Culinaire #13.3 (July-August 2024)

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42 Open That Bottle With Peter Izzo of Cappuccino King

14 Shrimply Adorable

Recipes to enhance the rich flavour and succulent texture of the little crustaceans by Natalie Findlay 16 A Taste of the Island

South Island Pie Co are bringing a beloved bite of New Zealand to Canada by Lucy Haines 18 Saskatchewan Food and Drink Spots worth a Road Trip …discover a culinary scene bursting with hidden gems and world-class dining by Lynda Sea 22 Step by Step Chocolate beet celebration sheet cake by Renée Kohlman

26 The Ice Sisters: Sorbet and Sherbet… Siblings in the vast world of iced desserts by Morris Lemire

29 Sweltering Summers and Shaved Ice

Milky or icy, fruit-based or fusion – these treats are the perfect way to cool down by Lailani Mendoza-Lai 32 Summer Spirits

…for hot days and when the sun goes down by Tom Firth and Linda Garson 34 Hops ’til you Drop

These tiny cones have contributed more to beer variety than any other ingredient by David Nuttall 36 Quick Sips

Canned beverages that refresh, and are a little different too by Tom Firth

Summertime –in Alberta!

We got here finally, and it feels like a long haul, but here it is, our thirteenth summer issue packed full of summertime stories that we know you’ll enjoy. Cool treats to beat the heat, summer-friendly recipes, a road trip through Saskatchewan, and more.

But first we must thank everyone who showed up for our Calgary 2024 Treasure Hunt, and thanks again to all the teams of two people who pooled resources to have twice the amount of opportunities to win. It was a high energy, really fun day - so much to eat, drink, and remember, to answer the crossword correctly – and costumes! Our winning team name was… “The Fellowship of the Wings”.

You did us proud, Calgary, and now we’re planning our 2024 Edmonton Treasure hunt in the same vein to be ready for September 15. Places are available at the moment, so do register yourselves at

We love that our Edmonton readers enjoy dressing up more too!

I’m recently back from our wine and culinary tour of northeast Spain, and what a great trip it was! Now we’re headed to France at harvest time this year and next – to Alsace and Champagne for a beautiful contrast between medieval France and the grandeur of Champagne.

We’re going to be eating well this summer too – without breaking the bank! Some of my personal favourite festivals are coming up soon, so check out my recommendations below for trying many different local foods, whatever your budget.

So many of our favourite food and beverage festivals take place in summer!

Taste of Edmonton are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year - July 18-28. Taste of Calgary, the city's premier food and beverage festival - August 1-5.

Alberta on the Plate, a province-wide festival, with restaurants offering fixedprice menus, featuring local producers – August 9-18.

Open Farm Days, province-wide educational and experiential initiatives to learn about where your food comes from – August 17-18. A new website helps you find local food and farmfresh products in Foothills County –

Barley & Smoke, Calgary food and beverage samples in support of Kid's Cancer Care - August 24.

Congrats to Alberta’s first craft cidery, Sunny Cider, on their 5th anniversary and also on Eats of Asia’s Jay Del Corro and Eric Lau opening their restaurant in the taproom! Eats of Asia have been doing pop-ups for the last couple of years, and Sunny Cider have been hosting pop-ups, so it’s a perfect fit that they should get together. Sunny Cider’s taproom seats around 50 people, and makes a great event space - now with Eats of Asia catering too (don’t miss the crabfat pork noodles)! 3300 14 Avenue NE, Wednesday- Saturday from noon, takeout and delivery too.

Having left Edmonton’s Granite Curling Club, FlatBoyBurgers are now available at Shiddy Distillery (sister distillery of the popular Sea Change Brewing Co) Rumpus Room, and the vodka distillery has expanded their space on Edmonton’s Happy Beer Street to include them. It’s a fun, casual feel, and you can enjoy breakfast all day, burgers and fries (get the flat dip with the fries!), and drinks, with milkshakes too, and key lime pie to finish. 9908 78 Avenue NW, seven days lunch and dinner,

Milestones has opened their fifth location in Calgary, so now as well as Stephen Avenue, Southcentre, Market Mall, and CrossIron Mills, you can find them in Royal Oak at 8650 112th Avenue NW. We really enjoyed the very generous chicken lettuce wraps, the four variations of Bellinis, and the killer Chili Mango Caesar! Seven days for lunch, happy hour, and dinner.

The Lodge at Bow Lake has had a total makeover inside and has now reopened and is taking bookings for the summer season until October 7. Shugarman Architecture has done a terrific job and the two new-look lounges, dining room, and 17 guest rooms are welcoming – as is the wonderful hospitality. Stays are for two nights minimum and include an outstanding 4-course dinner, breakfast, a packed lunch, and afternoon snacks - although you can dine in the Elkhorn Dining Room wherever you’re resting your head. A perfect place to unplug (no cell coverage or wireless) in beautiful surroundings.

Café 417 is a new concept in the former Bookers space, at 417 Riverfront Avenue SE, Calgary. It’s a collaborative space with four local businesses: Hunny Ice Cream, Particle Coffee, Cuties Cafe, and Lyla’s Jewelry. Hunny is run by sisters Leesan and Sinyee, who have been making and selling their Asian-inspired, small batch ice cream since 2019 online, and now you can get it by the scoop. The dairy base is sweetened with honey, and flavours change every month – past faves include The OG (vanilla and pink sea salt), miso caramel, coconut mango, and black sesame, and they offer house mochi and ice cream-based drinks. Dairy-free options too! Particle Coffee has a rotating menu, with two carefully sourced filter coffees, a limited filter coffee, and espresso – all of which come with tasting notes, so you know what you’re drinking. You can also buy their beans to brew at home. Cuties Café & Shop is Tricia Nguyen’s new venture, the founder of Cuties Club market and workshops, and offers Vietnamese snacks and drinks,

such as iced coffee, banh mi and croffles, as well as locally made products for the home. Pop in for takeout from any of these little businesses or stay and dine/ drink in, Thursday-Sunday noon-8 pm.

One01 Bistro is Edmonton’s newest Asian Bistro just across the street from Rogers place - with free customer parking! There’s a lounge area on one side and the restaurant dining room on the other, serving up small dishes of satay skewers, crispy tofu, wontons, and the delicious tempura crispy shrimp with sweet soy and tropical mayo. Big dishes include popular pork or chicken Japanese curry tonkotsu udon and premium seafood fried rice with tobiko. Wash it all down with your choice of six flavours of boba tea. 10508 101 Street NW, seven days from 11:30 am, Sundays from 4 pm.

There’s no stopping Made by Marcus! In addition to their three Calgary and two Edmonton locations, they’ve opened a new seasonal walk-up concept in Inglewood with a bike repair shop and dog-friendly patio, in the back of CampLand’s former Livery building. From June-September, watch for special events and offerings. 1119 10 Avenue SE, seven days noon-11 pm.

Canmore’s new Electric Wolf Café is an all-day café with grab and go creations prepared with love by the chefs at Rhythm & Howl. You’ll find daily baked sourdough seed loaves (so good!), pain au chocolate, cinnamon buns, and pastries, and hot breakfast sandwiches

(try the Breakfast Howler!) and lunch sandwiches on ciabatta or focaccia for hungry folks, with vegan options as well as dairy-free ice cream. The freezer houses more delicious choices to take away: house-made sausages, ready meals like shepherd’s pie and duck confit, soups, sweet and savoury pies, and pizza kits, while the fridge has a wide choice of cold drinks. There’s a dog friendly patio, and a liquor licence is coming soon! 610 8 Street, seven days 8-5 pm,

Cold Beer & Pizza is a new pizza joint and bar in Calgary. It’s easy-going, and affordable, so there’s no table service - order your pizza and drinks from the respective counters, and find yourself a table. Pizzas are Roman-style, so they’re square, and you order a half-metre (six squares) or a metre (12 squares). The crust is like focaccia but thinner, and there are 16 meaty or veggie toppings with red or white sauce, and an option for extra toppings - burrata, hot honey, vodka sauce, anchovies etc. There are six pizzas to go, (by the square rather than slice!) sandwiches, and salads too, with local beers on tap as well as their own lager. It’s low-key and laid back, with a big patio and a free photo booth at the back! 1019 17 Avenue SW.

And while we’re talking pizza, Edmonton has a new pizza joint too - Fn’za Pizza is at 11939 Jasper Avenue, and serves ‘California-style’ pizzas16-inch (10-inch also an option) with very interesting toppings (and fun, irreverent names!). The crust is getting rave reviews – firm enough to eat with your fingers without sagging, roasty toasty but not burnt. Try the bison pepperoni made especially for Fn’za by the butchery at RGE RD, or maybe ‘Big

Fn’ Dill’ with garlic cream sauce, shaved potato, cooked and fresh pickle, on a bed of mozzarella. Bánh Mì Sài Gòn has ginger-lemongrass pork and sesame-soy glaze, and ‘Venice Bitch’ has mint basil hemp pesto, almonds, veggies and goat cheese. Salads are coming soon. 11-11, closed Mondays,

Eat, drink, and sing at Korilla – the three floors have everything you want for a delicious, interactive meal and evening! Three blocks west of his Hankki Korean street food, Chef Simon Park’s Korilla is authentic Korean BBQ, similar to restaurants in Seoul –all the furniture, plates, telescopic smoke hoods, and many ingredients are from Korea too. There’s high quality meat to BBQ yourself, and to help you choose, there are platters for 2, 3, or 4, with six sides and three dipping sauces, as well as a large menu of shareables, appies, and separate veggie and gluten-free menus. Wash it all down with a Korean soju, makgeolli, wine, beer, or a cocktail. From 4 pm MondayThursday, from noon Friday-Sunday. Oktop rooftop patio opens ThursdaySunday at 5 pm, with 10 BBQ tables and an additional menu, and when you’re full - head to one of the three karaoke rooms downstairs!

Calgary Momo House has opened a second location serving up a broad selection of steamed, chili, timur, johl, fried, and tandoori momos, as well as many shareable, authentic Nepalese curries and other dishes. Congratulations to husband and wife

duo, Chef Prakash and Pooja Ale Magar, who’ve gone from a homebased business during the pandemic, to a dine-in location in Calgary’s northeast, and now the new restaurant at 20 Crowfoot Crescent NW.

Downtown Edmonton has a new Indigenous restaurant! Pei Pei Chei Ow’s Svitlana Kravchuk and Scott Iserhoff have opened Bernadette’s, and they’re changing perceptions; while the menu is based around seasonal ingredients, it reflects Iserhoff’s personal style from 20 years of working in restaurants - beautifully presented and creative dishes. The popular Pei Pei Chei Ow breakfast and berry barbecue brisket sandwiches are on the lunch menu, as well as rotating specials, and elevated sharing plates at dinner. The elegant space seats 23, and a patio is coming soon. 10114 104 Street NW, TuesdaySaturday lunch and dinner.

A pillar of the community in Calgary for 35 years, Springbank Cheese has opened a new location at 339 Aspen Glen Landing SW, the third owned and operated by Carie Lee and Adrian Watters, and they’re looking forward to being a part of the community in the area. They opened Willow Park Village location in 2005, and Crowfoot 2017 - but it’s not just cheese! When we visited, there were crackers, olives and olive oils, salsas and sauces, jams, chutneys, and mustards, patés, jerky, salts, sodas, chocolate, and chips! Check them out at

Beating the Heat

We’re welcoming warm weather and the prospect of outdoor dining, so this month we asked four Alberta chefs to give us their best when it comes to turning the heat down and chilling out.

