Culinaire #10.2 (June 2021)

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A L B E R TA / F O O D & D R I N K / R E C I P E S J U N E 2 02 1

The Voices of our Indigenous Chefs

Buying Better Beef | Celebrating Dads | A Bevy of Beer Choices!


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contents 10

Volume 10 / No. 2 / June 2021

departments 6

Salutes and Shout Outs

7

Book Review

8 10

32

News from Alberta’s culinary scene

How to Grill Vegetables

In the Mail

Apple Squares - Szarlotka

19

Chefs’ Tips and Tricks Good Food Gone Dad

40 Etcetera...

What’s new?

42 Open That Bottle

Troy Fleischhaker of Bite Grocer & Eatery and Cruz Tacos

34 14

Buying Better Beef:

Not all beef is created equal by Elizabeth Chorney-Booth

16 Step By Step: Baked Onion Rings

There’s no deep fryer to clean! by Renée Kohlman

19

ON THE COVER We’re hearing the voices of our Indigenous chefs and they’re sharing their stories and teachings. This photograph of Pei Pei Chei Ow’s Chef Scott Iserhoff’s dish is as emotive as it’s beautiful, and we thank the talented Rebecca Lippiatt, of Dragonfly Photography, for it.

Greener Pastures

Locally raised specialty beef is an increasingly coveted treat by Elizabeth Chorney-Booth

28 A Land of Traditions

Indigenous chefs are telling their stories through their food by Sabrina Kooistra

32 Spice it Up – Potato Salad

Make your potato salad the one everyone asks for this summer! by Mallory Frayn

34 Want Variety In Your Life? Look to beer by David Nuttall

25 On Board

36 June Spirits…

26 Simply Sensational Seafood

38 Making The Case:

Fraser & Fig’s charcuterie board by Linda Garson Simple, quick, and so delicious! by Natalie Findlay

Enjoy them outside! by Tom Firth and Linda Garson For summer-friendly wines by Tom Firth June 2021 | Culinaire 3


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

Love… and no love

H

ere we are almost at the start of summer and therefore almost at the longest day - which falls on Father’s Day this year, so we have twice as much to celebrate on June 20! It already feels like the longest year, but we know there’s finally a light shining brightly as we all gradually get our jabs… onwards and upwards! We have a lot in this issue to help celebrate your dad - whether he’s with us or not, (this is the second without my dad – and our best proof-reader, and I’d give anything to be able to share a G&T with him), and we have other important articles too as we invited our indigenous chefs to speak out about their journeys and what it means to them. We welcome hearing all voices whether they agree with us – or if it is

someone telling us that Butter Chicken is not the haute cuisine of Indian food and we should focus on elevating “real” Indian food, or if someone wants to tell us that there is only a single way to make a regional or traditional dish. Can pizza only be made by Italian hands? Is there only a single way to make a carbonara? Please keep these conversations going, as communication is the only way we can reconcile our shticks, and grow together for a greater understanding and celebration of our food and beverage scene here in Alberta. Cheers

Linda Garson, Editor-in-Chief

This email, in response to being told that they had won an award for their butter chicken, almost brought a tear to my eye, Dear Linda, Thanks a ton for sharing this great news. There are no words to express my happiness and with tears in eyes that finally our efforts have been recognized. The makhani gravy we do is a traditional way done in India and I have been personally doing this for three years. Thank you once again. Regards RL, Calgary

Fresh breads, meat, cheese and spreads - the perfect picnic always starts at our shops. Grocery. Bakery. Deli. Café.

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EDMONTON | CALGARY | SHERWOOD PARK - OPENING SUMMER 2021


Alberta / Food & Drink / Recipes Editor-in-Chief/Publisher Linda Garson linda@culinairemagazine.ca Managing Editor Tom Firth tom@culinairemagazine.ca Multimedia Editor Keane Straub keane@culinairemagazine.ca Sales Denice Hansen 403-828-0226 denice@culinairemagazine.ca Design Kendra Design Inc Contributors Elizabeth Chorney-Booth Natalie Findlay, Mallory Frayn Dong Kim, Renée Kohlman Sabrina Kooistra, David Nuttall Keane Straub

To read about our talented team of contributors, please visit us online at culinairemagazine.ca.

Our contributors Natalie Findlay

After a brief period with an Easy Bake Oven, Natalie’s mom allowed her to use the big girl’s oven and set her on the course for a life filled with delicious outcomes. Since graduating from Le Cordon Bleu, Natalie has worked in restaurants, hotels, bakeries, and her own business. Currently, Natalie is a freelance writer, recipe developer, and photographer, and is loving every minute of it.

David Nuttall

David has worked in liquor since the late 1980s. He achieved his Beer Judge Certification in 2012, and is the head judge for Calgary International Beerfest, as well as judging the Alberta Beverage Awards and Alberta Beer Awards. He has appeared on radio, television, and in the movie Aleberta: Our Beer History. He is also a freelance writer for print and online, speaker, and has run Brew Ed beer courses since 2014. Follow him @abfbrewed.

Sabrina Kooistra

Contact us at: Culinaire Magazine #1203, 804–3rd Avenue SW Calgary, AB T2P 0G9 403.870.9802 info@culinairemagazine.ca @culinairemag @culinairemag facebook.com/CulinaireMagazine For subscriptions and to read Culinaire online: culinairemagazine.ca

Celebrate with us

Sabrina is a freelance writer pursuing a Communications and History double major at the University of Calgary, who enjoys writing about – you guessed it – history. She’s a farm kid with a bad case of wanderlust, enjoys lending a hand on her family’s beef farm near Strathmore, and venturing abroad whenever possible. When she has spare time, you can find Sabrina tickling the ivories or chipping away at her latest cross-stitching project.

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Culinaire Magazine acknowledges that we live, work and play on the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika, Kainai, Piikani), the Tsuut'ina, the Îyâxe Nakoda Nations, the Métis Nation (Region 3), and all people who make their home in the Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta. 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.

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SA LUTE S & S H O UT O UT S Outdoor summer markets are now open across the province. Do check their websites for hours, and let’s all enjoy local produce from our growers and crafted artisanal products! Our restaurants need our support more than ever right now, and as ex-chefs/ cooks themselves, Knifewear know it only too well and are offering free knife sharpening to all Calgary and Edmonton restaurants whose dining rooms have temporarily closed. We love this, way to go Knifewear! So many restaurants are offering takeout picnic items and baskets for you to enjoy in our parks, it’s impossible to mention them all here, so we hope you’ll try several this month. Please remember to take your leftovers and garbage home with you though… Both Calgary and Edmonton city councils are piloting test programs allowing alcohol to be consumed outdoors this summer. Until October 11 those 18+ can responsibly sip at 47 designated Edmonton picnic sites, and until September 7 at select picnic tables in Calgary. Check the cities’ websites for details. We’re impressed with Empire Provisions’ Restaurant Bingo in Calgary and we’re not alone - Meuwly’s and 124 Street Grand Market are too, and have now launched their own for Edmonton - Eat 124 Street Bingo! You’ll not only feel good for supporting the restaurants, there’s a fabulous prize up for grabs! See @meuwlys and @124grandmarket on Instagram. Chef Daniel Costa’s Zio's by Bricco is offering fried chicken and fried eggplant sandwiches, baked pasta, desserts, and beverages for pick up at Corso 32, 10345 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, 4-9 pm, Friday-Sunday. Order online at bricco-to-go.corso32group.com. Brothers Lutz and Nils Kuenz, of Calgary’s Great Events Group, have gone back to their first love – baking, and opened Cravings Bakery at Granary 6 Culinaire | June 2021

Road Farmers’ Market. Their breads are an old-world, artisan style from their German roots, with locally sourced traditional grains, and uncommon ones like triticale and einkorn. We loved the focaccia with its flavourful toppings, the baguettes, and the spelt muesli loaf - the chive savoury scones didn’t even make it home! It’s pure comfort food, but with brown sugar and wholegrain flour in the sweet bakes. Those, like us, that love seeded breads will be overjoyed. Pastries Monday-Thursday, breads and pastries Friday-Sunday 9-5 pm.

and taco-focused! No Fish Tacos are their #1 seller, and now they’ve added another five flavours (like the popular mushroom crumbled 'beaf') with more to come, as well as superb Poké Tostadas and yucca fries, and more. We’re excited for the 150-seat patio, where you’ll find us sipping local beers and margaritas when we can. Seven days, 12-8 pm.

Congratulations to Laine Fedrau and Darian Gustufson on their second Vegan Street location in Inglewood’s refurbished Salt & Pepper spot. Vegan Street Taco Bar is still vegan but with a completely different vibe – fresh and bright (with a terrific wall mural from Rachel Lyon),

Try as we might to be accurate in bringing you the latest news, the regulations are changing every few weeks for restaurants, so they may have changed again when you read this page. Pease do check with the restaurants - we’d hate to see you disappointed!

Pablo Cheese Tart is expanding outside Japan, and has now opened an Edmonton location at 10163 81 Avenue. Expect to queue for your freshly baked, matcha, chocolate, and premium, family-size Edmonton’s Longroof Brewing Co. has opened its taproom doors at cheese tarts and fruit-topped minis, along 9916 72 Avenue for howler and growler fills with specialty smoothies and sundaes of their first five beers – for now, until we – the Calgary location is opening soon! can sip our suds on their spacious patio! pablocanada.com. Thursday-Sunday, longroofbrewing.ca for hours. We’re extending a warm welcome to Executive Chef Nicholas Issel, who has taken over the reins and will oversee Also in Edmonton, Hoang Long Casual all seven restaurants as well as events Fare has opened a sister restaurant, at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Hoang Long Rice & Noodle Shop With 25 years of global experience under - and conveniently for noodle lovers, it’s his belt, we can’t wait for the return of in the old Prairie Noodle Shop space at dining-in to enjoy his menus! 10350 124 Street.


