Culinaire #12.10 (April 2024)

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Big Reds
Best Hardboiled Egg Dishes
Beer Education
Bubble Tea

WE’RE CELEBRATING OUR 50TH YEAR OF THIS FAMILY AFFAIR and we are reflecting on the people and businesses that have supported three generations of our family business.

We are so filled with appreciation for the enduring relationships we have built and the incredible growth we’ve both witnessed in our partners and have been fortunate to enjoy ourselves.



We are in awe of your unwavering support.

Thank you, Calgary, from every one of us in the IZZO FAMILIA

“Chef Paul remembers when my dad, Vince, would always make time to talk to him – a 23-year-old rooky chef at the beginning of his career – and how it helped him feel a part of something bigger yet to come. He reminded me recently that I was dropping deliveries off between classes as a teenager. That’s where we met. We go back many years and could not be more proud of all of Paul’s success and the years-long relationship that grew out of those early days.” – PETER IZZO



is a renowned and passionate gastronomic leader, artist and TV personality who finds his inspiration in locally sourced ingredients, the natural environment and collaborations with the great people he works with and learns from every day. Check out what Chef Paul is up to at:




April 2024 | Culinaire 3 contents departments 6 Salutes and Shout Outs News from Alberta’s culinary scene 8 Book Review The Side Gardener, Recipes & Notes from My Garden By Rosie Daykin 9 Chefs’ Tips and Tricks Veggies get Greenlit! Four Alberta chefs share their green veggie recipes 38 Making the Case …for Big Reds! 40 Etcetera What’s new? 42 Open That Bottle With David Harrison, propretario Buon Giorno It’s warming up, and Spring is here – which means it’s Cabane à Sucre – sugar shack season in Quebec. So what could be more perfect for our cover photograph? A beautiful photograph of maple syrup dripping down the page. Thanks so much to photographer Katarzyna Kowalewska for this incredible shot – excuse us while we lick the cover! ON THE COVER Volume 12 / No. 10 / April 2024 13 Quick Sips Those “adult” beverages that might not fit in on our Spirits and Wine pages by Tom Firth 16 Go Fish Linguine with mackerel and tomatoes by Renée Kohlman 18 Stuck on Maple Syrup This quintessentially Canadian food is a musthave for the pantry by Shelley Boettcher 21 The Search for Calgary’s Best Egg Dishes: Scotch Eggs, Deviled Eggs, and Egg Salad/Sandwiches by Linda Garson 26 Strawberry Sunshine Recipes for fresh and frozen strawberries by Natalie Findlay 30 From Art to Top Shelf Whisky It’s more than a passion project for Diony Distillery by Lucy Haines 32 April Spirits: Gin, gin, and more gin! by Tom Firth and Linda Garson 34 Beer Education is in Session Where are all the brewers coming from? by David Nuttall 36 Bring on the Boba A brief history of bubble tea and where to enjoy it in Alberta by Mallory Frayn 18 30 9 21

Our new openings…

I’ve just finished writing our Salutes & Shout Outs. It took eleven hours to write, and that doesn’t include the time visiting the locations, and talking to the owners, trying their dishes, and asking questions about where their ingredients come from, the concept for their menu, and their chef’s intentions for their menus.

You’d be very surprised what you learn when you ask questions; I probably ask more than most as it’s more important to me to write about people and restaurants that we can fully endorse – let’s face it, our reputation relies on it, and you might be surprised how many don’t make it onto these pages when I hear their answers.

We are so very, very lucky here in Alberta; we have an abundant supply of quality proteins – whether that’s beef, pork, chicken, or lentils, they’ve all been thoroughly monitored to meet strict

standards of food safety and – if it’s animal – welfare. And we have so many quality choices to suit pretty much every diet; if you have restrictions or allergies, I feel you can probably still eat very well at home and eat out with multiple choices in our province.

With the Egg Farmers of Alberta, we put hardboiled egg dishes to the test in this issue – not an easy task, it was several days until I realised that a hot roast chicken would replace the aroma of egg salad sandwiches in my car… but so revealing! I can’t wait for you to read the results of our two days of judging to find Calgary’s best.

And I’m delighted to announce that our World Taste Tour Treasure Hunts are back. Save the date of June 9 in Calgary and hopefully September 15 in Edmonton. We’re busy planning right now for two fun-filled, high energy, delicious days, where you’ll use every sensory organ (and enjoy the challenge!). Watch for details and register to reserve your spots before they’re snapped up.

Talking of being snapped up, do you receive my bi-monthly update emails for our Vine & Dine pairing dinners and tours? I announced one dinner last week and it sold out in under five hours – so it’s too late by the time you hear about it if you’re not in our address book! Email me to be included – IYKYK!


Alberta / Food & Drink / Recipes


Linda Garson

Managing Editor

Tom Firth

Multimedia Editor

Keane Straub

Communications Assistant

Katherine Puhl


Kendra Design Inc


Shelley Boettcher

Elizabeth Chorney-Booth

Natalie Findlay, Mallory Frayn

Lucy Haines, Dong Kim

Renée Kohlman, Katarzyna Kowalewska

David Nuttall, Keane Straub

Our contributors

Shelley Boettcher

Shelley is an awardwinning Calgary-based writer and editor whose work has appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world. She’s the author of the best-selling books, Uncorked: The Definitive Guide to Alberta's Best Wines $25 and Under, and currently splits her time between Calgary and Italy. Visit for her food, wine and spirits exploits, or Instagram @shelleyboettcher.

Elizabeth Chorney-Booth

Contact us at: Culinaire Magazine

#1203, 804–3rd Avenue SW

Calgary, AB T2P 0G9





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.

Keane Straub

For subscriptions, competitions and to read Culinaire online:

A year-long stint tending bar was all it took for Keane to be forever linked to the hospitality industry. When they're not keeping the digital side of Culinaire in working order you can find them at SAIT’s School of Hospitality and Tourism collaborating with students and instructors creating digital content. If they don't answer your text message, it’s likely because they're out of range in Kananaskis or immersed in a really good book. Follow them on Instagram @keane_larsen

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. We are committed to support Indigenous chefs and amplify their voices to bring awareness of the food and culture of the First Nations.

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. 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. Proudly printed in Alberta by Burke Group.

The Italian Centre Shop is celebrating their 65-year anniversary! Since she was 13 years old, Teresa Spinelli has worked at the store her father, Frank, started in 1959, and has never had another job. It was never planned for her to run the business, however, since taking over in 2001, she has grown it to five locations – three in Edmonton, one in Sherwood Park and one in Calgary (and another scheduled to open in Calgary’s North Hill Centre in 2026), and from 30 staff to 672. Congratulations Teresa on your welldeserved, huge success!

Congrats too to Little Chief Restaurant’s Tsuut'ina Sage

Tlikonituwa who won The Best Hot Chocolate in the 14th annual YYC Hot Chocolate Fest! And to Tops Pizza South who won Best Spirited Hot Chocolate, Telus Spark who were awarded Most Creative Hot Chocolate, and Hexagon Café who took the Cup That Runneth Over Award. But the real winner is Calgary Meals on Wheels, who receive a portion of the proceeds from each cup sold – this year projected to be more than $130,000!

Edmonton’s Hot Chefs, Cool bEats is back! On Thursday May 2, this food and entertainment experience takes over three floors of the Mosaic Centre, with sixteen food stations featuring local chefs as well as beverage stations, live music, art performances, and a live auction. All proceeds go directly to Edmonton-based non-profit, the Canadian Culinary Fund, for their High School Culinary Challenge – they’re hoping to raise $50,000 this year!

Filipino Restaurant Month is back!

Throughout April, participating Filipino restaurants across Canada are featuring prix fixe menus of authentic dishes, ingredients, and the chefs’ culinary expertise. Last year, 47 restaurants across eight provinces and 21 cities participated, and more than 100 diners won national and local prizes! This year has a special significance as it’s the 75th Anniversary of Philippines-Canada diplomatic relations.

Acme Pizza are celebrating their second birthday in their new home - just three blocks east of their former location in Calgary’s Sunalta district, inside Tailgunner Brewing, at 1602 10 Avenue SW. And you couldn’t get a more perfect fit between two businesses. We’re thrilled for owners, Jason and Dean, as well as Tailgunner’s Cael and Mike, the camaraderie and respect for each other is so evident, and makes everybody happy to be there. We chomped our way through a goodly part of the menu and can vouch that these Roman-style pies with their 48-hour ferment, three-days-in-themaking crust, are as good as ever, and all the faves are still there: Saporita (walnut cream, mozzarella, prosciutto, gorgonzola dolce, pecorino, and honey), Carbonara, four-meat Carne, Funghi, we could go on…! Seven days, lunch and dinner, pick-up and delivery too (also at their Renfrew location, at 1025 Russet Road NE),

Edmonton’s Doughnut Party has arrived in Calgary! With three enormously popular northern Alberta locations, they’ve headed south and

opened in Inglewood, at 1125 9 Avenue SE. The menu choices are slightly different to Edmonton, but still change every month, with plenty of vegan optionscurrently ten of the fourteen flavours! Just the descriptions will have you drooling: Bernadette - lavender, rosemary, chocolate, and sea salt; Cardamom Rhubarb Rose, and Crackers & Cream – chocolate, Ritz crackers, grape cream cheese, and caramel – oh yum! Open seven days,

Talking of doughnuts, Edmonton’s Fuzion Donuts, have opened their second location! With artisan donuts made fresh every day, you’re going to be spoiled for choice when you visit them at 12866 97 Street - there’s ten filled donuts, ten cake donuts, and at least seven yeast donuts to choose from! Seven days, pick up or order at

Firehouse Subs is expanding in Western Canada, and celebrating their 30th anniversary with a Calgary location in addition to existing Airdrie and Okotoks. There some very tasty hot subs to be had here, from the original Hook and Ladder (smoked turkey, honey ham, melted Monterey Jack, with fixings) to the new Brisket Hat Trick just for Western Canada (beef brisket, smoked turkey, Virginia honey ham, melted cheddar, slaw, BBQ sauce, and mayo), plus another couple of dozen choices, as well as salads, soups, and more.

Founded in Florida by former firefighters, the Sorensen brothers, their non-profit foundation has already awarded 332 grants and donated

6 Culinaire | April 2024 SALUTES & SHOUT OUTS

$3.2 million to local fire stations to buy life-saving equipment. 1155 Cornerstone Boulevard NE, seven days 11-9 pm,

Sherpa Kitchen and Bar is a new Nepalese restaurant, on Calgary’s 17 Avenue SW, with a huge bar that seats 16 people, a lounge area with soft seating and booths, a raised 26-seat restaurant area where you remove your shoes, with low floor seating so you feel like you’re eating in Nepal, and a 50-seat patio. Owner Arjun Sharma has created an authentic Nepalese feel with a fusion of Calgary, so ethnic art and mountain art come together to contrast the dark brown walls. Chef Khem is from Nepal, and his food is super delicious; of course there’s a momo menu with yak, chicken, and veggie options; a street food menu with snacks such as the excellent dynamite shrimp in chef’s secret mayo-based sauce; a crunchy, spicy dish of peanuts (or soybeans); the hearty Sherpita - baked naan filled with cheese and topped with tandoori chicken and other toppings, eaten like a huge taco; as well as large meat or veggie plates, stews and soups, and everything made in house with ingredients from local producers. 1324 17 Avenue SW, seven days, lunch and dinner.

