the first man to offer me a field of blueberries… Of course I’m kidding, but I do love blueberries and saskatoon berry and raspberry and strawberry and bunch berry and choke cherry and highbush cranberry and cloud berry and crow berry and all the others I’ve missed! These foods from the gods hold all the promise of summer sweetness packed into one small nutritionally dense bite. The options for using them in different dishes are endless, and they are a very interesting addition to any plate. I’m going to focus on a traditional food that many people know as “pemmican”. You either love it or don’t, however many folks know very little about this valuable nourishment source and it’s history. There are many different kinds of pemmican, and many different ways to make it. The most common method is very labour intensive, but also packs the most punch. It was originally made as soon as an aboriginal hunter brought an animal home: the women immediately began their work, stripping the meat from the bones and putting it on the drying rack. Bones would be cracked open to extract the marrow, then they would be boiled and when the cooking water cooled, the grease would be skimmed off the top. Next, berries such as saskatoons or blueberries were dried and ground into a powder, as was the meat once it had dried. All the ingredients: ground berries, ground dried meat and all the fat and marrow, were then mixed together and made into a large cake. This travel food was much coveted by fur trading companies too, and during this time it was pemmican that helped the companies move their trading concerns inland. It was ideal because it was far less expensive than the food brought over from Europe: one kilogram of pemmican is equivalent to four kilograms of fresh meat, it would keep for years and was an ingenious way to preserve the nutrients of berries for the cold winters. Of course, berries can be enjoyed in their most tasty form - fresh off the plant. Many people have enjoyed berry picking from early times and it would often become a social event. As a child, I was not too interested in picking and more berries ended up being eaten than going in my very small bucket! I was far more interested in following the spiders around the blueberry patches than picking, though somehow I did eventually manage to get a half bucket to contribute to the family harvest! A word of caution though, we do need to mindful that some berries are considered poisonous, such as bane berry. So make sure your identification is bomb-proof before you pick and eat any of these delectable treats. Know which are poisonous and which are edible!

OpenThatBottle story and photo by Linda Garson

Tom Firth enjoys his job, but then it’s the job most people dream of: He tastes and talks about wine, and shares that with other people. It wasn’t always the case, after seeing an advertisement in the local paper, and being hired at Willow Park Wine & Spirits as a temporary Christmas cashier, Tom was let go at end of the Christmas season and hired back four or five days later. He worked his way through the ranks from cashier/ clerk to supervisor, then stores, and eventually to the wine room; effectively doing every job there was to do without owning the store! He discovered quickly that he had a head for wine, a decent palate and loved all the detail and passion that goes in to wine; from climate to culture and the skill of the people involved. Through university, he stayed in the wine business, and when finishing university in the early 2000s with a science degree in geography and an arts degree in psychology, it wasn’t a good time to be starting a new career, so he stayed in the wine business. So what is Firth’s one “special bottle” that stays locked away in his cellar? “I have a bottle of 1994 Robert Mondavi Woodbridge cabernet sauvignon. It was the first ‘real’ wine I ever liked and was bought the night before the wedding of one of my best friends in High School, in the fall of 1996”, he explains. “About three days later, I found out that I had been hired at Willow Park Wines & Spirits, the start of my career in wine. The current bottle I have is of the same vintage and was given to me shortly after to congratulate me on my new job, and I don’t ever expect to drink it. It’s a great reminder of humble beginnings, as it’s not like I grew up in a vineyard. It was the first small step of 16/17 years working with wine.” Firth left Willow Park after seven years and joined Kensington Wine Market, where he spent a further three years. He loved meeting so many passionate people and being surrounded by wine lovers, day in and day out. Here he learned what he liked about wine, whether a region, a style or a grape, and only left to join Wine Access magazine for the inaugural International Value Wine Awards in 2006. Running two major competitions a year plus other events soon meant needing someone full time on the team, and he was invited to join the tasting panel. Not a writer by training, Firth considers himself fortunate to have worked with a number of very good editors. “I have a voice and I’m writing about something I’m very passionate about, and I hope that some of the passion comes through,” he says. Madeira was the first “must go to” wine region Firth ever had

