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THE CAESAR ESSENTIALS Find Your Best Morning Cocktail | Wedding Drinks | Hot Okanagan

~An Experience To Remember~

Anthony Gismondi, 2014

Bench 1775 Winery is on a 30 acre waterfront vineyard with stunning 180 degree views. In the middle of Naramata Road, one of the most popular wine touring routes in North America, you can taste our AWARD-WINNING WINES.

www. b ench1775 .c om WINERY & TASTING ROOM: 1775 Naramata Rd, Penticton, B.C. V2A 8T8 250.490.4965 | winery@bench1775.com | Open Daily 11am-6pm


22 34 40

VOLUME 4 / ISSUE #1 MAY 2015

Features 22

50 Seats and a Cow Serving up serious food with a lighthearted touch, dining is never dull at Cleaver by Linda Garson


Bastions of Barbecue On The Grill: Exploring 5 BBQ cultures from across the globe, calling Calgary home by Heather Hartmann


Hot Okanagan 5 cool wineries: discovering some of the best wines you might never have heard of by Jeannette Montgomery

Departments 12

Innisfail Growers There’s strength in numbers by Elizabeth Chorney-Booth

32 It’s Time To Get Real (Ale) Local cask-conditioned beers by David Nuttall


Salutes and Shout Outs


Ask Culinaire


Taking Flight What will you eat on the plane? by Jenn Sharp

38 Making the Case Sipping on the deck by Tom Firth


Book Review


Chefs’ Tips – and Tricks!

18 Gourmet Fare In The Great Outdoors Campfire cooking kicked up a notch by Shel Zolkewich


14 Step-By-Step Gourmet Brunch In Bed

29 Find Your Best: Brunch Cocktail What are you drinking this weekend? by Stephanie Arsenault, Dan Clapson, Laura Lushington, and Diana Ng

42 Open That Bottle Holly Williams of Vintage Group by Linda Garson

Wedding Bliss Beverage tips for successful party planning by Tom Firth

24 8 Ways to Spice Up Caesars

On the Cover: With thanks to Ingrid Kuenzel for photography and Dan Clapson for art direction, to create a contemporary take on Calgary’s classic cocktail.


Letter From The Editor of the amazing people and successes of Calgary’s food and beverage scene. That’s no mean feat in the publishing world, and we couldn’t have done it without our advertisers, contributors and readers. We’re here to support the incredible culinary scene in Calgary, and are very grateful for the support we receive in return. What will year 4 bring? The 2015 Alberta Beverage Awards are already promising to be bigger than the two very successful preceding years! We’re judging Alberta’s wine, beers and spirits in early summer, and bringing you the results of the best available in the autumn.

It’s our third birthday! This month is the start of our 4th volume of Culinaire; it’s hard to believe we already have 30 issues under our belt, and are still bringing you news and stories

We’re also planning more community events for everyone to enjoy, and ones where food-related charities will benefit from your participation. It’s going to be an exciting year! Cheers! Linda Garson, Editor-in-Chief

Thanks to all who participated in our first annual Culinaire Treasure Hunt And what a day it was! So much fun for everyone, and so many tweets and instagrams that we were trending #1 in Calgary! Over 100 lucky adventurers met at Calgary Farmers’ Market to enjoy a bountiful selection of snacks from the market vendors, and receive trivia questions revealing the 30 participating restaurants, markets and stores. At each was a treat or an enjoyable little task, with a little culinary gift too! Later, everybody met up again at Crossroads Market, where generous tables of homemade food from Crossroads’ vendors awaited while the results were tallied for the prize giving. Everyone was a winner and some won two prizes! See culinairemagazine.ca for photos and answers to the clues. We can’t thank our locations enough for their generosity - it was certainly a day to remember!

Getting to know you and your preferences… As we enter our fourth year, it’s time to get to know our readers better, and understand what topics and features you’d like to see in Culinaire magazine, so we’d be very grateful if you would fill in our short survey at culinairemagazine.ca to tell us more about yourself. It will only take a few minutes, and we certainly won’t be letting anyone else share this information – it’s anonymous, so we won’t even know ourselves which is your information. We’re offering superb prize draws for all those who complete the survey and then separately, let us have their email address afterwards!


This month we have a magnum – yes that’s right – a 1.5 L bottle of Baron Ricasoli Chianti Classico worth $125 for the lucky winner! Barone Ricasoli is the fourth longest-lived company in the world in the same place, and the second in the wine sector. It is also the oldest winery in Italy, creating the original recipe for Chianti in 1872, which is still used to this day! In June there’s a chance to win a wonderful bottle of Veuve Clicquot Vintage Rosé 2004, worth over $100!

Finally, one very lucky reader will win the overall prize at the end of the survey for all entries - a Cherrywood Forno Party for 20 of your favourite friends and family, in your home! It starts with a cooking lesson, where you’ll learn how to use a Forno to cook a variety of pizzas and BBQ chicken wings, and then the party will begin with more than enough delicious fornocooked food for everyone! Head to culinairemagazine.ca/contests/ culinaire-readership-survey now!

CALGARY / FOOD & DRINK / RECIPES Editor-in-Chief/Publisher: Linda Garson linda@culinairemagazine.ca Sales Consultant: Keiron Gallagher 403-975-7177 sales@culinairemagazine.ca Advertising: Naim Malik 403-926-7862 naim@culinairemagazine.ca Contributing Food Editor: Dan Clapson dan@culinairemagazine.ca Contributing Drinks Editor: Tom Firth tom@culinairemagazine.ca Digital Media: Mallory Frayn web@culinairemagazine.ca Design: Emily Vance Contributors: Stephanie Arsenault Elizabeth Chorney-Booth Mallory Frayn Heather Hartmann Kathy Jollimore Renee Kohlman Ingrid Kuenzel Laura Lushington Karen Miller Jeannette Montgomery Diana Ng David Nuttall Jenn Sharp Shel Zolkewich

To read about our talented team of contributors, please visit us online at culinairemagazine.ca. Contact us at: Culinaire Magazine #1203, 804 -3rd Avenue SW Calgary, AB T2P 0G9 403-870-9802 info@culinairemagazine.ca www.facebook.com/CulinaireMagazine Twitter: @culinairemag Instagram: culinairemag For subscriptions, competitions and to read Culinaire online: culinairemagazine.ca

Our Contributors < Elizabeth ChorneyBooth

Elizabeth is a Calgarybased freelance writer with over 16 years of experience. She writes about people, entertainment, travel and food for a number of publications including The Calgary Herald, Swerve, Where Calgary, Up! and Culinaire. Elizabeth is also the co-founder and co-editor of RollingSpoon.com, a website that explores the connection between music and food through interviews with musicians and chefs, with recipes provided and inspired by her favourite bands.

< Jeannette Montgomery

With her rural Canadian roots and love of grand experiences, Jeannette is equal measures county and city. She’s as comfortable catching the fish for dinner as she is suggesting a local BC wine to pair with it. From Ontario’s cottage country, Jeannette spent more than a decade in Vancouver before moving to Oliver, BC with her fella. They have three cats, a 1966 Satellite mid-restoration, and more than a few bottles of BC wine. For research, of course.

<Shel Zolkewich

An avid angler and hunter, Shel writes the hunting column in the Winnipeg Free Press. She writes about the outdoors, food and travel, and her recent adventures have included a trip to the tundra as cook at a caribou hunting camp, and a long overdue journey to Ukraine with her father. She has also written for Up!, Going Places, Canadian Gardening, Travel Manitoba, Outdoor Canada, Western Living, National Post, West Magazine, Globe & Mail, and EnRoute.

All Trademarks presented in this magazine are owned by the registered owner. All advertisements appearing in this magazine are the sole responsibility of the person, business or corporation advertising their product or service. For more information on Culinaire Magazine’s Privacy Policy and Intention of Use, please see our website at www.culinairemagazine. ca. All content, photographs and articles appearing in this magazine are represented by the contributor as original content and the contributor will hold Culinaire Magazine harmless against any and all damages that may arise from their contribution. All public correspondence, which may include, but is not limited to letters, e-mail, images and contact information, received by Culinaire Magazine becomes the property of Culinaire Magazine and is subject to publication. Culinaire Magazine may not be held responsible for the safety or return of any unsolicited manuscripts, photographs and other materials. Reproduction of this publication in whole or in part without written consent from Culinaire Magazine is strictly prohibited.

If the shoe fits eat it !

Salutes... Canada Beef has launched The RoundupTM - a free app for iPhone, Android and iPad with very useful hints and recipes to help you know how to buy the right cut and cook it with

confidence. Check out beefinfo.org and take The Roundup for a test drive… ride! Monogram Coffee’s co-founder, Ben Put, took 3rd place at the World Barista

Championships, beating 47 of 49 countries! And the good news is that we’ll be able to taste the winning coffee for ourselves soon at Monogram’s recently opened café in Altadore.

and Shout Outs... Fit Kitchen

Eat Yourself Fit Those clever people at The Main Dish have come up with a new concept for healthy eating. Fit Kitchen, on McKenzie Towne’s High Street, features stand-up coolers loaded with pre-portioned meals, using quality ingredients for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks - all prepared by real chefs. Green-labelled ‘Lean’ meals are for losing or maintaining weight, with very tasty choices like Cowboy White Chilli and 6-Pack Salmon, and Red-labelled ‘Performance’ meals are for active lifestyles. We loved the No Butter Chicken made with tomato coconut sauce, and Ninja Chicken Stir Fry on forbidden rice. Everything is available in a choice of two sizes, and there are 6 and 18 Day meal plans to keep you truly on the straight and narrow!

seafood is Ocean Wise certified; the beef is grass-fed, and hormone and antibiotic free; and the veggies are non-GMO – they even make their own soy sauce and ketchup. Don’t miss the Chicken and Rosemary Kebab Corndogs with a delicious togarashi sauce; Mac N Wow, a huge and creamy serving of Nova Scotia lobster, pork belly, truffle oil Mac ‘N Cheese; I ♥ NY, a sushi roll with lobster and avocado topped with NY striploin and oyster mushrooms… but be sure to leave room for a salted chocolate brownie with mascarpone!