Daniel Costa’s new Bar Henry is open inside Henry Singer’s new flagship location in Edmonton’s Ice District – his fourth innovative downtown concept – and pretty certain to be as successful

as Corso 32 that he opened in 2010, followed four years later by Bar Bricco, and Uccellino in 2016. His vision was for an aperitivo bar, an all-day licensed café where you can pop in for a shopping break coffee or cocktail and have a snack – Costa-style, which means you know you’re in for a completely delicious, elevated small plate, here inspired by North Italian cuisine - such as Cotechino with pickled radicchio and candied pear, a whole roast artichoke, Gnoccho Valtellina, and the addictive rosemary and fennel pollen dusted potato chips. 160, 10220 103 Avenue NW,

Brar is a new restaurant and sweet house on Calgary’s vibrant International Avenue, with a little store at the front where you can pick up Indian sweets as well as crunchy savoury snacks, and a lovely 36-seat restaurant behind. We loved Mango Shiva, and Parm Brar was the chef there for more than 10 years, and now he’s opened Brar with his brother, and we can enjoy his menu of North Indian cuisine. We had some of the best fish pakoras, with an amazingly light chickpea flour batter, and so many other good things – all made in-house (try the chutney-stuffed paneer). There’s a wide choice of veggie options as well as plenty of chicken dishes, goat, lamb, and fish, but you won’t find beef or pork on the menu. Oh, and they make the most outstanding salty and mango lassi! 5315 17 Avenue SE, noon-9 pm, closed Mondays,

Beautiful Beiseker has a new upscale diner! Mama’s Kitchen is open serving all-day breakfast classics with their own creative flair, with menu offerings such as Lamb Shakshuka, Samosa Benny, and Lox & Loaded, as well as savoury sandwiches, authentic curry bowls, and a full pizza selection too. The restaurant is bright and airy, stylishly vibrant and modern, yet still cosy and relaxing in the comfortable booths. Seven days, 8-8 pm, 500 1st Avenue.

We finally made it to Prohibition Bar and Lounge – the most searched for bar on Google in the whole of North America! And now we know why, it’s a terrific ambience with comfy leather couches, excellent cocktails, and great snacks. Speakeasies have been trending for some time now, and Alberta has its fair share, of which Prohibition Bar is well up there with the best! It’s dark in here (as you’d want!) and adorning the walls you’ll see vintage trumpets, saxophones, phonographs… but focus on the generous cocktail list, and what you’re going to nibble with it. Choose Sicilian meatballs, hummus, or fudge brownies, but we’d recommend the nacho menu. What can I say, for a business meeting at 5 pm, Corpse Revivors with Bootleggers BBQ Chicken Nachos to share are going to make you both very happy you met at Prohibition Bar. 72 17th Avenue SW, closed Mondays, from 5 pm-late,

April 2024 | Culinaire 7

The Side Gardener, Recipes & Notes from My Garden

In many ways, this is a very unusual book to cover. It’s almost equal parts about sharing a love of garden spaces, large or small, and sharing good food – whenever possible – made with ingredients from that garden space.

That said, this was a remarkably charming and calming book to enjoy. Written in a clear, soothing voice from author Rosie Daykin, starting off with the reasonings and rationale for working with a previously under-attended portion of the yard. It was a rather large undertaking for them, but most of us will likely be working with smaller spaces and in Alberta, within Zones 3a to 4b – so results may vary.

Nearly all the recipes are plant-centric naturally, with a few dishes using seafood or poultry, but well arranged into Snacks & Appetizers, Salads, Mains, Sides, and Sweets, with a few staples for the pantry too. Photos by Andrew Montgomery are brilliant and jealousy-invoking with rich colours and wonderful subjects, you’ll likely wonder if your spaces could ever

look this good or your food even half as lovely as they do on these pages.

Starting off with the salads, there are plenty to choose from, speaking to a wide range of flavours and styles, from the “Roasted Red Pepper & Cannellini Bean Salad” (p.64), to the “Tomato, Bacon & Blue Cheese Salad” (p.93) with a fine variety represented in between.

The Mains start off with a divine “Red Pepper Bisque with Crab” (p.102) – one of my favourite soups of all time, but on to an inspiring “Beet Ravioli in Brown Butter & Sage” (p.111) which may beg to get your kitchen nice and dirty unless you are practiced at pasta making at home. The section on sides got most of my attention with “Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic & Parmesan” (p.147), which will likely make an appearance at my home when guests are coming. Throughout, plenty of photos break up the recipes, and recipes are well written with a pleasing, calming, short introduction that seems to put one in the mind of cooking.

An enjoyable read with plenty of recipes and garden thoughts that will be tried primarily for the starters and sides – perhaps a dessert or two, but if the ingredients won’t be coming from your own garden, you’ll likely get to know your local farmers’ market folks a little better in the near future.

To explore the true spirit of the French Riviera, visit us online.

Find at your favourite liquor store in Alberta.

Please enjoy responsibly.

Veggies get Greenlit!

Canada’s Food Guide suggests that adults should be eating about eight servings of vegetables a day. That’s a lot to take in, literally and figuratively. And while vegetarian and vegan options are becoming more common in grocery stores and restaurants, sometimes the idea of ‘one more green thing’ makes us revert to our inner five-year-old selves, turn up our noses, and huff a hearty, “No!”

Edmonton’s Happy & Olive mission is simple: to share the things they love to make. “We actively involve our staff when developing dishes and menus,” says Chef Frank Olson. “They are a constant source of new ideas.”

The global experience of the chefs is easy to see with offerings such as Vada Pav Sliders, Montreal Smoked Meat, and Saganaki. For Chef Olson, the Beet Salad does the trick. “It’s a bit of a surprise for people who aren’t that crazy about beets.”

When it comes to preparing vegetable dishes, Chef Olson advises to “keep it simple.” And, he adds, “Seasoning is so important to draw out the flavour.”

One way to try and add more greens to your diet is to not only try different produce, but different methods of preparation, like this recipe for Grilled Edamame in Sichuan Brine. “This is from our Chef Dylan Prins. He’s worked in China and had some great ideas when he came back from Asia.” Be sure to dry the pods after brining – this will make them easier to char.

Grilled Edamame in Sichuan Brine

Serves 3-4

4 tsp (10 g) Sichuan peppercorns

2 pieces liquorice root

4 bay leaves

2 star anise

3 Tbs (10 g) dried Chinese chile

1 cinnamon stick

2 tsp fennel seed

65 g garlic, smashed

1/3 cup (65 g) kosher salt

4 cups (1 L) water

300 g edamame in pods

But there’s a few saving graces when it comes to eating our greens, from letting them take cover in pasta salads, to pulling them front and centre and dressing them with a simple drizzle of lemon and good olive oil. This month we asked four Alberta chefs to give us their gold-star recipes for eating greens, and their responses will have you circling back to the produce section and hitting up farmer’s markets to keep your crisper well-stocked.


. Boil all the ingredients apart from the edamame together and let sit and steep for a minimum of two hours, then strain.

2. Soak 300 g of unshelled edamame beans overnight in the brine.

3. Grill in a hot cast iron pan or on a BBQ grill until blistered and lightly charred.

4. Sprinkle with Maldon or kosher salt and serve warm.

April 2024 | Culinaire 9 CHEF’S TIPS & TRICKS

“My cooking is influenced by a multitude of factors, including cultural heritage, family traditions, and personal experiences,” says chef Heonyoel Jeong of Calgary’s La Brezza Ristorante. “I’m inspired by a deep love for food, and a desire to create memorable dining experiences.”

Among the myriad of traditional Italian dishes, Chef Jeong’s favourite on the menu is the Fettuccine Al Fungi. “It’s our biggest seller in the restaurant,” he explains, “and one that allows me to use my skills and creativity.”

Cooking veggies doesn’t require much beyond a little experimentation, he adds. “Try steaming, roasting, or sautéing with a touch of olive oil and garlic. And add some crunch for texture and brighten with citrus for a burst of freshness.”

His recipe for Orzo Salad is a personal favourite because of its versatility. “It can easily incorporate a variety of seasonal veggies found in Alberta, and you can use any protein you like.” Choose seasonal vegetables, and be sure to cook your orzo al dente so it doesn’t become mushy in the salad.

Orzo Salad with Green Vegetables and Prawns

Serves 4

250 g orzo

200 g asparagus

100 g broccoli

100 g green peas

10 raw prawns

3 Tbs + 1 tsp (50 mL) olive oil

1-2 Tbs parsley

1-2 Tbs chives, chopped

1-2 Tbs green onions, chopped

1 lemon

To taste salt and pepper

1. Prepare an ice bath of iced water in a large container.

2. Follow the instructions on the orzo package and cook in boiling water. Drain and let cool.

3. Cut asparagus and broccoli into 2-3 cm pieces. Cook in boiling water for two minutes and add peas for 30 seconds. Transfer all vegetables to an ice bath.

4. Using the same hot water from the vegetables, add prawns and cook for 3 minutes, then transfer to the ice bath.

5. While all the ingredients are cooling down, make the dressing. In a bowl, add olive oil, chopped parsley, chives, green onions, lemon zest, lemon juice (from the lemon), and salt and pepper, and mix well.

6. In a bowl, put all the ingredients together and mix with dressing.

7. Best plated with salad bowls.

10 Culinaire | April 2024

When a chef is excited about their food – and the journey it takes them on – you know you’re in for something special. “Sharing food with good people excites me. Travel, and Edmonton’s multicultural communities, the multitude of ethnic grocery stores/restaurants seeing what we can get here, how it's traditionally used and how I can apply it to the food, inspires me,” explains Chef Shaun Hicks of Edmonton’s Little Wolf.

While many items on the menu change, a few staples stand out. “Hummus and za'atar focaccia is one of my favourites. There's so much to learn about making bread and trying to always make the hummus better - it’s a constant labour of love in such a humble dish.”

For Chef Hicks, the key to any dish is about what he’s saying by creating it in the first place, and vegetables are no different. “I feel like I’m making a statement that’s saying, ‘This vegetable is amazing and beautiful, here it is showcased by ingredients that bring the best out in it.’”

This recipe for Smashed Cucumber

Salad is based off one Chef Hicks used to enjoy at a now-closed Vancouver noodle shop. “It's such a simple dish with easy ratios that can be tweaked easily for anyone’s preference, so take it and run with it and adjust where needed for how you like to eat.”

Little Wolf Smashed Cucumber Salad

Serves 3-4

2-3 long English cucumbers or the equivalent amount of baby cucumbers if you want more crunch, diced into bite sized pieces

1-2 bunches green onions, chopped 1 bunch cilantro, rough chopped

1 Tbs roasted white sesame seeds

1/3 cup (80 mL) Chinese black vinegar

1/3 cup (80 mL) regular soya sauce or gluten free tamari

1-4 Tbs (15-60 mL) Lao Gan Ma Chili Crisp* (depending on how spicy you like your salad)

1 Tbs (15 mL) sesame oil

Mix everything together and enjoy!

* Lao Gan Ma Chili Crisp is a hot sauce, a combination of crunchy chili flakes, crispy garlic, and savoury spices. It is available in Asian and specialty markets or substitute for another chili crisp available locally.

For Chef Ashish Damale of Calgary’s Namo, years of travel have influenced his style of cooking. “I try to stay true to the original recipes and add my own touch,” he explains.

The menu for Namo boasts this global approach, with dishes ranging from the New Brunswick Lox Benny to the Oaxacan Lamb Torta. For Chef Ashish, Steak and Egg Donburi hits the spot: “It’s just perfect. Rice is always nice.”

When it comes to vegetables, fresh is best. “If you have a green thumb, grow your own,” he advises. For a quick green addition, stir fry fresh spinach with garlic and chili flakes, and finish with honey and black pepper.

Brassica Saag Burrata is a collaboration of cultures and cuisines. “It’s a fusion of my love for Indian food and the love for Italian cheeses and ingredients,” explains Chef Ashish. “Take the time to destem and devein your greens. Speed things up by using a pressure cooker if you prefer, and tear the burrata over the top of the hot saag so it melts evenly.”