on his bucket list. For him, it is the perfect confluence of history, geography, climate and economics; everything comes together in this little Portuguese island. Two years ago, he was finally able to visit and “was like a 6-year old going to Disneyworld on the plane. I could have lunch and a glass of Madeira in any café on the island.” he says. “There’s less than a dozen Madeiras available here from just a few producers, but Blandy’s have about 40 or 50 different types in their shop alone,” he adds. Firth brought back a full suitcase of bottles. And his special bottle? A single vintage 1991 Blandy’s Bual Colheita. And when will he open it? “I don’t know many people who really enjoy and cherish Madeira, so I’d like to sit down with a group of wine-loving friends, and open it with people that would really appreciate something different.” says Firth. “I hope the day comes soon. The good thing is that it can keep for a year once opened, so we don’t have to drink it all straight away.” Somehow, we suspect he won’t have to worry about keeping it!



(Part 2 of a special 2-part article)

Que Sera,

Syrah by Adrian Bryksa

Some wine pundits would assert that Australian shiraz rescued the syrah varietal from relative consumer obscurity.

While it may have raised its profile in the minds of the wine buying public, I believe it was the influence of prominent wine critic Robert Parker, starting in 1970, who shone a light on its home in the Côtes du Rhône and Provence. As the wines of Bordeaux began to get more and more expensive, most noticeably in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, French wine lovers flocked in droves to the Rhone for its syrah, due to the region’s exceptional quality and relative value. Today, the price of top-flight syrahs from Rhone regions such as Hermitage, can command similar prices to Grand Cru Burgundies and 2nd and 3rd growth Bordeaux. Not bad for a varietal that was almost unknown to wine lovers only 40 years earlier. Several theories and arguments have been made as to the history of the syrah varietal, though DNA analysis has led researchers back to the Northern Rhone, where its parents have been proven to be the ancient varietals of Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche. It would make sense that the home of syrah produces its


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most interesting examples, with those coming from the appellations of Hermitage and Côte Rôtie. It is here that the terroir, or blend of place, vine and climate, is allowed to shine. Growers in these regions look for vineyard sites that are sheltered from the winds of the Mistral (producing winds up to 145 km/h) and provide the greatest amount of warmth to allow its floral characteristics to shine through. Soil and vine age also play a large role in determining overall fruit quality, as vineyard sites with granitic soils help to retain heat and assist in achieving unique mineral and herbal qualities in the aromatic and flavour profiles for the wines they produce. All of these aspects of terroir leads to fruit ripeness and dictates the style of the wine produced. Lower alcohol examples usually show higher levels of spice such as white pepper, where higher alcohol wines show a distinct level of black berry fruit and floral characters, such as violet. These characteristics are typically brought together by elevated levels of

Wine Picks

Chateau de Jau JaJa Syrah $16-$18

This is a good introduction to French Syrah from the Languedoc. Jaja is an old French slang term for wines that don’t require a lot of brainpower or sensory evaluation to enjoy. Nice fruit and gentle tannins make for a tasty accompaniment to a plate of aged cheddar.

Qupe Central Coast Syrah 2010 $20-$23 This value Syrah from Qupe is from one of the original Rhone Rangers (a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Rhone varietal wines). It’s a ready-to-drink example that brings together the characteristics of cool climates and warm climates for a total package that has great acidity and spice, but also a dollop of fruit to round out the experience.

Terralsole Solista Syrah 2005 $58-$60 From Brunello producer, Terralsole, this Tuscan syrah is a great introduction to the happenings in Montalcino. Wonderful purity of cedar-tinged black plum and blackberry greet the nose and is echoed on the palate. Just entering its drinking window.

Chapoutier Hermitage Le Pavillon 2008 $299-$320 We head to the home of syrah in the Rhone Valley’s Hermitage for Le Pavillon. This wine comes from a single vineyard and possesses a nose of blackberries, tar and black tea. It can easily age to 2042 and perhaps longer if carefully cellared

acidity and tannin, which can lead to wine that, properly cellared, is extraordinarily long lived. It would be fair to say that for the most part, syrah from these Rhone appellations can take several years to reach maturity and typically enter their drinking window between six to ten years after their vintage. For some examples, like Guigal’s La Turque or Chapoutier’s Le Pavillon, this drinking window can extend to 50 years. Syrah also does well in Southern France where, in LanguedocRoussillon, the largest area in the world is planted, with 44,154 hectares of vines. These grapes are typically earmarked for “country wines” or vin de pays which are wines meant for immediate enjoyment and everyday drinking. Syrah has been experimented recently in Italy, enjoying success as a blending varietal to complement Sangiovese in Tuscany, but can also stand on its own, with some producers creating single varietal wines in low production. In the new world, the syrah style has been

