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What’s Your Corkscrew? | Lamb 3 Ways | Southern Wines : Northern Wines

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22 20 22 10

28 VOLUME 5 / ISSUE #10 APRIL 2017

Features 12 Chef’s Perspective… 18 Perking Up 12 Alberta chefs and culinary Independent roasters are popping up experts tell us which kitchen gadgets all over Alberta to serve our ever more are kitchen crucials and which are a knowledgeable and inquisitive province waste of good cupboard space of coffee fanatics by Anna Brooks by Elizabeth Chorney-Booth

22 Canmore Cultivates The appetite for quality, locally made food and alcohol products is flourishing, and Canmore is a draw for a growing number of producers by Gwendolyn Richards

26 Coffee and Beer A complex combination by David Nuttall


28 Three Ways with Easter Lamb Highlighting the flavourful tastes of spring by Natalie Findlay

32 We Got the Tools, We Got the Talent Finding the perfect corkscrew by Tom Firth

36 South American Wines… are delivering more old world experiences by Matthew Browman

40 Making the Case …for Argentina’s vinous treasures by Tom Firth

42 Open That Bottle Nicole Gomes of Nicole Gourmet and Cluck N Cleaver by Linda Garson


Salutes and Shout Outs


Off The Menu – Pigeonhole’s Lamb Tartare


Book Review


Chefs’ Tips – and Tricks!


Soup Kitchen

20 Step-By-Step: Scotch Eggs

34 Roots Run Deep ...in one of Italy’s most distinctive wine regions by Margaux Burgess On the Cover: Many thanks to Ingrid Kuenzel for her photographs of kitchen gadgets this month, and her tenacity in bringing them all together in a crisp and complex montage!


Letter From The Editor

Spring! Let’s hope it treats us kindly after our gruelingly long and seemingly neverending winter. Do you find you never have enough space on your counter tops for all your kitchen tools? It’s the time of year for kitchen renovations and spring-cleaning, which can mean clearing out unused appliances and gadgets. To help you declutter with

ease, this year we asked twelve of Alberta’s notable chefs and experts which gadgets they regularly use in their kitchens, and which they can live without.

in for a very fun day, and I look forward to seeing you on April 22nd. If you’re in Edmonton, save the date for our 2nd Annual Treasure Hunt on September 9th.

We took a look at corkscrews too, as you can find an embarrassing amount of them in your top drawer when your life revolves around wine. I never leave home without at least three or four in my handbag (well I might get stuck in a lift, and can you imagine having wine but no corkscrew then?), and I have to have two handbags so I can keep one corkscrew-free for travelling through airports as I’ve lost too many good ones that way!

Cheers, Linda Garson, Editor-in-Chief

What’s on your Easter’s table this year? We’ve got ideas for you whether you’re lamb leaning or hamming it up, and for eggs too in our Step-by-Step. And where there’s eggs there’s often coffee… Thanks to all who have registered for our 3rd Annual Calgary Treasure hunt, you’re

We love hearing your feedback, especially if it’s positive. Here are two messages from Culinaire readers that brought wide smiles to our faces this month: Linda, I just wanted to tell you that I am making the parsnip apple soup from your last Culinaire magazine for the second time. That is just an excellent recipe. JC, Calgary I am a bit of a foodie and love your magazine. Hope you publish forever. VD, Edmonton Do stay in touch and let us have your feedback at culinairemagazine.ca/contact-us

Trattati bene. (TRAH-tah-tee BEN-ih)

That’s how we’d tell you to ‘treat yourself’. We’ve got chocolate from all over Europe, all year long. Take that, Easter Bunny.

Grocery. Bakery. Deli. Café.

EDMONTON Little Italy | Southside | West End

CALGARY Willow Park


ALBERTA / FOOD & DRINK / RECIPES Editor-in-Chief/Publisher: Linda Garson linda@culinairemagazine.ca Calgary Sales Director: Greg Mitchell 587-224-3270 greg@culinairemagazine.ca Edmonton Sales Director: Lisa Wolansky 587-338-8780 lisa@culinairemagazine.ca Creative Director: Dan Clapson dan@culinairemagazine.ca Managing Editor: Anna Brooks web@culinairemagazine.ca Contributing Drinks Editor: Tom Firth tom@culinairemagazine.ca Contributing Photographer: Ingrid Kuenzel Design: Emily Vance Contributors: Anna Brooks Matthew Browman Margaux Burgess Elizabeth Chorney-Booth Dan Clapson Natalie Findlay Dong Kim Renee Kohlman Karen Miller David Nuttall Leilani Olynik Gwendolyn Richards

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

Our Contributors < Anna Brooks

Anna Brooks is an award-winning journalist, currently working for Postmedia and as Culinaire’s managing editor. She has traveled and written in places like Africa and Thailand, and has done documentary work across Canada. The tireless life of a writer means Anna has a healthy appetite for any kind of wine, and loves a good fine dining experience when she can afford it. She also has a strong love for magical realism and greyhounds. Follow her on Twitter @Anna_Brooksie

< Matthew Browman

Matt’s been involved in the in the wine and food scene since 1988, with experience that spans restaurant, retail, journalism, judging, travel, production, marketing, and education. He’s studied, worked, or trained in Alberta, Ontario, B.C., England, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, California, New Zealand, and Japan. He earned the ISG diploma in 2000, and the WSET diploma and CMS Advanced Certificate in 2002. Matt now writes, and consults on training, customer experience, and marketing.

< Gwendolyn Richards

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

Gwendolyn Richards is a Calgary-based food writer and photographer, and the author of Pucker: A Cookbook for Citrus Lovers. She is a regular contributor to several publications, writing about food trends, restaurants and recipes. On her blog, Patent and the Pantry, she chronicles her love of cooking, baking and eating while traveling. Gwendolyn likes vintage cocktails and believes burgers are one of the finest food creations; she can be seen enjoying them while wearing her signature red lipstick.

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.

A Delightful & Refreshing Secret

Salutes... Congratulations to Brad Royale of Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts for winning 2 Platinum and 3 Gold Wine Program Excellence Awards at the 2017

Vancouver International Wine Festival. Another sensational showing! Native Tongues has launched Home

Taquero Kits, an interactive Mexican party taco kit that comes pre-built or customizable – and you can have it delivered by Uber!

and Shout Outs... smoothies, sandwiches, and breakfast pots, among many other treats, here. They are the first in Calgary to serve Anchored Coffee from Nova Scotia, and there are lots of gluten-free options too to munch with it!

Everything is baked in small batches in this modern 22-seat bakery/café, so it’s fresh all day. Stay and eat in with a cup of Whittard tea or Fratello coffee. Open 10am-8pm, closed Mondays.

Bridges on First

Calgary Black Pig owners, Larry and Denise Scammell, have opened Bridges on First, Bridgeland’s neighbourhood pub and eatery. Bridges are echoed everywhere here – St. Patrick’s Island Bridge is featured behind the bar, countertops are sidewalks, and the seating comes from old school buses. The craft beer program is carried over from before with 12 beers on tap – three or four familiar brews, and eight that you may never have heard of – but come hungry to this family-friendly eatery (there’s a kiddies' area with games and books too) as Chef Tyler Ballance’s Best of North America menu has some killer rib-sticking dishes, like house-made Tater Tots stuffed with bacon and cheese, a bacon cheeseburger pizza, corndogs and perogies, and mega burgers.


New to Calgary’s East Village is Mari Bakeshop. With one of the best bakery resumes in the city, head baker Doug Gregory has proven his worth at some of the UK’s and US’ most iconic and best-loved restaurants, including Corbin & King and Claridges, and working with Michel Roux and Thomas Keller. Now with pastry/sous chef, Lauren Ahn, Mari (Korean for “roll” or “scroll”) offers a choice of eight signature roll cakes, choux buns, quiche slices, baguette sandwiches, loaves of pain rustique, pretzels, and more.

Tip: the fried pickle chips and dip are addicting! Neighbour, or NHBR, is Brett McDermott’s new grab and go breakfast and lunch spot in Altadore. This light and bright little shop is open 8am-5pm, 7 days a week, offering salads and granola pots brought over from McDermott’s Our Daily Brett in Bankview, and making 6

Mari Bakeshop

Congratulations to Las Canarias Spanish Paella and Tapas Bar on their new Calgary location and new look. Now in the La Vida Loca spot on 17th Avenue SW at 11th Street, the restaurant has a new menu serving up all our favourite Spanish dishes. We’re excited that we can get Las Canarias’ papas bravas, croquetas, gambas al ajillo, mejillones and pulpo, conejo al ajillo, bacalao – close by now, and there’s a choice of 6 paellas! After 22 years, Calgary’s artisanal bagel shop, Bagelino’s, is under new management, and has re-opened after extensive renos that include tableside USB charging stations! And now they have a coffee bar too, featuring Rosso coffee. Stop the press! Calgary’s newest restaurant has just opened its doors in the refurbished Pie Cloud space on 10th Street NW. Cotto is the latest venture from Fiona and Giuseppe Di Gennaro (mastermind behind Capo and Borgo) with restaurant realtor, Rob Campbell, and wife Dana. The menu is Italian comfort food with some familiar faves such

as purgatorio – eggs baked in tomato sauce with fior di latte – at lunch, and ossobucco for dinner. The wine list is 100 percent Italian, with aperitivi, grappas and digestivi too. Salute! In St. Albert, Tu Le of Jack’s Burger Shack and Cerdo Tacos, has opened his third venture ONG Fried Chicken – a tribute to Le’s own grandfather (“Ong” in Vietnamese). Very different to Southern Fried Chicken, Hanoi fried chicken is brined in fish sauce, garlic, and sugar – and like all the dishes on this small menu, based on his mother’s recipe. Next door to The Common on 109 Street in Edmonton, Chef Jesse Morrison Gauthier has now opened his fast-casual dining restaurant, Grandin Fish ’N’ Chips. You can dine-in in this small blue and white, nautically themed spot, or take out your haddock, cod, or basa and chips. You can even purchase fresh sustainable seafood from local suppliers like Fins Select and Effing Seafoods to take home too!

vivo pizzeria: a new addition to the vivo family


Edmonton Chef Ben Staley, North 53’s opening chef, has finally opened his long-awaited restaurant, ALTA, in the Wee Book Inn space on Jasper Avenue. This 30-seat, casual dining, walk-in only spot focuses its 11-item tasting menu on local and regional ingredients based on Chef Staley’s relationships with farmers, foragers, vineyards, and suppliers that share his values. Pop in for lunch or dinner and wash it down with your choice from the natural wine bar, or a low-proof cocktail. There’s a no tipping policy in place here as staff are paid a proper living wage with benefits and paid holidays.