B O O K R E V I E W BY LI N DA G A RSO N

How to Grill Vegetables

The New Bible for Barbecuing Vegetables over Live Fire By Steven Raichlen, Workman Publishing $34

S

TEVEN RAICHLEN IS NO STRANGER to us, we read his ‘Project Fire’ last summer, and he’s known for his ‘Brisket Chronicles’ – but here we are coming up to the summer of 2021 (really? 52 years since “The Summer of 69’? But Bryan was only 10 years old then!) and we’re eager to know more about interesting ways we can cook our veggies. Raichlen to the rescue, here’s our answer: ‘How to Grill Vegetables’. He starts with Chapter One, ‘How to grill vegetables like a pro in 9 easy steps’, which alone is worth buying the book for, and then proceeds to ‘Starters and Pass-Arounds’ and ‘Dips & Chips’ – mmm... ‘Smoked Hummus with Sesame Grilled Pita Chips’ (P.53) and ‘Caveman Caviar’ (P.59) both have to be tried! And of course in ‘Salads and Slaws’ there’s a classic wedge salad with grill marks (P.77) but it has a smoky ranch dressing, which would certainly up my wedge salad game. Then we move on to ‘Vegetable Small Plates’… ‘Sunchokes Bravas’ (P.175) with its spicy grilled tomato sauce, is on my list, as well as ‘Smoke Roasted Parsnips with Crispy Capers’ (P.164). Following on comes ‘Vegetable Not-So-Small’ plates - shall we try a Gaucho Breakfast (P.179) or a Nashville Hot Cauliflower (P.187)? Or a ‘Smoked Acorn Squash with Parmesan Flan (P.195)? Yes please! But it’s not just vegetables; these 325 pages contain chapters on making pizza dough, flatbreads, and pita breads, and grilling them with topping suggestions; egg dishes and cheese dishes – yes, he starts the chapter with, “Eggs are a food few people think of grilling” – me included! But I’m going to have to try “Smoked Egg Salad” (P.248), ‘Double-Grilled Summer Vegetable Frittata’, and ‘Brazilian Grilled Cheese Skewers’ (P.259). And desserts. Who wouldn’t want to try ‘Hasselback Apples Grilled on Cedar Planks’ (P.272) – what a great idea - and ‘The Grilled Fruit Salad That Thinks It’s Salsa’ (P.276). This book is so full of ideas, and Raichlen has kindly included a ‘Vegetable Abecedarium’ (P.303) of the key veggie players and how to grill them. It’s not a vegan or vegetarian cookbook though – bacon appears in some dishes!

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I N TH E M A I L

Apple Squares STORY AND PHOTOGRAPH BY LINDA GARSON

W

e occasionally receive letters from you in the mail, and of course we love the complimentary ones. We were very happy to receive this letter with a recipe too! To Culinaire Magazine, “Your magazine is a great source of reading and very helpful for good recipes... We have to support local markets and local people who make great food in Alberta. I have a garden and fruit trees, and I am sending you a good recipe for Apple Squares, it’s easy to make it. This is a very old Polish recipe. If one doesn’t have apples, you can use two cups of applesauce, but only homemade.” Eva C, Edmonton We just had to try it for ourselves as Eva had gone to the trouble of writing it out by hand and mailing it to us, and she’s right - it is easy to make, and delicious. It would be lovely with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream too.

8 Culinaire | June 2021

Apple Squares - Szarlotka Makes around 18 squares

1½ cups flour ¼ tsp salt 1 tsp baking powder 4 Tbs icing sugar, plus more to top squares 1/3 cup cold butter 3 egg yolks 2 Tbs (30 mL) sour cream 4 large apples or 2 cups (500 mL) homemade applesauce Preheat oven to 350º F. 1. Sift the flour and add salt, baking powder, and icing sugar. 2. Add cold butter and cut in fine pieces with a knife. 3. Add egg yolks and sour cream, and work into a stiff dough. 4. Grease a 20 x 30 cm glass dish and add 2/3 of the dough, rolled out to fit. Bake 10 minutes. Put the remaining 1/3 of the dough in the freezer to harden for 30 minutes.

5. Grate 4 large apples and spread over cooked pastry base. 6. Remove dough from freezer and coarsely grate over apples. Bake for 40 minutes. 7. When cool sprinkle with icing sugar.


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C H E F ’ S TI P S & TR I C KS

Good Food Gone Dad

F

BY KEANE STRAUB I PHOTOS BY DONG KIM

athers are curious beings, often copping questionable fashion choices, quipping some of the most groan-worthy dad jokes, and always ready with a screwdriver, a wood shim, or a spritz of WD-40. Some take over the TV for game day, some swear the lawn can only be mowed at a 45º angle, and some claim they are king of the grill. This month four Alberta chefs share their relationships with their fathers and food, and the common threads between all of us: fathers are an endless source of experience and encouragement, who keep pushing us forward in pursuit of our dreams.

As Executive Sous Chef for Events and Client Services at the Calgary Stampede, Richard Vitug oversees all aspects of the Stampede Park Catering culinary team. Born in Manila, Philippines, Vitug and his family moved to Calgary where his father, Ricardo, worked to support them. “We were not a rich family but somehow, some way he provided for [us],” he recalls. While Ricardo passed in 2012, Vitug reflects, “He was a big part of my life and growing up, but I didn’t see it then as I do now. Even [with] all the burdens I put on him, he didn’t complain or scold me.” From Ricardo, Vitug learned the value of hard work, and the importance of being true to himself and his career. Vitug shares a recipe for his father’s favourite pork skewers, one that was developed by his mother when she was just 17. “Not only [was this] one of my Dad’s favorites, but it also seems to be a favorite of everyone who gets to eat it,” he adds, “These are best served with San Miguel or Corona beer, and family or friends on a warm summer day.” 10 Culinaire | June 2021

Filipino Pork Skewers Serves 4

2.25 kg pork shoulder 1 cup kosher salt 500 g garlic, chopped 1 Tbs coarsely ground black pepper 1 can (355 mL) 7-Up 1 cup (250 mL) light soy sauce ½ to ¾ cup light brown sugar 2 to 3 bay leaves 2 Tbs (30 mL) white vinegar 2 tsp seasoning salt 15 cm or 20 cm wood skewers 1. Rinse pork shoulder with cold water while scrubbing heavily with kosher salt. Rinse, drain and dry with paper towel. 2. Trim excess fat and slice across the grain into thin strips about 4 cm x 10 cm. 3. Rub the pork with chopped garlic, massaging it in. Season with pepper, cover and place in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.

4. Combine the 7-Up, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, and bay leaves. At this point depending on your taste, you can add more 7-Up or brown sugar. 5. Remove the pork from the fridge and season lightly with seasoning salt. Add the marinade to the seasoned pork and marinate overnight. 6. Soak the skewers in water at least 10 minutes before use, up to 30 minutes. 7. Start weaving the pork through the bamboo skewers. Depending on size of your strips you may have 2 to 3 strips per skewer. Make sure you leave enough of the end of the skewer to handle. 8. Place skewers in a shallow dish and pour over the reserved marinade. Cover, and place in the refrigerator until you’re ready to barbeque. 9. Remove skewers from the marinade about 20 minutes prior to cooking, and allow to drain. Preheat barbecue on high. Cook skewers for about 2 to 3 minutes each side, allowing sugar to slightly caramelize.


For Heena Mak, co-owner of Edmonton’s Brown Butter Café, food is more than just eating. “It’s about meeting people, the connections we make and the relationships we build, new and old,” says Mak. “Food brings people together, no matter their differences.” Growing up, Mak says she was very close with her father, whom she describes as “a lover of nature, an outdoor activity enthusiast, a simply beautiful soul.” He’s a professor and a mathematician, and Mak says his lifestyle encouraged her to be structured and organized, two things that are invaluable in the kitchen. “Mise en place,” says Mak – have everything prepped and ready to use – “and clean as you go.” Stir-fry udon noodles was the first dish Mak made for her father. She says, “that look on my dad’s face, the way his eyes sparkled, is something I will always hold closest to my heart. That was the moment I decided to pursue cooking as a career.” This is a dish she still makes today, and one that her father still enjoys eating.

Stir Fry Udon Noodles Serves 4

2 Tbs (30 mL) vegetable oil ¼ onion, sliced 2 scallions, sliced, green and white parts separated 3 cloves garlic, minced ½ tsp ginger, minced 225 g ground beef ½ cup carrots, shredded ½ cup cabbage, shredded ½ cup mushrooms, sliced 2 - 200 g packages udon noodles 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Sauce

2 Tbs (30 mL) soy sauce 2 Tbs (30 mL) oyster sauce 1 Tbs (15 mL) mirin or cooking wine 1 tsp (5 mL) brown sugar 1 tsp (5 mL) rice wine vinegar

1. Combine sauce ingredients in small bowl and set aside. 2. In a large pan, cook onion, garlic, ginger, and the white parts of scallion with the vegetable oil for about 3-5 minutes until fragrant and onions are soft. 3. Add ground beef and cook until done, then add carrots, cabbage and mushrooms and cook for another 5-7 minutes until the mushrooms are fully cooked. 4. In a separate pot, boil water and cook the udon noodles. This should only take a few minutes, as the packaged udon noodles should already be cooked. 5. Drain, then add the noodles to the beef. 6. Add in the sauce and mix well. 7. Adjust seasoning to taste. You can add more soy sauce for saltiness and more brown sugar if you like it sweeter. 8. Plate into a bowl and garnish with toasted sesame seeds and the remaining scallion. June 2021 | Culinaire 11


Chef Mike Skarbo started cooking while living and traveling in Scotland. After graduating from the Culinary Arts program at Vancouver Community College, he moved to Calgary and worked at a handful of restaurants. Today, he’s the Executive Chef at Rendesvouz Ultra Lounge. “My cooking is influenced by traditional techniques and the products that are in season,” he says. “I find inspiration through gardening, making charcuterie and reading.” As a youth, Skarbo developed an appreciation for the outdoors thanks to his father, Ben. “Growing up on Vancouver Island, my Dad and I did a lot of salmon fishing together,” he explains. It’s only fitting that he’s sharing his recipe for barbecue chinook salmon. “[It] reminds me of barbequing in my Dad’s backyard, sharing some laughs and telling fishing stories.” For this recipe, Skarbo says, “Have fun producing it with someone you love.” Buying wild salmon is key - the flavour is more complex than that of farmed, and in most cases, it means you’re supporting smaller, local businesses. Don’t worry about cutting the veggies perfectly, he adds. “In the end, the flavour will be delicious.” 12 Culinaire | June 2021

BBQ Chinook Salmon with Vierge Sauce Serves 4-6

2.25 kg Chinook salmon fillet, scaled, pin bones removed

Marinade

½ cup (125 mL) tamari soy sauce 100 g kosher salt 2/3 cup (165 mL) honey 2/3 cup (165 mL) maple syrup 2/3 cup brown sugar 3 cups (750 mL) cold water 1. Combine marinade ingredients and place in a container/resealable bag large enough for the salmon. 2. Place the salmon into the marinade for 12-24 hours. 3. Take out of the marinade and place on a drying rack to air dry in the fridge for 12-24 hours. 4. Preheat barbeque to medium. Add a blend of apple and maple wood chips. 5. Cook at 350º F until the fish reaches

135º F internally (you should start to see oil on top of the fish). 6. Tent with tin foil and allow the cooked salmon to rest for 10 minutes. 7. Serve with vierge sauce and jasmine rice, and your choice of vegetable (Skarbo serves his with steamed or barbecued broccoli).

