Culinaire #11.7 (December 2022)

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/ FOOD & DRINK / RECIPES DECEMBER 2022 Holiday Entertaining | Decadent Desserts | Festive Drinks | Persimmon
December 2022 | Culinaire 3 contents departments 6 Salutes and Shout Outs News from Alberta’s culinary scene 8 Chefs’ Tips and Tricks Decadent December Desserts 34 Making the Case For Quality Time with Quality Wine (and special people) 36 Etcetera... What’s new? 38 Open That Bottle With Mrs. Linda McNally
ON THE COVER Volume 11 / No. 6 / December 2022 14 Entertaining at Home Stress less and enjoy more this holiday season! by Adrianne Lovric 18 Step by Step Chocolate Babka - the ultimate hostess gift by Renée Kohlman 22 Serving Social Consciousness with a Beer Chaser XhALE Brewing Co. by Elizabeth Chorney-Booth 24 The Perfect Persimmon … is impressive in both sweet and savoury dishes! by Natalie Findlay 26 The Spirit of the Holidays Festive drinks that warm the heart and bring joy to the soul by Erika Ravnsborg 28 Holiday entertaining is back! Edmonton’s restaurants, caterers, and retailers are kicking holiday plans into high gear helping us prepare by Lucy Haines 30 Beer and Cider for the Season New and returning seasonal releases by David Nuttall 32 December Spirits Some newer products to expand your selection… by Tom Firth and
Garson 26 38 8 18
It’s holiday time and cold outside, so we’re looking for warming drinks and cosying up somewhere special with special people. Thanks very much to Fairmont Palliser’s Hawthorn Dining Room and Bar for the perfect location (and delicious mulled wine) and to photographer, Dong Kim, for his expertise and capturing this comforting drink perfectly!

We made it…

In just a few weeks we’ll be singing Auld Lang Syne (and mumbling through a few of the other lines!) and wishing farewell to 2022!

I’m not sure many of us will be sad; it’s been a merry-go-round of a yearchallenging (like brutal material costs and inflation pressures for everyone) yet uplifting and encouraging that our world is opening up. Everybody’s busy busy, and we’re feeling more confident planning ahead for holidays further afield next year.

But first we’re planning for the holidays later this month, and getting together with friends and family. We haven’t done much entertaining in the last few years, and we’re a little out of practise, so in this issue we’ve enlisted the help of experts for their suggestions so we can enjoy having company round.

It's the time of year for a little indulgence too (if not this month, when?), and we’re dreaming of sweet treats. There have been a lot of changes in the kitchens of our hotels now they’re able to welcome guests again, and the quality of hotel restaurants is better than ever, so we’re discovering new chefs and asking them for their favourite decadent desserts to make at home. We’re also dreaming of seasonal drinks too!

I do want to thank everyone that has played their part in Culinaire this year: to you for your wonderful feedback that make the late nights worthwhile; to our contributors who feed us ideas and spend so much time to bring you their stories; our designer, photographers, and printers, for

making us look our best; our supporters and advertisers who make it possible to print; and our tiny, hardworking team.

Here's to a delicious holiday time, and a healthy, happy, and joyous 2023!


Linda, Editor-in-Chief

It made my day to receive this email. Thank you, Terri!

"Hi Linda, I wait patiently each month for Culinaire. I moved a year ago to Airdrie... so I took out a subscription as a present to me. As a senior who loved to cook, it is a wonderful addition to my life. Thank you so much for your excellent articles from chefs, the beverage contest plus extras. Merry Christmas to you and your superb staff. They are one in a million."


Terri L.

When the party calls for BYOB. (Bring your own board) Grocery. Bakery. Deli. Café. EDMONTON | CALGARY | SHERWOOD PARK

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Salutes and congratulations are in order this month…

• Firstly to Teresa Spinelli of Italian Centre Shop, awarded Ordine Della Stella D'Italia Onorificenza di Cavaliere (the Order of the Star of Italy is similar to the Order of Canada) for her work in promoting Italian foodstuffs and gastronomy.

• To Serge Belair of the Edmonton Convention Centre, for taking top spot at the Great Kitchen Party in Edmonton - and to Scott Redekopp of Hotel Arts’ Yellow Door Bistro for winning the Calgary contest. They’ll both go on to compete at the Canadian Culinary Championship in Ottawa next February.

• To the restaurants making the list of Air Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2022: Calgary’s Môt Tô at #4 and Major Tom at #8 (we don’t want to say I told you so, but if we were gambling types, we’d be rich!).

• And to the Special Mentions on Air Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2022 list: Edmonton’s Chef Scott Jonathan Iserhoff’s Pei Pei Chei Ow - awarded Best Trailbazer and one of the Best New Takeouts. In Calgary: Pure Street Food – also one of the Best New Takeouts; Major Tom - awarded Best Cocktail of the year for their All the Way Up spin on the Manhattan; and Teatro Restaurant’s Clos de la Oyster Barre – one of the Best New Pop-ups.

• Finally, to our latest winners – Notorious PIG competitive BBQ team, who competed at The World Food Championships in Dallas and took 1st place for chicken and 5th overall. A great showing for Graham Sherman, Darren Clark, Hugh Sherman, Canadian BBQ champ Rob Reinhardt, and Chef Paul McGreevy!

Chef Salar and Sarah Melli’s Vintage Fork restaurant is now a tea shop in Edmonton’s historic Barto Residence, with a choice of 86 quality loose-leaf teas (and three tea advent calendars!), cookies and treats, to buy in-store or online at Take advantage of no minimum order free delivery, and free samples to try before you buy. Monthly tea subscriptions too! 11425 95A Street.

Calgary’s Mari Bakeshop has finally reopened … and we couldn’t be happier for owners Lauren Ahn and Doug Gregory after 16 months of construction and supply chain issues. They’ve invested heavily in equipment and training their young team, and doubled in size and staff, with two kitchens – one for pastry and one for bread. There’s a warm café feel with wheat stem plaster on the walls, beige tones and pale wood, and a clever acoustic ceiling to lessen the noise of the coffee grinders. As well as some of Calgary’s best bread and roll cakes, they’re baking 700+ pieces of viennoiseries each day, but be quick as everything sells out very fast! 103 St Matthew Square NE,

Sweet Castle Bakery is open in Edmonton’s Tawa Centre at 3019 66 Street NW, making authentic French pastries, cakes, and bread. Their tarts, choux buns, croissants, sandwiches, and cookies, are all selling out quickly too!

Hotel Arts’ former Raw Bar space has been completely transformed into Freestyle Social Club, complete with two golf simulators where you can play real golf courses as well as other games, and pro Joel Monk is giving group or private lessons. Chef Scott Redekopp’s small ‘share-centric’ menu is mostly gluten-free and very delicious (try the Chorizo Cheese Fondido!) with a small cocktail, beer, and wine list too. Planned pre-pandemic, this bright and

airy, modern space is right by the pool –making it a pretty perfect location for a Calgary staycation!

Thai Siam is Calgary’s newest Thai restaurant and getting 5H reviews for their Thai curries, noodle dishes, soups, and salads, but it’s their pastries, cakes, and desserts, that are hard to find anywhere else, attracting the most attention. Dine in or order from their Facebook page for delivery and takeout. 702 41 Avenue NE,

Edmonton has a new Thai Restaurant too! Thai Corner Restaurant & Bakery is owned by the Seedee family from Thailand, who are passionate about sharing their delicious range of savoury Thai curries, stir fries, soups, and noodle dishes, as well as cakes, rolls and pies. 9314 34 Avenue,

Calgary’s Umbrella Group Hospitality (The Rooftop) has retired Ceili's Irish Pub after 10 years, and transformed the space into Brix + Barrel cocktail bar and restaurant. Supporting the community that supports them, it’s a bit of an homage to the main pillars of Alberta’s economy, the oil and agricultural industries. Chef Tyler Goddard has created a super delicious sharing menu (we’re not sharing those crispy smashed potatoes!); craft cocktails await in little barrels behind the bar, with whiskey, tequila, and gin aging in barrels too. Private rooms for 20 and 25 with AV screens are perfect for corporate events. Happy hours 2-5 pm and 9 pm-close. 351 4 Avenue SW,

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Edmonton’s Asymmetrical Brewing is now open. Housed in part of the space that was Two Sergeants Brewing at 11821 105 Avenue, this family-focused group has made sure the kiddies are welcome, with wooden play structures and a menu for the whole family to enjoy together. Five beers are on offer by the glass as well as in crowlers, along with coffee and house-made sodas.

Bubble Tea openings galore in Calgary!

• Mr. Sun has opened in Calgary’s East Village at 620 8 Avenue SE, serving up bubble tea drinks with handmade tapioca pearls, fresh-brewed tea from Taiwan, and a wide variety of creative tea drinks,

• Machimachi has many locations in Ontario, and now its first Alberta location, in Calgary at 737 1 Avenue NE. Enjoy freshly pressed tea, milk tea/latte, tea with cream foam, fresh or fizzy fruit teas, and the special Machimachi bottled drinks.

• As well as its Chinatown store, Ami Tea & Sub has opened its second location at 8330 Macleod Trail SE, offering a wide variety of subs, sticky rice dishes, and signature teas.

Successful restaurants are opening additional locations!

• strEATS Kitchens has opened a third Calgary location at 180 Legacy Main Street SE, serving their globally inspired

street food, and adding to their locations in the Edmonton area, Red Deer, Medicine Hat, and Lethbridge.

• Leopold Tavern’s neighbourhood bars have been sweeping across Western Canada and have now opened their fourth Calgary location at 7746 Elbow Drive,

• Cravings Bistro is now open fulltime at Calgary’s Arts Commons with warm paninis, soups, and deli salads, to pair with wine and cocktails, and desserts with a specialty coffee.