Napolitano style pizza, made by Master Pizzaiolo Carlo Raillo using the best ingredients from local suppliers and Italy.

Available at vivo downtown. vivo downtown

10505 106 Street | 587-525-7500 downtown@vivoristorante.ca vivo ristorante westend

18352 Lessard Road | 780-756-7710 westend@vivoristorante.ca

Off The Menu Pigeonhole’s Lamb Tartare by LINDA GARSON photography by INGRID KUENZEL

We love beef tartare and bison too, but we couldn’t be happier to be asked if we could get the recipe for Pigeonhole’s lamb tartare. This is one very impressive and delicious dish – many thanks to Chef Douglas King for sharing his recipe! Pigeonhole’s Lamb Tartare with Smoked Castlevetrano Olives and Shallot Crema Serves 2

120 g meat from leg of lamb 4 Castlevetrano olives or similar meaty green olive Parmesan cheese for garnish

over the meat. Allow the vinaigrette to season the meat and gently move the tartare to two separate serving plates.

2. Lightly smoke the olives (unsmoked is fine), pit, and tear into rustic, bitesized pieces.

3. Place a few dollops of the shallot crema around the meat, and garnish

1. Trim the meat of all fat and sinew. Cut with the torn olives and pickled shallots. lamb into bite-sized pieces, ensuring that the meat is treated delicately and is left as intact as possible. Place into a mixing bowl, and pour the burnt soy vinaigrette

4. Finish with a fine rasp of Parmesan cheese and serve with crackers or grilled bread.

Burnt Soy Vinaigrette ¹/³ cup plus 1 Tbs (100 mL) dark soy sauce 55 g green onion ½ cup and ¹/³ cup (200 mL) olive oil 1 Tbs (15 mL) lime juice

Char the green onion on a charcoal grill or in a very hot oven until burnt. Blend with soy sauce, strain, and mix with olive oil and lime juice. Shallot Crema 6 whole shallots, cut in half 50 g crème fraiche 100 g mayonnaise 2 tsp (10 mL) apple cider vinegar

Place shallots cut side down on a sheet tray and roast in a hot oven until lightly caramelized. Blend with remaining ingredients until smooth, check for seasoning, strain, and reserve. Pickled Shallots 1 small shallot, cut into rings 1¼ cups (300 mL) red wine vinegar 200 g white sugar ¹/³ cup plus 1 Tbs (100 mL) water

Heat the red wine vinegar, white sugar, and water to a boil. Pour over the shallot rings and let cool. If there’s a dish in a local restaurant that you’d love to make, let us know at culinairemagazine.ca/contact-us, and we’ll do our very best to track it down for you! 8

Book Review by KAREN MILLER


in the Northwest Territories (p.86) and a by Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller Moroccan Chick Pea Stew from a small Appetite by Random House 2017 cafe in Newfoundland (p.64). Two newly minted friends agreeing to go on a culinary/travel adventure with little funding and less of a plan could be a recipe for disaster.

The book is beyond being just a cookbook, but the recipes are set out in obvious categories with detailed instructions and suitable substitutions for regional specialties. It is a pleasure Not so for Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller, who gathered experiences and to follow the girls’ journey across the new friends while documenting their trip country and read their very personal across Canada, creating an award-winning stories of each province or territory. blog while still staying friends! The book is The recipes refreshingly emphasize the the offshoot of the five-month long trip origin and importance of the dish and allowing them to reflect on, and share not the chef who provided it. The book with us, their amazing adventures. reflects diverse cultural and ethnic They start and end the trip in British experiences, with home cooks, restaurant Columbia with puffins and Nanaimo bars. chefs, and food writers alike. Once They encounter classics – Montreal Style the word was out about this trip many bagels and east coast oatcakes (dipped contributors wanted to be a part of it and in chocolate!) – but stumble upon Artic reached out to Anderson and VanVeller, Char Sushi (p.141) and Reindeer Meatloaf sharing their own personal experiences.

Food tourism is on the rise everywhere, but reading this book will captivate you and have you start planning your own culinary road trip in Canada with the many options this diverse country has to offer. Karen Miller is a former lawyer who got on the “know where your food comes from” bandwagon earlier than most and now focuses on foraging her daily food from local growers.

Chefs' Tips Tricks!

Easter Made Easy


There’s nothing quite like gathering around a table with your loved ones, particularly during a holiday. But planning and executing a showstopping lineup for your Easter feast can be a stressful undertaking — even confident home cooks aren’t immune to a little performance anxiety. We’ve taken some of the eeeek! out of Easter by asking local chefs for some tips and tricks to make your cooking egg-stravaganza the best experience for both you and your guests!

Chef Trevor Hopper Tango Bistro, Calgary

The beauty of a holiday isn’t just about good food, wine and laughter. It’s about the traditions behind the meal you tuck into alongside your favourite people. Chef Trevor Hopper of Tango Bistro loves reliving memories through food, and the more food the better, in his eyes. For a dinner of Easter-magnitude, Hopper


suggests planning ahead and giving yourself lots of time (who wants to rush around all day?).

Chef Trevor Hopper

“When it comes to cooking, there’s no right or wrong way,” he says. “Have some fun, and don’t be afraid to make substitutions. Switch out the maple syrup for honey or use apple cider vinegar instead of orange juice. You get to choose how simple or complex your holiday meal will be — go with what’s in your comfort zone.” Chef Hopper’s exquisitely simple maple bourbon glazed ham is a surefire way to impress your guests whilst keeping stress to a minimum. “A simple way to infuse flavour and present a dish that looks as good as

it tastes, is to score the ham first,” he explains. “That will also allow the heat to penetrate and ensure quick cooking.”

Chef Hopper adds that for this recipe, Angostura Bitters are always a safe choice, but the Charred Cedar from Black Cloud Bitters will add a smoky undertone that’s elegant and enticing. “The bitters are optional, but experimenting with different flavours will bring a delicate nuance to your holiday meal,” he says. “If you’re pressed for time, use a fully cooked ham and reduce the cooking time by one hour or until the internal temperature is 145º F.”

Have some fun, and don’t be afraid to make substitutions

Maple Bourbon Glazed Ham

Serves 4 Total prep and cook time 90 minutes 1-1.5 Kg locally raised ham, scored 1 onion, chopped or julienned    2 cups (480 mL) ham or chicken stock

Rosario Caputo

Cibo Bistro, Edmonton Chef Rosario Caputo of Cibo Bistro has been surrounded by good food his whole life. Every birthday, celebration, and holiday was spent in a bustling kitchen before settling down to a bountiful table with family. His perfect meal is simple and delicious, highlighting fresh local ingredients. “Cooking should be fun. Don’t bite off more than you can chew; focus on the ingredient rather than doing 50 things for one dish. Keep it simple,” he recommends. And what could be simpler than making a humble vegetable, like cabbage, the perfect sidekick to your Easter ham? The best part about this recipe is that you can pour yourself a glass of wine and mingle with your guests while Chef Caputo’s side dish is simmering on the stove. “I love the energy in the room when it’s hyped up; the louder the room, the more

1 cup (240 mL) maple syrup ¼ cup (60 mL) your favourite bourbon 2 Tbs butter 1 Tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard ¼ cup (60 mL) orange juice, and orange zest 1 Tsp (5 mL) bitters, flavour of your choice

2. Combine all glaze ingredients and simmer on low heat for 7 minutes. Brush or spoon a quarter of the glaze over the ham.

3. Bake for approximately 2-2½ hours

or to an internal temperature of 160º F, basting every 20-30 minutes.

4. Let rest for 10 minutes covered before serving.

And if you’re all having a rowdy good time, no one will notice if you make a mistake! So, go ahead, ham it up.

1. On high heat, place a medium-tolarge pot with a lid on the stove top.

2. Add olive oil, onions and ham. Cook for approximately 3 to 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 300º F. with the onion and stock.

excited I am to be hosting,” he says. “My guests are excited and ready for some good eats and I’m happy because I love cooking for people.”