Vierge Sauce

Makes 3 cups (750 mL) 1-2/3 cups (200 g) cucumber, finely diced, seeds removed 1 cup tomatoes, finely diced, seeds removed 2 Tbs shallots, finely diced 1 Tbs fresh dill, chopped (can substitute dry but decrease amount by half) 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbs (100 mL) olive oil 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbs (100 mL) sherry vinegar ½ tsp salt ¼ tsp pepper Combine all ingredients, cover, and place in fridge until use.


Even with over 25 years’ experience, Chef Shawn Jackson of The Guild in Calgary still strives to expand his knowledge. An extensive collection of books allows him to refine his techniques and develop his vision, and he says he is inspired by local farmers, producers, and breweries. “I love how well beer and food go together.” Jackson credits his father, Edward, with his work ethic, patience, and taking pride in a job well done. He adds that his brother, Stuart, is also a chef in their hometown of Montreal – with two chefs in the family, there must be a few dishes that are family faves. Jackson confirms this: “My Dad always loved to have onion soup, and he always wanted every restaurant I worked at to serve it.” Jackson’s recipe uses diced onions to make eating easier and is served with lots of crispy edges on the cheese, his father’s favourite part. He also uses stout where more traditional recipes call for brandy or sherry. “When I moved to Ottawa to open the Mill Street Brew Pub, I knew that I was going to have onion soup on the menu,” Jackson adds. “This recipe was for [my Dad].”

Stout & Onion soup Serves 4

½ cup butter 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped 1 shallot, finely chopped 1 kg yellow onions, diced large 1/3 cup (80 mL) tomato paste ¼ cup (60 mL) beef soup paste ½ can Guinness Stout (save the rest for yourself) 7 cups (1.75 L) veal stock 1 cup (240 mL) demi-glace To taste salt and pepper

Croutons:

2 Tbs (30 mL) olive oil ½ baguette cut into large cubes Chopped parsley, chives and thyme 8 slices of Emmenthal, Swiss, or Cheddar cheese 1. Preheat the oven to 300˚ F. 2. In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots and cook them for about a minute. Add diced onions and cook until they are fully caramelized, stirring regularly.

3. Season onions with salt and pepper. Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute stirring often. Add beef soup paste and Guinness and bring to a simmer. 4. Add the veal stock and demi-glace. Bring to a boil, then return to a simmer for approximately 30-45 minutes until slightly reduced. 5. While the soup is simmering, prepare the croutons. Toss the bread in a bit of olive oil, chopped fresh herbs and salt and pepper. Lay them on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until crispy and most of the moisture is gone, around 10-15 minutes. 6. Check the seasoning on the soup, adjust to your personal tastes. Ladle the soup into 4 oven-safe bowls. Place the bowls on the baking sheet to not make a mess in the oven. Top each bowl with croutons and 2 slices of cheese. 7. Melt the cheese in the oven – Chef Jackson uses the broiler setting to get the edges nice and crispy. Top with more chopped parsley or chives and enjoy. Keane Straub has travelled from Tofino to Charlottetown, sampling the different flavours Canada offers. The passion people have for their craft and culture inspires Keane to tell their stories. June 2021 | Culinaire 13


Buying Better Beef BY ELIZABETH CHORNEY-BOOTH

M

OST ALBERTANS KNOW that not all beef is created equal — our provincial dedication to Alberta-ranched beef proves that we have discerning taste when it comes to meat. But beyond the prevalent “Albertan is best” attitude, many of us are lost when it comes to choosing specific beef products to throw on our barbecues. Details like specific ranch names and different feeding or aging methods can make beef sound fancier and more appetizing, but consumers often aren’t always educated as to why those labels make a difference to the steaks or burgers on our plates. When we go to a typical grocery store we’re likely buying beef that was raised on a ranch before being sold at auction to be “finished” on a feed lot, and eventually sent off to a processing facility. That roast or package of ground beef could 14 Culinaire | June 2021

be coming from any one of a number of ranches, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing in itself, but it doesn’t fit into the realm of “knowing your food,” an increasingly important factor for modern meat eaters. Many standard beef buyers know that there is a grading system for Canadian beef with Prime and AAA at the top of the heap, but those designations don’t tell the whole story. The quality, flavour, and texture of beef can be greatly affected by the breed, feed, cut, processing and aging. The average consumer can spot differences like the marbling (fat distribution) in a steak or the deeper colour that can come from dry aging, but many of us are still at a loss as to what to buy or order when we’re standing in front of a butcher’s counter or looking at a menu. Educating customers about the differences in cuts, breed and

aging, is a mandate at Calgary’s Modern Steak restaurant, which specializes in beef that can be traced back to specific ranches focusing on singular breeds and feeding styles. “We’ve been beating the drum about different kinds of beef for seven years now, and the needle is definitely moving as far as education goes,” says Modern Steak owner Stephen Deere. “People are becoming more aware and ‘grassfed,’ ‘dry-aged,’ and ‘wagyu’ are the big buzzwords in the industry right now. And of course, Alberta beef and barley-fed are also important to people as they get better educated.” But even if we know that these buzzwords denote a better restaurant meal, how does the average person translate that into a better home experience? The answer is to ask


questions. Many grocery stores across Alberta are carrying a wider variety of beef products, often marked as dry-aged or grass-fed, as well as more interesting (albeit sometimes challenging) cuts. While there’s nothing wrong with picking something out of a grocery store meat cooler, it’s worth popping into a full-service butcher shop to have a conversation about the properties of each selection to better figure out what will best suit your needs, budget, and intended cooking method. “Customers have the choice to research and find the farmer or butcher they trust or just go to the next store to buy what is on sale,” says Mercedes Messinger of Messinger Meats butcher shop and café in Red Deer. “The choice is up to the customer, the expectations they have, and what they are capable of paying.” Messinger Meats, which supplies the Italian Centre Shop with beef from Peony Farms in Lacombe, specializes in hormone-free Piedmontese beef, an Italian breed of cattle that’s fairly uncommon here in Alberta. Different breeds, especially something unique like Piedmontese, cook up differently, and can be ruined if a home cook goes in uninformed. Gino Marghella, General Manager at the Italian Centre Shop’s Calgary location says that in addition to the breed, customers come to his store looking for information on how to best cook specific cuts of meat. “Right now people are coming in and looking for tomahawk steaks and double rib-eyes. The more people travel the more they try to find cuts that they’ve had elsewhere here,” Marghella says. “Restaurants really set the tone for those unique cuts and when people find those cuts at local retailers, the more they try to replicate that experience at home.” Restaurants are definitely leading the charge with unique cuts — though

home cooks should be warned that while it’s easy enough to throw a filet or New York strip onto the grill and cook it to medium rare, something like a tomahawk requires more finesse and cooking know-how. Restaurants like Modern Steak or any other reputable steakhouses in the province are a good place to get inspiration and to understand how different cuts behave. With in-person dining restricted, Modern Steak has introduced retail steak packs of some of its most exclusive cuts. Check with them for availability. Restaurants can also provide some guidance when it comes to the humble burger, which also improves greatly when made from a blend using different cuts or breeds that will lend a richer flavour and more luxurious texture. “Ranch-specific” is another buzzy term that really just does mean that the beef is from a specific ranch, allowing the customer to determine how the beef is being fed, which breeds are being raised, and how the farm is being run. Many shops and increasingly popular food box delivery services like Bessie Box, Spud, and Cultivatr all specify the ranches they work with when it comes to beef and other meat products. The more we know about the ranch, the more we know about the beef, and the better informed we can be about spending our money wisely and making smart choices as consumers. The “best beef” is going to be different for everyone, and we’re lucky to live in a province with so much choice. “It’s all about where it comes from, regardless of what kind of food it is,” says Cultivatr’s Dan Berezan. “Make sure your retailer actually knows where your beef comes from. Know what beef you like and try a lot of different kinds. Beef from Central Alberta is going to taste different than beef from Southern Alberta because the grasses are different. You’ll notice that difference because everyone has different palates and different tastes.”

Looking for options to enjoy quality cuts at home? In addition to the places mentioned above, you can buy quality local beef to cook at home from: Restaurants

Hy's Steakhouse 412 8 Avenue SW, Calgary CharCut Butcher Shop 899 Centre Street SW, Calgary Sawmill Prime Rib & Steak House, 4810 Calgary Trail South Edmonton Bow Valley Ranch, 15979 Bow Bottom Trail SE, Calgary Vin Room, 2310 4 Street SW Calgary

Butchers Shops

BLW Butcher Shop Brant Lake Premium Meats, 507, 42 Avenue SE, Calgary Bon Ton Meat Market 28 Crowfoot Circle NW, Calgary Local Meats 4922 51 Avenue Leduc Popowich Meat Company 6853-170 Street, Edmonton Real Deal Meats Ltd 2435 Ellwood Drive SW, Edmonton D'Arcy's Meat Market St. Albert and Edmonton The Butchery by Rge Rd 12229 - 107 Avenue, Edmonton

Delivery Services

Backyard Meats backyardmeats.ca Great Meats greatmeats.ca The Craft Beef Company craftbeefco.ca Ranchland Beef ranchlandbeef.com Alberta BBQ Box albertabbqbox.com The Organic Box theorganicbox.ca Bow River Meat Market bowrivermeatmarket.ca June 2021 | Culinaire 15


Step By Step:

Baked Onion Rings STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY RENÉE KOHLMAN

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y fondness for onion rings is fairly legendary, and I’ll choose them over fries any day, given the opportunity. There’s just something about the crispy-crunchy-sweet-salty ring that gets me everytime. More often than not, those onion rings are deep-fried, which is why they taste so darn good, but not everyone wants to hover over hot oil and have their house smelling like a fast food restaurant. This baked version of onion rings still gets top

16 Culinaire | June 2021

marks for flavour, and I love how I’m not missing out on any of the crunch factor. Before you get started, there are a few things to know about how to get the best-tasting oven-baked onion rings. First up is the type of onion. I like to use large sweet onions as they have the best flavour. Next up is timing. The onion rings need to soak in buttermilk for a minimum of 6 hours but ideally overnight. This allows the onions to soften, making them tender

inside the crispy coating. The long soak in buttermilk will also allow the egg whites and the crumb coating to stick to the onion rings. This recipe does take some planning ahead, but it’s worth it! The ingredients for the breading are also key. Flour really sticks to the onion; the cornmeal adds crunch; and the panko crumbs are large, airy flakes which tend to stay crispier longer than just regular old breadcrumbs because they don’t absorb as much grease. I seasoned my mixture with smoked paprika and garlic powder, but lemon pepper, chili powder, Old Bay, would also be great. Once the breaded onion rings are on the baking sheets, you’ll want to thoroughly coat them in a cooking spray. This helps to seal the breading to the onion, and gives us the crispy rings we all crave. Flipping the onion rings over at the halfway point is also important as it makes sure the onion rings brown evenly. All ovens bake a little differently, so watch the last few minutes of baking, as you wouldn’t want these tasty morsels to burn. Golden brown is where it’s at! The hardest part is waiting the suggested 10 minutes before you can pop a ring in your mouth. I didn’t wait that long, to be honest, and I assume you won’t either! Serve the onion rings with this creamy Chili Lime Mayo, but ketchup or a ranch-style dip would also be delicious. This is a fabulous snack to enjoy on the patio with a cold beverage. I also love tucking these onion rings into my burger or grilled cheese sandwich. Best part is there’s no deep fryer to clean!