Brassica Saag Burrata Spice Mixture

2 Tbs (30 mL) virgin mustard oil (available in most Indian stores) ¼ tsp asafoetida

1 Tbs cumin seeds

1 small red onion, sliced

5 cm ginger, julienned

2 cloves garlic, sliced

4 whole red chilies

2 Tbs chopped cilantro

1 Tbs kassori methi (dried fenugreek)

1. In a small non-stick pan heat the mustard oil till smoky and let cool a bit.

2. Add the asafoetida and cumin seeds and let them crackle.

3. Add in the onions and sauté till golden, then add the ginger, garlic, and chilies and cook for 2 minutes. Add in the fresh cilantro and dried fenugreek.

The Saag

500 g rapini (broccoli rabe)

½ bunch fenugreek leaves

250 g spinach

250 g kale

6 cloves garlic

5 cm ginger

2 green serrano chilis

To taste salt

30 g masa harina (nixtamalized ground corn)

100 g butter or ghee

1 Burrata, around 125 g

Garlic naan to accompany (optional)

1. Wash and rinse all greens, prepare the fresh fenugreek and spinach by removing stems, and remove the ribs from the kale.

2. Add fenugreek, kale, and rapini, to a heavy bottom pan with just enough water to fill the pot to 2-3 cm (about 1 cup).

3. Add in the garlic, ginger, and chilis and season to taste. Cook covered till

the greens have wilted and soften (about 30 mins).

4. Blanch the spinach separately and shock in ice water to retain its colour.

5. Cool down and puree the cooked mixed greens and spices with the masa harina in a food processor.

6. Puree the spinach separately (we will add this at the very end to make our saag super green).

7. Melt butter in a pan and bring the saag mix to a boil to cook the masa. Add the bright green spinach puree, adjust seasoning, and stir in the spice mixture above.

8. Plate the hot saag in a bowl, and place the torn Burrata right in the centre. Serve with garlic naan if desired.

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 | April 2024

Local Alberta-made Drinks

At Culinaire we’re always trying new and wonderful things we hope to recommend. On our Quick Sips page we hope to share all manner of “adult” beverages both alcoholic and non-alcoholic that might not fit in on our Spirits and Wine pages. This issue we’re highlighting six Alberta sips that we think you should know about! Have something we should cover? Pester Tom at

Sunny Soda, Alberta

The skilled folks at Calgary’s Sunny Cider, have long made a non-alcoholic cider, but it’s been at their tap room only – until now! Showing off a bright, grown-up cider flavour with very reasonable sweetness (about 15 grams per can) and the flavour of real apple, this is absolutely done the right way. Crisp and refreshing with a dry, almost candy-flavoured finish. So tasty! CSPC 102674, about $3-4 per can

Stickler Shrub Cocktails, Alberta

Shrubs are vinegar-based drinks, here in a blended cocktail style with gin, fruit juice, and a pinch of sugar, and it all comes together in a tart and refreshing beverage with about 5 percent alcohol. Very easy going to enjoy (best served chilled) with a good level of carbonation, and good balance of fruit and vinegar notes. In Blackberry Lemon and Grapefruit flavours, both are very tasty and something new for a tired palate.

CSPC 892956 or 892955, about $17-19

Fallentimber Meadjito, Alberta

Another mead-based take on a classic cocktail, here with room-filling, mouth watering mint leaf aromas, freshly muddled, but absolutely crushable lime and beach-friendly freshness. Honey notes are pretty mild, but as ready to drink, hot weather cocktails go, this can’t be beat when the sun is shining.

CSPC 858778 $16-18

Village Blueberry Yuzu Cider, Alberta

With an eye catching pinkish hue in the glass, it’s the bright and fresh flavours that really make this cider from Calgary’s Village Brewery stand out. Tangy blueberries? Check! Brassy yuzu notes? Check and check! Completely refreshing, crushable cider.

CSPC 871558 About $16-18

Fallentimber Honey Colada, Alberta

While this has been around for a while, who would have thought that a sparkling mead base would go so well with pineapple juice and coconut? Apparently Fallentimber did! Ready to go right out of the can, but best fairly well chilled, to show off the rich honey notes, the crushed pineapple flavour, and the toasty coconut. This would also be fantastic served on crushed ice – with a little umbrella. CSPC 885121 $16-18

Fahr Copper, Alberta

An awesome, great tasting and award-winning beer made right in our backyard (and worth a visit) comes the Fahr Copper, an amber lager treading the fine balance of a refreshing, crisp lager and a more robust, nutty amber. A solid, year round beer that might just be best in jacket weather.

CSPC 825330 about $16-18

April 2024 | Culinaire 13

When Adventure Calls:


Paying attention to health and nutrition go hand in glove with people who are physically active at all levels, from weekend enthusiasts to professional athletes. Parents want their kids to have healthy snacks on the go. Personal trainers make recommendations based on client goals. Adventure-seekers look for caloriedense energy sources.

Whether it’s making nutritious snack choices or packing for a mountain summit, your local answer to helping prepare for your next adventure might be in Seven Summits Snacks – no mountains required.

Founded in memory of climber, Robin Fisher’s last adventure, Seven Summits Snacks is the healthy-focused product of co-founders Kristyn and Leanna Carriere. The company name came to Kristyn in the wee hours of May 25, 2019 (around 4:00

am), approximately the same time friend Robin would have been reaching the summit of Mount Everest. This awakening thought wasn’t a completely new concept as Leanna had come up with the initial product line idea while the sisters shared a bottle of wine and rang in the new year. The siblings blend science and sport with business and marketing savvy to create chocolate-based superfood snacks. Both are athletes – Kristyn is a former figure skater-turned-marathoner, and Leanna a former national team pole vaulter, now triathlete. Leanna wanted something she could eat on the bike during her triathlon events, and Kristyn agreed: having an alternative to carb gels would be great for her marathons. With Kristyn’s food science background and Leanna’s keen eye to the niche opportunity, Seven Summits Snacks was born.

Their initial ascent was steep, as they encountered a global pandemic not far into the start of their trail. “We turned to developing and engaging an online community of outdoor-loving active consumers”, says Kristyn. By mid-2020, there was a collective desire to get outdoors and breathe in the fresh air, and taste testers were recruited to try their superfood chocolate while cycling, hiking, and enjoying Alberta’s River Valley – then give feedback. “Let’s just say it wasn’t difficult to find 100 people who wanted to take part.”

The sisters built a strong base of followers who supported their pre-launch campaign, becoming a loyal following. Seven Summits Snacks got listings in independent running, cycling, and

14 Culinaire | April 2024 ADVERTORIAL

hiking shops in their community, and the company grew to include sales both in-store and online.

Kristyn and Leanna’s original goal of creating a nutritious and tasty carbohydrate-dense snack to help conquer long endurance days on the bike or during a marathon, was achieved in their single-serve 30 g Endurance Bars: the Denali (for peanut butter and jelly fans), Aconcagua (Peruvian dark chocolate with tart golden berries and cacao nibs), and Everest (smooth dark chocolate with Goji berries and Himalayan salt). The endurance bars have honey for additional carbs. There’s also an 80 g Superfood Bar: a classic, clean-label chocolate bar packaged in a sport-friendly format for hiking and sharing.

Each offers variations on a theme to meet different needs and tastes. The common denominator is that all are made with ethically-sourced chocolate and ingredients tied to their community – in the case of those endurance bars, it’s Alberta honey. Plus, they use local businesses to source other ingredients and in production. “We’re committed to supporting the community of food

producers here in our backyard.”

Being part of the Made in Alberta program is important to Kristyn and Leanna because it demonstrates a mark of quality and locality. “Made in Alberta allows us to share with our customers that

we are committed to supporting our local economy and community”, says Kristyn. “The program is wonderful, as the team supports the brands by highlighting their businesses from a consumer level to a broader business-to-business level.”

There remains a little stigma around chocolate as a good and healthy source of carbohydrates while you’re being active, and it can be something of an uphill climb as customers still approach the bars as a reward or treat. “We hear some consumers say they’re saving their endurance bar for after their run”, says Kristyn. “We’re here to spread the word that chocolate is a wonderful energy source for in-sport or during activity. Eat on the move.” It’s about combining carbohydrates and fat, providing sustained energy over time during your own expedition. “We provide actually tasty sports nutrition that’s also functional.”

For producers like Seven Summits Snacks, the retail foods space can also be challenging from a resource perspective. “Being a member of the Made in Alberta program helps find other makers and producers who may have similar challenges”, says Kristyn. “As an independent owner, having a community of like-minded producers is a wonderful business network to learn and grow within.” From something as simple as a referral to a support service or local producer, small business owners like Kristyn and Leanna are saved immeasurable (and non-revenue generating) time digging around multiple places for information. When all hands are on deck, every moment is valuable. Lessons learned at higher altitude that translate to business life.

Seven Summits Snacks are available to purchase at more than 100 retailers in Canada, and online through the company directly. Spread the sustainable snack love far and wide by asking for Seven Summits Snacks at your favourite local outdoors shop, cycle store, or other recreational outfitter to help fuel your next adventure – whether your summit is big or small.

April 2024 | Culinaire 15 ADVERTORIAL
Our unique Made in Alberta label clearly identifies local food and beverages that are made right here in Alberta. By purchasing Made in Alberta products, you are supporting Alberta’s growers, farmers, producers, and processors. When we choose local, we choose our neighbours.


Linguine with Mackerel and Tomatoes

Tinned fish is having a bit of a moment right now. Lauded for being (relatively) inexpensive, jam-packed with nutrients, and incredibly versatile, cans of tuna, sardines, mackerel, salmon, and anchovies, are the shelf-stable superheroes every pantry needs.

The question is, what in the world to make

with them?

We’re all familiar with the budget-friendly tuna casseroles, fish cakes made with salmon, and the umami punch that a little bit of anchovy can instill into anything from Caesar salads to pasta. And, heaven knows my mom adores a good sardine sandwich, with slivers of onion on rye bread. I haven’t jumped on

this train yet, no matter how much she shouts its wonders from the rooftops. But it's the tins of mackerel that always mystified me.

Would it taste and smell too “fishy” and have the little bits of bone and “stuff” like sardines? I think for this reason I always ignored it, until someone urged me to try it in pasta. And now, I’m a convert and will

16 Culinaire | April 2024

forever and always have tins of mackerel in my pantry. The thing is mackerel is incredibly smooth, almost buttery, with the perfect touch of salt. It’s not too fishy at all! This often-overlooked oily fish is one of the best sources for omega 3 fatty acids, and is abundant in protein, and Vitamin D. What’s not to love about that?

This pasta recipe is a great way to try canned mackerel. It’s inspired by the Mediterranean, so there’s heaps of tomatoes, peppers, garlic, olives (if you like), lemon, and fresh herbs. The great thing about mackerel is that it is already in a tin with olive oil. You just dump the canned fish and the olive oil it’s with, into a hot skillet along with some minced garlic. Let this cook for a bit, and you can break up the larger chunks of fish with the back of your wooden spoon. Once it’s full of fun aromas, you can add the vegetables and olives. Give it a stir and let it get saucy and thick, about ten minutes should do. Simply add the hot linguine to this and toss to evenly coat. It really is that easy!

The butteriness of the mackerel really shines in this fresh and flavourful sauce. The acidity of the lemon juice and the heat from the red pepper flakes are the perfect partners to the sweetness of the tomatoes and peppers. All that’s needed is a little (or a lot) of Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top and maybe some crusty bread on the side for sopping up any gorgeous sauce left behind. This one is a winner, and even those who aren't fond of fish are going to love it.

Linguine with Mackerel and Tomatoes

Serves 3-4

This quick and easy Mediterraneaninspired pasta recipe is packed with heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids, protein, and other healthy nutrients. Not only is it nutritious, it also tastes darn delicious and can be ready in under 30 minutes.

