Culinaire #11.4 (September 2022)

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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 S E P T E M B E R 2 02 2

Sandwiches – Breakfast & Lunch | Brewery Times | Coop to Kitchen: Eggs!


FROM THE

DISTILLERY DECADE OF THE

2020

• CANADIAN WHISKY AWARDS •

DISTILLERY OF THE DECADE

® of Alberta Distillers Limited Calgary, Canada


contents

Volume 11 / No. 4 / September 2022

departments 6

Salutes and Shout Outs

8

Chefs’ Tips and Tricks

8

News from Alberta’s culinary scene

Stack, Wrap, and Roll!

38

Making the Case

40

Etcetera...

42

Open That Bottle

Wines to Grill For… Part 3 What’s new?

12

With Winnie Chan of Taste of Asia Group

12

Bringing the Farm Experience to the People

Chatsworth Farm by Elizabeth Chorney-Booth

14

ON THE COVER However you slice it, you just can’t beat a great sandwich on beautiful bread with flavourful fillings. We have plenty of those to discover and make yourself too in this issue, and we thank Natalie Findlay for her vision of what a great sandwich looks like, and her very tempting photograph for our cover this issue!

30 28

Alberta Breakfast Sandwiches

30

Fat Archie

Edmonton Chef brings an adventurous attitude …to the new season of Top Chef Canada by Lucy Haines

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22

32

22

From Coops to Kitchens

26

Farm to Table

34

The Last of the Summer Crushers

The Times They Are A-Changing

The last few years have presented more challenges in the brewing industry than anyone could have foreseen by David Nuttall

This oviform food fits in the palm of your hand and packs a nutritional punch by Adrianne Lovric A concept whose time has come by Lucy Haines

The Cape Breton cookie with a funny name and unforgettable flavour by Vanessa Chiasson

Cool products for cooling days by Tom Firth

Any Way You Slice It… Vegetable Tian by Renée Kohlman

A wonderful way to ring in the morning and start your day off right by Erika Ravnsborg

36

September Spirits

For the last summer days by Tom Firth and Linda Garson September 2022 | Culinaire 3


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

Where did summer go?

I

always have such great plans for the summer; with no August issue I always think that from the third week in June when our summer issue goes to print, to the third week in August when this issue went to print, I’ll plan the year ahead, strategize and work on new programs and events to bring you over winter – but the reality is I more than fill the time with Treasure Hunts, Beverage Awards, and a little travel if I’m lucky. And this summer I was very lucky to be the only person in north America to be invited one of to Italy’s most prestigious wine shows – VinoVIP in Cortina d’Ampezzo, three hours north of Venice in the Dolomite Mountains. It was mindblowingly stunning, with many of Italy’s

top winemakers and vineyard owners there, and more wine to taste and food to enjoy than anyone in Canada could imagine. After the show we were hosted for three days in Venice to learn the history of Venice Lagoon wines and see for ourselves the wonderful programs to re-invigorate the region’s vines and bring back to life the grapes that were destroyed after the great flood of 1966 coated the vineyards with a layer of salt that rendered them extinguished. Who knew there is a vineyard literally opening onto the Grand Canal? And we all ticked off a bucket list item with a visit to the famed Venissa vineyards, a short boat

ride away, on the island of Mazzorbo. A few days after arriving home, we were straight in to our tenth Alberta Beverage Awards, and the enormous undertaking to make it happen – and it was another mammoth year! This year, I even had the chance to join in some of the judging! It’s a pleasure to taste some of the very best international products entered and those from right here at home. It’s a tremendous amount of work and we have a lot of respect for our judges. You'll be able to see all the results next month in our October issue! And most recently, our 8th annual Calgary Treasure Hunt Taste Tour was so successful, and a great day for the 26 - 17th Avenue businesses and 35 teams of two that participated. A huge thanks to everyone who played their part in another memorable and rewarding day for everyone! Cheers,

Linda, Editor-in-Chief

A local legend.

Grocery. Bakery. Deli. Café.

italiancentre.ca

EDMONTON | CALGARY | SHERWOOD PARK


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 Vanessa Chiasson Elizabeth Chorney-Booth Natalie Findlay, Lucy Haines Dong Kim, Renée Kohlman Adrianne Lovric, David Nuttall Erika Ravnsborg, Keane Straub

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

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

Our contributors Vanessa Chiasson

Vanessa Chiasson is an Ottawa-based award-winning writer specializing in travel, human interest narratives, and digital marketing, with bylines in Buzzfeed, USA Today, Travel Awaits, the Globe and Mail, and more. Her blog, TurnipseedTravel.com, focuses on cosy, affordable travel experiences and was named one of the world’s 100 most influential travel blogs by the Obama White House in 2014.

Elizabeth Chorney-Booth

Busy freelance writer and broadcaster, Elizabeth writes about food, travel, and many other topics. In addition to contributing to Culinaire, national and international publications, she is a Globe and Mail bestselling cookbook author and a regular contributor to CBC Radio and the Calgary Herald. A lover of food, travel, music, and community, when Elizabeth isn't out searching for something delicious, she’s likely to be found curled up with a good book.

Farmer's Market Discover your favourite local producers!

Fridays Saturdays Sundays 10:00am to 5:30pm

festivals Garlic Festival September 10 & 11

Erika Ravnsborg

Erika Ravnsborg is a freelance writer who has been writing ever since she was a child. Her love of storytelling is fuelled by her love of adventure. Always ready to inform the world of the best things that are happening whether it is a new restaurant opening, a new dish to try, or the best hidden gems in local communities, she will be happy to tell you all about it.

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.

Apple Fest September 24 & 25 Pumpkin Fest October 22 & 23

contact www.granaryroad.com 403-453-7623

Scan me!

226066 112 St W, Calgary, AB T1S 5S5


SA LUTE S & S H O UT O UT S

Burnin Bird’s Nashville hot chicken has six different heat levels! Choose from just really good fried chicken (naked!) to burnin’ for your loaded hot chicken sandwich and chicken tenders, and add dad’s recipe creamy potato and egg salad. Finish off your meal with deep fried Oreos or Mars Bars! 606 17 Avenue SW, Calgary, from 11:30 am, closed Mondays. Mercato’s Sorella Trattoria, is open in Calgary’s Crescent Heights. It’s totally different to their Mission and West locations, and perfectly befitting the name, meaning ‘sister’. Chef Jackson Miller was the sous chef at Mercato for last two years, and he’s created a small menu of dishes such as the excellent octopus, and cacio e pepe cauliflower, with fresh pasta for all the restaurants made here. There’s a rooftop patio for 16 people, and a weekend brunch menu coming soon. 1036 Centre Street N, from 11:30 am. Closed Mondays. Alberta’s love of pizza knows no bounds! Leopard Pizza has opened its doors in Glenora, Edmonton, at 170 14053 West Block Drive, serving up slow-fermented sourdough crust pies (try the tartiflette!), with natural wine and 12 taps of local craft beer. 4-10/11 pm, closed Monday/Tuesday. Cochu Chocolatier opens beautiful new store! Five years after her official launch, Anne Sellmer has opened a retail shop in Calgary’s East Village, by the Central Library. Designed by Sarah Ward Interiors, the bright new chocolate showroom displays Cochu’s delicious range of bars, bonbons, sponge toffee, coated pretzels, and bark, with a spacious production facility upstairs. Closed Monday 10/11-6 pm, 429 8 Avenue SE. 6 Culinaire | September 2022

Murrieta’s Hospitality has opened the cool, casual, yet refined, new Borough Bar & Grill, and it’s impressive - everything here says quality. There’s an all-season dog-friendly patio, two fireplaces and a fire pit on the south-facing patios, two temperature-controlled wine racks, and two of our favourite chefs, Corporate Chef Daniel Pizarro and Head Chef Alejandro Buzzalino, creating this foodie destination menu. Try the butcher block choices for three-four people sharing, 10-inch square pizzas, fried artichokes… weekend brunch, and seasonal cocktails from Levi Sarkozi. Watch out for the patisserie and grab ‘n go opening soon. 4011 University Avenue SW, seven days lunch and dinner. From food truck to restaurant! Edmonton’s, El Mero Mero, has now opened a taqueria/tortilleria/pasteleria serving up their generously filled, handmade corn and flour tortilla tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, desserts and more. There’s also a small ‘mercado’ with a selection of Latin products to take home! 12223 156 Street NW. Seven days 11-9/10 pm. Fire & Flora completes Calgary’s The District at Beltline! Chef Adam Ryan, of the Coup and Shrub Bloom, has opened his fully plant-based restaurant, and you don’t have to be vegetarian or vegan to appreciate this small, vegetable-driven menu using local Canadian ingredients – no meat substitutes here! The stars are the sharing whole roasted mushrooms on the growblock, with sourdough crepes, hummus, butternut ranch, confit jalapeño aioli, and pickled cucumbers with tonka beans; but the grilled baby cucumbers, zucchini carrot fritters, polenta-crusted crunchy cauliflower, are all must-tries as well as the mushroom profiteroles, ridiculously good chocolate ganache cake, and memorable cocktails. 227 11 Avenue SW, Tuesday–Saturday 11 am–1pm

Pizza and beer together again in Calgary’s Sunalta district! Two House Brewing has a new location where head brewer Geoff Twyman, formerly at Tree Brewing, is producing his pilsner and lager session beers, with 22 taps and three new beers released each quarter. And there’s pizza too from Executive Chef and Pizzaolo Avdyl ‘Agostino’ Agolli of ACME Pizza (a company making exceptional (pizza). 18 choices, all with a delicious two-day, crisp yet chewy crust. We really enjoyed Chicken Alfredo pizza and Marinara, and we’ve only got 16 more to try! 145 seats inside and two big dog-friendly patios seat 210 people outside. Seven days from 11:30 am, 1901 10 Avenue SW. Twice Cream’s founder’s Romeo and Lily have realised their dreams, and opened an artisan ice cream store with traditional and unique bold flavours inspired by their years of travel experiences, at 10983 127 Street NW, in Edmonton. Seven days, noon-9/10 pm. The Wilde has a rooftop patio on the 27th floor overlooking downtown Calgary! The Dorian hotel is now open, and with it The Wilde (as in Oscar Wilde) – a chic restaurant with stunning city views, and a magnificent menu of organic and sustainable local produce from Chef Kevin Birch and his skilled back-of house-team. We really enjoyed our binchotan smoked Digby Bay scallop with field pea koshihikari rice, rabbit rilletes (with duck crackling!), and Haida Gwaii BC halibut with beetroot gnocchi,


and were sorely tempted by dishes such as elk tartare, quail, and bison short rib. Impeccable service too; it’s certainly an elevated dining experience – in more ways than one! 525 5 Avenue SW. Seven days, breakfast and dinner, reservations strongly recommended. Shelter Cocktail Bar, Orchard Restaurant… and now Fortuna’s Row! Part of Calgary’s former Booker’s BBQ building has been transformed by Fort Architecture into 10,000 square feet of visually stunning, plush, Latin American décor, with a spacious dining room, Standing Room Only (SRO) Bar, and private dining room for 16 people. Renowned chef, Mikko Tamarra, of Con Mi Taco,’s menu of contemporary Latin American dishes are served family style - sized, plated, and served for sharing, though you might not want to share your softshell crab arepa, Hokkaido scallop ceviche, and charcoal grilled sirloin! Be sure to add one of pastry chef, Teisha Huff’s creative desserts and a craft cocktail from Ivana Lovric. Watch out for the chefs table coming soon! 421 Riverfront Avenue SE, seven days from 5 pm. What are the chances of both your grandmas being called Annie? Founder Tanya Rumak, of Edmonton’s Annie Rue Ice Cream in Parkallen, has named her new premium, small batch, craft ice cream store in their honour! 6531 111 Street NW. Seven days 11-10. The base of Calgary’s luxury Oliver Residences is home to four new dining concepts and a market! These new Vintage Group restaurants feature Italian-influenced culinary programs created by Culinary Director Executive Chef Giuseppe Di Gennaro. Treno is a coffee and prosecco bar to start or end your day in style. Choose croissant, ciabatta sandwiches, or pastries and wash it down with your choice of coffee,

bubbles, or a cocktail, until 8 pm. Pazzi is a casual pizzeria for lunch and dinner, serving antipasti and Neapolitan-style pizzas with scratch-made dough and premium toppings, along with a selection of wine and beer, from 11:30 am. The indulgent menu at the stylish and elegant Luca Restaurant has something for every appetite, and includes fresh pasta dishes such as duck confit garganelli, lobster risotto for two, and a 30 oz. bone-in rib eye steak. Adjoining is Luca Mercato, a modern Italian market for everyday essentials, baked goods, and house-made grab and go meals, along with a butcher counter and deli, from 9 am. And last but definitely not least, is the upscale and plush Fleetwood Lounge, named for the pristine 1933 Cadillac Fleetwood in the lobby, and where we’ll be relaxing, meeting friends, sipping classic cocktails, and sharing lobster roll bruschetta and social boards, from 11:30 am. 524 10 Avenue SW. We’ve discovered Golden Kway Teow Palace and now we’re big fans! Cambodian cuisine is a bit of a rarity here, so we’re very glad that we’re now able to enjoy flavour-packed dishes such as special dry noodles, beef lok lak, kapi, durian sticky rice, and don’t even mention the crispy chicken skin! 1420 40 Avenue NE Calgary, Friday-Saturday noon-8 pm. So many successful restaurants and markets are opening additional locations, and as we just don’t have enough room to fit in everyone, here’s a brief roundup:

Blanco Cantina has spread its wings again, with three locations in Calgary and one in Red Deer, and is now open in South Edmonton Common at 1708 99 Street. Seven days 11-late. The Black Pearl Seafood Bar has opened its second location in Windermere at 1285 Windermere Way. 4 pm-late, closed Mondays. Fuwa Fuwa has opened its third Alberta location also in Windermere, serving up those fluffy soufflé pancakes at 1217 Windermere Way. Noon-8 pm, closed Mondays.

