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ALBERTA / FOOD & DRINK / RECIPES :: VOLUME 7 NO.6 :: NOVEMBER 2018

Warming Up with Spice and Food with Flavour!

TIPS FROM THE PROS FOR GAME DAY FINGER FOODS

STEP BY STEP NO-KNEAD BREAD

RECIPES TO MAKE AT HOME

Tagine Cuisine | Stouts & Porters | Discovering Korean Food


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28 VOLUME 7 / ISSUE #6 NOVEMBER 2018

Features 14

Bringing Seoul to Alberta We’ve witnessed a recent shift in Korean restaurants diversifying their offerings to warm reception – yes, “K” culture has finally become trendy! by Carmen Cheng

28 Inside Job The Brewmaster by Silvia Pikal

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EthniCity Catering Global cuisine, paid work for many immigrants, and a 73% job placement success rate: this Centre for Newcomers catering program is a win-win! by Elizabeth Chorney-Booth

36 The Renaissance of Stouts and Porters Craft brewers are making more! by David Nuttall

30 Taming a Cold Winter’s Night: Tajine cooking by Morris Lemire

38 Spirits … for the season by Tom Firth and Linda Garson

32 The Hostess with the Mostest We all have that one friend… by Kelley Abbey

40 Making The Case: For Argentina’s Wine and year-round versatility by Tom Firth

34 Destination: South Africa Much more than The Big 5 by Marcia J. Hamm

42 Open That Bottle Stephen Deere, owner of Modern Steak by Linda Garson

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Adding Luxury To Your Everyday One pound of saffron takes 225,000 stigmas, all picked by hand from 75,000 crocuses – it’s no surprise that saffron is a rare and prized spice! by Natalie Findlay

Departments 6

Salutes and Shout Outs

8

Off The Menu – Anju’s Maple Hill Buffalo Gochujang Chicken Wings (Dak Nalgae)

9

Book Review – Anjum Anand’s I Love India

10

Chefs’ Tips and Tricks: Grey Cup Finger Foods

19

Step By Step: No-Knead Bread

On the Cover: When we saw Natalie Findlay’s photos of saffron for her article on Page 24 this month, we just had to have this one for our front cover. Many thanks to Natalie for the beautiful photographs and lovely recipes! 3


Letter From The Editor

It’s hard to believe it’s already November, isn’t it? The seasons are whizzing by, and it’s almost winter – again! Though contemplating the onslaught of minus temperatures and slippery roads, there’s something incredibly welcoming about this time of year. There’s nothing like cosying up in front of the fire and

savouring the ripe fruit flavours of a glass of warming wine, or maybe warming spirits, (we have several suggestions for you on pages 38, 40 and 41).

cultivated PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) saffron fields is only 30 Kg. It takes 150 flowers to produce a single gram of saffron!

And I love the warming food that comes along with it too; our international food and spice issue is one of my favourites.

And the stories of the area’s most precious product are wonderful – and very romantic. The flowers are picked early in the morning when the crocuses are closed, over one week in November, culminating in a saffron festival.

Saffron has always been a luxurious pleasure for me, whether in paella from Spain, biryani from India, risotto from northern Italy, French bouillabaisse, or Moroccan tagine, and it makes me happy to include some easy to make at home recipes using this fragrant, yet pungent, spice (see pages 24 and 30), as well as gorgeous photos in this month’s issue – and on our front cover too. I was the very lucky person to spend three days eating and drinking in the south of Sardinia this spring, and even luckier to visit a saffron farm while I was there. I was astonished to learn that their total production from over 41 hectares of

Sardinia is a matriarchal society, and I love to picture all the women of the village chatting while pulling each crocus sepal out by hand. Apparently all the weddings, functions, and important decisions are planned for the coming year over this week of saffron harvest! I hope you enjoy this issue of Culinaire as much as we have enjoyed creating it. Cheers, Linda Garson Editor-in-Chief

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Gather with family and friends and celebrate the holidays with us. Grocery. Bakery. Deli. Café. EDMONTON Little Italy | Southside | West End CALGARY Willow Park

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Chef de Cuisine

Tobias Larcher

ALBERTA / FOOD & DRINK / RECIPES Editor-in-Chief/Publisher: Linda Garson linda@culinairemagazine.ca Managing Editor: Tom Firth tom@culinairemagazine.ca Multimedia Editor: Daniel Bontje web@culinairemagazine.ca Sales Consultant: Gillian Roberts 403-990-1512 gillian@culinairemagazine.ca Sales Consultant: Chris Clarke 587-998-2475 chris@culinairemagazine.ca Edmonton Lead: Jenni Lavoie 587-336-7613 jenni@culinairemagazine.ca Contributing Photographer: Ingrid Kuenzel Design: Emily Vance Contributors: Kelley Abbey Anna Brooks Carmen Cheng Elizabeth Chorney-Booth Natalie Findlay Marcia J. Hamm Dong Kim Renee Kohlman Morris Lemire Karen Miller David Nuttall Silvia Pikal

Our Contributors < Kelley Abbey

Lover of all things wine, food and fancy. A natural event planner who loves a beautifully set dinner table and a room full of laughter, Kelley’s roots are in Calgary but she feels her very best when travelling the world, and finds great joy in exploring the grocery aisle in different countries. A perfect day for Kelley is a long run in the woods, spending time with her husband and two boys, and hosting a dinner party for friends.

< Marcia J. Hamm

Marcia is the manager and buyer at Hicks Fine Wines in St. Albert. She holds the WSET Diploma in Wine & Spirits, and is an Italian Wine Ambassador through the Vinitaly International Academy. Her expertise comes from both passion and accredited learning. She owns a wine consulting business – Joy of Wine, running educational tastings in various venues. Marcia is truly a wine geek who considers wine a gift that must be shared!

< Elizabeth Chorney-Booth

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

Elizabeth Chorney-Booth is a Calgary-based freelance writer who focuses on stories about food and travel. In addition to writing for Culinaire and other publications, Elizabeth is a Globe and Mail bestselling cookbook author, having contributed to two books with the Best of Bridge franchise. She also is a regular contributor to CBC Radio. An avid traveller, when she’s not on the road Elizabeth lives in Calgary with her husband, two kids, and her ever-growing collection of vintage cookbooks.

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.


Salutes... Edmonton’s EXPO Centre has a new Executive Chef, Jiju Paul, who has worked in five-star hotels across India, at Fairmont Hotel MacDonald, and most recently, UAE’s Fairmont Ajman. We’re excited for news of two new markets to open in Calgary! Kjeryn Dakin

Congrats to former Miss Teen Edmonton, Kjeryn Dakin of Bukwildz in Sylvan Lake. Owner, chef, bartender… and now winner of Alberta’s Best Caesar – and the first woman to win this title!

We can’t wait for Avenida Food Hall & Market to open very soon at 12445 Lake Fraser Drive SE. It’s a brand new concept combining an upscale urban food hall with a farmers’ market, and all products coming from sustainable

and transparent sources. Some familiar names are opening up new ventures here too, like Asian street food from Foreign Concept’s Duncan Ly! And Calgary Farmers’ Market is opening their second location in a purpose-built facility in the northwest community of Greenwich. In Spring 2020, we’ll be buying ingredients and meals from over 75 vendors here, and there’s a private event space, kids’ play areas, and a special birthday room too!

and Shout Outs... Since we last wrote, there have been too many openings to fit here, so we’ll be brief, but do sign up for our newsletter at culinairemagazine.ca to read more! Edmonton is the first location outside BC for Green Moustache Organic Café, Canada’s only 100% organic, gluten-free, plant-based restaurant chain. Serving breakfast, lunch, and desserts (Chocolate Avocado Tarts!), Green Moustache offers healthy food daily for dining in and takeout, at 11416 Jasper Avenue. Siu To came to Edmonton from Qingdao 30 years ago, and opened Happy Garden, Edmonton’s first northern Chinese restaurant. Now he has opened Green Onion Cake Man, at 9132 118 Avenue NW. The “official” dish of Edmonton, To’s green onion cakes are served up hot from the stove, at only $3 each in this tiny shop, Tues-Sat, 11-7pm. Calgary’s 4 Street SW is now home to Ikemen Ramen Bar’s new Bar Bincho, a yakitori bar with Japanese-inspired cocktails and an extensive Japanese whisky, sake and shochu list. Chef Asai Masashi refined his charcoal grilling skills in Japan and Singapore, and serves up three signature set menus as well as à la carte. Tuesdays are corkage free, and 6

or French bistro fare with veggie and vegan options, Calgary’s Elate Lounge Beauty Bar and Café on 17 Avenue SW, has got you covered. But wait – at the back of this upscale 36-seat lounge is a beauty bar offering facials, massage, and nail treatments. And live jazz on Saturday evenings!

there’s 25% off Japanese craft beers for happy “hour”, 12-8pm. Family-owned Peppino, have opened their fifth Calgary location at 1512 7 Street SW. 42 types of Italian sandwiches are made fresh to order, wine and beer is on tap, and you can take away deli meats, homemade sauces and pastas! Cyrille Koppert and Lisa Dungale, of Edmonton’s Manor Bistro, have opened Partake, a 25-seat French-inspired wine bar at 12431 102 Avenue NW, right next door to their Urban Diner. There’s a rotating wine selection and list of sweet and dry vermouth, cocktails, cheese and charcuterie – and “La quatre heure” from 4-6pm – complimentary snacks from the kitchen served with every drink! Whether you’re in the mood for hot drinks, organic and natural wine, cocktails,

Headquarters Restaurant

Headquarters Restaurant is now open in Calgary’s new resort-style community of Westman Village in Mahogany – and like the Village concept, it’s impressive. First of three eateries here (Vintage Group’s Chairman’s Steakhouse, and Diner Deluxe to follow), Executive Chef Jeremy O’Donnell’s evolved, upscale-casual menu of local ingredients (don’t miss the Yorkie Club House!)
tastes as good as the dishes look. This SAIT grad has served his time in the kitchens of golf courses, private clubs, and the Royal CP Luxury Train, and has now found the perfect home in this relaxing bistro and cocktail lounge. 11-11 every day, with live music Thurs-Sat.