embraced in cooler climate areas like Washington State, and in areas of California such as Sonoma, Santa Barbara and Paso Robles. The question is always inevitably raised, Shiraz vs. Syrah and without hesitation, the answer goes to Syrah. That’s the easy part of the question, the tough part is why. When I first started my wine journey, I was all over the expressive fruitiness of Australian Shiraz and then something changed. What changed was me and my palate. Instead of craving the high intensity fruit and oak, I started to lust after the complexity, elegance and terroir that is typically found in the syrah expression of the varietal. Make no mistake, syrah and shiraz are the same horse, simply called by a different name. Syrah invokes thoughts of the old world with sloped, rocky vineyards and cool climate regions in Northern Rhone appellations like Côte Rôtie, Hermitage and St. Joseph. With time and palate development, I think you’ll follow the same direction.



Just Desserts

recipes and photographs by Stephanie Arsenault

Shortcut Peach Galette Serves 4-6

Using ripe peaches, white wine, and aromatic vanilla bean to create the perfect filling for an accompanying almond-laced crust. Slightly different from a traditional galette, this French-inspired dessert is easy to make, and even easier to eat. Don’t worry about peeling the peaches; leaving the skin on allows for a nice pop of colour and a pleasant variation in texture.



80 mL (1/3 cup) whole natural almonds 300 mL (1¼ cups) all-purpose flour 15 mL (1 tbs) granulated sugar 2.5 mL (½ tsp) sea salt 180 mL (1/3 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes 45 mL (3 tbs) milk mixed with 2.5 mL (½ tsp) lemon juice 15-30 mL (1-2 tbsp) cold water 1 egg whisked, to finish 5-10 mL (1-2 tsp) coarse sugar, to finish Cornmeal

3 medium-large peaches, pitted and sliced Scrapings from 1 vanilla bean 2.5 mL (½ tsp) lemon juice 30 mL (2 Tbs) white wine 15 mL (1 Tbs) all-purpose flour 5- mL (1 tsp) cornstarch 45 mL (3 tbs) granulated sugar Pinch salt

1. Process almonds in a food processor until you have a coarse crumb texture.

2. In a small bowl, whisk flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt. Add this mixture to the peaches, and toss to coat; set aside.

2. Add the flour, sugar, and salt, and pulse a few times. With the processor on, add the butter and process just until pea-sized pieces of butter remain; with the processor still on, add the milk and lemon mixture. Gradually add the water (just enough so that a ball of dough forms). 3. Shape the ball of dough into a disc, and cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 1 hour, up to 24 hours.


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1. In a large bowl, toss peaches with vanilla bean scrapings, lemon juice, and wine.

3. Preheat oven to 400º F. Roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment into a 14 inch (36 cm) round. Sprinkle a large baking pan (such as a cookie sheet or pizza pan) with cornmeal, and transfer the rolled out dough to the pan. 4. Arrange peaches in the centre, leaving a 3-4 inch (8-10 cm) border of dough; fold the excess dough up around the filling, and pinch to seal (the centre should remain uncovered). 5. Brush with the whisked egg, and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the crust is a deep golden brown. Cool for at least 30 minutes before serving; serve with lightly whipped cream, if desired.

Salted Chocolate-Zucchini Cake Serves 8-10

Grated zucchini is paired with rich, dark chocolate to create an extra moist cake. It is topped with a sweet chocolate glaze, and sprinkled with coarse sea salt for a subtle contrast in flavour. The salt also brings out the richness of the chocolate and the delicate nuttiness of the summer squash. What better way to eat your vegetables than in a tasty slice of chocolate cake?