1 package (approx 410 g) linguine or other pasta shape

Splash olive oil

2-3 tins (approx 115 g) canned mackerel in olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

4 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

2 yellow, red, or orange, bell peppers, chopped

10-12 green olives, pitted and roughly chopped (optional)

2 Tbs (30 mL) tomato paste

Pinch red pepper flakes

Pinch sugar

To taste salt and pepper

Juice of half a lemon

½ cup parsley, roughly chopped

For serving:

Lemon slices

Grated Parmesan cheese

Chopped parsley

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. When it is al dente, drain, reserving 2/3 cup pasta water, and return it to the pot. Toss with a splash of olive oil to prevent sticking together.

2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tins of mackerel, including the oil it’s packed with, and the garlic. Sauté for a few minutes, breaking up the fish with the back of your spoon. Some large and small pieces are fine.

3. Next, stir in the halved tomatoes, peppers, olives (if you’re using), tomato paste, red pepper flakes, sugar, and generous pinches of salt and pepper. Sauté for about 9-10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and the juices have released from the tomatoes.

4. Stir in the reserved pasta water, lemon juice, and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Add the drained pasta to the sauce and toss to evenly coat. Cook for 1-2 minutes to marry everything together. Serve in bowls and garnish with Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley and lemon slices.

Note: I used two tins of mackerel for this recipe, but if you would prefer to have more mackerel in this pasta, then by all means add another tin.

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.

Stuck on Maple Syrup

Quintessentially Canadian food is a must-have for the pantry

Maple syrup has always been part of Genevieve Martineau’s life. Her family doesn’t produce the sweet stuff, but, living in Quebec, she is surrounded by it — especially in the spring, when she and her family make a point of visiting sugar shacks, the farm cabins where sap is collected from maple trees and then boiled into maple syrup. “Going to the sugar shack is a traditional annual activity with my family,” says Martineau, a communications advisor for the Quebec Maple Syrup Producers.

She’s in good company. While some Canadian maple syrup is made in Ontario and New Brunswick, 90 percent comes

from Quebec - Quebec makes 72 percent of the total world production of maple syrup. While we Canucks eat copious amounts of the sticky stuff here at home, about 85 per cent is exported to more than 70 countries around the world. According to Statistics Canada, top export markets include the United States (despite the fact they have a small industry of their own), as well as Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan and Australia.

In 2023, 56 million kilograms (about 124 million pounds) of maple syrup was harvested in Quebec; that’s down from 2022, when harvest was a record-breaking 96 million kilos

(about 211 million pounds.) Pass those pancakes, people…

Seriously, though, what makes maple syrup so wonderful? “So many things!” Martineau exclaims.

First and foremost, it’s made from just one ingredient, maple water, which flows from maple trees as sap every spring. A sugarbush operator “taps” each tree

18 Culinaire | April 2024
Joyce Wright, owner of Good Stuff Maple

by drilling a small hole, about three centimetres deep, and then inserting a spout for the sap to run out. Heated until much of the water evaporates, that sap thickens, turning into the final product — what we know and love as maple syrup — which is then bottled and sold as is, with no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives.

What it does contain: vitamins and minerals. A tablespoon of maple syrup contains about a third of our daily value of manganese, good for healthy bones. It also contains zinc, copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium.

And, of course, it’s a natural sugar, too. “Maple is a great addition to any recipe that calls for sugar, as it is an excellent substitute for other sweetening agents,” Martineau says. “Few ingredients are as delicious and versatile as maple syrup.” Joyce Wright, owner of Good Stuff Maple in Calgary, agrees. “Maple syrup just adds so much flavour to everything, and it’s a truly Canadian product,” she says.

Indeed, maple syrup’s roots in Canada go back hundreds of years. Early European settlers, in what is now northeastern North America, learned about the sticky stuff from their Indigenous neighbours, who had been turning maple sap into sugar for generations - the earliest written records of the harvest process date back to 1609.

Wright got into the business when a friend from Quebec couldn’t find maple syrup that reminded him of what he’d had at home. He began shipping it in and, as a favour, she started making maple butter tarts for him to sell at the Crossroads Market in Calgary. When he decided to return to Quebec, she took over, and now he ships his syrup straight to her from a farm of about 50,000 trees south of Rimouski, Quebec.

She sells various products at farmers’ markets in and around Calgary, including Millarville, Cochrane, and Bearspaw, as well as Fresh and Local Market & Kitchens in Avenida. Salt Cellar in Okotoks uses her syrup for a couple of salt blends, and Village Brewery once used her maple syrup in a special beer. It’s been an ingredient for maple bacon and a mustard, too.

Wright — who says her most popular product is her dark maple syrup — is legendary for her maple butter tarts, but she also makes maple barbecue sauce, shortbread, marinades, salad dressings, even bran muffins. She likes it on her oatmeal in the winter and notes that friends use it in their coffee in place of sugar. “It’s so versatile. Anywhere you use sugar, you can use maple syrup or maple sugar,” Wright says. “You can use it for so much more than just pancake syrup.”

Jose Desmarais, owner of JD Maple Products in St. Albert, found a career in the maple syrup industry almost by accident. From Quebec’s Eastern Townships, south of Montreal, he was part of the Canadian military for many years and upon retirement, was looking for a new challenge. When an early business venture went sideways, he returned to Quebec and spent time with


Translated from French to English, it’s a sugar shack, a place where maple syrup is made. “The annual spring outing to a sugar shack is a long-held custom in Québec. Several hundred sugar shack owners open their doors to the public. People come out to welcome the arrival of spring in March and April by enjoying a traditional meal and fun activities,” says Genevieve Martineau.

“The first sugar parties were organized as early as 1868. Today, most Quebec families gather here to celebrate the sugaring-off season and reconnect with their roots.”

Of course, there’s plenty of maple syrup to buy and eat — including Martineau’s favourite, maple taffy (tire d'érable), fresh syrup rolled until it’s cooled in the snow.

his cousin, who works in the maple syrup industry there. Desmarais asked if she thought he’d have a chance selling maple syrup in Alberta. She thought it was a great idea and the rest, as the expression goes, is history. Since 2022, Desmarais has been selling that syrup — from Brien Maple Sweets in Ste-Anne-de-la-Rochelle — at the Bountiful and Old Strathcona farmers’ markets in Edmonton.

Same as Wright in Calgary, he says his most popular product is his dark maple syrup. Four-litre jugs are big for restaurant sales, but for general retail, his second-most-popular product is, by

April 2024 | Culinaire 19
Jose Desmarais, owner of JD Maple Products

far, the famous “product of Quebec” vintage-style red tins, with labels depicting trees, snow, and red shack. “Tourists really love those,” he says. “It’s the nostalgia.”

Like most farms and agricultural businesses these days, maple syrup farmers aren’t immune to weather and climate change. “Consequences of climate change on maple syrup producers are real and worrying,” Martineau says. The loss of one tree

may not sound like much in a field of 50,000 — but it takes about 50 years for a tree to be productive. “Natural disasters are more frequent and of greater intensity.” What will 2024 be like? As of writing this story, it’s too early to tell, Martineau says. “Each year, it begins anew.”

No matter who you’re talking to, however, one thing remains the same: Maple syrup is always delicious, no matter where or how you eat it.


I’d give maple syrup an A+, I love it so much. But in real life, maple syrup is graded according to its colour and flavour in Canada:

• Golden — the lightest colour and most delicately flavoured

• Amber — As the name suggests, it’s amber coloured

• Dark — A more pronounced flavour and darker colour

• Very Dark — Richly flavoured, very dark amber/brown, a favourite amongst Canadians, especially for baking and cooking


Unopened, a bottle of maple syrup will last about a year in your pantry. But once you’ve opened it, store it in the fridge.

Shelley is an award-winning Calgary-based writer and editor whose work has appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world. She currently splits her time between Calgary and Italy. Visit for her food, wine and spirits exploits.

Our 10th Annual Culinaire Calgary Treasure Hunt is Sunday June 9!

Registration is now open

Everyone has gone home a winner at our Culinaire Treasure Hunts and Taste Tours; they’ve been so popular that the spots sell out every year, so now we’ve planned a new and exciting “We’re at a Crossroads – Which Way to Go?!” World Taste Tour with new treats to enjoy. And it’s all in one location – just park up and walk, no driving across town!

You’ll answer questions to learn and enjoy different foods at each stop, and use your new knowledge and skill to complete the We’re at a Crossroads – Which Way to Go? culinary puzzle to win fabulous prizes! There are prizes for the best costumes, the

funniest team names, the funniest photos on social media... and lots more! It’s another very fun and rewarding day, so grab a partner and sign up as a team of two, or sign up solo at Spots book up fast!

It’s going to be another day to
remember! @culinairemag /CulinaireMagazine @culinairemag

The Search for Calgary’s Best Hardboiled Egg Dishes:

Scotch Eggs, Deviled Eggs, and Egg Salad/Sandwiches

Eggs! One of the simplest, most affordable, and versatile foodsand as we know, much beloved by Albertans.

They play an enormous role in our food system, with 168 egg-farming families in our province that keep things clucking along to supply us with fresh, high-quality, and nutritious eggs – all checked and certified that they are produced according to strict standards of food safety and animal welfare. Last year, our Alberta egg farms produced over 980 million eggs! So, in collaboration with the Egg

Farmers of Alberta, we set out to find out how Calgary fares in the world of hardboiled egg dishes – and embarked upon another amazing and completely delicious journey. We asked our readers and our followers on social media, television, and radio, to nominate your favourites, and we were thrilled at the enthusiastic response: dozens of cafés, bakeries, pubs, restaurants, and caterers

around the city on your list of must-tries! We knew we couldn’t tackle this alone, so we engaged four local eggspert and eggsperienced judges (sorry!): Elizabeth Chorney-Booth, local food writer/CBC radio and Calgary Herald contributor; and SAIT Chefs Hayato Okamitsu CCC and Vanessa Mendoza, along with yours truly – to taste through all these recommendations and find the very best.

April 2024 | Culinaire 21
La Belle Graze Egg and Spoon Visionary

“What really surprised and impressed me about judging this competition was the sheer breadth of dishes we were able to taste,” Chorney-Booth says. “People think of eggs as a simple food, but with a little bit of ingenuity, they can take on so many forms and flavours.”

Mendoza feels the same, “The humble and mighty egg’s versatility was elevated and showcased by Calgary’s creative chefs.”

To judge all the dishes equally and fairly, instead driving around the city to visit all the nominated locations, we arranged two days of tasting at the Carriage House Hotel, where we could spread out comfortably to sample each dish, and where they could all be judged blind – we had no idea who made which dish! We split our entries into three broad categories:

Scotch Eggs

These are hardboiled eggs usually covered in sausage meat, coated with breadcrumbs, and deep fried. There are several explanations for the name, most likely that they were created by William J Scott & Sons (Scott’s eggs) in the North Yorkshire town of Whitby in England, although high-end department store, Fortnum & Mason, do claim to have invented them in 1738 as a traveling snack for the wealthy. They could also have been

originally called “Scorched Eggs” as they were cooked over an open flame.

We asked our chefs how to make the ideal Scotch Egg:

The eggs should be boiled for six minutes, the ratio of sausage meat to egg should be enough to cover the egg - but not too much, the temperature of the oil to fry the eggs shouldn’t be too hot so they don’t cook too quickly, but cook to golden brown; and they should be seasoned after frying while still hot.

“Making Scotch Eggs can be very tricky,” says Okamitsu, “but a lot of chefs cooked the egg and meat to perfection. Some of the dishes were outstanding, with a crispy texture crust, even those cooked a little earlier and now served cold.”

Deviled (or Devilled) Eggs

Often called Salad Eggs or Stuffed Eggs, these can be linked right back to the Romans who ate seasoned boiled eggs with a spicy sauce. Deviling means to make something spicy – in this case to add mustard and other spices to the yolks mixed with mayonnaise.