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Off The Menu by LINDA GARSON photography by INGRID KUENZEL

We know that Korean food is becoming increasingly popular in Alberta, so we were very happy to receive an email from Peggy L saying that ever since she had dinner at Anju, she kept thinking about their supper yummy Maple Hill Chicken Wings (Dak Nalgae) – the Buffalo Gochujang flavour, and asking if we could get the recipe.

We agree, these wings are memorable. Many thanks to Chef Roy Oh for sharing this recipe with us!

Buffalo Gochujang Chicken Wings Serves 4

200 g butter ½ cup (125 mL) white vinegar 150 mL gochujang ¹/³ cup (75 mL) sugar

Keep butter at room temperature until soft. Blend all ingredients in a blender until well incorporated. Do not over blend. 2 Kg chicken wings 1 cup rice flour ¹/³ cup (75 mL) water Oil for deep frying

1. Preheat oil in a deep fryer or pan to 175º C over medium heat.

2. When oil is at temperature, toss

wings with rice flour. Add water and mix until a nice batter is formed.

2. Carefully drop wings into the

hot oil one at a time to keep them separated. Fry for 7 -10 minutes depending on size.

3. In a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and toss with the gochujang buffalo sauce. Serve with carrots and celery sticks, and ranch for dipping.

If there’s a dish in a restaurant
in Alberta that you’d love to make at home, let us know at culinairemagazine.ca/contact-us, and we’ll do our very best to track down the recipe for you! 8


Book Review

by KAREN MILLER

I Love India

vegetable recipes are the best, and they shine here (ie. Tandoori Cauliflower on p.42).

By Anjum Anand, Quadrille 2018 $28 The author has truly embodied the spirit of international flavour in any cuisine. She provides a wonderful introduction to her life growing up abroad, but in a traditional Indian household, coupled with family traveling experiences back to India early on and after her marriage. Anand has lived and worked around the world, and her recollection of food memories make this cookbook personal, demonstrating the pure enjoyment she finds in cooking and sharing in this, her 8th cookbook on Indian food. Although Anand lives abroad she often returns to India. Her favourite food memories include late night street food inspirations to more modern restaurants and street food-style cafes, insisting that Indian food is fresher and lighter than most people think.

There are also ways to adapt traditional coal-grilled Indian foods (think tandoor, kebabs) to a westernized BBQ culture. There is even a recipe for Spice Glazed Goan-Style Ham (p.106), which resembles a western-style Christmas Ham.

The recipes are organized in recognizable categories but interspersed with detailed pages on history, traditions, ingredients and photographs bringing them to life. The Maharashtra’s Ultimate Potato Burger on p. 14-15 looks positively irresistible! This cookbook does contain many meat dishes; while not brought up vegetarian, Anand still claims Indian

Anand exposes how many influences – Arab, Muslim, Asian, Portuguese, Chinese, and Persian – show up in the multi-layered nature of Indian cuisine. Perhaps the Malayali Egg Roast for breakfast on p.97 will become the new “Shashuka”! P.S. Rumour has it Anand’s range of Indian sauces, “The Spice Tailor”, are available at stores in Alberta. 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.

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Chefs' Tips

Tricks!

Grey Cup Finger Foods

by ANNA BROOKS photography by INGRID KUENZEL and DONG KIM

With Edmonton hosting this year’s Grey Cup game, sports fans have a lot to cheer for this month. And as culinary aficionados, we know the best way to enjoy any kind of sporting event is with great company, a drink or two, and of course, fantastic food.

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If you’re hosting on game day, we know it might be tempting to pick up a tub of cheese dip, some tortilla chips, and call it a day. To avoid a post-game cheese coma, we asked Alberta chefs their tips and tricks for spicing up football finger food. And if you’re not into sports, don’t worry – you can just sit back and snack!


Matt Phillips, owner and head chef of Northern Chicken in Edmonton (go Eskimos!), says one crowd pleaser that’s super easy to make at home, are chicken wings. Just toss them in hot sauce and butter (if you want to get ahead of the game, you can let them marinate overnight in the fridge), and pop them in the oven.

Matt Phillips

We know veggies probably aren’t the first thing that comes to mind for football food, but Phillips says you can get more creative than just putting out the obligatory plate of celery sticks and dip. “I love roasted veggies, it’s something different from everyone else’s veggie platters,” he says. “If you do a nice one with roasted carrots, parsnips, and sweet potatoes, it really gives finger food that extra elevation.” Want to really impress your guests? Try making one of Phillips’ favourites – homemade dumplings with a Tex-Mex twist!

Old El Paso Gyoza

3. Add cheddar cheese into bowl, and

Serves 6

stir all ingredients together.

500 g ground beef Oil for frying 1 jalapeno, finely chopped 2 Tbs chili powder 2 Tbs cumin 1 Tbs coriander 1 Tbs chili flakes 2 tsp cayenne To taste salt and pepper 100 g frozen corn 200 g shredded cheddar cheese 1 pack dumpling wrappers (Wing brand or other) Salsa and sour cream, to serve

4. Open dumpling wrappers. Place

1. Fry ground beef in frying pan with a

oiled pan to medium heat. Add 1 Tbs oil, and fry dumplings until golden brown on both sides.

bit of oil until brown. Add jalapeno and spices. Drain oil, and set beef aside in a bowl.

2. In a hot pan, add a small amount of oil and pan-roast corn. Add to same bowl as beef.

damp dish cloth or paper towel over stack to prevent from drying out. Fill a small bowl with cold water.

5. Take one dumpling wrapper, dip finger in bowl of cold water, and trace the edge of the wrapper to wet it. Place 1 tsp of mixed filling into center of dumpling and fold over. Using forefinger and thumb, create four pleats in dough while pushing together into a half moon shape. Place on parchment-lined plate or sheet pan.

6. Once all dumplings are made, heat

7. Add ¼ cup water and cover pan.

Steam dumplings for a few minutes.

8. Serve with salsa and sour cream.


Cheesy Bacon Potato Skins

Chef Salar Melli

Serves 6

Dieter Granson

When you’re hosting a crowd of rowdy Grey Cup guests, cooking among the chaos quickly gets overwhelming. Dieter Granson, a chef instructor with ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen, says the most important thing you can do is prep ahead of time. Cutting veggies and making accompaniments like guacamole, salsa, or seven-layer dip can all be done a few days in advance to save you time in the kitchen come game day. “The last thing you want during the Grey Cup is to be in the kitchen cooking and cleaning,” he says. “A lot of things can be made beforehand and kept in the fridge. For something like pulled pork nachos, you can slow cook your pork a couple days ahead of time, and then all you have to do day of, is pop it in the oven and it’s done.”

2 Kg yellow potatoes 1 Tbs (15 mL) canola oil 1 Tbs mustard powder 1½ tsp kosher salt 1 tsp dried thyme, crumbled ½ tsp red pepper flakes ¼ tsp cayenne pepper 2 cups diced bacon 1 cup shredded aged cheddar cheese ¾ cup thinly sliced green onion ¼ cup basil 1 cup (240 mL) sour cream

The most important thing you can do is prep ahead of time

1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Combine

Cricket and soccer were the sports Chef Salar Melli of Vintage Fork, in Edmonton, grew up with, but he still knows how to whip up some tasty football finger food.

2. Bake for one hour, or until tender.

He recommends steering clear of dishes that are too bulky or messy – bite-sized foods that are easy to grab are key when your eyes are glued to the big screen.

potatoes, oil, mustard powder, salt, thyme, red pepper flakes, and cayenne pepper in medium bowl. Transfer potatoes to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Remove from oven and set aside.

Try getting ahead of the game with Granson’s easy-to-prep (and just as easy to 3. Increase oven temperature to 400º F. eat) recipe for crispy bacon potato skins! 4. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Sauté bacon until crispy. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside 2 Tbs of bacon fat.

5. When cool enough to handle, cut

potatoes in half length-wise. Spoon potato pulp out of each half and save for other use. Cut each shell in half lengthwise.

6. Transfer potato quarters, skin side

down, to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with bacon fat. Bake until crispy, about 25 to 30 minutes.

7. Remove skins from oven. Top with

bacon and cheese. Continue to bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Garnish with green onion and basil. Serve with sour cream. 12

“Food shouldn’t be distracting from the sport you’re watching, but it should still be part of the experience,” he says. “Anything canapé goes well, like a shrimp cocktail, devilled eggs, or even little roasted chicken skewers.”

Bite-sized foods that are easy to grab are key

Quick and easy to whip up, you can’t go wrong with Melli’s take on a classic starter snack -prosciutto-wrapped asparagus spears!