• Whippt Kitchen cake house and eatery has opened a second location in Britannia Plaza in addition to their Foothills Flagship location. Come for lunch and stay for the beautiful, desserts and cakes. 812A 49 Avenue SW,

Do you have a notable achievement we should know about? A new opening, launch, rebrand, or accolade? Email us at

Decadent December Desserts


Offering some of the best cuisine being served in Alberta, these restaurants, dining rooms, and lounges showcase a combination of local ingredients, global talent, personal flair, and that extra touch that make things truly Canadian.

While the chefs in this month’s Chef’s Tips are no strangers to the kitchen, they are relatively new to their posts, but had no problems following the assignment, from cookies to carrots, and beyond!

Nestled in the snowy slopes overlooking the town of Banff is the Fairmont Banff Springs, home to several restaurants, dining rooms, bars, and pubs. And it’s here you’ll find Executive Chef Atticus Garant, who has worked with the Fairmont group for more than a decade.

“I’m inspired by philosophies of Scandinavian and Japanese food culture, and I try to apply this mentality when creating Canadian cuisine,” Chef Garant explains. He also draws from local ingredients and the constant evolution of culinary trends.

With so many menus, it might be hard to choose a favourite dish, but Chef Garant says he’s partial to the Rundle Bar’s indulgent Ooey Gooey Cookie (OGC). “It’s the perfect accompaniment to a quality bourbon on a snowy, winter evening, or paired with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on a summer day.”

Due to altitude and climate, the recipe was tweaked by Pastry Chef Lloyd Desouza. “Baking and the preparation of desserts is an exact science,” Chef Garant adds. Allowing the dough to rest will ensure the flour is hydrated, which will enhance the texture of the cookie. “It also promotes even baking and browning and ensure that the cookie has a delightful chew!”

Chef Atticus’ OGC (Ooey, Gooey Cookie) Makes 30 cookies 700 g unsalted butter 650 g cake flour 700 g bread flour


Courtesy Fairmont Banff Springs

1. Melt butter in a saucepan and let cool.

2. Whisk together both flours, salt, cornstarch, and baking soda in a bowl.

3. In a mixing bowl with whisk attachment, combine both sugars on a medium speed. Slowly stream in the butter until mixture is creamy. Add eggs slowly, one at a time, until each is incorporated.

4. Combine the chocolates and walnut and leave aside.

5. Switch to paddle attachment and mix in dry ingredients. Once all the dry ingredients are mixed, add the chocolate and walnut mix.

6. Put the cookie dough on a tray and let rest in the fridge for at least 60 minutes.

7. Divide into 30 portions (165 g each) and arrange onto baking sheets. Refrigerate baking sheets for at least 25 minutes before baking.

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8. Bake at 400º C for 12-15 minutes until desired doneness. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. CHEF’S TIPS & TRICKS
g kosher salt 30 g cornstarch 20 g baking soda 725 g brown sugar 275 g white granulated sugar 5 eggs 10 egg yolks 375 g Valhrona Manjari Chocolate 64% 375 g Valhrona Azelia Chocolate 375 g Valhrona Dulcey Chocolate 400 g walnuts

Close to theatres, shopping, and the Calgary Tower, The Hyatt Regency in downtown YYC is a perfect meeting place for travellers and locals alike. Here, Executive Chef Alex Schäfer oversees the culinary creations that boast unique twists on familiar favourites. “I’m inspired by every ingredient I see and taste,” explains Chef Alex, “especially when strolling around the farmer’s market or local supermarkets.”

On the new menu recently launched at The Hyatt’s Thomsons Kitchen & Bar, Chef Alex favours the Canadian Elk Bulgogi Bowl, and the Alberta Bison Bourguignon. While the dessert menu includes sweet finishes like Sticky Toffee Pudding, Chef Alex admits his palate is a bit different when it comes to desserts.

“I am a savoury dessert kind of person. I am not the super sweet and typical mousse-crème-brûlée-cake person.”

He shares with us a recipe for Carrot and Parsnip Tarte Tatin with Sour Cream Ice Cream.

The key to the recipe is in the carrots and cream. "Using carrots and parsnip with natural sweetness when roasted is already sweet enough for me, and the sour cream creates a great refreshing balance.”

“Take some time to figure out which carrot is your favourite,” adds Chef Alex. “If sour cream ice cream is too playful, try a more familiar approach like Greek yogurt and honey, or maple syrup ice cream.”

Carrot & Parsnip

Make sure you use small or mediumsized vegetables (avoid large ones, the flavour gets lost!).

1. Heat the oven to 400º F.

2. Cut the carrots and parsnips lengthwise.

3. Heat the oil/butter in a 20 cm ovenproof frying pan. Add the maple syrup and fry the vegetables over medium to high heat for 2- 3 minutes until slightly caramelized and golden.

4. Season with salt and pepper, nutmeg, mustard, and Aceto Balsamico Blanco, then finish with a little more butter. Arrange the vegetables in a rough pinwheel shape in the pan.

5. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to make a rough circle slightly bigger than the pan. Lay the pastry over the vegetables, tucking the excess into the sides.

6. Bake for 30 minutes, until the pastry is risen and is golden. Flip over to serve.

Sour Cream Ice Cream

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup (250 mL) heavy cream

½ cup (125 mL) whole milk

9 egg yolks

1½ cups (325 mL) sour cream Pinch salt

1. In a medium-sized heavy saucepan, combine ½ cup granulated sugar with cream and milk. Bring to a simmer; turn off the heat.

2. Whisk together egg yolks and the remaining ½ cup granulated sugar.

Tarte Tatin

with Sour Cream Ice Cream Serves 4

2 medium parsnips, washed and peeled

2 medium carrots – orange and purple, washed and peeled

1 Tbs unsalted butter (if not available use other kinds of oil but not olive oil)

½ tsp maple syrup

To taste salt, pepper, and grated nutmeg

¼ tsp Dijon mustard

1 Tbs (15 mL) balsamic vinegar or apple cider

3 sprigs thyme

All-purpose flour, for work surface

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

3. Whisking constantly, slowly add about half of the hot cream mixture to yolks. Pour the yolk mixture into a saucepan with the remaining cream. Cook, stirring constantly, over moderately low heat until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 7 minutes: do not let it come to a simmer or it will curdle. Immediately strain the custard into a clean bowl.

4. Whisk in sour cream and salt. Cover custard tightly with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours.

5. Churn custard in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's directions. When the ice cream has reached a soft serve consistency, serve immediately.

December 2022 | Culinaire 9
Photo by Dong Kim

From the Prologue Café on the first floor to the Wilde on 27 cocktail bar and restaurant on the – you guessed it – 27th floor, eating at the Dorian is for sure a choose-your-own-foodie-adventure, where Pastry Chef Hans Suarez creates those happily-ever-after endings.

At work, favourites include the duck with sea buckthorn sauce, and Textures of Chocolate, where five different expressions of chocolate are represented. But it’s what in his heart – namely his home – that lend to his cooking style. “The people around me and my heritage are what inspires me to cook. I like going home to cook for my fiancée, cook for my family or bake goodies for them and my friends.”

Chef Hans shares a recipe for Mango Trifle. It’s easy to make, and a staple in Filipino households during special occasions or celebrations. “This recipe reminds me of the fond memories of my childhood. Every time my mom makes a whole tray of it, I would be the one to eat most of it.”

To make this dessert a masterpiece, Chef Hans recommends chilling the bowl you’ll use to whip the cream. And of course, patience is a virtue: “Don’t rush while cooking the cream mixture. Cook it low and slow, and it will get there!”

Mango Trifle

You can substitute with peach, other fruits Serves 4

Graham cracker/biscuits (save a few biscuits to crumble for the topping)

Mango Filling

4 cups (600g) mango chunks, fresh or frozen

1 cup granulated sugar

Cook the mango and sugar together for 5 minutes or until the mangoes are soft. Set aside to cool down.

Optional: Blend the mango filling into a jam like consistency for a different texture.

Vanilla Cream

½ cup (125 mL) whipping cream

1 cup (250 mL) milk

3½ Tbs cornstarch

1 egg

¼ cup sugar

1 Tbs (15 mL) vanilla

1 Tbs butter

1. With a stand mixer, hand mixer, or a blender, whip the cream until stiff peaks. Set aside.

2. In a pot, combine the milk and the cornstarch together first to dissolve the cornstarch. Add the egg, sugar, and vanilla to the milk mixture and mix thoroughly.

3. Over medium-low heat, cook the mixture while stirring constantly with a whisk until thick (do not overcook it). Add in the butter. Mix and cool down.

4. Once the mixture is cooled, fold in the whipped cream and set aside.


1. Lay down graham biscuits at the bottom of an 8x4” rectangular dish, or in individual dishes, filling all the gaps and spaces.

2. Spread the mango filling evenly on top of your graham biscuits. Spread the cream filling on top of the mango filling.

3. Repeat steps 1-3 until you get to the top of your dish. The cream should be the top layer you see.

4. Sprinkle the graham crumbs that we set aside on top. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before eating.

10 Culinaire | December 2022
Photo by Dong Kim

Dining in-house at Brazen in Banff’s Mount Royal Hotel is a salute to the spirit of Banff’s explorers and mountaineers, with seasonally inspired dishes that pay homage to old world style. Behind these dishes is Chef Dan Jiricka, who finds creative outlet in the food he prepares. “I really enjoy pushing boundaries with my food and having people question what they are eating because it’s been transformed into something new,” he explains. “I never

The Ginger Beef and Smoked Beef Tartare are top choices from the menu. They not only taste amazing, but they look incredible, as they both come with tableside presentations performed by

Chef Dan shares with us his recipe for Crème Brûlée. While he admits that he was never classically trained, and that desserts were never his strong suit, experimenting with this recipe resulted in it becoming a part of the dessert menu

at Brazen.