Our chefs tell us that the ideal Deviled Egg should be just one or two bites, with a firm yolk mixture - not too loose – and with lots of flavour. If the eggs are pickled, it should be only lightly, so they are not too vinegary, and they should be garnished!

“The Deviled Egg is such a simple dish”,

says Okamitsu. “That means there is NOTHING to hide behind, and a lot of chefs executed amazingly.”

Egg Salad/Sandwiches

We know that in the 1800s, street vendors would mix chopped hardboiled eggs with mayo, mustard, onion, paprika, and celery, as a sandwich filling for factory workers to eat as they trudged to work on the smoggy streets of East London.

“This category is the most challenging I think,” Okamitsu says. “Making a sandwich is one of the most simple cooking techniques, but there are so many critical points to make great sandwiches, such as the flavour, consistency, and texture of the egg mixture; the choice of bread and whether it is toasted or not, a spread or sauce to avoid the bread become soggy, and finally – the garnishes will be a game-changer for the whole experience.”

Tate O’Dwyer, of the Egg Farmers of Alberta, joined us for the egg salad judging day. “It was a neat experience to see the various egg salad sandwiches brought in by restaurants, how each was presented on the dish, the subtle differences each one had, and each chef’s own take on a traditional egg meal,” he says. “There were many variations, which goes to show just how versatile the egg is!”

22 Culinaire | April 2024
British Banger Company Kensington Pub Yenny Delights

So what were we looking for?

• The dish: taste - does it taste delicious and as you'd hope for this dish? Is it a good example of its type?

• The other ingredients: are the flavours complementary or appropriate, and done well?

• The presentation: does it look enticing and make you want to eat it?

• And the last is worth double the points: the recommendationwould you eat this again, would you recommend this to a friend?

Many thanks to everyone who helped make our search for the Best Hardboiled Egg dish so successful: to you for guiding our journey by nominating your favourites; to all the cafes, bakeries, pubs, restaurants, bars, and caterers, who gave their time and expertise to make the dishes for us to judge; to the Carriage House Hotel for being perfect hosts and to Egg Farmers of Alberta for being perfect partners (and having the best oven gloves!); to our judges, who each worked diligently for hours tasting and scoring the dishes; to Katherine Puhl for helping with the logistics so the judging days ran smoothly, and to Tom Firth for his number-crunching skills to ultimately find our winners.

It was a very close contest in all categories, and we’re delighted to announce the highest scoring Scotch Egg:

Oxford Bakehouse, Crossroads Market

This is delicious – with a slight herbaciousness in the sausage, good coating, perfectly cooked eggs. It comes with chutney and mustard, which are wonderful together –everything is a perfect bite. ECB

Highly Recommended winners are (in alphabetical order):

Bergamini's Baking, Cochrane

A good Scotch Egg, well-seasoned, great texture, and well done egg doneness! HO

British Banger Company, Okotoks

This had to be made by a Brit, it’s very traditional with lovely herby Lincolnshire (?) sausage meat which goes well with the relishes. LG

Kensington Pub, Kensington

The ratio of filling to egg to crust is great, and it’s a perfectly cooked egg with a good shape and texture. VM

Yenny Delights Firm Egg, Crossroads Market

There was the right tightness between the sausage and the coating. Nice aioli, sauce, and garnishes. ECB

And a special mention to:

Sensei Bar, 14 Street SW

Whose untraditional Scotch Egg was made with fish rather than sausage meat.

A slightly different shape, with a slightly jammy egg, and lovely flavours – salty, slightly sweet, and a little tangy! Really well done. LG

Our highest scoring Devilled Egg:

Brie & Banquet, 42 Avenue SE

This was wonderful! The texture and colour are great with the tinge of pink from pickling and delicately garnished with black caviar. Wellseasoned with a good balance of flavours. VM

Highly Recommended winners are (in alphabetical order):

Egg & Spoon, Macleod Trail S

This is a very good deviled egg, perfect-looking and classic. They look cute but also taste great with good garnishes – very much pizzazz! ECB

The Green Bean, 11 Avenue SW

Nice piping skills, and beautiful detailed garnish. Great flavour with well-balanced seasoning. Simple but perfect, in a traditional way. HO

The Guild, 8 Avenue SW

Really good mustardy, creamy yolk, and nicely piped. Beautiful to look at (very ‘chefy’!) and I love the crunchy onion garnish for texture, and hot paprika on top. LG

Wolves Den at the Ranchmen's Club, 13 Avenue SW

Tastes great! The piping is neat, and the smoked salmon garnish complements the egg well. I like the sprinkling of poppy seeds too! ECB

April 2024 | Culinaire 23
Brie & Banquet

For the Egg Salad/Sandwiches, to make sure we judged like-for-like, we had many ‘Traditional’ entries but also many that you couldn’t call ‘Classic’, so we have a separate category for these contemporary expressions of the dish.

Our highest scoring Traditional Egg Salad/Sandwiches:

The Green Bean, 11 Avenue SW

A very solid representation of a classic egg salad sandwich. A good amount of filling and bread to filing ratio. Not too creamy, the eggs are seasoned well, and there’s a nice crunch too. ECB

Highly Recommended winners are (in alphabetical order):

Grumans Delicatessen Tea/Party Sandwiches, Britannia

Grumans entered a scoop of their classic egg salad, egg salad sliders, and their large deli egg salad sandwich on challah – they’re all extremely good, but it was the party/tea sandwiches that stole our hearts – soft little double deckers, with both white and brown bread! LG

La Belle Graze, 1 Street SE

Great presentation! A good high tea sandwich on sweet brioche with wellseasoned egg filing and a good ratio of egg to bread. HO

Lazy Loaf and Kettle, Parkdale Crescent NW

A take on a BLT but with egg, lettuce, and cucumber – and tomato, cheese, and pickle too. Very colourful! VM

Luxe Afternoon Tea


White bread with half a slice of cucumber on top for crunch, it tastes as you’d hope – nice and creamy, with a good ratio of bread to eggs. LG

The Industrial Sandwich, 6 Street SE

There is a great amount of egg filling and with nice, crunchy lettuce. This is a good sandwich when you are hungry! HO

Our highest scoring Contemporary Egg Salad/ Sandwiches:

Visionary Catering, 3 Avenue SE

This is a very well thought-out sandwich. All the elements work so well together and it tastes really good. The bread is amazing! The egg salad is bright and yellow, and I love the pickles, onions, and herbs. ECB.

Our judges

In collaboration with:

Highly Recommended winners are (in alphabetical order):

Delta Calgary South, Southland Drive SE

This tastes as good as it looks, and it looks amazing! Toasted rye bread, crème fraiche and microgreens on the bottom, and truffle on top – all the components are tasty individually and together. A lovely, elevated sandwich. LG

Jelly Modern Doughnuts

The texture of the doughnut bun was excellent! It’s a good shape and great tasting with truffle oil. The butter lettuce lining is a nice touch too. HO

Primary Colours, Britannia

A nice welcome and a new twist on an egg sandwich with tamagoyaki filling! The soft bread is nicely toasted, grainy mustard and tamago work very well together. Creative and unique! VM

24 Culinaire | April 2024
Elizabeth Chorney-Booth food writer/ contributor to CBC radio and Calgary Herald Hayato Okamitsu CCC Culinary Instructor at SAIT Vanessa Mendoza Culinary Instructor at SAIT Linda Garson who eats and drinks for a living, and writes and talks about it! The Green Bean | @louisjadot

Did you know that wild strawberries have been around for thousands of years? And they have been cultivated since the 1300s?

These beautiful red gems, when kissed by the warmth of the sun, are the sweetest, most decadent fruit you can imagine. It makes sense that they are part of the rose family.

The beauty of this fruit (and everything at the peak of ripeness) is not to do too much with it. Let the full flavour envelop the taste buds and enjoy perfection. Eat it straight from the plant, garden, container without much fuss. Their

official season is short so eat your heart out when they are at their best.

Most other times of year you are better off buying frozen strawberries that have been picked and flash frozen closer to the peak of their ripeness. The advent of being able to flash freeze foods allows us to enjoy strawberries at all times of the year and still get as close to just picked as possible. Frozen strawberries are better than fresh outside of strawberry season. These recipes use both fresh and frozen strawberries so you can enjoy both.

26 Culinaire | April 2024

Strawberry Mousse Serves 4-5

3 cups frozen strawberries (or fresh)

¼ cup sugar

1 Tbs (15 mL) water

1 lemon, juiced

½ cup (120 mL) whipping cream

1 Tbs icing sugar

1 tsp lemon zest

1 tsp (5 mL) lemon juice

1 cup strawberry compote (from the frozen strawberries)

Mint leaves, extra strawberries, extra “jam” for garnish

1. In a small pot add strawberries, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil over medium to medium-high heat and let cook 15 - 20 minutes.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie Serves 2

1½ cups frozen sliced strawberries

1 cup frozen sliced bananas

½ cup (120 mL) coconut cream

¾ cup (180 mL) water

2 tsp (10 mL) honey

Blend strawberries, bananas, coconut cream, water and honey in a blender and enjoy.

But that not all this smoothie can do:

• Add your favourite protein powder to power up your breakfast or a quick boost after your workout.

• This smoothie is great for kids when they get home from school and dinner isn’t quite ready yet.

• You can use up extra ripe bananas to make this smoothie.


You can make the mousse earlier in the day and keep in the fridge to serve after dinner.

2. Add lemon juice, stir and remove from heat.

3. Puree the mixture with a hand blender or stand blender until smooth. Let cool in the fridge until cold.

4. Whip cream until thick. Add the icing sugar, lemon zest and juice, and continue to whip to combine.

5. Gently fold in the strawberry “jam”. Spoon into serving containers.

6. Top with more strawberry slices or you can swirl extra “jam” through the mousse without incorporating it completely for flair and a pop of extra strawberry flavour.

You can also prep the banana and strawberries and package them for easy access so that you can whip up this smoothie in just 2 minutes. To do this, chop up the bananas and strawberries and lay them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and allow them to freeze for 3 hours. Once they are frozen then you can store them in a freezer safe container. Just measure out what you need for your smoothie. Easy!

April 2024 | Culinaire 27
Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Strawberry Salad

Serves 4-5

¼ cup (60 mL) yogurt

1 Tbs (15 mL) orange juice

1½ tsp orange zest

1 tsp (5 mL) red wine vinegar

¼ tsp chili powder

To taste sea salt

6 leaves Bibb lettuce, or greens of choice

1 Tbs green onion

5 strawberries, fresh

4 walnuts

¼ cup orange segments

½ avocado

1 cup shredded chicken

1. In a small bowl, combine yogurt, orange juice, orange zest, vinegar, chili powder and salt. Let stand as you prepare the rest of the salad.

2. Wash and dry the greens. Tear or roughly chop your greens.

3. Thinly slice the green onion. Quarter strawberries. Crush or roughly chop the walnuts.

4. Remove the segments from an orange and slice the avocado.

5. Place the greens on the plate or bowl and top with shredded chicken, green onion, strawberries, walnuts, orange segments and avocado.

6. Drizzle with the yogurt dressing. Simple, fresh and filling!

Strawberry Mascarpone Phyllo Tarts

Makes approximately 15 mini tarts

1 Tbs (15 mL) whipping cream

2 tsp (10 mL) Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur

½ cup (120 mL) mascarpone

2½ Tbs icing sugar

1 Tbs orange zest

12-15 mini phyllo tart shells (store bought or homemade)

2 Tbs (30 mL) strawberry jam (store bought or homemade from recipe above)

8 strawberries, sliced and diced to top the tarts

1. In a small bowl add the whipping cream, orange liqueur, mascarpone, and icing sugar, and beat with a hand mixer until smooth. Add more icing sugar if needed and combine.