IN CALGARY:

Abbey’s Creations is still growing her ice cream empire with one store in Cochrane and now a sixth location in Calgary at 1109 9 Avenue SE! Seven days 11-11. Blowers & Grafton, famous for authentic Halifax street food, has opened a second Calgary location at 12650 Symons Valley Road NW, Creekside. Seven days, lunch and dinner. Deville Coffee has opened its first cafe in the southeast, in Willow Park Village, 292 - 10816 Macleod Trail SE, making 12 locations in Calgary now! Seven days, early-6/8 pm.

IN EDMONTON:

Basil Pasta Bar, the build-your-own pasta restaurant with endless choices, has opened a second location downtown at 80, 10014 104 Street. Seven days 11-11.

Calgary Farmers’ Market has opened its second location in the west opposite Winsport, with more than 60 local makers, bakers, and growers, and more to come in the near future. The new location is licenced, and has ample seating for you to stay awhile and enjoy your food and beverage purchases too! 25 Greenbriar Drive NW, Wednesday-Sunday from 9 am.

The Colombian, values-based family coffee roasters, have opened their third bricks and mortar café in Parkallen, at 6529 111 Street. Seven days to 5 pm.

Do you have something notable to let us know about? A new opening, launch, rebrand, or accolade? Email us at info@culinairemagazine.ca! September 2022 | Culinaire 7


C H E F ’ S TI P S & TR I C KS

Stack, Wrap, and Roll!

N

BY KEANE STRAUB I PHOTOGRAPHS BY DONG KIM

amed after John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, an 18th century English aristocrat, the concept of sandwiches has been around since ancient times. Through the years, people have discovered that almost anything is suitable

If you’ve had a chance to check out Calgary’s Môt Tô, then you’ve probably spotted owner Chef Long in action as he serves up the restaurant’s modern takes on Vietnamese cuisine. The youngest of 10, Chef Long grew up in Vietnam surrounded by family who love to cook, and it was always a dream of his to open a restaurant to share the dishes he experienced in his youth. Traditional dishes like spicy peanut sate pho and Viet subs from Môt Tô are some of his favourite. “The Viet sub is loaded with fresh veggies, and can use any protein,” he explains. “It’s perfect when I’m busy and can’t sit down for a meal.” After noticing a serious lack of fried chicken sandwiches on Vietnamese menus, Chef Long created the recipe he’s shared here. It’s a take on Môt Tô’s wings, but without the bones, tucked into a baguette, a simple but elevated dish. “Don’t be afraid to try, even if you fail,” he adds. “You can still eat the dish without wasting it.”

Fried Fish Sauce Chicken Banh Mi Serves 4

4-6 boneless chicken thighs, skin optional Garlic, crushed, to cover chicken thighs To taste salt and pepper 1/3 cup + 4 tsp (100 mL) fish sauce 2/3 cup of sugar 1 tsp ground chili 2 Tbs (30 mL) vinegar 2 cups all-purpose flour ¼ cup cornstarch 2 tsp salt 2 tsp garlic powder ½ tsp black pepper ¾ cup + 4 tsp (200 mL) cold water 8 Culinaire | September 2022

for filling just about any kind of bread, making sandwiches a meal that anyone can have complete creative control over. We asked four Alberta chefs to give us their best take on a chicken (or turkey) sandwich, and we were thrilled to see such

a diverse range of sensations – flavours and textures – so good! These may take a little more time than deli meats and cheese slices but remember - just because you might cut off the crusts, doesn’t mean you have to cut corners!

Oil for frying 1 baguette Mayonnaise, to spread on baguette Pickled carrots and daikon, thin sliced, for topping (soak in equal parts vinegar and sugar for 30 minutes minimum) Cucumber, cilantro, jalapeño for topping 1. Marinade chicken with crushed garlic, salt and pepper on both sides at least 2 hours. Set aside. 2. Put fish sauce, sugar, chili, and vinegar in a saucepan on medium heat, and cook stirring constantly to a light boil. Set aside to cool. 3. Mix flours, salt, garlic powder, and pepper together and add water. Stir until batter is smooth. 4. Submerge chicken in batter, making sure to completely cover it.

5. Heat oil to 300º F and fry battered chicken until light brown, about 6-7 minutes, or to an internal temperature of 165º F. 6. Fry chicken a second time at 375º F until golden brown, approximately 1-2 min. 7. Spread mayonnaise onto baguette and toast in oven for a few minutes. 8. Evenly coat chicken in sauce, and add cucumber, cilantro, jalapeño, and pickled veggies to your taste.


Edmonton’s Lock Stock Coffee boasts a menu that is a sandwich lover’s dream. There’s stackers fit for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and later, and they are anything but basic, thanks to Chef Julio. “My influences come from my home country of Brazil,” he explains, adding that travelling to culinary centres such as New York and Italy have played a part too. And while Chef Julio insists you can’t go wrong with a BLT (he’s right, by the way), he says that no matter the filling, it’s the bread that counts. “It must be fresh. Either go to your local bakery who makes fresh bread daily or bake your own.” The recipe he shares here uses homemade focaccia, which comes together with ease, but don’t skimp on the other components. “Use quality olive oil, fresh herbs, organic tomatoes, and chicken from your local butcher.”

Lock Stock Chicken Sandwich Makes 2

Chicken Sandwich

.

13 cups flour 4 Tbs salt 1 Tbs dry yeast 7 cups (1¾ L) water Corn meal and olive oil for proofing Rosemary for garnish

2-3 skinless boneless chicken thighs To taste salt and pepper 1 lemon, zested 1 garlic clove, crushed ½ tsp chilli flakes 1/3 cup (80 mL) olive oil Cherry tomatoes Arugula

1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and keep in the fridge around 6 hours. 2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and sprinkle on some corn meal and olive oil. 3. Spread the dough on the sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise for 3 hours. 4. After dough has risen, sprinkle with rosemary, salt, and olive oil, and bake at 450° F for 18 minutes.

1. In a bowl, mix chicken with seasoning, lemon zest, garlic, chili flakes, and olive oil, and let it sit for minimum 4 hours. Pre heat oven to 400° F. 2. Place chicken thighs flat on a baking sheet and bake in oven for approx 8-10 minutes. Flip and continue baking for another 8-10 minutes. Chicken should be tender and juicy. 3. Once cooked, pull chicken apart for your sandwiches.

Focaccia

Balsamic Mayo

1½ tsp Dijon mustard 1½ cups (360 mL) mayo ¼ cup (60 mL) balsamic vinegar, reduced and thickened to a glaze Mix all together to spread on focaccia. Will make plenty for additional sandwiches too! To assemble sandwich: Toast sliced focaccia and spread with balsamic mayo. Cover each sandwich with ½ cup of roast chicken, and top with cherry tomatoes and arugula. September 2022 | Culinaire 9


Growing up, Chef Chandra Kant cooked alongside his parents, drawing inspiration from the flavours and spices around him. Over the years he mastered his skills and explored new ways to combine ingredients. Today, he continues to be inspired by “feeding good food to good people,” and you’ll find him doing just that at Edmonton’s Remedy Café. Wraps take the lead on Remedy’s lunch

menu, and Chef Chandra’s go-to is Aloo Ghobi, a potato and cauliflower curry rolled in a fresh-baked wrap. “It’s a very clean, healthy result that excites the tastebuds and fills the stomach!” The same can be said about the recipe he’s shared, the Aloo Keema, or potato and ground turkey wrap. A customer fave that has been on the menu for years, it’s a perfect east-meets-west meal. It’s also simple enough for any at home chef – just keep an eye on your spices, says Chef Chandra. “The spices are what accentuate the cuisine, so overcooking them can equate to ruining the recipe.”

Aloo Keema Wrap Serves 2

2 medium potatoes 3 Tbs (45 mL) cooking oil (canola) ½ tsp cumin powder 1 tsp garlic, chopped 1 tsp ginger, chopped ½ tsp turmeric powder 1 tsp ground coriander To taste salt ½ tsp pepper or chili flakes 100 g ground turkey 25 g mixed beans 25 g green peas Pita breads, for the wrap Your choice of mayonnaise, mustard, or classic hummus Cilantro or parsley chopped, for garnish 1. Bring a pan of water to a boil and add potatoes. Boil potatoes until they are soft, approx 10 minutes. Cut the potatoes into cubes. 2. While potatoes are boiling place a pan on medium heat, let it heat up a little and add oil to your pan. Add cumin, chopped garlic and ginger, turmeric, coriander, salt and pepper or chili flakes. Stir spices in oil for 30-45 seconds. 3. Add ground turkey and cubed potatoes, let cook for 5-10 minutes on medium heat. 4. Add mixed beans and green peas. Continue to cook for 2 minutes. 5. Take your pita, and spread with your choice of mayonnaise, mustard, or classic hummus. Add your Aloo Keema to the centre of the pita. 6. Fold the left and right sides in towards the centre, then tuck the top of the wrap over, and finally tuck it again to finish the wrap. 7. You can either grill the wrap, or place the wrap back in the pan with a little oil to give the pita bread a nice crisp.

10 Culinaire | September 2022


“My grandpa always told me to do something I love over money and unhappiness,” says Chef Joshua Carvelli of Calgary’s Sammie Café. “I’ve always had a passion for cooking, and it’s something I love.” Travelling around the world and working with different chefs have both influenced how he cooks. “Making someone happy by eating my food is what inspires me the most,” he adds. The Jerk Chicken on Sammie’s menu is a favourite, and for which Chef Josh spent months curating the proper level of spice and testing numerous peppers and flavour profiles. “People tell me that it reminds them of home,” he says. With that feeling of comfort in mind, Chef Josh has shared his recipe for Buffalo Chicken Caesar Wraps. “Growing up there was lots of times I would cook for my family or siblings while my parents were at work, and I found that I could easily make these wraps.” Good quality wraps are a must, and you can grill the chicken instead of frying if you prefer, but Chef Josh reminds you “Just don’t overcook it!”

1. Soak the chicken in the buttermilk and hot sauce for 2 hours or overnight. 2. Mix flour, cornstarch, and spices in a bowl and set aside. 3. Dredge chicken in the flour, coating well. Shake off excess and dip in the buttermilk, then back in the flour mix. 4. Check oil temperature with a thermometer - should be around 365/375º F, add about 5 pieces at a time and cook until golden brown on one side, about 5-8 minutes. Turn and repeat until all browned, and to an inside temp at the thickest part of 165º F. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with a little more salt if needed.