Goat Cheese and Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Serves 5

150 g soft goat cheese 1 Tbs sundried tomato, finely chopped 1 Tbs chopped shallots 1 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped 1 tsp fresh oregano, finely chopped 1 Tbs lemon zest To taste salt and pepper 20 pieces of medium asparagus 10 slices of prosciutto

Preheat oven to 400º F.

1. Boil pot of salted water. Have a cold ice bath ready for blanching asparagus.

2. Mix goat cheese in a bowl with

sundried tomato, shallots, thyme, oregano, lemon zest, and salt and pepper.

3. Remove stems, and cut asparagus in half.

4. Cut slices of prosciutto in half, lengthwise.

5. Drop asparagus in hot water for 45

seconds, and add to cold water to stop from cooking further. Strain asparagus.

Smoked Barbecue Brisket Serves 10

For barbecue rub:

Chef Cole Glendinning

Football and cooking actually have more in common than you think. Both use the same recipes for success: staying organized, and planning out the big day ahead of time. And if you stick to your game plan, you can pull off a dish as tasty as the ones Executive Chef Cole Glendinning serves up at the Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire Hotel’s newest restaurant, Flower & Wolf.

Mix up serving some cold foods with some hot ones

6. Wrap each piece of cut asparagus with prosciutto and a chunk of goat cheese mixture. Bake for 10 minutes until prosciutto turns a nice colour.

Cooking and entertaining are hard for even expert chefs to multitask, and Glendinning says the trick is to distract your guests. Prep a few cold snacks the day before, or serve guests something easy like popcorn with a little rock salt while you work on your hot dishes. “I want things to be as stress free as possible when I cook at home,” he says. “If you’re hosting a party of people, mix up serving some cold foods with some hot ones so you’re not over the stove the whole time. If you have lots of snacks ready to go, you still get to interact with guests during the game.” You’ll want leftovers, but Glendinning’s recipe for these bite-sized briskets will be gone in seconds!

½ cup salt 3 Tbs fresh ground black pepper 3 Tbs smoked paprika 2½ Tbs chili powder 1½ Tbs mustard powder 1½ Tbs dried thyme

For brisket: 680 g beef brisket Splash of apple juice 1 white onion, sliced thinly Little oil for sautéing 1 cup (250 mL) barbecue sauce 24 brioche or similar slider buns ½ cup + 2 Tbs (150 mL) mustard 48 pickled jalapeno slices 24 slices aged white cheddar 250 g arugula

1. Combined all dry rub ingredients in mixing bowl, and rub brisket.

2. Place in a smoker, barbecue, or oven for two hours at 220º F. Turn over and cook for another hour.

3. Add a touch of apple juice, cover with

foil and cook in oven for 3-4 more hours, or until fork tender.

4. Cook onion slowly in a little oil over

low heat to caramelize. While onion is caramelizing, pull apart brisket into pieces.

5. Add your barbecue sauce to onions. Add brisket.

6. To assemble sliders, smear bun with

mustard. Add two slices of pickled jalapeno, cheese slice, brisket, and top with arugula. Anna Brooks is an award-winning journalist and graduate student currently living and studying in New York City. 13


Namsan

Bringing Seoul To Alberta story and photography by CARMEN CHENG

For decades, most Korean restaurants in this province were barbecue houses so thick with smoke from the table grills, patrons would smell like meat for days after enjoying Korean bbq. A surge of Korean fried chicken joints hit Alberta beginning 2011 to great reception. However, the vastness and diversity of Korean cuisine goes beyond barbeque and fried chicken. We talk to two Korean-Canadian restaurateurs who are evolving Korean cuisine in Alberta, and note a few Korean dishes in Alberta that you may want to try. With the rise of the Korean wave, “K” culture has become quite trendy in North America. K-Pop, K-Beauty, and 14

K-Drama are global phenomena! It is only fitting that there has also been an increase in awareness for Korean cuisine, with kimchi and gochujang appearing on mainstream menus, and evidenced by the hundred of thousands of YouTube videos of people taking the Spicy Korean Noodle Challenge. In Alberta, we have also seen a shift in Korean restaurants diversifying their offerings to warm reception. Prior to opening NongBu Korean Eatery, owner

John Ahn spent a few months traveling through Korea to research the cuisine from his heritage. Ahn set out to offer a menu that would celebrate Korean comfort dishes. “I fell in love with Korean street food and home-style dishes, and wanted to focus our menu on traditional Korean food, offered in a way that is not intimidating to customers in Edmonton,” he says. Knowing that these dishes would be relatively unfamiliar to Albertans, Ahn understood the importance that education would have on his restaurant’s success. “Ddukbokki”, or Korean rice cakes, are a popular street food item in Korea, and Ahn serves a few different varieties


on Nongbu’s menu. Despite receiving warnings from Koreans who told him that he was crazy for serving the rice cakes to non-Koreans unfamiliar with the dish, they have become one of his best sellers. NongBu gets the rice cakes fresh daily from a local producer and since opening, ddukbokki have popped up at other Korean establishments across the city.

There has been a diversification in Korean dishes offered in Alberta

The quandary Ahn has faced is that when customers see the unfamiliar menu, they may deem NongBu to be fusion or nontraditional. “People are excited to try Korean food they haven’t seen at other restaurants,” he says, “but when they are expecting to see the same menu, some think that we are not an authentic Korean restaurant.” Ahn also seeks out quality ingredients. NongBu’s “denjang”, fermented soybean paste used as a base for many Korean condiments and soups, is made in small batches by Korean nuns and takes about a year to age. While costly to ship, Ahn believes the investment is worthwhile, as the quality enhances many of his dishes and helps to build flavour. NongBu’s lettuce wraps have surprised Ahn by becoming consistently a top seller. It is common in Korean households to serve meat dishes in lettuce wraps, yet that eating method can be unfamiliar to customers. Customer education on unfamiliar ingredients and how to eat dishes has helped to generate repeat business. In Calgary, Roy Oh, chef and owner of Anju, also serves lettuce wraps on his menu including a large format Tomahawk steak that is served with lettuce wrap fixings. Oh points out that in Korean cuisine, one will often see contrasting textures and temperatures,

and lettuce wraps are a great example of this. The contrast of cold crisp lettuce lends a freshness to the hot rice, and balances out the richness of grilled meat. It is also why some Korean main dishes are often served with kimchi or a salad on the side. When Anju opened they were one of the first places to modernize and elevate Korean cuisine. Their popularity has risen over the 10 years, particularly for the late night eating crowd, and they often appear in Calgary’s best lists. Over the years there have been menu items that customers were hesitant to try, such as Korean-style blue crabs marinated in soy and spices and served cold. There are also menu items that have developed an overwhelming fan base such as the oxtail tortellini, which is Oh’s elevated take on “mandu” or Korean dumplings. Born in Edmonton, Oh’s father had a deep appreciation for Canadian culture, and the family spoke English at home. Oh’s family would cook Korean meals but also enjoyed westernized dishes like steak and ribs. It was by opening Anju that Oh truly learned about his Korean heritage through the food that he was cooking. When asked about the challenge in modernizing Korean food in Alberta, Oh says that a strong foundation of understanding for Korean food is needed before one can begin to make it non-traditional, and adds, “but it’s not just about the food, you have to consider the overall experience including how the ambiance, wine, and service go with the food.” There has been a diversification in Korean dishes offered in Alberta. We have included a few here to try.

Korean-Chinese Cuisine San Dong Banjeom 3803 26 Ave SW, Calgary Won Jung Gak 9655 62 Ave NW, Edmonton

San Dong Banjeom

Chinese settlers in Korea created versions of dishes from their home country. As these dishes evolved, Korean-Chinese food has become a cuisine all of its own. Jajangmyeon is a popular dish from this cuisine; a bowl of noodles is topped with stir-fried bean sauce, which often includes pork. Tangsuyuk is a rendition of sweet and sour meat, made with pork, beef, or chicken.

Korean Home-Style Cooking NongBu Korean Eatery 8115 104 St NW, Edmonton NongBu’s focus on home-style cooking and ingredients is what sets it apart and elevates even the dishes that are inspired by traditional street food. Order some soju (liquor made from rice) and dishes to share. The seafood pajeon (pancake) is loaded with seafood and just enough batter to hold it together. The popular rice cakes are a must, especially the Crispy Fried Spicy Ddukbokki and Honey Butter Ddukbokki. NongBu Korean Eatery

Calgary Banchan @calgary_banchan (Instagram) or call 587-968-3760 to order Struck by the lack of options for Korean traditional home-style restaurants that don’t use MSG, “Calgary Banchan” started a meal delivery service. Each week they post a menu on their 15


pork belly and liver. Served with different condiments for customers to add to taste, a bowl of rice, and banchan or side dishes such as kimchi to balance the richness of your soup. Hodu Namu Calgary Banchan

Instagram, and customers can message or call them to place an order. Meals include cooking instructions, seasoning, and side dishes for customers to whip up easily at home.

pork trotters full of flavour, and served with fresh lettuce. Namsan 507 10 St SW, Calgary Another spot often frequented by the late night crowd. Namsan is one of the few places in Calgary to offer cheese dak galbi, a perfect pairing with beer or soju. Chicken is stir-fried with vegetables and rice cakes in a spicy sauce and topped with cheese. Servers will add rice and extra sauce at the end to make a delicious fried rice to soak up all the remaining flavour.