2. Stir in the orange zest.

3. Line up the shells and fill* and decorate using the jam, mascarpone filling and fresh strawberries.

* Fill these as close to serving as possible so the filling does not soften the phyllo shells.

You could also use the strawberry mouse (from above) to fill the shells as well.


This recipe can be multiplied for larger tarts or to serve as 1 large tart.

28 Culinaire | April 2024
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. Strawberry Salad Strawberry Mascarpone Phyllo Tarts

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN FOR THE 12th Annual Alberta Beverage Awards


Open to any wine, beer, spirits, mead, mixers, sakes, liqueurs, non-alcoholic beverages, and alternatives available to purchase in Alberta

Judged by leading sommeliers, retailers, and media, from across the provinceAlberta palates and experts who know the Alberta market, celebrating 30 years as Canada’s only private liquor market!

No participation medals!

A clean, blind tasting methodology where only the best will rise to the top!

Judges find out what they tasted – only after judging, and receive all their personal tasting notes for future reference


JUDGING JULY 15, 16 ,17



For more information, contact Competition Director Tom Firth:


Diony Distillery: From art to top shelf whisky, it’s more than a passion project


When Stephane Pilon decided he wanted to open a business a few years ago, he couldn’t have known the search would take him from Canada to Seattle to New Zealand for ideas that went from cheese making to distilling – and what would eventually be a micro distillery in a Red Deer County industrial park that even includes whisky tasting/ educational sessions and an art gallery. Owner and master distiller, Pilon, and wife Sophia Wong (who he met while learning the language in Spain), both have degrees in unrelated fields, but that

hasn’t mattered in this venture. The pair’s curiosity and patience, interest in ‘green’ processes and working with local producers is serving them well; the company celebrated the grand opening of Diony Distillery (named for Dionysus, the Greek God of wine), in late 2023.

“As a business venture, we knew this would just grow in worth over time,” says Pilon, describing the distillery industry in Alberta, “like where brewing was 15 years ago.” He also points to sage advice from industry experts like Frank Deiter (former owner of BC-based Okanagan Spirits

and guru of modern craft distilling). “I heard Frank’s voice telling me, ‘Just make whisky–don’t do anything else.’ It was simple and to the point. And that’s what we’ve done.”

“Craft distillers produce very little volume; it’s a matter of quality, not quantity,” says Deiter, who maintains a relationship with Pilon (and continues to be a key source for equipment, from fermenter pumps to barrels). Currently, Diony is producing two to three barrels of whisky per month. “Rye and Canada have a symbiotic connection, and

Stephane Pilon, Sophia Wong and children enjoy every aspect of wkisky-making, from getting on a combine at Matt Hamill's grain farm, to taking a close inspection of the state of the art equipment at Diony Distillery's Red Deer County space. Photos courtesy Diony Distillery.
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Stephane tailored his distillery to it. He is a passionate guy, and is creating a solid product with Canadian rye.”

It wasn’t easy for Pilon at first, juggling weekends at the distillery with his full-time job (managing the local Canadian Tire store) and being dad to a young family. Children Philippe, now 11, Maxime, 10 and Annick, at 4 years old, have been too young to help in the distilling process, but they’re growing up immersed in it, nonetheless. Pilon says living in the heart of the grain/ farming industry in central Alberta makes it not only an ideal spot for crafting whisky, but for making real connections with producers.

Matt Hamill, co-owner of Red Shed Malting, provides a large quantity of roasted malts to Dionys. One of the few small, craft maltsters in Canada, Hamill’s operation is only ten minutes down the road from Pilon. It’s an ideal set up for Hamill to provide the roasted rye, barley and oats Pilon uses for his whisky–there’s even been the occasional ‘field day’ for Pilon’s family, complete with rides through the grain fields on a combine.

“We would’ve found each other eventually,” laughs Hamill, adding he’s proud of the part his grains play in Diony’s whiskeys. “The industry is growing, and we’ll be seeing a lot more whisky distilleries in the future, but Diony is unique and exceptional. There can be chocolate or coffee notes to the whisky, and yet it’s just grains, barrels, and time. And what I like is Stephane does all that using local products.”

Indeed, while Pilon says the great majority of whisky’s flavour comes from the wooden barrels it ages in, he also credits the malted rye and other roasted grains that make his Canadian whisky unique. There’s interest in his product from as far away as Germany, Asia and the U.S.

“We’re taking a trade accelerator program that will give us the tools required to export,” Pilon says. In the meantime, the product is finding its way to liquor stores in Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer, (including Sherbrooke Liquor, Craft Cellars, Liquor Hutch) and at occasional expo events.

Because Canadian whisky must be aged for a minimum of three years by law, Diony actually started production on four types of premium whisky in 2018. The lineup includes a Port Cask finished whisky, a

Prairie Trio of malted rye, malted barley and oat, and Campfire, with malted rye, oats, and barley finished in re-charred French oak barrels and heavily smoked rum barrels. Already, Diony has entered international competitions and won for its Campfire and Port Cask products.

“We’re unique because we blend a high percentage of malted rye. Our fourth whisky also has roasted barley–it’s like having roasted coffee beans. The flavours are amazing,” says Pilon, who educates consumers about the whisky-making process with workshops and tastings at the distillery. “Visitors see how the whisky goes from grain selection and fermentation to distilling to cask selection, aging and finally having the product come to life in the glass. It’s a bit of art plus science. We host people with varying interests – team building events, manufacturing, and brewing industry folk (even stag and bridal parties).”

Then there’s the interest in clean and green, which started when Pilon and Wong were in New Zealand, and saw how one company was making vodka from whey.

“Taking waste and making a resource out of it – that really had an impact,” says Pilon, who offers the spent grains from the distilling process back to local farmers. The protein and fibre in the solids provide nutritive value to farm animals, says Pilon, who also uses compostable bottles and sealers – no plastic packaging at all.

Another aspect of Pilon’s passion comes across with the art found in the distillery.

Local artists are featured in the distillery’s gallery, (including landscapes by Olds artist, Brett Heidi) and Pilon himself gets creative with the whisky barrels, taking archival scenes and etching them onto the barrels.

Ever conscious of getting the word out about Diony, Pilon is knocking on doors and upping the company’s profile while being active with the United Way, Lacombe Museum, Red Deer Food Bank, and Red Deer Tourism, among others. During the pandemic, Diony was also one of the first to encourage production of hand sanitizer among distilleries.

“We took an unusual path, and now our challenge will be in marketing. We want to take advantage of my wife’s and my education to promote and expand. We've got 3,000 square feet in a central Alberta space, with lots of interest in the whisky-making workshops, plus a gallery to showcase local art,” he says, adding a soon-to-come rum is on the horizon too –a natural to make use of some of those rum barrels the company has on hand.

“We want the industry to know we produce some of the best grains in the world in this part of the country–we’re in a resource-rich area. There’s plenty of room to grow.”

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.

April 2024 | Culinaire 31
Stephane Pilon combines a passion for whisky making, and art with customers that visit Diony Distillery. Up to a dozen workshop attendees learn about whisky (from grain to barrel) and can enjoy a gallery of works by local artists at the same time.

April Spirits: Gin

It’s April and it’s Spring, so this month we’re all about the flavours and complexity of distilled grains with juniper - along with other natural berries, herbs, fruits, and spices – which means gin! With bottles from both sides of the Atlantic, what do our picks have in common? They are all very proud of being small batch, handcrafted spirits, each reflecting the area they come from and the people who made them. They’re all very different, and each worthy of scouring the province to find!

Dillon’s Cherry Flavoured Gin, Ontario

Starting with a well-made, rye-based gin, and then flavoured with real sour cherries - locally sourced - and a pinch of sweetening, this achieves the impossible. A cherry flavoured spirit that doesn’t taste medicinal. Aromatic and tart cherries bring freshness and light while the gin is intense and a little spicy too. Some killer cocktails would love this.

CSPC 8644049 $50-55

Height of Arrows, Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh’s Holyrood Distillery was founded by Calgarians Rob and Kelly Carpenter, and is known for their whisky, but here is their gin – made along the same principles of simplicity and few ingredients, letting each speak for itself. Juniper, Isle of Sky sea salt, and beeswax, are distilled with barley spirit to produce a lovely, layered gin with an amazingly viscous mouthfeel and a little pepper on the finish – one for the martinis!

CSPC 877100 $58-61

Junipero California Craft Gin, California, USA

Made by hand in San Francisco, Junipero (Spanish for juniper – the essential ingredient in gin) is a bold bottling at nearly 50 percent ABV, but the joy of gin is how easily it drinks with tonic or in cocktails – and Junipero is perfect for both with its citrus and spice notes coming from orange and lemon peel, cardamom and coriander – and cubeb, an Indonesian peppercorn!

CSPC: 869862 $55

Brighton Gin Pavilion Strength, England

From England’s south coast, Brighton Gin is the epitome of ‘handcrafted’, not only in small batches of 250 bottles, but with bottles all filled, labeled, and wax-sealed by hand. Aromas of fresh orange and lime peel leap out of the glass, backed by juniper and coriander infused into a base of 100 percent organic wheat, and re-distilled - resulting in a creamy, citrusy, gluten-free, and vegan gin, that drinks as well on its own as it does with tonic or in cocktails.

CSPC 886286, around $72

Dunrobin Distilleries Earl Grey Gin, Ontario

Bergamot is such a terrific complement to juniper, and I’m a big fan of Earl Grey Gin - here with warming flavours of ginger, coriander, and peppercorns, and a hint of lemongrass for lightness and freshness. It’s a beautiful-looking bottle enhanced with a combination of flower petals which give it a dark purple colour that changes to pink when you add any citrus; add a slice of orange and a little tonic.

CSPC 887500 $48-53

Bodega Astobiza Gin, Spain

We visited Astobiza winery on our wine and culinary tour last autumn and loved the wines, and then discovered they made gin! Fully ‘artisanal’ they showed us where they find their juniper by the winery, and six of the other ten botanicals come from the vineyard (yes, vine leaves and grapes too!), grape must and CO2 from the fermentation, and citrus and berries from the local village – Basque in a glass! Limited supply in Alberta but worth searching out…

CSPC 829089 $68-72

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Vine & Dine at the NEW Thai Sa-On

April 11, 17, and April 30

In April, we have three delicious evenings of traditional Thai dishes and some that have never been served in the city before.

On April 30 Marianna Velenosi will be with us at Thai Sa-On for a Winemaker Dinner!

A One-Off Premium Pairing Dinner at The Living Room, April 24

We’re excited for our first pairing dinner at The Living Room, where we’ll enjoy a premium, chef-crafted, modern Spanish comfort food pairing menu of organically raised meats and dairy, and local artisan products.

Special Kitchen Party Upstairs at Shoe & Canoe

April 27

Our Fine & Dine evenings here in the upstairs kitchen at the end of last year were outstanding, so we’re coming for another very special evening with a new menu!

Roederer Winemaker Dinner at Modern Steak 8 Avenue SW

May 21

Join us for a sparkling reception with canapés followed by a sumptuous and impressive four-course meal, each course paired with a Roederer Champagne.

French Flair Vine & Dines at Avitus

May 6 and 13

Last year both our evenings here sold out with long waiting lists, and we know it will be the same this year. Join us in May for an authentic French experience, and six delicious pairing courses!

Vine and Dine at The Artist Lounge

May 15

We’re coming back to The Artist Lounge for a 6-course Vine & Dine pairing evening of Chef Trent’s always delicious menus, and they’re opening specially for us!

Luxury Wine & Culinary Tour of Champagne and Alsace

September 21–October 2, 2024

All our wine and culinary tours have sold out, and there are just six places available now for our brand new tour of Alsace and Champagne! Discover the historic regions, cuisine, and wines of east and northeast France!

New events and dinners are added regularly so check as these evenings can out rather quickly!

