ALBERTA / FOOD & DRINK / RECIPES :: VOLUME 7 NO.9 :: MARCH 2019
tutto italiano Our Italian Issue
Perfect Pasta Dishes | Italian Wine | Espresso | Vermouth | Cheese!
24 VOLUME 7 / ISSUE #9 MARCH 2019
What Is Espresso? Only oil is ahead of coffee as the most traded commodity in the world. And for many Italians, espresso is a serious business. by Shelley Boettcher
20 Cheese Glorious Cheese Italian soft cheeses by Daniel Bontje
24 Vermouth: A quiet renaissance? by Linda Garson
26 Let’s Roll – The making of a meatball by Natalie Findlay
32 Italy – A country known for its… beer? by Kirk Bodnar
Small But Pungent New Oxley Garlic’s Jacqueline Chalmers was just trying to protect her veggies from deer, and is now Alberta’s Garlic Queen. by Elizabeth Chorney-Booth
34 Before or After Dinner Cocktail? Amaro Sour is equally good before your meal! by Linda Garson
36 Beer Cocktails and Blends …are here to stay by David Nuttall
38 Making The Case …for Italian wines by Tom Firth
The Wines of Tuscany One of the most visited places for its history, art, and culture, Tuscany is also home to some of Italy’s most famous wines. by Linda Garson
Salutes and Shout Outs
Off The Menu – Broken Plate’s Butternut Squash and Shrimp Ravioli
Chefs’ Tips and Tricks: Perfect Pasta Dishes
42 Open That Bottle Gino Marghella, of the Italian Centre Shops by Linda Garson
On the Cover: Many thanks to Ingrid Kuenzel for her beautifully shot photograph of Italy’s favourite drink – espresso! 3
Letter From The Editor Your emails and comments have been so complimentary on many different aspects, and they’re greatly appreciated. The front cover received much praise for its striking simplicity, and you’ve let me know how you liked to leave it on your coffee table to look at as you pass. That’s so good to hear.
I’m not sure where January and February went – seemingly in a flash – but it’s good news that Spring starts this month (the payoff is losing an hour’s sleep on the 9th, but at least the clock in my spare bedroom will be right again for another six months)! I can’t wait to thank you for all the wonderful feedback on our last issue.
And quite a few people told me how they find our recipes so delicious, and easy for home cooks to make. That’s a particularly personal thrill for me to hear as I’m a bit of a stickler with recipes, and try not to include any ingredients that you have to drive halfway across town to find, and then leave in your will to your children. I’m glad you’ve been enjoying our Culinaire Vine & Dine series too. Again, I take pride in the pairing dinners, so you can imagine how it feels to receive emails like these:
“Thanks for all the hard work you put into organizing and presenting the wine tasting and dinner. Both food and wine choices were exceptional and we enjoyed the evening greatly. Our enjoyment was a direct result of the hard work you put into it. So thanks again.” Brian M. “Fantastic evening last night! We thoroughly enjoyed the lovely food and wines. Thank you again for a memorable evening.” Judy D. And thanks for emails that appreciate our awards and picks too, like this email below:
“In “Culinaire” there are 12 wines listed as top values from the 2018 Alberta Beverage Awards. Where can I buy these wines?” John S. I hope you enjoy our all-Italian issue just as much! Cheers, Linda Garson, Editor-in-Chief
Local f lair, European fare. Grocery. Bakery. Deli. Café.
At our shops, we import thousands of European culinary treasures to compliment ingredients produced by Alberta farmers and purveyors to create a truly unique blend of local and global flavours.
Italiancentre.ca EDMONTON Little Italy | Southside | West End
CALGARY Willow Park
ALBERTA / FOOD & DRINK / RECIPES Editor-in-Chief/Publisher: Linda Garson email@example.com Managing Editor: Tom Firth firstname.lastname@example.org Multimedia Editor: Daniel Bontje email@example.com Sales and Marketing: Chris Clarke 587-998-2475 firstname.lastname@example.org Candace Hiebert 403-816-1088 email@example.com
Our Contributors < Kirk Bodnar
Kirk’s interest in beer would likely be described as a passion by some, and perhaps an obsession by others. The love of great beer has led Kirk to become a Certified CICERONE®, BJCP beer judge, beer consultant, avid home brewer, and founding partner with Bragg Creek Brewery. Most importantly, he is the father to two future beer geeks (hopefully). Follow him on Twitter @beersnsuch.
Contributing Photographer: Ingrid Kuenzel Design: Emily Vance Contributors: Kirk Bodnar Shelley Boettcher Daniel Bontje Anna Brooks Elizabeth Chorney-Booth Natalie Findlay Tom Firth Dong Kim David Nuttall
To read about our talented team of contributors, please visit us online at culinairemagazine.ca.