“Most people order it at a restaurant because they feel they can’t make it themselves,” he says. “I’ll tell you how you can. Be sure to keep your cream from boiling, and your eggs from scrambling,” he advises. Lastly: “It’s never wrong, it’s never right. If you like it, you like it. That’s

1. Heat up the cream and sugar in a pot. Do not boil the mix. Add the coffee and Bailey’s to the pot.

2. In a separate mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks then slowly add in your cream. If you add it all at once, you will scramble the yolks. Once combined you can pour the mixture into ramakins.

3. Place the ramakins into a baking pan with warm water, just enough water to be below the rim of the dishes. Cover the pan with foil and poke a few holes on the top of the tinfoil to allow the steam to escape.

4. Bake for 40-45 minutes at 325º F. Remove from the pan once cooked, then cool for at least 4 hours.

5. Sprinkle sugar on top then use a torch to brûlée.

Visit for more details. A MagicalTradition
Decadent Crème Brûlée Courtesy Brazen by Pursuit

The Fairmont Palliser in downtown Calgary is one of the city’s oldest hotels. Originally built during the expansion of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1914, in 1958 it was named Calgary’s tallest building. Things have changed, as they always do, but nostalgia still lingers in the hotel, and its restaurant The Hawthorn Dining Room, thanks to Pastry Chef Arin Hiebert.

“I like to create recipes and dishes that play on nostalgic flavours,” says Chef Arin. “If you can make something people relate to something from their childhood or past, you’ll have people coming back for more.”

Recently named one of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada’s Top 30 Under 30, Chef Arin has a soft spot for the Cinnamon Toast Crepe Cake from the Hawthorn menu. “Remember sitting at the kitchen table on a Saturday morning eating your bowl of cereal? Now it’s in cake form!”

He’s shares a recipe for Warm Gingerbread Cake with Salted Caramel. “This brings me back to the days when my mom and grandma would be making Christmas pudding at the holidays.” If using a Bundt pan, Chef Arin advises to invest in a good cooking spray, spray the pan well, and then spray it some more. “Bundt cake pans may be intimidating but if you invest in a good one and look after it, it will work perfectly and last a lifetime!

Warm Gingerbread Cake with Salted Caramel

278 g all-purpose flour 160 g white sugar 160 g brown sugar 9 g baking powder 2 g salt 7 g ground ginger 7 g cinnamon 2g allspice ½ cup + ½ Tbs (132 mL) vegetable oil 1/3 cup plus 4 tsp (100 mL) molasses 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla 3 eggs ¾ cup (180 mL) whole milk

Salted Caramel

200 g sugar 84 g butter

1/3 cup (84 mL) heavy cream 2 g salt

1. Pre-heat oven to 325º F.

2. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, mix together the dry ingredients (first eight ingredients) on low speed until combined. Add the oil, molasses, and vanilla on low speed until combined.

3. With the mixer still on low speed, add the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl. Slowly stream in your milk. Scrape down the bowl for a final time and mix at medium speed

until there are no lumps remaining, about 20 seconds.

4. Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray (spray it well – helps with unmolding). Pour in batter, bake for 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

5. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then flip the cake out onto a cooling rack (place the cooling rack on top of the pan and using a kitchen towel, hold both together and flip over, you should see the cake release from the pan and drop onto the rack, place the rack on the counter and slowly lift the pan to reveal your beautiful creation).

6. While the cake is baking make the salted caramel. Heat sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn it.

7. Once sugar is completely melted, immediately stir in the butter until melted and combined. If you notice the butter separating or if the sugar clumps up, remove from heat and vigorously whisk to combine it again.

8. After the butter has melted and combined with the sugar, slowly pour in the heavy cream and stir rapidly until combined. Place back on the stove and boil for one minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt. Allow to cool slightly. The caramel will thicken as it cools.

9. You can either serve the cake warm from the oven or warmed up in the microwave for a few seconds.

10. Serve warm gingerbread cake with salted caramel and sweetened whipped cream or your favourite vanilla ice cream.

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.

12 Culinaire | December 2022
Photo by Dong Kim
94 POINTS 93 POINTS 2018 IL FAUNO Smooth on the palate ... great ripeness 2019 CHIANTI CLASSICO DECANTER JAMESSUCKLING.COM

Stress less, enjoy more this holiday season:

Make fun, family, friends, and food - the only F-words you say while entertaining at home this year

If the thought of entertaining guests in your home during the holidays triggers you to grip your face like Kevin McCallister in Home Alone, and jingle all the way to the liquor cabinet, don’t panic. There are options to make entertaining at home easy and fun. Although you might never reach Buddy the Elf-levels of holiday cheer; with a bit of planning, and some help from local suppliers, a festive bash where everyone — including the host — has a jolly time, doesn’t have to take a Christmas miracle.

“The more organized you are, the more easily the event will flow no matter what you’re doing,” says Kelley Abbey owner of Jolie Pop!, an at-home entertainer extraordinaire. Preparing to entertain at home extends beyond the food. Have the basics covered — like making sure your house is clean. Choose a spot for everyone to leave their coats so you aren’t scrambling when guests start to arrive. Ensure you have ample glassware and platters that are clean and set up. Determine where you want people to gather in your home and bring in extra chairs in advance.

“Think about what people need to be comfortable,” says Abbey, who adds that simple details go a long way. For example, use tea lights in a votive, and grocery store flowers in one colour palette near the food and drink stations, to create a welcoming ambiance.

“The whole idea of holiday entertaining is to make people feel comfortable and allow everyone to just hang out,” says Wendy Brownie, owner of Calgary’s Inspirati. “We’ve all been to parties where it’s over the top, but the host did not relax.” Consider the most efficient, and fun, way to entertain guests in your space, then set the mood. Mix and match, and think maximalism as opposed to minimalism.

“Go ahead with fabulous linens on your table along with plates, glasses, candles, and more. The maximalist table will have colour, height and texture,” says Brownie. If you have a sculpture that you want to include, or you have inherited different table linens from grandma, Brownie encourages using it all. “Forget trends and go with quality items that have meaning to you. Your space should be inviting with materials and colours that embody your personality and sense of style.”

No red and green? No worries. Go with blue and brown, marigold and cream, ruby and ink, olive and burnt orange, lime and

dark blue. Whatever works for you. With the revival of the tablecloth, consider also using high quality tea towels as part of your table setup. They can be used as mini tablecloths, as well as for breads, or wrapped around wine and champagne bottles, and then used for cleanup afterwards. “We have been craving the ability to entertain again and tables are a destination to enjoy one another’s company,” says Brownie.

That table can be anything from a kitchen island to a grand buffet and everything in between. “All you really need is open counter space,” says Jered

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Photo Courtesy ExpatAsia
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Evangelos, chef and owner of Edmonton’s Thrive Catering. Not everyone has the resources for a fully catered event or the energy to make a full traditional turkey feast. Evangelos and his catering director and wife, Lisa, recommend grazing stations that include a mix of homemade and storebought components.

“We love charcuterie. Buy your cured meats and cheeses, crackers, and preserves from somewhere like the Italian Centre Shop, then add a homemade component like pandemic-perfected sourdough or a baked brie with fig jam, walnuts and herbs.” Pick up pre-made spanokopita and make your own tzatziki. Purchase meatballs and make your own tomato sauce. Forego making a terrine or a pâté and opt for bruschetta instead. Will anyone know — or care — that your pumpkin pie isn’t homemade once it’s served with whipped cream and garnishes?

If a more traditional dinner is preferred, consider roasting your own turkey and having a caterer provide the sides, or vice versa. Take-and-bake or take-and-reheat options presented on your own platters can be your little secret. “People get stressed out about making everything come together when it’s on their shoulders. If you can eliminate some of the stress by supplementing with a couple of things and planning the event a little differently, it’s definitely worth it,” says Evangelos.

Hosting a cooking school in your home could be the different approach you’re after. ExpatAsia chefs, co-owners, and father-son duo Jeff and Joel Matthews, will guide between six and 14 guests through the preparation of a four-course meal. “It’s perfect for an intimate group of friends or for a Christmastime team building event,” says Jeff. “We introduce people to all sorts

of spices and flavours and get them to see it’s nothing to be afraid of.” All of the ingredients and instruction are provided by ExpatAsia, but if that’s still too intimidating, they also offer a prepared take-and-reheat Asian Christmas menu and a traditional Christmas menu, as well as full catering options.

“Doing everything yourself for an event, while also juggling a full-time job or kids can be daunting,” says Jan Hansen, Culinary Instructor at SAIT and part-time caterer. One option for outsourcing could be to have a caterer drop off charcuterie, a couple of salads, and some items that just need to be warmed. If a fully catered event is in the budget, they will take care of all of the food, manage any dietary restrictions, help source glassware, cutlery, napkins, table linens, and dishes; and take care of cleanup. Whether you choose to take it all on yourself, to supplement, or to fully cater, Hansen says the key is thinking ahead and coming up with a game plan.

And don’t be afraid to ask your guests for help. Ask them to help toss the salad, pour wine, or corral people if it is time to sit at the table. “Ask for volunteers,” says Brownie. “I don’t believe we can do it all by ourselves. To me, the best parties happen when you ask people to get involved. Be proud of what you’re doing. Have your checklist, but so what if it isn’t perfect. The main thing is, we are so fortunate to be able to entertain at home again.”

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.

These evenings do sell out rather quickly, so check them out at as new events and dinners are added regularly.

Email to reserve and/or to be included in our bi-monthly updates to hear about events before the rest of the city. We try to cater for all allergies.

Vine & Dine at One18 Empire

Thursdays December 1 and 8

We’re back for two evenings of chefcreated, six-course pairing dinners in One18 Empire’s private dining room!