More Meat for Calgary! You’re in for a warm welcome at the brand new Minas Steakhouse; husband and wife team, Jose and Carolina Montes are familiar faces in Calgary’s churrascarias, and have now opened their own brightly coloured, fun and friendly, Brazilian restaurant. Help yourself to traditional native Brazilian dishes, mixed salads and vegetables from the wide selection at the salad bar, as well as hot dishes, such as the longsimmered black bean, pork and herb “Feijoada”. When you’re back in your seat, ‘Passadores’ (carvers) will come

Nû Kids On The Block It’s hard to categorize the eclectic menu at Nû Burger Sushi Bar, but they’ve managed to pull together two very different cultures and it works! There’s a fun twist to all the beautifully presented dishes, with an added bonus that the 6

Minas Steakhouse

around with thirteen different meats on skewers, all served tableside. If you’re lucky, you may even catch smiley-faced Bruno Pinto dancing too! ONE18 Empire

Whisky-Infused History You might be spoiled for choice at ONE18 Empire with around 160 whiskies to choose from, including 8 rare Scotch Malt Whisky Society offerings – you can even treat yourself to a bottle of Glenrothes 1969, and they’ll store it for you until your next visit. This rustic contemporary space by the Marriott Hotel is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and lounge snacks, with flavourful dishes under headings of Spoon, Hands, Tossed, Nosh and Boards, and many dishes using whisky too. Must trys include Breads-nSpreads (bone marrow, whipped lemon ricotta, and chicken liver mousse), Duck Arugula Salad with rye whiskey burnt orange marmalade dressing, and Bonein Rib Eye, Slo Smoked Chicken or Cedar Plank Salmon boards. Cocktails come with your own personal iceberg, and are definitely to be recommended, and there are flights of 5 whiskies, 3 bourbons or 3 SMWS whiskies too. Yep, you might be spoiled for choice!

MODERN STEAK More like Jay Z, Less like Sinatra






RESERVATIONS PLEASE CALL 403.670.6873 www.modernsteak.ca

Ask Culinaire by KATHY JOLLIMORE

I want to have an outdoor dinner party but worry that the weather in Calgary doesn't always cooperate, any suggestions?

Whether rain or shine, inside or out, simplicity is best. The key to a stress-free dinner party is a simple menu built on seasonal flavours. To start, nothing is easier than crostini. The baguette can be toasted well in advance and topped minutes before guests arrive. Slightly warmed brie with honey and prosciutto (if it’s cool out) or whipped butter with thinly sliced spring radishes (if it’s warmer) - the possibilities are endless. Alternatively, arrange a charcuterie board in advance. Sliced bread and crackers, local cured meat and cheese, and a few quick pickled spring vegetables are all you need for an easy, all-season starter. Maybe offer a welcome drink in addition to the usual non-alcoholic options. A crisp beer with a slice of lime, a pitcher of fruity sangria or a Spring inspired cocktail can evoke feelings of warm sun-filled days, especially if the weather forces you inside.


When it comes to the main, opt for a lighter meal. Replace the heavier braises and hearty soups of winter with refreshing salads, crisp vegetables and grilled meats. If you’re lucky enough to have the grill under cover, go ahead and grill. If you’re hosting with a partner or friend, one of you can sneak out to the grill while the other takes The key to a stress-free dinner party is a simple menu built on seasonal flavours care of guests. Even if you’re going it alone, guests can socialize over the appetizer while you pop out to finish the main. Easy grilled options include a marinated flank steak served with chimichurri or, if available, a whole trout stuffed with lemon and fennel. If, however, grilling is out of the question, recreate BBQ favourites

inside. Burgers can be juicy and perfectly cooked in the oven; flank steak is quickly seared in a cast iron skillet instead of outside. Quick grilled (or roasted) asparagus and a crisp salad of thinly sliced fennel, avocado, grapefruit, and the season’s first greens, pairs perfectly with whatever main you choose. Remember also to keep it casual. Whether basking in the sun of the backyard or gathered around the dinner table, serve the main family style. Not only will this allow you more time with your guests, it takes the stress out of plating courses. Whatever Mother Nature throws at you, you can never go wrong with good food and great company. Kathy Jollimore is a cooking school instructor, food writer, and food stylist in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She writes the blog eathalifax.ca and contributes to a weekly recipe column in the Chronicle Herald.

Book Reviews


Brown Eggs and Jam Jars

and availability. Wimbush-Bourque is living in Quebec now, so there’s lots of maple syrup and a decadent "Tartiflette with Oka" on p. 195. The basics of a homesteading kitchen are covered; helpful tools, useful ingredients and pantry staples. The recipes reflect the joy she has in cooking, and there is a wonderful tutorial aspect to her recipes, always passing on information to inspire.

By Aimee Wimbush-Bourque Penguin Canada Books, $32

When this book was dropped off for review everyone rushed to take a look and decide what recipe to try first. Many great ones to try! WimbushBourque started her writing as a familyminded food blogger, but she is a trained chef and has restaurant experience, so the book has legs. ‘Brown Eggs and Jam Jars’ is about homemade but taken one step further to explain homesteading, with lots of tips on how to involve the kids. Beyond just recycling and composting, homesteading is about growing your own, preserving, buying in bulk, reusing and repurposing, and making most everything from scratch. The author has

lived this way her whole life but she does not preach, only encourages a level of self-sufficiency realistic for you. The book and the recipes are familycentered, and organized by seasons

The book's recipes are all enticing to try and the book is really a delight to read. It truly reflects how much WimbushBourque loves this life, and how we may benefit from this day-to-day quality of life, making a connection with your food and family.

Karen Miller is a lawyer by trade, giving her a knack for picking apart a cookbook. She has taught many styles of cooking classes and was part of the Calgary Dishing girls.

Safari Brunch Sundays, 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Zoo admission combo price before noon


Chefs' Tips Tricks! Steak


Chef Roy Oh Anju

Cooking steak can be intimidating, especially if it’s a pricey cut. You don’t want to overcook it, but you don’t want it to be raw either. “If you look closely the steak will tell you how it’s doing by its blood,” says Chef Roy Oh, owner of Anju. Once it gets to medium rare, blood will start to run out. If the blood is flowing, you can be pretty confident you’ve reached medium. When things start to clear up, you know your steak is medium well, and when all the blood is gone, it’s well done. “Patience is also a virtue when cooking steak,” Roy emphasizes. Having a hot pan, not over-flipping it, and adequately resting your steak before serving are all key players. They will help to ensure that you will have delicious, juicy steaks for dinner, or whatever meal you may be preparing them for.


One of Roy’s favourite ways of enjoying steak is very simply grilled, finished with garlic butter, Montreal steak spice, sliced and drizzled with good quality sesame oil. Why not add some Korean flare to an Albertan staple?

Chef Roy Oh’s Green Onion Salad 10 green onions, shredded thinly 1½ tsp (7 mL) soy sauce 1 tsp (5 mL) rice vinegar ¼ tsp Korean red pepper powder ¼ tsp sesame seeds Pinch of ground black pepper 2 tsp (10 mL) sesame oil

Patience is also a virtue when cooking steak

Chef Roy Oh

1. Clean the green onions, cut in half

and shred thinly. Wash the onions in cold water 2-3 times and put them in a colander to drain for 20 minutes. The green onions will be curly.

2. In a bowl, add the soy sauce, vinegar, red pepper powder, sesame seeds, black pepper and sesame oil. Mix with green onions very gently just before serving (to avoid saggy green onions).

most out of the beef you purchase at the grocery store. To start, Chef Enrico Monzon, of Hy’s Steakhouse, suggests looking for something with lots of marbling – streaks of fat that add tenderness and flavour.

Chef Enrico Monzon

Chef Enrico Monzon Hy’s Steakhouse Just because you are cooking steak at home doesn’t mean you cannot try your hand at aging it. Admittedly without the temperature and humidity controlled environment of a professional kitchen, you won’t be able to achieve the exact same results of say a good 21-day dry aging process, but you can make the

Chef Brendan Delaney Modern Steak “We can’t eat filet mignon every day, so it’s important to understand what different cuts provide in terms of tenderness and flavour,” says Chef Brendan Delaney of Modern steak. If you don’t know what you are buying or how to prepare it, you risk being disappointed in the final product. “The Big Three” are tenderloin, striploin and rib eye. Each provides different levels of tenderness and flavour, and most importantly, needs to be cooked

Chef Brendan Delaney

From there you can wash off any excess blood, cover it with cheesecloth or paper towel, and leave it in the fridge overnight or for a couple of days. “Only leave it there for 2 days at most, otherwise the meat will start to go bad,” says Chef Enrico. After that, all that’s left is to cook it the way you like it. A simple seasoning of salt and pepper lets the steak speak for itself, and will help your aging efforts come through.

Look for something with lots of marbling

Hy’s Only Sauce Makes 5/6 of a cup

½ cup (120 mL) Heinz 57 ½ cup (80 mL) Ketchup ½ Tbs (7 mL) Worcestershire sauce ½ tsp cracked black pepper

Whisk all ingredients together until blended. Serve with your favourite steak.

to a specific temperature to turn out just right. For example, rib eye should be cooked to medium to render out the fat and allow it to melt into the rest of the meat. Value cuts like flank steak can also be delicious – and are much easier on your wallet – assuming you know how to prepare them. For example, cook flank steak to medium rare, rest, and cut it against the grain to ensure maximum tenderness, rather than stringiness.

Modern’s Steak Sauce

2. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered

2 2/3 cups (650 mL) ketchup 2 2/3 garlic cloves, minced 2/3 cup (160 mL) lemon juice 2/3 cup (160 mL) beef stock 2/3 cup (160 mL) Worcestershire sauce 2/3 cup (160 mL) white vinegar 1/3 cup (80 mL) soy sauce (low sodium can be subbed) 1/3 cup dark brown sugar 2 2/3 Tbs (40 mL) prepared Dijon mustard

3. Cover and refrigerate.

1. Combine all of the ingredients in

In a small bowl, fold together the sour cream, horseradish, chives, and salt and pepper.

Makes 1L of sauce

large pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.

for 30 minutes.