Chef Jose Lemus has fond memories of eating at gatherings with family and friends, his grandmother cooking on the grill and flattop with such ease that “it seemed like she was everywhere at once.” But it was more than just sharing food: “I didn’t realize at the time it was to share the experience too.” Now, Chef Jose loves nothing more than creating experiences for his guests at Calgary’s Modern Steak For him, nothing tops the Benchmark Ribeye at Modern, with chimichurri and confit garlic. But when he’s dining at home on the patio, ceviche is a sure thing. “The fresh citrus with seafood and salty chips, especially with a cold beer, is heaven.”

Keeping up with the seafood theme, Chef Jose shares his recipe for salmon tostada, a dish he first created as a staff meal. “I love it when my team gets to try something new. It sparks ideas and fosters creativity.” The flexibility of the recipe makes it easy to create according to what’s on hand and what’s preferred. “It’s all about what tastes good to you! Most of the ingredients are adjustable, so do what makes you happy and add or take out whatever works for you.”

Salmon Tostada Serves 3

3 corn (or flour) tortillas

2 cups (500 mL) vegetable oil

To taste salt and pepper

255 g sushi grade salmon

1 shallot

1 serrano pepper

1 mini cucumber

3 limes

15 g gochujang paste

3 Tbs (45 mL) olive oil

1 ripe avocado, sliced

15 g cilantro, optional for garnish

With flavours from the Mediterranean, Central America, Italy, and Mexico, you’re in for some amazing al-fresco days and nights. Stock the cooler and call your friends – summer is officially here!

1. Heat the vegetable oil in a 2 litre sauce pot or pan. In the restaurant chef would heat the oil to 350º F, but at home he would heat the oil on medium high for 20-30 minutes until the oil crackles if a droplet of water is splashed on it.

2. When the oil is hot, fry the tortillas until they are golden brown on both sides. Take them out of the oil and let them rest on a tray that has paper towel on it to absorb any excess oil. Season with salt.

3. On a clean cutting board, thinly slice your salmon. Place into a bowl and set aside in the refrigerator.

4. On a new cutting board and with a clean knife, finely julienne the shallot, thinly slice the serrano, and thinly slice the cucumber. Place all your prepared dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

5. Zest and juice your limes and set into

a separate bowl with the gochujang paste and olive oil. Mix your wet ingredients until homogenous.

6. Add all your salmon and dry ingredients into mixed wet ingredients and mix well. We want the acidity and paste to marinate the salmon but not to cook it.

7. To plate, place your fried tortilla shells onto a plate. Place avocado slices on top then add the salmon, then the crudité placed onto each tostada. Then add the remaining juices as the sauce for your stunning tostadas. Garnish with cilantro if desired.

Chef Dylan Dangerfield-Holmes says, “Nothing beats creating memorable experiences for people.” As head chef at Edmonton’s Dogpatch Bistro, he does so by sharing dishes that are a combination of his early love of cooking, international upbringing, and a preference for complex flavour profiles. “I draw inspiration from trying new food, and then trying to replicate it.”

The menu at Dogpatch is a good mix of global influences, as well as things closer to home. They also have a knack for reinventing dishes to align with the season, like Chef Dylan’s fave, the Cypress Hill Sandwich. “This gives members of our culinary team the opportunity to brainstorm ideas. Allowing people an outlet for some creative freedom is great for engagement.”

The newest version of the Cypress Hill Sandwich that he shares with us is an excellent choice for dining on the deck. Make the sauces ahead of time and allow to chill for best results. “For a more flavourful hummus, toast the cumin and coriander. And if you want it really smooth, remove the chickpea shells.”

Grilled Halloumi Focaccia Sandwich

Serves 4-6

To save time at home, you could substitute store bought hummus and tzatziki, but if you want to go all out, check out some recipes for them below.


1 tsp whole coriander (using ¾ tsp ground is fine in a pinch)

1 tsp whole cumin (using ¾ tsp ground is fine in a pinch)

1 small can chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or 1½ cups of cooked chickpeas

¼ cup (60 mL) lemon juice

½ cup (120 mL) tahini

2 medium cloves garlic

2 calabrian chilis (optional, for added heat)

½ tsp sea salt, adjust to taste

1 Tbs (15 mL) olive oil

1-3 Tbs (15-45 mL) cold water to adjust the thickness

1. Dry toast coriander and cumin in a small pan on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, while gently shaking the pan. They will attain a slightly darker colour and become fragrant when they are ready.

2. Transfer all the ingredients to a food processor except for the water. Blend for 2-3 minutes until completely smooth. Add in cold water to loosen the hummus if necessary.

3. Chill in the fridge for an hour if you have the time.


¼ English cucumber

1 cup (240 mL) Greek yogurt

½ cup (120 mL) sour cream

2 medium cloves garlic, minced

3 Tbs dill, finely chopped

½ Tbs mint, finely chopped

2 Tbs (30 mL) lemon juice

1 Tbs (15 mL) olive oil

½ tsp salt, adjust to taste

1. Grate cucumber and strain excess liquid.

2. Put all ingredients into a small mixing bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined.

3. Chill in the fridge for an hour if you have the time.

Za’atar Roasted Vegetables

½ green or yellow zucchini, halved lengthwise, and cut into 6 mm pieces (half-moon shapes)

½ red onion, julienned

1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, julienned

1 Tbs za’atar (just salt and pepper if you don’t have it)

½ tsp (3 mL) olive oil

½ tsp (3 mL) lemon juice

1. Place all the vegetables into a mixing bowl. Add the seasonings, olive oil, and lemon juice, and mix with tongs or your hand until the vegetables are well coated.

2. Place on a baking sheet, making sure to spread the vegetables out into a single even layer.

3. Bake on a low broil oven setting for 4-5 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to caramelize and get some colour.


Toasted focaccia (enough to cut into 4-6 squares)

Grilled halloumi (enough for 4-6 sandwiches)



Roasted vegetables

Roma tomatoes, sliced thin


1. Preheat BBQ to medium high heat.

2. Cut focaccia to sandwich size, and cut the halloumi in half if it’s thicker than 12 mm.

3. Grill halloumi for 2-3 minutes per side, being careful not to burn it. Grill the focaccia to toast it for 2 minutes.

4. Spread 1 Tbs of hummus on the bottom piece of focaccia, and 1 Tbs of tzatziki on the top. Put the roasted vegetables on top of the hummus, followed by the halloumi, 3 slices of tomato, and a small handful of arugula.

Serve this delicious sandwich with your favourite side salad, or some roasted potatoes.

“Growing up, I was lucky enough to have a variety of fresh foods prepared with care on a nightly basis,” says Myles Perry, head chef at Calgary’s Living Room. “Sitting around a table with loved ones laughing, eating, and drinking are some of my favourite memories.” Building on memories of foods he’s eaten, Chef Myles feels nostalgia plays a big role in menu creation.

Classic dishes like Beef Tartare and fondue (both cheese and chocolate) are some of his favourites, but new creations like Steelhead Trout with citrus and herb buttermilk – served tableside – also rank high on the list.

“Finding foods that work well together invites creative possibilities in all styles of cooking,” he explains. Enter the classic Prosciutto Melon, something that, even as a kid, he went for first at family gatherings. A little sweet, a little salty, and a little weird, this is a dish he felt compelled to recreate in his own style with pickled melon, baked pork, and béarnaise sauce. “This dish has everything: salt, fat, acid, texture, and freshness.”

Prosciutto Melon

Serves 4

Pickled Melon

1 cantaloupe, peeled and seeds removed

1¼ cups (300 mL) mirin

2½ cups (600 mL) rice vinegar

10 g kosher salt

6 g ground peppercorns

10 g fresh mint leaves

15 g fresh basil leaves

1. Slice melon into wedges. For each wedge make about 7-9 slices (score) about halfway into the fruit.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine mirin, rice vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk to dissolve salt, then add fresh herbs.

3. Place melon wedges in a 5-10 cm deep dish and cover with pickling liquid. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour or up to 3 days.

Prosciutto Crisp

5-8 thin slices prosciutto

Pre-heat oven to 375º F. Individually place prosciutto on a parchment lined tray, be sure to keep the prosciutto flat and not touching. Place in oven for 8-10 minutes or until crispy.

Béarnaise Sauce

5 egg yolks

450 g butter, melted

1 tsp (5 mL) rice vinegar

6 g kosher salt

2 g dried tarragon

1 dash tabasco

1 tsp (5 mL) lemon juice

1. Fill a medium sauce pot half full of water and bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer.

2. In a mixing bowl whisk together yolks, vinegar, and salt, then place on top of the boiling pot of water. Lightly whisk the egg mixture until yolks

become a light-yellow colour and begin to thicken, be sure not to scramble the eggs.

3. Melt butter and keep hot. Slowly add the melted butter to the eggs while whisking. Continue until desired consistency. Season the sauce with tarragon, tabasco, and lemon juice.

Growing up in the Dominican Republic, Chef Mayelin Rodriguez says her biggest influence in the kitchen was learning to cook Latin dishes from her mother. As chef at El Corazón in Edmonton, she loves recreating those flavours for guests. “Making food to share with friends and family is something that I never get tired of doing.”

“Most of our recipes are made from scratch with fresh ingredients,” she adds. “At El Corazón, I love our Aguachile. It is such a fresh and simple dish.” Chef Mayelin feels summer is the time to get adventurous and try both aguachile and ceviche. “They are perfect to enjoy outside on a hot summer day and pair really well with a nice glass of rosé or sauvignon blanc.”

Her recipe for Ceviche Tropical is one close to her heart, as it’s one of her children’s favourite when they get together on special occasions. “Ceviches are a delicious and fresh way to enjoy seafood. Although the fish never sees heat, they are cured in fresh citrus and seasoned with fresh herbs, peppers and spices which make it so enjoyable.”

You can use any fish you prefer, but make sure it’s fresh. The same goes for the lime juice. “The dish must have a good balance of salt and acid, so don’t be shy with the salt in the recipe and feel free to adjust or add more if you feel your dish needs it.”

Ceviche Tropical

Serves 4

450 g white fish fillet - chef recommends basa but you may use any fish you desire

1 cup (250 mL) fresh lime juice

1 Tbs salt

2 tomatoes, diced

1½ cup mango, diced

½ red onion, slivered

3 Tbs cilantro, chopped

1 avocado, diced

1 jalapeño pepper, sliced

Slivered red onion and chopped cilantro, for garnish if desired

Tortillas chips or plantain chips

1. Delicately slice the fish in small slices.

2. Add the lime juice and salt.

3. Cover, seal and store in the fridge for at least 4 hours to allow the fish to cure.

4. In a bowl add tomatoes, mango, onion, cilantro, avocados, and jalapeños.

5. When your fish is ready, in a large mixing bowl, add all ingredients together and mix lightly.

6. Place on your serving plate, garnish with fresh cilantro and slivered red onions.

7. Enjoy with tortillas chips or plantain chips.

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.

Whether sitting on a patio or deck in the sun or lounging on a sunbed by the waterside somewhere, we love to read cookbooks like they’re novels, and this summer we have five beautiful, new and fresh cookbooks full of stories and sunny recipes for your holiday reading!

Taste Buds – A Field Guide to Cooking and Baking with Flowers

As grown-ups we don’t spend quite enough time stopping to smell the flowers in summer, never mind cooking with them, and if we are lucky enough to dine in a suitable establishment, it’s lovely to see it when flowers grace our plates. Taste Buds is smartly organized by flower letting your garden take you where it may. Cocktails, pesto, breads, soups, and desserts are all covered here.

$35 Appetite

Niçoise - Market-Inspired Cooking from France's Sunniest City

The French Riviera – it sounds so romantic and glamourous, doesn’t it? And it is, yet the traditional cuisine is rustic, based on locally grown products and those from the sea and land nearby. Native Edmontonian, Rosa Jackson, has run a cooking school, Les Petits Farcis, in Nice for over twenty years, and knows there’s so much more than Ratatouille and Salad Niçoise, taking us through more than 100 seasonal recipes with fascinating stories of life in the area. You’ll be transported – in your imagination and in your kitchen.