Focus on the ingredient rather than doing 50 things for one dish


1. Place scored ham in a roasting pan

Rosario Caputo

Braised Red Cabbage

Serves 4 Total prep and cook time 60 minutes 1 whole red cabbage, quartered, cored, and shaved thin 1 red onion, sliced 2 apples, peeled, cored and cubed 500 g ham, cut into medium size cubes 1 cup (240 mL) red wine 1 cup (240 mL) apple cider vinegar 2 Tbs (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil ½ tsp cinnamon To taste salt and pepper

3. Add apples and cabbage. Cook for another 3 minutes.

4. Add wine, vinegar, cinnamon, salt and pepper, cover with a lid and reduce heat to a simmer.

5. Let cabbage simmer for 45 minutes to an hour until the cabbage is tender.

6. Taste and re-season if necessary. Wife, mother, and food lover, Leilani has a diverse background in digital marketing, writing, and event planning. She can be found buzzing around the Calgary Farmers’ Market as their Marketing Coordinator. 11

Chef’s Perspective:

12 Kitchen Gadgets You Can’t Live Without by ANNA BROOKS

Whether you’re a Red Seal Chef or just like to impersonate Gordon Ramsay at home, every cook has a list of do-or-die kitchen gadgets. We interviewed 12 Alberta chefs and culinary experts to find out which of these tools were kitchen crucials, or a waste of good cupboard space. What’s your verdict? 12

Immersion Blender

It’s no surprise that this gadget won out with every chef at home. More than 80 percent of those surveyed say they couldn’t live without this tool, and for good reason. Hotel Arts Group Executive Chef, Jan Hansen, says it’s the perfect tool

for emulsifying dressings and making aioli, with the added bonus of being portable and easy to clean. Whether he’s cooking at home or work, Heritage Park Executive Chef, Leighton Smyth, says an immersion blender is essential for speed and consistency. “We use it almost everyday,” Chef Smyth says. “We go through around 80 gallons of soup every two days during the summer — this makes it easy to prepare.” You can shell out $8 or $200 for one of these lean, mean, emulsifying machines — either way, you’ll be happy you did!

Stand Mixer

If you’re a baker, chances are a stand mixer is your go-to tool. When working with large quantities, a stand mixer whips up perfect portions of dough in record time (and gives those hands a break from kneading!). Chef Medi T from vivo ristorante in Edmonton says he uses his stand mixer for everything from grinding meat to mashing potatoes. “People often associate it with making baked goods,” Chef Medi T says. “Crashed or mashed potatoes are quick and easy in the stand mixer with the paddle attachment, rather than labouring away with a potato masher utensil.” With additional attachments like pasta rollers and graters, these mixers make quite the versatile kitchen tool.

Pasta Roller

“I could live without it, but I wouldn’t want to,” says Chef Dustin Schafer of Calgary’s Modern Steak. “We make all of our empanada dough and some pastas with it.”


To be or not to be, there’s no question about having a microplane in the kitchen. Seventy-five percent of those surveyed say this tool is crucial for grating cheese, citrus, nuts, and every other thing you’d need to whittle down.

But what makes a garlic press lazy? Whether you’re a home cook or chef extraordinaire, the answer is simple: use a knife. “It’s a waste of money if you have a chef’s knife and have learned how to use it properly,” explains Chris Short, instructor of culinary arts at NAIT in Edmonton. “You can mince a clove of garlic faster and more efficiently with a French knife than the time it takes to clean out the half a clove that’s left in the press.”

“This is one of our most commonly used tools, and one of the most commonly fought over as it’s so easy to lose,” jokes Chef Doug King at Pigeonhole in Calgary. Slender, versatile and perfect for a quick shave, most chefs agree this tool is a necessity for home cooking.

With more than half the chefs surveyed saying they could live without this tool, it seems the pasta roller has the shortest gadget shelf life so far.

“You can get creative with them to add more flavours to your dishes with better control,” explains Bridgette Bar Chef JP Pedhirney.

While many, like Mary Bailey of Edmonton food and drink magazine, The Tomato, say having a pasta roller is definitely a big help for the home pasta maker, it’s not an essential kitchen tool.

“Try using it to grate ginger or garlic into your braising kale, or some fresh cinnamon into Chantilly cream.”

But if you’re looking for smooth, uniform pasta, hand rolling just isn’t the same for some chefs.

Garlic Press

If you’ve ever used a garlic press, you probably know this device is more a clever marketing ploy than a useful kitchen tool. Impossible to clean and easily clogged, it’s no surprise that every chef surveyed shunned this tool. “It’s just lazy,” says Modern Steak’s Chef Schafer.

Mortar and Pestle

Going old school, this archaic device has made a comeback in kitchens and cocktail bars everywhere. Most chefs agree this gadget was something they could live without, but none deny the finesse and fun it adds to the cooking process. “It’s entirely satisfying using it to make everything from pesto and curry bases to more basic applications such as pounding garlic and herbs,” says Chef King of Pigeonhole. Kathryn Joel, founder of Get Cooking culinary school in Edmonton, says she owns more than four sets of these tools. “I use them all the time,” she says. “I use them for everything from grinding spices to creating handmade curry pastes.” 13

“We’re moving away from kitchen conveniences such as sous vide and focusing on cooking with open fire, smoke and most importantly, intuition,” says Chef King of Pigeonhole. “The microwave is the opposite of all these things: mechanical, impersonal and quite frankly, gross.”

Rice Cooker

Most chefs agree that a rice cooker is a non-essential tool, but it sure can be a time saver in the kitchen.

While others, like Chef Ryan Hotchkiss at Bundok in Edmonton, say microwaves can be used for interesting techniques like microwave cake and drying herbs, maybe it’s safer to restrict microwave use to re-heating your morning coffee.

Also an important tool for making homemade dishes like gnocchi, Chef Hansen from Hotel Arts says this gadget is a crucial one. “I would never dream of making mashed potatoes or gnocchi without it!”

Unbeknownst to some, this tool can be used for more than just cooking rice, too. “A rice cooker isn’t only for cooking rice,” explains Kevin Tsang, chef at Bookers BBQ Grill & Crab Shack in Calgary. “It can also be used to slow cook meat and pastes.” While these gadgets yield perfectly plump rice as well as free up time to focus on other things in the kitchen, most chefs say even the home cook can’t be considered such if they aren’t able to make rice the “hard” way.

Dutch Oven


“We couldn’t make our bread at the restaurant without our cast-iron Dutch ovens,” says Chef Hotchkiss at Bundok.

Leftover utilizers, busy parents or the impoverished post-secondary student would probably starve to death without one of these. And while it seems laughable to use a microwave in any professional kitchen, microwaves are quite the controversial gadget.

I already have a big pot, what do I need this for? More than 60 percent of chefs surveyed will tell you exactly why this heavy-lidded pot is a must-have in the kitchen.

A substitute slow-cooker ideal for braised dishes, stews, chilli and curries, Chef Pedhirney at Bridgette Bar says he uses his Dutch oven for making cobblers and baking bread, adding that the durability of this tool means it won’t warp with consistent use.

Potato Ricer

Most chefs agree a potato ricer is key to any smooth starch. Going from smashing potatoes by hand to using a ricer, culinary chef Kathryn Joel says nothing compares to the light, fluffy by-products of this kitchen tool. 14


Last but not least, we have on the table the most daunting of all kitchen tools: the mandolin. Not for the faint of heart, more than half of chefs surveyed say this slicing tool is critical in the kitchen. “To achieve the thin, even slices of vegetables you see in a high-end restaurant, the mandolin is the tool all the pros use,” says Chef Medi T from vivo ristorante. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be an executive chef to use a mandolin. But if you want to save your knuckles from being julienned, always remember to use the safety guard with this razor sharp tool! Anna Brooks is Culinaire’s managing editor. A Mount Royal journalism graduate, stories have pulled her overseas to pursue international work in India, Africa and Thailand.

JACEK NOW OPEN IN CANMORE and proud to be celebrating fine chocolate as part of Uncorked with a $10 experience www.jacekchocolate.com

Soup Kitchen story and photography by DAN CLAPSON

You know what they say: “April showers bring May flowers.” Although that may be true, in Alberta’s case, there’s usually a snowfall or two in the month of April as well. Whether it’s rain or snow that we’re expecting before spring truly kicks in, I think we can agree that there are plenty

of nights left where a delicious pot of soup will really hit the spot. Here are a couple recipes to help warm you up this month!

1. Heat oil in a medium pot on

3. In a small bowl, combine flour and

Dill Pickle Soup Serves 4-5 Total cook time 35 minutes

This soup falls under the “oddly delicious” category. It’s hard to believe that dill pickles and brine can make such a comforting — and obviously unique — meal.

There are plenty of nights left where a delicious pot of soup will really hit the spot 1 Tbs (15 mL) canola oil 2 leeks, trimmed, halved and thinly sliced 1½ cups grated dill pickles 2 russet potatoes, diced 1 cup (240 mL) pickle brine 1 cup (240 mL) water 6 cups (1.5 L) vegetable broth 1 tsp garlic powder ½ tsp dried dill ¼ tsp chili flakes 2 Tbs all-purpose flour 2 Tbs (30 mL) water 2 cups (480 mL) half and half To taste salt and pepper 16

medium-high heat. Add leeks and cook until softened, about 5-6 minutes.

2. Add the next 8 ingredients and once mixture comes to a simmer, reduce to medium heat and let cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

water and add to pot. Soup should thicken noticeably. Add half and half, let soup return to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes.

4. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Spicy Farmers’ Sausage and Tomato Soup Serves 4 Total cook time 40 minutes 1 Tbs (15 mL) olive oil 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced 1 Tbs unsalted butter 2 cans (398 mL) Scarpone’s fire roasted tomatoes 4 cups (1 L) chicken broth 2 smoked farmers’ sausages, thinly sliced 2 tsp chili powder ¼ tsp cayenne pepper 10 baby potatoes, quartered 1 Tbs (15 mL) honey 1 Tbs (15 mL) red wine vinegar To taste salt and pepper

begin to turn golden, approximately 6-8 minutes.

1. Heat olive oil in a medium pot

2. Add the next 5 ingredients to the

on medium-high heat. Add garlic and onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add butter, reduce to medium heat and continue to cook until onions

pot and let simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered. Next, add the baby potatoes and continue to simmer until potatoes are fork tender, about 12 minutes.