Horseradish Creama Makes 2¾ cups

2 cups (500 mL) sour cream ½ cup (120 mL) prepared horseradish (more if you like it hotter) 4 Tbs chopped fresh chives 1½ tsp Kosher salt 1 tsp black pepper


Vegetable farming is not nearly as common as grain farming here in Alberta, and since most farmers who do venture into fruits and veg need to focus their expertise on a few crops, that varied booth of local produce is a tricky thing to achieve. But five farms in the Innisfail area figured out that there is strength in numbers, and have banded together to make their mark at farmers’ markets from Calgary to Edmonton. Formed in 1993, Innisfail Growers is a cooperative between Beck Farms, Edgar Farms, The Jungle Farm, Uppergreen Farms, and Hillside Greenhouses. The group formed after Shelley Bradshaw of Beck Farms began growing carrots and taking them to market. Realizing that her table would be more attractive if it showcased more than carrots, she talked to neighbours who agreed that hooking up to offer a variety of fruits and veg would be beneficial to all. It was clear that the collective was more than just the sum of its parts

Innisfail Growers by ELIZABETH CHORNEY-BOOTH photography by INGRID KUENZEL

When you’re browsing at a farmers’ market, few things are as attention grabbing as a big booth loaded with a wide variety of perfectly fresh fruit and vegetables, all marked as locally grown. 12

These days, an Innisfail Growers market booth (and there are plenty of them — the collective is represented at about 20 markets) is likely to feature peas or asparagus from Edgar Farms, strawberries or spinach from The Jungle Farm, tomatoes or cucumbers from Hillside Greenhouse, potatoes from Uppergreen Farms, and Beck Farms’ original carrots, as well as their cabbage, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts (most of the producers grow a number of items in addition to their “signature” crops). The bounty on offer depends on what’s in season, and many of the farmers also produce preserves, pies, candy, or other items to fill in the gaps during their off seasons. The Jungle Farm’s Leona Staples joined Innisfail Growers in 1998 when she and her husband returned to her family

Innisfail Growers was born. While the farm still produces grain and Angus beef, their asparagus (and their equally popular peas and beans) have become their signature. Of the 1,400 acres of land the Edgars farm, 75 acres are for vegetables, with a whopping 50 acres dedicated to asparagus.

farm after he completed his education in agriculture. The collective asked if they’d be interested in providing strawberries and vegetables, and even though the Staples knew the challenges of diversifying from the grain and cattle already produced on the farm, they also knew that it would be easier to tackle new crops with the support of the group, who could offer knowledge, a place to sell their new products, and moral support. With five farmers specializing in different produce, it was clear that the collective was more than just the sum of its parts. “The challenge that goes with vegetable farming is just the intensity of it,” Staples says. “It is a lot of labour and a lot of knowledge to be able to grow anywhere, but especially in Alberta where our season is so short. Because we each grow a lot of what we grow and we can specialize, I think we can do it better.” In Alberta, few crops are harder to specialize in than asparagus, but Elna and Doug Edgar, at Edgar Farms in Innisfail, decided to start a larger version of the asparagus patch that Elna has been growing in her garden when

Elna Edgar says that while asparagus isn’t a crop that most consumers, or even farmers, would associate with Alberta, our climate actually makes for a more delicious product. Because Alberta’s cold spring evenings slow the vegetable’s nighttime growth, Alberta asparagus is incredibly sweet and flavourful — an entirely different product than the bland woody stuff that you’ll find in most grocery stores during the off season.

“Everybody has their strong points and we work together as a team”

The harvest season is short, and requires the Edgars and their staff to work around the clock. Edgar echoes Staples’ sentiment that having a cooperative like Innisfail Growers is essential to her farm’s success because it lets her be the asparagus expert, while her neighbours get to be the carrot, strawberry, or potato experts. “We’re not super-people,” she says. “We’re all great at some things. But we’re not great at everything. Everybody has their strong points and

we work together as a team. We put our heads together and people come up with great ideas. And I can specialize in growing a few things, and I can do an amazing job of growing a few things.” While the cooperative lets each farm specialize, the other important thing that Innisfail Growers allows its members to do is to actually diversify their farms (both The Jungle Farms and Edgar Farms still also have traditional grain crops) and their income streams by introducing vegetables and knowing that they’ll have the support to bring them to market. Edgar says that overall, adding vegetables to their grain farm, along with the camaraderie of the cooperative, has helped her family gain a new passion for growing and continuing to innovate their business; something that is drawing younger generations back to the family farm. “We’ve been in business long enough and there is enough potential in the farms that those second generations are coming back now,” Edgar says. “Our daughter and son-in-law are back at our farm. And you don’t see that much anymore because farming is hard and it’s a lifestyle choice. But we’ve diversified enough that they see that potential and want to carry it on.” Edgar Farms is located just southwest of the town of Innisfail, just off of Highway 2. It’s an easy drive from Calgary, plan for a little less than an hour and a half on the road. See culinairemagazine.ca/events for Edgar Farms Asparagus Festival May 31, June 7, June 14.

Elizabeth Chorney-Booth is a Calgary-based freelance writer, and co-founder/co-editor of RollingSpoon.com. She enjoys exploring the connection between music and food through interviews with musicians and chefs. 13

Step By Step: Gourmet Brunch In Bed

Angel Food Cake French Toast by RENEE KOHLMAN


With Mother’s Day right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking of ways to treat and honour our moms. I wouldn’t be baking if it weren’t for my mom. She let me begin eating chocolate chip cookie dough - I mean begin baking chocolate chip cookies - when I was ten years old and the rest is history. I got hooked on the baking bug and haven’t looked back. My mother was gracious enough to share her recipe for Angel Food Cake with me, and in turn, me with you. It’s light as a feather and quite simple to prepare, just remember not to grease your tube pan, keep egg yolks away from the whites, and to use cake flour. If you have a few slices left over, you can do what I do and turn it into French toast for a fancy brunch. Moms love a fancy brunch - especially one they don’t have to cook, and one they can be surprised with in bed.

Angel Food Cake French Toast

Serves 3-4, Total cook time 30 minutes


(serves 12) 1 cup cake flour 1½ cups granulated sugar 1½ cups egg whites (approximately 10-12 eggs) at room temperature 1 tsp (5 mL) almond or vanilla extract ¼ tsp salt 1¼ tsp cream of tartar

1. Preheat oven to 375º F. In a medium Don’t forget the… glasses of mimosa to toast to your mom!

French toast is one of my favourite breakfast foods. Good bread, dipped in an eggy batter, fried in a little bit of butter, topped with fruit, what’s not to love? I had a few pieces of angel food cake lingering on the counter (I know! How does that happen?!) and thought I’d see what happens when they are substituted for bread. Magic, that’s what! The sugar on the outside gives the French toast a slight caramelization that is out of this world. With a generous serving of fresh berries and fruit, a dollop of whipped cream and maple syrup, it really is breakfast perfection. Don’t forget the dusting of icing sugar and glasses of mimosa to toast your mom with. Happy Mother’s Day!

bowl add ½ cup sugar to the flour and sift 3 times. Set aside.

2. Add almond flavouring and salt to

Garnishes: unsweetened whipped cream fresh fruit mint powdered sugar maple syrup The sugar on the outside gives the French toast a slight caramelization that is out of this world

the egg whites and beat until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat to medium stiffness.

1. Whisk together all ingredients

3. Then gradually add 1 cup of sugar

2. Melt 2 Tbs of butter in a large skillet

and beat until it forms stiff peaks. Gradually fold in by hand the floursugar mixture - I did this in 4 intervals - and pour into ungreased tube pan with removable bottom.

4. Cut with a sharp knife to remove air pockets and bake for 30-35 minutes. Invert pan and cool completely. Run a sharp knife around edge of cake and gently remove. French Toast: 6 slices Angel food cake 3 large eggs ¾ cup (180 mL) milk (I used whole milk) 1 tsp (5mL) vanilla ½ tsp salt 1 tsp ground cardamom or cinnamon 3-4 Tbs butter

except butter in a large bowl. over medium high heat.

3. Soak half the cake slices in egg

mixture, being sure all sides are soaked. Lift out of egg and place in hot skillet.

4. Fry the angel food cake on all sides, being sure not to get too brown. When golden, remove to platter and keep warm in low 200º F oven.

5. Melt remaining butter in skillet.

Soak remaining angel food slices, and continue to cook them in hot butter. Garnish with fresh fruit, whipped cream, mint, powdered sugar and maple syrup. Renée Kohlman is a food writer and pastry chef living in beautiful Saskatoon. She writes restaurant reviews for The Saskatoon StarPhoenix and whips up delicious gluten-free dessert creations at Leyda's Café. Check out her blog sweetsugarbean.com 15

Taking Flight: What Will You Eat On The Plane? by JENN SHARP

Gone are the days of complimentary food service when you take to the skies. While you still get a free meal on international flights, it’s wise to bring a snack (or credit card for food purchases) on board if you’re flying in North America. Airlines are offering a range of meal and snack items to suit different tastes and dietary restrictions, but be prepared to pay. The upside is that quality has gone up in the world of airplane food. A wide variety of chefinspired menus are even turning up on some, like Alaska Airlines. However, the food-for-purchase options on other airlines are pretty slim. Here are the five major airlines operating out of Calgary and a handy little guide for what you’ll find on board; happy flying! *Free coffee, tea, juice or soft drinks offered on all airlines below *On flights under 90 minutes, most airlines provide drinks and a small snack, but items for purchase are limited or unavailable




Flights between 90 and 120 minutes: - Can purchase snacks ($3 to $5) like trail mix bars, roasted almonds, veggies and dip, candy and chocolates (limited availability of hot meals)

Flights under 2½ hours: - Can purchase snack items priced between $2.25 to $5.59 (Pringles, beef jerky, Nibs, hummus and lentil crackers), along with sandwich options

Flights of 120 minutes or more: - Breakfast available for purchase between 5:00 and 10:00 am. (English muffin sandwich, Greek yogurt, oatmeal or fruit) - Hot meal options like macaroni and cheese ($7), pepperoni pizza or chipotle chicken wrap (both $6.95) and meal trays (up to $13.50)

Flights over 2½ hours: - Can purchase snacks and combos like a spirit and beef jerky ($9) plus a wider variety of meal items (on flights departing before 10:00 pm) like a feature sandwich combo for $15.50 - Added meal items, like feature sandwich combo, cheese and fruit plate, and rotating line-up of deli sandwiches and wraps

The upside is that quality has gone up in the world of airplane food

ALASKA AIR Flights over 2½ hours: - Hot meals, like brisket chilli ($8) created by chef Tom Douglas, available for sale, along with meals like a fruit and cheese platter ($7.50) and snack ‘picnic packs’ such as Mediterranean tapas or kids’ choice pack (both $6) - Additional dishes with an island flair, such as the Huli Huli Chicken ($7), are offered on flights to Hawaii DELTA Flights under 3 hours: - Snack boxes available for purchase - tapas box ($8.99) or treat box ($7.49) Flights over 3 hours: - Breakfast available for purchase between 5:00 am and 9:00 am, smoked turkey bagel ($7.49) or continental breakfast plate ($6.99) - Meal options for purchase vary between westbound (cracked pepper turkey sandwich, $8.99) and eastbound (London broil fajita wrap, $8.99) - Lunch/dinner options on all flights include burgers ($9.49), fruit and cheese plate ($7.99) and wraps ($9.49) UNITED Flights between 2 and 3½ hours: - Snacks available range from $3.99 for pretzels, Pringles, or hummus and dip, to $8.99 for snack box combos Flights over 3½ hours: - Onboard bistro offerings range from $4.59 for cheese and breadsticks, to $9.49 for a noodle salad or roast beef and cheddar baguette - Breakfast options available between 5:45 am and 9:45 am; $3.99 for fruit and nut bars to $8.99 for ham and cheddar baguette

MEAL IDEAS FOR YOUR FLIGHT: Flying is expensive enough, especially now that many airlines are charging for checked baggage. Save yourself a few bucks and pack along one of these options: 1. HUMMUS, CRUDITES AND PITA BREAD - Do your seatmates a favour and hold off on the extra-garlic hummus variety. Chop a few of your favourite raw veggies, add a pita or two and you’re all set. 2. CURED OR DELI MEAT AND CHEESE - Now is not the time to break out the spicy salami and Limburger cheese; stick to milder choices like prosciutto or roasted turkey, and cheddar or mozzarella. 3. QUINOA SALAD - Mix veggies, shrimp or cheese with cooked quinoa. Make a dressing using balsamic vinegar, a touch of olive oil, a squeeze of lime, fresh or dried herbs, then pack in a lightweight container and don’t forget a fork. 4. CHICKEN OR VEGGIE WRAP OR SANDWICH - Taking an extra 5 minutes to make one of these for yourself before heading to the airport will save you the $8-10 dollars you’ll have to spend on finding one once you’re past security. 5. BEEF JERKY - Hit up your local farmers’ market to see if you can source jerky locally; you’re likely to find a range of flavours and meats 6. NUT MUFFIN WITH FRESH FRUIT - Delicious and nutrient-dense, these are the perfect make-ahead snack you can bring on the plane instead of buying a granola bar or trail mix on board.