Korean Street Food

Anju (Drinking Food)

Korean Sweet Rice Cakes

Seoul Express Kitchen 3702 17 Ave SW, Calgary Inside Calgary’s E.Mart, there is a kiosk called Seoul Express Kitchen where a Korean couple serve up authentic Korean street food including rabokki – instant ramen mixed with ddukbokki in a spicy sauce. Order the kimbap – Korean sushi made with different meats and vegetables, and rolled to order.

Anju 344 17 Ave SW, Calgary Aptly named, Anju is one of the most popular late night spots in Calgary, most likely due to the addictive flavours and expansive listings of wines, soju, and sake. The oxtail tortellini, gochujang wings, and crispy tofu have hit cult-favourite status (see Off The Menu on p. 8 for the gochujang wings recipe!).

Dauck Sa Rang Café 1324 10 Ave SW, Calgary

Seoul Express Kitchen

Korean Soup Hodu Namu 33B 4604 37 St SW, Calgary Hodu Namu offers quite a few types of soup served piping hot in stone bowls, including the popular gamjatang, a stew made from potato and meaty pork bones. If you are feeling adventurous, try the Dwaeji Gukbap, a rich bone broth with 16

Hanjan 3735 99 Street NW, Edmonton Open until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays and midnight every other day, it’s no wonder Hanjan has become a popular late night spot. They have a wide selection of beer, which goes well with their wings – be sure to leave room for the honey butter bread.

Korean Rice Cake and Tea House 6605 99 St NW, Edmonton Dauck Sa Rang Café and their sister location in Edmonton, Korean Rice Cake and Tea House, specialize in making fresh rice cakes daily. Their sweet rice cakes are moulded into beautiful creations and filled with different ingredients, like sweet bean paste, nuts, or custard. Pick up some freshly made Hodu Gwaja while you’re here, cake-like batter is filled then cooked in an iron, often in walnut or corn shapes.

In Korean cuisine, one will often see contrasting textures and temperatures Ssome Pocha 1111 - 6 Ave SW, Calgary Ssome is a bit of a hidden gem, but those who know about it keep the small establishment quite busy. Their menu comprises sharing dishes that go well with soju. Check out the corn cheese and jokbal, which are smoked and stir-fried

Dauck Sa Rang Café Carmen Cheng comes from a long line of food lovers and notorious over-orderers. She loves traveling, learning about different cuisines, and sharing her food adventures on social media.


What’s

COOKING DECEMBER

EVENING AND WEEKEND CLASSES

These noon-hour weekday classes include a light lunch, a demonstration lesson on how to make the dishes you are served, and the featured recipe sheets are included.

Depending on the class selected, the class will either be a demonstration only or a combination of demonstration and hands-on. Food & beverages are served at each classand the featured recipe sheets are included.

Downtown Learning Centre

Downtown Learning Centre

WARMING WINTER SOUPS

HANDS-ON: EASY HOLIDAY TREATS

LUNCH ‘N LEARN DEMONSTRATION

Learn how to make roasted cauliflower and tortilla chicken soups as well as your own rustic rosemary ciabatta buns for dipping. We’ll even do a fun spin on soup for a surprise dessert.

$25 | 12 – 1PM | Thursday, Dec 13 & Friday, Dec 14 HOSTING A HOLIDAY BRUNCH

In this class our Chef Instructors will teach you all you need to know to host the perfect holiday brunch, complete with a pannettone French toast with orange scented blueberry sauce and mascarpone cheese, a homemade turkey sausage benedict, and a classic holiday stolen with marzipan and candied fruit.

$25 | 12 – 1PM | Thursday, Dec 20 & Friday, Dec 21 ATCO Park Learning Centre Join us for some alternative ideas for the big meal. We’ll teach you how to prepare a special occasion-worthy braised roast beef and potato gratin that are also suitable to serve any time of the year.

$25 | 12 – 1PM | Friday, Dec 14

CHEF’S TABLE: ROCKY MOUNTAIN FEAST

Enjoy a meal that celebrates both après ski culture and hyperlocal ingredients at this Chef’s Table event as our chef instructors present gorgeous dishes like a warming Rocky Mountain fondue, juniper roasted venison, and a fragrant rosehip scented crème brûlée.

$95 | 6:30 – 9PM | Saturday, Dec 15

SPECIAL EVENT: COOKING WITH RUM

At this evening reception our master rum taster will guide you through different varieties of rum while our chef instructors offer some tips for cooking with rum and show you how to make a batch of rummacerated pineapple.

$95 |6:30 – 9PM | Saturday, Dec 1

Join us for a special meal, with turkey, stuffing, gravy and some special vegetable sides and a holidayworthy dessert. You’ll walk away stuffed — and full of ideas to make your own holiday dinner extra special.

$25 | 12 – 1PM | Friday, Dec 21

$75 | 1 – 3PM | Saturday, Dec 15

ATCO Park Learning Centre

NON-TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS

HOLIDAY FAVOURITES

We’ll guide you through recipes for chocolate crackle cookies, nobake oatmeal coconut drop cookies, and irresistible chocolate truffles, all suitable for cookie exchanges, party buffets or simply sharing with friends and family throughout the holidays.

HANDS-ON: BREAD BAKING

At this hands-on class we’ll teach you how to provide your family with their daily bread as we dig into recipes for cheddar IPA soda bread, honey oat sandwich loaf, and the every-popular no-knead bread.

$75 | 11AM – 1PM | Saturday, Dec 15

PD DAYS - KIDS COOKING CAMPS (Ages 9-12) Downtown Learning Centre & ATCO Park Learning Centre HOLIDAY BAKE OFF $90 | 9AM – 4PM | Friday, Dec 7

It’s holiday baking time! Campers will get a chance to help out with this year’s holiday baking by learning how to make some festive holiday favourites like caramel popcorn, nuts and bolts and buttery shortbread cookies.

Downtown Learning Centre - 909 11 AVE SW, CALGARY ATCO Park Learning Centre - 5302 FORAND ST. SW CALGARY Contact us at 403 245 7630 or visit atcoblueflamekitchen.com for details.


Anyone Can Do It: No-Knead Bread story and photography by RENEE KOHLMAN

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A slice of warm, good bread slathered with butter, is one of the best things in this world. Seldom have I been happy with bread I’ve made at home. The kneading is such a pain. Even if I let the Kitchen Aid do all the work, it still hurts me to watch that little motor run itself ragged – but better that than my hands and shoulders. That’s why I’ve fallen so hard for this famous no-knead bread recipe by Jim Lahey. I barely have to do any work, and in the end the loaf that comes out of the oven is beautiful. And delicious. If you’ve ever been too intimidated to bake bread at home, this is the recipe for you. While there’s really not that much hands-on work, there is a certain amount of planning involved, as the recipe does take about 22 hours from

start to finish. But, good things come to those who wait. And this bread is a good thing. The crust gives good chew, and the middle is soft and yielding, with holes that indicated the slow, steady rise it has undergone. Fresh, it’s best enjoyed with butter. Perhaps dunked into soup or a stew. Or made into your favourite sandwich. The next day, if there is anything left, it makes the best toast.

The loaf that comes out of the oven is beautiful

When I first skimmed over the recipe, I thought for sure that the yeast amount was wrong. I mean, how can you make a loaf of bread with just ¼ teaspoon of yeast? But, believe me, that is not a

typo. The yeast is stirred together with flour, salt and water then covered and set to rise at warm room temperature for close to 18 hours. This slow fermentation process is what will give the bread its rich, almost malty flavour. The original recipe said to place the dough on a floured tea towel for a second rise, but I found the dough still stuck to it. My second time baking the bread, I placed the dough on floured parchment paper, and it came off without sticking. Parchment for the win! The third time I made the bread I skipped the shaping of the dough and the parchment and just let it rise in the mixing bowl for 24 hours. The bread in the third method wasn’t as round and full as the parchment method, but still tasted and looked great. Having a gorgeous loaf of bread to call your own is a baking achievement. Feel free to take photos and pat yourself on the back!


No-Knead Bread Makes 1 loaf

2½ cups (355 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting counter and bread ½ cup (78 g) whole wheat flour 1¼ tsp salt ¼ tsp instant yeast

1. Stir together the flours, salt, and

yeast in a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon, stir in enough lukewarm water, about 1¾ cups, to make a sticky, shaggy dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 12-18 hours at warm room temperature.

2. The dough is ready when its

surface is covered in bubbles. Dust your countertop with plenty of flour. Use a bowl scraper or plastic spatula to scrape the dough onto the counter. The dough will be quite sticky and loose. Use floured hands to gently and quickly lift the edges of the dough in toward the center, folding the dough over onto itself. Nudge and tuck in the edges of the dough. Don’t knead the dough (obviously!). Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap and let it rise for 15 minutes. 20

3. Place a piece of parchment paper

on your counter, and lightly dust it with flour. Dust your hands with flour. Quickly and gently shape the dough into a ball. Place the dough seam side down on the parchment and sprinkle it with flour, then cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough rise for 2 hours at warm room temperature. The dough will be ready when it has doubled in size and doesn’t readily spring back when poked with your finger. If it springs back, let it rise for another 15 minutes.

4. At least 30 minutes before the

dough is finished with its second rise, preheat the oven to 450º F. Place a rack in the lower third of the oven. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) and its lid in the oven as it heats up.

The next day, if there is anything left, it makes the best toast

5. Very carefully remove the pot from

the oven, and working quickly, place your hand under the parchment and turn the dough over and into the pot. Shake the pot twice if the dough is unevenly distributed. It will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes until the crust is dark golden brown. Remove the pot from the oven and carefully remove the loaf from the pot using clean pot holders or a heatproof spatula. Let the bread cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. Renée Kohlman is a busy food writer and recipe developer living in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Her debut cookbook All the Sweet Things was published last year.