< Shelley Boettcher
Shelley is an award-winning Calgary-based writer and editor whose work has appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world. She’s the author of the best-selling books, Uncorked: the Definitive Guide to Alberta’s Best Wines $25 and Under. If Shelley’s not drinking wine, she’s probably drinking coffee. Visit drinkwithme.com for her food, wine and spirits exploits, or Twitter @shelley_wine, Instagram @shelleyboettcher.
< David Nuttall
Contact us at: Culinaire Magazine #1203, 804 -3rd Avenue SW Calgary, AB T2P 0G9 403-870-9802 firstname.lastname@example.org www.facebook.com/CulinaireMagazine Twitter: @culinairemag Instagram: @culinairemag For subscriptions, competitions and to read Culinaire online: culinairemagazine.ca
David has worked in liquor since the late 1980s. He achieved his Beer Judge Certification in 2012, and is the head judge for Calgary International Beerfest as well as a judge for the Alberta Beverage Awards. He has appeared on radio, television, and in the movie Aleberta: Our Beer History. He is also a freelance writer for print and online, speaker, and since 2014, has run Brew Ed monthly beer education classes in Calgary. Follow @abfbrewed.
3 Courses for $40 Join us for dinner & discover new favorites. Featuring a rotating, custom menu selected by our Culinary Team @flowerandwolfcalgary 255 Barclay Parade SW Calgary, AB
Salutes... Congrats to Chef Dave Bohati of Murrietta’s who brought home bronze at the 2019 Canadian Culinary Championships!
And to Chef Paul McGreevy, who has joined Blush Lane Organic Markets as director of food working on the Be Fresh range of ready to go
snacks and meals. We can’t wait for his new dips, salads, entrees, soups, and sides in the deli section, and to order online at Spud.ca!
and Shout Outs... We’d need a whole magazine to detail all the new openings in Edmonton and Calgary, but sign up for our newsletter at culinairemagazine.ca to read more!
SALT BOX Kitchen, Bakery & Bar is now open at Granary Road Market. From the owner of Holy Grill, Salt Box is a bakery and also an indoor rooftop restaurant, with homemade meals and snacks (those addictive garlic Parmesan French fries!) – and a great brunch too!
with Glamorgan Bakery’s cheese buns. Wednesday – Sunday. The team behind Cassis Bistro has transformed Suzette’s Mission location into passion project, Le Petit Boeuf – a French steakhouse showcasing Alberta beef as well as many veggie dishes, evenings only.
Marda Loop Mercantile
In Calgary, three vendors from Market on Macleod – Pie Cloud, Brant Lake Premium Meats, and Farmer’s House, have joined forces to create Marda Loop Mercantile, offering everything to create a quality meal at good prices – and all from small, local farmers and producers. Stay for lunch or take home ready-made soups and pies, and delicacies from Kruse’s Bakery, with many gluten-free options. Wednesday – Sunday. Amato Gelato
Kensington’s Amato Gelato can claim a string of firsts: they introduced panini, gelato and affugato to Calgary many moons ago! And now owner Dino Falvo has done it again with his new Italian Gelato Dessert Bar, redesigned by Perfect Interiors’ Michelle Levesque. You’ll still find 72 flavours of gelato, including nondairy and sugar free, plus $1 espresso all day, free with pastries and cakes! 6
Black Sheep Bakery
As it sounds, Black Sheep Bakery, on 17 Avenue SW, is doing things differently. Like flaky, round butter croissant, and raspberry versions filled with house made 60% fruit jam, and five types of madeleines. And magnetic stirrers for the hot chocolate, super smooth Chronicle Roasters coffee to drink in or in bags to take home, and Mariage Frères teas. And see if you can guess the famous paintings he’s treated on the walls! Closed Tuesdays How clever of Nights & Weekends to open a restaurant Thurs to Sun evenings in Meat & Bread’s space when they’re closed! On 1 Street SW, with counter seating and one large group table, share plates of creative Asian fusion dishes with a cocktail or wine from the small, curated selection. From friendships formed at Cowtown Yeast Wranglers homebrew club, Establishment Brewing has opened in the Barley Belt, southeast Calgary’s craft brewery hub. Try their barrel-aged bottled beer or six unique tap beers, along
And in Edmonton… the 3rd Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse has opened on 100 Avenue NW. Open lunch and dinner, and brunch on Sundays, for endless grilled meats and accompaniments, with ample free parking. We’ve come to love Blowers & Grafton’s classic Halifax comfort food of garlic fingers, Brother’s Fried Pepperoni, and Blueberry Grunt Donuts – and lucky Edmonton, now they’re open at 10550 82 Avenue too! Open early to late, Rise & Root is a little gem on Lessard Road, serving up lashings of wholesome farm to fork soups (over 40 rotating styles!), sandwiches, charcuterie, cakes, and desserts, every day. The Local Omnivore has opened a new pizza restaurant, Pink Gorilla, in the ex-Parkallen space on 109 Street NW. Old-fashioned dough cooked in an old-fashioned oven, check out the selection of unique Middle East meets West flavours, including a Pina Colada dessert pizza! 11am-11pm.