Simple Nut Muffins Makes 12 muffins

2½ cups ground nuts 3 eggs ¼ cup (60 mL) melted coconut oil ¼ cup (60 mL) honey 1 tsp baking soda 1 dash sea salt

Preheat oven to 325 ºF. Grind nuts in food processor or blender. Combine ingredients and mix by hand in a large bowl. Spoon into muffin tray. Bake 15 to 20 minutes. 17

Rosemary Skillet Chicken

Gourmet Fare In The Great Outdoors


It’s time to back away from your kitchen From the snap of the range and take your cooking show match and the crackle of outdoors. C’mon baby, light a fire! those first dry twigs, to the Checklist For A Campfire: dance of the orange flames, –– Wood: A combination of species is there’s something about a best. Spruce or pine (softwoods) ignite and burn quickly so they campfire that invokes an ensure your fire gets off to a healthy endless state of relaxation. start. To get good coals for cooking

When the first waves of heat spill onto your lap and the smell of wood smoke floats skyward, you know one thing’s for certain. Dinner can’t be far behind.

that last a long time, you’ll need oak or birch (hardwoods). Some campgrounds offer wood for free; others have vendors that will sell you a few sticks. Most of the time they sell softwood. If you have a neighbour with a fireplace, ask for a few armloads because it will likely be a hardwood. –– Heavy-duty aluminum foil –– Aluminum plates (for setting hot packets of food down)


–– Matches or lighter –– Newspaper –– Small axe –– Small camping knife –– Extra-long tongs with heat-resistant handles –– Oven mitts or gauntlet-style leather gloves –– Grills or grilling basket (if the fire pit grill is in rough shape) –– Pail (for pouring water on your fire)

Location, Location, Location! For safety, it’s important to follow some guidelines when choosing a location for your fire. If you’re planning a weekend at a provincial campground, fire pits or “approved containers” as the authorities call them, are ready to go. If it’s a day trip you have in mind, look for a provincial picnic site that has fire pits.

Before you strike a match, check the conditions. If it’s a dry season, a burn ban may be in effect. Most burn bans restrict open fires from 8pm to 8am although in extreme condition, all fires may be banned.

Light That Fire: When it comes to getting a fire going, it’s all about patience. Start by gathering tinder. Look for spruce twigs, needles, dry grass, leaves and very small branches. You can also gather birch bark but be sure it’s from deadfall. Don’t strip it off live trees. These items are dry and highly combustible and will provide the base for your fire. Create a small tinder pile in the centre of the fire pit. The Boy Scouts don’t advocate using paper but if you’re not quite sure about your firestarting capabilities, add a crumpled ball of newspaper to the centre of the pile. Next place small branches around the tinder to form a teepee. If you’re handy with an axe, chop stick-like pieces from the firewood. These should be about three centimeters in diameter. Cooking over an open fire begins with safety – and it ends with safety Place these, also in teepee fashion, to form the next tier. The final step is the firewood. Use the softwoods for the first layer. Add two more layers using the hardwoods. You are now ready to light your fire. Strike the match and hold it at a downward angle and immediately place it against the tinder. With a little luck and maybe a lungful of air, you’ll be off to a roaring start. Next comes the waiting game. Sit back and enjoy the show for roughly 45 minutes. Now you’re ready to cook.

Put It Out:

Mango, Mint and Maple Crepes

Cooking over an open fire begins with safety – and it ends with safety. Never leave your fire unattended. When it’s time to head home or call it a night, grab a pail of water and start pouring it on your fire. Stir things around. Pour again and be sure there’s no smoke. Campfire cooking tips: 1. The triple layer wrap. To add moisture, and a layer of protection to food that will be cooked directly on coals, add a sheet of moistened paper towel between a first and second layer of aluminum foil.

2. The marinating game. Place a tender cut of venison or bison into a sealable bag. Add crushed garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil and a few sprigs of rosemary. Let it marinade during the drive to the campground. Grill until medium rare over an open fire. Works equally well with a beef fillet.

3. Skin side down. Use a fish fillet

with the skin on. Place directly on the fire pit grill. Sprinkle with your favourite spice mixture and top with a slice of lemon. Cover the fillet with an aluminum foil pan. Dinner is ready in about four minutes.

Port-Infused Camembert with Hot Pepper Sauce and Toasted Almonds All recipes serve 6

2 110 g rounds of Camembert 4 Tbs (60 mL) ruby port 6 Tbs (90 mL) hot pepper dip 4 Tbs toasted almonds

Rosemary Skillet Chicken

Mango, Mint and Maple Crepes

6 large chicken thighs (skin on or off) 10 fingerling potatoes, sliced in half lengthwise and parboiled 2 sprigs fresh rosemary 4 cloves garlic ½ tsp red pepper flakes 2 lemons 2 Tbs (30 mL) olive oil 2 tsp salt Freshly ground black pepper

6 crepes, prepared at home 2 large mangoes, cubes 4 Tbs butter ½ cup Demerara sugar 4 Tbs (60 mL) dark rum cinnamon nutmeg 250 g cream cheese, softened ½ cup (120 mL) maple syrup ¼ cup mint leaves, shredded light sour cream or yogurt

1. Remove leaves from one sprig of

rosemary. On a cutting board, combine with garlic, red pepper flakes and salt. Mash into a paste. Transfer to a bowl, add the juice of one lemon (reserve the squeezed halves) and olive oil. Add the chicken and turn to coat.

2. Place a cast iron frying pan over

medium hot coals. Add chicken and brown on both sides, about five minutes per side. Squeeze the juice of remaining lemon over chicken. Add potatoes, remaining rosemary, reserved lemon halves and black pepper.

There’s something about a campfire that invokes an endless state of relaxation

1. In a cast iron skillet, melt better. Add sugar, rum, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add mangoes and cook for five minutes.

2. Spread two tablespoons of cream

cheese into the centre of each crepe. Spoon mango mixture over cream cheese and roll.

3. Cover with aluminum foil, transfer to 3. Top with sour cream or yogurt. medium coals and cook for 20 minutes.

1. Quarter Camembert rounds and

Drizzle with maple syrup. Garnish with mint and dust with more nutmeg.

(Warm up your crepes by wrapping them in heavy-duty foil and placing in a warm spot of your campfire)

arrange in a large cast iron fry pan. Drizzle port over and spoon hot pepper dip on top.

2. Place on medium cool area of fire

pit and grill for 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling. Remove from fire. Top with toasted almonds. Serve with crostini or sturdy crackers. 20

Port-Infused Camembert with Hot Pepper Sauce and Toasted Almonds

An avid angler and hunter, Shel writes the hunting column in the Winnipeg Free Press. Her recent adventures have included a trip to the tundra as cook at a caribou hunting camp, and a long overdue journey to Ukraine with her father.

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The only way to get it fresher is to be there when they’re pressing it.

Experience the magnificence of California’s famous vineyards, wines and cuisine in this all-inclusive12-person luxury tour. This comprehensive tour includes: • Four nights luxury accommodation at Villagio Inn and Spa • Four sumptuous Gourmet Champagne Breakfasts at Villagio Inn and Spa • Direct return flights and all ground transportation • All excursions and tastings with special Vine & Dine privileges

• Dinners in world-famous Yountville restaurants • All restaurant gratuities and taxes • Visits to St. Helena, Sonoma and Napa town, with plenty of time to shop and wander

To request an itinerary and tour details, visit:

vineanddine.ca or contact linda@vineanddine.ca • 403-870-9802

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50 Seats And A Cow: Cleaver by LINDA GARSON photography by INGRID KUENZEL

Mondays are usually the slowest night for most restaurants, and many don’t even open, but for one 17th Avenue SW restaurant the room is full, you have to reserve to make sure you get in during prime time. It’s Cleaver’s Plank Monday! Since opening just after Stampede last year, it’s been go-go-go for Dubliners Chef Barbara Spain and Alex Rivera. Cleaver has been a success since day one and it’s not difficult to see why – this unpretentious, casual eatery serves up generous portions of made-fromscratch, creative comfort food – and all with an Irish tongue-in-cheek sense of humour that permeates everything from the décor to the cocktail list. The space has a rustic, yet industrial feel with fixtures of old wood and bare metal, and plenty of Chef Spain’s quirky touches, like the rows of hanging cleavers behind glass as you enter, and tap handles made from vintage meat mallets and cleavers. Clever ideas, such as adjustable lighting over the tables and a huge painted cow’s head on one wall, create a cosy, lively and relaxed 22

ambience. “The ideas evolved over about two years in my head, they just kept on coming to me,” says the chef, “I did all the design style and Alex would cut me off when we’d spent enough.” They get plenty of compliments on the background music too. It’s a mixed bag with English oldies like

Elton John and The Jam, and a little bit of Irish - Shane MacGowan’s Dirty Old Town is also included. The menu is made up of “small” sharing plates (small for a CFL player maybe!), sliders, sides, salads – and Cock N’ Bull, which brings us back to Plank Mondays. It’s a big plank of wood with half a cock marinated for two days in a buttermilk spice mixture. Sides change each week, usually either duck fat fries, parm fries or truffle fries, and always a salad plus something quirky on the board, like confit duck mac ‘n’ cheese. It serves two, and is great value at $25. There’s a fun element too, as you shake dice and if you get two evens you don’t pay for the plank. “People like a bit of a gamble and it creates such a fun buzz in here,” says Chef Spain. “Everybody’s screaming and shouting when they’re rolling the dice,

Taleggio cheese, topped with a sous vide poached egg – a creamy, dreamy dish. On Friday or Saturday you can book a whole pig’s head in a sweet beer glaze, which comes on a wooden board with an array of sides. But there’s only one each week, and it's usually pre-booked.

and you know who’s won and who’s lost from the kitchen, you can hear them.” Chef Spain has just revealed her new summer menu with the most popular dishes staying and new, lighter summer fare, such as lobster tacos, joining them. A favourite is the bone marrow - which people now use as bone luges, drinking a brandy through the bone and deglazing it after they've eaten their marrow. As you'd expect from a restaurant called Cleaver, meat is big here. Carrying on from the winter menu are lamb chops with a korma dip, and the 42oz bone-in AAA Alberta beef. “It’s to share, and it takes up to 50 minutes for us to prep it, but it's just beautiful,” says Chef Spain. “Everybody who eats it loves it; there’s a big piece of fat running through the centre, which makes it all soft and succulent.” There’s also a 10oz option and a steak salad - a 6oz steak with portobello mushroom and melted

There are plenty of choices for less meaty dishes too – the seared tuna lettuce wrap and soft shell crab sliders fly out of the kitchen, and the polenta with wild mushrooms and truffle oil, which was meant to be side dish, is so popular that people order it on it's own. Truffle egg toast, and tempura kale with a sweet ginger dip are also crowd pleasers. The dessert list is small, but the salted caramel fondue with marshmallows and donuts is legendary!