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EthniCity Catering by ELIZABETH CHORNEY-BOOTH photography by INGRID KUENZEL

The restaurant and food service industry often provides immigrants and refugees with their first jobs in Canada — but for newcomers with limited English skills or experience in Canadian kitchens, securing a job in a restaurant or food processing facility can be an uphill battle. For 30 years, Calgary’s Centre for Newcomers has helped new Calgarians find their place in the city through a variety of language, settlement, youth and employment programs. One of the Centre’s most unique offerings is EthniCity Catering, a program that offers new immigrants a chance at future employment, and the rest of Calgary a delicious way to get to know our newest residents. 22

To participate, candidates must be new, low-income immigrants or refugees with conversational (but not fluent) English skills, who have been otherwise unsuccessful in finding a job in Canada.

The Centre for Newcomers has been running EthniCity in one form or another for 21 years.

Participants stay with the program for 10 weeks, training to be kitchen helpers and receiving the support they need to adjust to life in Canada and look for permanent work.

The program started as a collective kitchen where clients of the Centre would gather to socialize and share food, but for the last decade it’s run as a formal social enterprise program where participants receive employment education while helping to run a working catering company.

The idea isn’t to teach people how to cook, but how to use their existing skills in the Canadian job market, and learn industry know-how like safe food handling and how to handle orders, deliveries and other aspects of the business.


The educational aspects of the EthniCity program are funded by the United Way and Immigration and Refugee Citizenship Canada, but in addition to that piece, EthniCity is very much a working catering company. The participants are all paid for their work from the profits that come from real catering jobs around the city.

Repeat clients are coming back because of the food The kitchen also operates a food counter within the Centre for Newcomers so that other clients of the Centre can test out its wares while engaging in other services. “We do it as a catering program because we pay everyone who is in the program,” says Anila Lee Yuen, CEO at the Centre for Newcomers. “It’s their first job in Canada. They can put it on their resume.” And this is where the rest of Calgary also benefits from EthniCity Catering — while the participants are all getting necessary job training so that they can eventually contribute to various food businesses around Calgary (the program has a 73% job placement success rate),

the catering company also serves up incredibly delicious meals representing a number of different global cuisines. EthniCity’s kitchen is headed by Chef Ajoy Sehgal, who has cooked in a number of high-end restaurants around the world. Sehgal has a menu that reflects the richness of Calgary’s cultural makeup — unlike other caterers that usually focus on one kind of cuisine, EthniCity can serve falafel, spanakopita, egg salad sandwiches, Ethiopian sega wot, jerk chicken, veggie korma and lasagna at a single event. While Sehgal makes sure the program’s participants can make standard Canadian favourites like chicken wings and Caesar salads, he also encourages them to bring their own culinary traditions into the kitchen, especially when customers ask for custom menus reflecting specific cuisines. “When it comes to home-style food, I always say that these participants are the leaders of the kitchen,” Sehgal says. “They bring in a lot of expertise and experience from their countries of origin. They may not be chefs, but they bring that authentic and home-style cooking which we incorporate into our own menus. We give them a platform where they get more confidence and

Chef Ajoy Sehgal and Anila Lee Yuen

they get better in their skills. It’s always a win-win situation.” Customers who want to order from EthniCity but don’t need a full catering service can opt for the company’s Bake at Home products, which can be heated in a regular oven and served at parties or other functions. Sehgal and his team offer frozen appetizers like fatayers, spring rolls, samosas, sesame prawn toasts and spanakopita. Due to the quality of the food and Sehgal’s expertise in the kitchen, EthniCity Catering has been a local success. As a catering company, it makes close to $250,000 in sales each year, with profits going directly back to the participants’ wages. Sehgal says that some clients, such as other non-profit and public service organizations, choose EthniCity to support the participants’ journey towards employment, but more and more customers are booking because of the company’s reputation for making outstanding food. “First time clients are usually coming to us with the mission to support us,” Sehgal says. “Repeat clients are coming back because of the food.” For more information on EthniCity Catering, visit centrefornewcomers.ca/ethnicitycatering or call 403-537-8809. 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 a regular contributor to CBC Radio. 23


Saffron:

Adding Luxury To Your Everyday story and photography by NATALIE FINDLAY

From something so small, like the stigmas of a crocus flower, comes such a mighty and distinguished taste. 24

Nothing compares to the vibrant, golden hued, delicate and distinctive flavour and aroma of saffron. It’s a rare and prized spice, and its price tag is reflective of this luxury.

Quality counts, as the cheaper saffron threads will leave your meal lacklustre and dull – and leave you thoroughly disappointed. You only need a tiny amount to impart saffron’s magical qualities into your next meal.


Saffron Rice Serves 2

Pinch saffron threads 1 tsp butter 5 sprigs fresh thyme ¾ cup white basmati rice 1 cup (250 mL) chicken stock or water Pinch sea salt ¹/³ cup (75g) frozen green peas

Saffron Coconut Rosewater Milk Serves 2

1. Boil ¼ cup (60 mL) water and pour over top of saffron threads, reserve.

2. Add butter and thyme to a small pot.

Large pinch saffron threads 1 cup (250 mL) milk 1 cup (250 mL) coconut milk 2 Tbs (30 mL) honey 2 tsp (10 mL) rose water

Cook 3 minutes over medium heat.

Boil ¼ cup (60 mL) water in a small pot. Add saffron threads and let stand for 5-10 minutes. Add milk, coconut milk, and honey, bring to a low boil, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in rose water.

chicken stock. Cover pot and let come to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low, cook for 15 minutes.

3. Rinse basmati rice in cold water. Drain, add to pot and stir.

4. Add saffron water and threads, add

5. Add peas, and fluff rice with a fork. Cover and let sit another 5 minutes.

Experiencing the Iberian Peninsula One Taste at a Time


Saffron Chicken Serves 2-3

2 pinches saffron threads ½ cup (125 mL) boiled water 2-4 chicken pieces, depending on the size of your pan To taste salt and pepper 2 Tbs (30 mL) olive oil 1 medium onion, thinly sliced 10 sprigs fresh thyme 2 cloves garlic, peeled, roughly chopped ½ cup (125 mL) white wine ¾ cup (175 mL) chicken stock 1 tsp sea salt ¹/³ cup (75g) frozen peas

Three stigmas are plucked with tweezers from each crocus

Saffron Iles Flottant Serves 2

Creme Anglaise: 1½ cups (325 mL) milk 1 vanilla bean, scraped ¼ cup sugar Pinch saffron 4 eggs, separated, 2 whites reserved

1. Bring milk, vanilla, half the sugar,

and saffron to a low boil in a small pot. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes to infuse.

2. Whisk the 4 egg yolks with remaining sugar until slightly thickened.

1. Add saffron threads to boiled water and let steep until ready to use.

3. Slowly stream half of milk into the

Meringue: 2 egg whites Pinch salt ½ tsp (2.5 mL) vanilla extract ¼ tsp cream of tartar ½ cup sugar

Preheat oven to 300º F.

1. Add the egg whites to your mixing bowl along with the salt, vanilla, and cream of tartar. Beat on low.

2. As the whites start to foam, increase

the speed to medium and slowly add the sugar. As they start to keep their peeks (all sugar should be added by now), increase the speed to medium-high. Whites should hold a peek straight from the beater, texture should be smooth and the meringue should be glossy.

2. Heat oven to 375º F.

yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Add back to the pot and return to low heat. Stir constantly.

3. Heat olive oil in low-sided sauté pan.

4. Cook until the mixture just coats the

back of a spoon. Do not let mixture come to a boil or the eggs will scramble.

Scoop or pipe your meringue into any shape that fits your serving dish. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Remove from oven to cool.

4. Add onion and thyme to pan, and

5. Strain, cover with cling film

4. To serve, place saffron Anglaise in

Season chicken pieces, brown top side down in oil. Remove and reserve.

more oil if needed. Sauté 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 3 - 4 minutes.

5. Deglaze pan with white wine. Add

chicken stock, salt, and chicken pieces.

6. Place pan in oven for 20-30 minutes

until chicken is fully cooked. Add peas for last few minutes of cooking. 26

touching the mixture (so no skin forms). Refrigerate and reserve. Can be made the day before. Note: if you realize that you have lightly scrambled the eggs in the Anglaise then just use a hand blender in the mixture and the sauce will smooth out.

3. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

your serving dish, top with meringue. Add garnishes of your choice. Note: if you like less colour on your meringue, cook at 275º F and increase cooking time to 20-23 minutes. 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.


!

Your community, our bar.

U b g rban ru

Real Food Made Easy


Inside Job: Brewmaster by SILVIA PIKAL

A PhD in molecular neuroendocrinology isn’t your typical path to brewing.

“They had a big bay garage door,” Popesku reminiscences. “Vancouver is a lot warmer, even in the winter, so they left that bay door wide open and I started hanging out with the brewers.”

But for Jason Popesku, head brewmaster at Olds College Brewery, his PhD was followed by a postdoctorate fellowship at the University of British Columbia, which brought him right outside craft brewery Parallel 49 – just down the street from where he was living in Vancouver.

After earning their trust, he was lucky enough to be invited into the brewery to job shadow for a day. He quickly became hooked and started brewing on his own. “I really wanted to pursue brewing as a career, because you can actually make money doing this,” Popesku says.