Chili Lime Mayo Makes ½ cup

½ cup (125 mL) mayonnaise 1-2 tsp (5-10 mL) sriracha Juice of half a lime Pinch of salt Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl.

Crispy Baked Onion Rings with Chili Lime Mayo Serves 4

2 large sweet onions, sliced into 12 mm thick rings 3½ cups (875 mL) buttermilk 4 large egg whites 1 cup panko breadcrumbs 2/3 cup all-purpose flour 2/3 cup cornmeal 1 tsp salt ½ tsp smoked paprika ½ tsp garlic powder ½ tsp pepper Non-stick spray such as Canola Harvest, PC Olive Oil Spray, Pam, etc. 1. At least 6 hours ahead of time, place the onion rings in a shallow dish. Pour the buttermilk over top. You want the onions submerged as much as possible. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. For even better results, you can let them soak overnight. 2. Remove the soaked onion rings from the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to

425° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 3. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy. In a shallow bowl, mix together the panko, flour, cornmeal, salt, and spices. 4. Remove each ring from the buttermilk and shake off any excess. Submerge the onion first into the egg whites then into the breading mixture, being certain to coat the onion thoroughly. If the crumb mixture isn’t sticking, submerge in the whites then coat in the breading again. Place each breaded ring on the prepared baking sheets in a single layer. When all of the rings are breaded, spray generously with the cooking spray, being certain to cover as much of the breading

as possible. 5. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the baking sheets from the oven, flip over each onion ring, then continue to bake for another 13-15 minutes, until the onion rings are crispy and nicely browned. Allow the onion rings to cool for 15 minutes before serving with the Chili Lime Mayo. These are best enjoyed the day they’re made, but any leftovers can be reheated in at 350° F oven for 7-9 minutes.

Renée Kohlman is a busy food writer and recipe developer living in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Her debut cookbook All the Sweet Things was published last year.

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Greener Pastures: GEMSTONE GRASS FED SERVES ALBERTANS A DIFFERENT CUT OF BEEF BY ELIZABETH CHORNEY-BOOTH

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THERE’S SOMETHING about the words “grass fed beef” that just sound delicious. The idea of herds of cattle milling around a pastoral field somehow makes a beef product sound more appetizing, even for those of us who don’t have a deep understanding of farming practices or what influences the terroir of a steak or prime rib roast. While most of us are still using commodity beef (the brandless stuff that is most common at the grocery story) for our daily cooking needs, locally raised specialty beef has become an increasingly

coveted treat for meat lovers. Even if customers don’t quite have a grasp on the science of livestock feed, products like the meat from Gemstone Grass Fed Beef clearly offer something special, both because of the way the cattle is raised and because of the people who raise it. Gemstone, located near the hamlet of Gem, Alberta (roughly halfway between Calgary and Medicine Hat), is run by the Doerksen family, third and fourth generation farmers who decided that they were ready to change the way they ranched to create a product that

stands out from other beef on the market. The ranch is primarily run by brothers Lorin and Daniel Doerksen along with their dad Arno, with another brother, Barry also involved (although living offfarm). The brothers’ great-grandfather settled in the Gem area in 1932, attracted by its good irrigation. For over 80 years the Doerksens operated the farm fairly conventionally, raising cattle and growing crops, but in 2018, the current generation decided that they wanted to do things a little differently. Lorin and Daniel both went off to study (animal science and June 2021 | Culinaire 19


The Doerksen family

environmental science respectively) and came back to the farm recharged and ready to write the next chapter in their family’s farming story. “We really saw an opportunity for grass fed beef,” Lorin says. “We’d learned a lot about regenerative agriculture and the concept made a lot of sense to me and other members of my family. We love a good steak and being able to build a business around farm-to-table just seemed like a good opportunity.”

consumer though, is the finished product. Research shows that grass feeding can make for a healthier beef with higher levels of vitamins A and E and omega-3 fatty acids. There’s also the issue of “you are what you eat,” which is as true for cattle as it is for humans. Grass fed beef has a reputation for being less fatty than traditional commodity beef (the grain finishing is designed to fatten the cows up, after all), which can result in a tougher and less flavourful cut.

Grass fed beef has a reputation for being less fatty than traditional commodity beef “Grass fed” means that instead of feeding cattle grains in a feed lot in the “finishing” stage (i.e. after the calves are old enough to be separated from their mothers and sold at auction), the animals are on a “forage only” diet for their entire lifespan, free to roam in pastures eating fresh grass or green hay and silage (a cut grass product) in the winter months. The forage diet can keep cattle healthier and less stressed, and as a ranching method, rotational grazing and regenerative farming (where the cows are moved around the farm so that they don’t overfeed on any one piece of land) is generally considered to be a more environmentally friendly option. Perhaps more importantly to the 20 Culinaire | June 2021

To combat this, the Doerksens took special care to develop meat that has a unique (and very tasty) flavour. The ranch had already been raising purebred Hereford and Red Angus cows and fortuitously enough, those breeds happened to retain fat without supplemental grain feed. Initially, the family experimented with switching just a few cows to grass fed to see if it would work, and they were incredibly impressed with the product that landed on their plates. “One of the most important things we learned is that you need the right kind of cattle genetics to successfully create a high-quality product to sell to restaurants and chefs,” Lorin says. “Our beef has some of the

same characteristics as AAA commodity beef in terms of the fat content, but it has a whole different flavour profile that can taste better if you do it right.” When a rancher gets out of the commodity market they have to do some work marketing their product to consumers, which is something that Gemstone has been very successful at — and once it gets to consumers the beef really does speak for itself. The “beefier” aromatic flavour and softer, juicier texture of Gemstone’s beef has won the label many fans, including chefs like John Jackson and Connie DeSousa from Calgary’s Charcut and Charbar restaurants. Gemstone’s products are available through delivery boxes like Bessie Box, Cultivatr.ca and Spud.ca, as well as retail shops like Nutters in Okotoks and Canmore, and Blush Lane locations throughout the province. The ranch also sells products ranging from standards like ground beef and steaks to nose-to-tail products like rendered beef tallow and soup bones, all available directly from its website at gemstonegrassfedbeef.com.

Cookbook author and regular contributor to CBC Radio, Elizabeth is a Calgary-based freelance writer, who has been writing about music and food, and just about everything else for her entire adult life.


FRESH.

LOCAL. Fresh & Local Market + Kitchens is Calgary’s premium destination for locally produced food and brilliant local chefs. Calgary’s Local Food Hub connects passionate shoppers with sustainable local food ideas all year long.

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ummer brings us a bounty of additional locally grown produce from Fresh & Local Farm Market Kiosk and Walker’s Own ranging from mini carrots & purple beans to Taber corn & pickling cucumbers; it’s all here. Organic BC fruit from Harker’s Organics and BC orchardists will be abundant – apricots & cherries, fresh strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, nectarines, coronation grapes, peaches & apples. Pranzo Italiano thin crust pizza is perfect to share on our outdoor patio. Choose your own toppings or ask for the house special Margarita Pizza. Available in personal size or for the entire family.

TeAmo Handcrafted Fruit Tea strives to provide a fresh healthy drink, which is completely free from any artificial preservatives or fruit syrup. Each TeAmo fruit tea is made of 100% freshly cold pressed fruits, mixed with our premium tea.

Bruhe Real Food serves up soft serve ice cream and 12 flavours of local gelato.

ONLINE. Avenida Village • 426, 12445 Lake Fraser Drive SE Thursday – Saturday 11a-8p; Sundays 11a-5p

Buy online at www.FreshAndLocal.ca Advertising Feature


SHOP. EAT.EXPLORE. You no longer need to travel to Sicamous to relive your fond childhood memories of enjoying world famous D Dutchmen Dairy ice cream. A variety of flavours are available in take home containers, year round, at The Mercantile. No way! Yes way!

Bridgeland Bread bakes fresh bread everyday. Enjoy Einkorn, salted pretzel, egg bread & fresh baked cinnamon buns.

Snowflake Ice Cream and Korean Desserts serves up 24 flavours of Foothills Ice Cream plus Bingsu which is Korean shaved ice and Hot-Tok Korean filled pancakes with a choice of brown sugar or bacon, cheese & green onions or cinnamon & peanut butter. Mestizo Mexican Street Food is a family based business focused on delivering authentic Mexican street food that brings the flavours and food culture found on every street corner in Mexico.

Kansas City style BBQ brisket, pulled pork and ribs – every bite tastes like summer! Enjoy it at KFS BBQ Smokehouse.

Calgary Bulk Foods by Fresh & Local has a growing selection of organic whole grains, peas, beans, lentils plus everything chocolate. Fill your pantry with Mediterranean or Himalayan Sea salts, spice and gluten free flours.

Pickup a Thai Manna $5 LAAP Kits and create endless possibilities including fusion Vietnamese subs, lettuce wraps, a tangy topping for your salads or an authentic side to any rice dish.

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Enjoy sitting on our patio with a bowl of soup and grilled cheese from Primal Soup Company. Try any of their 50 varieties of gourmet gluten free artisan soups from our freezer section, or have a bowl of hot soup and sandwich to go!

Farm direct cheddar cheese from Old School Cheesery in Vermilion, AB available at the Fresh & Local Farm Market Kiosk. These award winning cheddars are available in six flavours including mild, applewood smoke, dill, peppercorn, chipotle, & garlic.

At Siomai Queen Filipino Street Food 24 pork dumplings served with special chilli lime & soy garlic dipping sauce delivers authentic Filipino street food.

Avenida Village

426, 12445 Lake Fraser Drive SE Thursday – Saturday 11a-8p; Sundays 11a-5p

www.FreshAndLocal.ca Advertising Feature


LOCAL. DELIVERED. ONLINE. 243 Producers. 20 Kitchens. Yo u r O n l i n e Fa r m e r ’s Ma r k e t

www.FreshAndLocal.ca The Fresh & Local family supports over 243 local producers and 20 culinary kitchens. Our web-market is a one stop on-line farmer’s market where you can access over 1,600 local products, order from one site, pay once, pick them up curbside or have them delivered to your home. Scan the QR code above to go directly to the webmarket at www.FreshAndLocal.ca

Kokom’s Bannock Kitchen

KOKOM – Plains Cree word meaning “your Grandmother.” BANNOCK – A bread recipe from Scotland, perfected by Indigenous people. KITCHEN – A place for family togetherness, family share and family love.

avenida

Night market Pad Thai is one of the most popular Thai noodle dishes locally and abroad, consisting of noodles, bean sprouts and eggs. Fresh to your plate from Bangkok Street Food, it is additionally flavored with tamarind sauce, lime juice, fish sauce and traditionally served with ground peanuts.