Caesar Salad

Buffalo Chicken Caesar Wraps Makes 4 wraps

450 g Chicken breasts, sliced into strips 2 cups (500 mL) buttermilk 2 Tbs (30 mL) hot sauce 1 cup four ½ cup cornstarch 1 Tbs paprika 1 Tbs cumin 1 Tbs cayenne powder 1 Tbs garlic powder 1 tsp black pepper 1 Tbs kosher salt Oil for frying

4 anchovies packed in oil 2 medium garlic cloves 1 large egg yolk 2 Tbs (30 mL) fresh lemon juice 1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard 4 Tbs grated parmesan cheese 1/3 cup (80 mL) canola oil plus more as needed To taste salt and black pepper Lettuce 1. Mince the anchovies and garlic into small bits. Using the side of the knife mash them into a very fine paste by pushing and pulling the mound of anchovies and garlic across the cutting

board. Set aside. 2. In a medium bowl whisk the egg yolk, lemon juice, and mustard together until frothy. Placing a dishcloth underneath the bowl helps to steady it as you whisk. 3. Whisk with one hand, and slowly stream in the oil with the other hand. Add the oil in tiny drips and as you whisk in, the mixture will start to lighten in colour and thicken. When the oil has been added, check the consistency. If it’s too thick, whisk in a teaspoon or so of water. If it’s too thin, continue to whisk and stream in a little more oil. 4. Finish by whisking in the mashed anchovies, garlic, parmesan cheese. Taste and generously season with salt and pepper. 5. Chop lettuce of choice and add to a bowl with the dressing. You can add any toppings you want such as more cheese, bacon, croutons, etc. Warm the wrap for 15 seconds in the microwave to help make the wrapping easier. Add caesar salad and chicken and roll up. For a fun twist, sear the wrap in a dry pan until brown.

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. September 2022 | Culinaire 11


Chatsworth Farm:

Bringing the farm experience to the people BY ELIZABETH CHORNEY-BOOTH

W

hen Charlotte Wasylik

was a little girl growing up on Chatsworth Farm near Vermillion, she and her two brothers named all the cows that were on their farm. She had one particular favourite named Cinnamon, and after it was time for Cinnamon to go to slaughter, the Wasylik kids weren’t squeamish about the a beautiful beef dinner that soon landed on their table. “We had dinner and we all said ‘Wow, Cinnamon tasted really good’,” Charlotte remembers. “It wasn't something we were sad about because we understood the whole process, even at that age. We saw Cinnamon as a baby. We watched him grow up into this big steer and we probably 12 Culinaire | September 2022

helped load him into the trailer that took him to the butcher. We unloaded him into the freezers when we got him back. And then we had him for dinner and we really appreciated and respected what he provided to us.” That true farm-to-table experience is exactly what Charlotte and her family are trying to share with the public. Her father founded Chatsworth Farm (which gets its name from a little school they can see from their farmhouse) in 1993 — her dad, Rick’s, family were farming pioneers in the Vermillion area, and while he didn’t personally grow up on a farm he always felt drawn to life on his grandparents’ mixed farm. Charlotte’s mother, Johanna, who is

originally from New York City, came to Alberta to attend a wedding and soon moved to Alberta permanently after falling in love with both the farmer and the farm. The Wasyliks set to building a mixed farm, raising cattle and sheep along with some poultry, and growing grain to feed the livestock. It’s a somewhat old-fashioned way of farming, but both the pace and the philosophy suited the Wasylik family. “My dad really enjoys all aspects of farming and that holistic picture. When you have poultry they benefit from the cattle and the cattle benefit from the poultry as well as any of the crops that you're growing,” Charlotte says. “You have that full circle of life and nothing goes to waste.”


From left to right: Rob McClymont, Charlotte Wasylik, Breanne Waltz, Alexander Wasylik, Rick and Johanna Wasylik, and Nicholas Wasylik

Rick and Johanna’s three children, Alex, Nick, and Charlotte, are all now young adults and all three have elected to stay involved in the farm. Among other things, Charlotte has helped Chatsworth give customers a taste of the same experience she had with the farm’s animals growing up through the farm’s engaging social media presence. When the pandemic hit in 2020, she started giving virtual tours so that people can follow animals from birth to harvest, much like she did with Cinnamon when she was a kid. “I got the idea from the Cincinnati Zoo,” she says. “They were doing virtual safari. So I started doing those virtual farm tours and it was just really exciting. It was fun to see everyone tuning in from Scotland, Texas, and New York.” As for Chatsworth’s actual products, the Wasyliks keep things simple. They calve about 220 cattle a year, and while most of them are sold to feed lots (Chatsworth is a Verified Beef Plus producer and their

premium product is identified as such) because it’s just too much for a small farming family to handle, 10 to 20 are kept on the farm and finished at pasture and then sold directly to customers by the family. They do the same with their small flock of lamb and limited number of heritage turkeys. While they have sold poultry meat in the past, these days their chickens are used for eggs, which tend to come in beautiful colours like light blue, creamy beige, and deep brown, thanks to some carefully chosen breeds. The farm also periodically sells duck and geese eggs, the latter of which are especially valued by Ukrainian pysanky decorators, who prize the large eggs for their size. Their grain also makes it to market, in the form of red fife flour, wheat berries, and wheat bran. Chatsworth’s inventory is small, but they do monthly deliveries to Edmonton and deliver to Calgary customers as often as they can — usually every other month.

The Wasyliks don’t operate a farm store, but customers can also order in advance and then come by to see the farm firsthand when they pick up their food. “One of the best parts of farm-to-table is showing people the animals that are producing the food they enjoy,” Charlotte says. “Whether that's the eggs and we show them the chickens, or the cattle that their meat comes from, we’re really giving people a holistic view where they can follow the journey of a lot of our animals.” For more information about Chatsworth Farm, links to its social media feeds, or to order product, visit chatsworthfarm.ca.

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.

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Edmonton Chef brings an adventurous attitude to new season of

TOP CHEF CANADA

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BY LUCY HAINES

EADY TO CHEER ON THE local entrant in this season's Top Chef Canada? Lindsay Porter is

Lindsay Porter Courtesy Food Network Canada.

your gal. When Lindsay Porter was growing up in St. Albert, she had no particular interest in pursuing a culinary career. Sure, she baked and cooked with her mom in the family kitchen, but Porter says it wasn't until she attended NAIT's two-year Culinary Arts program right after high school that she got a taste – literally - for what was to come. And what was to come for the now 36-year-old chef included gathering cooking inspiration from world travels, opening her own restaurant in Edmonton (pre-pandemic) and vying for bragging rights and a higher profile by taking part in occasional television cooking competition shows. As she prepares to let Canadians watch how she fares on the upcoming Season 10 of Top Chef Canada, Porter is back at her post as Executive Chef at Edmonton's The Common Restaurant in the city centre. While she's busy tweaking the menu at the contemporary gastro-lounge, Porter muses about the lure of TV food battles. "I see the competitions as an adventure; a change of pace; a way of taking me out of my comfort zone," says Porter, who acknowledges it's a stressful industry, with long hours and a take-the-work-home-with-you mentality, whether it's going over a recipe in her mind or thinking about menu changes. To recharge her batteries, Porter looks forward to little breaks on competition shows - she has previously been seen on Fire Masters, Beat Bobby Flay, and Guy's Grocery Games. "Win or lose, I get to work with inspiring, amazing people that I don't see day-to-day, so if nothing else, I come back with more ideas." To make it to Top Chef Canada's Season 10 (she's tried a couple of times before), Porter created a fried rice entry, a unique medley which included fermented salt cod and Chinese sausage.

"It wasn't your typical chicken fried rice," she laughs, pointing to inspiration for that dish from The Common's neighbouring Dim Sum restaurant, Fu's Repair Shop. Though she can't reveal what dishes she creates on Top Chef Canada or where she places in the competition, Porter says she plays to her strengths, which include a focus on aromatic flavours, curries, smoked Tex-Mex flavours, and sauces and chutneys that harken back to her dad's heritage. "My influences are mostly southern barbecue, Mexican, and English cooking," says Porter, whose now-defunct London Local restaurant featured English-inspired dishes as a nod to her British-born dad. "I've worked with amazing chefs and at great restaurants in town - Shane Chartrand at River Cree, as executive chef at El Cortez, and dabbling in Mexi-Cali foods after my travels in the southern U.S. But the best thing I make? I do a pretty amazing seafood curry." "I can't just do one style of cooking. I've been a sous chef at Fantasyland Hotel, done buffets at River Cree and learned catering along the way. And I love local pop-ups, and doing collaborative dinners with other chefs. I put myself out there and am always up for trying something different. Maybe that'll help my chances," she teases. "I haven't even told my family how I've done on the show - that's been hard. But it's always fun when someone in the restaurant says they've seen an episode that airs of something I've done. I always come out to the dining room and say hello." Might there be some Alberta favourites featured by Porter in her journey on Top Chef Canada? She isn't saying, but does sing the praises of Alberta's signature foods, including bison, elk, beef, lamb, berries, honey, and pulses. "I love to get creative with our local ingredients, and I'm always proud to represent Alberta and Edmonton wherever I go." Top Chef Canada Season 10 premiers on Food Network Canada on Monday, September 26 at 10 pm ET.


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It is always time for

Prosecco DOC!

Between the mountains and the sea in the heart of Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia in Northern Italy, the Prosecco DOC Consorzio di Tutela manages the quality while promoting and protecting the Italian genius of this historic sparkling wine. While the Consorzio is rather young, having been founded on November 19, 2009, when Prosecco was officially recognized as a Denomination of Controlled Origin (DOC) the Prosecco DOC wine has long been viewed as one of the most famous wines of Italy. Mentioned since Roman times, and even celebrated by Pliny the Elder, the area has for centuries been recognized for its sparkling wines. To ensure quality never wavers, the Consorzio works with all involved individuals and producers at every step of the production. In addition to 16 Culinaire | September 2022

protecting and ensuring quality, the Consorzio also strives to link the wine to its land of origin through specific rules. These rules are varied and encompassing, covering everything from defining the production area, to the grapes allowed, and even bottling and labeling specifications. It is only after following these guidelines that a bottle of wine is allowed to bear the quality designation of Prosecco DOC. When we see Prosecco DOC on the bottle, we know we are getting the quintessential wine that is perfect to enjoy on special occasions as well as with our normal day-


to-day activities as a little luxury in everyday life. Prosecco DOC comes from a very specific area in Italy. In the north-east of the country there are nine permitted provinces, unique territory between mountains and beaches traversing the gentle hills and valleys in Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia. With over 3,000 years of vine cultivation and centuries of sparkling wine tradition, there is no other area on Earth that can make Prosecco. With its specific topography and favourable climate, Glera, the key Prosecco grape, thrives creating wines with unique elegance and balance. Indigenous to the region and originally having been found around the town of Treviso, Glera loves the varied soils of the permitted villages. The deft winemakers of Prosecco DOC create lightly coloured and delicately perfumed wines with elegance, freshness and complexity. All the wines bearing the Prosecco DOC designation must be made up of at least 85 percent Glera and the remaining 15 percent can come only from Verdiso, Bianchetta Trevigiana, Perera, Glera lunga, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. The addition of up 10-15 percent of Pinot Noir is what creates the Prosecco DOC Rosé. There are 28,100 hectares of vines, 12,312 winegrowers, 1,189 winegrowers, and 360 sparkling wine houses. As well as being created in a very specific geographical place, Prosecco DOC is also created in a very specific manner. Named after the Italian who created it, the Martinotti method of secondary Peach Blackberry Thyme Galette fermentation allows for the creation of a sparkling wine that highlights the flavours and characteristics of the base wine – so the flavours of the Glera grape are still there to be enjoyed in the final product. The wine is bottled under high pressure after natural fermentation in large tanks. The finished bottle of Prosecco DOC is a bright wine with fine bubbles and a vast array of aromas. It is fresh and elegant. The level of sweetness in the wine is also determined during the winemaking process and is communicated on the label through terminology that is directly related to the amount of sugar in each bottle of Prosecco DOC. The wines are produced in the Brut Nature, Extra Brut, Brut, Extra Dry, Dry, and Demi-sec versions, with Brut Nature being the driest and Demi-sec the sweetest.