Off The Menu by LINDA GARSON photography by INGRID KUENZEL
We received an email from Jane S who had lived in Calgary for many years, and when she returned for a friend’s birthday, they enjoyed a special celebration lunch at Broken Plate. “We both had butternut squash ravioli, which was absolutely awesome. Would love it if you can get them to share the recipe,” she wrote. Many thanks to Chef Ervin Bushi for generously sharing this delicious recipe. Space doesn’t allow for his pasta doughrecipe too, but you’ll find it online at culinairemagazine.ca. You'll need two large, thin sheets of fresh pasta for this recipe.
1. Heat oven to 375º F. Peel and
Broken Plate’s Butternut Squash and Shrimp Ravioli
brown, about 25-30 minutes. Let cool.
deseed squash, cut into 2 cm cubes and place on a baking tray. Add butter, sage, and garlic.
2. Bake until soft and light golden 3. Add ricotta to squash mix and
4 cups (1 L) cream, 35% Parmesan cheese
1. Add half the shrimp, butter, and
garlic to each of two large sauté pans over medium heat.
2. Sauté until the butter turns light
blend well in a food processor.
brown, deglaze with white wine, and cook for two minutes.
5 sprigs of sage 1²/³ cups (400 mL) olive oil
4. Season with salt and pepper, and
3. Add the cream and simmer
Add olive oil and sage to a small saucepan and heat to 65º C (not hotter). Maintain at 65º C for 1 hour to infuse. Sieve, and keep sage leaves and oil separate.
5. Place 25-30 g of filling on pasta
150 g salt to boiling in a large pot, and cook ravioli for 4 minutes.
Makes 16-20 ravioli, serves 4
1 butternut squash (450-650 g) 110 g butter 5 sage leaves 2 garlic gloves, chopped fine 300 g fresh ricotta Salt and pepper 1 egg, beaten 8
refrigerate until needed.
sheet and brush sides with egg. Lay another pasta sheet on top and press around the filling to seal. Cut to shape.
6. When ready, heat 7 L water and
until reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Add ravioli and cook 2 minutes. To serve, choose flat plates and place on 4-5 ravioli on each, not overlapping. Add one shrimp and a crispy sage leaf on each ravioli. Drizzle with sage oil, and shave fresh parmesan on top.
Sauce: 16 tiger shrimp (size 13/15) 165 g butter 4 garlic gloves, fine chopped 1 cup (250 mL) white wine
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!
: : Our 5th Annual Culin a ire Ca lg a ry Tre a s u re Hu n t : : is Sat u rd ay, A p ril 27 ! Everyone has gone home a winner at our first four Culinaire Treasure Hunts; they’ve been so popular that the spots have all sold out each year, so we’ve planned new and exciting destinations to discover, and new treats to enjoy! Trivia questions about participating restaurants, markets and stores reveal the answers for where to dash off to receive your treat, get your passport stamped, and maybe come away with a little culinary gift too! And there are fabulous prizes
for the people who visit the most locations, wear the best costumes, have the funniest team names, tweet the funniest photos… and lots lots more! It’s another very fun and rewarding day, so grab a partner and sign up as a team of two, or sign up solo at culinairemagazine.ca/treasure-hunt. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @culinairemag for the latest details, and like us on Facebook to keep up with the news and for more information.
: : It’ s g o i n g to b e another day to remember! ::
AROUND A LOCAL ITALIAN LEGEND WE’VE BEEN SUPPLYING IN-THEKNOW CALGARIANS WITH OUR OWN LOCALLY ROASTED COFFEE FOR OVER 40 YEARS. We created our true Italian-style blend to shine in the machines we bring in from Italy. Now find our coffee at Calgary CO•OP.
WE SELL, SERVICE & SUPPLY EVERYTHING FOR A GREAT COFFEE EXPERIENCE 403.277.5169 | 410 23 AVENUE NE | CAPPUCCINOKING.COM
Perfect Pasta Dishes
by ANNA BROOKS photography by INGRID KUENZEL and DONG KIM
Pasta is one of the easiest dishes to make — or so we think. Boiling water, salt, noodles… what could go wrong? If you’ve almost chipped a tooth on a rock hard piece of penne or ended up with a sticky clump of starch more tangled than a ball of yarn, you know the answer is: a lot.