One of Calgary’s favourite food trucks, Waffles & Chix makes the Fresh & Local Market + Kitchens home 365 days per year. Enjoy southern fried chicken on waffles all year long. Advertising Feature

Fresh & Local

Avenida Night Market

Each Thursday & Friday nights from 4:00-8:00p starting June 17 through September 17, the Fresh & Local Market + Kitchens hosts a night market with a full selection of local produce, food trucks, food artisans and local crafts. For more information visit www.FreshAndLocal.ca

Avenida Village

426, 12445 Lake Fraser Drive SE Thursday – Saturday 11a-8p; Sundays 11a-5p

www.FreshAndLocal.ca


On Board BY LINDA GARSON I PHOTOGRAPHY BY DONG KIM

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ameron Fraser, of Calgary’s Fraser & Fig, has relocated to Marda Loop this month. His goal is for you to choose grazing as an alternative to quick take-away options. Don't eat pizza - eat this! Fraser’s #1 rule is that there is no rule – it’s an opportunity to try new flavour and texture combinations. “We like to cover the four primary characters of cheese: Hard, Salty and Crumbly; Squeaky or Semi-firm; Creamy or Oozy; and Blue or Veiny,” he says. “And four meats, including two salamis - one mild and one more adventurous.” Fraser’s Pro Tip: Keep the cheeses to be sliced or scooped to the edge of the board for easy access. His board is bold-flavoured for Father's Day. “We think of dad standing over the BBQ with his ‘World's Greatest Dad’ apron on and flipping burgers and hot dogs,” he says. “This is our take, complete with nuts, mustard and pretzels.”

Fraser's charcuterie board includes: CHEESE: Sylvan Star Grizzly Gouda: (Red Deer) this sharp beast has tyrosine crystals little crunchy salt nuggets in the cheese. Morbier: a silky and squeaky, mediumfirm, washed rind cheese from Burgundy. We call it a cheese CHEESE. Do eat the rind! Comox (Double Cream) Brie: (Natural Pastures, Vancouver Island) a creamy bloomy-rind cheese. Bleu d’Élizabeth: (Fromagerie du Presbytère Québec), punchy but balanced - sweet, salty, tangy, and sharp. CHARCUTERIE: VDG Spicy Calabrese: (Calgary) Calabrian peppers with a touch of fennel. Valbella Chimney Sticks: (Canmore) cold smoked - like fresh off the BBQ! Speck: smoked prosciutto-like ham from

northern Italy for a little more smoke! Pepper Mortadella: (Italy), a silky, fatty complement to the smoky notes of the Speck and Chimney Sticks. ACCOMPANIMENTS: Gone Crackers: (Surrey, BC) "undressed" crisps, hardy and rustic. 34 Degree Original Flavour Crisps: a thin, non-filling food vehicle. Twigz: (Calgary), garlic, spices, lemon, and buttery flavoured pretzels. Brassica Whole Grain Mustard (Calgary) Brassica Wild Leek and Maple Whole Grain Mustard ZinterBrown Red Pepper Jelly (Edmonton) Imported Golden Fig Jelly Blue Kettle Ginger Dip (St. Albert) HandFuel: (Vancouver), Spanish Marcona Almonds with lemon. Wild Coast Dried Cranberries: (Lower Mainland, BC).


Simply Sensational T Seafood

hese seafood dishes will leave you feeling like a chef. The recipes are simple, quick and so delicious that you will want to put them on repeat.

Thai Curry Clams Serves 3

2½ cm piece fresh ginger 6 cm piece fresh galangal 3 stalks lemon grass 1½ Tbs (22 mL) avocado oil ½ red onion 2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped 1 cup (250 mL) chicken stock 1 can (400 mL) coconut milk 2 dried lime leaves ¾ tsp fish sauce ¼ cup (60 mL) lime juice 1.3 kg fresh clams, cleaned To taste sea salt Garnish cilantro, Thai basil, Thai red chili pepper, lime wedges

STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY NATALIE FINDLAY 26 Culinaire | June 2021

1. Remove skin from ginger and thinly slice. Remove rough outer bits of galangal and chop. Trim lemon grass, remove outer layer and cut into 10 cm pieces. 2. In a medium pot, over medium heat, add avocado oil. 3. Peel onion and cut into wedges and add to the pot, sauté 3 minutes. 4. Add the garlic, ginger, galangal and lemon grass to pot and sauté another 3 minutes. 5. Add stock, coconut milk, lime leaves and fish sauce to pot. Simmer on medium low heat for 30 minutes. Add lime juice. 6. Add clams and increase heat to medium, cook approximately 8 minutes or until clams have opened. Remove and discard any clams that do not open as they are not good to eat. Taste the sauce for saltiness. 7. Choose from the garnishes that you like and serve immediately. Drink the broth like a soup or as a dip for crusty bread.


Seafood Boil Serves 2-4

Tuna Niçoise Serves 3

Dressing

½ clove garlic, peeled and grated ½ tsp mustard ½ tsp honey 1 lemon, juiced 1/3 cup (80 mL) olive oil 3 sprigs parsley, finely chopped 5 leaves basil, finely chopped To taste salt and pepper Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until combined.

Salad

8 fingerling potatoes 2 eggs 150 g green beans, trimmed 250 g sashimi grade tuna loin, or canned tuna 3 cups arugula, or other lettuce 16 cherry tomatoes, halved ½ cup Kalamata olives To taste sea salt and pepper 1. In a medium pot, fill two-thirds with water and add the fingerling potatoes. Place on medium high heat and cook potatoes 30 minutes or until they are fork tender. Drain off the water. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Season with a pinch of sea salt.

2. Add eggs to a medium pot and add enough water to cover the eggs by a couple of cms. Set stove to high heat and bring the water to a boil. As soon as the water hits boil, turn off the heat and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 8-12 minutes, depending on how hard you like your eggs. Less time for softer eggs and longer for harder eggs. 3. Remove the eggs from the hot water and place in an ice bath for 10-15 minutes to allow them to completely cool. Peel away the shells. 4. Using the same pot as the eggs, bring water back to a boil. Add the green beans and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from water and plunge into an ice bath to stop cooking and retain the green colour. 5. Coat tuna loin with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper. Heat sauté pan on medium high heat for a few minutes or until pan is very hot. Drizzle 2 tsp (10 mL) olive oil in pan and add the tuna. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. This will allow the outside to form a crust and leave the tuna raw on the inside. Remove from heat. *Skip this step if you are using canned tuna. 6. Bringing it together: Toss arugula with a bit of the dressing. Arrange on plates along with potatoes, tomatoes and green beans. Slice tuna and arrange on plate. Slice eggs in half and arrange on plate. Drizzle dressing over everything and top with olives.

430 g baby potatoes 6 cloves garlic, peeled 1 onion, peeled and quartered 1 can beer (optional) 2 Tbs Old Bay seasoning ¼ cup kosher salt 6 sprigs thyme 3 bay leaves 2 – 4 corn cobs, husked and cut into thirds 75 g sausage (andouille, kielbasa) cut into 3 cm pieces 2 lobsters 675 g clams, cleaned 450 g prawns Garnish melted butter and lemon wedges 1. In a large high-sided stock pot, fill halfway with water. 2. Add potato, garlic, onion, beer, Old Bay seasoning, salt, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Then start the timer. Cook 5 minutes. 3. Add corn, sausage and lobster. Cook 15 minutes. 4. Add clams. Cook 5 minutes or until clams have fully opened. 5. Add the prawns and cook until they change colour and curl up, about 2 minutes. 6. Strain through a colander. Discard any unopened clams.

Note: you can reserve the broth and use as a seafood stock.

7. Lay all the ingredients out on a big platter in the centre of the table. Serve with melted butter, lemon wedges and lots of napkins. Let the feast begin! Natalie is a freelance writer, photographer and pastry chef. A graduate of Cordon Bleu’s pastry program, she manages her own business too to create custom-made cakes. June 2021 | Culinaire 27


A land of rich traditions; How Indigenous chefs are looking to traditions to heal BY SABRINA KOOISTRA

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Phantom Creek

ohkínstsis (Calgary) and Amiskwaciy Waskahikan (Edmonton) were once gathering places. Wild saskatoons grew, buffalo roamed, and Mother Nature gave birth to rich traditions passed down for centuries – traditions connecting the land to people and people to each other. In Alberta, sundrying meat like pemmican (dried meat and berries pounded together) was ideal for journeys, vegetables and medicinal herbs flourished, and buffalo gave food, clothing, and tools. Food was cherished and respected. Wasting nothing was the way of life. But European settlement devastated First Nations’ traditions. Canned foods and rationing replaced the abundance of the grasslands. The territory Indigenous peoples roamed and reaped from for centuries was taken and abused. The path forward was stricken with trauma.

28 Culinaire | June 2021

Chef Scott Iserhoff

For many Indigenous chefs, food has become a medicine. The lack of Indigenous representation in the culinary world has become an opportunity to pursue a future of their own creation, showcase traditions, and reconnect to some of what’s been lost. In the spirit of preserving elder knowledge, Chef David Wolfman of the Xaxali’p First Nation embraces sharing and teaching. As a Culinary Arts professor and the star of “Cooking with the Wolfman,” he created a niche he calls “Indigenous Fusion” where he uses Mother Nature’s offerings and his creativity to shape the way we understand Canadian food. The process of healing is beginning – for many Indigenous chefs – by turning back to Mother Nature. For Chef Scott Iserhoff of Pei Pei Chei Ow (pe-pe-s-chew), watching wild meat smoke over the fire and hearing his family’s stories was normal, but as

he grew, Iserhoff pushed his culture aside. It wasn’t until culinary school that something clicked. He was tired of cooking foods from other places and found himself calling home to ask about jam and bannock. Memories of picking berries and honouring the land flooded back. What was once ordinary became extraordinarily special. Because of his childhood curiosity, Iserhoff’s Moshom (grandfather) nicknamed him Pei Pei Chei Ow, the Omushkegowin word for the robin. Iserhoff laughs about how much it annoyed his Moshom how much he talked, but it’s his curiosity that’s reacquainted him with the past. Paying tribute to his Attawapiskat roots, Iserhoff, along with his wife Svitlana Kravchuk, cater events in the spirit of mino pimatisiwin: embracing “the good life.” Using local wild meats and traditional and post-colonial ingredients is part of this process.