Brut Nature: a wine with no sugar, characterized by intense flavour notes

Extra Brut: a wine with a little bit of sweetness, but the acidic notes prevail

Brut: a wine made in the modern version with a defined Prosecco DOC flavour and suitable for a variety of dishes and occasions

Extra Dry: a wine that is the traditional version, ideal for an aperitif and with dishes with delicate flavours or noticeable spice

Dry: a wine that is on the sweeter side with pronounced floral and candied notes, perfect with desserts

Demi-Sec: The sweetest of all the styles, enough to be dessert on its own

Along with the varied sweetness levels there is also a variation in the perlage (flow of bubbles) in Prosecco DOC. The Prosecco Frizzante and Spumante varieties obtain their famous bubbles using the Martinotti method with the Spumante being the more widely available and consumed version with a refreshing and bright perlage, and Frizzante being a bottling with slightly less pressure and softer, more fragile bubbles. Tranquillo, the third style, is Prosecco DOC bottled without any bubbles at all, so it is a still wine. In 2020, an exciting new development occurred: Prosecco DOC Rosé was born from the combination of Glera grapes (minimum 85 percent) and Pinot Noir (vinified in red, between 10 and 15 percent). Prosecco DOC Rosé can only be produced in the Spumante/ Sparkling style and has a longer minimum elaboration period of 60 days It cannot be sweetened beyond Extra Dry, and so is not made in the Dry or Demi-sec styles and it is bears the title of "Millesimato" because it is always and only produced with at least

85 percent of grapes of the same vintage. These varied levels of sweetness, differing styles of bubbles and the addition of rosé means there is a Prosecco DOC or Prosecco DOC Rosé wine for every experience and occasion. The Consorzio’s dedication to quality and innovation has led to an important focus on sustainability, with great attention paid to the balance between the natural world and the impacts of the agricultural system. Through environmental, economic, and social sustainability, and supporting it through internationally recognized certifications, the Consorzio can assist the 12,000 winegrowers of the Prosecco DOC to best face any agricultural challenges that may arise. It is another tool to help ensure the best possible Prosecco DOC is created to find its place on the table and in our glasses. Prosecco DOC wines are unique and while some may try to imitate, it is not the same unless it is the real Prosecco. There are some ways to be sure you are getting the real thing: on the label there will always be the acronyms DOC/ DOP (or DOCG) next to Prosecco or it can be spelled out in full as Denominazione di origine controllata or denominazione di origine protetta (Denominazione di origine controllata e grantita in case of the DOCG). The wine will never be sold on tap, in cans or in any container other than a glass bottle. The glass bottles will always have the state sticker on the closure with a unique alphanumeric code. The Prosecco DOC label will also contain information that shows the wine was made in one of the five provinces of Veneto or the four provinces of Friuli Venezia-Giulia and is the real Prosecco DOC. It’s no accident that Prosecco DOC is the most drunk and most exported PDO wine in the world; it has conquered Italy and overseas markets through its pure drinking pleasure, dedication to quality and innovation, and remarkable ability to pair with almost any food. There is a perfect Prosecco DOC or Prosecco DOC Rosé for every-day and every celebration, and it is a special representation of the Italian way of enjoying life, so bring home some Prosecco DOC and pop that cork any day, any time!


Prosecco DOC Wineries and their wines in Alberta: Bottega – Dating to 1635, Bottega has been creating wine in the hills of the Veneto for generations. Sustainable and with an artisan’s care and attention. Bottega Prosecco DOC Brut "Gold" – elegant, fresh, and lively, with notes of apple, citrus, and wildflowers. Bottega Prosecco DOC Rosé Brut "Pink Gold" – Glera and Pinot Noir blended and bottled in a unique metallic pink bottle to showcase the wine inside. Complex with characteristics of jasmine, elderflower and peach. Bottega Prosecco DOC Brut "Vino dei Poeti"- Made according to the most traditional method of sparkling wine production, purely by putting fermenting wine into the bottle and sealing it to trap the carbon dioxide. Fragrant and unique, this wine is complex with notes of golden delicious apples, bartlett pear, and fresh bread. Cantine Maschio – Founded in 1973, Cantine Maschio has long focused on innovation and technological excellence to guarantee the best Prosecco DOC possible. Cantine Maschio Prosecco DOC Brut – Sourced from vineyards around the famous Prosecco DOC town of Treviso, this is intensely perfumed with aromatics of wildflowers and citrus. Cantine Maschio Prosecco DOC Extra Dry Organic – Made with organically grown fruit, and slightly sweet. Candied fruit and wildflower on the nose, and ripe citrus and lemon curd on the palette, this is excellent as an aperitif.

La Gioiosa Prosecco DOC Rosé Brut – Subtle and refreshing with delicate red berries, rose petal and pomegranate. Great integration of floral and fruit complexity. La Marca – For over 40 years, La Marca and their 5,000 grape growers have been the masters of everyday sparkle. La Marca believes in celebrating moments big and small and Prosecco DOC is the best wine to do that with! La Marca Prosecco DOC Brut – Crisp and refreshing with delicate notes of honeysuckle, apple, and peach. La Marca Prosecco DOC Rosé Brut– Refreshing and zesty with floral, red fruit, and apricot. Masottina – the Dal Bianco family has been crafting Prosecco DOC wines for 75 years. With 280 ha of vines and a dedication to terroir, the focus at all levels is on quality. Masottina Prosecco DOC Brut "Collezione 96" – 100 percent Glera grape, this wine has a delicate perlage and lots of pink grapefruit, wisteria, and lime notes. Ruffino – Founded over 140 years ago by cousins Ilario and Leopaldo. Ruffino is driven by the motto ‘here we make ideal wine’ and the Italian zest for life. Ruffino Prosecco DOC Extra Dry – Bright and full of fruit notes. Apple, pear, meyer lemon, pink grapefruit, and lime peel on nose and palette.

Cantine Maschio Prosecco DOC Rosé Extra Dry – With the addition of 10 percent Pinot Noir, this is a quintessential Prosecco DOC Rosé. Well-structured and food-friendly with notes of violets and red berries.

Ruffino Prosecco DOC Organic Extra Dry – 100 percent organic Glera grapes offer an elegant wine full of finesse and character of wisteria, golden pear and red delicious apple.

Cantine Riondo – With 6,000 ha under vine and 2,000 growers, Cantine Riondo is dedicated to making fine Prosecco DOC wines from the Veneto region.

Ruffino Prosecco DOC Rosé Extra Dry – Crisp and off-dry with violet, rose and strawberry aromatics with redcurrant and apricot to follow on the palette. Lovely with grilled fish or pomegranate salad.

Cantine Riondo Prosecco DOC Extra Dry – Fresh and festive with a bright perlage. A great aperitif Prosecco DOC with notes of golden apple, pear, and lily. Cavit – Italian craftsmanship with more than 50 years of winemaking excellence. Cavit Prosecco DOC Brut – A touch of citrus and freshness on the palette. A wellbalanced wine that is a great match for cheese, meats, and nuts. Fantinel – Founded in 1963 by hotelier Paron Mario Fantinel, now Fantinel is on its third generation. Fantinel Prosecco DOC Extra Dry – Delicate and floral with key-lime and citrus on the nose and palate. A perfect way to begin an evening. La Gioiosa – A history of innovation and research guarantees a line-up of wines that are consistently a quality representation of Prosecco DOC. La Gioiosa Prosecco DOC Treviso Brut – Character of ripe apple and mountain wildflowers lead to a dry and fresh wine ideal with all kinds of shellfish.

18 Culinaire | September 2022

Val d’Oca – The original co-operative was founded in 1952 with 129 members and a desire to rebuild after World War 2. Val d’Oca Prosecco DOC Extra Dry – Refreshing and bright with citrus, apples, and white flowers. A great aperitif and with light dishes to open a meal. Villa Sandi – Devoted to the culture of wine, the Moretti Polegato family have been crafting wines for 3 generations utilizing the winery’s namesake 1622 villa as the working winery. Villa Sandi Prosecco DOC Brut "Il Fresco" – Fruit salad and floral aromatics with golden pear and green apple on the finish. Approachable and enjoyable. Villa Sandi Prosecco DOC Brut Organic "Il Fresco" – An excellent aperitif, with young peach, acacia and orange blossom. Great for fried fish, potato chips or a cheese plate.


Funding from Edmonton Community Foundation supports the Edmonton Artists’ Trust Fund and provides the means for our city’s creative community to grow its cultural roots. As gifts expressing respect and recognition, Andrea Bellegarde-Courchene’s star blankets wrap the recipient in the rich past and bold promise of the indigenous culture.

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Donations to ECF inspire hope, create opportunity and enhance the Edmonton lifestyle. We work with our donors to give, grow and transform. ecfoundation.org helps Edmonton shine.

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Any Way You Slice It:

VEGETABLE TIAN STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY RENÉE KOHLMAN

C

ooking in late summer/early fall is all about embodying the essence of the best-tasting vegetables. The days of garden-fresh produce are numbered, so this is the time to dive deep into all they have to offer in terms of flavour. One such dish that makes fabulous use of tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant is tian. This iconic dish originates from Provence - the sun-drenched region of France. Originally, a “Tian” described glazed

20 Culinaire | September 2022

earthenware vessels from Provence, used for both cooking and serving, as it went directly from the oven to the table. These types of sturdy vessels are usually large, shallow, and meant to withstand high temperatures. Back when homes didn’t have their own individual ovens, families would take their Tian, which was used to cook a variety of foods, to the bakers’ ovens to cook in the residual heat after the bread was baked. As time went on, it became popular to

use the tian dishes for cooking layers of Provencal vegetables: tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant. Eventually, the dish gave its name to this culinary preparation of arranging thinly sliced vegetables, a goodly amount of a decent olive oil, and lots of garlic and herbs. Tian is colourful, loaded with flavour, and the perfect side dish to your late summer feasts. While it is fairly simple to prepare, there are a few tips and tricks to help it become a success. When picking out the vegetables, try to choose tomatoes, zucchini, and eggplant with a similar circumference. This could be tricky as eggplants and zucchini can range in size. I cut some slices of eggplant in half, which helped. I also stacked a few zucchini slices together. Ultimately, you want the vegetables to be relatively the same height in the dish. Be sure to pack the slices together tightly. The vegetables will shrink as they cook, but if they are tightly packed, there won’t be any huge gaps. A tian is a very simple dish composed of alternating layers of vegetables baked in the oven, but it can also be rather dry if not cooked properly. Adding a layer of onions in the bottom of the dish will bring extra moisture to help soften the vegetables, and add gorgeous flavour. Don’t be shy with the olive oil either. The final drizzle of ¼ cup (60 mL) will ensure the vegetables are tender, and well as create those delectable crispy edges. The cooking time of at least 90 minutes may seem extreme, but it's necessary for the vegetables to cook in their own garlicinfused juices. Just like love, you can’t hurry a tian! And lastly, adding a small ramekin of water to the oven while the tian bakes creates steam, which will also prevent the vegetables from drying out. Tender and bold with late summer flavour, serve tian alongside roasted or grilled chicken, fish, or meat. Have some crusty bread alongside to help sop up those succulent juices.


Vegetable Tian Serves 6-8

1 large onion, thinly sliced into half moons 1 garlic clove, minced 2 Tbs (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil Pinch salt 2 medium eggplants, cut into 6-7 mm slices 3 medium zucchini (green and/or yellow) cut into 6-7 mm slices 6 medium ripe tomatoes, cut into 6-7 mm slices ½ tsp salt ¼ tsp pepper 3 garlic cloves, minced ¼ cup (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil ½ tsp herbs de Provence OR 5 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped 1. Preheat the oven to 350º F. 2. Add the sliced onion, minced garlic, and olive oil to the bottom of a 22 x 28 cm (9 x 11”) ceramic or earthenware baking dish. Toss to evenly coat. Sprinkle with salt. 3. Arrange the eggplant, zucchini, and tomato slices vertically on top of the onion in alternating layers. The slices should be arranged tightly in neat rows. If some of the

vegetables are smaller in circumference, such as the zucchini, you can add 2-3 slices. If you see any gaps, you can fill in with small slices of zucchini too. 4. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the garlic, making sure most of it falls in between the slices. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the herbs. 5. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil. Poke a tiny hole in the foil with a toothpick so steam can escape. Fill a small oven-safe ramekin with water and place it and the vegetable dish in the oven. 6. Bake for 50 minutes, then remove the foil and bake again for another 40 -50 minutes until the vegetables are fully cooked and wrinkled on top. Optional: To add additional charred bits, place under the broiler for a couple of minutes. 7. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Renée Kohlman is a busy food writer and recipe developer living in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Her second cookbook, ‘Vegetables: A Love Story” has just been published.