“Not a lot, mind you – unless you own the brewery – but that’s a completely different ball game.” Right around the time he was thinking about making the switch from academia to brewing, Olds College Brewery opened as Alberta’s first and only teaching brewery, and host of the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program.

Students come up with their very own beer recipe and complete the steps required to get it on shelves “I applied on a whim, thinking, well if I don’t get in, no big deal – but I did get in.” The 2,000 square foot commercial brewery has a retail store attached to it and produces four ales and rotating seasonal brews, while also instructing on the art and science behind brewing good suds. All of the income from beer sales goes towards the educational program. As part of the program, students come up with their very own beer recipe and complete the steps required to get it on shelves, including brewing, bottling and designing labels. These small-batch, limited-quantity brews are sold in the retail store. Popesku was one of the first students to enroll in the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program, and graduated in 2015. After graduating, Popesku worked several different roles at Olds College Brewery, including

28


retail associate, assistant brewer and co-manager. In January 2017, the position for head brewmaster opened up and he was the perfect fit. Popesku’s days are a mix of overseeing brewing, checking inventory, figuring out logistics for deliveries, and making sure the equipment is functioning properly – and if not, he adds repairman to his list of duties, too.

All of the income from beer sales goes towards the educational program “Basically everything,” Popesku says with a laugh. “With a small staff, if someone is sick, there goes 50 per cent of the workforce.” For those who want to pursue brewing as a career, he recommends doing your

research: “Just start home brewing. Learn as much as you can. There’s so much information online.” Popesku says you’ll also need to have a good grasp on time management, be able to keep calm under pressure, and adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. While it can be challenging, he likes that every day at the brewery is different: “Some days we’re packaging, some days we’re brewing, some days we’re delivering, some days we are doing quality testing, which does not necessarily involve drinking – a lot of people seem to think we just sit around and drink all the time, that is definitely not the case in our brewery. There’s often no time to do that.” And since Olds College Brewery is a teaching brewery, they’re also doing their part to help train new brewmasters. When students are

out of class, they’re at the brewery, checking on their beer, asking questions or bottling. One of Popesku’s favourite parts of the job is helping students on their path to bring a beer to market. “It’s challenging but it’s rewarding to help the students produce good beer – whether that’s true or not is up for debate,” he jokes. Silvia Pikal is a writer and editor based in Calgary. She recently won a 2018 Alberta Magazine Award for her feature writing.

NEW

Please drink responsibly.


Tame A Cold Winter’s Night: Tajine Cooking by MORRIS LEMIRE

What first drew me to tajine cooking was the spice mix. All my favourites were there: ginger, cumin, turmeric, saffron, cinnamon. It’s a long and rich list. Add to these spices, preserved lemons, dates, dried apricots, and rose water, and I was hooked. Tajine is a traditional way of cooking that hasn’t changed significantly over the centuries. In Morocco, the source of this recipe, it still helps define Berber cultural identity. Basically, tajine is an ingenious onepot stew requiring very little water. It’s well suited to dry countries and cooking over an opened fire – still done in rural areas. Charcoal braziers are used in urban courtyards.

Tajine is an ingenious one-pot stew requiring very little water

Historically, tajine pots were made from clay. And while clay pots continue to be used, constant adaptation has lead to the practical cast iron base. I use a Le Creuset tajine because the metal bottom works well on my induction stove, as they do on electric and gas ranges. Thankfully, Le 30

Creuset kept the conical hat, the classic tajine lid. This is how it works. The conical shape of the lid conserves moisture by directing steam up the cooler sides of the cone, which then condenses and drips back into the pan. In Canada we hardly have to worry about having enough water to cook with, so why all the fuss over the pot?

Experience suggests that what is really saved along with the moisture is flavour. But, any style of heavy pot can be used, because it’s the spices that make the dish: spice and methodology. Unlike most stews, you don’t mix and stir everything together in the cooking pot. Instead, try layering the ingredients as outlined in the recipe below.


Moroccan Tajine Chicken Serves 4

½ tsp ground cardamom ½ tsp saffron (optional) 1 tsp Ras el-Hanout* 1 cinnamon stick, 5 cm To taste salt & pepper 1 onion, quartered 4 cloves garlic, lightly bruised 1 cup parsley, roughly chopped ¼ cup (60 mL) lemon juice ¼ cup (60 mL) olive oil 1 chicken, 1.75-2.25 Kg, cut into 6 pieces 4 carrots, cut into 5 cm pieces 3 dates, pitted and halved 2 ripe tomatoes, quartered, or 1 can of Italian Romano, drained 2 sections of preserved lemon (buy, or easy to make ahead of time) 2 cups (500 mL) homemade chicken stock for Western pot, ¼ cup + (60 mL +) if using a tajine I can of chickpeas, drained ½ cup mint leaves for garnish

5. If you are using a regular pot, add

all the stock, or enough to cover half the chicken. However: If you are using a traditional tajine, drizzle a ¼ cup (60 mL) of stock over the ingredients.

6. Bring to a boil, quickly turn the In Morocco, a tajine still helps define Berber cultural identity

1. In a large bowl, mix all the spices,

add onion, garlic, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil. Add in the chicken pieces and mix well. Refrigerate 3 to 18 hours before cooking.

2. Now you are ready to layer all the

ingredients into your pot. Put in the chicken, and if there isn’t room on the bottom, pile the extra pieces on top of the others in the middle of the pot.

3. Lay the carrots in from the sides to the middle like the spokes of a wheel. Fill in the spaces between the carrots with onion, garlic cloves, pitted dates, and tomatoes.

4. Arrange the preserved lemon, parsley and cinnamon sticks over everything.

heat to low and cook for 50 minutes at a slow simmer. After 50 minutes, add the drained chickpeas. If you think you need a little more liquid, add a few tablespoons of stock. Replace the lid and cook at a simmer for an hour. As for doneness, I like the meat to easily pull away from the bone.

7. Serve in bowls over couscous,

garnished with the chopped mint. * Ras el-Hanout is a blend of spices used in Moroccan cuisine, like tajnes and couscous. A local friend, and scholar on North Africa, says that the name is a colloquialism meaning: “A handful of the best things”.

Every spice merchant, and certainly every home cook, has their own “secret” blend Every country across the Maghreb, every spice merchant, and certainly every home cook, has their own “secret” blend. For this recipe, I tried a blend from Silk Road (in both Edmonton and Calgary), which I found to be very good. You can also find them on-line. If you have trouble finding saffron, don’t worry, your tajine will still taste lovely. Test kitchen, Lianne McTavish. History & Cultural advisor, Anne McDougal. Morris worked in the wine trade for 25 years. A keen gardener living in Edmonton, he writes on wine, food and the environment. 31


The Hostess With The Mostest by KELLEY ABBEY

We all have that one friend. The one who effortlessly puts on a dinner party for 16, with coordinated napkin rings and chargers, who then serves a delectable meal suited for royalty. All while wearing four inch stilettos. Or how about the mom whose child’s birthday party resembles a small circus with the most whimsical decor imaginable, complete with homemade cotton candy? I have a girlfriend who invites a group of us over twice a year and spoils us rotten. She not only cooks a five-course dinner with wine pairings, but she always comes up with a brilliant theme.

She spends hours upon hours in the kitchen preparing the food, setting the dinner table, and starts her menu planning weeks before the event. Her only request is to come and enjoy yourself.

It’s a great way to say to someone, “I’m thinking of you”

So how do you really say “Thank You” to that special host or hostess who has put in so much time and effort? Bringing a gift is not only good manners but it’s a great way to say to someone, “I’m thinking of you”. When to bring a gift is ultimately up to you, but here are a few guidelines to consider. If your host is treating you to an entire evening of entertainment and food, this would be the perfect time to bring something. On the other hand, if you are contributing to the meal and bringing your own drinks, it’s not as necessary. Do keep in mind though, when someone is opening up their home to you, even something small is appreciated. A great alternative to flowers is a box of French macarons. They often come in the most pretty and elegant packaging, and when someone opens up the box 32

Courtesy Ollia Macarons & Tea

and sees the rainbow of edible artwork staring back at them, it’s guaranteed to put a smile on their face. Instead of wine, try shopping at one of the many specialty olive oil and vinegar stores out there, and put together a small package. It’s one of those things people never buy for themselves, but always enjoy. If all else fails and you’re not sure whether you should bring something or not, a hand-written thank you card is absolutely perfect. Showing your gratitude, no matter how big or small, will always be appreciated and leave both you and your host feeling great.

Lover of all things wine, food and fancy, Kelley is a natural event planner who loves a beautifully set dinner table and a room full of laughter.


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Destination: South Africa by MARCIA J. HAMM

Mention the country of South Africa to anyone, usually one thing comes to mind: The Big 5. That’s safari talk for animals that one would wish to see, and part of many a bucket list.

It can be summed up with the anagram BRELL: Buffalo, Rhino, Elephant, Lion, and Leopard. Throw in some zebra, giraffe, various species of antelope, and a few baboons, and you’ve checked many animals off the list. But South Africa is known for so much more than that! It’s a highly diverse country with resources such as fruits, vegetables, grains, oils, and meats, being grown and produced right there on home soil.