“I feel a responsibility to showcase Indigenous food … and to decolonize the space that I’m cooking in,” Iserhoff says about why he chose to pursue catering. “I want it to be a stepping-stone for other Indigenous people.” As well as catering events around Edmonton, Pei Pei Chei Ow offers cooking classes. The result of oral storytelling, outdoor cooking, and local ingredients, is an empowering and artistic menu. Dishes like “Three Sisters Salad” inspired by culinary traditions, let wild mushroom, charred onion, ricotta, and dandelion bannock bites tell his story. For Chef Leslie Bull of the Plains Cree Nation, Kokom’s Bannock Kitchen is the realization of a multi-generational legacy – a dream to share the customs of her grandparents and have her dream live on through her children. Bull’s journey to where she is today was one of learning and sharing as much as it was of trauma and loss. Her mother is a residential school survivor; she started a family soon after leaving the school and did the best she could to pass knowledge onto her children. This meant relearning lost Plains Cree culture while raising her children. For Bull, making bannock is a way of reimagining a hurtful past. In her 30s, she wanted to learn to make bannock, which brought her back to her Kokom’s kitchen. Kokom means “your grandmother” in Plains Cree, and the love she felt in her Kokom’s kitchen fit the business culture she wanted to create. “How I cook for my grandbabies is how I cook for other people,” Bull says. “It’s all about the energy you put out there. Your energy.” You’ll find Kokom’s Bannock Kitchen at Fresh and Local Market and Kitchens, where Bull offers four fry bread and bannock flavours: traditional, savoury cheese, mixed berry, and cinnamon sugar. She also offers homemade wild berry sauce – delicious on ice cream or sweet bannock – stews, salads, wild berry punch, bannock tacos, and her best-selling bannock burgers, seasoned with a sweet juniper berry spice. In the summer of 2010, Whitefish Lake First Nation’s Chef Curtis Cardinal of Tee Pee Treats began selling his bannock at Alberta powwows. At these powwows, Cardinal remembers teepees set up as mini storefronts where First Nations

Wild Mushrooms on Bannock

Deep Fried Bannok

gatherers would sell Indigenous foods. It’s a memory that inspired him to start his own culinary business with a name he hopes brings “strength, meaning, and hope to First Nations.” But Cardinal’s journey to learning about Indigenous food traditions and sharing them with his customers was also a process toward addiction recovery. Like so many other First Nations individuals suffering from addiction, reviving traditions has helped them find their “true spirit.” In 2019, he became a licensed caterer after helping his friend get his food truck, Native Delights, started in Edmonton. The passion to create and to share gets him up each morning and on his way to the kitchen he rents at St. Faith’s Anglican Church in Edmonton.

Chef Curtis Cardinal June 2021 | Culinaire 29


Bison Bannock Burger

Drying meat

Arrive hungry to try Cardinal’s “contemporary Indigenous food” creations, like bison bannock burgers, bison stew, and bannock donair. Keep an eye on social media for the release date of his bannock fries, a potato-bannock fusion infused with cheddar, meat, or fruit – something customers are already eagerly asking about. Consistent, but ever the creative, Cardinal hopes that Tee Pee Treats’ popularity and customer loyalty

will help him one day expand into an experiential dining experience in a teepee, franchise his business, and branch out into value-added products, like jams. To Cardinal, seeing so many excited customers flooding to his take-out window has been “amazing.” “It gives hope to our First Nations people who want to start a business. We are reaching different cultures and it’s great to see how much support we get.”

We acknowledge that Calgary rests upon the traditional lands of Treaty 7 Nations, including the Siksiká, Piikáni, Káínai, Tsúūt’ínà, Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley First Nations, and Edmonton is home to Treaty 6 Nations, including the Nehiyawak, Niitsitapi, Nakota Sioux, Haudenosaunee, Dené, and Anishinaabe First Nations. Calgary and Edmonton are also home to Métis Region 3 and Region 4, respectively. 30 Culinaire | June 2021

For Chef Shantel Tallow of Aahksoyo’p Indigenous Comfort Food (ahk-see-ope) – LUXLife’s Best Specialty Catering Company (2019), in-house caterer for the City of Calgary, and indigenous advisor to the University of Calgary – her dream of sharing Blackfoot traditions transformed her into a sought-after chef and the first and only Indigenous caterer in Calgary. After sundances, when Blackfoot communities gather for a meal, the tipi head yells “Aahksoyo’p” to end fasting, a story that empowered Tallow to share Blackfoot traditions and create a legacy. Even though there are challenges to owning her business, Tallow says it’s been a chance to learn how to move forward. She offers comfort foods, journey food like pemmican, and bannock, fry bread, and berry soup as part of her catering service. She also hosts “Bannock in a Panic” cooking classes, and her second Aahksoyo’p Nootski cookbook is coming out soon. “I’m learning about my family and where we came from,” she says. “Turning back time means you can turn back to Mother Nature.” After 17 years away, moving back to the Blood Reserve has been part of her cultural recalibration. As an advisor to the Waterton Indigenous Tourism Centre, she’s helping them build a smokehouse and kitchen just in time for the reintroduction of buffalo to Waterton. “I assumed I’d always be in the kitchen,” she says. “I didn’t know I needed to come home to reconnect,” she says. Sabrina is a freelance writer pursuing a Communications and History double major at U of C. She is passionate about uncovering the ways in which history, tradition, and food shape our identities.



Spice It Up:

Potato Salad

N

othing is more of a wild card at a summer barbecue than potato salad. When done well, it’s a welcome addition aside burgers, brats, or brisket, but when done poorly, it’s nothing more than an anaemic mass of starchy, underseasoned gloop. Thankfully, with even the smallest amount of care and attention to detail, it’s easy to avoid the latter. With these tips, your spiced up potato salad will be the recipe that everyone asks for this summer and all summers after that.

32 Culinaire | June 2021

Choice of potato

The most obvious place to start when tweaking any potato salad recipe is with the humble potato itself. You’ve probably heard the terms “waxy” versus “starchy” when referring to potatoes and this distinction is something to keep in mind when choosing the perfect potato for your salad. While waxy potatoes have higher water content and will hold their shape better when cooked, they aren’t as good at absorbing other liquids, say the dressing of your choice. On the other

BY MALLORY FRAYN

hand, starchy potatoes will break down more when cooked and are better at soaking up your choice of seasoning, however they will yield a more mashed potato salad. Ultimately it comes down to your preference: do you want your potato salad to resemble chilled mashed potatoes, or would you rather be able to make out the distinct bites of potato? Maybe you land somewhere in the middle, in which case, making your potato salad with a mix of waxy and starchy potatoes will yield the best of


both worlds. For example, you might want to go 50/50 Yukon Gold and Russet to maximize both flavour and texture. Just be sure to cook the two types of potatoes separately, as they will cook at different rates. Keep in mind that potato-adjacent options will work well in “potato” salad too. Think sweet potatoes, yams, Jerusalem artichokes, or any other tuber of your choice.

Method of cooking potatoes

Once you’ve narrowed down your choice of potatoes, your next decision is to land on how you want to cook them. Usually, potato salad recipes call for boiled potatoes, but this isn’t your only option. When you boil them, they will absorb some of the water that they are cooked in, meaning that it will alter the texture and dilute the flavour of whatever you add later on. If you go the boiling route, be sure to boil your potatoes in large chunks (this goes for all potato applications), so they take in as little moisture as possible. Steaming them will also work. But, if you want to do something a bit different, try roasting, grilling, or even smoking your potatoes before tossing them into salad. Think baked potato, but with a twist! These dry heat cooking methods will alter both the texture and taste of the finished salad, really concentrating that potato flavour. Yes, potatoes have flavour!

Choice of dressing

Similar to the “waxy” versus “starchy” dichotomy, potato salad dressing options usually fall into one of two camps: mayonnaise-based or vinaigrette-based. While the former may be a picnic classic, the latter is a pretty underappreciated way of enjoying this potato-based delight. German potato salad is a classic that comes to mind with a few simple ingredients, namely, bacon, oil, vinegar, and mustard (try adding finely chopped pickled cucumbers too!). Tossed together, it can be served hot or cold. Don’t be shy with that mustard either – a blend of Dijon and a healthy spoonful of grainy mustard adds some zip and great texture too. Julia Child also had a great hack of adding in a splash of the potato

cooking water to the salad to aid in it’s creaminess without relying exclusively on added fat from oil or mayonnaise. It’s also worth considering that virtually any dressing or vinaigrette that you like to use on green salad is probably a candidate for flavouring your potato salad. Potatoes really are nature’s blank slate when it comes to a food that excels at taking on an array of other flavours.

Herbs and other seasonal garnishes

The je ne sais quoi of your potato salad probably won’t be the dressing or even the potatoes themselves, but rather, the various garnishes that you choose to stir into the mix. In the heat of summer, take advantage of fresh herbs and don’t be afraid to throw them in by the handful. Parsley, cilantro, basil, dill, tarragon, and mint are all workable here. If you’re using them raw, opt for any fresh herb as the woodier ones (think rosemary, thyme, etc.) need to be cooked down. Given that you can go in virtually any direction you want here, it is helpful to think in line with a theme, lest you end up with the kitchen sink of potato salads. Go Japanese-y with Kewpie mayo, wasabi, sesame oil, and a liberal amount of togarashi, a chili pepperbased spice blend.

Add cooked peas and carrots, ham, pickles, and eggs too if you like for a Russian Salad “Olivier”. Turn Greek salad into potato salad with lemony vinaigrette, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, and lots of Kalamata olives. Make it a meal with a Cobb potato salad, complete with the works. That’s right, load ‘er up with bacon, chopped eggs, shredded chicken, a chiffonade of lettuce, tomato, avocado, blue cheese, and you are good to go.

Potato salad pitfalls to avoid

• Don’t skimp on the salt, potatoes need it, especially if served cold. If boiling, liberally season the cooking water, like you do with pasta, for best results. • Be mindful of your serving temperature, particularly if using a mayonnaise-based dressing (bacteria grow best between 40-140º F so keep your salad above or below that range). • Too much potato and not enough everything else – ideally you want a little bit of all the different ingredients in each and every bite! Mallory is a clinical psychologist and food writer from Calgary, now living and eating in Montreal. Her goal is to help people develop healthier relationships with food. Follow her on Twitter @drfrayn. June 2021 | Culinaire 33


Want Variety In Your Life?