Vine & Dine at Safari Gill

Wednesday December 14

We’ve been coming to Safari Grill for over ten years as our six-course pairing dinners here are consistently delicious!

Christmas in Italy at Bonterra

Tuesday December 13

Our upscale annual pairing dinner at Bonterra is always popular and sells out quickly every year!

Vine & Dine at Eleven26 Brasserie

Sunday December 18

We’re excited for this one-off, 6-course pairing meal at Kensington’s brand new Eleven26 Brasserie!

Vine & Dine at Vero Bistro

Wednesdays January 18 and 25 and Tuesday 31

We're coming back for our thirteenth series of 6-course pairing meals at Vero Bistro in January, and on January 18 we have Torre Zambra with us from Italy for an Italian Winemaker Dinner!

Chinese New Year Celebration at T.Pot China Bistro

Wednesday February 8

Join us for a multi-course pairing dinner of modern, yet authentic, Cantonese dishes to celebrate the Year of The Rabbit!

16 Culinaire | December 2022
Photo Courtesy Inspirati

Bring the exceptional service & award-winning cuisine of Hotel Arts Group to your next event.


mixer does all of the heavy lifting and you just have to roll out the dough, fill it with the chocolate spread, then twist it into a spiral of sorts. Don’t fret too much about the twist - just do your best and get it into the loaf pan. If the outside doesn’t look like what you see on Pinterest, remember that it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

A couple of notes before you start baking:

• Read through the whole recipe a few times before you start, just to get the lay of the land.

• This is a VERY sticky dough, so before you start rolling out, be sure to have your counter heavily dusted with a cup of flour nearby in case you need more. Have a bench scraper handy so you don’t have to go searching for it with your sticky hands. This makes cleaning up your counter a breeze.

• Babka takes time - close to 6 hours from start to finish, but a good chunk of this is the dough rising. That being said, you likely won’t want to pull this off on a weeknight.

• And finally, be prepared for your house to smell incredible. Chocolate, butter, yeast, with just a touch of magic.

Chocolate Babka

Makes 2 loaves


¾ cup (175 mL) warm milk (105-115º F)

f you’re of a certain vintage, you’ll likely have fond memories of the Babka episode of “Seinfeld”.

Elaine and Jerry’s crushing disappointment after not being able to get their chocolate babka of choice seemed a little over the top, but after biting into one you’ve baked yourself; you get it – you really get it.

Chocolate babka is a sweet, braided bread swirled with ribbons of dark

chocolate filling. The dough is rich and buttery, thanks to eggs, sugar and the butter. All of this goodness bakes up into a fluffy, tender, chocolatey loaf that is perfect for holiday brunching or dessert. And, as Jerry and Elaine well know, it makes a terrific hostess gift.

Babka looks impressive and maybe a little intimidating to pull off. The honest to goodness truth is that your stand

½ cup (125 mL) plus 2 tsp (10 mL) granulated sugar

1 Tbs active dry yeast

3¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

2 large whole eggs

1 large egg yolk

1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract

½ tsp salt

½ cup plus 2 Tbs salted butter, cut into small pieces and softened

18 Culinaire | December 2022


1 cup chopped dark chocolate chunks ½ cup salted butter (cold is fine) ½ cup icing sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder ¼ tsp ground cinnamon 1 large egg Splash of water

1. To make the dough, stir together the warm milk and 2 tsp sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture and let stand so it gets foamy, about 5 minutes. (If the yeast doesn’t foam up, discard and start over with new yeast.)

2. Add ½ cup flour to the yeast mixture and beat on medium speed using the paddle attachment until combined. Add the eggs, yolk, vanilla, salt and remaining ½ cup granulated sugar and beat until combined. Reduce the speed to low, then continue to add the remaining flour in ½ cup amounts at a time. Increase the speed to medium, then beat in the butter, a few pieces at a time, and continue to beat until the dough is shiny and forms strands from the paddle to the bowl, about 4 minutes. The dough will be very soft and sticky.

3. Scrape the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm draft-free place until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

4. While the dough is rising, prepare the filling: in a small saucepan over low heat, melt together the chocolate and butter. Stir until smooth, then remove from the heat and stir in the icing sugar, cocoa, and cinnamon. Stir until a smooth paste forms.

5. Lightly grease two 23x15 cm (9x5”) loaf pans and line with parchment paper so that the sides overhand the pan.

6. Lightly grease your hands and punch down the dough. Use your hand to pull half of the dough apart and place it onto a well-floured surface. Roll out the dough using a lightly floured rolling pin into a 30x25 cm (12x10”) rectangle, with the long side facing you. Beat together the egg and water and brush some of this egg wash on the longest side nearest you. Spread half of the chocolate filling (I like to use a soup spoon or offset spatula) over the dough, leaving a 2.5 cm border. Brush the opposite long edge with egg wash.

7. Starting with the long side farthest from you, roll the dough into a snug log, pinching firmly along the seams to seal. Bring the ends of the log together to form a ring, pinching to seal shut. Twist the entire ring twice to form a double figure 8 and fit into one of the prepared loaf pans. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Loosely cover the pans with a damp tea towel and let the loaves rise for 1½ hours in a warm draft-free place. The dough should reach the top of the pans.

8. Place the rack in the centre of the oven and preheat to 350º F.

9. Brush the tops with the remaining egg wash and bake until the tops are a deep golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let the loaves cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then transfer to a rack and cool to room temperature before slicing.


Wrap the babka tightly in plastic wrap, then foil, and freeze for up to 3 weeks.

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.

Gemtree Uncut Shiraz 2019 McLaren Vale, Australia #858065 Hahn Pinot Noir 2020 California, USA #743982

XhAle Brewing Co. Serving social consciousness with a beer chaser

While you will find a few examples of women, people of colour, and a diversity of other people making waves in the always-growing local craft beer industry, the general stereotype of the ball capwearing, bearded and tattooed, white male brewmaster still reigns in the small brewery world. Which is not to say that those guys don’t make great beer, but when so many key players come from similar backgrounds, those potential beer professionals who don’t necessarily fit that type often find themselves feeling like outliers, or worse, locked out of the industry.

These inequities are what Christina Owczarek wanted to address when she co-founded XhAle Brewing Co, a small Calgary-based craft brewery that

differentiates itself by creating what it calls “provocative beer for conscious thinkers and drinkers.” Beer has been a passion of Owczarek’s for well over a decade and has been something she’s pursued in working for Calgary-based companies like Craft Beer Market and Zero Issue Brewing, as well as a beer industry educator.

In 2020 she found herself jobless in the wake of the pandemic and decided that it was time to start a company that would not only make good use of her vast beer experience and know-how, but could also give herself and other people who feel marginalized in the industry a chance to amplify their voices and concerns.

She calls XhAle the first Alberta-based brewery to be completely woman and LGBTQ+ owned and operated, and has

an end goal of transforming the company into the province’s first cooperatively owned brewery so that her entire team can benefit from the company’s wins.

“The whole core of what we do is to open up opportunities for those who otherwise would be left off of the opportunity wheel. We want to give voice and make space for people that traditionally haven't had platforms or space made for them,” Owczarek says. “We know what it's like to be marginalized and having to go up against traditional corporate and patriarchal systems that don't often recognize the challenges you face.”

Owczarek is bold in her mission statement, but she’s equally bold in her beer, both from a flavour and marketing perspective. XhAle came out of the gate a

22 Culinaire | December 2022

little over two years ago with a beer called Impeachable, a flavourful hopped peach American wheat ale sold in a can depicting the angry face of a certain, now former U.S. President. The idea was to announce to the craft beer world that XhAle had no intention of pulling any punches, which is something the company has continued to do with subsequent releases like its See Ya Next Tuesday Aussie-style Colsch and the …I Won’t Do What You Tell Me raspberry cherry Belgian Saison. The names and labels are cheeky and provocative by design, but there are important messages and solid beer making prowess behind each and every can. Owczarek is also a part-time brewing instructor at Olds College, and that expertise is reflected in the product.

Owczarek is hoping to capture both regular customers and fellow brewers’ attention with her beer, prompting them to dig deeper into what XhAle is all about and to examine how they may inadvertently contribute to inclusivity issues in the industry. XhAle does not have its own facility — rather it contracts established breweries to produce its beers. Part of Owczarek’s mission is to help people understand that marginalized brew masters from underrepresented demographics often face barriers in finding the resources and investments needed to secure production space and equipment.

“One thing about craft beer is that there are a lot of good people in this industry, but there just hasn't been much education around the systems that often exclude certain people from opportunity,” she says. “It goes beyond treating people with respect and kindness. It is about helping people understand that one of the biggest reasons why we don't have a lot of gender diversity within our industry is because of a lack of access to equity.”

While giving a boost to a wider diversity of people within the industry and exposing systemic unfairness is a big part of Owczarek’s passion, she’s also serious about using her beer to shine a spotlight on charities and nonprofits near and dear to her heart, while donating a chunk of the proceeds from her beer sales to those in need.

As an avid athlete and an immigrant from Australia, she’s used XhAle to support the Calgary Kangaroos Football Club to promote access to sports; she’s partnered with Parachutes for Pets to help low-income Calgarians care for their much needed and beloved pets; and she’s also a dedicated advocate for harm reduction as it applies to the poisoned drug supply crisis.

In addition to supporting these social causes through beer sales, XhAle is also heavily involved in various charity events and maintains a regular presence at community events, especially within the electronic music scene. This month the brewery is also releasing its third annual Balls, Boobs & Beer Calendar, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Each+Every Businesses for Harm Reduction.

XhAle has a lot going on, and much of it seemingly doesn’t have a lot to do with the actual beer in the cans, but that has been Owczarek and her team’s goal from the start. The beer has always been meant as a catalyst for larger, more important discussions.