$54 Norton

Italian Coastal - Recipes and Stories from Where the Land Meets the Sea

… and in this case, we’re talking about the Tyrrhenian Sea, running the down the west coast of Italy from Tuscany to Sicily, taking in Lazio and Campania on its way. The regional variation in styles of cooking is fascinating, considering the produce is almost identical, but the influences are different. With Italian cuisine rather mainstream here in Alberta, many of Amber Guinness’ recipes will likely be familiar to you, and it’s a joy to read about the regions and then enjoy their dishes – starting with L’Aperitivo, of course! $54 Thames & Hudson

French From The Market

The elegant yet simple recipes in Hillary Davis’ French From The Market are bound to bring a taste of France right into your kitchen. There is so much to explore in this book, from the vibrant pictures of French towns to the heartwarming stories behind every recipe. It is not only a cookbook, but Davis’ experiences of living in France, told through intimate recipes. We love how uncomplicated it is to follow along with each recipe and using simple, fresh ingredients, these dishes are bound to impress at dinner parties.

$44 Gibbs Smith

Plant Magic

Oh no! Not another vegetarian/vegan cookbook! Not to worry, Plant Magic is a fresh take on those fresh veggies. Showing off a wide variety of dishes with a wide range of cultural or regional influences, but most importantly the recipes are well laid out in an easy to follow order of operations so you’ll likely have good success even the first time trying these dishes. A positive, pleasing book that should encourage even the most jaded palate. $25 Penguin

Shrimply Adorable

The punitive size of these crustaceans is no representation of their health benefits or their taste. Shrimp are high in protein, antioxidants and omega-3s. With their rich texture and succulent flavour, they can be enjoyed in many dishes or simply sautéed in butter for perfection.

The terms prawn and shrimp are often used interchangeably, however, they are actually from different branches of the crustacean family. Did you know that there are over 2,000 shrimp species in the world?

Shrimp vary in length from a few millimetres to more than 20 centimetres! And they can come from either fresh or saltwater.

Canada exports more cold-water shrimp than any other country in the world. The Gulf of St. Lawrence off the Scotian Shelf, Northwestern Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Davis Strait, harvest Canada’s most “shrimplicious” of shrimps. And yet, most of Canada’s shrimp and prawns are imported to the tune of $720 million per year.

Another testament to the simplicity of these creatures is just how little is required to enjoy the exquisite taste. Easily boil shrimp in salted water until just pink outside and opaque in the centre. About 2 minutes for most sizes of peeled shrimp. A minute or two longer for shell-on shrimp or for extralarge or jumbo shrimp. That’s it – two

to three minutes and you’re ready to eat. Add a few more minutes cooking as you sauté these delicate crustaceans in butter and minced garlic, and be transported to heaven.

No need to devein these little guys as the vein is completely edible. If you would like to, then deveining before cooking is best since it’s a little harder to do after they’re cooked.


Raw shrimp lasts 1 to 2 days in the refrigerator. Cooked shrimp lasts for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.

Let’s dive into a few recipes to enhance shrimps’ already amazing taste.

Shrimp Ceviche

Serves 3 (as a main)

454 g raw shrimp, medium to large, no shells

1/3 cup (80 mL) lime juice + zest

¼ cup (60 mL) lemon juice

1 small cucumber, sliced and diced

½ small red onion, diced

1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and pith removed, fined diced

To taste sea salt

¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped

1 avocado

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. While you’re waiting for that, fill up a large bowl with ice and water and set aside.

2. Place the shrimp in the boiling water and cook for two minutes. Use a skimmer to remove the shrimp and place into the ice water. Once the shrimp have fully cooled, drain the water through a colander.

3. Pour the lime and lemon juice in a bowl and add the shrimp. Coat the shrimp and place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to marinate.

4. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl of shrimp and stir everything together. Garnish with avocado and cilantro before serving. Serve with corn chips, over a bed of lettuce, or both for a complete meal.

Warm Shrimp and Corn Dip

Serves 4 (as an appetizer)

1 Tbs (15 mL) olive oil ¼ cup onion, diced

½ red bell pepper, diced

2 cloves garlic, finely diced

To taste salt and black pepper

½ tsp chili powder

⅛ tsp smoked paprika

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

2 Tbs (30 mL) beer

2 tsp (10 mL) fresh lime juice

2½ cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen

150 g cream cheese, room temperature

175 g raw shrimp, medium size, shell removed and cut into 4 pieces

¾ cup crumbled Cotija cheese

1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until soft, 5 minutes.

2. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, chili powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper and cook another minute.

3. Add the beer and lime juice and stir to coat. Add the corn and combine. Reduce the heat to low. Mix in the cream cheese until melted and creamy.

4. Add the shrimp, stir to combine and let cook 3 minutes. Sprinkle on the cheese and cilantro. Serve with toasted baguette or chips for scooping!

Caribbean Dream

Serves 4

1 cup rice

½ cup (125 mL) water

¾ cup (180 mL) coconut milk

1 tsp sea salt

1 Tbs butter

1 Tbs coconut sugar

2 Tbs (30 mL) rum

1 mango

1 cup pineapple

¼ cup rice flour

1 egg

½ cup desiccated coconut

454 g shrimp (with or without the tail)

2 Tbs (30 mL) olive oil

1 green onion, thinly sliced

1. In a small, thick bottom pot add the rice, water, coconut milk and sea salt. Cover, bring to a boil and reduce to low. Let cook approximately 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit another 5 minutes then fluff with a fork.

2. Meanwhile, melt butter over medium heat in a sauté pan. Add the coconut sugar and rum. Stir together and let bubble.

3. Cut the mango and pineapple into cubes. And add to the sauté pan. Toss to coat and reduce the temperature to low.

4. Lay out 3 small plates. Add the rice flour to the first plate. Add the egg to the second plate and whisk. Add the desiccated coconut to the third plate.

5. One shrimp at a time, dip in rice flour, then egg, then coconut. In another sauté pan over medium heat add the olive oil.

6. Add the coated shrimps to the pan (being mindful not to overcrowd) and cook shrimps for 1 minute on each side. Continue until all shrimps have been cooked. Serve up a plate of coconut rice topped with pineapple, mango sauce and coconut coated shrimp. Sprinkle with green onion and enjoy!

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.

A Taste of the Island:

South Island Pie Co

New Zealanders know the importance of a good meat pie: the grab and go, hand-held, meat and pastry offerings are everywhere in the South Pacific island nation, a go-to snack or pub meal, but just as available at grocery stores, neighbourhood bakeries and convenience stores. And the numbers confirm the popularity of this humble food; four million New Zealanders eat a whopping 66 million meat pies a yearthat’s 15 per person.

So when New Zealander, Jamie Scott travelled the world, found love and moved to Canada almost 20 years back, the then 25-year-old Kiwi figured he’d easily find that comforting taste of home at the pub or grocery store. But not so fast. “It’s just not a thing here. I missed those pies and

I didn’t see them. I wanted to change that,” says Scott, who spent several years thinking about how to bring the meat pie culture to his new Alberta home.

“I had no experience in the food industry but loved cooking. I had to figure out how to commercially produce the pies and get them into the hands of the public, but what I really knew was I didn’t want to retire a grumpy old man who hadn’t pursued the idea. So even though I was working full time, by 2013, I pulled the trigger.”

Like many startups, Scott worked a regular day job and took on his passion project at weekends, enlisting the help of his wife, Janice, to package the convenience food as South Island Meat Pie Co. (named as a nod to his hometown of Christchurch, on New Zealand’s south

island). With a couple of classic flavours in tow: steak and kidney pie, shepherd’s pie (with characteristic rich gravy, and sometimes onion, mushrooms, cheese, and using chicken and beef sourced locally through Edmonton’s ACME Meat Market), Scott and friends started selling the frozen, ready-to-bake pies at farmers’ markets by 2015.

“That’s all we did the first five years –adding farmers’ markets as we grew; spots like the Edmonton downtown market, St. Albert outdoor market and others,” remembers Scott. “The markets were great for exposure, and getting customer feedback. It was tough when the pandemic shut all that down, putting a halt to direct sales and losing that connection with consumers.”

Still, as market sales dried up, Covid sent consumers (and local businesses) to grocery stores in a big way. The skyrocketing demand for local, quality goods encouraged Scott to regroup, using the time to add to the lineup with ideas he got from market customers, and even enlisting help from his nana and sister back in New Zealand. Over several years, Scott has expanded the South Island Pie lineup to include specialty and limited edition meat pies, vegan and herbivore offerings, and sausage rolls.

We have butter chicken and smoked salmon varieties, and a creamy herbed chicken with bacon and mint – that was my sister Sheridan’s unique idea, and it’s unlike anything you’ve tasted before,” he says, pointing to chicken, cranberry and brie; and steak, cheese and ale as other much-loved varieties of four-inch round, single serve pies. “People like our range–from humble to elevated pies, using natural ingredients and locally-sourced meats –add a salad and it’s a hearty meal. It’s what I hoped it would be.” Scott says.

In 2018, Scott was able to leave his regular day job to make the leap to fulltime pie producer. The now 44-year-old credits his wife and sons, Leo and Foster, ages 5 and 8, with allowing him to chase the dream of having his own business and the whole team – family and partners –who help give him perspective (and lend a hand) when life gets beyond busy.

Scott admits to missing home sometimes, family and the ocean, but is glad for what he’s carved out in this country. Rare trips back, but regular contact with family to revisit favourite recipes or create new ones are always part of the business of bringing a beloved bit of New Zealand to Canada.

He says he couldn’t have known it then, but as the pandemic set in, it was a fortuitous move to join with Honest Dumplings (another startup, selling gourmet Chinese dumplings) to grow their respective food businesses under one umbrella. Sharing the lease and staff in a 7,000 square foot facility in downtown Edmonton, South Island Pie Co. and Honest Dumplings hit the ground running, tapping into the desire for online shopping and quality local goods. Uproot Food Collective filled the bill.

“We got a lot of community support during Covid; for our products and other

local brands too,” Scott says, adding that consumers understand the benefits of the collective – keeping dollars and jobs in the local community, offering greater food choices and even enjoying lowering prices on meat pies at a time when the cost of most goods have been on the rise.

Allen Yee, COO and co-founder of Uproot Food Collective, says like Scott, he and Chris Lerohl (founder of Honest Dumpling), also became accidental entrepreneurs in the food industry, moving from the tech world and talk around the water cooler, to then how to take a local food company to new heights on a regional and national level. “Store shelves are dominated by the big guys, so our goal is to find new markets and opportunities,” Yee says. “There’s a growing understanding and desire for sustainability; we’re looking for a way to localize and democratize the food industry.”

For the key players now running Uproot (Scott, Lerohl and partner Ray Ma, and Yee) the driving question continues to be, “How do we grow this?” Part of the answer comes from building out the downtown Edmonton facility; having a commercial kitchen with the ovens and equipment needed to be able to produce a volume of dumplings one day, meat pies the next. “We’re as convinced as ever that we have great products, great brands. The tastes are wonderful – now how do we reach more customers? Yee asks.

It’s about expanding capacity and finding investment, agrees Scott, who marvels at how far he’s come from the early days of creating pies in his kitchen. Case in point: the staff in the facility on 114 Street can churn out over 7,000 dumplings per day

and WAY more meat pies than Scott ever imagined possible. ”There are challenges, but it’s the process of going from a small local company to a small national company,” he says. “That’s where we are now.”

South Island Pie, with Honest Dumplings, is in nearly 50 stores around Alberta (including Sobeys, Safeway, Blush Lane Organic Market), and continues to do online sales in Alberta and BC, through its own site ( and “We’ll go back to the markets again, and trade shows like the Butterdome Christmas Craft Show,” adds Scott, who’s also getting his pies into where they naturally belong, he laughs, in spots like Analog Brewpub and Irrational Brewing in Edmonton, and another spot in Calgary. “Making, eating and sharing pies. I’m happy.”