This issue, we decided to dedicate extra special space to pasta, one of the most beloved, universal cuisines. We hunted down six local chefs who know their noodles, and asked them to share their tips and tricks for making the perfect pasta dish. For Sergio Turlione, chef and owner of the renowned Rigoletto’s Café in Edmonton, one of the best things about pasta is you don’t need to think outside the box to achieve an incredible dish. He means that literally, and recommends sticking to boxed pasta if you want an al dente noodle. Boxed noodles are more forgiving than fresh ones, which immediately turn to mush if overcooked by even a minute.
Stick to boxed pasta if you want an al dente noodle It’s hard to admit, but we in North America tend to suffer from over saucing… well, just about everything. Turlione’s advice is to just keep sauce simple — there’s a reason the same base ingredients have been used in Italy for hundreds of years! “I’m really old school. I love spaghetti with garlic, olive oil, and chilies,” Turlione says. “People in the old days didn’t have that many ingredients to choose from, and had to be creative with nothing.” Elevate simplicity with Turloine’s tasty recipe for pasta with Genoa salami and roasted cherry tomatoes! 10
Try out Flaviano’s recipe for a spontaneous new creation that’s now a family favourite. Maybe it will become yours too!
Fusillo Toscana Serves 4
500 g fusilli pasta 4 Tbs (60 mL) olive oil 200 g pancetta, chopped 1 clove garlic, diced 250 g cherry tomatoes, halved 200 g fresh arugula Parmesan cheese (however much you desire) To taste salt and pepper
Rigatoni with Genoa Salami and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes Serves 4
20 cherry tomatoes 5 Tbs (75 mL) olive oil Salt and pepper 226 g spicy salami 2 cloves of garlic, chopped ¼ cup (60 mL) dry white wine ¼ cup Kalamata olives ¼ cup capers, chopped ¼ cup parsley, chopped Box of rigatoni pasta ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1. Preheat oven to 375º F. Put tomatoes on a baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for about 8 minutes, and then let cool.
2. In a large sauté pan, heat remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add salami. Cook for 30 seconds on each side, and then set aside.
3. Return pan to heat. Add garlic and tomatoes, and cook for 3 minutes.
4. Add wine, and simmer for 3 minutes. Add olives and capers, and bring to a simmer. Add salami and parsley.
5. Cook pasta according to instructions on the box. Drain and toss pasta in the pan with the sauce. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.
Every region of Italy is different when it comes to pasta styles and sauces. Those who hail from Calabria in southern Italy, like married couple Franca and Mario Flaviano, who own Franca’s Italian Specialties in Calgary, were also raised to appreciate simplicity: usually, pasta tossed in olive oil and spices. Using ingredients sparingly, Mario Flaviano says, really allows each individual ingredient to shine. But that’s also why it’s so important that everything is cooked correctly — even the most savoury of sauces won’t disguise a poorly cooked pasta noodle. Flaviano’s method is to start cooking the noodles in boiling water, and when they’re just over halfway through, dump them in your saucepan to finish cooking. This prevents the noodles from overcooking, and better incorporates all the flavours together.
1. In a large pot, boil 4 litres of salted
water. Once water is boiling, add pasta.
2. While pasta is cooking, heat a large
saucepan over medium heat with olive oil. Add chopped pancetta and garlic until the meat becomes crispy.
3. Add cherry tomatoes and a small handful of arugula. Sauté for two minutes, and turn off heat.
4. Add al dente pasta to pan (be sure to save a bit of pasta water to add to sauce later) and combine.
5. Top with remaining arugula and
cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
“Make sure the sauce is heated before adding fresh or cooked pasta,” Flaviano says. “It’s better to cook the pasta a bit more in your saucepan than in the pasta water so it doesn’t get mushy.” He also recommends saving a bit of pasta water to add to the sauce at the end. A ladle or two of the starchy water will help thicken your sauce if it’s a bit thin, and help bind the sauce and noodles together. 11