From Coops to Kitchens:

This oviform food fits in the palm of your hand and packs a nutritional punch

I

T’S BEEN SAID THAT YOU CAN learn everything you need to know about a cook by watching them make an omelet. With time-saving techniques for cooking eggs trending on TikTok, it seems there might be little to learn about a cook who microwaves an egg between paper plates. But there is much to learn about the journey the star ingredient takes to find its way from coops to cartons, kitchens, and eventually content creators. In Alberta there are more than 170 egg-farming families supplying 17.8 million eggs each week to grading stations operated in the province by Sparks Eggs or Burnbrae Farms. With its origins in Ontario, Burnbrae is Canada’s largest family owned and operated egg business. Of the company’s seven grading stations across the country, one is located in Calgary. Burnbrae has been partnering with Alberta farmers to produce eggs in the province for more than 20 years. “Eggs have really evolved over the years. Now there’s a lot of variety on grocery store shelves and we are focused on offering choice,” says Margaret Hudson, 22 Culinaire | September 2022

BY ADRIANNE LOVRIC President of Burnbrae Farms and a sixth-generation farmer. “There’s a lot more that goes into producing an egg than what people might consider.” From the housing systems to the types of feed chickens receive, Hudson says consumers can take comfort in the fact that there is a high level of thought, care, and science-based practices applied to egg production. David Webb, of Egg Farmers of Alberta, echoes this sentiment adding that the industry is transitioning away from conventional cage-based housing systems to produce standard eggs, towards housing with more space and enrichments such as perches, scratch pads, and dust baths, allowing the chickens to demonstrate more natural behaviours. Through the Canadian egg farmers’ industry-wide Egg Quality Assurance™ certification program, it is now easier to identify top-quality eggs through the EQA™ mark. It is an instantly recognizable sign that eggs come fresh from local farming families adhering to strict food safety and animal welfare standards. All registered egg farms in Alberta are EQA™ certified.

So what are the different types of eggs found in grocery stores? • Nest-laid eggs come from hens that are raised in an enriched colony style of housing where they live in smaller social groups. • Free-run eggs are produced by hens that are free to roam about the barn, but they do not have access to the outdoors. • Free-range hens also live in a free-run system, but they have access to the outdoors – weather permitting. • Organic eggs are typically produced in the same housing system as free range, however all feed must be certified organic, which means that it only contains ingredients that were grown without pesticides, herbicides, or commercial fertilizer. Look for a certified organic symbol on the egg carton. • Omega 3 eggs can come from any system in terms of housing, but the hens receive feed that has higher concentration of flax seed or oil so that the eggs contain more alpha-linolenic acid, a plant-based Omega-3 fatty acid.


Burnbrae Farms

“The majority of eggs are extra-large, large or medium,” says Webb who adds that most people want large, consistent size eggs since those are what recipes are

Bro’Kin Yolk

typically based on. Grade A eggs, which is what most consumers are familiar with buying, will have a clean and uncracked shell, a round and centered yolk, a firm white, and a small air cell. All other grades of eggs are sent for processing for use in commercial bakeries, liquid egg products, or non-food products like shampoo. Grade A eggs are packaged into cartons, and sent to grocery stores and restaurants. Jeff Carlos, Chef and Co-Owner of The Bro’Kin Yolk, Bro’s to Go and Morning Brunch Co. says his four locations consume approximately 13,600 eggs or 1,133 dozen eggs - every week. “The most common eggs that our customers order are soft poached eggs or overeasy eggs. Some of the uncommon ways that we have seen would be just an egg yolk poached, or just the egg yolks over easy. We definitely love the challenge of cooking an egg every which way.” Carlos adds that the beauty of eggs is that they

Courtesy Pauline Yu Photography

The feed determines the yolk colour. With an abundance of wheat in Alberta, most chickens are fed a wheat-based diet which produces a lighter yellow yolk. Chickens in central and eastern Canada tend to have a corn-based diet, which produces a darker yellow or orange yolk. Free-range egg yolks also tend to be darker because they are eating a wider variety of food outdoors. As for the shell, the colour of the egg generally matches the colour of the chicken’s feathers. “The quick and easy way to say it is that white eggs come from white chickens, and brown eggs come from brown chickens. But the best way is to look at a hen’s earlobe. A bird might look almost white, but have a brown earlobe, so a white-looking bird can lay a brown egg,” says Webb. All eggs produced in Alberta are consumed in Alberta so it typically takes about a week from the time an egg is laid until it is in a grocery store. Egg temperatures and humidity levels are maintained throughout production, storage, and distribution, and with farm pickups at least once per week, some eggs in cartons could be as little as a day old. After farm pick up, eggs are delivered to grading stations where they are washed, and inspected for imperfections through candling. Candling is a process that uses a bright light to make the interior of the egg visible. Eggs are then weighed, or graded, which determines whether it is a jumbo or a pee wee egg.

are versatile and can be used in many different ways from sauces to drinks, to baked goods, or just as is. He says a unique and easy way to prepare eggs is to crack one straight into soup or noodles, a method he uses for his own meals almost weekly. “Eggs are so incredibly versatile, they are the perfect food,” says Meg Tucker, of Cook with Meg, who provides virtual cooking classes for adults, families and children. One large Grade-A egg contains six grams of protein, is packed with 16 essential vitamins and minerals, 9 essential amino acids, and is only 70 calories. “They contain vitamins, minerals and good fats, great protein and not a lot of calories. It really is a perfect little package for any meal.” Although she hasn’t tried the Tik Tok trend of cooking an egg with oil between two paper plates in a microwave, she encourages families to get creative with other items they have in their kitchens September 2022 | Culinaire 23


- especially with the school year back in full swing. For example, crack and bake a dozen eggs on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper then cut into individual servings for assembling a batch of breakfast sandwiches. Or use silicone ice cube trays with omelet toppings, add eggs and bake to make egg sticks that can be added to a tortilla for a breakfast wrap. “We’re all about batch cooking for back to school because it’s a great way to make up a bunch of items that kids can grab and go,” says Tucker, adding that eggs are an inexpensive staple that can be stretched into all meals and snacks. Atticus Garant, Executive Chef at Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel agrees that the versatility of eggs makes them a great part of any menu. “They are used across the world in all types of cuisine every culture has a version of an egg dish. Whether it is breakfast, lunch, dinner, or used in baking or sauces and dressings, I don’t know if there is an ingredient as versatile as an egg,” he says. Garant’s favourite way to eat eggs is the six-minute 20 egg. This technique calls for a cold egg gently dropped into rolling boiling water, ensuring an adequate water to pot ratio so that the egg doesn’t slow the boil. Boil the egg for six minutes and 20 seconds, remove immediately and submerge in an ice bath. Then crack and peel the shell to reveal a set egg white and a perfectly jammy egg yolk that can be eaten on toast, combined with avocado or soya sauce and chili oil, or used in ramen. “Splitting the egg and having the yolks and the whites to play with can also achieve some pretty amazing things,” says Garant. For example, sugar-salt cure an egg yolk then grate it over a salad to add extra umami and richness. Or try folding whipped egg whites into whipped egg yolks to create a souffle-style egg that can be used to make an omelet or frittata. The preparations are practically endless, and who knows where perfecting different egg techniques beyond microwaving them might lead. As it turns out, omelet skills do reveal a chef’s abilities. “You can learn more than you need to know by observing a chef's omelet skills,” confirms Garant. “It is often used as a test in a cooking demo. For the most part, to work in high end kitchens or luxury hotels, the omelet is the end all and be all.” 24 Culinaire | September 2022

Meg Tucker’s Back To School Eggy Burritos

Makes 8 Burritos plus 4 extra egg “sticks” 8 eggs 1 Tbs (15 mL) milk 1 cup shredded cheddar, and or feta (mix it up) ½ cup cooked and chopped bacon ½ cup shredded ham ½ cup back bacon 1 pepper, chopped (any veggies you love!) 2 green onions, finely chopped 8 flour tortilla wraps 1. Preheat oven to 350° F and spray your silicone moulds with non-stick spray, line a sheet pan with parchment, for easy cleanup! 2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and onion. Season with salt and pepper to taste and pour into a glass jug with a spout

for easy pouring. 3. Fill the moulds with crumbled bacon, ham, or back bacon, then all the minced veggies you wish. Make it fun, get creative! 4. Very carefully pour your whisked eggs into the moulds until you run out. If you run out of eggs before you’ve filled your moulds, whisk together a couple more eggs with a small splash of milk or cream. 5. Carefully place your moulds on the baking sheet and bake for about 20 mins at 350º F. Let cool then pop out and place one per flour tortilla. Add some extra cheese if you wish then roll up and wrap in parchment or put into plastic bags. Can freeze for up to 2 months. Adrianne Lovric is a communications professional who has spent the last 20 years creating content for print media, non-profits, creative agencies, start-ups and publicly traded companies. Adrianne lives in Calgary with her husband, Miroslav, and their two daughters.


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September 2022 | Culinaire 25


Farm to table:

A concept whose time has come

O

ur Edmonton correspondent, Lucy Haines, is taking a look at the food and drink trends, developments, and openings – everything buzzworthy – in and around Edmonton. Whether you live in the area or are stopping by for a visit, food and drink are some of life's great pleasures, so let's celebrate it!

Nowhere is the concept of 'farm to table' more evident than when out in the country, fields of green and gold shimmering in the breeze, and produce ripening in the Alberta sun. There are cattle over yonder and a couple of horses eating hay in a nearby pen: these are the sights, smells, and 3D reality of farms. Cut to a long table dinner set up in a nearby barn, fine China adorned with charred broccoli, tomatoes and coal-cooked beef tenderloin prepared to perfection by local chefs - a delicious reminder of the benefits of supporting local farmers and 26 Culinaire | September 2022

BY LUCY HAINES producers in their endeavours. But unique events like this (held regularly through the summer months at the Old Red Barn near Leduc) are just one representation of 'farm to table'. How do we take the concept and translate it to consumer's tables in a way that benefits all? From growers to butcher shops, restaurants, and Agri-tourism advocates - the numbers supporting farm to table are growing, and it's easy to see why. Especially in the last couple of years, when the pandemic, climate change and political unrest have affected fuel prices, the supply chain, and the labour market, it just makes sense to buy fresh and local. Supporting the area economy and reducing the carbon footprint that comes with shipping foods from afar is another plus. For Blair Lebsack and Caitlin Fulton of Edmonton's Rge Rd. restaurant and adjacent retail space, The Butchery, it's the only way. The couple is committed

to sourcing all produce and meat directly from the farm - suppliers like Lakeside Farmstead, Prairie Gardens, Redtail Farms, Nature's Green Acres, Gold Forest Grains - and their business has grown right alongside the small-scale farmers they work with. “The relationships we have with growers and producers ensures our food security, though sometimes, we have to explain to customers why a certain item may not always be available,” Lebsack says. “On one occasion, the farmer said the bison was in the field and didn't want to get into the trailer, so we didn't have bison that week. But what's key to us and, increasingly, to the consumer is that we know the farmer's practices and values - the breed of cow, the date it has gone to the abattoir, and then to us the very next day. We don't use big operation farms - we have control over every aspect of the animal and bypass the system of mass production - it's a mutual


respect between the farmer/producer, the product and us.” With The Butchery, the pair is making the link from farm to our kitchen tables with fresh cuts and advice on how to use them: things like charcuterie and deli meats, butters, lard, cheeses, and schmaltz from the same farms that supply the restaurant. Fulton explains how education is a key piece of the farm to table movement; why sometimes things are more expensive, (though sometimes not, as the restaurant buys and uses the whole animal for the most cost-effective results). Edmonton chef Paul Shufelt says it's back to the basics after the pandemic; a focus on seasonal cooking and ‘using what's in our backyard’. With his recently opened Hayloft Steak + Fish (supplied by local farmers and mongers) in the city's Cameron Heights neighbourhood, and a fourth location of Woodshed Burgers, the long-time chef says challenges of the supply chain outside the local market makes restauranteurs want to do even more to nurture the relationships and reliability of food supply from Alberta farmers and growers. “Farm to table isn't just a sentiment. It's important for us to shorten the steps between the farmer and what is put on the plate,” he says.