Cocktails are unapologetically bold

Chef Spain also creates the drinks list – there are five beers on tap, including draught Guinness, and a wine list divided into “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (more expensive wines), although all the wines are exceptionally well-priced. And then her notable, unapologetically bold cocktails! Popular are Slap Your Mamma - Scotch, pineapple and Thai spiced ice that gets hotter as you drink it, and The G spot – so named for the guava, gin, and grapefruit, with a passion fruit in the centre. One of the biggest sellers is the Double-Barrel Old Fashioned, where the glass is smoked on

a cut tree for the aroma - very cool! All syrups are made in house, as well as ice cubes embedded with herbs and spices. Chef Spain is used to working hard, and though she and her sous, Todd and Jory, are already busy, another restaurant opening is imminent. “I was hoping for summer but now it’s probably going to be autumn,” she says. “It’s definitely going to be a very similar boutique feel, but a different concept.” Watch this space! Cleaver is open every evening, as well as for brunch at weekends, 10:00am-3:00pm.

See culinairemagazine.ca for Barbara’s Broad Bean, Ricotta and Mint Bruschetta recipe

Your chance to win Cleaver’s pig’s head dinner! Yes, the pig’s head is always sold out in advance, but you could win this very popular dinner for yourself! For your chance to win this delicious prize, just go to culinairemagazine.ca and tell us your Irish story.

Maybe you have visited Ireland and have a story to tell us, or maybe you have a story about something Irish that will make us laugh - or cry! We want to hear it, and you could win this amazing dinner just for sharing your story! Good luck!  23

Ways to Spice Up Caesars by MALLORY FRAYN

The Caesar - it’s one of the finest Canadian cocktails we drink up here in the Great White North, and a uniquely Calgarian creation at that. As stellar as the classic mix of Clamato juice, vodka, hot sauce and Worcestershire is, why not switch things up every now and then? 1. Caesars In Savoury Food

Although Caesars may be thought of exclusively as a drink, you can cook with them too. Apparently Walter Chell, creator of the original Caesar, actually got his inspiration from Spaghetti alle Vongole, an Italian pasta with tomato sauce and clams. With that in mind, Caesars make the perfect base for a seafood stew, Manhattan style clam chowder, or even a hearty tomato soup.

2. Oyster Shooters

Given that Caesars are made from Clamato juice, they are a natural pairing with seafood. All you have to do is put a shucked raw oyster in a shot glass, top it with your basic Caesar mix, and slurp it back.

3. Try A Different Mix Or Make Your Own

Most Canadians opt for Mott’s Clamato juice in the making of their Caesars, but that’s not the only option on the market. Walter Caesar mix is an alternative that is MSG free and made from Ocean Wise clam juice. It’s a thicker viscosity than traditional Clamato, creating a drink that’s almost like a mix between a Caesar and a Bloody Mary. If you’re feeling up to the challenge, you can also make your own.

Homemade Clamato Juice 3 cups (720 mL) tomato juice 1 cup (240 mL) clam juice ¼ cup (60 mL) lemon or lime juice 1 tsp (5 mL) Worcestershire sauce Hot sauce, to taste Cracked black pepper, to taste

Shake or whisk vigorously - and it’s ready to use!

4.Smoke It

Not only can you add whole, smoked ingredients as garnishes (think smoked salmon, trout or oysters), smoking the Caesar mix itself is also an option. Using a smoking gun to bubble applewood smoke through the cocktail can add even more of an underlying savoury quality to the drink. Even a few drops of liquid smoke would do the trick, as long as you don’t go overboard.

5. Make Caesar-Flavoured Ice Cubes

Anyone who doesn’t like ice in their drink knows that it basically just dilutes the beverage. No one likes that last, watery sip. On the other hand, a warm Caesar isn’t any good either. Luckily you can fix both problems by making Caesar flavoured ice cubes. Just make sure to omit the alcohol so you won’t have to wait until the next Ice Age for them to freeze.


6. Garnishes

Isn’t half the point of a Caesar eating whatever garnish comes with it? Let’s face it, basic celery and lime get a bit boring after a while. The tomatoey Caesar base pairs pretty well with most savoury, and even some sweet, flavour combinations so there’s no need to resort to lackluster garnishes. A lobster claw makes for an over-the-top finish, or if you prefer to keep things low-key, why not add some pickled baby corn? Here are some other out-of-the-box garnishes to try: –– shrimp (peeled or whole and head-on) –– bacon –– pickled beans or asparagus –– fresh crab –– kimchi –– stuffed olives –– pineapple –– roasted peppers –– fresh basil –– feta cheese –– fried oysters –– pepperoni or other sausage


7. Change The Alcohol

Who says Caesars have to be made with vodka? Instead try white grain liquors like whiskey that isn’t barrel aged or malted, so it is clear but still has the flavour profile of rye or wheat. If you like to drink it, why not try it in a Caesar?

8. Rim It

Mallory is a food writer living and learning in Calgary, and Culinaire’s Digital Media Editor. Check out her blog becauseilikechocolate.com and follow her on Twitter @cuzilikechoclat



Please Enjoy Responsibly.

Caesars typically come with a celerysalted rim, but given salt’s ability to take on other flavours, why go with the basic? Instead of garnishing with a lime wedge, you can make your own rimming salt infused with the citrus zest(s) of your choice. Or you can bring on the heat with a chiliinfused salt. Even a dusting of truffle salt would do quite nicely – although it may make licking the rim more appealing than the drink itself!

Bastions of Barbecue by HEATHER HARTMANN

Here in Cowtown, barbecue often conjures up images of a steak on the grill. Historically, barbecue has independent origins in several cultures. In all of them, it was 'food for the people' - nothing fancy, just delicious, accessible food most folks could afford. These days, there are numerous restaurants in Calgary offering barbecue in styles from across the globe, from casual to upscale. Bookers BBQ + Crab Shack American barbecue has a long tradition, and many regional differences throughout the southern and midwestern states.

as crab and shrimp boil. New Orleans is evident in the atmosphere, too. Bookers has live bands on weekend nights, and legendary Mardi Gras celebrations with stilt walkers, magicians, beads and bands.

Perhaps the 'grandaddy' of Calgary's current crop of barbecue restaurants, Bookers opened their doors in 1998. Despite it's age, Bookers is as relevant as ever, and was featured on popular television show ‘You Gotta Eat Here’ this year.

Their barbecue dishes include chicken, wings (which are also smoked, not deepfried!), ribs, brisket and pork - a nod towards various American styles. Their sauce is an apple/mustard base, which touches on the flavour profiles of the Carolinas, and is served on the side for many dishes, a la Memphis barbecue. 

Obviously an American-style restaurant, they stick true to their Cajun roots offering best-selling dishes such

Bookers BBQ + Crab Shack #10, 316 3 Street SE, 403-264-6419 bookersbbq.com

Holy Smoke At Holy Smoke, a casual barbecue restaurant, you don't have to decide which regional variation of American barbecue you prefer - you can have your barbecue and eat it, too. Holy Smoke began when friends Torin Shuster and Alec Ferguson teamed up to open a food truck/trailer in 2009. The next year, Holy Smoke the restaurant opened in a small location off Blackfoot Trail. In the years since, they've opened additional permanent and seasonal locations. Their most-popular sandwich, the Manwich was born when an early customer couldn't decide between the pulled pork and the brisket, and so they decided to offer a sandwich that combined both. Other favourites include Buck-A-Bone ribs on Tuesdays, and cornbread. 

Bookers BBQ + Crab Shack 26

Their sauces are what really differentiate Holy Smoke. Rather than committing to one regional variation of BBQ, they

Eldorado Barbeque Lounge

offer 15 homemade sauces that cover most of them. The most popular are the Jack Daniels, House, Hot Mama, and Smokin' Hot Mama.

platter, featuring pork ribs, brisket, and Texas hot links. All their barbecue is Texas-style where meat is cooked low and slow with salt and pepper.

Holy Smoke, holysmokebbq.ca

Note that Eldorado is not open weekends, but does offer breakfast, as well as lunch and dinner, Monday through Friday.

#4, 4640 Manhattan Road SE 403-605-9365 420 16 Avenue NE, 403-263-4659 901 64 Avenue NE (Deerfoot Mall food court), 403-265-1185

Eldorado Barbeque Lounge One of the newest additions to the barbecue scene in Calgary, Eldorado is the creation of two friends who wanted to offer a combination of barbecue, Mexican, Cajun and Southwestern cuisine in a "contemporary" sitdown atmosphere. They strove for a feel that was comfortable, hospitable and geared to Calgary. The blending of different global influences was not new to Chef Ashish Damle, who attended culinary school in India, and that's reflected in the menu which includes everything from gumbo, to Cuban dishes, to homemade corndogs. Their most popular dishes are tamales (the fillings change regularly), brisket tacos, and the house-smoked barbecue

Eldorado Barbeque Lounge 620 8 Ave SW, 587-349-2822 eldoradoyyc.com

Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse The South American barbecue tradition (often referred to as Brazilian barbecue) originated when cowboys (called gauchos) on the range would roast meat on their skewers in the ground alongside a fire. Restaurants featuring the cuisine are known as churascurrias, and it's a love of them that brought friends Oscar Lopez and Joao Dachery together to open Pampa. They met in Brazil, and opened the first Pampa in Edmonton, Lopez's Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse

Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse

The most popular meats off the skewers are the picanha (rump cap) lamb chops, and a homemade sausage with imported Brazilian spices. From the salad bar, their feijoada (a traditional Brazilian stew) is the tops. The wine cellar is stocked with bottles from Brazil, Chile, and Argentina, and they offer 10 flavours of Caipirinhas, Brazil's national cocktail. Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse 521 10 Avenue SW, 587-354-3441 pampasteakhouse.com/calgary

Café Momoko Korean barbecue, also known as bulgogi, originated hundreds of years ago. The meat is marinated in a soy sauce based marinade, then grilled and served with lettuce leaves for wrapping. hometown, four years ago. In January 2015 they opened the Calgary location. Both are still involved on a day-to-basis, with Lopez managing the Edmonton location, and Dachery the chef here in Calgary. Striving to stay authentic to traditional Brazilian methods, Pampa use a natural hardwood charcoal. That said, they have made a couple of nods to their location in cattle country, and all six different cuts of beef they serve are Alberta beef. In addition, they offer, lamb, chicken, pork and a salad bar replete with 60 items, all made in-house.