Look To Beer

A

lthough beer has been around for countless millennia, its separation into styles and categories is somewhat recent. While scholarly analysis used to be primarily for beer judging and homebrewing, the average consumer now needs a modicum of brewing knowledge simply to wade through all the brands and styles currently available. Just 30 years ago, there was only a handful of national breweries in North America, all producing basically the same kind of beer, along with a sprinkling of craft breweries offering a couple of styles each. Restaurants and bars tended to be aligned with a single supplier, and liquor stores carried a few local craft beers and imports to break up the monotony of mass-produced lagers. Basically, when you found your favourites, you stuck with them for life. That methodology no longer applies.

34 Culinaire | June 2021

BY DAVID NUTTALL

It’s impossible to know how many different varieties of beer have ever been made, given that brewing was largely a cottage industry up to about 200 years ago. Until craft brewing arrived in the last quarter of the 20th century, beers were usually classified by the brewery or region of origin. Governments got involved for taxation and regulatory reasons, but for the most part, no one really cared about beer’s nomenclature. By the time brewing had expanded through the Industrial Revolution, it became even less important. Breweries actually started producing less varieties of beer as they grew larger, given the enormous cost of development, production, and marketing needed for each new line. In the last century, breweries were more likely to change the packaging of an existing brand than introduce a new product. This began to change when a perfect storm arrived in 1976; Jimmy Carter got

elected president of the United States and Michael James Jackson started writing The World Guide to Beer. These unrelated events kickstarted the craft brewing industry and initiated the avalanche of beer varietals that define 21st century brewing. Jackson’s book got published in 1977, and a year later, Carter legalized homebrewing again (banned since Prohibition began in 1920). This inspired thousands of university students and young professionals to study and brew beers similar to those mentioned in Jackson’s book, exploring styles unavailable in local stores and bars. Over the next decade, many of these neophytes opened small breweries all over North America. These new breweries usually started with two-four different beers; mostly ales since lagers take longer and are more finicky to brew. Knowing they had to compete against giant brewing conglomerates, they explored varieties


not common in their market. The twentyfold (in Canada) to thirtyfold (United States) increase in the number of breweries over the next three decades led to a corresponding proliferation of beer categories in both the Brewers Association and Beer Judge Certification Program style guidelines. Certainly not all the categories are new; many are just reviving longforgotten styles that brewers simply quit brewing years, or centuries, ago. However, today there is more potential for creativity than ever before. Beers now get defined by their history, region, ingredients, production method, colour, alcohol content, or bitterness. Thanks to dynamic breeding programs, largely in the American northwest, over the past 50 years, the growth of hop varieties has had the biggest influence on brewing recipes. The study of terroir’s influence, genetic diversity, agronomic characteristics, yield generation, and commercial viability, all play a part. Hop farmers now regularly work with brewers, searching for new or distinct flavour profiles. For

example, the long-established English India Pale Ale (IPA) has mutated into over a dozen variants in this century alone thanks mainly to hop derivations. While hops continue to drive new beer styles, both malt and yeast advancements are not far behind. Specialty malt houses and yeast labs are continually working with and offering new options to breweries that improve brewing efficiency and shape different beer characteristics. Unusual ingredients like pastries, pizza, peanut butter, oysters… literally anything edible, pushes the boundaries even further. Access to almost any ingredient is now just a phone call or keyboard stroke away. Styles originating or popular on one side of the Atlantic are now possible to recreate on the other side, sometimes with local modifications. That leads to the most important part of brewing, the brewer. Unshackled by tradition and blessed with modern technology, they continually seek new brewing methods. Small brewery size allows them to churn out new beers almost weekly, something mega-

breweries could never duplicate. Current popular styles like saisons, barrel aged beers, and sours were rarely produced in North America a decade ago, and the hazy/juicy NEIPA didn’t even exist yet. Craft breweries have learned that a solid core lineup must be augmented with seasonals, small batches, unique varieties, and a bow to whatever is in vogue at any given time. The more breweries = more brewers = more variety cycle is not going away any time soon. Today’s consumer demonstrates far less brand loyalty than their antecedents, so craft breweries are far less afraid to experiment with audacious styles. Many drinkers seem to revel in, and even demand, diversity. Thankfully there seems to be no shortage of breweries around willing to provide it.

David has worked in liquor since the late 1980s. He is a freelance writer, beer judge, speaker, and since 2014, has run Brew Ed monthly beer education classes in Calgary. Follow @abfbrewed.

Dips, Chips, & Meal Kits available exclusively @ Bite in Inglewood (1023 9th ave s.e) www.biteyyc.com

Fuyo Rodriguez Levi Veracruz, Mexico 1954


June Spirits A

BY TOM FIRTH AND LINDA GARSON

t last! The summer months are upon us and it would be a crying shame to spend this beautiful season indoors. For some of us, June brings the end of the school year, Father’s day, and for others, it’s just a great chance to be active in Alberta.

We’ve got a range of spirits to recommend from Scottish and American whiskies to Welsh and Irish gins, covering most of the bases from sitting on the deck on a sunny afternoon to a cool evening by a bonfire, but they will all taste better outside!

Tommy Bahama Rye Whisky United States Washington’s Coral Cay Distilling has spent the last 10 years developing a range of Tommy Bahama spirits to bring the island life to us. And now we’re tasting a 4-year old rye whisky blended with minimum 8-year old light and heavy rum –that’s a first for us! At 46.5 percent ABV it’s perfect for cocktails, but what to mix it with? It’s rye whisky, so you expect spice and pepper but has sweetness from the rum. We enjoyed it with ginger ale, and try as a sour! CSPC +839875 $100-$105

Glendalough Rose Gin, Ireland Glendalough Rose Gin, from the Wicklow Mountains, southwest of Dublin, was released last month as a beautiful tribute to head distiller, Rowdy Rooney’s, late mum. The delicate pink colour comes from distilling rose petals from her garden, and it’s infused with more roses too. Think pink peppercorns, citrus and rose… and sip it neat while thinking of your mum, or add ice, good tonic, and a slice of lime, and relax in the sun in your Muskoka chair, with a good book. CSPC + 811635 $47-51

Brecon Botanicals Gin, Wales A second label from Penderyn Distllery, “Brecon” allows them to produce more than the acclaimed whiskies they’re famous for, and we’re happy for that! Botanicals gin says “From the four corners of the world” and it’s hugely aromatic. It’s juniper forward, followed to me by spicy coriander root and citrus, and at 43 percent ABV, perfect for mixing with tonic, soda water if that’s your fancy, and juices and additives to make your favourite gin cocktail! CSPC +842305 $50-52 Tommy Bahama Vodka, United States Well, here’s a thing – Tommy Bahama’s “Copper” Vodka is distilled eight times! The result is a super smooth mouth-feel and elegant finish, yet we know it’s made for cocktails – so what will we mix it with? We tried the suggestion on the bottle for the Mule, and added a little ginger beer – yes! Then we added some lime juice – yes, yes! And then pineapple juice – yes, yes, yes! They’re right, it’s a great vodka for whatever the mood takes you to add! CSPC +839870 $65-68 36 Culinaire | June 2021

Knob Creek 9 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon, United States Back on the market after a too-long hiatus, Knob Creek’s 9 year old, 100 proof bourbon brings the goods. Toasty, nutty, cereal aromas with nuanced barrel notes and the right amount of fiery heat leads into a rich, slightly smoky-sweet palate that is absolutely best neat in the glass, though a touch of cold water balances the alcohol character and gives the spirit a little breathing room. Makes a killer Manhattan too. CSPC +326009 $50-55 The GlenDronach 2009 Vintage Single Malt Whisky, Scotland How lucky are we? This whisky has been bottled exclusively for Canada and is only available in Alberta. They know us far too well; we just want to keep sniffing this deliciously rich and unctuous Highland single malt with its completely alluring aromas of vanilla, dark chocolate and cherries, and a hint of sweet orange, and figgy pudding with currants on the palate. I’ll allow you a couple of drops of water in your glass, but you can’t be my friend if you add ice. CSPC +834367 $95-98


Leave the cooking to us! Let the Calgary Zoo’s award-winning culinary team prepare a meal for you! From our amazing curbside seasonal meals for those special nights to the onsite restaurant reopening soon. Check calgaryzoo.com for more details.


MAKING THE CASE

For SummerFriendly Wines By TOM FIRTH

Let’s be pretty honest. Summer in Alberta is usually pretty awesome. It’s rarely cold or rainy, and most days are filled with sunshine and blue skies too. While many of us are hanging out a little closer to home than we’d prefer, it’s a great time to relax on the deck or chill on the patio if you can, or at the very least, open all the windows and let the fresh air in. We do see Father’s Day in June, and while not everyone makes a big fuss about this day, it’s likely still a fine day to have a tiny get-together and fire up that grill. While you are doing that, I would love to recommend some wonderful, summerfriendly wines that are very easy to enjoy at home. Find these wines by searching the CSPC code at Liquorconnect.com; your local liquor store can also use this code to order it for you. Prices are approximate.

Tarapaca 2018 Gran Reserva Carmenère Maipo, Chile

A relatively uncommon variety, carmenère is often recognized by aromas of pencil lead, dill, and pepper spice. Abundant fruit presence on the nose and palate, with clean flavours and a decidedly spicy bell pepper character (think cooler climate cabernet). Should pair well with richer pasta sauces or even some more robust grilled seafood. CSPC +894253 $20-24

Luce 2017 Lucente, Tuscany, Italy

A blend of merlot and sangiovese, made in a very much fruit driven style, with loads of berry from start to finish and a supporting cast of spice and woodsy tones. Rather prominent tannins and a good core of acids will make this sing with meatier dishes like roasts or beef dishes from the smoker, but also thick crust meaty pizzas if it’s a night to order in. Drinking very well now, but can handle a few years in the cellar too. CSPC +519421 $36-40

De Fournier 2019 Sauvignon Blanc France

French sauvignon blanc tends to be a little more… restrained than the New Zealand style, but in no way inferior. Bright lemony fruits with abundant melon notes, and a rather juicy fruit presence evoking passionfruit and mango on the palate, but still lots of food friendly acids. A lovely quaffer, will go very well with appetizer-style foods or grilled poultry. CSPC 832671 $21-24

Tom is a freelance wine writer, wine consultant, and wine judge. He is the Managing Editor for Culinaire Magazine, and the Competition Director for the Alberta Beverage Awards. Follow him on twitter @cowtownwine, email tom@culinairemagazine.ca

38 Culinaire | June 2021

Tenuta Viglione 2019 Primitivo Puglia, Italy

Looking for a good, organic primitivo - or zinfandel for that matter? Look no further than Viglione’s from Puglia. Peppery, spicy plums, blueberry and strawberry, with bright and clean floral tones, lead the nose with a slightly jammy, fruit driven palate. Quite the weeknight crushable wine and a great price zinfandel/primitivo, it will go stunningly with good pizza, baked pasta dishes, or even burgers. CSPC +813494 $18-21


UMAMU 2013 Sauvignon Blanc Margaret River, Western Australia

Poplar Grove 2020 Pinot Gris Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Yes, this is the current vintage of this sauvignon blanc, and yes, it’s still a tightly wound and fresh bottle. Lemongrass, honey, and hazelnuts, lead off the nose with good support from aging sur lie for 10 months and plenty of barrel aging. In the end, it’s a crisp and balanced sauvignon blanc that is more than a few steps from ordinary.