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.

Jamie Scott with his wife, Janice, and children, Leo and Foster

Savour these Saskatchewan Food and Drink Spots worth a Road Trip

Aroad trip across Saskatchewan will have you seeing the prairies in a whole new light – endless horizons, expansive skies, natural wonders and a culinary scene that’s bursting with hidden gems and world-class dining.

Creative chefs, bakers, brewers and distillers are all

Black Fox Farm & Distillery (Saskatoon)

Just a five-minute drive south of Saskatoon, owners Barb Stefanyshyn-Cote and John Cote are making award-winning gin and Canadian whisky at this beautiful farm and craft distillery. These fifthgeneration grain farmers grow 90 percent of the ingredients that go into their spirits and liqueurs. Black Fox’s Oaked Gin was crowned the World’s Best Cask Gin at the World Gin Awards in London, England in 2017. Their Canadian Gin is a staple that has a layered finish and flavour of 15 fruits, spices and flowers. Topping the World Whisky Matters, SE Eleven Single Grain Whisky is aged in new American oak barrels which gives it a smooth and fresh finish. Nearly 95 percent of the Black

getting buzz and hype for their farm-to-table freshness and innovative cultural influences. Saskatoon is known as the Paris of the Prairies and Regina has hidden gems for gourmands galore. Here are just some reasons why you need to make a foodie road trip to Saskatchewan this summer.

Fox property’s water is reused and the spent grains and fruit is returned to the orchards and flower fields as compost fertilizer. Take a distillery tour, gin tasting, or cocktail class or simply enjoy a whisky flight on the patio while listening to live music. They also offer U-pick flowers and pumpkins in season.

Odd Couple (Saskatoon)

This beloved Asian-fusion restaurant in Saskatoon’s hip Riversdale District is run by the Yuen family. Andy and Rachel Yuen and his parents Sam and Jane immigrated from Hong Kong in 1996 and opened Odd Couple in 2014. Known for traditional Asian dishes with a Canadian twist, Odd Couple’s menu showcases ingredients and cooking

techniques inspired by Cantonese, Thai, Vietnamese, and Malaysian cuisines. A crowd pleaser is the bacon fried rice which features maple-glazed cherrywood smoked bacon, mince pork, and a sunnyside egg on top of fried jasmine rice. Don’t miss the crab rangoon, a fried dumpling with cream cheese, blue crab and shrimp in pineapple sweet and sour sauce. A new menu item is the lime green curry shrimp pasta. The always flavourful dishes incorporate local ingredients where possible, use no MSG, and it’s a menu that offers plenty of vegan and vegetarian options.

Hearth Restaurant (Saskatoon)

2022 marked a big year for this delightful Saskatoon gem which is all about seasonally focused prairie cooking.

It was named #62 in Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants, and it relocated from its original location downtown into the Remai Modern with a great view of the South Saskatchewan river. Run by Beth Rogers and Thayne Robstad, Hearth is all about modern, elevated home-cooked dishes. The menu is ever-changing but you can expect highlights like their roasted and pickled beets salad with horseradish crème fraîche, rye crumbs with herbs and microgreens in a sherry vinaigrette, or the roasted pork belly with marinated navy beans and charred carrots. Get the popcorn-infused polenta fries with parmesan and honey or the mushrooms in Mornay sauce with their house ciabattayou won’t be disappointed. The morels and chanterelles have been foraged from across Saskatchewan and all the dishes are served on the couple’s beautiful collection of mixand-match antique China dinnerware.

Thirteen Pies Pizza + Bar (Saskatoon)

Locals and tourists all rave about this pizza joint and its delicious Brooklynstyle pizza, appetizers and Tiki-inspired cocktails. The secret? It’s the perfect texture and crunch of their sourdough crust. Through a 48-hour process of feeding and

fermentation, Thirteen Pies’ pizza dough began from a 40-year-old starter that came from a family friend of owner Blair Voth Miller. Every week, they also get fresh spelt flour from the local bakery, Night Oven. As the name indicates, the menu simply has 13 pizza flavours you can order in large or small, and do add-ons or dipping sauces but that’s it. Each has a fun name like The White Walker (roasted mushroom, provolone, mozzarella, whipped ricotta, white sauce and truffle oil) and The Midnight Meat Train (made with sausage, meatball, bacon, provolone, mozzarella, jalapenos and tomato sauce). At the end of 2023, Thirteen Pies moved into the historic Birks Building downtown. It now boasts a separate takeout and delivery space and a larger, sleeker dining room that can hold up to 75 people.

Darkside Donuts (Saskatoon)

These donuts have an almost cult-like following in Saskatoon and with right reason. Baker Bryn Rawlyk makes all the donuts fresh everyday using a blend of Saskatchewan organic flour and heritagegrain flour. His other venture is another much-lauded Saskatoon favourite - The Night Oven Bakery. At the trendy Darkside

Donuts, Rawlyk makes a variety of cake and yeast donuts where flavours rotate daily. Mainstays are the honey dip, a brioche glazed honey donut made with Kitako Lake Honey or a vegan chocolate cake variety. But you can also find flavours like apple cinnamon fritter and Boston cream and in the fall, seasonal options like blueberry streusel and pumpkin cheesecake. Its nextdoor neighbour is Fable Ice Cream which has been known to do a doughnut-infused ice cream collaboration before. A lot of the flavours sell out daily and there’s always a special “Sunday Funday” creation that you can only order that day of the week.

Hometown Diner (Saskatoon)

Riversdale is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Saskatoon near downtown. There are lots of great shops and restaurants along 20th Street including the modern Hometown Diner. Here, Chef Cole Dobranski and his team cook up allday breakfast and lunch where each dish showcases seasonal ingredients and local suppliers. Try the Ukrainian Brekkie which comes loaded with sausage, ham and a sunnyside-up egg and served with sour cream, carmelized onion and sauerkraut topped with lemon zest and grana padano. A favourite among diners is the fried chicken and pancakes which features a sriracha spiced crispy chicken served with three blueberry buttermilk pancakes. The place is always busy and there are lineups but it’s worth the wait and has a great bustling atmosphere once you’re inside. Pair your food with a mimosa, milkshake or beer and if you’re hankering for dessert, there are rotating donut flavours as well as a peanut butter banana pie.

Black Fox Farm & Distillery
Odd Couple

Beppi’s Gelato (Saskatoon)

Beppi’s is a lifesaver stop on your shopping stroll on a hot sweltering summer day. This cute European-style cafe spot on Broadway Avenue is the place to go for small-batch handmade gelato and sorbetto. Since it opened in 2019, they’ve crafted over 150 different gelato flavours including classic Italian flavours like hazelnut and pistachio. The signature “Big Dog” flavour is a salted caramel gelato finished with chocolate chunks. And another Beppi’s favourite you shouldn’t pass up is the tangy and refreshing Lemon Sorbetto. They rotate their flavours and there are a few staples, while feature flavours can include options like the Saskatoon Mud Pie, a dark chocolate gelato with homemade cookie crumble. Choose a biodegradable cup or a plain or chocolate waffle cone but we recommend the charcoal option - black waffle cone - that’s just a visual and yummy treat. The tiny shop also sells Italian grocery items like spices, sauces, pastas, and imported confections from Italy.

District Brewing (Regina)

This small craft brewery in Regina’s Warehouse district makes ales, lagers, stouts and non-alcoholic beers in a variety of styles. One of their top beers is the Englishish IPA which took home the gold medal at the 2020 Canadian Brewing Awards. It’s a lighter and unfiltered refreshing take on an English IPA. Or try the malt-forward Bavarian Dark Lager which has notes of toffee, raisin and chocolate. For a true taste of summer,

try the Lemon Ginger Radler, which has District’s Charm Pale Ale as its base but is blended with Sicilian lemon and ginger juices and local honey from Prairie Bee Meadery. You’ll quickly see why it won bronze for fruit beer in the 2018 Canadian Brewing Awards. District’s laidback atmosphere on its spacious patio or lowkey tasting room makes it the place to chill on a summer day.

Brewed Awakening Coffee Lounge (Regina)

There are currently three Brewed Awakening locations in Regina and the local coffee shop continues to grow and expand. Lisa and Ken MacMurchy first opened the original location in 2011 and are adding a new drive-thru location this year. No matter which location you visit, it’s a cozy spot to stop in for an iced latte, matcha latte, American or regular cup of coffee. Two years ago, they opened BRWD Bagel Co at the Woodhams location which brought bagels, sandwiches and all-day breakfast bagels, made fresh to order, into the mix. Try the Cali which is an egg, melted cheddar, tomato, and avocado smash on your bagel of choice. But the highlight is the Super Club, a Montreal smoked turkey breast with grilled back bacon, melted cheese with tomato, cucumber, red onion with mayo and grainy mustard. If you’re looking for a warm, inviting unpretentious coffee spot in Regina, this is the place.

Takeaway Gourmet (Regina)

Aleana Young started this wonderful little cheese shop in Regina to bring the

fine fromages and food she missed from Montreal. It truly offers some of the best cheese in Saskatchewan and stocks cured meats, gourmet groceries (you can buy a bag of the world-famous St-Viateur Montreal bagels here) and sells charcuterie boards too. She stocks all sorts of specialty cheeses from pre-packaged slices of Old Amsterdam Dutch Gouda to more unique flavours. Look for gems like the Keens, an English cave-aged clothbound cheddar or the bestselling Murcia al Vino (drunken goat cheese), a Spanish wine-soaked cheese with a smooth and tart flavour. If you’re stopping by for a haul or wanting to pick up goodies for a picnic, the knowledgeable staff are helpful with service and advice and there are always free samples to try.

Pile O' Bones Brewing (Regina)

Named for a common nickname for Regina, this Metis-owned brewery takes its name from the anglicised version of the original Cree name for the city: oskana ka-asastēki (often shortened to Wascana or Oskana). Co-owners Josh Morrsion, Brent Babyak, Nathan Kary, and Glenn Valgardson, opened it in 2016 and it is now Saskatchewan’s largest craft brewery by volume. Its most popular beer and bestselling creation is the White IPA, which has a bold citrus and fruity hop flavour. It’s brewed with American Hops on top of a bready malt base made of 50 percent wheat malt. Another crowd pleaser is the crisp Prairie Pilsner which uses 100 percent local ingredients like malted barley from Maker’s Malt and hops from JGL ShepHerd Farms. The taproom features a menu provided by OxPecker, a sister restaurant to Swift Current’s Nightjar Diner.

Lynda Sea is a writer/editor based in Calgary. Her writing has appeared in Avenue, Westjet Magazine, enRoute and Flare. You can often find her hiking in the Canadian Rockies and eating her way through Alberta.
Brewed Awakeninng Coffee Lounge Takeaway Gourmet


Chocolate Beet Celebration Sheet Cake


Summer is prime time to celebrate big birthdays and anniversaries, showers and reunions. Or, if none of this applies to you, feel free to celebrate the fact that it is summer in Canada! With any good celebration, there is a need for cake. As Julia Child once said, “A party without a cake is really just a meeting.” Who wants meetings in the summer?

Sheet cakes are perfect for summer parties. You simply use a 23x33 cm (9x13-inch) pan, the one you already have in the cupboard, thereby forgoing the need to purchase any fancy bakeware. And you don’t need to have layers and fillings and fancy piping work to show off. This recipe simply uses a rich chocolate ganache swirled on top, which looks fancy enough in its own right. The real perk of this cake is the use of beets. Yes, beets! The same vegetable you use to make borscht can also be tremendous in chocolate cake. The humble root vegetable imparts a note of earthiness to the cake, and helps keep the sweetness in check. Plus the beet puree helps to keep the cake nice and moist. I like to make the puree in advance, just so it helps to free up more time when you want to bake (and eat!) the cake.