“We need to keep having these conversations,” Owczarek says. “I never see myself really getting rich or making a ton of money from this business and that's not why I'm doing what I'm doing. It’s all to open up those spaces and have those hard conversations. And the best place to have those hard conversations is over a beer.”

XhAle does not currently have its own tasting room or facility to visit, but its beer is available at finer liquor stores throughout the province. For more information, visit

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.


The Perfect Persimmon

There aren’t many fruits that are ripe just in time for Christmas, however the delicate persimmon can be found popping up in grocery stores around the beginning of November. Their sweet, honey-ike flavour coupled with many nutritional benefits such as fibre, vitamin A, vitamin C (beneficial for winter-time colds), vitamin E, copper and manganese, make these fruits a must for winter meals.

Two kinds of persimmons you will encounter in the supermarket are the heart-shaped Hachiya persimmon and the Fuyu variety. The Hachiya variety is especially astringent and will make your mouth pucker when eating before it is fully ripe. The Fuyu variety can be enjoyed without being fully ripe.

Impressive in both sweet and savoury preparations. These adaptable fruits can have a place at any meal this winter season.

Poached Persimmons with Coconut Caramel and Ice Cream

Serves 3 - 4

1 cup (250 mL) white wine

3 Tbs (45 mL) honey

1 vanilla bean, scraped

2 persimmons

½ cup sugar

1 Tbs (15 mL) water

¼ cup (250 mL) coconut cream

Pinch sea salt

3 - 4 scoops vanilla ice cream

1. Add white wine, honey and vanilla bean to a small pot and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.

2. Cut the persimmons in half and remove the leaf in the centre. Cut persimmon into quarters and cut each quarter into thirds.

3. Add the persimmons to the pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat.

Persimmon wrapped in Serrano Ham

Makes 8 (easy to make multiples of this recipe)

1 persimmon

8 slices serrano ham (or prosciutto)

8 slices manchego cheese

24 leaves watercress (or arugula)

½ fresh jalapeño

Drizzle honey

1. Remove the leaf in the centre of the persimmon and slice into 8.

2. Trim serrano ham (or prosciutto) to the size of the persimmon slices.

3. Cut manchego cheese to the same size as the persimmon slices.

4. Thinly slice the jalapeño lengthwise into 8 slices.

5. Lay down the serrano ham. Layer

4 leaves of watercress (or arugula) at one end of the ham. Place the manchego cheese slice on top. Add the jalapeño slice. Roll to wrap all ingredients in the serrano ham.

6. Top with the slices of persimmon and drizzle with honey.

4. In a small pot with high sides, add the sugar and the water. Let the water soak into the sugar. Turn stove to medium-high and bring sugar and water to a boil. Watch the pot carefully as it will not take long for the sugar to start to brown. When the sugar turns a dark golden brown remove pot from heat and add the coconut cream and whisk to combine.

Note: adding the coconut cream will cause the sugar to bubble up.

5. Whisk until the coconut cream is fully incorporated into the sugar. Add a pinch of sea salt and whisk to combine. Let cool and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Note: you can also reduce the poaching liquid until it thickens and use as a sauce.

24 Culinaire | December 2022

Pork Tenderloin with Ginger and Brandy Persimmon

Serves 4 - 6

2 persimmons

Pinch ground cloves

½ tsp fresh grated ginger

½ tsp brandy

1½ Tbs brown sugar

1 tsp paprika

¼ tsp ginger

1 tsp chili powder

1/8 tsp ground cloves

8 grates nutmeg

¾ tsp sea salt

½ tsp fresh grated ginger

2 pork tenderloins

1 Tbs butter

2 Tbs (30 mL) brandy ¼ cup (60 mL) chicken stock

1 Tbs butter to finish

1. Remove the leaf in the centre of the persimmons and roughly chop.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the chopped persimmons, cloves, ginger and brandy together. Let sit as you cook the pork.

3. Preheat oven to 375º F.

4. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and spices together. Rub mixture on the tenderloins.

5. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add butter and the tenderloins to the skillet. Place in oven and roast for 10 minutes.

6. Turn tenderloins and roast another 8 minutes. Remove skillet from oven. Remove tenderloins from the skillet and let rest, covered.

7. Place skillet on stove over medium heat. Add brandy to pan scraping up any bits stuck in the skillet. Add the chicken

stock and let reduce by half. Add the butter and stir to combine.

8. Drizzle the sauce over the tenderloins and serve with the persimmon chutney on the side.

Note: Serve atop saffron rice with a side of roasted Brussels sprouts and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds for a delectable dinner presentation.

Halloumi topped with Persimmon and Blackberry

Makes 6 (easy to make multiples of this recipe)

200 g halloumi cheese

½ cup persimmon

3 blackberries

¼ tsp fresh grated ginger

Pinch sea salt

1 tsp (5 mL) honey

½ Tbs (7 mL) olive oil

1. Cut halloumi into 6 slices.

2. Remove the leaf in the centre of the persimmon and roughly chop.

3. Mix all ingredients (except for the cheese and olive oil) in a small bowl and set aside.

4. In a skillet over medium low heat add the olive oil. Add the slices of halloumi to the pan. Cook approximately 2 minutes or until golden then flip and cook on the other side until golden.

5. Remove from skillet and place on a paper towel to remove any extra oil. Place on serving tray and top with the persimmon mixture and serve immediately.

Natalie is a freelance writer, photographer, and pastry chef. A graduate of Cordon Bleu’s pastry program, she manages her own business too to create custom-made cakes.

@blindmanbrewing @blindmanbrewery
Proudly celebrating winning Best in Show as well as being chosen as Brewery of the Year at the Alberta Beer Awards. Cheers!

Christmas Spirits

Christmas is coming up and you are in charge of throwing the party at your house this year. Your family and friends are coming from all over just to see you. Because of this, it’s adding some stress, as the holiday season tends to. You want to give a party where everyone will have a good time. However, you are not worried about that because you are an organization fiend who always gets the job done!

You pick up your iPad and are scrolling through your organizer. You have got the food prepared, the decorations are set up, and the last thing you need to do is come up with a special drink for the occasion.

“Uh oh.” You say looking up from the iPad. The kids are easy, you can just make them a punch and you’re set but the adults are way pickier. Each person in your life has their own individual needs and wants.

Fear not! It is not as hard as you think. Throughout the centuries people have celebrated the holidays with festive cocktails that warm the heart and bring joy to the soul. These are the drinks to get you into the spirit of the holidays. cloves or 1 teaspoon of ground cloves, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger and nutmeg. Combine them and heat them over medium-low heat for 45 minutes. And there you have a hot beverage worthy of a song.

Eggnog: Now everyone knows this one! Originally it was enjoyed by British aristocrats, and it soon made its way down the Atlantic Ocean in the 18th century. Recipes tend to vary but the easiest (and fastest) way to make it is by blending ... 2 beaten eggs, 3 tablespoons sugar, 2-1/3 cups (580 mL) cream or milk, 1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla extract, a dash of ground nutmeg, and for the finishing touch, ¼ cup (60 mL) alcohol of your choice (classically made with brandy, bourbon, rum, or whiskey). Serve chilled.

Wassail: Not just a beautiful carol! Hailing all the way from the 12th century, this famous drink has Anglo-Saxon and Norse beginnings as it is an integral part of the yuletide tradition of wassailing. To make this drink, you need ... 8 cups (2 L) apple cider, 2 cups (500 mL) orange juice, ½ cup (125 mL) lemon juice, 4 whole cinnamon sticks, 12 whole

Hot Buttered Rum: In the 1650s, Jamaica started importing molasses to Colonial America and from that trade came the buttered rum drinks. Mostly popular in the United States, this drink is only made in winter. You will need ... 110 g unsalted butter, 2 ounces of dark or aged rum, 2/3 cup (160 mL) hot water, ½ cup light brown sugar, a cinnamon stick for garnish, and a teaspoon of spices: vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice.

Mulled Wine: What started in 2 BC Rome has made its way across Europe for centuries, being sold in Christmas markets through out the world. Although it gets called different names

(ie. Scandinavian glogg) the ingredients are the same. This recipe is... 1 bottle of dry red wine, ¼ cup (60 mL) brandy, 1 sliced round orange, 8 whole cloves, 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 star-anises, and 2-4 teaspoons sugar, honey, or maple syrup. Combine all these ingredients, cook on medium-high heat for 15 minutes, simmer for 3 hours, strain with a fine mesh strainer, and serve heated. Worthy of a Roman Holiday!

Spiked Hot Chocolate: What started in Mexico has become a wonderful international drink that people of all ages enjoy. But when you want to give a little more of an adult flair to a family staple, you can do that with ease and only five ingredients ... 9 cups of milk (2.25 L), 6 ounces (170 mL) bourbon or whiskey, 85 g dark chocolate, ¾ cups of cocoa powder and ¾ cup (180 mL) maple syrup. So, if you are snuggling with your sweetie or trying to impress your coworkers, give them this hot recipe. They’ll love you for it.

26 Culinaire | December 2022

Christmas Punch: In the middle decades of 19th century Britain, the Christmas punch became famous thanks to Charles Dickens featuring it in his book, “A Christmas Carol.” Want this yourself? Here is the most recent recipe ... 2 cups (500 mL) vodka, 2 cups (500 mL) pomegranate juice or liqueur, 4 cups (1 L) cranberry juice, 4 cups (1 L) sprite, 3 cups (750 mL) pineapple juice, and 3 cups (750 mL) ginger ale. Mix all these ingredients together, add some ice and you’ve got yourself a Christmas punch for the ages!