CAKE: 150 mL (2/3 cup) Pinch 2.5 mL (½ tsp) 240 mL (1 cup) 60 mL (¼ cup) 330 mL (1½ cups) 175 mL (¾ cup) 120 mL (½ cup) 6 mL (1¼ tsp) 6 mL (1¼ tsp) Pinch 60 mL (¼ cup) 2 60 mL (¼ cup) 5 mL (1 tsp) 330 mL (1½ cups)

unsweetened cocoa powder ground cinnamon instant espresso (or coffee) hot water grated dark chocolate all-purpose flour granulated sugar brown sugar baking powder baking soda sea salt unsalted butter, melted large eggs, at room temperature milk pure vanilla extract unpeeled zucchini, grated

1. Preheat oven to 350º F and grease a 10 inch (25 cm) spring form pan; line the bottom with parchment paper, brush (or spray) lightly with oil, and set aside. 2. In a medium bowl, whisk cocoa powder, cinnamon, and instant espresso powder; gradually add water and whisk until smooth. Stir in grated chocolate and set aside. 3. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk the melted butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla into the cocoa mixture, and then pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir until smooth, fold in the zucchini, and pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan.

GLAZE: 120 mL (½ cup) 15 mL (1 Tbs) 60 mL (¼ cup) 10 mL (2 tsp) 2.5 mL (½ tsp)

coarsely chopped chocolate unsalted butter icing sugar hot water pure vanilla extract Coarse sea salt, to finish

1. In a small saucepan over medium heat (or in a double boiler), melt chocolate and butter. Remove from heat when chocolate is almost completely melted, and stir until smooth. Whisk icing sugar, hot water, and vanilla into the chocolate mixture until smooth. 2. Allow the glaze to cool for a few minutes, stir, and transfer to a piping bag or Ziploc bag. Cut a small piece off the tip and drizzle over cake, as desired; sprinkle with coarse sea salt, to finish.

4. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the cake has separated from the edges of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and then run a knife around the edge of the cake. Remove the outside of the spring form pan, and then invert cake onto a serving dish; peel off parchment and let cool completely.



Fruit Wine by Tom Firth

Fruit wine doesn’t get many breaks. Often misunderstood, it is disparaged by “serious” wine connoisseurs, disregarded by most consumers, and often thought of as nothing more than an oddity in the wine world. Imagine my surprise when I first wrote the Prairie Report for the Wine Access Canadian Wine Annual in 2007 and got in touch with all of the licensed wineries across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Sure, there were only four at the time, but I had never expected such passion and intensity for their wines. These days, there are six wineries (along with two dedicated meaderies), showing that this sector is still small, but ever so slightly growing. In general, the prairie winters are too cold to support viticulture. Growing grapes is possible in some small microclimates (Cypress Hills


winery in Saskatchewan is making a few grape based wines), but the winters are simply too tough on grape vines which die in droves when the mercury dips below -20 on a regular basis. Using hearty fruit varieties, a number of fruit farms made the leap to cottage wineries turning good fruit into good wine. Until recently, these wineries were restricted to selling their products at the farm gate, or trying to get onto liquor store shelves but recent changes allowing these local wineries to sell their wines at Farmer’s Markets has been a huge boon to both producers and consumers.

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Culinaire Magazine recently chatted with Marvin Gill, the proprietor of Strathmore’s Field Stone Fruit Wines, to talk about some of the rewards and trials of making fruit wine in Alberta. Are there any particular challenges that come from running a fruit winery in Alberta? The obvious answer, of course, is the weather, which affects all farmers and all wineries. In Alberta, the winters have been especially hard lately on raspberries and strawberries, with the warm weather in February resulting in breaking dormancy and subsequent winter-kill. Under Alberta cottage winery regulations, we must produce all our wines from Alberta fruit; we cannot buy fruit in another province. Therefore when I have a less-than-bumper crop, often other Albertans are in the same boat, so it makes it difficult to find surplus in Alberta. How important is fruit selection when it comes to producing wine? Are there certain types or varieties of fruit that work best in Alberta? I think it’s safe to say that fruit growers in Alberta are already raising the heartiest varieties of fruit available; certainly they need to be hearty to survive the four seasons here. So the strength of the variety is important, first of all. I do have my favourites, however. I find the “Chief” variety of raspberries to be especially sweet and less acidic, making it better suited for our products. Lately I am finding that “Seascape” dayneutral strawberries are working better with our recent weather conditions, than the more common June-Bearers, the “Kent” variety. Having used “Carmine Jewel”, “Rose” and “Evans” varieties of semi-sweet cherries in our dry Cherry Fruit Wine, I have decided that Evans is my choice for a drier wine. The others lack a subtlety that is needed in a table wine. I like to use “Smoky” variety of saskatoon berries in our Saskatoon Dessert Wine because it has an element of smokiness to it that the other varieties lack. So I’d say it’s important to find the variety that gives you the wine you are trying to produce. How did the recent changes permitting cottage wineries to sell their products at farmers markets affect fruit wineries? This was a very considerable benefit to us. Previous to this, we could sell our product only on our own farms. Unfortunately none of the wineries in Alberta are located in hightourist areas, as fruit does not grow well in our mountain parks. Therefore encouraging customers to visit the wineries was difficult, since we are not all in the same vicinity, like