Shufelt points to a wedge salad on his menu - the lettuce, tomato, pepper, cucumber and sunflower seeds that he could truck in from a California warehouse. “But the price here is comparable - there has to be value on the financial side - so we've used Doef's Greenhouses out of Lacombe since day one. We've built our brand on shopping responsibly, using the whole animal and sourcing good ingredients from growers. Some things can be challenging to find locally - citrus, for example, but when you can, why not stay close to home?” Agri-tourism operators like Melissa and Matt Schur have made it their mission to tell the story of the farmer. Noticing a big disconnect between consumers and producers, the couple uses the Old Red Barn to bridge the knowledge gap through farm (or flame) to table dinners, supporting women in agriculture by selling their products in the Old Red Barn farm store, and offering tours as part of initiatives like Alberta Open Farm Days. After meeting with Edmonton's ‘Kitchen by Brad’ owner Brad Smoliak and launching their farm to table dinners in 2017, the Schur's are ever passionate about making those connections between consumer, producer, and chef. Matt says hosting over 1,000 events at the Old Red Barn is evidence people are responding to the message. Alberta Open Farm Days is essentially

an open house with producers and farmers to learn about where our food comes from and the importance of rural sustainability: think berry picking, visiting a craft brewery or distillery, or understanding the contributions of beekeeping to the agricultural industry. When else might Albertans learn the province is the largest honey producer in Canada, and the third largest in North America? The government has also launched the Agri-Food Investment and Growth Strategy and, in the last three years, has invested in some 200 projects including: plant protein, greenhouses, AgriTechnology, and emerging sectors like hemp and cannabis. And some knowledge is coming the way of all Albertans with the Know Your Food trailer, Ag for Life's mobile education unit aiming to provide Albertans with knowledge about the province's agricultural sector. According to those behind the initiative, the trailer will help cultivate a deeper connection to Alberta food, where it comes from and the challenging work that goes into producing it. Watch for the trailer when it comes to your part of the province. Lucy Haines is a long-time freelance writer, specializing in travel, food, arts and entertainment. When she isn't writing, Lucy is a busy mom to four fantastic kids, and enjoys singing and performing in the local community theatre scene. September 2022 | Culinaire 27


Alberta Breakfast Sandwiches BY ERIKA RAVNSBORG

S

ometimes, you wake up in the morning and you realize that you have been having a crazy couple of days. Everything from the stresses of work to family obligations, and friendship drama can get to you. Still, you are immediately greeted by the growling of an empty stomach. However, you are not going to take this lying down. A go-getter like you takes life by both hands and solves the problem ASAP. Luckily, the solution is simple, and it is a breakfast sandwich. The not-so-humble and essential breakfast sandwich is a wonderful way to ring in the morning and start your day off right. Even if the previous night was a little harder on you than you had meant it to. It is a staple for many restaurants throughout many cities and towns. Luckily, there are breakfast sandwiches in various communities that will cure those belly grumbles we all experience every so often. Here are some well worth trying:

Little Brick Café and General Store (Edmonton) You can never go wrong with a classic café when it comes to a breakfast sandwich, especially when it’s made with all local ingredients. This includes Gull Valley tomatoes, Four Whistle Farms eggs, fresh greens, aged white cheddar, and garlic aioli on their fresh made buns. The thought of eggs, mixed with garlic, and cheese. Whose mouth is watering?

Glenn’s Family Restaurant (Red Deer) A quaint little place just off Highway 2 is home to this simply irresistible sandwich. In it is an egg, some bacon, melty cheddar cheese, with some avocado, between the bread of your choice. How can you go wrong? Especially if you have this sandwich with one of their 250 delicious tea selections and a homemade cookie. You won’t want to leave. They had to cut us off.

Boondox Family Restaurant (Sundre) Mountain Goat Cheese on Toast you’ve got to eat here because this dish is fantastic! If you love mushrooms, cheese and poached eggs slathered with hollandaise sauce on a thick piece of toast, then this is for you. When you have one of those days when you need a hug from the inside out, The Boondox has a whimsical style that family members of all ages can appreciate.

28 Culinaire | September 2022

Holy Grill (Calgary) The Bacon Avocado Crisp Sandwich is the most unusual on this list. Sure, its name doesn’t sound like it, but it’s true. Here is a hint: it’s not because of the tomato, spinach, cheddar cheese, or mayo. Of course, it has an egg, avocado, and bacon, but it also has pickled eggplant on it. Now how wild is that? The first bite of this savoury sandwich will have you coming back for more.

Chez Francois (Canmore) Want a Mexican fiesta for breakfast? Well, this sweet little place has just what you are looking for in the Mexican Wrap. When you have a craving for zesty guacamole, sassy salsa, and decadent sour cream on your eggs, this is going to make for a glorious morning. The sight of those majestic mountains that are in view no matter where you choose to sit. Inside or out - you get to witness the natural beauty that this province provides. Mocha Cabana (Lethbridge) For anyone who loves a little Mediterranean flare, go to the Mocha Cabana. If a farm fresh egg with naturally smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and mayo, that is housed on an artisan brioche bun doesn’t make it a winner, we don’t know what would. Especially when you get to sit out at their glorious courtyard.

The Little Brick


Your Home

It’s an easy home staple that can be made in a matter of minutes, the question is, how can you make it great? Let’s start with the basics to make the best: - You need eggs, bread, and cheese. But not just any old items that you can get at the corner store. Let’s go a little further than that. Get some free-range eggs, delistyle pepper jack cheese for a little spice, and a fresh-made artisan bun. - Next, let’s go crazy with farmer’s market add-ons. For preference, we reach for tomatoes, spinach, roasted red peppers, and even pickles for a unique zip. - Lastly, is the spread of your choice. A good idea is to add something a little sweeter just to balance the flavours.

Go for a subtle spread such as cranberry sauce or a honey Dijon (if available, get the Divina Fig Spread because it will give a nice finishing touch to your sandwich). The best part is you can do this in your pyjamas. Wherever you are in our beautiful province, you can be filled with the deliciousness of this breakfast delight and be ready to seize the day. No matter how you feel, a good breakfast will start you off on the right path. Whether you are going to work or it is just a relaxing day off, a breakfast sandwich gives you that positive energy that we all need in the morning. When it’s delicious, nutritious, and allows us to be creative, it’s a good way to give yourself a little love. Now pass those hashbrowns!

fall into fun

at heritage park From ghostly tours and holiday magic, to our biggest fundraiser of the year, Carnivàle, there’s something for everyone to enjoy year-round at Heritage Park!

upcoming events Ghost Tours Carnivàle Dinner & A Movie Ghosts & Gourmet Ghouls’ Night Out Once Upon A Christmas

Visit HeritagePark.ca to find out more and get tickets.

As a registered charity, your support helps us bring the history of Western Canada to life.

Erika Ravnsborg is an Alberta freelance writer/blogger/adventurer/explorer. Her blog, “This Magical World”, (magicalstoriestoshare.com) features her enchanted tales of travel, food, shopping, and culture.

SEPT. 16

September 2022 | Culinaire 29


Discover the

Cape Breton Cookie

with a Funny Name and Unforgettable Flavour STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY VANESSA CHIASSON

C

ape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, may be famous for its music and scenery but any Islander will tell you that the best thing about living there isn’t the views or the tunes - it’s the food! Fat Archie cookies are Cape Breton’s culinary calling card. These oversized molasses spice cookies are easy to make, hearty enough for working folk in fishing boats, and perfect alongside a strong cup of tea. You’ll find them in school cafeterias, old-fashioned bakeries, and at community fundraisers. And thanks to the east coast diaspora working in the oil fields, you might just find them in Albertan homes as well. As anyone who grew up in Cape Breton can attest, eating Fat Archies is an essential childhood experience. If you’re a local, no one gives much thought to the funny name but it definitely raises eyebrows elsewhere. The origin of Fat Archies is usually summed up like this: Archie was a common name in bygone years, especially among Cape Breton’s Scottish communities. The cookies themselves are quite thick and plump. Clearly, they must be named after a man named Archie who loved them! But many people suspect the story runs deeper than that. A now-inactive genealogy website for the history of the Poole family in Cape Breton shares a story told by Nelson Poole to Nova Scotia folklore enthusiast, Bessie Flanders. Poole recounted that: "In the Whycocomagh area, these or cookies like them, were known as ‘Dougall Archie's’. It seems that a Dougall Archie made the best molasses cookies

30 Culinaire | September 2022

around and his cookies became known, yes, as ‘Dougall Archie's’. Dougall Archie was never told about the name, but one day when he was visiting a neighbour, the kids came in screaming for ‘Dougall Archie's’! The lady of the house was highly embarrassed, but it seems Dougall Archie never caught on or pretended not to." While it’s impossible to verify if this story (which must date nearly threequarters of a century), it has a ring of authenticity. After I was fortunate enough to connect with Bessie Flanders to ask her if she knew for certain how these cookies got their funny moniker, she reported back that she didn’t know exactly how Fat Archies got their name – but added that they were still delicious! Given that

Fat Archies are also sometimes called Pubnicos, Moose Hunters, Lumberjacks, and Long John’s, we may never know the precise origin of these beloved East Coast snacks but perhaps a long-forgotten man named Dougall Archie might just be the legend we’re all looking for. Enjoying some of the deliciousness that Bessie and all Cape Bretoners know so well is easy to do at home. Each family’s recipe is unique to them, but this one is an excellent base to start with and then you can put your own spin on it, adding more spices or less sugar as you like. It’s worth noting that some recipes call for dough so soft that the cookies are made drop-style. Others opt for a firmer approach and call upon a favoured biscuit cutter


(perhaps a particular kitchen glass) to serve as a cookie-cutter. Some cookbooks require a finishing touch, perhaps a final dusting of flour or scoring a criss-cross pattern in the top using a fork. Everyone agrees that the cookies must be thick, soft, and flavoured primarily with molasses. They must never be made to resemble gingersnaps in taste or texture. Fat Archies are sometimes served hot and fluffy with lashings of butter just like a scone but they’re not bad when slightly stale, softened with a quick dunk in the ever-present cup of Cape Breton tea. In any case, you can bet kids will come home from school, screaming for them by name.

Fat Archies

Makes around 2 dozen cookies 1 cup butter or shortening ½ cup white sugar ½ cup packed brown sugar 1 cup (250 mL) fancy grade molasses 2 eggs ½ cup (120 mL) milk 2 tsp baking soda 4½ cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp of cinnamon ½ tsp ginger ½ tsp powdered cloves Pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 350º F. 2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. 3. Beat in molasses and eggs. 4. Mix in milk and baking soda. 5. Slowly sift the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt together, stirring after every cup or so and mix everything together. 6. Drop onto a cookie sheet and bake 12-15 minutes. Alternatively, add an additional ½ cup flour for a stiff dough which you can roll out until 6-7 cms thick and cut with a biscuit cutter. Vanessa Chiasson is a Canadian writer with bylines in The Globe and Mail, Buzzfeed, Travel Awaits, and more. Her blog, TurnipseedTravel.com, focuses on cozy travel experiences.

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The Last of the Summer Crushers BY TOM FIRTH

D

espite roasting away for most of the summer months this year, as the mercury starts to move to cooler temperatures, there is still ample opportunity to enjoy a few afternoons or evenings chilling with friends, having a beverage, or getting in the back-to-school mood. On other pages in this issue, I’ve recommended some great wines for these days, but here are a few different products that might help change things up a little.

Good Mood Brewery Hibiscus and Rosehip Sparkling Hard Tea, Alberta Big fan over here of Good Mood’s Hibiscus and Rosehip Cream Ale, so this was a bit of an easy undertaking to try. First off, this is more of a Hibiscus and Rosehip vodka soda rather than a harder tea, but still lively and fresh with sweet fruits, that bit of rosehip, and a crisp, dry taste. Nicely carbonated and ice cold out of the fridge – a great find to beat the heat. CSPC +838584 About $17-18 (6-pack cans) Lucky Cat by Kaiun Sake, Japan I do love sake simply for what it is. A delicious alternative to enjoy when the urge strikes. While there are several fairly strict guidelines for best service temperatures for sake, I found Lucky Cat was best enjoyed cool – but not cold, allowing bright citrus and tropical fruits to come through and preserve the silky textures and clean finish. CSPC +860885 About $42-45 Taylor Fladgate Chip Dry and Tonic, Portugal As a port enthusiast, I was extremely hesitant the first time I tried a port and tonic cocktail, but they can be delicious. The sweetness of the port (Chip Dry is a drier, white port) is offset nicely by the bitterness of the tonic – but it’s also less intense than a gin and tonic. Crisp and fruity with great balance, this is a darn handy cocktail to have on hand. It can be consumed on the go, but it’s best in a glass with a bit of lime garnish and some ice. CSPC +861835 About $16-17 (4-pack) Croft Pink & Tonic, Portugal The port house of Croft pioneered the “pink” port style which bridged the fairly wide divide between uncommon white ports and the intensity of the deeply coloured ruby or vintage ports. Here, with tonic in a ready-to-go cocktail, it’s right at home. Bursting with strawberry and cherry type fruits with a nice zing from the tonic, it’s quite dry and easy to enjoy. Serve well chilled with a bit of berry fruit garnish if possible. CSPC +861836 About $16-17 (4-pack) Rig Hand Garlic Vodka Caesar, Alberta OK, here was something a little different. While premixed Caesars have been around since forever, one small, teensy-weensy problem is getting the full experience. The folks at Rig Hand now have a pre-rimmed, pre-made Caesar that has everything ready except the celery. It seems a little odd to see and drink from a less than pristine can, but for someone like me who only occasionally wants one, it’s a great way enjoy this classic cocktail using Rig Hand’s pleasingly flavourful, garlic-rich vodka. CSPC +864126 $5 32 Culinaire | September 2022


Good food and deliciously fun nights out don’t stop for the summer, and we’re delighted to announce new dates, new pairing dinners, and new menus! Check culinairemagazine.ca/events regularly, and email to be included in our bi-monthly updates to hear about events before the rest of the city. These evenings can sell out rather quickly! Vine & Dine at Franca’s Wednesday September 7, Thursday 15, and Tuesday September 20 Our evenings at Franca’s are always popular and we’re overdue a visit! They’re opening specially for us and we’re coming back for three nights of super delicious 6-course pairing dinners in September.