5 Tbs (75 mL) milk To taste salt and pepper Your favourite pasta noodle
1. In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil and sweat onions for 5 minutes.
2. Add carrots, garlic, and celery, and sweat for 10 more minutes. Set aside.
3. Season beef; sear until golden brown. 4. Add pancetta, and cook for 10 minutes. 5. Add tomatoes and the vegetables previously set aside. March can be a tricky month for homegrown ingredients in Alberta. It’s too cold to start planting, and there’s still residual root veggies from fall to use up. Busy serving up rustic Italian cuisine at Buffo Ristorante in Calgary, chef Michel Nop says the best way to go about choosing springtime ingredients is settling on ones that easily translate from winter to spring. Popular during the cold months, veggies like carrots, celery, squash, and bell peppers are also perfect in a fresh dish, like a penne primavera. It may seem counterintuitive, but Nop says to remember that fresh isn’t always best; any chef will choose canned tomatoes over a colourless, watery fruit that’s out of season. Because tomatoes are such an important base ingredient for many sauces, he recommends cooking with ones that are overripe and don’t have too many seeds. “When you go to the grocery store and see those shiny tomatoes that are all nice and red, I myself would go for ugliest one,” he says. “Because it’s overripe, it’s so full of flavour and will take less time to cook because it’s already soft.” If you have a slow cooker or bit of extra time on your hands, Nop’s recipe for pasta Bolognese is definitely worth the wait! 12
Buffo’s Bolognese Serves 4
2 Tbs (30 mL) olive oil 1-2 onions, diced 2-3 large carrots, peeled and diced 1 head of garlic, crushed 3 celery sticks, diced 250 g ground beef 250 g pancetta, chopped 250 g tomatoes (San Marzano or Roma), diced 4 Tbs (60 mL) red wine 2 cups (500 mL) tomato passata Half a bunch of thyme 2 bay leaves
6. Deglaze with the red wine, and cook a few minutes until reduced to half. Add passata and herbs, then simmer for 3½ hours.
Cook with tomatoes that are overripe and don’t have too many seeds
7. Add milk before the very end of cooking.
8. Cook your favourite pasta noodle, toss in sauce, and serve!
Known for its flaming wheels of cheese and sweet Sambuca sauce, Violino Ristorante in Edmonton puts a savoury spin on the classics. Okay, it will take some practice before you’re comfortable wielding a 10-pound wheel of Parm, but Violino manager Adrian Solomon says there’s no secret to pulling off a great pasta:
all you need are a few high quality ingredients. “Always use the best you can find,” Solomon says. “For us, we use San Marzano tomatoes to make our base tomato sauce — they are the most famous tomatoes. And then that sauce can be used for other things, like pizza or tomato basil soup.”
What can make sauces intimidating is the amount of labour required; some literally take days to make! But don’t be discouraged. With the right ingredients, even the most time-pressed home cook can whip up a delicious dish in no time. Why not start with a Violino favourite, and try Solomon’s recipe for chicken fettucine in a rich white wine sauce!
For some like Cristo Crudo, co-owner and chef at Café Amore Bistro in Edmonton, pasta runs in the blood – and when you’re cooking with recipes passed down through generations of Italians, you’re bound to pick up some tricks.
Fettucine Tavolino Serves 2
Boxed or fresh fettucine pasta (around 200 g) Canola oil for cooking 1 Tbs garlic, chopped 1 Tbs shallots, chopped 140 g chicken, roasted and cut into cubes 1 Tbs (15 mL) white wine 1 Tbs mixed herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano), chopped 4 Tbs (60 mL) chicken stock 5 Tbs (75 mL) 35% heavy cream 2 Tbs (30 mL) béchamel sauce ½ Tbs Parmesan cheese, grated 1 Tbs unsalted butter To taste salt and pepper Micro Greens, for garnish
All you need are a few high quality ingredients
1. Heat oil in pan on medium heat. Sauté garlic and shallots.
2. Add chicken cubes, sauté well. Add white wine.
3. Add fresh herbs, chicken stock, heavy cream and bring to a simmer.
4. When simmering, add béchamel
sauce and season with salt and pepper.
5. When the sauce starts boiling, add Parmesan cheese and butter.
6. Cook pasta, and toss noodles in
sauce. Garnish with more Parmesan and micro greens. 14
Before you do anything else, Crudo says to start with the sauce. Even after you strain pasta it continues to cook, and if you’re still waiting for the sauce finish, you’ll run the risk of overcooking the noodles. Make sure to season as you go, but Crudo says to resist the temptation to enhance the saltiness of a sauce using cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Cheese has greater purposes than a salt substitute, he says. “I also like the cheese to be subtler. Your pasta will be creamier if you try using a cheese like mozzarella,” he says. “You can take bocconcini, thinly slice it, and lay it on top of the pasta and the heat will start to melt it.” Crudo has also given us some of the best advice we’ve heard yet, but that’s mostly because it encourages us to uncork. Always use the same wine you’ll be drinking (or already are) to cook with. If you need an excuse to sip and simmer, try Crudo’s mouthwatering recipe for seafood linguine!