the Okanagan Valley or the Annapolis Valley. We love being part of the Farmers Market world, as we most definitely are a local, Alberta, agri-business product. Albertans are happy to find us there and happy to support us like they do all Alberta producers. It’s a perfect fit. There are a lot of wineries around these days, is the market getting saturated with fruit wineries as well? No, I don’t think there are too many fruit wineries just yet. Many Canadians are just discovering non-grape wines for the first time, and they anxiously ask us about other fruit wineries and what else they may be able to find in terms of tree-fruit or soft-fruit wines. British Columbia and Ontario have some very well established fruit wineries, but there are also newcomers to the scene. In light of the enthusiastic customers I talk to every day, fruit wineries have much room for expansion, especially on the Prairies. Looking over your experiences at Field Stone, is there a moment that stands out as one of your favourite moments? The last week of June, 2005. We were determined to open July 1st, 2005, but of course we were behind in everything that needed to be done. We had tremendous help. Family showed up in droves, staying for days as we labeled well into the night. Friends took time off work to help. Others came straight from work and stayed late. The memory of support and encouragement of our friends and family during that week to see us through to the launch still warms my heart. I would also have to mention one more. May, 2006. Our wines won medals at international competition the very first year. This was very encouraging, and gave us great confidence in our products. Do you have a favourite fruit wine and food pairing? Yes, I do. I love to marinate a pork tenderloin in our Wild Black Cherry Dessert Wine, grill it to perfection and serve with a spinach and feta salad, along with a chilled glass of our Cherry Fruit Wine. I love the earthy and spicy quality of the Western Canadian Chokecherry (aka Wild Black Cherry) and use it wherever I can.




n a h t r e t t be

Organic Conventional? by Vincci Tsui

We always want what’s best for our bodies and the environment, but it’s hard not to see the high prices of organic produce compared to their conventionally grown counterparts and wonder, “Is it worth it?” From a nutrition standpoint, the evidence so far is inconclusive, and it is difficult to compare all of the studies out there due to differences in study design. Also, the nutrient content of produce is affected by many factors other than organic vs. non-organic. Some of these include: soil quality, availability of light and heat during the growing season, seed variety, planting and harvesting dates and post-harvest transportation and storage conditions. Of course, nutrition is just one of the many reasons that people choose organic. Some people eat organic produce to avoid the synthetic chemicals used in pesticides sprayed on non-organic crops. Studies have shown that organic foods have significantly less pesticide residue than non-organic foods, and that switching over to a more organic diet does lower the markers of pesticide residue in the body. In June, the Environmental Working Group released their updated “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” lists; conventionally grown fruits and vegetables that are most and least likely to have detectable levels of pesticides, respectively. Understanding that not everyone can afford or access organic foods 100% of the time, the EWG recommends that consumers should always choose organic when it comes to the produce on the “Dirty Dozen” list, which includes apples, celery, bell peppers, peaches, strawberries, spinach and lettuce. On the other hand, it’s OK to buy conventionally grown onions, corn, pineapples, cabbage, asparagus, mangoes and eggplant, which are all on the “Clean Fifteen” list.


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Another major reason that people choose organic is for the environment. Organic farming can help improve soil quality, reduce pollution and decrease greenhouse gas emissions. A question on many people’s minds is whether it’s better to buy local, conventionally grown vegetables and fruit as opposed to organic fruit from California or Mexico. The experts say it depends. Although buying local does help to decrease fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, transportation only makes up 10% of the emissions of food production; it is important to consider how the food is actually produced. Also, while there are strict guidelines on what can be labelled as “organic”, there are no regulations on what is considered “local”. Considering that our province stretches 1,223 km from north to south, something grown in Alberta can still be from quite far away! Last but not least, some people swear that organic food simply tastes better. A British study using a combination of trained panellists and regular consumers found that while some organic foods did taste better than their conventional counterparts, others tasted the same, so again it really depends. But a little placebo effect never hurt anybody, right? Whatever the reason you choose organic, whether it is better than conventional is up to you to decide. Vote with your dollars and your fork!