In 2010, the husband/wife team of Moon Ho Park and Heai Shin Hwang opened Café Momoko. Both originally from Korea, they offer Korean barbecue as well as sushi in a small restaurant in West Springs. They offer beef, spicy pork, and chicken bulgogi, L.A. Galbi (a beef short rib) and eel, as well as a combination platter featuring all four meats. The meat is marinated for 36 hours for tenderness and flavour. All barbecue dishes are served with rice, kimchi, radish and Asian salad. Unlike some bulgogi restaurants, at Café Momoko the meat is grilled for you in

the kitchen, then served to your table still sizzling on a cast-iron griddle. The tiny size of the restaurant (it seats 20, and they do a brisk takeout business as well) means that freshness and quality are the main focus at Café Momoko. Their marinade, kimchi, radish and salad are all made in-house in smaller batches. Café Momoko #3, 8 Weston Drive SW 403-264-4684 Heather Hartmann grew up around good food. A writer by trade, she's also an agriculture advocate who happened to spend several years working in the cattle business. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @DemocraticDiner. 

Barbecue Tips For Home Cooks From The Chefs: Eldorado: Buy the best quality meat. We are currently using Sterling Silver meats. Experiment with various rubs and marinades, but the key is to allow for ample time to get the best results. Café Momoko: Make your own sauces, and if going for a Korean-style barbecue with a commercial soya-sauce base watch the MSG.


Bookers: Keep that door closed! Every time you open up that grill or smoker you can lose 20-50º of temperature. Those drastic temperature swings mess with the moisture and cook time, which will either have you eating at midnight or chewing on jerky. Holy Smoke: Experiment with your rubs and sauces. Try to hit different notes in flavour profiles - balance spicy with salty, sweet and savoury. Use

real ingredients (our not-so-secret ingredient in our house sauce is real Dr. Pepper syrup) - work with your smoker rather than using liquid smoke if possible. Pampa: Wood matters! We use a natural hardwood eucalyptus wood charcoal. It burns hot, and when the flavour from the wood is good, you don’t need as many sauces.


Calgary seems to have an insatiable appetite for many things food-related, but perhaps most insatiable of all, would likely be our cravings for brunch. With a brunch culture alive and thriving as well as it does here, it’s only natural that refreshing drinks can be flowing in the morning. Who needs the “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere” mentality anyway on a weekend morning? Run through these questions to find out what your preferred pre-noon poison is to go along with that plate of eggs! 1. I think a great time of day to have a drink is… a) anytime really. Just as long as it’s not too strong. b) in the late morning when I have the day off. c) after lunch when I want to treat myself. 2. The odds of me being a little hungover on a Sunday morning are… a) not likely, I’m not as wild as I used to be! b) quite likely. I’ll need some sort of cure stat! c) probably 50/50. 3. You’re most likely to find me having brunch at… a) home. b) a pub. c) my favourite brunch restaurant

4. I believe the caesar was invented for… a) people who need to get their heads examined. b) me and my friends, mostly. c) a Canadian alternative to the Bloody Mary. 5. My preferred non-alcoholic beverage with breakfast is usually… a) orange juice. b) water. c) something caffeinated to help wake me up! 6. When it’s time to order food, I like to have… a) breakfast burger all the way! b) something deep-fried, drenched in hollandaise. c) a perfectly prepared eggs benedict.

7. Regardless of what time it is, I like drinks that… a) are refreshing and not overly sweet. b) come with some sort of edible garnish. c) make me feel a little classier than I was acting last night. 8. The amount of time I’ll allot for a breakfast or brunch date is… a) More than a few hours. It’s the weekend, I want to relax with friends. b) 1½ hours. My couch is calling my name. c) 2 hours. This restaurant is busy, so I don’t think they’d like it if we stayed longer!


cup of coffee for a pint next time you’re out for brunch – you’ll be surprised just how well it works. For your classic breakfast, opt for a nice wheat beer. The mild flavours of wheat beers go extremely well with the simplicity of bacon or ham, runny fried eggs, and toast.

whatever brew you want. After all, it’s the weekend; it’s meant to be enjoyed. Good brunch and beer spots: The Ship & Anchor, WURST Restaurant & Beer Hall, Midtown Kitchen & Bar

Coffee porters or stouts however, perfectly pair with sweeter dishes like chocolate chip pancakes, maple syrupcovered Belgian waffles, and decadent pastries.

A Pint Of Beer (mostly As) Sure, a nice glass of beer is perfect when enjoyed with friends at a pub, on a patio on a sunny day, or simply at home on a relaxing evening; but what about at brunch? Swap out your usual mimosa or

Caesar (mostly Bs) Any self-respecting Calgarian will tell you that a caesar is the ultimate morning drink. You probably just woke up a little while ago, you’re a little tired

Next up: the bready, fruity, and citrusy flavours of a Hefeweizen make for a no-brainer brunch beer. Hefs go well with spicier items like huevos rancheros, or just about anything else on the menu. Essentially, it’s the mimosa of the beer world. Lastly, if you opt for a burger or other not-so-brunch item, grab a pint of and a little lot hungry and waiting those 20-25 minutes for your plate of food to show up - regardless of whether you’re at a contemporary restaurant or that neighbourhood pub around the corner would be so much more painful without that caesar in front of you with some garnish to nibble on. It’s no secret that this drink was invented in this very city back in 1969 and ever since then, it’s been destined to be in attendance at your weekend brunches. The garnishes can vary from a simple pickled bean (always appreciated) or pickle, to more substantial combinations like olive, cheese and pepperoni, but the salty, tomato-y base usually stays the same. Make it spicier with more tabasco, hot sauce or even some sriracha if you’re feeling extra crazy. Variety might be the spice of life, but a good blend of spices truly makes this classic Calgary cocktail come to life.


Great spots for caesars: The Pig and Duke, Local on 8th Avenue, Mission Diner


(no offense, caesars!) or mimosa and just boozing up the drink instead.

Specialty Coffee (mostly Cs) Baileys Irish Cream does have its peak season over the holiday season, but coffee is a year-round beverage that most people sip on in the morning. If you are planning on having a coffee along with breakfast or brunch anyway, there’s no harm in skipping that caesar

A Mimosa (mix of As, Bs and Cs) Orange juice is a breakfast drink, and sparkling wine is an evening drink, so naturally, brunch calls for a mix of the two, right? OK, so maybe the origins of the mimosa aren’t this formulaic, but the easy-going drink is certainly perfect for adding a touch of extravagance to the day. Believed to have been a variation of the Buck’s Fizz, and created in Hôtel Ritz Paris in the 1920s, this cocktail of equal parts orange juice and champagne

There are so many liqueurs that go well with coffee and most breakfast spots also have well-stocked bars these days, so adding some zing to your cup of joe shouldn’t really be a problem, no matter where you are. Well, except if you’re at home and you don’t have a good variety of options in your own liqueur cabinet, but hey, that shame is on your shoulders. Anyway, spiced rum, Kahlua, or amaretto are a just a few of the is a happy medium for those times when you want a celebratory drink, but nothing that will catch you off guard with its potency. Unlike the Caesar, the OJ in a mimosa is a familiar and refreshing way to start the day, and the bubbly takes the ordinary to special. Champagne is excellent with eggs, mushrooms, cream sauces, cheese and seafood, so it’s no wonder that the combination of that and fruit juice pairs well with brunch dishes like eggs Benny (maybe even with crab cakes) and quiche.

examples. If you are ordering a mocha, then a shot of peppermint schnapps would fit the bill perfectly! Now that it’s finally getting warmer out, enjoying something like a simple coffee and Baileys, but over ice instead, turns this signature combination into a suitable patio drink. Cheers! Great spots for specialty coffees: Higher Ground Cafe, deVille, Gravity Cafe

Almost every brunch spot will have mimosas on the menu, and most bartenders can easily whip one up if it isn’t listed. Great spots for mimosas: Yellow Door Bistro, The Lake House, Carino

The Lake House


It’s Time To Get Real (Ale) by DAVID NUTTALL

Perhaps in the last year or so, you’ve walked into your favourite watering hole and noticed what looks like a small keg perched horizontally on the bar. If you are there at the right time, you might get to witness its tapping amongst great ceremony as someone drives a spigot into its side, and after a bit of spray and much cheering, beer begins to flow. If you try some, you’ll notice it’s cloudier, less carbonated, and a bit warmer than the regular draft beer you’ve been ordering. You’d be correct on all three counts. Welcome to the world of cask-conditioned beer. So what exactly is cask-conditioned beer? First, a little history. For most of the 10,000 year or so history of beer, it has been served from large vessels. The beer bottle has only been around for about 300 years, the beer can for less than 80. Cask simply means container, and from clay to wood, stainless steel to aluminum, and rubber to plastic, beer casks have evolved to serve two purposes; how to make the beer inside last longer, and how to get it out faster. Of course, this has influenced the development and evolution of the beer therein, and that has led to the modern keg. The era of “Big Breweries” has seen mass-produced beer, travelling


further afield from the brewery, and the need to be consistent. Filtering and pasteurizing beer made the yeast inactive and lengthened the beer’s life span. Pressurizing both the kegs and the draft systems with gas (usually carbon dioxide) made the beer flow smoothly, fast, and created a nice head of foam. While this became the accepted norm for North America’s light, yellow, fizzy lagers and ales, this did not sit well with the British pub drinker. Almost all caskconditioned beers will come from local breweries

Traditionally, ales in the UK were stored in, and dispensed out of, wooden barrels; kept in a cool room, and poured by gravity or a hand pump. Wooden barrels WESTERN CANA WE restricted the amount of carbonation a beer could have before they were compromised, and cellar temperatures


often hovered in the 10-12o C range. This led to the old axiom that British beers were all “warm and flat”, which is a bit of an exaggeration. Yet this style of beer remained, even as wood barrels gave way to metal.

only unfiltered and unpasteurized, but contain active live yeast. Because of this, their flavours continue to mature (condition) as the beer ages, but it also means it has a very short shelf life, of only a couple of days maximum once it is tapped. For this reason, almost all cask-conditioned beers will come from local breweries, but this also gives the brewmaster opportunities to experiment with different versions of their regular beers or create completely new recipes.