3. Add green onions and toss.
100 g fresh clams, prawns, or any other seafood you crave 2 Tbs green onions, chopped ½ (120 mL) cup white wine ¼ (60 mL) cup hot water ¼ (60 mL) cup of tomato sauce (optional) To taste salt and black pepper ½ lemon, cut in wedges
4. Add white wine (use the same
wine you’ll be drinking) and hot water. Put lid back on and bring to a light boil. At this point you can add tomato sauce, if desired.
5. Season with salt, black pepper,
and any spices you desire. Put lid on and reduce to low heat.
Always use the same wine you’ll be drinking to cook with
6. While the seafood is simmering, cook pasta in well-salted, boiling water. Stir pasta every few minutes to ensure noodles don’t stick together.
1. Heat olive oil in a frying pan. Add Linguine Pescatore Serves 2
garlic and butter. Use wooden spoon to move garlic around the pan until golden.
2. Add seafood. Toss in pan until
½ box of linguine or spaghetti (around 200 g) 3 Tbs (45 mL) extra virgin olive oil 1 Tbs garlic, minced 1 Tbs unsalted butter
evenly coated with garlic. Put a lid on pan and steam. Note: clams or mussels are cooked when the shells open. Discard any closed shells.
7. Strain pasta and let sit. Take lid
off seafood, and turn heat up a little higher. Simmer for 30 seconds, and then add pasta to the pan. Toss together.
8. Plate pasta first, then distribute
seafood and sauce in equal portions. Decorate with a lemon wedge.
We are proud of the company we keep.
2 0 18
David Herman & Son Ltd. 1-877-737-0018 email@example.com
If you want to impress your guests (and their taste buds) try making Bazzana’s recipe for spaghetti quattro topped with fried parsley!
Spaghetti Quattro Serves 6
One of the most crucial, and unfortunately, easiest steps to screw up when cooking pasta is the seasoning. We’ve probably all learned this the hard way, but one of the biggest mistakes you can make is not salting enough the water you’ll be cooking your pasta in. It may seem like overkill, but your boiling noodle water should be as salty as the sea. Salt can also make or break a sauce, and that’s why Jenna Bazzana, owner and chef at Sauce Italian Kitchen & Market in Calgary, says it’s important to season at the beginning, and the end.
Your boiling noodle water should be as salty as the sea
You can always add more salt at the end, if needed! Finishing touches are Bazzana’s specialties, those final flashes of colour, finesse and flavour that make her pastas stand out. She recommends lightly frying herbs, like basil or Italian parsley. “Frying herbs is the coolest thing ever. They come out this translucent, bright green colour, and are crispy, and still hold their shape,” she says. “Frying also helps herbs lose some of that sort of dirty, earthy flavour while adding a bright, sweet taste.”
1 Tbs (15 mL) canola oil 4 chicken breasts 2 Tbs garlic, crushed ¹/³ cup (85 mL) white wine 1 Tbs chili flakes 1¾ cups (450 mL) pomodoro sauce 1 can (around 340 g) black beans, drained ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated 800 g spaghetti, cooked and cooled To taste salt and pepper
To fry parsley: Canola oil 1 cup Italian flat leaf parsley, destemmed
1. In a large frying pan, heat up canola
oil. Season chicken breasts, and sear on one side on medium-heat until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.
2. Flip chicken over, add garlic and sauté.
3. Deglaze pan with white wine. Add chili flakes, and pomodoro sauce.
4. Bake in the oven, or on the stove
top for 10-12 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked. When chicken is cooked, remove from pan.
5. Add black beans and half the Parmesan cheese.
6. Add cooked spaghetti, and toss When cooking a tomato sauce, for example, Bazzana says salt can really enhance the natural sugars in tomatoes. But keep in mind - as you cook, your sauce will reduce. Start with just a pinch in the beginning, or you could end up with something less like sauce, and more like wet salt paste. 16
7. Plate pasta. Top with cooked chicken and remaining Parmesan.
8. Garnish with fried parsley. Anna Brooks is an award-winning journalist and graduate student currently living and studying in New York City.
What Is Espresso? by SHELLEY BOETTCHER
“For coffee purists, espresso is the quintessential coffee preparation — rich, aromatic and velvety all at once; a natural layer of crema on top belying a full-bodied, yet deftly balanced liquid below. When ideally realized, a small miracle of chemistry and physics: science and art gliding together on air.” —Illy Caffe 18
At their favourite neighbourhood cafe, Italians don’t order massive mocha-soyalmond-milk-extra-hot whatevers to go, like a typical Starbucks customer in North America. You will likely stand at the bar, chatting quickly, maybe skimming the newspaper you’ve been carrying under one arm. You order an espresso. It arrives within a couple of minutes, served in a tiny cup with a tiny spoon on a small saucer. Maybe you tear open a thin tube of sugar and stir it in. Maybe not. Then, with one quick gulp, maybe two, you down the dark, hot liquid. Feel it burn all the way down. Still standing, you follow the shot with a small glass of tepid water, swallowed almost as quickly. Then you put down your change to pay — no tip. Grab your receipt and leave, almost as quickly as you came in.