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

April 2024 | Culinaire 33

A Beer Education

ny casual beer drinker might notice the multitude of breweries around today, many more than there were twenty or even ten years ago. The statistics don’t lie; in Canada there were 83 breweries in 2000, 310 in 2010, and are now over 1,200 locations. In the US, 1,566 existed in 2000, growing to 1,813 in 2010 to almost 10,000 today.

This is not just a North American phenomenon. Places like Mexico (only a handful in 2000 to over 2,000 today), Brazil (33 breweries in 1999 to over 1,200 today), Italy (around 100 in 2000 to over 1,100 today) and many other countries have seen an explosion in the number of breweries. Even nations with centuries old brewing traditions, like Germany, the UK and Czechia are also experiencing the surge of small craft breweries alongside their older existing establishments.

So, the question arises; with literally tens of thousands of breweries having been built in the past twenty years worldwide, where are all the brewers coming from?

The answer is: from many different

channels. Naturally, most are graduates from brewery schools, but there are also home brewers who decided to “go pro”, and others who started working in a brewery and advanced up to brewing.

The common theme, nonetheless, is that somewhere along the line, they learned how to brew. Home brewing is a relatively easy way to begin; how-to books and online references are plentiful, equipment doesn’t cost much, and ingredients are also fairly cheap and accessible. Many will join home brewing clubs, which gives them access to information, materials, and expertise. They can also enter competitions and get feedback on their beers. However, inevitably, one needs to get some form of an educational component as an entry into professional brewing.

The most common route is attending a brewing program at a recognized institution. There are not many around (probably only roughly one hundred worldwide) and about a third of them are in the US. Canada has three, with Kwantlen Polytechnic University in BC, Niagara

College in Ontario and Olds College of Agriculture and Technology here in Alberta being the only ones. Some schools also provide online options for courses, with practicum experience being held at a local brewery.

The Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management* two-year diploma program at Olds has a wide selection of courses that go beyond just brewing beer. There is microbiology and chemistry that provide the science behind the brewing process, as well as mathematics and statistics to keep it all in line. Field trips to local malt houses, breweries, and hop farms in Washington add to the experience. Brewing begins in the first term with students getting to produce beers in the 2,300 square foot campus facility. Some of these become commercial products and can be purchased at select liquor stores and at Olds College.

The program tries to accommodate all types of students. Enrollees come into the school at various ages, educational

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Education is in Session

becoming a brewmaster, and a few want to start their own brewery. Keeping up with developing requirements within the educational system, changing government legislation, a dynamic marketplace, and all that entails is not easy. The program has only been around since 2013, and even in that short period, it has had to adapt to everything from a pandemic to unusual market forces. According to Jen Rogers, owner and Chief Awesome Officer of the Wild Winds brewery-in-development, who is both an Olds graduate (2019) and former teacher there, while efforts to keep the curriculum current are admirable, it is difficult to appease the wide variety of students who attend. However, she states that the scientific, theoretical, and sensory expertise, combined with recipe development are the course’s strong points. Beyond the knowledge gained, she says the best part of the experience is the camaraderie and networking connections one can make through the program.

learning about food pairings in kitchen management. Naturally the beer segment has expanded in the forty plus years the course has been offered, to the point it represents about 25 percent of the beverage education, along with wine and spirits. In addition, both institutions have hospitality programs where students can earn a two-year diploma in Beverage Management. Here they can gain beer knowledge along with basic culinary comprehension in order to develop beverage programs. There are also courses to learn about the hospitality industry and certain aspects such as beverage sales, inventory control, and retail operations.

While the content of these programs is constantly evolving, the next challenge is adapting them to a new generation of students. Alita Brown, an instructor in the Hospitality and Tourism Management Program at SAIT, notes many incoming students come from international

challenge they are working on to ensure they too graduate with the skills the industry wants.

As the beer industry continues to grow and expand, teaching those who will work directly or indirectly in it, must progress as well. Some of this expertise passes on to restaurant servers, retail clerks, and yes, even to future brewery owners. Just as education advances to meet society’s changing demands, expect more schools to offer brewing or beer related courses in the future.

* To reflect changing needs, the program is becoming Craft Beverage and Brewing Operations, and will include distilling, brewing cider, and more in the future.

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.
We are proud to handcraft delicious and award-winning chocolate confections in Calgary using simple ingredients and sustainable, fair trade couverture chocolate, for you and those you love. chocolate together chocolate together Shop in person: Dalhousie Station | Signal Hill | Southcentre | Factory Outlet Curbside pickup: Chocolate Factory Outlet in Mayland Heights Shop online: A gift of good taste

Bring on the boba:

A brief history of bubble tea and where to enjoy it in Alberta

Whether you know it as “boba” or “bubble tea”, this beverage has taken the world by storm over the past 40 years. It’s so popular that some estimates suggest that the industry will continue to grow to over $4 billion globally by 2027.

Originating in Taiwan in the 1980s, its origin is disputed, with two rival creators claiming supremacy over the idea. The two competitors, Hanlin Tea Room and Chun Shui Tang, were embroiled in a lawsuit for close to a decade during the early 2000s. However, the judge eventually ruled that neither side could

come out on top, given that bubble tea is not a patented product, and anyone can make it. In hindsight, maybe that ruling was for the best given the ever-growing diversity in the bubble tea market.

So, what exactly is bubble tea? In some ways, it’s a difficult question to answer given the extent to which variations on the beverage have proliferated over the past several years. Originally it was a relatively straightforward endeavour, namely chilled, milky tea, with black tapioca pearls settled at the bottom, making for a refreshing drink that’s complemented by unexpected texture;

ultimately a treat that is both drink and dessert.

Show up at any given bubble tea shop these days though, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by decision fatigue given the staggering number of bases, add-ins, and flavour combinations available. To help simplify the boba-ordering process, let’s break down the basics.

The Liquid

While milk tea is the classic option, it is by no means the only choice on the table. Most shops offer a variety of other tea bases, either with or without

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dairy, such as green, oolong, and jasmine teas. Alternately, you can forgo the tea altogether, opting for fruit juice or smoothie bases, although whether or not the name bubble “tea” is perhaps accurate at that point is up for debate amongst boba purists. Coffee also graces many menus if you’re looking for a more aggressive pick-me-up, and in licensed establishments, you may even be able to find bubble tea-inspired cocktails to sip on.

The Pearls and Jellies

Any of the above bases make for delicious sippers in and of themselves, but the textural component of tapioca pearls is what “bubble” tea is all about. Most are simply made with tapioca starch, brown sugar, and water; the mixture is rolled into approximately dime-sized balls and boiled until they set into bite-sized “boba”.

Nowadays though, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You can also find popping boba, which are a set fruit sphere with a juicy interior; or crystal boba, which are made with konjac, a tropical flower native to Southeast Asia, and softer than traditional tapioca boba. From there, you get into the wide world of jelly that can be added in as well. Coconut jelly, coffee jelly, and any number of fruit jellies, from lychee to mango, are usually available, and cut into small shapes (classically square or rectangular, but you can now find them moulded into stars and hearts), such that they can fit through a wide straw, same as the boba can.

Other Add-ins

What, there’s more? If tea, juice, smoothies, boba, and jelly were not enough, additional accoutrements abound. On the more refreshing side, you’ve got aloe vera, which is as cooling to drink as it is for your sun burned skin. From there, it tends to get exponentially more decadent, with the option of layering pudding or custard into the works, or floating a foamed, cream cheese-like condiment on top of the drink for added tang and richness. Candied red beans are a nuttier addition with the benefit of added fibre no less. And of course, no beverage-come-dessert would be complete without a scoop of ice cream in the mix, should that option tickle your fancy.

Where to try bubble tea National

Bubble Tea Day is April 30 (yes, it exists!) so here are some ideas of where to try your next bubble tea. These suggestions are straight from the heart of an unnamed, self-proclaimed boba aficionado, that have been tried and tested too many times to count. If avocado toast was once proclaimed the greatest detriment to the Millennial budget, bubble tea might just be the kryptonite of the Gen Z pocketbook.

Bubble Tea Brewers – Calgary and area

In addition to their Calgary location, Bubble Tea Brewers have franchises in Airdrie, Cochrane, and Strathmore so that those outside the city centre can easily access their quaffable offerings. They have a fun “cheesecake series” of beverages that feature flavours like purple taro cheesecake and avocado cheesecake, and are effectively dessert in a cup.

Dream Tea House – Edmonton

Dream Tea has been a bubble tea staple in Edmonton since 2003, now with six locations across the city. Their menu covers a wide range of options from juice and smoothie-based beverages, to flavour combos like peach and lychee, or Oreo and matcha.

Kung Fu Tea – Calgary and Edmonton

With multiple locations in Calgary and one in Edmonton as well, there are no shortage of options to choose from, so you can’t go wrong. That being said, their Yakult (think drinkable yogurt) green tea with aloe is a crowd favourite.

Mr. Sun Tea – Calgary

Mr. Sun is an offshoot of Taiwan’s Red Sun Teashop and has locations across Canada and the United States. They are most well-known for their non-alcoholic Heineken green tea, which is a delicious mix of two of the world’s most popular brewed beverages, beer and tea.

Try Again Beverage House - Calgary

What sets Try Again apart is that they handcraft their flavoured pearls in-house at their storefront in Chinatown. Craft your own concoction, choosing from an extensive selection of fruit and milk teas.


Don’t Yell at Me, 63 Crowfoot Terrace NW

Hi Tea, 312 Centre Street S

PurrTea, 816A 16 Avenue SW

Royal Tea House, 328 Centre Street S Truedan, Southcentre Mall


Boba Club, 6538 170 Avenue NW

Coco Fresh Tea & Juice, eleven locations,

Heeretea, 11116 82 Avenue NW

Ocha + Boba, 9940 137 Avenue

Presotea, three locations,

The Big Squish Lemonade and Bubble Tea, 8330 82 Avenue NW


Gong Cha, 303 Centre Street SW, Calgary and 10342 81 Ave NW, Edmonton

The Alley, four locations in Calgary and three in Edmonton,

Thé Moon Tea House, Calgary

Downtown, Legacy, Mahogany, Chestermere, Airdrie

Tiger Sugar, 210 Riverfront Ave SW, Calgary and 10075 109 Street NW, Edmonton

Mallory is a clinical psychologist and food writer who hails from Calgary but now lives in Montreal. Her goal is to help people develop healthier relationships with food. Follow her on Twitter @drfrayn.

April 2024 | Culinaire 37


Do you ever see or come across one of those “what was happening on your birthday way back when” or who do you share a celebrity birthday with? That sort of thing? Well, I’ll freely admit to doing those (I share a birthday with “Still Sharp” Sean Bean and “Posh Spice” Victoria Beckham) but I also share my birthday with World Malbec Day… which could be worse.

Naturally then, malbec is a good grape to include in an April roundup of wines, but it's not the only wine we should be thinking about gracing our glassware with. This month, I’ve got a few malbecs to share, but also a bevy of other wonderful reds that call out for the barbecue if the drifts have dispersed, but also wines that are warming, robust, and delicious no matter what is on the menu.

All the wines are red this month, in part because of World Malbec Day – but also because it’s probably the month that we get to start grilling – and eating outside again –probably with a jacket on.

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.

Bleasdale 2020 Mulberry Tree Cabernet Sauvignon, Langhorne Creek South Australia

A red wine, one-two punch from Bleasdale comes the Mulberry Tree cabernet which has a smidge of merlot and petit verdot behind the scenes. Tar and cassis on the nose with abundant spice notes, and a generous nod to bell pepper and olive aromas lead into brilliant, cabernet sauvignon style flavours with firm – but smooth tannins and a lifted cherry finish. A real quaffer that might be lovely with lamb or meat-lover style pizza.