When it comes to garnishing the cake, look for summer-fresh berries, fruits, herbs, and edible flowers. Be sure the edible flowers are indeed edible, and not sprayed with any pesticides, etc. If you want to simply use sprinkles or chocolate shavings, or keep it plain and simple, that works too. Rich and chocolatey in the very best way, this is a cake that celebrates the best things in life. Now, pass me a fork. It’s time to dig in!

Chocolate Beet Celebration

Sheet Cake

Makes 12 servings


1 cup salted butter, softened, plus more for the pan

3 large beets, trimmed, to make 2 cups (500 mL) puree

2¼ cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs, at room temperature

½ cup (125 mL) full fat plain Greek yogurt, or sour cream

1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract

2½ cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp espresso powder (optional)

½ tsp salt


1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream

180 g dark chocolate, chopped

2 Tbs (30 mL) light corn syrup

1 Tbs salted butter

To Decorate

Fresh berries, edible flowers (violas, pansies, lilac), fresh mint

1. To make the cake: Set an oven rack in the centre of the oven and preheat to 350º F. Lightly grease a 23x33 cm

(9x13-inch) pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, then butter the paper too.

2. In a large saucepan, cover the beets completely with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat down to medium/ low and simmer until the beets are tender, and a knife slips easily into the beet. This can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes, depending on the size and freshness of your beets. When fully cooked, let them rest in the water for 10 minutes, drain, then cover with cool water. When cool enough to handle, slip the skins off the beets and cut the beets into chunks.

3. Place the beet chunks into a food processor and process until very smooth. I like to add a bit of water to get the

process going. The texture and thickness you’re going for is canned pumpkin puree. Measure out 2 cups (500 mL) of the puree, and use the rest in something else like a dip or a spread, or even smoothies. This step can be done a few days ahead of time. Just refrigerate the puree until you’re ready to bake the cake.

4. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then beat in the yogurt. Add the beet puree and the vanilla. Mix well. It will look curdled, but this is normal.

5. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, espresso powder, and salt. Add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients in the mixer in two additions. Beat on low speed until combined and smooth. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir a few more times by hand just to make sure the batter is evenly mixed.

6. Spread the cake batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a cooling

rack and cool completely. Peel off the parchment paper and invert the cake onto a serving platter.

7. To make the ganache: Heat the whipping cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until steaming and bubbling around the edges. Do not let the cream boil. Place the chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Add the butter and corn syrup. Pour the hot cream over the mixture and let it stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth and glossy. Stir occasionally until the ganache is thick enough to spread, about 1 hour.

Vine & Dine at Mot To, July 10 and 25

We're back at Mot To to enjoy the modern Vietnamese dishes they’ve developed for their new menu! We love that they have two separate friers – one for gluten-free.

Special Fine & Dine at the Saddleroom Grill, July 18 Saddleroom Grill has two of our favourite chefs and we’ve arranged a premium four course pairing meal PLUS a behind the scenes tour of the Saddledome (with free parking too!).

Vine & Dine at Brar, July 17 and August 16

Parm Brar was the chef at Mango Shiva for more than 10 years and now with his brother, they’ve opened Brar, and we’re excited to come for one July night and one in August!

Special Winemaker Dinner at Vero Bistro, July 23

Michele Chiarlo winery, and their barolos and barberas, are with us in July for a special winemaker dinner, paired with Chef Jenny’s outstanding dishes!

One-Off Patio Party Vine & Dine at Sirocco Golf Club, July 26

With some of the best views, we’re back at the upstairs patio at Sirocco Golf Club for this beautiful, one-off pairing dinner.

Special Smidge Winemaker Dinner at Oxbow, August 2

Matt Wenk is with us for one special night where he’ll take us through his range and tell us the stories of the region!

Vine & Dine at Franca’s, August 7, 14, 21

Franca’s are opening specially for Culinaire Vine & Dine for three special Southern Italian Vine & Dine nights in August!

To speed things up, refrigerate until thickened and spreadable.

8. To assemble the cake: Spread the ganache over the top of the cake, not quite to the edges. I like to use a soup spoon to create swoops and swirls. Top with the berries, flowers, and mint. Slice and serve.

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.

Chefs Table Shoe & Canoe Kitchen Party, October 18 and November 22

We’re in the upstairs kitchen at Delta Downtown Hotel for Chef Eugene’s elevated six-course menu, for a very limited number of special guests!

Luxury Wine & Culinary Tour of Champagne and Alsace, September 21–October 2, 2024 and September 20-October 1, 2025 From the pristine 13C medieval town of Colmar to the grandeur of the Champagne region, discover the historic regions and cuisine of east and northeast France.

New events are added regularly so check as these evenings can sell out quickly!

Email to reserve your places, and to be included in our bi-monthly updates. We try to cater for all allergies.

The Ice Sisters:

I Sherbet and Sorbet

ce cream, in its many forms, rules the dessert world and a very big world it is. Today it is hard to think of a country or a culture that doesn’t make an iced dessert. But all too often when something becomes ubiquitous, it risks becoming generic. Some will say, “it’s only ice cream, don’t over-think it”. But the pros know that the smallest attention to detail elevates the everyday to the pantheon of the gods.

Sorbet and sherbet are derived from liquid “water ices”, a non-alcoholic sweetened fruit drink called sharbât, still made and loved throughout the Middle East. These drinks were originally cooled with snow brought down from high elevations. Before home refrigeration, about 1930, (less than 100 years ago) the harvesting and selling of snow and ice was big business. In the late 1800s, 4,000 men (and one girl dressed as a boy) with 350 horses, supplied half a million tons of ice annually to New York City. It is a fascinating story, too big to tell here, but I encourage you to pursue it. You will hug your fridge with everlasting gratitude.

Sorbets, basically a frozen smoothie, are made with fresh and/or frozen fruit, sweetened with simple syrup, which makes them an ideal cold dessert for

vegans. If you swap the water in our recipe for milk, you would have a sherbet. In Canada sorbets are dairy free, while in California sherbet is without dairy. There is no universal agreement between the two, which can be confusing.

Fortunately, the process of making either is straightforward. Acquire the ingredients, make the simple syrup, prep the fruit mix, and mix the two chilled parts together. Once combined, churn in the ice cream machine. When the batter is firm enough to scoop, serve it up.

As hinted above, this recipe has two parts. The first part is the simple syrup. The second part involves the primary fruit ingredients. Let’s start with the simple syrup because it has to simmer, steep, strained and cooled, before being added to the fruit.

Simple Syrup

Serves 6

1 cup (250mL) water

1 cup cane sugar

Zest of half an orange in large pieces, to be strained out

2 thin slices of ginger, the size of your thumbnail, or more if desired

2 whole cloves

of nutmeg

1 star anise

Cinnamon stick, about 1 cm

In a pot, combine, one part water, and one part sugar, hence the term “simple”. Stirring regularly, simmer until the sugar completely dissolves and the liquid is clear. This takes about five minutes.


Be careful not to overcook the syrup or it will thicken on its way to becoming candy and then it won’t integrate well with the fruit mix. Been there, done that.

This is where things get interesting. Once your pot of sugar syrup is off the heat, add in the flavour enhancers: the large pieces of orange zest, 2 slices of ginger, and the four spices. After steeping for an hour or so, strain off the chunky bits. As our mixology friends remind us, if you add the flavour components at the beginning of the simmer, you will lose much of the added interest. They also know that the flavours in our now “not so simple syrup” must pair with the fruit you


are using to make the fruit mix. We’re making a sorbet with a back note of orange from the Grand Marnier, the orange bitters and orange zest. This back note may not work as well with other fruits, such as blueberries or apples.

When the volume of an ingredient is prominent, it deserves attention. Sugar is one of the main ingredients in sorbet. You can improve the end result by simply using a sugar better than refined table, such as organic cane sugar, agave nectar, or maple syrup. Honey works, but being the by-product of bees, it makes sorbet non-vegan. Save the honey for the (dairy) sherbet.

Here’s an obvious tip. If you use simple syrup in other things like cocktails, iced tea, or smoothies, why not make a double batch to have on hand when needed. Keep in mind that our syrup would work in some cocktails, a margarita perhaps, but not in all. The catch is, the less ‘simple’ you make it, the less versatile it becomes. The solution is to put some aside, before you add in the spices for steeping.

The simple syrup can be made a day or two ahead. On the day, you won’t have to fuss with making it, or cooling it down. It is ready to add directly into the food processor with the fruit mix. However you manage it, syrup will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Which brings us to the main event.

Fruit Mixture

3 cups strawberries, fresh or frozen

3 medium ripe bananas

2 Tbs (30ml) orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau, optional

4 drops orange bitters, optional

1 tsp salt

All the above components go directly into your food processor. But let’s consider each in turn. Don’t like strawberries? Then exchange for mango,

or haskap berries. Here’s a tip. If you mix fresh and frozen, you speed up the cool-down phase. If you are serving eight for supper, just add an extra cup of strawberries and more banana. The more often you make sorbet the more you will learn that the process is quite flexible, so don’t be shy to innovate.

All the solid fruit should to be mixed to a thick liquidy state before being combined with the syrup in the food processor. Try to preserve some roughage, but you decide. If you

don’t have a food processor you can mash the fruit by hand. Banana gives sorbet a creamy smooth texture that complements many fruit flavours. You will know the banana is there, but it won’t dominate.

About the booze: in this recipe it serves several purposes. Ironically, the alcohol acts like antifreeze to keep your dessert from freezing rock solid. You’ll remember that alcohol has a low boiling point, 163° F (about 72-73º C), which is why it isn’t added to the simple syrup where it would soon boil off. It also allows you to reduce the amount of sugar in the mix. There is sugar in the fruit and a lot in the orange liqueurs, so feel free to cut back a bit if you wish. Ideally, the choice of alcohol should complement the primary flavours, which is why vodka works if you don’t want it to interfere with the main theme. Finally, and obviously, only you can decide if you want the kids to eat food that contains alcohol. If you don’t want the alcohol, simply skip it, or boil it off by adding it at the start of making the syrup. That way

you will still get some of the flavour, but not the boozy antifreeze.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can still make ice cream the “old fashioned way”. You will need a large outside container, perhaps a picnic cooler, full of ice and rock salt, and a round container that goes inside the larger one, preferably metal, into which your sorbet mix will go. It is very important that the ratio of rock salt to ice is, at a minimum, 3 to 1, or roughly 24 percent salt to ice by weight. Then stir non-stop for thirty minutes or so. This method is fun and educational, and the young ones love it. But truthfully, between you and me, this is why they invented the modern electric ice-cream maker.

Sorbet and sherbet, siblings in the vast world of iced desserts, offer all of us new possibilities. By extension, if we look to those countries that started the whole craze for frozen sweets, from the Mediterranean to East Asia, we will find a cornucopia of flavours - saffron, rose water, orange blossom, pomegranate,

Our 5th Annual

and pomelo - that invite discovery and creativity. Have fun putting winter in its place, in a bowl.

Morris Lemire lives in Edmonton where he spends the summer gardening and winter skiing. He likes winter, in part, because citrus is plentiful. He uses citrus in everything from marmalade to preserved lemons, cocktails to meringues.

Culinaire Edmonton Treasure Hunt

World Taste Tour is Sunday September 15!

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 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 culinary puzzle to win fabulous prizes! And 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!

Sweltering Summers and Shaved Ice

Summers are for memories and cold treats, so this summer give shaved ice desserts a try! Imagine a mound of a fluffy, lightly sweetened, shaved ice dessert covered in juicy slices of fruit, topped with a sprig of mint, a strawberry drizzle, or a scoop of ice cream – perhaps shared with friends, perhaps savoured in solitude while peoplewatching. Yes, please!