Peppermint Martini: When many drinks are becoming hot, sometimes it’s best to cool things down. As Louis Armstrong sang, “Have a Yule that’s cool.” Since its creation in 1911, the martini has been shown to be versatile and capable of becoming something more festive. That’s what the peppermint martini does. You will need ... 1/3 cup (85 mL) peppermint schnapps or crème de menthe, 1½ ounces (3 Tbs) of vodka, ½ cup (125 mL) heavy cream, and crushed peppermint candies. Sugar the rim with the crushed peppermint candies. Mix the remaining ingredients together and if you have some crushed candies left over, sprinkle it on top of the drink. Now that’s how you can have a cool Yule.

Poinsettia Cocktail: Do you want to get elegant for Christmas? Well, nothing says lavish like a champagne cocktail.

Red in colour and bubbly by nature, the best thing about this drink is that it only needs three ingredients ... 1 bottle of champagne, 1 jug unsweetened cranberry juice, and ½ cup (125 mL) Cointreau or other orange liqueur. You mix all of these together, put them in champagne flutes, add a sprig of rosemary, and you’ve got yourself a delectable cocktail that will raise everybody’s spirits.

The Grinch: Since 1957 when Doctor Suess wrote that book which reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas, the Grinch has forever been on our minds. So, if you are wanting to inspire people to grow their hearts three sizes bigger, maybe you should serve this tasty modern beverage. You will need ... ½ cup (120 mL) of the following: melon liqueur, white rum, lemon-lime pop, and blue curacao liquor. Lastly 1½ cup (360 mL) orange juice to finish it all off. Guaranteed to sweeten up the grumpiest humbug.

Jack Frost: Known as the personification of winter and all that comes with it, Jack Frost stories have been told since the 19th century. No matter how you choose to view this famous figure (a mischievous troublemaker or a great hero) he certainly deserves his own drink. This newest holiday cocktail is quickly spreading cheer throughout the internet and social media like a

Canadian blizzard. What you need is ... 1 cup (240 mL) pineapple juice, ½ cup (120 mL) blue curaçao liquor, light rum, and lastly cream of coconut. Sounds like the holidays in a glass!

Hot or cold, these festive drinks scream Christmas. They are a sure-fire way to impress your guests with your mixology skills and historical knowledge. Whether it is the true traditions or modern twists, the spirit of Christmas is sure to come alive if you find the right recipe. Happy Holidays!

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

Shop in person: Signal Hill, Southcentre Mall, Dalhousie Station, Victoria Park Easy curbside pickup: Cococo Chocolate Factory in Mayland Heights Shop online: chocolate together chocolate together A gift of good taste. @Cococo_Chocolates @CococoChocolates @ChocBernCal Delicious and award-winning chocolate treats for the holidays made right here in Calgary. Free Canadian Shipping on online orders over $75 use code HOLLYFREE

Holiday entertaining is back!

Holiday celebrations are back, but wait, did they ever go away? Yes. The pandemic put a wrench in entertaining through the holiday season, with the last couple of years a hunkering down with the immediate family: no office parties, no new year’s celebrations, no huge family gettogethers. Nada.

But that is all in the rear-view mirror (here’s hoping), and everywhere you turn, restaurants, caterers and food retailers are kicking holiday plans into high gear. Want to hire a personal chef for a special private party at your home? What about treating the entire office to a festive meal at a downtown restaurant? Can do. (Though hospitality experts say pent-up demand from two years without such gatherings means you had better book sooner rather than later).

Bring on the butter boards

At-home holiday entertaining often means platters of finger foods, drinks, and stand-up visiting in the kitchen. Charcuterie boards are a natural go-to, where guests can grab a cracker and cheese, pickle, deli meat etc. Throw a few olives, nuts, and dried fruit onto the tray and bingo — you have a party.

It is a less costly option too, as shareable plates are the easiest way to keep guests full and happy with minimal fuss and mess. Party bites for a Christmas or New Year’s soiree can include fondue, sliders, chips and salsa, fruit skewers, pigs in a blanket, etc.

Butter boards are the latest social media craze; akin to a charcuterie board but with a slather of butter (jazzed up with herbs and spices, nuts etc) and surrounded by rounds of bread or crackers. You can also make mascarpone cheese as your base, with a drizzle of honey and a few berries scattered about. Voila! A brunch or dessert board ready in a snap.

Why not go old school with a potluck? Assign your guests a category - dessert, salad, appetizer — throw on that Bing Crosby CD and make a holiday happening for as many as your home will hold!

Restaurant renaissance

Holiday party reservations are stacking up at spots everywhere, and that includes Sabor Restaurant. The seafood-forward downtown space is hugely popular with office functions at this time of year, partly because it has rooms that sit 80, 30 or 15—gettogethers here can even include a bar for seasonal cocktails or a signature sangria.

While the upscale eatery offering Portuguese and Spanish cuisine is usually focused on traditional tapas and wine, Christmas parties are more about family-style, comfort food offerings, according to Sabor executive chef Lino Oliveira.

“We cover the bases with familystyle seafood or grilled meat platters. It is a good variety of what most people

enjoy at holiday get-togethers, and less formal dining encourages sharing and conversation,” Oliveira says.

28 Culinaire | December 2022
Courtesy Italian Centre Shop

Let someone else do the cooking

How about a fully catered feast?

Edmonton’s A Cappella Catering has been doing a Holiday Take and Bake meal that became popular through the pandemic, according to company partner Kim Mahoney. “Families can enjoy the comfort foods moms and grandmas make, but without the demanding work. Our customers are often busy families, but we find many people who live outside the Edmonton area have them delivered to people on their behalf,” Mahoney says, pointing to the traditional turkey dinner that includes salad, buns, potatoes, veggies, turkey, stuffing, and gravy. But you can personalize the meals a bit too, and Edmonton’s cultural communities often bring their own twist to the holidays by adding cabbage rolls, perogies or pineapple glazed ham to their orders.

And for those that want to make a turkey or ham themselves, A Cappella has a separate menu offering an a la carte sides and desserts. “During the holidays, people really value a ‘one-stop shop’.

It’s about the gift of time and ease,” she says. “And it’s heartwarming for our team to be part of gatherings again; to see our food as the center of attention.”

Be a guest in your own home

For something completely different, why not hire a private chef for your special at-home holiday party?

Edmonton’s Levi Biddlecombe, a Gold Medal Plates NAIT-trained chef and co-owner of the city’s Backstairs Burger, is being hired for private chef events more often than ever.

“We are doing up to three private dinners a month, just by word-of-mouth and sometimes with an insane budget,” says Biddlecombe, who is known for his Asian fusion cuisine and signature items like Duck Tots (braised duck over tater tots). “We push the envelope, but people are also more willing to try unusual things today.”

Other than budget and allergy considerations, Biddlecombe says clients are often willing to give him free reign over what he creates for private in-home dinners (from 4-20 people).

Whichever way you celebrate the holidays, enjoy being able to get together with family and friends again!

Lucy is a long-time freelance writer, with a special interest in food, entertainment and travel. She is also the editor of Alberta Prime Times, a monthly lifestyle news magazine for the active 50-plus Albertan.

Flight officer.

As wise as they appear, owls are not the brightest of birds. When they fly into trouble, Jade Murphy comes to the rescue with help from Edmonton Community Foundation. A lifelong lover of nature, Jade divides her time at WILDNorth between caring and commerce; ensuring the funding that protects Edmonton’s wildlife.

Donations to ECF inspire hope, create opportunity and enhance the Edmonton lifestyle. We work with our donors to give, grow and transform. gives a hoot.

Charity begins at Home.

Chef Levi, co-owner of Backstairs Burger

Beer and Cider for the Season

The last quarter of the year is always an exciting time for beer and cider releases. Not only is it the change of seasons, but so many religious and cultural festivals land at this time of year, and fall and harvest releases transition into their winter and holiday themed brethren.

In addition, this is when many producers offer their special and barrelaged editions. Finally, there are the advent calendars and gift packs (many containing unique glassware) which make great presents for beer lovers or yourself.

While life returns to somewhat normal after the past two holiday seasons, rife with restrictions and supply shortages, we are still not back exactly to the giddy days of 2019. The supply chain issues of the past couple of years still continue to some degree, and not all products are as available as they normally would be. Also, many producers put off

special releases for at least this year since many require several months to a year of planning in order to acquire necessary ingredients, packaging, etc. and life was still in a quandary back in late 2021/early 2022.

The good news is that things are looking up, and pretty much everything that was available in 2021 will be around in 2022 (If you are looking for those items, check out Christmas Beer Gifts from Culinaire’s December 2021 issue). This article will fill you in on some new or returning beer and cider releases we haven’t mentioned in a while.

Advent Calendars

Craft Beer Advent Calendar - A tradition since 2012, each year offers a different selection of 24 beers. This year’s beers are “unique, handcrafted and never been available in the Canadian market before.” CSPC 879687, $160.

Winter/Holiday Theme Beers

Alley Kat Winter Cherry Dark Sour – a new beer from Edmonton’s oldest craft brewery. CSPC 877533, $18 6-pk cans.

Common Crown Olds Spice Winter Lager – a collaboration with Olds College Brewery, this amber lager has cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, orange peel and ginger; perfect for holiday drinking. CSPC 87827, $17 4-pk cans.

Granville Island Lions Winter Ale – a favourite for over 20 years. Full of vanilla, chocolate and caramel flavours. CSPC 837012, $15 6-pk cans.

XhAle Auntie Rene’s Christmas Pudding Porter – returning for 2022 with a different name and recipe. The plums are gone, replaced by flavours of cinnamon and vanilla cookies. Partial proceeds donated to Alberta Cancer Foundation for Breast Cancer Awareness. CSPC 877427, $20 4-pk cans.

Howe Sound Father John’s Winter Ale – another annual release, named after Howe Sound’s original brewer, this ale contains a mélange of spices and four different malts. CSPC 842156, $4 473 mL can.

Special Releases

Not necessarily holiday related, but ‘tis the season for limited releases.