Chilean Sunshine (preferable to “moonshine”!) by Linda Garson

photograph by Ingrid Kuenzel

South of the equator, grapes are fermented to make wine, and then the wine is distilled to produce a white spirit or eau-de-vie. In South America, One of the most popular is Pisco, made from muscat grapes and, by law, aged for a minimum of sixty days in either oak or stainless steel. Chile’s Nobel Prize winning Poet Laureate, Pablo Neruda, called it “sunshine in a bottle”, quite apt for the Elqui Valley where Pisco Aba is made, as they boast 300 days of sunshine each year. Chileans drink very little wine themselves (most is exported), so Pisco is the national drink, and they consume 3 litres per year for every man, woman and child (a quick calculation shows that to be 3½ Pisco cocktails a week for every living soul, irrespective of age). Wherever you go in Chile, you’ll be offered a choice of a complementary Pisco Sour or sparkling wine at the start of every meal - and when we visited last year, we were offered a new choice - “Chardonnay Sour” – exactly the same as a Pisco Sour but replacing the Pisco with chardonnay. Definitely an aperitif to try before dinner! The first pisco sour is credited to a North American bartender, Victor Morris, (“Gringo Morris”) in the 1920’s, at his Morris Bar in Lima, Peru, and is a simple concoction of Pisco, lime juice, simple syrup and an egg white foamed on top. Very easy to make at home and quite addictive! Be careful how many you have before a meal though; we found out for ourselves that with only a couple of drinks, you can get very pleasantly piscoed!

Pisco is very versatile in cocktails and blends well with other liquors. For an easy-to-make fruity berry and orange-flavoured cocktail with a kick, try a:

Cran Pisco 2 oz 4 oz 1 oz ice

Pisco cranberry juice Cointreau

In a cocktail shaker, shake everything together and serve on ice. Salud! - y amor y tiempo para disfrutarlo!


CU L I N A I R E M A G A Z I NE.CA ● SEPT EM BER 2 0 1 2

Pisco Sour

Makes 2 Cocktails

4 oz Pisco 2 oz of fresh lime juice (limón de pica) 1/2 part simple syrup 1 egg white ice Few drops of bitters

In a cocktail shaker, shake everything together and serve in small glasses. Add 2 -3 dashes of bitters on top.

* A tip for foaming egg whites for cocktails or use in food dishes: simply shake in a cocktail shaker for only 15-20 seconds and you’ll have a perfect froth!

Culinaire Magazine and Casel Marché present

The One-Pot Turkey Leftovers Recipe Contest

Do you have a great family recipe for turkey leftovers, or one you created yourself from scratch? Ever dreamed of cooking in a professional kitchen, or serving your special dish to a table of hungry foodie types? This is your chance. Visit us online at www.culinairemagazine.ca to submit your best one-pot turkey leftovers recipe WITH a suggested wine, beer or cider pairing by September 30. We will choose three finalists who will all cook and serve their dish at the October 15 Interactive Monday dinner series event at Casel Marché. You must be available to cook on October 15 in order to be eligible to win. A table of local judges from Culinaire, Casel Marché and the Calgary foodie community will provide feedback on your recipe and decide the overall winner.

Yelp shopping nights at Casel Marché: September 13 and 20 The overall winner will receive some major bragging rights and a huge basket of goodies from various Casel Marché businesses: Market 17, Vie Café, Cassis Bistro and J. Webb Wine Merchant. We look forward to hearing from you!

Want to participate but nervous about your recipe or how to pair it? Casel Marché and Yelp have teamed up to provide two interactive shopping nights in September to help you. Register through Yelp (yelp.ca/Calgary) to receive oneon-one assistance at Market 17 and J. Webb Wine Merchant in Casel Marché. Let the experts help perfect your contest submission for a better chance at making it to the final cook-off!

Questions? Email jenn@niklasgroup.com or linda@culinairemagazine.ca

Casel Marché | 17 Avenue & 24 Street SW | Calgary, Alberta | 403.685.4410 | www.caselmarche.com

Profile for Culinaire Magazine

Culinaire #4 (September 2012)  

Calgary's Freshest Food & Beverage Magazine

Culinaire #4 (September 2012)  

Calgary's Freshest Food & Beverage Magazine