So, what is shaved ice?

Shaved ice is a type of snack or dessert that consists of shaved ice and a sweetener such as syrup, sugar or fruit. The ice consistency varies from finely crushed to fluffy snow. While shaved ice was once made only for the elite, you don’t have to be crazy rich (or go to Asia) to sample this refreshing dessert. You can DIY it with little more than frozen fruit and a microplane, look for videos on YouTube.


Asian shaved ice treats have been around as early as the 10th century, thanks to the Japanese, who invented kakigori, a treat that used to be reserved for nobility. Before freezers and icemaking technology were invented, ice was harvested in the winter from natural water sources when temperatures dropped below zero. From there, ice blocks were stored in dedicated caves to prevent melting and were used sparingly for special occasions.

Sei Shōnagon, a lady-in-waiting for the Empress of Japan, wrote about kakigori in her journal describing life in the imperial courts. Her daily musings, poetry and various lists later became The Pillow Book, an influential historical and literary piece of Japan’s Heian period. Kakigori made the Top 6 in her list of “Refined and Elegant Things”, the first time it was documented in writing. Described as “shaved ice mixed with liana syrup and put in a new silver bowl”, it was the

imperial court’s preferred treat to ward off summer’s heat and humidity.

Modern kakigori still uses the simple formula of shaved ice and sweetener as a base but with a plethora of new creative flavours. Now, one can find kakigori topped with matcha, adzuki beans, chewy mochi pieces, condensed milk or sweet potato purée. A popular summer treat sold in cafes, festivals, and restaurants in Japan, it’s slowly gaining traction in North America.

Here in Alberta, Tsujiri in Edmonton and Calgary sell Japanese shaved ice in two flavours – citrusy yuzu and the original, a mix of matcha, red bean, and chestnut served with matcha soft serve.


Halo-halo is an offshoot of kakigori sold by Japanese immigrants in the Philippines after the Americans built an ice plant in Manila in 1902. But as you dig into this iconic Filipino frozen treat, you’ll quickly discover it’s not a chip off the old (ice) block.

“There's nothing quite as colourful

or enigmatic as halo-halo,” says Earl Briones, executive chef at Birdog in Edmonton, who immigrated from the Philippines when he was 12. His favourite childhood memory of eating halo-halo was celebrating after winning a science bee. Briones recalls how the vendor took an old-school sundae cup and filled it with ingredients before packing it with shaved ice. Then he poured a generous amount of evaporated milk on top with a slice of leche flan (Filipino crème brûlée).

For the then nine-year-old kid with a sweet tooth, digging into this stunner on a sweltering day was the best reward ever.

What makes halo-halo stand out are the ingredients: the sheer variety and the contrast in textures – a choose-your-ownadventure dessert. There’s the richness of ube (purple yam jam); the creaminess of evaporated milk, leche flan and ice cream; the mild, earthy flavour of green pandan jelly, coconut jelly and red beans; and fruit, caramelised plantains, jackfruit, sugar palm fruit and coconut sport.

Halo-halo is literally translated as “mix-mix” in Filipino, because that’s how


you eat it. Armed with a spoon, you dig through the milk-soaked layer of ice and mix everything up before eating a spoonful. At the bottom of the cup is possibly the best part yet – a delicious milky slush in a medley of flavours. Drink up!

While many of the ingredients are native to the Philippines, the original halo-halo includes contributions from other cultures: ice and ice cream from the US, leche flan from Spain, beans from Japan. This almost haphazard combo may not make sense to an outsider, but this is precisely what makes halo-halo unique, says Briones. “It tells a story. It conveys how (Filipinos) operate when it comes to food. When a different culture comes to us with a new ingredient, we’re brave enough to take an ingredient that is not native to us and figure out how we incorporate that within our palate to make a cohesive dish.”

“That’s also how halo-halo has its regional differences. I’m from Angeles, Pampanga, and we put pinipig in ours,” he adds. Pinipig is crispy, flattened young glutinous rice grains. Briones envisions an Alberta halo-halo that stays true to traditional flavours and is subbed with local ingredients. “My ideal halo-halo would be local milk leche flan with ube ice cream, sweet potato halaya (sweetened root crop), barley pinipig and haskap berries.”


Bingsu, South Korea’s shaved ice specialty, is remarkable for its edited down simplicity that lets individual flavours stand out. “One of my favourites is strawberry bingsu,” says Calgary’s JinBar owner and Executive Chef Jinhee Lee. “It is loaded with fresh strawberries over a mountain of fluffy shaved milk-based ice, condensed milk and strawberry chutney.” The traditional version most South Koreans

grew up eating is called patbingsu, a combo of shaved ice with globs of sweet bean paste and condensed milk. While the traditional version uses ice flakes, bingsu nowadays is often made from milk-based ice. The most popular toppings are fruit-based (mango, watermelon, or strawberry) and Korean flavours are also common. Try dalgona (honeycomb toffee candy) or injeolmi (Korean rice cake).

In South Korea, the Four Season’s apple mango bingsu was headlined as 2023’s most expensive. The price tag?

An eye-watering 126,000 Korean won or $126 Canadian dollars! Good thing bingsu is made for sharing! While most bingsu in South Korea or Alberta are affordable, Lee said that bingsu used to be a luxury when she was younger. “At my first ever group blind date in high school (in Korea, group blind dates are really popular where a group of girls meet up with a group of guys and usually the guys pay for the meal), my friends and I ordered the most expensive thing on the menu. “We ordered bingsu and parfait, similar to bingsu but with ice cream instead of shaved ice. I can never forget (the boys’) faces – they were shocked; they were really worried about how they were going to pay for the meal!”

Halo Halo
Earl Briones, Executive Chef at Birdog
Jinhee Lee, Executive Chef and owner, Jinbar

A power move that is reflected in JinBar’s version of bingsu. “Instead of shaved ice, we serve it with condensed milk soft serve – topped with vanilla, sweet mango chunks, sweet red beans,

cheesecake bites, and passionfruit coulis.” Always toying with creative possibilities, Lee would like to try making a savoury bingsu. “Bingsu doesn’t necessarily need to be a dessert,” she explains. “My favourite kimchi is dongchimi. It is a mild, water-based kimchi in tangy, refreshing broth with perfectly pickled radish. During fermentation, healthy bacteria form and acidity and sweetness develop, producing an amazing flavour. I would like to make savoury bingsu with shaved dongchimi broth and seafood.”

When temperatures rise this summer, try some shaved ice. Milky or icy, fruit-based or fusion – these treats are the perfect way to cool down. Don’t forget to grab a friend and share some delicious desserts you won’t soon forget.

Lailani Mendoza-Lai is an Edmonton freelance writer and journalist writing about food, travel, lifestyle, children’s literature and parenting. Her work has been published in Chirp Magazine, Sun Peaks News and The





Snowcapz Cafe, Calgary,

Snowy Village Cafe, Calgary and Edmonton),

Flurrries, Edmonton,

Hanjan South, Edmonton,

Urban Plant Cafe, Edmonton,


Maane’s, Calgary,

Pacific Hut Restaurant, Calgary,

Chowkeni, Edmonton, @chowkeni

Manila Grill, Edmonton,

Yelo’d, Edmonton,

Seafood City, Edmonton and Calgary,


Tsujiri, Edmonton and Calgary,

Umami Shop, Lethbridge, (sells kakigori syrups)

Hong Kong Shaved Ice:

SweetHoney Dessert, 10746 82 Avenue NW, Edmonton




Summer Spirits

Really, the only thing we could agree on for this month’s spirit recommendations was that it’s very likely that the weather will be hot. Those hot days mean we might want to reach for a cool and refreshing gin & tonic on that deck or patio, something citrusy to cool off or enjoy after dinner, and maybe something along the lines of a whisky or cognac for when the sun goes down. Finally, we have a locally-made, dairy-free, cream liqueur that might work for the campsite or those weekend mornings. No judgment from us however you plan to enjoy your summer months!

Hansen Oat Milk Maple Brown Sugar

Cream Liqueur, Alberta

Ok, so this is vegan, non-dairy, gluten free, and nut free – and all of these are important as a lot of these new alternatives to cream liqueur often sneak one or two of those in there. A gentle 15 percent alcohol and not too sweet with a starchy rather than creamy/ cloying flavour and texture. The flavour? Bang on. Equally good neat or over ice, but it works well with hot drinks too (we checked). A fine alternative that is just as good as the originals.

About $38-41

No. 3 London Dry Gin, Berry Bros & Rudd, Holland

Perfect for summer, Berry Bros & Rudd’s No. 3 London Dry Gin just exudes quality. Of course you can use it in your favourite cocktail, but for me it’s a gin for martini drinkers and needs nothing added for absolute enjoyment. On the nose it’s all sweet grapefruit and orange peel, and then comes the juniper and aromatic spices to give depth and balance. No. 3 introduced a cool new bottle a couple of years ago, still with the key but now lighter, more modern and fresher, with pale green glass.

CSPC 741108 $58-63

J. Rose London Dry Gin, Italy

If you buy bottles for their labels, then make a beeline to your nearest store to choose one of J. Rose’s six, instantly recognisable, Carrara marble and Roman Travertine labels designed by Italian artist, Milo Manara (‘Molly’ is pictured here). But J. Rose is much more than the labels –a serious gin from nine botanicals; juniper first, followed by bergamot and mandarin, and backed by pungent woody aromas from spices and oak bark. Definitely one for your favourite gin cocktail – or even just ice and a splash of tonic!

CSPC 105209 $59-78

Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin with California Orange Citrus, Ireland

The Shed Distillery’s Gunpowder Irish Gin is unmistakable; a distinctive note of Chinese gunpowder tea with cardamom, coriander, and caraway following fast on its heels, along with a little grapefruit and lime. Now, after P. J. Rigney’s voyage of discovery to the Golden State, heading north of San Francisco Bay to northern California, where he discovered fresh oranges ripe for the picking, he infused them into his Gunpowder Irish Gin to create a supercitrusy summer gin – pass the tonic!

CSPC 884499 $55-58

Seagram’s VO Select Canadian Whisky, Canada

A new blend from veritable workhorse Canadian whisky brand Seagram’s. The VO Select is very similar to the well loved and well established whisky, but with no word on the exact mash bill. Rather hot at bottling strength, with a fair bit of spiciness, peppercorn, leather and citrus to balance the toffee and sweet feel on the palate. Significantly, the mouthfeel is noticeably richer than the VO, and the finish a little more complex. Very easy to work with in cocktails and simple drinks.

CSPC 102059 Expect to pay around $40

Traveller Whiskey, USA

10-times Grammy award winner, Chris Stapleton, has been busy – launching a radio station on SiriusXM and now collaborating with his Lexington, Kentucky, neighbours at Buffalo Trace Distillery, to produce the new Traveller Whiskey. Blend No. 40 of 50 trials, it’s super-smooth and creamy, and you’re drawn in by the most alluring sweet aromas of shortbread, maple, and vanilla, that follow through to the Werther’s Original palate –it’s dangerously easy to quaff!

CSPC 102811 $52-60

Holyrood “Arrival” Single Malt Whisky, Scotland

The very first single malt from Holyrood Distillery in Edinburgh, Scotland, and pretty tasty too. Matured in a combination of bourbon, rum, and sherry casks, and bottled around 46 percent, it’s carrying loads of raisined and dried fruits and a deep caramel toffee aroma profile, but it absolutely sings on the palate with layers and layers of flavour and a long, spicy finish. Excellent neat or over an ice cube.