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3. Pour honey and vinegar into the pot,

stir well and season liberally with salt and pepper. Keep warm on stove until ready to serve. Dan Clapson is a freelance food writer and columnist in Calgary. When he’s not writing about Canada’s amazing culinary scene, he is likely listening to 80s rock or 90s boy bands. Follow him on twitter @dansgoodside

Perk Up With These Local Alberta Coffee Roasters by ELIZABETH CHORNEY-BOOTH photography by INGRID KUENZEL


For coffee lovers, the so coffees online and through wholesale ever-present roasting aroma. Everything channels, coffee lovers can visit this lovely is done in small batches in a Dietrich Air days of grabbing a bag café attached to the roasting facility. Roaster and brewed in the café, which of corporate pre-ground also serves up house-made baked goods 113-702 Bow Valley Trail and daily lunch specials. coffee from the grocery 403-675-7777, ravecoffee.ca store have long passed — 4940 Ross Street, Red Deer coffee fanatics are looking Roast Coffee and Tea — 403-347-0893, cityroastcoffee.ca Bragg Creek for ethically sourced, Small but mighty, Roast Coffee and Tea Mad Hatter — Medicine Hat locally roasted beans with specializes in small batch roasts of highMedicine Hat is rich with phenomenal character and deep flavour. grown and shade-grown Arabica coffee coffee shops, but Mad Hatter, with its Independent coffee roasters are popping up all over Alberta, which means that whether you’re in Medicine Hat or Canmore, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a decent brew. Here are just a few of the great roasters scattered across the province:

Transcend Coffee — Edmonton

An Edmonton institution for more than a decade, Transcend was a pioneer in travelling to coffee bean growing countries like Peru and Costa Rica to select green beans for roasting. Starting up in 2006, Transcend has grown from a café/in-house roastery to mini café empire (there are currently three locations in Edmonton), online retailer and wholesaler, supplying beans to cafés like Monogram in Calgary and Boxcar in Toronto. This fall, Transcend made another big change and closed its original Argyll café to move to a new facility in Ritchie Market. Roastery: 7724 - 69 Street, Edmonton 1-866-430-9198, transcendcoffee.com

Rave Coffee — Canmore

It’s not often that you’ll find an Australian-inspired café franchised from a British parent company roasting beans from around the world in a small Canadian mountain town. Canmore’s Rave Coffee is indeed an oddity, but owner Dean Smolicz has been finding success with his uniquely international establishment. While Rave is primarily focused on selling its 17 or

beans from South and Central America, with a bean from Ethiopia also available.

roaster smack-dab in the middle of the café, is a particular gem.

Roast operates under a “from roaster to door” delivery concept. The bulk of their business is done online, but customers can pick up beans at The Bragg Creek Oil and Vinegar Market and a few spots in Calgary. Customer service is Roast’s priority, with all beans roasted to order and stamped with a roasting date to ensure maximum freshness.

Their bean sale process is unique — rather than pre-packaging in bags, Mad Hatter scoops beans on demand from the same bean bins used to make coffee in-house.

403-999-7275, roastcoffeeandtea.ca

Rosso — Calgary

The cozy café is a bit of a community hub (co-owner Katrina Marshall says the smell of the roaster acts as “bait” to bring people in), and the roaster also supplies beans to a number of restaurants in the Medicine Hat area.

One of Calgary’s fastest growing coffee empires, Rosso has only been roasting its own beans for four years.

513 3 Street SE, Medicine Hat 403-529-2344, mhroastery.com

Opening its first café in Ramsay in 2007, Rosso now has seven cafés, including one in the National Music Centre’s StudioBell and a brand new location in Tuxedo.

This one’s a biggie — most of us have seen bags of Kicking Horse along the Starbucks and Nabob coffee in major supermarkets.

Rosso also roasts beans sourced from Costa Rica, Guatemala and Columbia that are divided into two categories: low-acid easy drinking “comfort coffees,” and more exotic, challenging “adventurous coffees.” Coffee lovers can also test out roasts every Tuesday at 4 p.m. at the StudioBell location.

Kicking Horse — Invermere, BC

With beans sourced from Africa, Indonesia, Central and South America, all of Kicking Horse’s coffee is 100 percent organic and fair trade. Hardcore Kicking Horse devotees can travel to Invermere to try a cup of Smart Ass medium roast or 454 Horse Power dark roast right in the roastery’s café.

Roastery location: 803 24 Ave SE Calgary, 403-971-1800 rossocoffeeroasters.com

491 Arrow Road, Invermere, BC 1.888.287.5282, kickinghorsecoffee.com

City Roast — Red Deer

Elizabeth Chorney-Booth is a Calgary-based freelance writer, who has been writing about music and food, and just about everything else for her entire adult life. Elizabeth is a published cookbook author and part of the new team of authors behind the Best of Bridge franchise.

A homey café in downtown Red Deer, City Roast has a roaster right in the café, offering a nice ambiance and an


Step-By-Step Scotch Eggs: Easy To Make, Even Easier To Eat story and photography by RENEE KOHLMAN

We talk a lot about eggs in April — Easter does that to us. We celebrate delicious devilled eggs, pretty pastel coloured Easter eggs, and I know we all scarf down one or two of those Cadbury eggs with the dayglo yellow centres. 20

But it’s time that the classic Scotch egg gets a nod of glory. Not familiar with this pub classic? Scotch eggs are one of the most popular snacks in Britain, and are made of hard-boiled eggs (with the shell removed, of course), wrapped in sausage meat, coated in breadcrumbs and then deep-fried. Full of flavour and so pretty to look it, it’s easy to see why these hand-held beauties are so beloved.

Where does the term Scotch egg come from? Popular theories abound. Apparently there was an important trade in Scotland exporting eggs to London in the 18th and 19th centuries. Victorians would preserve the eggs for the long journey by dipping them in boiling water and leaving them semi-hardened with lime-powder disinfectant in a process called scotching. The result left the eggs

discoloured, but still perfectly edible for several months. Because the eggs didn’t look appealing, they were wrapped in sausage meat and breadcrumbs, and then sold as Scotch eggs.

cold water for at least 10 minutes. Peel and set aside.

2. Remove the sausage from its casings and place in a large bowl along with the herbs, Dijon, nutmeg and pepper. Mix well with your hands and divide into four balls.

Another popular story has the Scotch egg beginning at a fancy department store. According to luxury food emporium Fortnum & Mason, the Scotch egg was invented at its Piccadilly headquarters in the 18th century for its most affluent customers. The Scotch egg was a travellers’ snack, easy to hold and munch on while riding in a horsedrawn coach.

The Scotch egg was a travellers’ snack, easy to hold and munch on while riding in a horse-drawn coach These days, many a pub will have Scotch eggs on menus. Salty, fatty and delicious, they go wonderfully with cold beer and good company. Don’t be afraid to make these at home though! All you need is hard-boiled eggs, good sausage meat, and no fear of deep-frying. I boiled the eggs for four and five minutes, and found the four-minute egg to have a softer yolk, which is more appealing in my books. Don’t worry if your peeled eggs aren’t perfect. The layers of coating will hide any imperfections. The meat is the most important part of this equation. Buy quality, tasty links, slit them open and place into a bowl along with herbs and mustard. Hold back on the salt, as the sausages will have enough. If not, you can always add some at the end. Encase the egg in the meat, dip in flour, egg, Panko and then carefully put them into a hot oil bath for about four minutes, until golden and crispy. Slice open and enjoy along with hunks of good cheddar and fresh fruit.

3. In a small bowl, beat the remaining

egg with the milk. In a shallow bowl, add the flour and season with a pinch or two or salt and pepper. Into a third bowl, add the panko crumbs. Arrange the bowls in an assembly line, beginning with the flour, then the eggs, and then the crumbs.

Scotch Eggs

Makes 4 Scotch eggs 5 large eggs 400 g pork breakfast sausage 3 Tbs chopped mixed herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, parsley and chives 1 Tbs (15 mL) Dijon mustard ¼ tsp ground nutmeg Pinch black pepper 1 Tbs (15 mL) whole milk ½ cup (120 mL) all-purpose flour 1 cup (240 mL) panko crumbs 6 cups (1.5 L) canola oil, for frying

1. Put four of the eggs into a saucepan,

cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat to medium-low and simmer for four minutes. Put the eggs immediately into a large bowl of ice-

4. Put a piece of plastic wrap on your

work surface and lightly flour it. Put one of the meatballs in the centre, and flour lightly, then fold the plastic wrap on top. Flatten out the meat until large enough to encase an egg.

It’s easy to see why these hand-held beauties are so beloved

5. To assemble the egg, roll one peeled

egg in flour, then put in the centre of the meat. Bring up the sides of the film to encase it, and smooth it into an egg shape with your hands. Dip each egg in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Place the breaded eggs on a small plate or tray.

6. Fill a medium, deep saucepan a third

full of vegetable oil, and heat to 170º C (or when a crumb of bread dropped in sizzles and turns golden, but does not burn). Cook two eggs at a time, for about four minutes, until crisp and golden, then drain on paper towel before serving.

7. Let the Scotch eggs cool down for a few minutes before slicing. Serve hot.

Renée Kohlman is a busy food writer and recipe developer living in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Her debut cookbook All the Sweet Things will be published in the Spring of 2017. 21

Canmore Cultivates Opportunities For Food Producers by GWENDOLYN RICHARDS

Framed by mountains, and with quick access to hiking, skiing and spots to swim, it’s no wonder Canmore is a draw for outdoor enthusiasts and people eager to spend time in a naturally beautiful spot. But the town best known as being the gateway to the Rocky Mountains is increasingly gaining a reputation as a community with a thriving food scene, complete with nationally recognized restaurants – with very few chain establishments – and a growing number of food and liquor producers. Some were born and raised in the town and looked for a way to carve out a career, while others were drawn to Canmore for the lifestyle. No matter why they have chosen to settle in the Canmore Pasta Co.

community, all agree the appetite for quality, locally made food and alcohol products is flourishing, and the supportive network between these producers and Canmore residents is fostering that growth.