After the end of World War II, as small breweries got gobbled up by big consortiums, many were forced to close. The quality of the beer suffered and by the late 1960s, keg beer began to dominate; filtered, pasteurized, artificially carbonated and pushed through tap systems by more CO2. This “new” beer in no way resembled the traditional ale, and caused a not-soquiet revolution, demanding the return to the ales of yore.

If you’d like to try these beers, very few places in Calgary have a permanent beer engine that pushes the beer out without the aid of gas. Try Bottlescrew Bill’s Pub (140 10 Ave SW), which also offers a cask of real ale every Thursday starting at 4 pm. Wild Rose Brewery Taproom at Currie Barracks (4580 Quesnay Wood Drive SW), tap a cask of one of their beers every Friday at 4:00 pm.

Other Locations Featuring Cask Ales Beer Revolution (1080 8 St SW) Each Friday at 5 pm, Beer Revolution offers up a cask, usually from Brewsters Brewery, but also other local breweries.

This means these beers are not only unfiltered and unpasteurized, but contain active live yeast So, in 1971, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA)* was founded to save what came to be termed "real ale". They defined real ale as "beer brewed from traditional ingredients, matured by secondary fermentation in the container from which it is dispensed, and served without the use of extraneous carbon dioxide". This means these beers are not

Craft Beer Market (345 10 Ave SW) offers a cask-conditioned beer every Tuesday at 4 pm. If you like to try several cask-conditioned beers at once, their annual Caskapalooza Festival runs every August and features local beers and more than a dozen beers from BC and the United States. Libertine Public House (223 8 Ave SW) At 5 pm on the second Thursday of each month, Libertine presents a cask from local breweries.

Pig & Duke Neighborhood Pub (1312 12 Ave SW) This pub is known for its beer selection and has cask nights on selective days each month. Follow their Twitter feed (@PIGandDUKE) to keep up to date. One thing is certain, cask ale’s popularity is growing, and once these casks have been tapped, they empty quickly. Also look for them at Calgary International Beerfest in May, Oktoberfest in September, and special events throughout the year at various locations. *For more information on upcoming cask nights or to join CAMRA Alberta, see camraalberta.com.










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Culmina Family Estate Winery

Hot Okanagan:

5 Cool Wineries For 2015 by JEANNETTE MONTGOMERY

With hot summer days, second (and third) generation farm-family markets, and a hyperlocal culinary scene, the Okanagan Valley is welcoming a new group of vacationers who have one thing in mind - discovering some of the best wines you might never have heard of.

From fresh new faces offering a unique sparkle to industry pioneers reinventing their legacy, wherever you turn there’s a bright wine adventure ahead. In the spirit of sharing the local scoop, here are five cool wineries to explore in hot BC wine country.

Culmina Family Estate Winery Why it’s cool: bush vines, dry farming, and Grüner Veltliner Wine to watch: the as-prettyon-the-palate-as-it-is-inthe-glass 2014 Saignée Meaning peak or apex in latin, Culmina is the combined passion and unrelenting inquisitiveness of an entrepreneur who doesn’t know how to retire. Owner


Don Triggs built a small wine empire from the ground up, and his wife Elaine managed her own vineyard. After the sale of his business and her vineyard, the couple purchased 50+ acres in 2007 and began their second act. Don loves research. He planted a small block of bush vines to study dry farming, a good call for the Okanagan, Canada’s only desert. He and Elaine are also avid art enthusiasts who discuss celebrated painters as easily as rootstock or last year’s vintage. Today the winery is a family affair, with Sara (the youngest of three daughters) on board. One of the family is almost always on site - all are happy to share their wares and a story. 4790 Wild Rose Street, Oliver culmina.ca

Maverick Estate Winery Why it’s cool: South Africa meets the Okanagan, with delicious results Wine to watch: the heady, hearty, smooth-as-silk red blend, 2012 Rubicon

Wherever you turn there’s a bright wine adventure ahead

The stars aligned twice for two families from South Africa. The first time was in 1990, as Schalk de Witt and his family immigrated to the Okanagan valley, the second when childhood friends Bertus Albertyn and Elzaan (Schalk’s daughter) fell in love. Bertus is a winemaker, Elzaan a doctor, and in 2009 they also moved to the Okanagan. That year the two families purchased an organic orchard and planted the vines for Maverick Estate Winery. Bertus believes in minimal intervention winemaking, choosing compost over commercial fertilizers in the vineyard, and natural ferments in the cellar. They make approximately 4,000 cases per year, enough for Bertus to have his Maverick Estate Winery

hands in everything (including cleaning tanks) so he can monitor each step from grape to bottle. Pure, honest wines from a family cultivating a sustainable legacy for their next generation. 3974 Highway 97, Oliver maverickwine.ca

Synchromesh Wines Why it’s cool: powered by riesling (and a love of old cars) Wine to watch: any bottle with the words ‘2014 Riesling’ on it Small block plantings, vineyard specific wines, and vintage rides define the Synchromesh style. The winery is owned by the Dickinsons: winemaker/grower Alan and his wife Amy, and Alan’s parents John and Kirsty. They bought the Storm Haven home vineyard in 2010, producing

Tasting Room & Bistro open

April - December! Maverick Estate Winery

Synchromesh Wines

Bella Wines

Bella Wines Why it’s cool: BC’s first bubbly-only house Wine to watch: anything, everything you can get your hands on (like the Ancestral Method)

47 cases of riesling and 72 of their flagship red blend, Tertre Rouge (named after the high speed corner at Le Mans raceway) in the inaugural vintage. They now make around 1,700 cases per year, which sell quickly. To augment their five-acre vineyard, the family leases small sites from West Kelowna to Naramata. Riesling might be the focus, but pinot noir and cabernet franc have joined the portfolio.

The Okanagan Valley is welcoming a new group of vacationers

Alan experiments with whole cluster fermentation and using different barrels to highlight nuances in each vintage. Geek out, wine lovers. 4220 McLean Creek Road Okanagan Falls synchromeshwines.ca

Bartier Bros. Why it’s cool: semillon, jazz, and farming Wine to watch: a mineral-ly, elegant, BC-needs-more-of-it 2013 Semillon Michael Bartier didn’t plan on owning a winery. He has a degree in recreational administration and took a gig selling wine while he ‘looked for a real job’. Eventually, Michael moved into the cellar and grew his winemaking 36

knowledge. After working as winemaker at a few of the Okanagan’s best, in 2009 he started a small label with his brother and business partner Don, producing 50 cases of wine from grapes grown at the Cerqueira vineyard - a family Michael has worked with since 2002. This summer, Bartier Bros. open their own winery at the vineyard, which is now Bartier land. Balance here goes beyond measurements. Following the philosophy of jazz legend Herbie Hancock (his favourite), Michael embraces the perfection of imperfection. Farmed mindfully for decades, the vineyard now begins its official transition to organic. Like jazz, sometimes it’s what’s not there which makes the biggest impact. June 2015: 4815 Ryegrass Road, Oliver bartierbros.com Bartier Bros.

When Jay Drysdale met Wendy Rose, the universe breathed a sigh of relief. Jay was a retired chef working in the wine industry with plans to open a sparkling wine house in the Okanagan. Wendy was a financial advisor with an appreciation for good bubbles and cuisine. They fell in love, got married, purchased four acres on the Naramata Bench, and started Bella Wines. In 2014 Bella’s home 4+ acre vineyard was planted with chardonnay and gamay, the only grapes used for their traditional method sparkling wine. To reach current annual production levels of just under 1,000 cases per year, Bella contracts with select growers from Kamloops to Oliver; bubbles are crafted from single source vineyards to highlight differences in locations and terroir. The new tasting room - built by Jay and supervised by Wendy (bubbles in hand) - opens this month. Serious, dry bubbly made by seriously fun people. 4320 Gulch Road, Naramata bellawines.ca Jeannette Montgomery lives in BC wine country, with access to plenty of research material - and a large cellar.

Our 2015 competition judges include notable Alberta palates: Darren Fabian, Alloy, Candela

Erika Tocco, Vin Room

Brad Royale, Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts

Matt Browman, Highlander Wines and Spirits

Jackie Cooke, Avec

Nathalie Gosselin, Vine Styles

Alex Good, Anew

Mary Bailey, The Tomato

Dave Gingrich, Willowpark Wines and Spirits

Mike Roberts, Calgary Co-Op Wines and Spirits

Kirk Bodnar, Certified Cicerone, Beers 'N Such Consulting Leslie Echino, Blink John Papavacilopoulos, Oak and Vine David Nutall, Epicurious Andrew Stewart, Anju/Model Milk

Registration Deadline June 19 | Judging Takes Place July 13-14-15 Visit culinairemagazine.ca/aba to see the categories, a complete list of judges, and to enter your wines, beers, and spirits for the 2015 Alberta Beverage Awards. For more information, contact competition director Tom Firth: tom@culinairemagazine.ca



Making The Case by TOM FIRTH

If April showers are known for bringing May flowers, they certainly werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t speaking about Calgary.

We can usually expect some rain, maybe a snowfall or two, but at the same time, after winter, if the weather is hovering above 10 degrees or so, we are probably outside when we can, cleaning out the garage, sprucing up the deck or patio, or even working in the garden. In the spirit of spring and the hope of warm days and cool nights, here are a selection of wonderful wines suitable for the barbecue or hearty cuisine, but also some bright, floral white wines, perfect for chilling out if the weather cooperates. Happy Spring!