South Africa is considered a new world wine region, even though grapevines were planted and winemaking began with the Dutch settlers over 300 years ago. South African wine never made a distinct impression in the past for the North American market, and only since the dismantling of apartheid in the early 1990s has the country been making high quality wines with any degree of consistency. Food and wine are a large part of the culture. Many varieties of meat, both

Ernie Els Wine Farm

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domestic and wild, are seen on many restaurant menus. Due to the high meat-based diet, South Africa has its own distinct barbecue, known as a braai.

Because chenin blanc has natural high acidity, it’s perfect for sparklers. Ken Forrester makes one called Sparklehorse that is available in Alberta. (CSPC +795074)

The southwestern Cape has varying degrees of altitudes and microclimates, so many grape varieties comfortably make their home here, ensuring a wide variety of wine not only for export, but local consumption as well.

Let’s not forget about pinotage, a variety distinctly South African, made by crossing pinot noir with cinsault in 1925 by Abraham Izak Perold, the first professor of viticulture at Stellenbosch University.

The vines themselves are healthy, due to the south-easter blowing off the Cape. These strong winds are combined with heat, and that means rot doesn’t stand a chance!

The wine is deep ruby, with typical flavours that include bramble, smoke, baking spices, and earthy notes. The variety is often criticized due to its sometimes off-putting aromas and flavours of rubber or acetone.

High heat also ensures full sugar ripeness in the grapes, sometimes in excess. South Africa’s biggest issue for their wines is high alcohol, so picking the grapes before the sugars get too high is critical.

Lanzerac, one of the foremost producers of pinotage has been making it well since 1961. Some pinotage well worth trying in the Alberta market is Kanonkop (CSPC +779457) and Niel Joubert (CSPC +778255).

Acid levels and pH levels both need to be high enough in order to combat the blazing alcohol created with high sugars. With that said, producers are ensuring that grapes are picked on time to keep levels balanced. Major wine regions of Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek, Robertson, and Darling are finding their way onto the world map of wine. With one foot straddling the old world and the other in the new world, South African wines are a force to be reckoned with. Keep in mind that South Africa is in the Southern hemisphere, which means harvest occurs anywhere from late January to mid-April. Chenin blanc is fast becoming the most recognized white variety from the region, while syrah is gaining ground for the red. World-class sauvignon blanc, in various forms and in blends, is increasing in popularity and quality, so stay tuned for the awards and accolades to come.

In Alberta, look for chenin blanc from Ernie Els (CSPC +748655), or an award-winning oaked version from Spier’s 21 Gables (CSPC +260646). For sauvignon blanc, look for Bergsig (CSPC +749315) or Rustenberg (+761698). Look for world-class syrah from Rust en Vrede (CSPC +801597) and Rudera (CSPC +749310). South Africa is also making a strong case for Methode Cap Classique, their version of champagne. Clearly it’s important, as Graham Beck, a noteworthy producer, dropped all still wine production of both red and white wine to focus only on bubbles.

South Africa produces other great wines made from international varieties such as chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and pinot noir, along with other up and coming varieties like gamay and cinsault. There is even experimentation with Italian grape varieties like nebbiolo and sangiovese. If you haven’t yet tried some of the wines of South Africa, head to your nearest boutique store and get some recommendations. It will turn your head and make you a believer! As they say in Afrikaans… Gesondheid!

Marcia is a lover of wine, life and people. On warm days, she might be found in her backyard hammock sipping on an Aperol Spritz or something else with ice.

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The Renaissance Of Stouts And Porters by DAVID NUTTALL

As the darkest of ales, stouts and porters have been around for almost 300 years. While they have always maintained a certain amount of popularity, somehow they became forgotten, especially in North America, in the era of the “Mega Brewery” which began in the mid-1800s. By 1900, they had all but disappeared in this continent full of ubiquitous yellow

lager. Of course they still thrived in Europe (see: Guinness below), so their obituary hadn’t been written yet. However, as far as variety is concerned on this side of the pond, there existed almost no dark ale options except for the occasional British import. It wasn’t until Anchor Brewing of San Francisco reintroduced porter in 1972 that any kind of dark ale returned to being brewed in the United States. Canada had some Molson and Labatt porters and stouts, long since extinct, and a homegrown version of nonnitrogenated Guinness (introduced by Labatt in 1965 and still being brewed), but that was about it. Big Rock Brewing produced Cock O’ The Rock Porter as one of its three original beers in 1985; sadly, its lifespan was only a couple of years and the recipe only makes occasional guest appearances now. Thankfully, craft brewers have begun to make more stouts and porters in amongst their sea of IPAs. As a result, sales have increased for both styles by a greater percentage than even the vaunted IPA over the last couple of years, albeit on an admittedly smaller numerical base. This growth is also reflected in the newest Beer Judge Certification Program Guidelines, as there are now twelve sub-categories for porters and stouts, up from nine in 2008. While we won’t get into the major differences between stouts and porters

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(it has often been said if you ask twenty brewers what that difference is, you would get twenty different answers), back in 2013 there were about five dozen stouts and porters total listed in Alberta. Now there are over 340 listings, around 80 of which are brewed locally. Suffice it to say the varieties within the categories are now more distinguishable, with different styles having their own unique characteristics. In stouts you have the relatively low alcohol Irish Stouts all the way to the high gravity Imperial (Russian) Stouts. In between you’ll find Oatmeal and Sweet (Milk) Stouts. Regional versions abound with Foreign Extra, Tropical, Irish Extra, and American styles all having different alcohol levels and hop additions. Porters have less diversity, but tend to be divided into the classic English, hoppy American, or the high alcohol Baltic varieties. The one constant amongst them all is the use of dark roasted and/or chocolate malts, with stouts sometimes being differentiated from porters by their use of roasted unmalted barley. Additions of sugar, lactose, oatmeal, nitrogen, or adjuncts may appear in some beers, however, the result will (almost) always be a blackish beer with plenty of coffee and chocolate notes. Craft breweries also love to use stouts and porters as the base for incorporating fruit or spices (especially coffee, vanilla, and chocolate), and they are also prime candidates for barrel aging.


So find and try a range of stouts and porters – they are more varied than you think. And one final point; many people think they are only winter beers. They are not, and should be consumed year-round if you enjoy them at all. You can even try them at different temperatures, where 7-13º C is probably the optimum, slightly colder if on nitro. Almost all Alberta breweries make either a porter or a stout; a few do both. However, some are only winter seasonals, or available only in brewery taprooms. Below is a selection of beers that you should generally be able to find all year round.

Stouts

Blindman Ichorus Imperial Stout (Lacombe) CSPC 787823, $21 4pk. cans, blindmanbrewing.com

Porters The porters are not quite as bitter, and tend to have less body than the stouts. Folding Mountain Parkway Porter (near Hinton) CSPC 797611, $16 4pk. cans, foldingmountain.com

BE

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Zero Issue Terraform (Calgary) CSPC 797981, $16 4pk. cans, zeroissuebeer.com Coulee Coalbanks Porter (Lethbridge) CSPC 797680, $15 4pk. cans, couleebrew.co

Village Friend Imperial Golden Stout CSPC 800642, $12 650 mL bottle, villagebrewery.com

Bench Creek Brewing Apex Predator Porter (Yellowhead County) CSPC 785147, $15 4pk. cans, benchcreekbrewing.com

Common Crown Rouster (Calgary) CSPC 799303, $15 6pk. cans, commoncrown.ca

Medicine Hat Brewing Brick and Mortar Porter CSPC 791759, $16 6pk. cans, medicinehatbrewingcompany.ca

Siding 14 Coal Pusher (Ponoka) CSPC 801872, $16 6pk. cans, siding14brewing.com

Live! Love! Sparkle! Order #791849

Blindman Triphammer Robust Porter CSPC 787628, $16 4pk. cans, blindmanbrewing.com Medicine Hat Brewing Gentlemen’s Stout CSPC 791762, $16 6pk. cans, medicinehatbrewingcompany.ca

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November Spirits: Almost–Winter Warmers by TOM FIRTH and LINDA GARSON

Well, winter came on pretty strong in Alberta this year. It seemed like one day we were roasting in the sun, and the next we were “enjoying” drifting snow and icy roads. What better way to enjoy November than with some warming spirits (and a milk stout), to take the chill off. Don’t forget to stretch before shoveling! GlenAllachie 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky, Scotland

Quite new to our market and to most whisky aficionados, GlenAllachie was primarily a blending house in its past, producing whiskies destined for larger brands. Now focused on single malt production, their flagship whisky – the 12, is rife with cereal character, mild sherry notes, heather, honey, vanilla and green apple. A little oily on the palate, it’s remarkably smooth. Bottled at cask strength. CSPC +805309 $85

Luksusowa Vodka, Poland

In a word? Smooth, that’s what makes a vodka shine. After that, I like the aromatics and textures to come into play, and finally, the finish should complement everything that came before. While Luksusowa can (and is) versatile for cocktails. I found it to be an excellent sipping vodka with just the right amount of bite. CSPC +253302 $29-33

Gibson’s Finest “Bold” 8-Year Old Canadian Whisky, Canada

While I can be a bit skeptical about a spirit that claims to be “bold”, I usually just want it to be “good”. Bottled at cask strength (46 percent), it might be perfect for a rye and coke, though you might miss out on the caramel and leather, the rye spiciness, and a fine texture on the finish. A Canadian whisky you can chew on. CSPC +779073 $42

Twin Sails Con Leche Milk Stout, British Columbia

I’m not a big stout fan, but this was a showstopper one night at a summer barbecue with some neighbours. Rich and creamy with espresso, cocoa, and vanilla, and virtually no “coffee” bitterness. Only available in limited quantities, highly recommended stout for any time of year. CSPC +801350 (4pk cans) $28

Black Moon Gin, Legend Distilling, Naramata, British Columbia

How can one resist a spirit that says on the label, “Hand Made Gin with Smoked Rosemary”? And a romantic story of prohibition times on the back - I just had to try it on a recent visit to the distillery! It’s very flavourful; you’ll find soft citrus, rosemary, and sage, and most striking – a mellow, mouth-filling roundness. A winter gin, ideal for martinis or maybe with just one cube of ice. CSPC + 780953 500 mL $41

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Making The Case: Argentina’s Wine And Year-Round Versatility by TOM FIRTH

Like any other wine enthusiast, I try a fair bit of malbec from Argentina over the summer months; the sun is shining, the grill is smoking (in my case), and the heat lingers well into the evening. What better wine is suited to barbecue than those of Argentina – who, I would argue, have perfected the science of barbecue.