One-Off Celebration Pairing Dinner Wednesday September 14 Hotel Arts are hosting us for a very special evening to celebrate the arrival of Prosecco DOC Rosé in Alberta! We’re starting around the pool for a welcome reception and canapes, and then moving into our private dining room for a superb six-course pairing meal.

dinner on our balconies, and now we’re coming back for a one-off deliciously indulgent 5-course premium pairing meal with imaginative plates prepared using seasonal, locally sourced ingredients in the Atrium’s Nakiska Ballroom.

Vine & Dine at Fonda Fora Wednesday October 12, Friday 21, and Saturday October 29 We’re coming back to Fonda Fora for three Vine & Dine evenings of superb, authentic Mexican 6-course pairing dinners in their private dining room. All three dinners here last year sold out fast!

“From the Farm” Vine, Dine & Demo at Sunterra Market! Thursday October 27 A one-off special evening at Sunterra Keynote’s private demo kitchen where we’ll enjoy a six-course pairing meal featuring products from Sunterra’s own farms, and chef will demonstrate a part of each delicious dish and share their expertise!

One-Off Fine & Dine evening at Delta South Wednesday October 19 One of the highlights of the lockdown was enjoying an outstanding Fine & Dine evening in Delta South’s Atrium with

New evenings are added regularly, so check them out and email linda@culinairemagazine.ca to reserve your places. We try to cater for all allergies.


The Times They Are A-Changing B

BY DAVID NUTTALL

rewing lives in a constant state of flux. Evolution, change, expansion, progression, and yes, even revolution, have always been hallmarks of the industry. However, the last few years have presented more challenges than anyone could have foreseen. Some of this is a result of the global COVID pandemic, but several factors were beginning to reveal themselves long before 2020. For a variety of reasons, breweries of all sizes have had to prove their resilience. Last month in Culinaire (Alberta Brewing Starts Getting Noticed), we touched on how the growing variety of beers demanded by the public has influenced the supply of brewing’s basic ingredients. Still, there is much more happening at your friendly neighbourhood brewery. Packaging The first beer bottle to bear some semblance to what we know today appeared in the late 1800s and within 30 years, it had become the standard container for purchase. Even though cans became prevalent in the 1950s, their reputation as an inferior package and the vessel for lower quality beer kept them far behind bottles in popularity, despite their numerous benefits. Cans were also taboo on most restaurant beer lists, so were completely ignored (until 2002) by the first craft brewers who stayed with the 341/355 mL bottle or 650 mL bomber. However, in recent years, we have seen a complete reversal of this practice in craft breweries, with cans now becoming dominant. Even the can itself is changing; depending on the market,

34 Culinaire | September 2022

the old 355 mL version is being upsized to the 473 mL variety. While the macro breweries still package more beer in bottles, the craft breweries stick to cans (except for some special bottle editions). Nonetheless, today even the larger producers are swapping out certain brands from bottles to cans. Likewise, the humble growler has taken a hit. During COVID lockdowns, due to cleanliness issues combined with closed restaurants and taprooms, the only way for breweries to survive was to package product for delivery or pickup. This compelled many to handcan their products (enter the crowler) as their growler bars fell silent. Now, breweries use hand canning, mobile

canning units, or have purchased canning lines (but not, significantly, bottling lines). Product Diversification There was a time when breweries made beer and only beer. No longer. Now, many are transitioning into producing other products such as soda pop, non-alcoholic beer, and what are commonly branded as "hard" drinks; alcoholic seltzers, teas, sodas, and ciders. Sometimes these beverages are made in collaboration with distilleries and other manufacturers, while some breweries even package pre-made cocktails. Much of this diversification was brought about by COVID restrictions,


A new trend has emerged where breweries of any size may have multiple locations.

which forced breweries to concoct as many products as they could to get through periods with no visiting customers. Now that people have returned to taprooms, they are requesting a variety of beverages apart from beer. It's no secret that the ReadyTo-Drink (RTD) category has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years, cutting into beer’s market share, so it makes sense for breweries to go after that segment. Breweries have three choices here; make malt-based products, distill their own (which requires an additional license), or collaborate with a distillery. They have the canning facilities, while most distilleries do not. Also, if the product requires flavouring, breweries are adept at sourcing them. During a seminar on RTDs at the recently held Canadian Brewing Conference, when attendees were asked how many already made RTDs, about 10% said yes. When asked how many planned to pursue producing them, the other 90% put up their hands. Expect more items beyond beer from breweries in the future. Expansion From Within or Without When a new brewery opens, it has a plan for what its market penetration should be. Depending on the size of its brewing system, it may intend to be a small and local, or possibly one that supplies a large political jurisdiction, like a province or state. Going for countrywide distribution is impossible for craft breweries in their infancy. However, a new trend has emerged where breweries of any size may

have multiple locations. Karl Strauss, Pizza Port, and Gordon Biersch are all examples of this in the United States. In Alberta, Brewster's started with brewing systems in all their locations, before centralizing their production in Calgary. We have seen Big Rock expand to BC and Ontario, and Wild Rose keep the pilot system at their Currie Barracks site while they constructed a second, larger facility in east Calgary. Blind Enthusiasm of Edmonton recently open another location called the Monolith, specializing in barrel fermented beers. Just this year, 33 Acres Brewing of Vancouver opened up in Calgary, and will be brewing beers using local ingredients. Existing breweries are adding smaller pilot systems to allow them to brew experimental beers, or just smaller

We’re raising a cone to our

batches of several varieties, in order to keep up with the consumer's relentless expectation for something new and different. Other breweries are growing by adding more or larger equipment to expand production. Brewing is not a onesize-fits-all endeavour, so systems are available in a variety of sizes. These are only a few of the advancements happening now. As breweries adapt to changing times and legislation, expect to see more developments. Stay tuned.

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.

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September Spirits BY TOM FIRTH AND LINDA GARSON

T

he very best of the shoulder seasons, September in Alberta is the time to eke out the last of the summer to-do list, get out to the mountains, go for that bike ride, explore that last neck of the woods or the city before the leaves fall and the snow flies. This month, we are all about spirits that mix oh-so-well. From infused spirits like Earl Grey gin, vodka, peated rum, or locally made whisky. Plus a ready to go take on the classic negroni. However your summer is ending, our hope is that you get a little time to savour a good drink or two.

Campari Negroni Ready to Enjoy Italy Possibly the world’s favourite classic cocktail, the Negroni is made with equal parts gin, red vermouth, and Campari, stirred over ice in a rocks glass. It should come as no surprise then that Campari have brought out their own premixed ‘RTE’ (Ready to Enjoy) – and enjoy we did! All you do is pour over ice, and garnish with a slice of orange. It’s smooth and bittersweet, as you’d want a Negroni to taste – our only question is what took them so long? CSPC +855311 375 mL $22-24 Confluence Distilling Detour Gin Alberta Super smooth and bright, the very appealing nose of this gin is juniper forward followed by fresh notes of citrus and cucumber. A splash of tonic really brings out the citrus, and while we know it’s made for mixing and cocktails, it actually doesn’t need much other than a green olive - a martini is a cocktail isn’t it? Craft products attract a lower tax rate, and the good news is that with Detour Gin, you’re getting a top shelf gin at a bottom shelf price! Available from the distillery $29 Buckle Premium Vodka, Alberta This Alberta-made, premium vodka hit the streets well in time for summer, and Stampede in particular, where it was the order of the day for Caesars and a multitude other cocktails! Buckle celebrates the outdoor Country lifestyle after your day fishing, BBQing, or herding cattle - yet there’s a smoothness and polish from the column-distilled prairie wheat belying the rugged exterior, and as another ‘craft’ product, it’s a terrific value! 750 mL CSPC +859274 around $24 36 Culinaire | September 2022

Eau Claire Distillery Earl Grey Gin Alberta We first tasted this gin at the pre-launch of Calgary’s new Dorian Hotel, for whom it was created – and it was instant love! The aroma and flavour you associate with Earl Grey comes from the oil of the rind of bergamot, a type of orange (even though it’s really more lime coloured!). The distillers at Eau Claire have used it judiciously; it’s there but not overpowering. This gin exudes elegance and a little old-fashioned charm – wear your opera gloves when drinking! CSPC +873534 $53 Ron Relicario Peated Finish Rum Dominican Republic Something very uncommon under the summer sun. A Dominican rum, aged for up to 10 years and then finished in peated Speyside whisky barrels. Very unusual and most importantly – it works very well. The nose allows caramel and toffee rum notes to dominate, but with a mild salinity, vinyl, and iodine character that aren’t out of place. On the palate, it’s very smooth (unlike a lot of Islay whiskies) with sweetness and consistent flavours, but a rich, smoky finish. Yo ho! CSPC +854142 $80-85 Bridgeland Distillery Glenbow Single Malt Whisky, Alberta An Alberta whisky throughout, with barley from Hamill Farm’s (Penhold, AB) field NE4-37-27-W4M, malted at their Red Shed Malting, and with Bow Glacier Water. It opens with notes of Apple Betty pudding, and a little fruit cake - viscous and full in the mouth, very fruity, very smooth, and utterly sippable. A drop of water brings out the dried fruit flavours, thick cut orange marmalade? It’s one of those bottles you won’t want to share… just enjoy and be happy you live in Alberta! Available from the distillery, 500 mL $69


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MAKING THE CASE

Wines to Grill For… PART III I

By TOM FIRTH

didn’t intend to do this three times, but… here we are. With our brutally painful, brisk, and long winters, it seems only fair to hold on tight to the summer days as we move into fall. If at all possible, get all the fresh air you can take, get all that exercise and sunshine you can handle, and just breathe. Stroll around the neighbourhood, brave the crowds at your nearest provincial park or destination, or just relax a little. This month, as we slowly watch the days get cooler and the nights get colder, it is a good time to talk about chardonnay, a grape some of us love to hate, but one of the most widely known and respected white grapes around the world, along with a few rosés for those in-between days, and a few reds to round things out. A few grapes that are quite uncommon too – which, if you are feeling bold, might help to excite those tastebuds. Next month, in our October issue, we’ll be highlighting the results of our tenth Alberta Beverage Awards, so if you are looking for hundreds of great wines, beers, spirits, and anything in between – pick up a copy before they’re all gone, this issue goes quickly! 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. Cambria 2019 Katherine’s Vineyard Chardonnay, Santa Maria Valley, California

I wouldn’t normally call chardonnay a “crushable” grape, but the 2019 from Cambria is finding that fine balance between oak (yes, it’s there) but offset by bright and fairly tart fruits on the tropical spectrum, with a rather delicate floral component. A very clean, very modern expression of the grape that is versatile at the table and for a wide range of enthusiasts. Very nice. CSPC +314237 $30-34 Tom has been waxing on (and on) about wine, beer, and spirits for more than 25 years and freelances, consults, and judges on beverages all year long. He is the Managing Editor for Culinaire Magazine, and the Competition Director for the Alberta Beverage Awards.