Canmore Pasta Co.

“I feel the love,” says Meghan Bryant, owner of Canmore Pasta Co. “People support the local business here. That’s why we have so many manufacturers in Canmore.”

People support the local business here. That’s why we have so many manufacturers in Canmore Bryant and her husband moved from Whitecourt, Alberta in 2011 to give their three children a chance to grow up by the mountains. A year later, with no experience in the food industry, she took a chance and bought a

pasta business. Changing the name and structure, Bryant branched out to wholesale and retail opportunities while keeping the local connection and selling to Canmore restaurants. Using 100 percent Canadian-grown durum semolina milled in Lethbridge, and Alberta eggs, she makes fromscratch pasta and fillings – like fig and gorgonzola, wild mushroom, and bison – and sells them in her own retail store, along with other local businesses, Save-on-Foods, and at Calgary Farmers’ Market (she also works with restaurants to do custom fillings for ravioli!). In her nearly five years of making pasta, Bryant has watched the number of food producers in the town grow, and she attributes that growth to an encouraging community of fellow producers who meet, problem solve and collaborate. “Why Canmore has done so well is we all support each other,” she says. “There is a lot of support for the entrepreneur. We all face the same issues: staff, staff housing and working together to get our products out for distribution.”


Wild Life Distillery

Firmly established companies like Grizzly Paw Brewing Co. and Valbella Gourmet Foods have proven businesses can have longevity in the community. Widmer and Robinson experimented with home brewing, but it wasn’t until the Alberta government changed the rules around minimum production laws that they saw their dream of opening a distillery become reality. Three years later, Wild Life opened its doors. A small operation, Widmer and Robinson have had a hand in every aspect of the business – something else many of the food manufacturers in Canmore share – from recipe research to distilling to building the front bar. “Everything has come from our hands or our brains,” they add.

When new producers join the fold – like Wild Life Distillery, which opened its doors in January – they find themselves welcomed by those who are well established.

People need to get crafty as to how they’ll make a living “Everyone has been very receptive, right down to the manufacturers around us,” says co-founder and distiller Keith Robinson, who opened the business with his long-time friend Matt Widmer. “Others know what it takes to start a business in a small community and are really supportive and doing everything they can to help us succeed because they know how challenging it can be,” he explains. Wild Life has released its first vodka – a wheat and malted barley version – and is currently working with botanicals to find the perfect combination for a new gin. Eventually, Robinson says, the plan is to do bitters, syrups and tonics so that everything needed to make a cocktail at home can be purchased from the distillery.

Robinson grew up in Canmore – and Widmer in Banff – so it was a natural choice to get back to the town after studying in Victoria and taking some time to travel. Like others who have built their food manufacturing businesses, the men realized the best way to find work was to create it. “It’s because of the attraction it is to live here,” Robinson says. “People need to get crafty as to how they’ll make a living.”

As the pair have been supported by other producers, they too are working closely with other Canmore businesses like Valbella, whose meats and cheeses are offered in their tasting room. The small-town nature of Canmore means many of the businesses in the food community boost each other this way. You can find Canmore Pasta Co. products on the shelves at Carole Beaton’s healthy foods store, An Edible Life. Her take-home-and-heat meals, in turn, are sold in cafes around town, as well as the local Shopper’s Drug Mart. Besides Bryant’s pastas, Beaton, who opened An Edible Life nearly three years ago, following a career in construction and a return to school to study nutrition, carries a number of other local products in her store. “The food community is supportive,” she says. “I collaborate with several other businesses in town. We definitely try to work with each other.” While her initial plan following school was to open a nutrition consulting business, it morphed into prepared meals with a health focus when she saw a gap in the market. 23

Six months in, Alberta Steak Spice is growing by leaps and bounds, finding a home in large restaurants including the Canmore pub, the Iron Goat, and as the rim on the Valley Caesar offered by Melissa’s Missteak in Banff, and Bon Ton Meat Market in Calgary. “I struck a chord,” says Gale. “Everyone is working together.” Canmore, he says, is a huge base for many unique, homegrown products, with a growing restaurant scene and a large number of creative people who make it home. Canmore Pasta Co. 403-678-5266, canmorepasta.com join the ranks of those producing food or liquor in the community.

Goji Cocoa Balls

“When I was working in construction, what I have here (in An Edible Life) is what I wanted. You couldn’t pick up something you felt good about eating and felt good after eating,” she says. Beaton says the number of businesses making local products has particularly shifted in the last few years as people look to make something of their own work in the community. “People try to make it work because of the lifestyle,” she says. “You take a huge leap of faith in hoping people will support you here.” Others who have entered the foodmanufacturing sector say they are doing so as spin-offs from other work. Larry Gale and his wife Rosanne have lived in Canmore for more than 20 years, but only recently decided to 24

Travelling around the world for work, Gale often found himself talking about Alberta beef. That ultimately led him to wonder why, unlike a certain city in Quebec, there was no signature steak spice or sauce for the meat this province is known for.

An Edible Life 403-678-0105, anediblelife.ca Wild Life Distillery 403-763-7267, wildlifedistillery.ca Alberta Steak Spice 403-760-9010, albertasteakspice.com Gwendolyn Richards is a Calgary-based food writer, photographer, and author of Pucker: A Cookbook for Citrus Lovers. She is a regular contributor to several publications, writing about food trends, restaurants and recipes.

Alberta Steak Spice

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Coffee Beers:

A Complex (And Slightly Caffeinated) Combination by DAVID NUTTALL

Coffee and beer. To the uninitiated they may seem totally unrelated, with one being (usually) a hot drink part of your daily morning ritual, while the other is a cold beverage imbibed (usually) at night to wind down at the end of the day. In reality, they have more in common than many people think. Yes, they are both brewed. Yes, they have both been celebrated and reviled throughout their existence by various cultures and governments. And they have also had parallel market histories. Both began commercially as small producer-retailers until the 20th century, when they suffered through mass industrial production of inferior products by gigantic corporations through most of the 1900s. But 30 years later they would be reborn as craft beer and gourmet coffee, with an exciting array of flavours and styles. Though different beverages, beer and coffee can share similar flavour profiles. There are several beer styles, most notably stouts and porters which, when made with chocolate, black patent or similar malts and/or roasted barley, will have a natural coffee flavour. And of course, you can find beers that have had coffee added within their recipe. 26

While this works especially well with the aforementioned beers, brewers today are introducing coffee into all types of beer from light lagers to IPAs, wheat beers and more.

They have more in common than many people think Historically, coffee has been used as an ingredient to add colour or flavour to beers ever since the Arabs introduced it to the Europeans in the 16th century. However, coffee beers as a distinct style didn’t appear until they arose from the recipes created by home brewers in the 1980s. Their influence on the craft beer revolution cannot be understated, and the first designated commercial “coffee beer” debuted in 1994. Usually the first beers were stouts, as the coffee complemented the roastiness of the malts. The style had a slow to stop-

and-go growth due to issues with how governments generally viewed adding caffeine products to alcoholic drinks. To this day, it’s still a grey area in many jurisdictions. However, brewers have been able to dance around the legalities with clever verbiage in their descriptors and labelling, mostly to separate themselves from the alcoholic energy drink people. So how is coffee beer made? There is no one set recipe. One process is to age the beer on roasted coffee beans, or steep the beer on coffee grounds. Another is to add coffee directly into the boil or the fermentation. An alternative technique is to add coldbrewed coffee to the finished beer, proportioning it out to taste. All these methods will produce a different character and flavour profile, and it’s the brewer who decides what they would like as the finished product.

Whatever the method, most brewers will use good quality coffee low in acidity, which allows for a rich flavour without a burnt aftertaste. They also prefer the roast to be not too dark, letting the nutty flavours show through without all the bitterness. And there are many kinds of coffee to use: espresso, cappuccino, mocha... the list goes on. This blending of two beverage worlds has led to collaborations between craft breweries and regional coffee producers. However, because they are usually done in small batches, you must be quick to try them. While you wait for the next Alberta collaboration, here are some currently available bottled coffee beers you can find in liquor stores or on tap. Rogue Cold Brewed IPA (USA) This small Oregon brewery consistently turns out unusual beers. An American IPA blended with locally produced coffee, which masks this amber coloured ale’s 82 IBUs. CSPC 770371, $11.50, 650 mL bottle Ballast Point Victory At Sea Porter (USA) An imperial porter with a subdued coffee flavour balanced with a caramel and vanilla finish. Dangerously smooth at 10% ABV. CSPC 777899, $13.50, 650 mL bottle

8 Wired Flat White Coffee Milk Stout (New Zealand) Made to celebrate New Zealand’s barista coffee. The sweetness of the milk stout is offset by the Cuban and Brazilian coffee, with a vanilla finish. Tastes like a beer version of café au lait. CSPC 774710, $11.50, 500 mL bottle Hoyne Voltage Espresso Stout (B.C.) A jet-black blend of espresso and stout. Exactly what you think it is. CSPC 813642, $9.50, 650 mL bottle La Coup de Canon Dark Coffee Ale (Quebec) Le Bilboquet Microbrasserie is a tiny brewery that produces mostly non-

mainstream beers. This beer is full of dark coffee richness and tastes just like a good ol’ cuppa joe. CSPC 786147, $7.50, 500 mL bottle Rogue Mocha Porter (USA) Pours nice, dark and creamy. Tastes the same way. This beer finishes with nice chocolate notes. CSPC 735139, $11.50, 650 mL bottle (also available in 6 pk. bottles) Category 12 Excitation Espresso Stout (B.C.) The coffee flavour of this beer transitions nicely into a chocolate finish, thanks to the added cacao nibs. CSPC 788564, $10.50, 650 mL bottle

A cozy and intimate Calgary classic.