Trial and Ale An Era Sturm Und Drang – Edmonton’s home of mixed fermentation has created a bottle conditioned wild wheat ale with Austrian elderberries, a unique fruit for beer. CSPC 865961, $19 750 mL bottle.

30 Culinaire | December 2022

Prairie Dog 2022 Midnight Combine Barrel – Aged Belgian Dark Strong Ale – this annual release has been aging for at least three months in American oak barrels and inoculated with Brettanomyces yeast. Cellar it for years to bring out the flavours of burned sugar and chocolate. $18 750 mL bottle available at the brewery.

Blind Enthusiasm Buffalo Meadows

2022 – a dark lager fermented with Alberta honey and bee pollen, then aged for nine months in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels. The Yukon Meadows versions (including peated) rested in Two Brewers (Yukon) Whisky barrels. All reflect the character of their barrels and check in at around 10 percent ABV to warm you up on cold winter nights. $12 each for a 375 mL bottle and available at the brewery and select liquor stores.

Erdinger Football Pack – This holiday season is also concurrent with the 2022 Soccer World Cup. This package has five classic Erdinger Weissebier plus a Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup beer glass. CSPC 766177, $15.

Chimay Grand Reserve Barrel Aged Rum Edition – A special Grande Réserve aged in rum barrels and French and American oak. At 10.5 percent ABV, this 2021 edition will age well for a couple of years. CSPC 879697, $48 750 mL bottle.

Delirium Black Barrel Aged – The beer with pink elephants on the bottle has a special edition for 2022, matured in oak bourbon barrels for nine months and coming in at a warming 11.5 percent ABV. CSPC 877650, $48 750 mL bottle.

Flying Monkeys Chocolate Manifesto

Triple Chocolate Milk Stout – An annual seasonal from this Ontario brewery is a fountain for chocolate lovers, made with chocolate malt and three kinds of chocolate. CSPC 862296, $6 473 mL can.


Apples are a holiday tradition, found in desserts, sauces, stuffings, and, of course, cider. Try cold or heated.

Sea Cider Sassamanash – Sassamanash is Algonquian for cranberry, which is blended with fermented apples to present a cider that is perfect for the holidays. CSPC 87949, $22 750 mL bottle.

Flatlander Winter Spice – A traditional apple cider infused with cinnamon and nutmeg. CSPC 836249, $20. Also available in their Winter Sampler. CSPC 839953.

Sunny Cider – has three new seasonal offerings. Cider Noir with Belgian candy syrup, Winter Solstice Mulled Cider (both in 473 mL cans), and Imperial Cider, a crab apple base with Demerara sugar and an ABV of 10-13 percent, in 750 mL bottles. Available at the cidery and in select liquor stores.

Happy Holidays!

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.

Please Enjoy Responsibly To find a retailer near you

A December Spirits

fter our rather… brisk November, it’s likely that we are firmly in the chilled embrace of winter –and in only six(ish) short months, we’ll be seeing the back end of our longest season. This December, we’ve recommended some very new products to our market

– focusing on brown spirits like whisky and cognac – perfect for those chilly days, tequila – both reposado and blanco – for when dreaming of a warmer climate or for those brave souls who love getting out in the cold.

Stay warm!

Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt “Release 36” Special Finishes Yukon, Canada

Here is something a little different. A cask strength single malt from the Yukon – and one that has been finished in moscatel sherry casks. Rather fiery, even for 46 percent, but supporting all those cereal tones are plump raisin, stone fruits, and a bit of a marmalade finish. Best with a little bit of water to cut the heat some, but a fine spirit to enjoy on a cold day.

CSPC +877433 $100-110

Severo Tequila Reposado, Mexico

Tequilera Don Roberto is coming up for its centenary in a couple of years, and one of only two Mexican, family-owned, tequila businesses still run by the same family. Their Severo Reposado is matured for 10 months in American white oak and it shows; we’re enjoying the depth and richness almost of an añejo, with underlying demerara sugar and vanilla on the nose mixed with notes of clementine peel. Soft and rounded on the palate, with joyous highlights of salted caramel, sip this warming reposado on its (and your) own.

CSPC +870412 $92-100

Tesseron Composition Fine Champagne Cognac, France

The Tesseron family have been known for XO and beyond cognacs for a couple of hundred years, storing premium Fine Champagne eau-de-vie in their chateau’s 12th century crypt, protected by guard dogs 24/7. Now they’ve ventured out with Composition, a younger blend of Grande and Petite Champagne cognac, with at least 50% Premier Cru. It’s definitely Christmas when you sip this beautiful cognac with flavours of apricot and plum pudding with chocolate undertones – mmm, yes please!

CSPC +853954 $90-94

Dillon’s Single Grain Rye Whisky Ontario, Canada

There is a resurgence of rye whisky happening, and honestly – it’s about time. We are seeing more, quality driven, premium rye whiskies that aren’t cutting corners, but doing it right. Dillon’s seems to have it figured out with their Single Grain (that means allrye!) where spice leads the way over gentle honey, leather, and floral characters, but also a fine, sensual texture over the palate. Absolutely perfect neat, but exactly the sort of rye whisky to round out your collection.

CSPC +794775 $40-45

Volcan de mi Tierra Tequila Blanco Mexico

Moët Hennessy’s newest venture, the Volcan de mi Tierra tequila distillery, is creating premium tequilas (blanco, cristalino and reposado) from their agave pinas planted in the volcanic region over the last five years. Bright, fresh, mint and grapefruit citrus flavours from the highlands are to the fore in the blanco, a complex blend of both highland (Altos) and lowland (Valles) agave, with fruity cherry and cooked sweet agave permeating throughout - perfect for your margaritas, palomas, and mules!

CSPC +814440 $70-74

X by Glenmorangie, Scotland

In a month, Glenmorangie (valley of tranquility) will have been one of the bestselling single malts in Scotland for 40 years! They lay claim to Scotland’s tallest stills (with necks as tall as a giraffe’s), and their latest offering is the ‘X’, a single malt meant for mixing, still with the trademark lightness and finesse, yet a little sweeter and richer. Lemon brings out those delicious citrus flavours, nowhere better than a simple hot toddy on these cold nights, but go for it, get playful and experiment this winter!

CSPC +849832 $60-63

32 Culinaire | December 2022


MAKING THE CASE for Quality Time with Quality Wine (and special people)

Come December, we often internalize a desire to set aside the old year and bring in the new. We think of the past year, and likely think on how the year ahead could be – or should be better. There have been a few tough years recently, and in many ways, we are likely staring down a tricky year or two ahead.

Over the holidays, it is my sincerest hope that somehow, you manage to spend some quality time with special people, friends, colleagues, family – however your circle looks. For many, it wouldn’t be the holidays without a turkey and all the fixings, but… there also aren’t any rules!

This month, we have an assortment of sparkling wines, but also a handful of reds and smattering of whites to cover the bases, and maybe just enjoy a good glass or two.

Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday season…

Find these wines by searching the CSPC code at; your local liquor store can also use this code to order it for you. Prices are approximate.

Love Oregon 2018 Chardonnay McMinnville, Oregon

A big and stylish chardonnay that is almost peppery on the nose, with almond, tropical fruits and butter making appearances too. Very little oak flavour on the palate, but plenty of those autolytic characters of biscuity, bready flavours on the palate supporting clean fruits. Very nice, very versatile chardonnay to match with fuller seafoods or lightly grilled poultry dishes.

CSPC +851203 $30-35

Dolcetto is a grape that is rarely seen outside of Italy, but there are a number of places it seems to be perfectly at home – including at Stag’s Hollow in Okanagan Falls. A fine balance of earthiness (and a whiff of smoke at first) on the nose with good support from black plums and spiciness. On the palate things start to sing with brightness to the fruits and a crisp, thoughtful finish. A fine alternative to a pinot noir this season.

CSPC +881706 $30-35

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.

A stand-out-drop-dead-gorgeous bottle of rosé bubbly. Rather delicate berry fruits tread lightly on the toasty and almost creamy flavours and textures, and a completely full-on finish, but what really makes this stand out is that it’s coming from Tasmania, that little-ish island south of the continent – and closer to Antarctica! A completely stunning bottle – sure to impress.

CSPC +870310 $44-47

Noble Ridge 2017 The One Okanagan Falls, British Columbia

A dynamite sparkling wine from Okanagan Falls and made in the traditional method, using traditional grapes – chardonnay and pinot noir. The current, 2017 vintage strikes the right balance of structure and opulence, sharing tart fruits, sleek mineral character, and a rich, toasty finish. I’m continually surprised how much The One compares to far more expensive sparkling wines. If possible, share a glass with your special one.

CSPC +769194 $45-50

Clover Hill NV Tasmanian Cuvée Rosé Tasmania, Australia Stag’s Hollow 2019 Shuttleworth Creek Vineyard Dolcetto, Okanagan Falls British Columbia

Isola Augusta NV Prosecco Friuli, Italy

Great prosecco is a fine treat indeed! Rife with pear and nectarine style fruits with candy sticks rounding out the nose, the silky textures, zesty acids and fine mousse are all well balanced and well integrated. A better drinking prosecco than most weeknight quaffers but would also be darn good while the sun is shining with a drink in hand –you know you want to.

CSPC +869888 $24-27

Clover Hill NV Tasmanian Cuvée Tasmania, Australia

When you think about it, cool-climate Tasmania is a perfect fit for making traditional method sparkling wines.

A blend of the traditional champagne varieties, chardonnay, pinot noir, and pinot meunier, it’s bursting with salinity and mineral characters, tightly wound citrus notes, and a wickedly crisp finish that goes for miles. Beautiful, quaffable bubbles for sure.