38 Culinaire | September 2022

Le Bijou de Sophie Valrose 2021 Rosé Provence, France

The best word I can think of to describe this wine has to be “poised”. A gem from start to finish with zesty citrus tones and delicate summer fruits. Quite dry, with a mild sweetness in the fruits, it is the long, fresh, and crisp finish that really ties this together, well chilled on a hot day it’s a treat, but try not to serve it too cold or you’ll miss out on the softer notes. CSPC +863718 $21-24

Peter Lehmann 2021 The Barossan Chardonnay, Barossa, South Australia

Exclusive to the Canadian market, and brand new to our shores, the Barossan chardonnay, – referring to Peter Lehmann himself who basically made Barossa a wine region. Look for zesty lemon citrus characters with a mild spiciness and salinity on the nose moving along to nicely restrained fruits and creaminess letting the nature of the grape – and a little oak shine through. Very tasty and relaxing wine. CSPC +862721 $25-27

El Enemigo 2018 Malbec Mendoza, Argentina

Oh, this is seriously good malbec proudly showing off some of the finer, nuanced characters good malbec can have. I wasn’t sure there was such nuance? There is. Loads of black fruit obviously, but dig deeper and delicate floral tones come through, along with pepper spice and a mild, earthy – dustiness. On the palate, it’s nice and big with chewy, but balanced, tannins and a long, almost graceful finish. Match up with red meats of all stripes, but also good firm cheese will be a treat. CSPC +745020 $32-36


Perticaia 2020 Trebbiano Spoletino Umbria, Italy

Kendall-Jackson 2020 Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay, California

Donnafugata 2021 Dolce & Gobbana Rosa Sicilia, Sicily, Italy

Perticaia 2021 Rosato, Umbria, Italy

Chateau Ste Michelle 2020 Chardonnay Columbia Valley, Washington State

Sandhill 2021 Sangiovese Rosé Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Stag’s Hollow 2020 Shuttleworth Creek Pinot Noir, Okanagan Falls British Columbia

Château Ste. Michelle 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley Washington State

An uncommon variety of trebbiano, trebbiano spoletino is found around Spoleto and Montefalco. Dominant with pear and yellow apples, peach and apricot, and a lifted floral character well suited to days near the garden. Richer on the palate than expected with a silky mouthfeel, tropical fruits, and mild bitterness on the finish. Would be a treat with lobster, risottos, or lighter seafood pastas. CSPC +866232 About $29-32

A completely crushable, delectable rosé, this one from Umbria, Italy, and made with the flagship grape of Montefalco, sagrantino. Easy and fresh with summer fruits, but exceptionally, with a mild blackberry fruit that helps it stand out. Crisp and quite dry, you’ll find your glass must have a small leak since it’s gone before you know it. Would be a fine match with sushi or lighter fare, serve chilled but not too cold. CSPC +866233 About $28-31

Stag’s Hollow 2021 Shuttleworth Creek Albariño, Okanagan Falls British Columbia

Albariño is quite a common grape in Spain, though all but unknown to be planted anywhere else, so imagine the surprise when Stag’s Hollow went all out with this grape. A bottle that oozes authenticity and uniqueness, it’s incredibly intense with razor sharp acids, a complete bouquet of flowers, and a basket full of dried herbs. Zippy and clean, it’s a wonderful expression that might open the doors to trying other unique wines made in Canada. Try with grilled pork, seafoods, and charcuterie-style snacks. CSPC +808224 $30-34

A very well known, and delightfully consistent producer that is also quite easy to find at many shops, Kendall-Jackson makes a number of very agreeable, crowdpleasing wines. Well-restrained with oak characters, but showing off dominant apple and citrus fruit, and a zippy acid. Could work very nicely with certain seafood dishes, but better with grilled poultry or even a not too meaty charcuterie board… CSPC +369686 $22-25

Another consistent winery that we’ve been lucky to have in the Alberta market for quite some time is Washington’s Chateau Ste. Michelle. This chardonnay is all about fresher fruits of apple and lemon with a delicate spiciness and expressive creaminess – without too much oak flavour. Easy to enjoy and shouldn’t be served too cold, this would work with creamy pastas, fowl, or even barbecued red meats – that aren’t too spicy or saucy. CSPC +232439 $22-25

A good find on the wine front, Stag’s Hollow pinot noir is a rather serious, herbaceous example of a favourite grape. Tart fruits evoking black cherries with a hint of smoke and tar on the nose just over those mild herb and vegetable leaf aromas. On the palate – stunning really, with a fine balance between acids and fruit, tannin, and an exceedingly long, graceful finish. I gladly drank this on its own, but I think it would sing with meats from the smoker, a top shelf steak from the grill, or a selection of cured meats. CSPC +667394 $33-36

Me? I love drinking nerello mascalese any time of day – and I love it just as much in a rosé, here with a little nocera as well. Lively and fresh like any pleasurable rosé should be, with easy to enjoy cherry style fruits, peach, and an intense floral character. Quite dry and more than suitable for chilling on the deck or drinking with lighter fare like seafood or appetizers. Served chilled, but not ice cold. CSPC +860480 $55-60

A small batch rosé from one of the first wineries working with sangiovese in the Okanagan Valley, Sandhill has certainly figured it out. A lighter, quite dry table wine with a clean, abundance of summery, berry fruits, a citrusy, floral aroma, and a long, and very easy-going finish. This is only the second vintage of the sangiovese rosé and it won’t be the last. This little gem is a rockstar on the deck, and a fine match with lighter seafood dishes. CSPC +872153 $25-27

While cabernet sauvignon is still the king of red grapes, it can be overlooked by other grapes that have really started bringing their “A” games. One of the tastiest and most agreeable cabs I’ve had in a little while, fruits are generous and very slightly jammy with no underripe or bell pepper notes. On the palate, cherries and cassis with lavender and lilac floral tones, finely balanced and with rather subtle and mellow tannins. Pair with a prime rib or ribeye if possible, but might be equally as good with a bacon cheeseburger. CSPC +232793 $20-25 September 2022 | Culinaire 39


e tce te r a . . . Smoke Show Sauces

There’s a great back story to how the Canadian Smoke Show sauces came about, and you can’t help but smile to read that after creating his smoky, maple-infused, jalapeño hot sauce, founder Dave Rose was able to leave his busboy job and expand the line-up. These vegan and gluten-free sauces are produced in small batches for maximum freshness, and we’re really enjoying the Jalapeño Ranch and Jalapeño Dijonnaise. 250 mL around $12, see smokeshowsauce.com for stockists – and to read the story! Cheez-It SNAP’d

Filling that void between chips and crackers comes the snack-minded folks at Cheez-It with their “Snap’d” line up. You may already be familiar with this blend of cracker-like structure, but with the crunch of potato chips; crispy and perhaps a little more in the chip “camp” with their initial flavours too. Our favourite was Double Cheese, but Jalapeño Jack was close behind as the empty bowl showed, while Cheddar Sour Cream and Onion was still a crowd pleaser. Crunchy and crispy, we were fans. 213 g, about $4.

Cooking alla Giudia: A Celebration of the Jewish Food of Italy

Italian food and Jewish food – two of the world’s great cuisines come together in this weighty book, and author Benedetta Jasmine Guetta deftly weaves together the lengthy, yet little-known history of Italian Jews (broken into regions) with their culinary heritage and the recipes and ingredients that have inspired many famous Italian dishes, such as Roman deep-fried artichokes and eggplant parmigiana. Timely, included are explanations of the holidays and the foods traditionally eaten to celebrate them. $50, Artisan.

ZWILLING Enfinigy Digital Kitchen Scale

Inspired by the 2004 social media cult classic movie, "Mean Girls" with Lindsay Lohan, ‘Mean Girls Day’ is coming up on October 3, so we’ll be saying "That's so fetch!" and using our favourite pink appliances – and these gorgeous rose-coloured Zwilling kitchen scales are high on the list. We love that the battery is recharged via USB cable, and turns on/ off by the sensor touch display. The large glass surface means the LCD display is always visible, and you can easily add ingredients with the tare feature. $80-$120. Lunchbox: 75+ Easy and Delicious Recipes for Lunches on the Go

Packing weekday lunches, and continually coming up with exciting and delicious meals can be a daunting proposition, but Aviva Wittenberg’s new book is bursting with tempting ideas for soups, sandwiches, flatbreads, salads, warm and cold bowls, snacks and sweets – all beautifully photographed. There are prepping and packing tips, and every recipe has a “Get Ahead” tip, so you know what can be made in advance. So lovely and so useful! $30, Appetite by Random House. 40 Culinaire | September 2022

Foothills Ice Cream

Foothills Creamery have released six new ice cream flavours joining their eight existing flavours as permanent staples on grocery store shelves. These fun, summery flavours are delicious, and include Cotton Candy - with a blue marshmallow ribbon; Tiger - orange ice cream swirled with black licorice; Sea Salt Caramel Fudge, Raspberry Chocolate Truffle, Cereal Bowl - with fruity cereal pieces; and the purple Groovy Ube! 1.4 L tubs $7-$10. Check out foothillscreamery.com/where-to-buy for stockists.



O PE N TH AT B OT TLE

...with

Winnie Chan BY LINDA GARSON PHOTO BY DONG KIM

G

rowing up in a family of food lovers, as a little girl in Hong Kong, Winnie Chan’s parents would always be taking her to restaurants to taste the food, and she has many delicious memories of the ambience and cuisine of these times. Her mother was also an excellent cook, and she was fascinated with these recipes, featuring some of them in her restaurants even today. Yet she dreamed of owning beauty salons, offering facials and learning how to perfect wedding makeup for brides, so Chan’s career started along a very different route, and as a young woman, she opened two mobile beauty salons. Things changed when she met her husband, also a food lover, with parents that ran restaurants in Hong Kong, and while still a teenager in the late ‘70s, they started making and selling street food from carts. It was hard work, which is something that has never deterred Chan, and it was several years later until they were able to open a bricks and mortar restaurant. Once children came along, and with the Canadian government encouraging people from Hong Kong to immigrate if they had resources to open a business, the Chans came on a holiday to see what life might be like in Canada, starting in Red Deer and then visiting Calgary, Toronto, and Vancouver. They wanted their three children to learn English, and study and graduate here. In comparing the cities, it was only in the last week of their vacation that they decided to settle in Calgary. They felt comfortable because of the people, who Chan says were kind and

42 Culinaire | September 2022

nice, as well as other mitigating factors. “Vancouver’s very rainy, but I feel Calgary is so interesting, as in one day they have four seasons,” she laughs. And in 1993, they moved to Calgary, opening their first restaurant, Calgary Court, in ’94. The immigration policy was that they had to open a business and employ people within their first two years – and they were brave, putting all their money into something that they didn't know would be successful or not. They felt lucky as the restaurant was lined up down the street with so many immigrants from Asia at that time, such that they had to open the basement too to make it two stories, eventually renovating to turn the lower floor into kitchens for food preparation. Following the success of the first restaurant, and wanting to offer different types of Asian cuisine, Chan cleverly made the decision, rather than have a huge menu at one restaurant, she would open a BBQ restaurant, Sun’s on Centre Street N, and Misai Japanese Restaurant on 32 Avenue NE. Fortunately the timing was perfect as Jackie Chan was filming Shanghai Noon in Calgary at the time and he loved the restaurant! Now, the Taste of Asia Group has six locations with eight restaurants: T.Pot China Bistro shares a space and kitchen

with Cafe H.K, and Forbidden City Seafood and Dim Sum restaurant shares a space and kitchen with Pebble Street, a Hong Kong style cafe. This means that they can host weddings for up to 300 people in the shared spaces. So what bottle is Chan saving for a special occasion? A 500 mL bottle of Kweichow Moutai sits on the table – an organic, 53 percent ABV baijiu, produced only in Maotai, a picturesque small town in the southwestern province of Guizhou. As China’s national spirit, it’s the only alcoholic beverage presented as an official gift by Chinese embassies overseas to foreign heads of state. It’s in very short supply though, particularly in Canada. Chan has had this bottle for around seven years, and used to sell it in the restaurant for around $1,000. And when will she open it? She hasn’t been able to travel to see her family since the start of Covid, “I miss my children and grandchildren very much,” she says. “I hope to take a holiday and visit them, as I’m missing the happiest moments - the baby time - as my grandkids are all growing.” Chan will wait until the family is together to open the bottle, she’s hoping for Chinese New Year: “And that will be a very special occasion,” she says.



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