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Three Ways with Easter Lamb story and photography by NATALIE FINDLAY

As plants peek out from the blanket of white snow that remains from our sleepy winter, we look forward to the signs of spring. 28

Easter transitions our thoughts to growth and the freshness of the new season. As we prepare for our family gathering and break through the grey of winter, we want to add the

lightness that spring welcomes. Here are three simple lamb dishes that highlight the flavourful, green tastes that add vibrancy to our plates.

Green Herb Lamb Roast with Roasted Asparagus and Peas Serves 4 - 6

4 garlic cloves, mashed into a paste 3 white anchovies, roughly chopped ½ lemon, zest 1 Tbs fresh thyme, roughly chopped 1½ Tbs fresh sage, roughly chopped 1 Tbs fresh rosemary, roughly chopped 4 Tbs fresh mint, roughly chopped To taste salt and pepper 3.25 Kg leg of lamb, deboned Extra herbs, 1 onion and vegetable oil for roasting 20 stalks asparagus, trimmed 2 cups (500 g) fresh or frozen peas 10 shallots, peeled and halved Drizzle of olive oil

1. Combine the garlic, anchovies,

lemon zest, thyme, sage, rosemary, mint, salt and pepper together.

2. Massage herb mixture into the

4. Place extra herbs, stalks of

rosemary, thyme and sage along with a roughly chopped onion in the base of your roasting pan.

leg of lamb, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Remove from fridge about 45 minutes before you put it in the oven.

5. Drizzle with vegetable oil.

3. Preheat oven to 350º F.

450 g of lamb. Remove and let rest.

Place lamb on top and drizzle with more oil.

6. Roast in oven for 18 minutes per 7. Roast asparagus, shallots and peas

We look forward to the signs of spring

in oven while the lamb is resting, about 5 - 8 minutes.

8. Serve lamb with your roasted asparagus, shallots and peas.

Lamb Skewers on a Springtime Bed of Greens Serves 2 - 4

12 cubes lamb 2 cloves garlic, mashed into a paste 2 Tbs rosemary, finely chopped To taste salt and pepper 2 Tbs (30 mL) olive oil 4 shallots, peeled, halved 4 asparagus, trimmed and cut into thirds 12 fresh mint leaves 12 cubes feta, chopped 4 metal or wooden skewers (no need to soak the skewers as they will not be exposed to the heat) 4 cups mixed greens, plus a few roughly chopped fresh mint leaves Drizzle of your favourite dressing

1. Season lamb with garlic,

rosemary, and salt and pepper and refrigerate overnight.

2. In a large sauté pan, add

olive oil and cook lamb cubes over medium-high heat approximately 4 minutes per side, then reserve.

3. In the same pan, sauté the

shallots and asparagus, 2 to 3 minutes until just warmed through. Remove from pan.

4. Start alternating the lamb

cubes, mint leaves, shallots, feta and

asparagus on the skewers until your 4 skewers are filled.

5. Place mixed greens on your

plate and drizzle with your favourite dressing. Lay your skewer (or two) across your greens. 29

Lamb Stew Serves 4 – 6

400 g lamb, small cubes To taste salt and pepper ½ cup (120g) flour ¼ cup (60mL) vegetable oil ½ onion, peeled and finely diced ½ small carrot, finely diced 1 stalk celery, finely diced 10 mushrooms, quartered 4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped 5 fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped 6 sprigs fresh thyme leaves 1 Tbs fresh rosemary, finely chopped 1 bottle (330 mL) dark beer 1 cup (250 mL) beef or lamb stock 1 cup (250 g) green peas

1. Season lamb cubes with salt and pepper, and coat with flour.

2. Heat a medium pot over

medium-high heat and brown lamb cubes in batches (making sure not to add too much lamb and overcrowd the pot). Remove lamb cubes as they brown on all sides and reserve.

3. Once lamb cubes have been

browned, add more oil to the pot if needed, and add onion, carrots, celery and mushrooms and sauté over medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes.

4. Add garlic and sauté 4 minutes.

and the lamb meat is tender. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking and remove the remaining thyme sprigs.

9. Remove pot cover and increase

heat slightly and let the liquid reduce for about 15 minutes.

5. Add the sage, thyme sprigs, and rosemary, and sauté 2 minutes.

6. Add the beer and cook 5 minutes (scraping up any good bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pot).

Lamb dishes highlight the flavourful, green tastes that add vibrancy to our plates.

7. Add the stock and reserved lamb

cubes. Increase heat and let come to a boil and then reduce heat to low and let cook for 1 hour.

8. Add the carrots and potatoes and

continue to cook another hour or until the potatoes are cooked through 30

10. Add peas and let warm through

Mint Pesto

Makes about ¼ cup (60 mL) 1 cup pine nuts 1 small clove garlic, peeled ¾ cup fresh mint (about 30 leaves) 12 leaves fresh flat leaf parsley ½ lemon, zested 1 Tbs (15 mL) lemon juice 4 Tbs (60mL) vegetable oil Generous pinch of sea salt

Pulse garlic and pine nuts in a small food processor a few times, then add mint, parsley, lemon juice, zest, and pulse to combine. Add oil, and salt, and pulse until ingredients are fully combined, then taste and adjust seasoning.

about 5 minutes.

11. Serve with your favourite side and garnish with the mint pesto.

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

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We Got The Tools, We Got The Talent: Finding The Perfect Corkscrew by TOM FIRTH photography by INGRID KUENZEL

Sure, Winston Zeddemore wasn’t talking about corkscrews when he said that in Ghostbusters, but having the right tools for the job is just as important in enjoying fine wine, and perhaps the knowledge of what you like and why. Waiter Pull

Corkscrews and wine openers come in a plethora of styles and types, and it seems nearly every day something new appears. From power-drill style openers (appealing to the tool hound?) to finnicky syringe and compressed air contraptions, there are innumerable ways to spend your money or fill your kitchen’s junk drawer.

What is it? Like the name implies, waiters use these. They are small, simple to use and not too expensive. Compact, it stows easily in a glovebox or pocket, and a good one can last a lifetime. Most will have a small knife or foil cutter, and many have a beer cap opener. The best models have a “two step” lever, which allows the first to handle the initial pull, and the second to reduce the likelihood of breaking the cork.

Below are some of the most common openers that don’t require cartridges, batteries or anything but a little talent (and maybe some elbow grease).

Does it work? Like a hammer in your toolbox, a decent one will last forever and never let you down.

T-Handle or pocket Corkscrew What is it? It’s that corkscrew you often find at motels, campsites, and out of the way liquor stores for a couple of dollars. At its most basic, it’s a corkscrew worm with a “T” shaped handle. Twist the worm into the cork, and pull. Since a cork takes up to about 40 kgs of force to extract and there’s no mechanical advantage, one hand is needed to keep a firm grip on the bottle and the other provides all the pulling force. Better go to the gym! 32

Who should have it? Everyone. With a little practice, this is the way to go. So does it work? It does, but in the way that spoons can also be used to dig under the wall to escape from prison. Who should have it? Masochists or people who enjoy pulling a muscle while pulling corks. But on the plus side, they’re often free. Free is a good price.

Just like with the lever pull, better brands will have noticeably better quality. Look to spend about $15-25 minimum or look for brands like Pulltap’s (around $25-40+) or Laguiole ($100+) if you want a corkscrew to hand down to your children.

width apart. The longer arm is inserted between the cork and the bottleneck, followed by the shorter arm. The two arms are gradually “walked-down” to the bottom, and then with a pull and a twist, the cork is removed in one piece.

Two-Prong What is it? This “corkscrew” goes by several different names, often called a waiter’s friend, butler’s friend or “Ah-so.” This opener has two slightly different length arms placed about a cork’s

The story goes that since the cork isn’t damaged (in theory) during extraction, the gentleman’s butler could pull the cork, drink the bottle and refill it with cheaper wine. With the relative paucity of household servants these days, you’d probably plan on opening and drinking wine yourself, but it’s a handy tool for old or sticky corks. Does it work? With a little practice, it can save the day when cork problems emerge. Who should have it? Everyone, especially those that enjoy older wines such as port. Gets a lot of action at my house. Normally about $10-40.

Lever-pull Corkscrew

While some of them might resemble a rabbit and others might be called a screw pull rather than a lever pull, the premise is pretty much the same. There’s a mechanism to grip the bottle securely in the device, and then with a quick turn of the lever, the corkscrew goes into the cork. Reverse the lever, and the cork is quickly and effortlessly drawn out.

Who should have it? Anyone who opens a lot of wine, or those that might find

What is it? The corkscrew that almost no one ever buys but nearly everyone has. This nearly unbreakable device works by twisting the fob in the top to insert the screw into the cork. As this happens, the two arms rise in jubilant anticipation for the good times a-comin’. Then, by pressing down on the two arms, the cork comes out in a jiff – in theory.

What is it? The crème de la crème for well-heeled wine connoisseurs or those that take their wine very seriously.

Does it work? They can be a bit finnicky when they get older, but there’s no denying that opening wine with one of these is a pleasure.

Winged or Butterfly Corkscrew

It can be a bit of a pain getting the worm in straight, and broken corks are fairly common. On the bright side, these corkscrews last forever. Does it work? Sure, but it’s rarely pretty to see in action. traditional corkscrews hard on the wrists or hands.