CSPC +870308 $44-47

Pievalta 2021 Tre Ripe Verdicchio

Le Marche, Italy

I’ve never met a verdicchio that I didn’t like, but this one from Pievalta might be my new favourite one. Tre Ripe (or three hills) is tightly wound with intense citrus flavours, stone fruits, a mild nuttiness, and a silky texture on the palate leading in to a zesty, slightly bitter finish. Serve with fish, fresh cheeses, shellfish, and even lightly salted appetizers. So very, very good.

CSPC +793700 $35-39

Gardet NV Brut Traditional Champagne, France

A fine combination of pear and apple dominant fruits, coupled with a rich, toasty/brioche character supporting a fine, flinty mineral tone and a long crisp finish. While champagne truly does pair with anything, this gem is perfect on its own as a glass, or as a toast. If food is in the cards, something simple like fresh strawberries or fine cheese, would be just lovely for this very classic wine.

CSPC +589788 $52-59

Wild Goose 2020 Riesling

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

A long-time producer of quality wines in the Okanagan, Wild Goose’s riesling is one of the best I’ve had in recent memory. A fine balance of sweeter fruit presence – but still wonderfully dry and crisp, with loads of stone fruit and crushed stone minerals. One of those memorable glasses that was empty before I knew it. Drinking very well now and perfect with all sorts of rich, holiday dishes.

CSPC +414730 $21-24

Liquidity 2020 Reserve Pinot Noir

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Liquidity occupies a wonderful place – rent free in my wine mind. Relatively hard to find, always a well-made selection, and last but not least, authentic wines. The reserve pinot is a bit of a throwback pinot with earthy, dirty cherries, woodsy characters, and a bit of smoke on the nose and palate. A bit more than medium bodied for pinot noir, this will be stunning with duck confit if you can manage it, or a prime rib.

CSPC +826668 $65-70

Pievalta NV Perlugo Zero Spumante

Le Marche, Italy

Something completely new under the sun (at least for us in Alberta) comes a 100 percent verdicchio, zero dosage, sparkling wine with up to 24 months on the lees. Completely alive with tart green apples, evoking an almost cider house setting, with creamy brioche and toasty nuances. On the palate, zesty, dry, and rather spicy, this wine over-delivers in every regard. Try with shellfish, but this would also be fine indeed with snacks or a toast with friends.

CSPC +793701 $45-49

Cecchi 2017 Chianti Riserva Tuscany, Italy

It’s continually amazing how wonderful chianti can be at almost any table. Reasonably priced, oozing authenticity (it tastes Italian!) and good. A wine that gets right to the point, the Cecchi is all about tart cherry style fruits with a mild cedar tone, supported with a clean herbaciousness. Mid-weight on the palate with pretty loud tannins and great acids, this would be just as at home with grilled red meats as well as rich, Bolognese sauces or even a night in with great pizza CSPC +799169 $23-26

Bruno Paillard NV Dosage Zero Champagne, Champagne, France

This bottle has zero dosage – normally the sweet, reserve wine added that among other things, balances the wine with a little sweetness to offset the carbonation. Here, the wine has to be made right on the razor's edge of intent and quality with no margin for error. A quite dry bottle of bubble with sleek mineral tones, a lifted toastiness, and a finish that goes for miles. Pair with oysters, great quality seafood, or a hot date.

CSPC +856057 $100-110

December 2022 | Culinaire 35

Krooked Kraut

Chef Lyndon Hertz has been on our radar for some time, and we’re delighted to report that not only can you find him, with Jared Salekin and Leanna Parent-Hertz, at Calgary’s Fresh & Local Market & Kitchens (Krooked Lucy's), you can find his deliciously tangy Kraut in four flavours: Hot Classic, Fennel and Garlic, Pineapple Ginger, and the most popular - Dill Pickle, online at, @krookedkrautyyc, at The Blue Store in Inglewood, and YEG Smoked Meats. Perfect on pizzas, perogies, sausages 430 g $15.

The Unofficial Hogwarts Cocktail Book

Attention Potter Heads! For the most devoted muggles, the holidays are also a magical time to enjoy a favourite series about a favourite boy wizard. From “Wingardium Mimosas” to some “Good old-fashioned liquid luck” this grown-up guide to adult cocktails has you covered –even if young at heart. $27 Ulysses Press.

Soul Bowl Sauces

A Spice Affair

4th generation Montreal spice merchant, Ayman Saifi, launched his range of vegan, non-GMO, nutMSG- and preservative-free, spices in 2016, using only top quality raw brown or maple sugar, and sea or pink Himalayan salt. The BBQ sets are always best sellers, and we know why - they’re simply superb! They partner with One Tree Planted, and plant trees each month for all their spice lovers too. Holy Grill 12-pk BBQ Set $99, BBQ Master 6-pk set $69,

During the pandemic, Red Seal Metis chef, Adam Trotchie, used his time wisely to create comfort food sauces. Trotchie is also a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant, so his sauces use wholefood ingredients and organic spices, and are dairy- sugar- and glutenfree. They’re excellent - full-flavoured, rich, and complex. Just add veggies or your favourite protein to the Butter Chicken or Rosé Sauce for a quick and delicious meal. 475 mL $13 at Bite, Amaranth Edmonton and Calgary.

CookingPal Multo

If you ever saw “The Jetsons” and couldn’t wait for what life might be like in 2062 – well we’re well ahead of schedule, the future is here! While we don’t all want robot cooks at home, we could probably all use a hand, and Multo By CookingPal is ready to be just that – and more. With its wi-fi smart tablet, you can easily follow hundreds of recipes or use your own, as this device weighs your ingredients then chops them and mixes them, sautés or blends them, steams, kneads, slow cooks - leaving you free of the kitchen to get on with other things. It’s a well-made, quality, innovative device with more than 15 functions; perfect for novices, and with manual modes for experienced cooks. $1,560 Oh, did we mention that it’s a rice cooker and yogurt maker too –and cleans itself?

36 Culinaire | December 2022 etcetera...
4 Generations OF WINE MAKING Proudly represented by Castillo De Almansa Reserva 750 x12 | SKU #270363 2018 El Picoteo Red 750 x6 | SKU #797026 2020 El Picoteo White 750 x6 | SKU #797028 2021 El Picoteo Rosé 750 x6 | SKU #805636 2021

...with Linda McNally

I've always loved food,” says Linda McNally. “My father was crown prosecutor of Hanna, Craigmyle, and Delia, and he was delighted with the job because he loved to hunt upland game, and that area was stocked with prairie chicken, Hungarian partridge and pheasant.”

“I came at the great age of four to Calgary, and I was away at school quite a bit and didn't think I'd ever settle here. When I came back, there was so much interesting going on that it really wasn't the same kind of place that I'd known,” she adds.

She first went to an American college, Mills in Oakland, before studying psychology, history and philosophy at U of A, and later English Literature in Toronto. She met Ed McNally at a dinner party when she was 21, in the fall of 1954. “I can remember lining up to fill my plate and Ed was behind me. I was going out to study in Toronto, and he sent me a cooked pheasant in the mail. It was too funny for words,” she laughs.

McNally was working as a lawyer at Gulf Oil and invited her to their Christmas party. “I had fun and a very nice time with him, and then he gave me a pair of lederhosen - I was absolutely stunned! I wore them out hiking because I love to walk.” She returned to U of T for her master's course, but McNally had just turned 30 and wanted them to marry.

“I thought, well, for sure, so we got married. He thought I would be bored with nothing to do though, so he and a friend decided their wives should start an importing shop of Scandinavian and

German glassware and Scandinavian furniture, partly because when I was going to get married and we were looking for things, I couldn't find anything nice.”

McNally retired from law in 1970, and at age 55 went into the exotic cattle business. Shorthorn, Hereford, and Angus were small, so for hybrid vigour they brought the bigger Simmental and Maine-Anjou cattle to Canada. He was always on the board of the Barley Growers and took up grain farming after cattle, but he'd grown up in Lethbridge, and great pals with the Sick family of Lethbridge Brewery, the one business that thrived during the Depression. At 60 years old, McNally changed careers again and started Big Rock Brewery.

Otto Leverkus, one of the main forces with the brewery had said, ‘You know, the only thing wrong with Alberta is it doesn't have decent beer and good cheese,’ so they went to Seattle to look at Red Hook, a new small craft brewery. “They were really intrigued,” Mrs. McNally says. “The fellow who'd started Red Hook was just delighted to think there was somebody else going to do the same thing.”

They bought the first brewery in 1985, an aluminum siding company on Barlow Trail that had gone “belly up.” It expanded to them buying the adjacent building, and

then the building on the other side, and in 1995 they hoped to expand to the corner building, but it wasn’t for sale, so they built the current brewery.

“There was such a feeling of camaraderie, the brew master felt it was very important. And every day Ed would walk the floor. He was always there by eight o'clock, if not earlier. He was running Big Rock and enjoyed it so much. We were just terribly fortunate that the Olympics were in Calgary in ’88, because people were quite hesitant and hadn't tasted craft beer. The endorsement that gave the brewery was huge.”

McNally retired in 2012, a couple of years before his passing, and while Mrs. McNally is still a large shareholder, and daughter, Kathleen, Vice Chair of the board and very involved, she stepped back from day-to-day participation: “Because I felt it was very important for whoever was in charge to put their own stamp on things.”

What bottle is Mrs. McNally saving that she hasn’t opened?

“In the cellar there is a three-litre bottle of Traditional. Traditional is a British Brown Ale and as I am a lover of Grasshopper, whatever is inside the giant bottle is all the memories it brings forward not the brew itself.”

38 Culinaire | December 2022
Please enjoy Ardbeg responsibly. Must be above legal drinking age.
The U S distilled spirits industry is committed to social responsibility For those adults who choose to drink, they should do so in moderation and responsibly at all times Cocktail Inspirations boulevardier Equal Parts Bourbon Campari Sweet Vermouth Ice & Orange Twist When a Negroni meets Bourbon, The Boulevardier happens
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