If you’ve never had an espresso, you’re missing out on one of life’s great drinks If you’re a coffee drinker and you’ve never had an espresso, you’re missing out on one of life’s great drinks. Made famous by Italians but now available around the world, it’s a small, intense blast of coffee, made by forcing steam (water) through ground (usually dark-roast) beans. “You’re getting the pure essence of the bean itself, the concentrated flavour of the coffee,” says Peter Izzo, owner of Cappuccino King in Calgary. “The term espresso just refers to the grind, but the coffee we’re going to use is the best we possibly can.” And, of course, the best possible way to make it too. The original espresso machine is attributed to Angelo Moriondo from Turin, Italy. According to the Smithsonian Institution, he received a patent for his invention in 1884: “New steam machinery for the
economic and instantaneous confection of coffee beverage,” read the official industry certificate. Times have changed. The basic science behind a good cup is similar to those early days. But the variety of espresso machines on the market is endless, and so is the price range. Giga, Jura, La Marzocco and Elektra are just a few of the names to keep in mind if you have a big budget and dreams of pulling the perfect Italian-style shot. And use a burr grinder for the best grind; they have two discs, made to grind your beans
–– By law, you have to take your receipt in Italy. It’s the government’s way of trying to avoid tax cheats — and that means you as a tourist too. –– Per volume, espresso has more caffeine than a regular cup of drip coffee. But you get more caffeine in a 250 mL cup of drip coffee than you do in an espresso, because an espresso is typically only about 30 mL. That espresso will have about 60 mg of caffeine, while a 250 mL cup of regular joe has between 95 and 130 mg of caffeine. –– A fully grown Arabica coffee tree yields only one to two pounds of roasted coffee beans each year. –– Coffee is the second-most traded commodity in the world. Only oil is ahead of it. (*Sources: Consumer Reports, Fodors, Peter Izzo)
into very tiny bits — the secret, Izzo says, to making the best cup. You don’t need an espresso machine, however, to make coffee that’s close to espresso at home. Many Italians still swear by their old-school aluminium moka pots to make their morning beverage. It works for me, until I can afford a high-end home machine; I’ve had three inexpensive machines and none worked well enough or lasted long enough to recommend. But my moka pot? It fits in my suitcase. It survives the camp stove in summer. True espresso snobs will sneer, but it cranks out a reliable cup whenever I need it. For some, that caffeine jolt may simply be a morning buzz. But for me — and for many Italians — espresso is a seriously good part of life. Shelley is an award winning Calgary-based writer and editor whose work has appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world. If she’s not drinking wine, she’s probably drinking coffee. Visit drinkwithme.com. 19
Cheese Glorious Cheese: Soft Italian Cheeses by DANIEL BONTJE photography by INGRID KUENZEL
We have a wealth of Italian cheeses, and many are cornerstones of our modern cuisine. Here the focus is on softer Italian cheeses, so we can expect them to be higher in moisture and fat content, younger, and fresher.
Although the style is Italian, many Canadian producers have taken up these traditional methods, so we can now find local products that are excellent quality while offering a lower price point.
Often compared to crème fraiche or cream cheese, this soft and silky Italian classic is a staple in many Italian desserts. It gets its smooth texture from the high fat content, which also makes this cheese rich and delicious. We all know mascarpone is the star of tiramisu, but for a savoury twist, add it to mashed potatoes or scrambled eggs for a tangy kick.
Literally meaning “recooked”, ricotta is made from the whey left when other cheeses are made from the milk curds. Canadian ricotta, like this one, can be excellent quality and possibly a little less sweet than the Italian. We see ricotta in filled pastas like cannelloni or lasagna, but like mascarpone, it’s right at home in desserts. Try it sweetened with a little honey and citrus on crepes!
Taleggio, Aged 25-50 days
Taleggio is a washed-rind cheese; its distinct orange rind comes from being repeatedly washed or rubbed with saltwater. As you bite into it, you may be reminded of the more familiar Brie family, but expect a little more meatiness and bite. The rind is totally edible and is more intense, so cut right in and enjoy the rind and creamy inside together.
A semi-soft cheese made from cows’ milk, Fior Di Latte is a terrific candidate for local, Canadian dairy while keeping true to its Italian heritage. This fresh cheese has no rind or crust, and is typically stored in water, so enjoy it quick. Fior di Latte melts well on a pizza, and is delicious with a little balsamic, olive oil, and fresh tomatoes.