Who should have it? Well…you already have one — don’t you? Generally about $10-20, unless you want a fancy one.

Cheap ones don’t last, expect to pay about $70-120 for most styles. Quality brands like Le Creuset are worth looking at.

Tom Firth is the contributing drinks editor for Culinaire Magazine and the competition director for the Alberta Beverage Awards, follow him on twitter @cowtownwine. 33

Roots Run Deep: The Wines Of Trentino-Alto Adige

Amidst the spectacular slopes of the Dolomites lies one of Italy’s most distinctive wine regions, Trentino-Alto Adige.


Driving north from Verona, the Dolomite mountains suddenly envelop you, bathed in sunshine. The plains at the base of the mountains are typically planted to apples, the region’s other great agricultural success, but as the elevation rises the apple orchards fall away and it is the grapevines that cling to the slopes. Grapes were first grown here in 500 BC, and vine cultivation has been constant ever since. Political boundaries melt into the surroundings, and the region is strongly influenced by its time under French, Austrian, German, and finally, Italian rule. All of these cultures have created a multifaceted wine region. There was a time when the production of international varieties was the norm here, but those days thankfully have passed and there is now a renewed focus on indigenous grapes, terroir, and sustainability. Terroir can be difficult to explain. It is the contribution of the climate, geography, vineyard, vigneron, and a bit of serendipity, that creates the wine in our glass. If a wine is said to have terroir it means it displays a sense of the place it came from. Trentino-Alto Adige’s consistent long and slow ripening in many hours of sunshine, coupled with the mountain protection from harsh winds and nasty weather, ensure a terroir that is unique and ideal for striking, lively wines. Often the winemakers of the region can’t help but be sustainable. 34

The steep mountain slopes offer no opportunity for mechanization. The work is done by hand as it always has been. Originally from necessity and now by commitment to quality, winemakers in Trentino-Alto Adige place great importance on environmentally friendly, sustainable, organic and biodynamic methods of winemaking. Summa, a wine festival with an emphasis on biodynamic and sustainable wineries has been taking place in the region for 19 years, well before much of the rest of world fully recognized the importance of such practices. The distinctive terroir and lack of intervention in the winery and vineyard allow for a purity of flavour that communicates the region and the grape. The white wines are racy and refreshing. Alto Adige pinot grigio can have a complexity that is not often found in the grape. Gewürztraminer, indigenous to the region, is intense and aromatic – not for the faint of heart, but making vivid rose and lychee scented wines. The indigenous red grapes make wines that are balanced and distinctive with lagrein from Alto Adige and teroldego from Trentino performing particularly well. A cousin of syrah, lagrein wines are fruity and complex with aromas of red berries, black fruit and violets. These wines are appealing and silky on the palate, a perfect match for speck, the cured ham of the region. The elegant and concentrated teroldego was nearly extinct and forever lost. Luckily Azienda Agricola Foradori, recognized the value of the grape and teroldego is now considered one of the most exciting varieties in Italy. There is no doubt that the Dolomite mountains provide Trentino-Alto Adige with one of the most exceptional wine growing regions in Italy. Dedication to sustainability while showcasing the terroir will ensure that this beautiful corner of Italy will continue to create fresh and exciting wines.

Franz Haas 2015 Pinot Grigio

Cantina Tramin 2015 Gewürztraminer

Franz Haas winery has been producing wine just outside Bolzano since the 1880s. With a focus on quality and expression of terroir, Franz Haas pinot grigio has personality. Vines at 800 metres of elevation ensure the wine is fragrant with floral, citrus and honey notes. Excellent on its own or enjoyed with grilled fish or white meat. CSPC 766940 $35

Located in the town of Tramin, Cantina Tramin has been operating since 1889. This gewürztraminer is pure and precise, displaying the classic characteristics of rose, lychee and passion fruit. Rich with freshness and finesse, this is made for spicy Thai or Malaysian cuisine. CSPC 737886 $30

Tiefenbrunner Turmhof 2014 Pinot Nero

Foradori Teroldego

One of the oldest wineries in the region, Tiefenbrunner has been registered since 1848. The Turmhof pinot nero is sourced from hillside vines as high as 980 metres. This elevation ensures a cool, sunny environment and long ripening. A complex pinot nero with an abundance of red and black fruit characteristics, this is fantastic with duck, other game birds or cured meats. CSPC 734156 $30

Another grape that is indigenous to the region is teroldego. Not something we often see in North America, Foradori is the undisputed leader making lively and structured examples full of red fruits. Foradori teroldego is a beautiful and complex wine, perfect with braised beef and grilled meat. CSPC 611269 $35 Passionate about wine and education, Margaux combines the two whenever possible. She holds the WSET Diploma and is a Certified Sherry Educator, while continually researching the great wine regions. 35

South America: The New Old by MATTHEW BROWMAN

Old world, new world. Such common wine terms, but what do they mean? Old world (European) style wines are typically earthier, lighter, more firm and food friendly. The new world styles (anywhere else) boast pure fruit, bigger body, softer edges and go down easier on their own. But wine from both origins can express anywhere along the spectrum. For the past 30 years, South America, mostly Chile and Argentina, have exemplified the new world style. Their climates, vine stock, technology, and marketing positioned them firmly among the most ripe, expressive, easyto-drink and wallet-friendly wines. The biggest struggle now for South American wines, is to shake their reputation for “value” and get people reaching for the $20-and-up options.


Names like Concha Y Toro, Errazuriz, Trapiche and Luigi Bosca have become default options for a slew of circumstances. But when wine drinkers seek something a little different, they often turn to Europe.

For 15 years, winemaker Marcelo Papa nailed the modern style for Concha Y Toro’s Marques de Casa Concha cabernet sauvignon. But he noticed that he wasn’t reaching for his own wine with dinner. Risking Happily, new world winemaking is his position, he moved away from delivering more of those old world opulence and the gamble worked experiences. And the popularity of — the 2014 cabernet was named Brazilian-style steak houses, like Bolero, World’s Best New World Cabernet Gaucho and Pampa, give us the chance to Sauvignon by Britain’s The see the regional wines and their cuisines Independent, which praised it for its together in action. fresher style.


When historical European houses set up shop somewhere in the new world, you know the potential is there. Rothschild (Bordeaux), Torres (Catalonia), and William Fèvre (Chablis) all work in Chile, too.


In Argentina, wineries we consider typical like Catena Zapata and Familia Zuccardi pursue terroir in their premium wines. Sebastian Zuccardi irrigates strategically, and with a highly specific system

meeting and events seasonal menus executive floor options “EASTER DOVE”


A SWEET BREAD BORN OVER A CENTURY AGO IN MILAN, ITALY. Our artisan Colomba is lovingly handcrafted the traditional way. A natural yeast starter, candied orange peel and raisins, then topped with almonds and sugar. Each batch of the dove-shaped Easter confection takes 36 hours to make and marks the sign of Spring. Enjoy with fresh fruit, whipped cream or a glass sweet wine or prosecco.





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of grape variety and site research for structure, complexity and purity (without oak). This approach produces berries with different sugar and acid measurements related to their flavour development than those from the bigger, softer styles.


Yes, Brazil. No, it isn’t known for world wine dominance. We don’t seek it out. We don’t talk about it. But Brazil achieves effortlessly what its more popular counterparts have just started striving for. Its growing regions aren’t hot, steady and sunny, yielding those ripe, opulent wines. It sees higher rainfall by the Atlantic coast and more cloud cover near Uruguay, which is perfect for clean, crisp sparkling and firm, fruity still wines. Vinicola Salton leads the country in Brazil’s most popular category, sparkling wine, outstripping Chandon’s operation with 40 percent of domestic sales. And, like some European quality requirements, they age some of their still wines before release. Current vintages range from 2013 to 2008, and local specialties like marselan and tannat join Bordeaux-style blends. Through a range of intensity, complexity and structure, they are commonly energetic, nervy and edgy. 38

Marques de Casa Concha 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo, Chile

Vinicola Salton 2011 Chardonnay Virtude, Brazil

This wine is, as promised, elegant. It shows the classic blackcurrant, cedar and tobacco leaf of great cabernet, and avoids the overripe, wine-gum fruit of much of bulk Chile. Firm, fleshy and focused, it benefits from food, but definitely doesn’t need it. CSPC 337238 $23

Only made in good vintages, the chardonnay is 50% oak fermented, integrating subtle nut and buttered toast into melon, green apple and pineapple aromas. Firm acidity keeps it fresh and citrusy. CSPC 752413 $37

Zuccardi Q 2014 Tempranillo Santa Rosa, Mendoza, Argentina

Vinicola Salton 2013 Tannat Intenso, Brazil

This tempranillo makes a good crossover wine. Its dark fruit and heft fall on the new world side, while its firm tannin, acidity and mushroom-earthy aromas make it intriguing. CSPC 165662 $25

Fun and surprising, the tannat shows cocoa powder, mushroom and black cherry aromas with a meaty flavour. Medium tannin, juicy red plum acidity, and bright red fruit make it a good match for pork belly or duck breast. CSPC +758329 $19

Versado 2011 Malbec Old Vines Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina

Espino 2014 Chardonnay D.O. Pirque, Maipo, Chile

Canadian wine-making legends, Ann Sperling and Peter Gamble, established prime vineyards along the famous malbec road, the Calle Cobo. At Versado, authenticity is the goal. Hauntingly complex, the Old Vines shows tea leaf, spice, leather, and date through black cherry fruit, with vibrant acidity, firm tannins and outstanding length. CSPC 776649 $34

Though their website says “wines are naturally made in a new world style,” William Fèvre, one of the greatest names in French Chablis, is a terroir master. In his Chilean project, he bucks our expectation of ripe, soft melon, pineapple and vanilla flavours, instead delivering green apple, lemon, flint and steel. CSPC 746705 $22 Matt Browman’s 1980s inception into the restaurant world led to certification from ISG, WSET and the Court of Master Sommeliers, with restaurant, retail, education, journalism and travel experience.