Limited to about eleven thousand cases, and only a small amount of that makes it to Alberta, this is a wine well worth seeking out and buying a few for the summer months. Ripe and clean with nectarines, peaches, apple skins and hints of honey on the nose and palate – a pleasure to sip and enjoy, and a stunning glass of wine. CSPC +733118 About $24-27

De Fournier 2018 Pinot Noir, France There is something calming about a clean, well-made pinot noir at a great price. De Fournier showcases excellent varietal character but with an easy, silken mouthfeel with good weight, fruit presence, and slightly edgy tannins towards the finish. I’d happily match this with lamb dishes or a nice charcuterie board, though a wine like this is the epitome of versatility at the table. Enjoy! CSPC +832670 $19-22

Spier 2018 Merlot, Stellenbosch South Africa

L’Amarante 2019 Rosé Côtes du Rhône, France

Burrowing Owl 2016 Meritage Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

CSPC +819611 About $20

CSPC +829499 $40-44

Absolutely jam-packed with plum and berry fruits on the nose, this is a great tipple to have on the deck or patio. On the palate, fruits are bright and generous, with a touch of smokiness and herb towards the finish. Plenty of tannins make this nimble at the dinner table. I’d pair this with homemade burgers, or a gourmet pizza, or just enjoy this gem on its own.

Smidge 2018 Houdini Shiraz, McLaren Vale, Australia

McLaren Vale is one of the undisputable, iconic homes of shiraz. The Houdini was brand new to me, but very happy to try it. A shiraz that makes no effort to apologize for being in the Australian style, it positively shouts from the rooftops that it’s full of juicy, jammy black fruits, earthy spices and tannin. Pair with what else? Barbecued beef all the way, but nothing too lean, as a little fat will really bring it all together. Very nice. CSPC +829409 $37-41

While of course we should be able to enjoy good rosé any time of year, they just taste best when enjoyed outside. Now that the weather is getting good, this grenache-based gem is fitting the bill. Slightly tart fruits, a little citrus, and a zesty finish – pleasantly dry too, this is priced right to be an everyday quaffer on the deck or patio. Try pairing with seafood or lightly salted appetizers.

A robust and sturdy meritage blend centered on cabernet sauvignon, which takes centre stage as well. Deep cherry fruits, with floral characters of lilac and lavender, and a touch of bell pepper to the tannins. Not to fear, the merlot brings a little plumminess, and nearly a quarter of cabernet franc delivers the ripeness and spice. Will cellar well if desired, but otherwise, bring on the beef.

CSPC +837339 $19-22

CSPC +1081131 $62-67

UMAMU 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River, Western Australia

Black Angus 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Victoria, Australia

CSPC +829501 $65-70

CSPC +843720 About $50

Holding up exceptionally well (with about ten years already behind it) and made in a cooler climate, a more traditional style of cabernet sauvignon. Abundant cedar and bell pepper aromas with tealeaf, cocoa, and cherry/cassis fruits, with a palate that has all the same centred around big tannins and acids. Excellent harmony though and should be very versatile with a menu that is going to involve grilled or smoked red meat.

From the same people behind the popular Angus the Bull, comes Black Angus - a totally new flagship cabernet sauvignon. Limited to about 600 cases, it’s also a testament to how good cabernet sauvignon can be from the right spots in Australia. Not made every year, the 2017 is a riper, more generous style of cabernet (but not a fruit bomb), with cedar cherries, plum, and blackberries on the palate. Certainly can cellar well, but it’s damn good now. June 2021 | Culinaire 39


E TC E TE R A . . . Food, a simple connection

Okotoks Foodbank is celebrating their 35th anniversary with the release of a cookbook – and we’re impressed. This lie-flat book contains 134 easy to read recipes – one per page, with chef’s tips, information on basics and cooking methods… and beautiful photographs! As well as must try local dishes, ‘Beets & Sweets Bowls’ (P.120) and ‘Gourmet Honey Bison Burgers’ (P.164), there are intriguingly named recipes like ‘Pencil Thin Moustache Cocktail’ (P.34), and dishes from all over the world. $38, okotoksfoodbank.ca for stockists and to order. Amedei Chocolate

We try many great products in our line of work, and our recent Amedei tasting was one of the most memorable. Founder Cecilia Tessieri’s passion is evident in her artisanal bean-to-bar chocolate, using high quality cocoa beans, like Criollo and Trinitario, sent directly from the plantation to Tuscany, where they are hand-processed. We loved all the flavours, but Toscano Red, made with dehydrated strawberries, cherries and raspberries, cloaked in 70 percent extra dark chocolate, is a standout stunner! At Italian Centre Shops $9

Evive Schumann’s Whisk(e)y Lexicon

For the whisk(e)y enthusiast that might know everything or think they know everything, this is a remarkably handy guide. Among its many positives, it’s written alphabetically, with no regard for nation or origin, meaning if all you have is a name to go on, or just want a quick flip to find out who in the room is right about that obscure little piece of information. Beautifully written with brevity and an obvious love of the spirit by Stefan Gabányi from Charles Schumann’s bar in Munich. Rizzoli $54 40 Culinaire | June 2021

Mighty Pine Mixers Spruce Tip

Where do you think this mixer comes from when you read on the website, ‘Made among the trees in Alberta’. Of course it’s Bragg Creek! Containing little more than extract of spruce tips, lemon, water, and sugar, we made their suggested recipe with 1oz gin, 1oz of the mixer, ice, and topped it all off with soda – love it! It’s clean and fresh, so we tried it with Irish whiskey – and we love it! Try with sake, beer, and green tea - it’s a fabulous addition to your favourite tipple. 473mL $18, see mightypinemixers.com for stockists or to order.

Montreal-based Evive is changing the smoothie game one cube at a time. Made with plant-based, organic superfoods, eating healthy tastes better than ever before, and it’s so easy, too. The best part is there’s no blender to clean! The breakfast and lunch options blew us away in both flavour and texture: we’re loving the Azteque smoothie made with coconut milk in the mornings, and the creamy Tom Thai over basmati rice for a quick, nutritious lunch. $4-6 per wheel at evivenutrition.ca

Copper Spice Co.

Good things can come out of the quarantine, and Edmonton’s mom, dad, and daughter trio, boutique online Copper Spice Co., is definitely a good thing. We’re coveting everything on the website – we want a wall of these jars! There’s an enormous range of quality spices, herbs, and gift sets, all beautifully packaged, as well as many of our favourite cookbooks. For Father’s Day, we’re choosing the Classic BBQ Gift Set of four custom blends, Blackened Cajun, Nordic lemon Dill, Jamaican Jerk, and the addictive Korean BBQ! $64 at copperspiceco.com.


so near you can taste it

yet so far to be safe JULY 22 - AUGUST 1, 2021 CHURCHILL SQUARE PRE-SALE BEGINS JUNE 1, 2021 TASTEOFEDM.CA/SAFE

This group represents just a fraction of Alberta’s Asian food community.

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O PE N TH AT B OT TLE

...with Troy Fleischhaker BY LINDA GARSON PHOTO BY DONG KIM

B

orn and raised in Regina, Troy Fleischhaker has always had a passion for travel and cooking. He worked in pizza restaurants as a teenager, and at 19-years old joined a governmentsponsored cooking apprenticeship program in Banff, which set the course for the rest of his life. On completion, he enrolled at SAIT, graduating in 1997, with a goal to travel. “That's all I wanted to do - work overseas,” he says. “In ‘98 I did a big tour of Europe, and then in ’99, I decided to move to Australia and worked in Melbourne for a year. I was blown away by the food scene there.” Fleischhaker also played drums in a punk rock band, and fluctuated between being a part-time chef in Calgary, and taking two months off to tour Canada, and sometimes the United States too. “It was pretty fun,” he says, “but at 29-years old, I realized I can't continue to play music and live paycheck to paycheck, so I decided to continue with my chef career.” With a UK visa, he settled in Edinburgh and worked for nine months until the weather got to him, and it was time to move on. “A friend randomly sent me an email when I was going through this transition of what am I going to do in Europe next, saying: ’I'm in Greece house-sitting on Santorini Island’, so I gave my two weeks notice and found work there, until a friend that I went to culinary school with called and said: ‘I'm living in Beirut, and running restaurants throughout the Middle East’, and needed my help to run the Beirut locations. After all the interviews, I signed a two year contract - they liked my cooking.” Fleischhaker loved Beirut - the food, the lifestyle, having no expenses… however a dangerous and escalating political situation meant he had to come home in 2007. “It was a very abrupt ending to something that I was personally just in love with.” Unexpected opportunities are a

42 Culinaire | June 2021

recurring theme for Fleischhaker, and in 2013 a friend of a friend was working in the Philippines on the set of Survivor, and they’d just fired their head chefs. “So 10 days later I was on an airplane to Manila, and I spent five months there working six days a week, 12 hours a day. And when you're done, you have a bank account full of money, so you travel… and I did - all over Asia,” he says. He was invited back to Survivor in Nicaragua, and declined for personal reasons, accepting another stint in 2015, in Cambodia. “They call Survivor the Holy Grail of television shows because we fly in the best ingredients and everyone's so spoiled,” says the chef. Fleischhaker’s mom is from Veracruz in Mexico, and he’s always had a love for the food: “Whenever I go to Mexico, I spend all my time with my family in the kitchen, cooking and learning, eating out, and staring at what they're doing. I really identify with Mexican cuisine.” He launched Cruz Tacos, where he gained

recognition in enRoute magazine’s Best New Restaurant list, and this has come together with his Happy Salt restaurant consultancy at Bite Grocer & Eatery, where he is executive chef. After 25 years Fleischhaker is still tempted by the offers he gets to travel and work, but it’s becoming more difficult: “My mom's 85-years old and I look after her, and I have a fiancé. I'm happy here at Bite. They treat me really well, and we're building the Cruz brand again.” So what bottle is Fleischhaker saving for a special occasion? “It's a mezcal from Oaxaca, called Koch El”, he says. “It's special because it's a gift, and it's special because I love Oaxaca. If I could just go spend a year in Oaxaca, I'd probably leave tomorrow. I would just love to just go there and learn to cook. Mexico has got that special place in my heart because I'm half Mexican. I just love it. I would like to open the bottle on my wedding day when I marry Jiwon, the love of my life.”


GNARLY BARBECUE RECIPES


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