Luigi Bosca 2012 Malbec Mendoza, Argentina Fantastic stuff. Still distinctly Argentine, but with wonderful herbal, pepper spice, and garrigue notes. The fruits are never over the top, but the wine steers clear of the fate of so many malbecs from Argentina. Dare I say it? A refreshing bottle of malbec. Drinking lovely now, try with beef, especially dishes with rubs or heartier sauces. CSPC + 745110 $18

Quailsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Gate 2013 Chasselas Pinot Blanc Pinot Gris Okanagan Valley, BC A favourite of mine, and one of the very few wines made from chasselas on the market. Fruits are tropical and citrus styled with a slightly silky texture leading to a finish bursting with pears, mineral, and lemon. Pretty versatile food-wise, but poultry with a little garlic and lemon should work very well. CSPC +585737 $23

CedarCreek 2012 Merlot Okanagan Valley, BC One of their best merlots yet, the folks at CedarCreek have made a deep, complex merlot showcasing brambly fruits, plum, spice, black cherry, and a bit of earthiness with tannins just right for big, Alberta beef dishes. Drinking very well now, 2-5 years will make it even better. CSPC +408666 $20

Salentein 2012 Reserve Malbec Valle de Uco, Mendoza, Argentina A terrific bottle of malbec that was totally new to me. Bold, intense flavours of blueberry and plum, with spice and mild brambly fruit notes. The tannins are big, but perfectly round out the wine adding texture and dryness to almost juicy fruits. Bring to your next asado or barbecue, or even with a selection of hard cheese. CSPC +755804 $18

Antucura 2013 Barrandica Cabernet Sauvignon Vistaflores, Argentina Overall a very nice bottle of cabernet with varietally sound characters of cedar and cherry, with prunes, vanilla, menthol, and some serious tannins offset by a cocoa/roasted coffee finish. Perfect for meaty dishes, I’d happily enjoy with firm cheese too. CSPC +767015 about $23

Oxford Landing 2013 Sauvignon Blanc South Australia Wonderfully refined sauvignon blanc can be found right here. Plenty of melon and mineral grace the nose, while the palate is crisp and lively with plenty of tart fruit and a slightly bitter finish. Cold on the deck would be nice, but so would pairing it with a light, flaky white fish. CSPC +343343 about $13

Calliope 2013 Viognier British Columbia A beautiful bottle of viognier with abundant floral aromas, peach, tangerine, and pears all shining through. Great depth on the palate too, with a bitter edge to the finish, bringing balance. Pair with crab cakes, Vietnamese cuisine, or even a stir-fry. CSPC +176024 $21

Joseph Drouhin 2012 La Forêt Bourgogne Chardonnay Burgundy, France It might just have been the day I was tasting, but to me it smelled of fresh laundry drying on a clothesline, with lemon, and a fresh warm wind. (Boy I hope winter is over!) Creamy flavours overlay clean apple fruits with lemon zest, vanilla, and a touch of spice. Drink with grilled salmon with lemon and dill on the deck or patio of course. CSPC +93385 $21

Township 7 2012 Merlot Okanagan Valley, BC Rich and almost buttery with spice box, espresso, vanilla bean, and ginger with black cherries and plum fruits. A little cabernet in the blend adds a little punch, while flavours lean towards black berry and tartness. Should calm down a little over the next three years, but in the meantime, pair against a nice porterhouse or striploin on the barbecue. CSPC +735474 $26

Bartier Bros. 2012 Gewürztraminer Okanagan Valley, BC A classy and refined gewürztraminer all the way. Lovely lychee fruits with lemon, apricots, and a clean, mineral zing. Quite dry, it’s perfect for sipping on the deck with or without food. A touch of juiciness on the finish should complement seafood or lighter poultry dishes. CSPC +877373 $28

Bartier Bros. 2011 Merlot Okanagan Valley, BC Another great example of why I love Okanagan merlot. Positively overflowing with raspberry and plum fruits with a little strawberry and plenty of spice and dried herb notes. The blend includes about 14% cabernet franc which just elevates everything up to “11”. A touch hot at 14.7% alcohol, you’re going to want to fire up the barbecue. CSPC +761518 $28

Joseph Drouhin 2012 La Forêt Bourgogne Pinot Noir Burgundy, France At first, this pinot may seem a bit simple, but get your nose in there and there’s both finesse and complexity. Blackberries and raspberry with earth, dark chocolate and mulling spice lead on the nose and palate. The body is a little lighter than some pinots, but with good acid and tannin, it should work perfectly when you aren’t sure what to pour. CSPC +142406 $24 39

Wedding Bliss by TOM FIRTH

Planning a wedding is wonderful and stressful at the same time. With the proliferation of wine tastings and wine classes, the craft beer revolution and the resurgence of cocktail culture, a lot of people have some added stress trying to find “good” wines, beers, and spirits that will impress their guests. But it doesn’t have to be stressful. Although a wedding, and the party afterwards, is part of “your” day and possibly the best party you will ever attend, a lot of decisions you will have to make are going to be for the comfort of your guests and their enjoyment. Most likely, you are going to have some extended family to accommodate, and despite your love of artisanal gin and handmade tonic, you’ll want to have things on hand to please all your guests.

price per bottle, see the next point. In short, most good venues won’t have crummy picks on their list.

Go For The Crowd Pleaser The most important thing to remember is to go for crowd-pleasing wines that work with a variety of foods or settings. Don’t worry that your second cousin is a sommelier or if your uncle only drinks

plonk, it’s about pleasing the masses. Lighter bodied dry white wines and medium bodied reds without too much tannin are your friends here. Whites such as pinot gris or lightly oaked chardonnays are very versatile, while for reds, chianti or valpolicella are great go-to wines, same with shiraz and red blends in general. If it makes you feel better, almost no one will remember exactly what you chose down the road.

Stick To Your Budget


It’s easy to get swept up in either trying to save a buck or two per bottle or thinking the most expensive wine on the list is the best one. You might be tempted to pay corkage fees and bring your own wine - but this is rarely costeffective at hotels or venues of that type. Aiming for bottles in the middle of the road is usually safe, but unless you have strong feelings about your

Consider having a welcome cocktail at the reception. Either something the bride and groom like, or something created just for the occasion. This is also a great place to have drinks tied to the wedding theme. I’ll tell you right now, there aren’t many wines out


there that fit a steampunk-themed wedding, or wines that fit with your passion for collecting art deco vases or rock climbing. For outdoor weddings or events outside a licenced venue, the cocktails can be made ahead of time or in a punchbowl - helpful for getting drinks in thirsty guest’s hands quickly (though be sure to have a non-alcoholic version for the kids or some guests).

Sparkling Wines These are tricky wines, the toasts are very important and people love giving them, but most people don’t drink champagne or sparkling wine outside of special occasions. My advice is to not worry too much about the wine here. If your budget includes champagne (the French stuff) by all means… if not, look to Cava (from Spain), Crémant (sparkling wine from France, but not from Champagne), or sparkling wine from Canada or the US. Prosecco is also a solid choice here.

Beers and Spirits Unless you are hosting the wedding at a private venue, such as home rather than a hotel or such, you most likely won’t have to worry too much about beer and the hard stuff. My suggestion if you do? Pick about 3 beers. Keep them simple, and pick a light beer, a slightly bigger one such as an ale, and maybe an import. With local craft beer being so

Complimentary wine, beer or spirit tastings every Friday.

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good and so popular, you might want to consider inviting them to the wedding. With the hard stuff, if you are supplying it, the retail shop you use should be able to recommend suggested quantities for each, but buy a brand you like, in the price range you are comfortable with. It might be your house bourbon or vodka for a while. If you must have something special (i.e. a special aged whisky for the girls or bubblegum-flavoured vodka shots for the groomsmen) this is the time to get it.

How much alcohol do you really need? You know your guests best. If they are quite the “bon-vivants”, you might need to scale up your numbers, while some groups just don’t drink very much. If you are bringing your own alcohol to the

venue, ensure that the staff won’t just pull the corks on everything ahead of time, and make sure to ask at the store you are purchasing from about returning unopened bottles. Generally, most “average” groups will drink about 1 drink per person per hour of the function - but you won’t want to run out. A party of about 150 guests will consume about 3 cases of wine (split among white and red), about 15 dozen beer, and about a case or so of mixed spirits. Plus whatever you need for the toasting. Most good liquor stores will have a pretty good idea of the quantities you need, but there are several drink calculators online which are helpful. Tom Firth is the contributing drinks editor for Culinaire Magazine and the competition director for the Alberta Beverage Awards, follow him on twitter @cowtownwine.

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Open That Bottle


“You get out from Calgary what you put in. I’ve worked really hard but this city’s been really kind to me,” says Holly Williams, “I’ve been very fortunate, and I’m happy to call this city home.” Growing up in Nova Scotia, Holly Williams had plans to be a graphic designer and started a General Arts course at NSCAD at 17 years old. But her father had other ideas, telling her that she’d be better off making the picture frames than making the pictures, as at least she’d make some money. By 19, she knew her future was not in art. “Somehow my dad was right, fathers are always right in the end, good job dad!” she laughs. She realised she was good in restaurants and decided to try her luck in Calgary, starting as a server, then working her way into management at Wildwood, and ending up in 2008 as the opening food and beverage director for Stampede Casino. “There’s something awesome about casinos,” Williams says, “they’re fun, they’re great places to work, it’s a great income, but when you're food and beverage you don’t work that hard as it’s something to keep people in the casino, not the primary focus of the casino”. Restaurants are her real passion, and it was time to get back to them 42

again. Williams was hired as General Manager of Vintage Chophouse in 2011, becoming Group Operations Manager last January, with a focus on Vintage and Rush. “To be perfectly honest, if someone had told little 17 year old Holly ‘hey you're going to run restaurants one day, you're going to run a $6.2 million business one day,’ I would have laughed,” she says. So what is the bottle that Williams has been saving? In fall 2014, Williams’ partner and his brother were at a fundraiser with a silent auction. “He called me and said, ‘There’s this bottle of Grange and I’m going to bid on it, how do you feel about that?’ I said, that’s great - go for it!” she explains. It was for a good cause, so they talked about what to bid, but didn’t expect to buy it. It was only later when he arrived home with an ear-to-ear grin that she realised they had won the magnum of 2003 Penfolds Grange. Serendipitously, Williams won a trip to Australia this January, in a nationwide wine industry competition, which included a visit to Penfolds. “To just

sit and dine there was an amazing experience,” she says. “Penfold’s is what put Australia on the map for wine, and the products are incredible.” She was able to try different vintages of Grange and meet with the Penfolds’ chef, and was excited to see the Penfold’s Grange vines. “They are designated for Grange every single year, and it was so cool to stand there and be like ‘that’s Grange, that’s the grapes of Grange!” she adds. “My life has been like this, I imagine something and it all comes true, I mean the work has to go in but this and going to Australia is very normal for me.” And when will they open the bottle? “You can’t just open a cork like that, so we’ve agreed - it has to be within the family for a wedding or the birth of a child between the brothers – and none of those things are happening anytime soon, so we’ll have to sit on it for a bit,” says Williams. “ I don't think any of us are in any big hurry to open it.”

The Vintage Group collection of iconic restaurants have satisďŹ ed Calgary palates for over 18 years. Our locally-owned eateries oďŹ&#x20AC;er award-winning cuisine and exceptional service. With everything from authentic Southern BBQ to Canadian comfort food, prime steaks, hearty sandwiches, and premium fresh seafood, we take pride in creating a unique and memorable dining experience.



Profile for Culinaire Magazine

Culinaire 4:1 (may 2015)  

Culinaire's 3rd birthday, for dining out, dining in, wines, beers, spirits and cocktails in Calgary

Culinaire 4:1 (may 2015)  

Culinaire's 3rd birthday, for dining out, dining in, wines, beers, spirits and cocktails in Calgary