Have You Entered Your Wine, Beers And Spirits Yet? Registrations are arriving already. With the success of last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s competition, 2017 will be even better! Visit culinairemagazine.ca/aba to enter your wines, beers, and spirits for the 2017 Alberta Beverage Awards. Registration Deadline June 30 | Judging Takes Place July 17â&#x20AC;&#x201C;19 For more information, contact competition director Tom Firth: tom@culinairemagazine.ca



El Esteco Michel Torino 2013 Don David Malbec, Mendoza The Best In Class malbec at the 2016 Alberta Beverage Awards, and it’s easy to see why. Rich, generous plummy fruits with silky smooth tannins and a lovely overall juiciness about it. Wellcrafted malbec, sure to be a hit at your next barbecue. CSPC 774961 $17

Making The Case For Argentina’s Vinous Treasures by TOM FIRTH

Sure, anyone reasonably knowledgeable about wine knows that Argentina is best known for malbec. That easy to pronounce, barbecue-friendly, and big red grape is a noble grape to hang a reputation on. But some of the most interesting wines coming from Argentina, have little to do with malbec. There are a bevy of wonderful tannats, bonardas, and cabernet francs, in addition to cabernet sauvignons, pinot noirs, and syrahs, not to mention white grapes like chardonnay, torrontes, and more than a few others. Argentinean wine is better than ever before, built on a solid foundation of

malbec (typically from Mendoza), but the expansion of newer (to us) regions like Salta or Patagonia, as well as some winemakers forging new ground with specific vineyard sites and experimental wines, Argentina just might be the next big thing – again! Want an excuse to do a little early-season barbecuing? April 17 is World Malbec Day.

Tom Firth is the contributing Drinks editor for Culinaire magazine, and the competition director for the Alberta Beverage Awards. He firmly believes that great riesling is proof the universe is unfolding as it should. 40

Ben Marco 2013 Expressivo Uco Valley One of my personal favourite red blends from Argentina. Malbec with 30 percent cabernet franc and 5 percent cabernet sauvignon, the nose is redolent of mocha, cherries and blackberries with tar and spice tones layered throughout. Palate is rich and expressive (like the name says) with deep, earthy tannins. Drink now or cellar 10+ years, try with a roast or game meats. CSPC 723867 $45

Colomé 2013 Estate Malbec Argentina Quite earthy with ground coffee, cocoa powder, leather, smoke, and black liquorice aromas. Over a year of barrel aging brings a little more flavour integration, but the tannins are still quite prominent. Solid, age-worthy malbec suitable for virtually any cut of beef – grilled, roasted, or braised. CSPC 956896 around $26 or so

Susana Balbo 2014 Crios Torrontes

Clos de los Siete 2012, Mendoza

Torrontes is a tragically underrated grape, and considered by some to be Argentina’s flagship white grape. Lime, peach, and apricot fruits on nose and palate, with milder flavours of clementines, and a trace of salinity. Tight and zippy, so enjoyable. CSPC 719748 $22

A deservedly well-known blend from Argentina made mostly from malbec along with syrah and a few other Bordeaux varietals. Intense aromas of plummy fruits with blackcurrant and cherry, along with a decidedly chocolate and coffee bean earthiness. Still pretty youthful, it’s worth hanging on to, though will really shine with grilled or roasted meat. CSPC 128710 $25

Catena Alta 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon “Historic Rows”, Mendoza

Luigi Bosca 2015 A Rosé is a Rosé is a Rosé

Weinert 2006 Malbec, Mendoza

Never thought I’d go to a premium Catena tasting and have my hands-down favourite bottle be a cabernet sauvignon. Possibly the finest tasting cabernet I’ve had in recent months, I was blown away by classic cabernet aromas and flavours without any “greenness” to the fruit. Balanced, expressive, and ready to go now if cellaring isn’t your game. Match with a flatiron steak if possible. CSPC 521831 $44

You’d think since Argentina has all this malbec, even their rosés would use it. Not so, this is a blend of pinot gris and syrah leaving a beautiful copper hue to be admired in the glass. Honey aromas, and quite spicy too with red apple fruits and a bare hint of summer fruits. Dry, fresh and lively, with a spicy back end, would work very well with pork or grilled veggie skewers. CSPC 779623 $22

Michel Torino CUMA 2015 Organic Malbec

Decero 2013 Malbec Remolinos Vineyard, Mendoza

Fans of malbec will love this expression. Leather and spice undercurrents are covered by intense blueberry and plum fruits – with a little Saskatoon berry for good measure. Plenty of tannins, sweetish fruits, and well balanced – for those that like their malbec a little juicy. Pair with – what else? Steak frites, or a nice prime rib. CSPC 885418 $17

A wonderfully dour and brooding malbec. Smoke, leather aromas, with a slightly resinous earthiness, lead into black plum, cassis, and floral scents, all flowing easily into one another. Bolder tannins suit the flavours along with some prominent acids. Should work very well with braised meats, a brisket, or really good hard cheese. CSPC 119586 $22

Susana Balbo 2015 Crios Malbec Mendoza Well-priced, and full of peppery spice characters and a lushness to the fruits, giving it somewhat of a currant jellyness with gingerbread and molasses. Tannins are a little on the firm side, but raring to go with some burgers or some prime rib. CSPC 719752 about $22

No, that isn’t a typo, the 2006 vintage is currently on shelves – showcasing the development and longevity of good malbec. Weinert is known for producing a more traditional style of wine, so look for rustic aromas leaning toward earthiness and smoke with still-generous berry fruits. Even about ten years old, tannins and acids are going strong. Decant if possible and enjoy with grilled or braised meats. CSPC 390757 About $22

Zorzal 2015 EGGO Franco, Mendoza I’ve had the distinct pleasure to try a number of excellent cabernet francs from Argentina, and the same conditions that make malbec so perfect here apply to cabernet franc too. Ripe fruits with a little spice, perfume, and a touch of nuttiness, it’s a great find for those loving the franc. Serve with meats grilled, smoked, or roasted. CSPC 776338 about $30-32 41

Open That Bottle

story by LINDA GARSON photography by INGRID KUENZEL

“Calgary afforded me a lot of opportunity, and I’m super fortunate that it’s been so supportive as a community for my business; people are so kind here,” says Nicole Gomes, Top Chef Canada contestant, and proprietor of Nicole Gourmet and Cluck ‘n’ Cleaver. Born in Richmond, B.C., Gomes always knew she wanted to cook, and started at a very young age. “Food is such a big part of the culture for the Portuguese and the Chinese,” she says of her family background. “My dad was a chef, and he owned a food distribution company, so food was always around us,” she explains. She cooked for friends through high school, and at 14 years old worked at KFC while helping in her mom’s travel agency, but instead of taking over the family business as expected, she took a short course at Dubrulle, a small Vancouver culinary school. “It wasn’t my thing to be in an office every day, even though I value every moment of that as I learnt good administration skills, which a lot of chefs don’t have,” she says.


An apprenticeship in Paris followed, before returning to Canada to work from the ground up at an opening Italian restaurant. Gomes wanted to work at either Lumiere or West, but was unsuccessful, so she sold everything and went to Australia, where she worked at Darling Harbour Convention Centre, as well as at a naval base and a Thai restaurant in Sydney. “My goal from cooking was to own my own business, so I knew I had to diversify and not be limited to one thing,” she says. ”I did everything, and I think that really helped my skill set.”

and wrote a 60-page business plan with financials. “We’ve hit pretty much the nail on the head,” she laughs. So what bottle is Gomes saving for a special occasion?

“I’m saving Terresole Reserva Brunellos, and have been doing for many years,” the chef says. In 2011, the year before When she returned, Gomes did work at she applied for Top Chef Canada, Gomes West, and then staged at Lumiere, but wanted to go to Tuscany. A close friend when her partner moved to Calgary for work, she joined him. She staged at Catch suggested she rented the guesthouse at Terrasole vineyards, and with her to see if she liked it and after a few days, knew this was for her. “I started in a really sister and a couple of friends, they stayed for 10 days. low position and I was okay with that. I think working your way up is good, it makes you a stronger player,” she says. “We cooked and went to markets, we took a car and drove round the area,” she A dream job as executive chef at Mercato says. “Montalcino is a really lovely place if you can stay put in Italy in just one followed; it was just a 26-seat restaurant at the time, but became a lot bigger when place,” she adds. they realized Gomes could cook Italian. And when does Gomes plan to open her bottle? “I gave a year’s notice as I wanted to do my own thing,” Gomes says. “I enrolled Gomes is going to be 40 this year. in business school and started Nicole Gourmet just on the web. It grew because “Nearly all my friends are turning 40 this year so maybe I should take this clients from Mercato started calling.” bottle back to Vancouver,” she muses. “I like spontaneity, so the planning part Chicken has always been Gomes’ doesn’t matter but I know I have that favourite food, and with her sister, she started Cluck ‘n’ Cleaver last year. They’d little 80-bottle cellar downstairs. People who appreciate it mean a lot.” both taken business planning courses,








Profile for Culinaire Magazine

Culinaire #5:10 (April 2017)  

Alberta's freshest food and beverage magazine. Dining out, dining in, wine, beer, spirits and cocktails. Gadgets, coffee roasters, Easter.

Culinaire #5:10 (April 2017)  

Alberta's freshest food and beverage magazine. Dining out, dining in, wine, beer, spirits and cocktails. Gadgets, coffee roasters, Easter.