When the summer fades into autumn, and the snow appears the same day, rich, robust reds are often the order of the day (plus a few richer whites), yet Argentina isn’t the go-to region any more. Do we drink more Bordeaux or perhaps Barolo? May I suggest delving into some earthy, but juicy Argentinean wines? Sure, you might not be grilling steaks or flipping burgers outdoors, but those belly-warming foods can very easily be enjoyed with these wines…

Terrazas de los Andes 2014 Torrontes Salta, Argentina Another captivating example of this wonderful grape. Stone fruit and Asian pear, with a mild soapiness on the nose and clean, tropical characters for the palate. Juicy, fresh and quite delicious, try pairing with slightly spicy dishes or sushi. CSPC +742663 $17-18

1884 2015 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendoza, Argentina Cabernet sauvignon, much like malbec, can really benefit from the high altitude conditions in Mendoza. Reaching levels of ripeness not often seen in other locales, cabernet like this shows lifted floral aromas, olive and cherry, with a little touch of cola and spice on the palate. A fine match to a Sunday night roast. CSPC +740170 $18-22 on most shelves

Argento 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva, Mendoza, Argentina

Tom is a freelance wine writer, wine consultant, and wine judge. He is the Managing Editor for Culinaire Magazine, and is the Competition Director for the Alberta Beverage Awards. Follow him on twitter @cowtownwine 40

Argento is very well known to malbec lovers around Alberta, but their other offerings are worth checking out too. Slightly smoky on the nose, with turned earth and berry fruits, the palate brings some meat-friendly tannins and acids, but the black fruits and earthy finish should do very nicely with roasted potatoes on the side, or a plate of hard cheese. CSPC +741014 $14


Renacer 2015 Punto Final Malbec Mendoza, Argentina

Don Rodolfo 2016 “Art of the Andes” Torrontes, Mendoza, Argentina

Amalaya 2017 Torrontes Riesling Salta, Argentina

A remarkable malbec managing to strike the difficult balance of deep and plummy fruits, but also spice box and just a touch of that dried herb and floral character, to keep it both interesting and tasty. Pair it up with roasts of all types, hard cheese, or even game meats. CSPC +727233 $16-17

A beautiful example of this overlooked grape with floral aromas, stone fruits and great presence. Loving the long palate with clean fruits, and a touch of waxy bitterness towards the finish. Interested in torrontes? Try this. Match with grilled vegetables, roasted poultry or swordfish. CSPC +716720 $16

The torrontes of Salta is one of the most underrated wines out there. Coupled with riesling, the herb and peach aromas are backed up with lime zest and slate mineral characters. Fresh and tropical with a mildly bitter finish, this is a very enjoyable treat to pair with grilled seafoods or casual fare. CSPC +170860 $15-17

Catena 2015 Malbec Mendoza, Argentina

Don Rodolfo 2015 “Art of the Andes” Tannat, Mendoza, Argentina

Trivento 2015 Amado Sur Mendoza Argentina

One of the mighty classics of Argentine malbec for Albertans, there is no question that the dark colouring, juicy, expressive plum fruits, and robust but smooth tannins, seem to work for us. Very handy to have on hand if heading out, or if a meaty (or vegetarian) homemade lasagna is in the cards for a cold evening at home. CSPC +47872 $19-22

Love it or hate it, tannat isn’t a shy grape. Look for earthy aromas, black fruit and charred wood on the nose. While tannins are certainly prominent on the palate, they don’t overwhelm the fruits or spice box. The touch of strawberry on the finish really evokes menu choices for dinner – think braised or roasted meats. CSPC +711174 $16

A malbec-dominated blend, but with enough bonarda and syrah to avoid just saying malbec on the label – opening up the door to those looking for a little variety. Surprisingly floral on the nose and palate, with cherries, blackberries and a bright, juicy character. Would really work with a homemade burger or something from the smoker. CSPC +730431 $15-17

Mascota 2012 “Unanime” Gran Vino Tinto, Argentina

Trivento 2013 Golden Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Argentina

Weinert 2006 Cavas de Weinert Argentina

A cabernet sauvignon-dominated blend with malbec and cabernet franc; this is no wallflower. Big and… dare I say masculine? Loaded with dense fruits, spice, and woodsy, earthy tones on nose and palate, it’s very well balanced too. 2012 vintage is a good one to be drinking around now; perfect for flavourful cuts of beef from the smoker, or spicier dishes. CSPC +915108 $31

Sourced from fruit in both the Uco Valley and Mendoza, it still shows the intensity and ripeness that Argentine malbec is known for, but with all those classic cabernet characters. Quite closed initially with black cherry and tar notes, it opens up quickly (and those tannins soften) with a lovely earthy and lavender/ liquorice mid-palate, at home with steaks or braised meat. CSPC +782861 $24-26

Weinert is a bit of an anomaly in Argentina, one could almost think of it as a winery making traditional, French-styled, terroir-driven wines, but in Argentina. A blend of cabernet sauvignon, malbec, and merlot, the flavour profile is tar and cherries, with a bit of charred stump. Finely styled, and gorgeous on the palate, it’s a hand in hand companion to blue cheese or beef tenderloin. CSPC +391666 About $29-32 41


HATED us,” he laughs. “I was like, “Oh man, did I screw up. How can I be so wrong about Calgary?” But the crowd changed and the restaurant became busier and busier, winning “Steakhouse Of The Year” three years in a row now. Deere is now opening a second location, and explains how lucky he feels. “We became the Calgary Flames unofficial restaurant, Earls did their thing, we bought the bull in 2016, and for six months in a row we’ve been 30% to 50% higher than last year, which has been able to launch us into our new location.”

Open That Bottle story by LINDA GARSON photography by INGRID KUENZEL

Since finishing the hospitality course at SAIT in 1998, it’s been quite the journey for Stephen Deere, owner of Modern Steak. Born and raised in Calgary; his father is second generation Calgarian and his mother an immigrant from Spain. “We like to say I’m one of the handful that’s made it out of Forest Lawn to doing good things,” he laughs. Starting at 14 years old as a dishwasher, Deere worked his way up to chef/ kitchen manager. “I love the kitchen,” he says. “And as you own your own restaurant, you’d better know what you’re doing in the kitchen because I guarantee you’ll have to run it at some point in time.” Deere’s love of nightclubs and music launched him into tour management, and lifestyle branding for Bacardi and other companies. “The money was really good in the late ‘90s,” he says. “It was cool travelling around the world with those brands.” 42

Settling down, he bought in to Escoba but left after a few years for an opportunity in Jamaica. “$45 million sales, 2,000 employees, and a learning curve like no other,” he says. “I thought I’m the man, but when you do that in a third world country, you learn really fast that you’re not as good as you think. By the end I really got good, and I had a blast there.” Returning to be with his family, Deere saw Muse was for sale, and just had to have it. It was challenging, but his team turned it around, and were soon named Vaycay’s 14th best restaurant in Canada. “It had this pick up, but I saw the market changing dramatically. Fine dining was not in vogue,” says Deere. “I like reinventing something that’s been overdone, and this vision was in my head almost for a decade.” When he opened Modern Steak it was busy, but it was the wrong crowd. “They

His idea for a bull came from his Spanish roots of knowing where your product comes from, and what you do with that product. “It goes back to my upbringing. It’s in my blood to do it this way. Alberta prime is only 1.3% of animals produced, and we have our own source.” So what is the bottle that Deere has been saving for a special occasion? Antinori Solaia 2002 is on the table. “2002 is the year I bought in to Escoba,” he explains. “There was no way I could afford it then, but in 2005 Escoba was doing well, and I fell in love with Solaia and started collecting a vertical of it.” “That stopped when I moved to Jamaica as we had a party and drank them. I kept the 2002 as this vintage was a difficult vintage; it wasn’t hated by the critics, but it wasn’t loved either. It spoke to the struggle, and it commemorated my first year of buying in to the restaurant, and the struggles I went through.” “I really want to open this bottle when we open the new restaurant. It’ll be for the key people that made it happen. I want to have a glass with them because it’s my last bottle of Solaia - I haven’t bought any more in centuries.”


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Culinaire #7.6 (November 2018)  

Alberta's freshest food and beverage magazine! Dining out, dining in, wine, beer, spirits and cocktails. This month is our international foo...

Culinaire #7.6 (November 2018)  

Alberta's freshest food and beverage magazine! Dining out, dining in, wine, beer, spirits and cocktails. This month is our international foo...

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