CSPC 45096 $22-25

Tilia 2021 Malbec

Mendoza, Argentina

An easy going, rather juicy malbec that has aromas evoking pine and cigar smoke to go with those darker berry fruits, but it’s on the palate where this really delivers. Nice and full bodied which is always appreciated in malbec, but rather generous and equally easy going on the palate too with mild tannins (for malbec) and a long and almost refreshing dark chocolate finish. CSPC 760785 $21-23

Renacer Punto Final 2022

Organic Cabernet Sauvignon

Mendoza, Argentina

I’ve had the pleasure of trying many vintages from Punto Final, and I think this might be the most pleasurable cabernet in recent memory. Cola and cedar aromas with a slightly resinous, cherry note lead into well balanced tannins and a bright mid palate that has a hint of strawberry to go with those earthy spice notes and touch of capsicum. Bring on the cheeseburgers! CSPC 874767 $20-24

Fontanafredda 2019 Barolo Piedmonte, Italy

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.

One of the world’s great red wines, and one firmly attached to a particular grape grown in a particular place. Barolo? It kicks ass. Made with 100 percent nebbiolo, this wine is lightly coloured in the glass with russet tones, but on the nose it sings with nuance and complexity. On the palate, drying tannins and tight acids want food with protein and a little fat too. Perfect with anything like a premium cut of beef, but also a fine match with cheese, or excellent pizza. $29-32

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Ribera del Duero, Spain

I remember when this wine first hit Alberta’s shelves, and it was pretty jaw-dropping then, and still is today. Made entirely from tempranillo and chockablock with cherry and currant fruits, but also a mild citrusy aroma too to balance all those baking spices. Smooth and medium weight on the palate, it’s a fine sipper, but will sing with pork roasts or cured meats. A great buy.

CSPC 754090 $22-26

Gerard Bertrand 2020 Malbec

Cahors, France

Cahors in France is the “original” appellation for the malbec grape, and the home of wildly different malbecs to what we typically see from other parts of the globe. Remarkably floral on the nose with black fruits, and clean, earthy aromas on the palate, the wine carries very smooth, but prominent tannins and a fine balance of earth and spice. A perfect wine for grilled red meats or something big and saucy (and meaty).

CSPC 884531 $26-28

CedarCreek 2021 Cabernet Franc

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

CedarCreek has always had their wines figured out and I can’t think of a single misstep going back as far as I can remember. We don’t see as much from them as we used to here in Alberta, but hopefully that changes. A bright, almost brassy franc with lifted floral notes and clean fruits on the nose, with a generous approach on the palate and a clean, fresh, and very long finish showing off a little cherry/cola too. A very nice bottle to have on hand for the next barbecue.

CSPC 163303 $27-32

Yalumba Gen 2022 Organic Shiraz South Australia

A relatively new tier from the wellestablished Yalumba winery, focusing on organic fruits and a little more care towards the environment. Very well priced, the liquid in the glass shows off a fairly jammy approach with generous fruit characters and a plump finish that ends a little sweet. Very agreeable, casual wine that checks off the boxes and sure to please fans of unpretentious wine.

CSPC 883814 $23-26

Cono Sur 2021 Bicycle Cabernet

Sauvignon Carmenère, Syrah, Chile

One of the great and consistent good buys out there is Chilean red wine, but also Cono Sur who know how to make them so well, and so affordable. A blend of classic Chilean grapes, this is a well rounded, balanced red with deep cherry fruit, a bit of bell pepper, black pepper, and a bit of meatiness. Tannins are excellent and well suited here to a cheese or charcuterie board, or just whenever a red wine will fit the bill.

CSPC 715036 $16-18

Bleasdale 2021 Second Innings Malbec

Langhorne Creek, South Australia

While Argentina may have a near monopoly on malbec, other places in hotter and drier places can produce it to great effect too. This includes Australia. In the capable hands at Bleasdale, it’s a slightly more unctuous approach than most malbecs, with a slightly jammier, creamier approach letting chocolatey tannins and a slight earthy finish work its magic. Very much a protein-friendly wine, I’d lean towards burgers or steaks ideally. Something a little different but very good too.

CSPC 532424 $22-25

Terrazas de Los Andes 2021 Reserva Malbec, Mendoza Argentina

Proudly certified sustainable, the thing that really impresses here is how much this tastes like a much more expensive bottle. Deep and bursting with black, plummy fruits, there are crisp acids to balance those tannins and fruit, but give it a moment, and a lean, dried herbal note really shines though. Very nice, and a tremendous value on the shelf. Pair with beef or rich, portobello mushrooms from the grill.

CSPC 735613 About $25-28

Chronos 2020 Cabernet Franc

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

As a long-time (pun intended) enthusiast of cabernet franc, this one from the Time Family of Wines in the Okanagan is hitting it out of the park. Floral and expressive fruits on the nose with a complex and evolving spicy character that makes cabernet franc so awesome. Ripe fruits on the palate with beautiful spicy characters in harmony with the entire experience. Cellar worthy if that’s your thing, but drinking exceedingly well now.

CSPC 880171 $50-55

Hester Creek 2021 Old Vine Cabernet Franc, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Two great cabernet francs to share? Both from BC? You bet! Some of the most eloquent, well presented cabernet francs are coming from the Okanagan these days where the grape in capable hands ripens well, but shows off the complexity and balance most places don’t get. A leaner, slightly more herbal or herbaceous approach with a floral and woodsy finish, but a solid approach with deep, earthy flavours on the finish. Drink now or keep 5 years or so.

CSPC 740500 $35-38

April 2024 | Culinaire 39
2020 Celeste Crianza

Kawayo Miso

Satoshi Kawakami started his handmade, organic miso business a couple of years ago in Calgary, but this is not a quick process - it takes several months to make the koji and he’s doing everything from scratch. We’ve tried all four of them, two from soybean, one chickpea, and one black turtle bean from black rice koji - and they make wonderful salad dressings, dip, soups, and glazes! 500 g $13-14, check out for locations and recipes!

Good Foods Group Chunky Guacamole Tower and Based Queso Style Dip

Done In One, Best of Bridge

Perfect Recipes in One Pot, Pan or Skillet. Best of Bridge needs no introduction from us: it’s been almost 50 years since their first cookbook, and they’re still bringing out books with beautifully photographed recipes that we trust. We’re all about one-pot meals for busy people; Emily Richards and Sylvia Kong take us through every course and every ingredient, and for the most part you don’t need any special equipment to make them! Robert Rose, $35

Danone Silk Pant-Based Yogurt

Silk has been in Canada for 22 years, and they’ve been gradually evolving, culminating in revamping their entire coconut plant-based yogurt range this year. We tried the two new flavours in the probiotic range in 625 g tubs, and we’re impressed with the Blueberry and Cherry. They’re vegan, super creamy, very tasty, and probiotic to boot – and we daresay you might not realise they are plant-based and prepared in Canada! Check out for stockists.

Canadian Whisky – The Essential Portable Expert

Now in its third edition, this is THE book for Canadian Whisky lovers from the person who literally wrote the book (several indeed) on our internationally recognized spirit. From the facts of production and methodology to noted producers and notable examples, there is no better, and more portable expert for Canadian Whisky. A must for spirit experts and enthusiasts.

We love a good guac, and we’re quite capable of making our own – and then along comes the organic, Good Foods Chunky Traditional Guacamole, and it’s just what it says: good food, very chunky - which we love, and just a hint of spice – and there’s three-283 g containers in a pack for $18 at Costco. But not only guac, there’s a terrific plant-based Queso Style Dip made from fresh cauli, peppers, almonds, and it’s sugar-free! 680 g $8

The Grounds Café

The rare sort of cookbook that just makes you happy and at the same time hungry, comes a collection of dishes from Murray’s Century Farm in Newfoundland, a testament to growing good food, and making great dishes from it. It’s a fun and inspiring guide to the sorts of things that you’ll want to grow – or source them from a good, local farmers’ market. Try the Chive and Cheese Curd Scones (p.17) or make the pickled fennel (p.90) to save for the winter months! $35 Firefly Books

40 Culinaire | April 2024


September 21 - October 2, 2024

From the 13th century historic city of Colmar in Alsace to the world-renowned, grand wine regions of Champagne, come and experience the real France!

This comprehensive tour includes:

• Guided private visits to wineries of Alsace and Champagne

• Food treasure hunt in Colmar to explore the city and its culinary specialties

• Optional two days in Paris

• Champagne sabering class

• Premium wine tastings

• Lunches and dinners with wine

• Plenty of opportunities for shopping

• Fully air-conditioned transfers and transport each day

• and lots lots more....

PLUS! Private guided walking tours of:

- Historical Colmar, renowned for its preserved 13th Century old town

- Strasbourg Old Town and guided visit of the Cathedral

- Alsace villages dating back to the 1200s

- Epernay, Reims, and Reims Cathedral

For de tails, contact Linda: 403-870-9802

...with David Harrison

Anative Calgarian, David Harrison’s father was a lawyer who loved Italian food. “In many respects, he was my best friend as I got older,” he says. “We loved the food, the style, the banter with the Italian servers, the Italian ownerships; it resonated with me.”

At high school on the West Coast, Harrison picked up the sport of rowing, which got him through school and into universities to study economics in both California and Vancouver, and allowed him to travel the world at a highly competitive level. However in 1988, realizing he wasn’t going to make an Olympic-style program, at 25 years old, he hung up his oar. With his girlfriend, they backpacked across Europe for four and a half months, and he loved learning about regional cuisine and working his way through his list of restaurants from Michelin three-star to holes in the wall, particularly in Italy.

“But I had to go to the real world, so I started working in commercial real estate and property management for several successful mall properties in Vancouver,” says Harrison, “and some investor relations work for a couple of public companies.” He became involved in raising money for a Sudanese oilfield project, and other international deals in Turkistan and Tunisia, before moving on to domestic oil and gas production in Alberta, and more commercial real estate.

By 2020 however, it was time to make changes and figure out what he was going to do next. Spending time with family was important, as his father was an early-onset memory loss at this time. Their favourite restaurant and Harrison’s regular haunt, Buon Giorno, had a contract operator in place who was running it for the landlord because they had an approved redevelopment plan for the building - and when Covid hit, they closed.

“More balls than brains, I wanted to reopen and run the business until they

were ready to knock the building down, and then make a decision what we do next,” he says. “And when you don't come from this industry, your reliance on those who have spent their life doing it is paramount, so I called Giorgio, who was in charge of front of house, and whose experience is invaluable, and he said, ‘I'll come in and do your lunches, I'll help you understand and do this.’”

“We needed to find a new home, though” he adds. “And what was imperative to me is to not fix what isn't broken, and give people what they want. I knew what I wanted. My father had passed – (him being) the sole reason I reopened Buon Giorno – and the selfish reason is, I didn't want to lose this too.”

So what bottle is Harrison is saving for a special occasion?

In 2016, his family spent a week together in Vancouver, and 15 of them had gathered at CinCin Ristorante for one of their last great family dinners. “I had started to really like Sardinian wines, and there

was a wine on the list that was a name that I remembered but didn't have a taste remembrance, and it was this one, Capichera Assajé, that I selected for us,” he explains. “And it's brilliant. Simple in structure, simple in character, but such a great character wine.”

“I was redoing the wine list for Buon Giorno, and the new selection of our house wine, which only us in Western Canada has. I bought everything I could, about nine six-pack cases, and I offered it at the restaurant. It was my little story, and guests that I've come to know wanted to try it, and they drank all of it in a matter of months except for one six-pack, which I've put aside. It will probably stay cellared for only family moments. And this is one bottle that I haven't yet cellared and put away. My family are enjoying this restaurant, because I did it as much for them as I do for me, and when I open the wine, it will be with be with family and it will be on a simple, great night. And it makes me smile and it makes me cry.”

42 Culinaire | April 2024
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