CSPC 897192 $100-110

Rémy Martin Coupe 300, France

Cognac house, Rémy Martin, is celebrating a big anniversary – its 300th! And to commemorate the occasion, Cellar Master, Baptiste Loiseau, has created this very limited edition Anniversary Coupe from their Réserve Perpétuelle”, exceptional eaux-de-vie from the Grande Champagne region passed forward by previous generations, and enriched with his own selection. Expect tropical fruit, citrus, toasty nuts, and a very long finish. Only 6,724 numbered bottles produced, of which Canada is getting around 60 if you can find one!

CSPC 103378 $3,500-3,800

Luxardo Limoncello, Italy

Very few people “summer” quite like the Italians can. Dining late, outdoors, surrounded by people doing the same, laughing, eating, drinking. Amazing. Limoncello is a national treasure for those evenings, and while a fine element in cocktails, it’s just as easy to keep a bottle

in the freezer for a little après treat. Rife with intense lemon flavours and rock candy sweetness, this is a simple, classic beverage praised for its versatility and for its pure expression. Try it in a simple spritz too.

CSPC 718845 $31-33

Cîroc Limonata, France

Cîroc is celebrating its 21st birthday with a new limited edition, ultra-premium Limonata – the latest in their quite extensive range of flavoured vodkas. Made in France from French grapes, and distilled four times in column stills and a fifth time in a copper pot still, the spirit is then infused with fresh lemons, citrus, and limes, giving an intensely lemon liqueur with a full and viscous mouthfeel from the oils in the fruit. It’s crying out for some sparkling wine, or even soda – and ice of course, it’s summer!

CSPC 899345 $52-58

Sheringham Distillery Lemon Gin Liqueur, Canada

From the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Sheringham Distillery has gone from strength to strength over the last nine years, and they’ve introduced several flavoured gin liqueurs – the difference being that the liqueurs are sweetened and lower alcohol. There’s no mistaking their Lemon Gin Liqueur, with botanicals of only juniper and lemon, the freshness and tartness are apparent, and while it’s very easy to drink just with ice, I’m sorely tempted by their suggestion of an affogato with coffee and ice cream!

CSPC 876052 $46-48

It’s unapologetically unique. A wine to enjoy with your favourite people, day

Shop at a liquor store near you!
Fresh and lightly pétillant, Mateus Rosé Original is all about fun and togetherness.
after day.

S Hops ’til you Drop

ince the beginning of craft brewing, four-plus decades ago, hops have become the star of the show. Yes, malt and yeast still play important roles in the production, but the tiny cone with its resins and oils has contributed more to beer variety than any other ingredient. One style alone, the IPA, has grown from next to nothing through most of the 20th century, to the clear champion of craft brewing, about three to four times more popular than any other beer. Different varieties of hops define this style, and their ability to produce a whole panoply of flavours is what keeps it popular.

Since hop cultivation began in the 700s AD in Bavaria, its role in brewing has expanded and contracted depending

on location and style of brewing. Hops initially supplanted gruit (a collection of herbs, plants, and spices) as the bittering agent to counter malt’s sweetness, but it also became valued for its preservative qualities in the era before reliable refrigeration. Several varieties of hops were cultivated throughout Europe, and soon identifiable flavour profiles were sought for different beer styles.

As hops began getting exported to North America (and elsewhere), their role in beer started to change throughout the era of Big Brewing domination beginning in the mid-1800s. Hops became less important as cold storage expanded and the lagers of the era grew more and more banal, culminating in the introduction of light beer in the 1970s.

Some beers during this period did try to stand out by having some unique (subtle) hoppy aspects, but they were overshadowed by the hundreds of brands that relied on the simplicity of a low hop flavour.

The craft beer movement was born out of the disdain for these mundane beers, and it was the growth of the development of new hops (especially in the Northwestern US) that led the way. Today, the US is the largest hop grower in the world, about 10 percent more than Germany. All other countries harvest only a fraction of what these two countries produce (around 105-116 million pounds each a year). Canada ranks 13th in the world with just over 1.4 million pounds produced in 2021.

Photo courtesy Crystal from Queen's Landing

In Alberta, there are about 25 acres of commercial hops on about 10 different farms. There are 19 different varieties grown by members of the Alberta Hop Producers’ Association. Not surprisingly, American Northwest hops are the most popular here, with Chinook, Cascade, Centennial, Mt. Hood, Nugget, Willamette, and others leading the way.

Hops get sorted into three groups representing what they are best used for; aroma, bittering, or dual (meaning they are good for both). Furthermore, they are divided into broad basic descriptors such as floral, fruity, citrus, herbal, earthy/grassy, evergreen, and spicy. There are over 250 commercially


Galaxy (Dual, 2009) – tropical fruit, passion fruit, peach, pineapple, mango, melon, citrus, grassy.

Vic Secret (Dual, 2013) – pineapple, passion fruit, pine, herbal.


Sasquatch (Dual) – The only proprietary, trademarked Canadian hop variety, with orange or tangerine qualities and floral lemon notes. Released in 2018.

Czech Republic/Czechia

Saaz, (Aroma, 11th century) – earthy, floral, spicy.


Most German hops have been around for several centuries but have been continuously cloned and replanted over the years to combat disease, mildew, and other problems.

Hallertauer Mittelfrueh (Aroma) – spicy, floral, earthy, herbal.

Tettnang (Aroma) – floral, spicy. Spalt (Aroma) – earthy, spicy. Magnum (Bittering, late 1980s) – citrus, spicy.

New Zealand

Nelson Sauvin (Dual, 2000) – white wine, gooseberries, tropical fruit.

Motueka (Dual, 1998) – tropical fruit, citrus, lime.

Wai-iti (Aroma, 2011) – peach, apricot.


Styrian Golding (Aroma, early 1900s) –earthy, floral, fruity, white pepper, citrus.

available hop types, each with its own unique attributes.

Below are a few popular hops with their country of origin, some of their flavour/aroma components and their release date to the public (if known). Many varieties are now planted all over the world, mostly between the 35th and 55th parallels, an even wider range than grapevines grow. However, much like grapes, terroir matters, and they are prone to yearly fluctuations of weather, which can affect their inherent properties. New hops are being developed all the time, and even experimental hops are used in commercial brewing.


East Kent Goldings (Aroma, early 19th century) – floral, lavender, honey, spice, earthy.

Fuggle (Aroma, 1861) – earthy, herbal, woody, earthy.


Citra (Dual, 2008) – citrus, grapefruit, orange, mango, lime, passion fruit, lychee. Mosaic (Dual, 2012) – tropical fruit, citrus, mango, pineapple, tangerine, pine, earthy.

CTZ (Dual, 2002) – CTZ is an acronym for Columbus, Tomahawk, and Zeus, three different trade names for the same variety of hop. Characteristics of black pepper, licorice, curry, and citrus.

Cascade (Dual, 1972) – floral, citrus, grapefruit.

Simcoe (Dual, 2000) – citrus, berry, earthy.

It’s entirely possible that you may get more and/or different flavours or aromas out of a hop. The best way to explore is to grab a single hop beer (usually an IPA or pale ale) with a named variety. That is easier said than done, because most beers use a combination of hops, and very few beers even say what hops they contain. However, if you search high and low, you’ll find some. The alternative is to take up home brewing. Then you get to buy hops for your own beers, or grow your own.

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.

This summer, I wanted to share some beverages that refresh, but are a little different too. There are a few alcohol-free beers which I’m reaching for more often – especially after an activity when I don’t want a pile of sugar in a soda or juice, but something a little more grown up, and still tasting right, along with a few alternative wines – in a can! So you can take it to the beach, the pool, or even just enjoy an easy, single serving of something good.

Bartier Bros. White Piquette and Rosé Piquette, British Columbia

Piquette is generally made (in both alcoholic and alcohol-free versions) by adding water to the fermented or unfermented must or pomace from wine production. Sort of the original wine “cooler”. Here, lighter bodied with about 4 percent ABV, and a good fizz. Distinctly wine aromas and flavours show up, but still quite dry and excellent chilled or cold. My nod goes to the rosé, it’s easy going and versatile too. Piquette is slowly growing and a good way to beat the heat by the pool or after outdoor exertions.

4-pack cans, $15-16, can be hard to find – the winery will have the best information.

Partake Brewing Non-Alcoholic Pils, Canada

As non-alcoholic alternatives continue to take off, it’s always a pleasure to see more variety too. Pilsner is a natural fit for sure when it comes to refreshing beer, and Partake is adding it to their already well-established line. The flavour is bang-on for an easy going pils, thought a little lighter in body and a little shorter in finish. Definitely crushable, but don’t serve too cold.

4-pack cans, about $10-12

Wines by Joe Rosé, Oregon, United States

A blend of pinot gris and pinot noir, and packing a little bit of sweetness, this is wine entirely meant to be crushable – and not just the can it’s in. Fresh and clean, with good fruits, but most entirely, it also tastes like good wine, but just in a can. Each can has about two glasses worth, so it’s easy to share, or stick to a plan for consumption.

CSPC 816138 about $12-14

Sea Change Straight Edge Pale Ale Non-Alcoholic Beer, Alberta

Ok, this one is a very pale ale, but spot-on with the nose and the palate is very good too with an easy hop and cereal balance and a nice level of bitterness. The weight is on the light side, but entirely enjoyable. Less than 0.5 percent ABV and a IBU of 25. Best enjoyed cool over cold, it’s great to try this new brewery from Edmonton, and I’m looking forward to their more traditional beers soon.

4-pack cans, about $14

Alley Kat, Non-Alcoholic Beers, Alberta

Tasted as a duo, we tried the “Mangolorian” mango pale ale and the “Clear Skies” Pale Ale from the OG brewery in Edmonton – Alley Kat. First off, the Mangolorian finds a good spot with the fruit and the beer flavours and manages to be crisp and summery, and still tasty (they also have a higher alcohol version). Clear Skies holds good intensity and a more traditional pale ale texture and flavour that is still refreshing. A good après mow or post-ride bevvy for sure.

4-pack cans, about $14

Scooter’s Sparkling Cocktails, Alberta

There are a few of these flavours being made at Calgary’s City & Country Winery and yep, they are pretty awesome. For example, the Ginger Lemon canned cocktail is brandy based with a pretty good ginger kick (depends on how much ginger you can handle), and a nice approach to a grown-up ready-made cocktail. The Cranberry Lime is again a sparkling example with good flavours, but the brandy is subtle and gives it the right oomph too. Both excellent, there are other flavours too that are worth looking for!

CSPC 894334 (Ginger-Lemon), 894336 (Cranberry Lime), around $7 each.



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L a u n c h i n g J u l y 4 t h

MAKING THE CASE for Comparing Wines

Ramey 2017 Russian River Pinot Noir Russian River, California

omparisons are a tricky thing in the world of fine beverages. I’ve been doing it forever, but one is always tasked with saying “Is this any good?” Of course, there are innumerable good wines out there, free from faults, and often made correctly – or at least made with an eye to varietal or regional typicity. But you still must be able to compare yesterday’s bananas with tomorrow’s apples. Personally, I am always trying things that I don’t particularly like. But I have to tell myself, “Would someone looking for something like this be well served by it?” This involves perceived value, taste, aroma, and even the story of what is in the bottle all come into play for accurate assessing. So, this month, being the summer months, I had the hankering to talk about comparing wines. Sauvignon Blanc, zinfandel, pinot noir, and chardonnay are represented from a variety of places, but neither are “better” than the others. It’s wine that has that sense of place, representing good value – however that shakes out, and is a pleasure to drink. I hope you get a chance to try a few of these.

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.

Ramey 2020 Russian River Chardonnay Russian River, California

Great – and world class wine can be found anywhere in the world, but most often in the hands of skilled people, with a deep understanding of what works best in the right place. David Ramey is one of those people devoting a life to making great bottles from great places. This chardonnay is remarkable in its floral, flinty aromas with supporting pure fruits. Complete and polished on the palate with a lengthy, expressive finish that continues to impress. Lovely stuff.

CSPC 895495 $67-70

Tom has been waxing on (and on) about wine, beer, and spirits for more than 25 years and freelances, consults, and judges on beverages all year long. He is the Managing Editor for Culinaire Magazine, and the Competition Director for the Alberta Beverage Awards.

A perfectly enjoyable combination of a wine that is pretty, but serious too. Lifted dried veggie leaf with a deep and evolving cranberry, cherry, and just a touch of strawberry fruits. Very well balanced, with a little more fruit dominance than French examples, ending off on gentle smokiness and a touch of dried fruit. Refined and enjoyable in every regard.

CSPC 839328 $80-85

Seven Terraces 2018 Pinot Noir Malborough, New Zealand

Pinot noir from New Zealand is just dialed in a little different – typically a little tighter on the palate with bright berry fruits leaning towards a little tartness. Perfect with food for sure. Seven Terraces is making one with all the classic characters, and that distinct tartness too, with a rather peppery finish. Clean, smooth, and brilliant. Bring on the duck! Or salmon too… anything really - with a little fat or complex flavours.

CSPC 720372 $21-25

Bogle 2021 Old Vine Zinfandel


There is just something sublime about old vine zinfandel. While there isn’t a formal definition of what makes it old vines, generally they are older than about 35 years with older vines producing smaller amounts of grapes, but of higher quality. Rich and spicy with black berry and wild fruit and a hint of jamminess, with intense spices and great acids. Zinfandel loves a little fat to go with the protein and is excellent with great, meaty pizza too.

CSPC 414128 $26-29

My notes for this bottle honestly started off with “impeccably balanced” and it almost needs nothing more to be said. However, it might be nice to mention the steely, mineral tones with subtle chalkiness, the tart, Macintosh apple fruit, the lemons, and the mildly nutty finish too. World class chardonnay made with zero new oak influences. Very, very well made and a joy to drink.

CSPC 730705 $45-50

Zinfandel and primitivo are two names for the same thing, though depending on where they are being grown – are exceedingly different things. So, this rosé of primitivo is not the same as white zin. Very dry and very delicate with lifted berry fruits more akin to cranberry jelly over something a bit more robust. Lovely spices and a beautiful mouthfeel too, this is an absolute gem for those summer months –highly recommended!

CSPC 1200660 $26-29

Columbard is a rather unknown grape to most drinkers and rarely found outside of Gascony in France. It is an allowed grape in Bordeaux, along with sauvignon blanc and the naturally high acids of both seem to make for a good partnership. Interesting and complex on the nose with clean, tropical aromas, a little grapefruit and peach, but a delicious mouthfeel and tart finish. Interesting and tasty too. Likely a good match with seafood or soft cheese.

CSPC 846120 $20-24

Bonterra 2022 Organic Pinot Noir

Resplendent floral characteristics shine from the glass, nicely supported by almost jammy, rich fruits too. Very much made for western palates, the fruit never overwhelms but carries the mild herbal and earthy tones quite well too. Very easy to enjoy, and even easier to pair with a wide variety of dishes, though for a little contrast I’d recommend pairing with grilled meats or something meaty like portobello mushrooms.

CSPC 758409 $22-24

Babich 2023 Sauvignon Blanc

Babich is a long term producer, perhaps not as well known as some of the “big” brands out of NZ, but likely one of the best producers – so this is worth looking for. Classic and grassy with plenty of lemon and melon fruits, nice (and restrained for sauvignon blanc) bell pepper herbal character, and a classic, brilliant acid finish. An excellent example of modern sauvignon blanc from New Zealand. Completely delicious too.

Although in Germany the pinot noir grape goes by the name spätburgunder, consumers here are a little more content to see the more widely used name on our labels. A beautiful example of German pinot with a lighter colour and body, but still showing wonderful complexity and tightness of acids. This would be excellent with cured meats, but even very, very lightly chilled, this would shine on the deck or patio. A treat.

CSPC 804194 $29-34

CSPC 560144 $19-22

Marlborough, New Zealand

A crisp and “classic” expression of Marlborough with unapologetic grassy, vegetal, gooseberry, melon and bell pepper – on nose and palate. Zesty throughout, and evoking a lime-like finish, there is a lot going on, but it’s remarkably well executed too. A fine bottle for relaxing or having with dinner, likely the easiest way to pair this would be with any dish that could be garnished – or served with – lemon. A fun wine to enjoy.

CSPC 798235 $23-26

It’s always a refreshing moment to experience different sauvignon blancs from around the world and see how they compare to the classic, kiwi expression. Chile, for the record makes some pretty exceptional examples that are often a little more restrained. Here, the wine is crisp and zesty with plenty of gooseberry and olive notes, but a little less grassy or herbaceous than others. Best of all is this slick, steely mineral note that ties it all together. A beautiful bottle.

CSPC 102291 $25-27

This is one of those great bottles to have tucked away somewhere if you cellar wine. Not necessarily due to aging potential (though it’s there), but because it’s a real treat to have something like this handy when you need something to impress. Hints of peppercorn and raspberries dovetail into cherry fruits and a dried herbal character both clean and complex. Wildly intense on the palate and evolving in the glass, it’s drinking very well now, but will improve with time in the cellar.

CSPC 852567 $75-80

Tramari 2022 Rosé di Primitivo, Salento Italy
Casa Marin Cartagena 2023 Sauvignon Blanc, San Antonio Valley, Chile
Joseph Drouhin 2021
Joseph Drouhin 2020 Savigny-les-Beaune Premier Cru Forneaux, Burgundy, France
Misty Cove 2023 Sauvignon Blanc
Plaimont Colombelle 2021 Colombard
Louis Guntrum 2018 Pinot Noir

Burgers & Bacon Cookbook

Ok. In many regards, the burger is almost the perfect dish – the finest, expertly balanced flavour, texture, and portability – yes, portability for this often-handheld treat. And bacon is awesome too. Featuring the winners from the World Food Championships, over 250 recipes are here to challenge, tempt, and inspire you for your next barbecue. In many ways, this is an unusual book you might want to see on the coffee table for a quick read. Fox Chapel $32

Zwilling BBQ Skewer Set

Mo’mugi Barley Tea

This caused a bit of a buzz (despite being caffeinefree) around the Culinaire offices. One is a bit of a tea… traditionalist, and the other prefers coffee, and the rest of the team are in between. Inspired by Japanese “mugicha” and as far as we know, the only Canadian-made (in Salmon Arm) barley tea. Made hot, it’s a bit between coffee and tea with a toasty, roasty, popcorn-like, taste with a good bitterness. And can also be made as a cold brew or even an “iced tea”-style drink. Available online, but also at Canmore Tea Company, Blue Bairn, and other stockists. About $18-20 for 20 teabags.

Something to make your skewer game a little better. Zwilling’s stainless steel, dishwasher safe, but most importantly sturdy and durable skewer sets (comes with 5 skewers) may look as good on the grill as on the table. With a handy, adjustable capped end and a nice, wide, tool-friendly table on the other to hold it all together and compatible with most grilling baskets too, this is a wellthought-out tool. Approximately $40

Medicine Hat Meat Traders

Beef Jerky Caesar Sticks

Run by the fourth generation, Medicine Hat Meat Traders is still a family-owned business in the heart of Alberta’s premium beef country, in Cypress County. Their great-grandparents established their ranch 90 years ago, but it wasn’t until 2006 that they started making their acclaimed, soft artisan jerky. Now they also have three flavours of Caesar Sticks, a gluten-free, low fat and high protein snack to beef up your Caesars!

30 g around $4,

We’re all trying to reduce our use of plastic products, and these very attractive, re-usable, stemless wine tumblers are hard-wearing and beautifully made for sipping indoors or out. With triple-layer, vacuum-insulated walls, the tumblers are made from 18/8, food-grade stainless steel, plus a copper layer for retaining the heat (or cold), and they stay condensation-free on the outside, so not only do your cold drinks stay cold for 36 hours, and your hot drinks stay hot for 18 hours, they won’t sweat on your tabletop. 9 oz and 14 oz, around $25-40,

Camp Cooking

The summer is starting to heat up, which could only mean one thing… it's time for folks to head out of the city and get their camp on! But no more beans from the can… This year we are spicing up our camping dinners. Released by the National Museum of Forest Service History, Camp Cooking has over 100 low-effort recipes with fewer dishes to do afterward! Anywhere from beerroasted chicken to Dutch oven cobbler, Camp Cooking is a must-bring on your next trip. $22

S'well Stainless Steel Wine Tumbler

...with Peter Izzo

Peter Izzo’s parents immigrated from Italy to Canada in 1968 for a more fruitful life. Being entrepreneurs, they knew exactly what kind of business to start. “In the early seventies my dad opened the Napoli Sports Club, a social club for Italian immigrants to gather and celebrate. That's when coffee became prevalent in his world, being able to sell the equipment and having a product that most people didn't get,” says Izzo. “And that flourished into a cafe where people could come and have espresso and cappuccinos,” he adds. Eventually, a move to Bridgeland meant more opportunities for the Izzo family in the world of food and beverages, and they ended up opening La Dolce Vita restaurant.

One of Izzo’s fondest memories of being a kid in the restaurant industry was how much everyone supported each other. “So even though my mom and dad had a restaurant, at the end of the day, we would still close the restaurant, go to another restaurant and celebrate the night with everybody drinking wine and having dinner in the middle of the night. It was wonderful,” he says.

A couple of years after high school, Izzo felt the pressure of that supportive environment when he went to work at his father's business. “It was not something I wanted to do. The odd time I did little jobs here and there to help him out. But in the end, he said ‘okay, you need to come work with me, or I gotta shut it down, do something different, or sell it,’” says Izzo. So he and his wife joined the business, and have been running it together as a couple ever since.

Taking a small, Italian cappuccino

business and turning it into the successful Cappuccino King is no easy feat. “When I came into the business with no formal education, I just knew that there were things that needed to change. We needed to operate differently. And so there was a real hard push,” Izzo says. They worked hard to keep the specific niche of their Italian cappuccino business while sculpting it into the successful, prosperous company that it is today. “And now we work with very large companies that are 10 times bigger than us. But we provide a service that they can't offer. And so that's where we celebrate who we are.”

So what bottle has Izzo been saving for special occasion? He has a bottle of 1997 Frescobaldi Brunello di Montalcino, a special bottle given to him by his first-ever clients for his support in their espresso program. But not the same bottle of 1997 Brunello gifted to him by his first clients…

The bottle signified Izzo’s first major success and meant so much to him that he and his wife decided they would hold onto it and save it for their 25th anniversary. However, one afternoon they had friends over and were celebrating,

and a guest unknowingly popped open their bottle, sending Izzo into a panic. “He felt really bad and ran out to try and see if he could find that bottle again. At the time, his brother was working in the wine industry, and he had come back saying, ‘you'll never find this bottle again because it was such a great year. Most people that bought it would have either collected it or consumed it,’” says Izzo. “So my wife and I had kept the empty bottle as a memory.”

That was until Izzo’s son reached out to a sommelier colleague to see if he could track it down, and as luck would have it, he found a magnum of the same vintage at a private wine auction. “And so on our anniversary, we had gone for dinner, and before the evening was done, the owner brought out the bottle and said, this is from your son. And my son had said, ‘Happy anniversary’. And so we have today a 1.5 litre 1997 Frescobaldi Brunello di Montalchino! Now it's our 30th anniversary, and our 50th anniversary in our business, so it's a big year for us, and we’ll go ahead and open it.”


2 oz Tito’s Handmade Vodka • 2 oz ginger ale • 1 oz grape juice • 1/4 oz lime juice

Add all ingredients to a glass with ice. Garnish with a grape and lime slice.

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