All cheeses provided for photography and sampling by Worldwide Specialty Foods Ltd. Eager to try new things, Dan balances his love of cooking with his love of eating, and can be found scouring the city for new restaurants and recipes to share.
Gorgonzola, Aged 3-4 months
Gorgonzola is a soft cow's milk cheese that becomes firmer as it ages over three to four months. Like all blue cheese, its distinct veins are created from the early addition of Penicillium, but don’t let that scare you off. This is a friendly, buttery blue cheese that, for the uninitiated, is a great place to start exploring. Gorgonzola melts well, so try it on short pasta or risotto, in a salad, or melted over a veal chop or burger. 20
Fior Di Latte, Unaged
: : M a rch /Ap ril C u lin a ire Vin e & D i n e Se ri e s : : Thank you for the heart-warming feedback on our events! We’re thrilled that you have enjoyed them, and for some, discovered new restaurants too. We’re proud to announce March and April Calgary evenings here. We’ve continued our Italian theme for our March pairing dinners too. It's our most often requested cuisine...
Sauce Italian Kitchen and Market
Tuesday March 12 Join us for six courses of Sauce’s innovative, house-made Italian dishes, each carefully paired to complement the flavours of this delicious menu!
Franca’s Italian Specialties
Wednesdays March 13, 20, and 27 Normally only open lunchtimes and Saturday evenings, one of Calgary’s hidden gems is opening specially for us three nights this month for six-course pairing dinners.
ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen
Friday March 15 The beautiful new Lincoln Park location is home to this six-course Italianthemed pairing dinner, with recipes and demos ~ and secrets from the best!
Stein & Dine at Dandy Brewing Sunday March 24 For one night only, we’re at Calgary’s original little brewery. A short brewery tour, and six pairing courses of Chef Merritt Gordon’s unique elevated drinking food await. $68.50 ++
Thursday March 28 With dishes by celebrated chefs Ryan O’Flynn and Michel Nop, we’re in for a treat in our private dining room for six pairing courses of these chefs’ timeless Italian classics.
and in April...
Tuesday April 9 A special one-off evening with Andreas Georgousis of Tsantali Wines for this six-course Greek pairing dinner.
Thursday April 11, Wednesday 24, and Tuesday 30 We're excited for three nights of sixcourse pairing dinners with ex-Fairmont Executive Chef Jean-Paul Comte in Bridgeland’s newest restaurant!
Wednesday April 17 Celebrating International Malbec Day in style with a premium pairing dinner in the private dining room of this celebrated restaurant! $124 ++
Stein & Dine at Elite Brewing & Cidery
Sunday April 28 For one night only we’re at this military history-themed brewery for a short brewery tour followed by a six course pairing dinner. $68.50 ++ All events are 6:30-9:00, and unless otherwise mentioned, are $78.75 per person + grats & gst.
F or d e t ai l s an d t o reserve your place s in Calg ar y, visit c u linairemagazine.ca/ eve n ts. : : E mai l l i n d firstname.lastname@example.org , 403-870-9802 ::
Small But Pungent: New Oxley Garlic’s Labour Of Love by ELIZABETH CHORNEY-BOOTH
When it comes to garlic, most of us are used to the mildly flavoured white bulbs that are readily available in major grocery stores.
Courtesy Lorraine Hjalte
But if you’ve bought fresh seasonal garlic at a farmer’s market or through an organic produce delivery service like SPUD, perhaps you’ve seen heartier purplish-skinned garlic with a hard stick coming up the middle of the bulb.
In 2010 she harvested her first commercial crop, and by the next year she was growing thousands of bulbs of garlic to supply to various retailers around the province.
Many varieties of that “hardneck” garlic grow well here in Alberta, and thanks to growers like New Oxley Garlic in Claresholm, more and more of it is popping up in markets and stores.
Our local garlic is incredibly labour-intensive to grow
When New Oxley’s Jacqueline Chalmers and her family moved from Millarville to Claresholm in 2006, she planted a garden for herself, but was dismayed to find that her veggies were being snapped up by local mule deer before she had a chance to harvest them. Coming from an agrarian family, Chalmers called her aunt for advice and learned that the deer were not fans of garlic bulbs. Chalmers planted a few to see how they’d grow and her entrepreneurial spirit soon kicked in. 22
Chalmers says that garlic used to be a more popular crop in Alberta in decades past, but the industry was eventually squeezed out by the increased availability of cheaper softneck garlic from California or China. While hardneck is gaining in popularity thanks to the local and organic food movements, most consumers don’t realize that our local garlic is incredibly labour-intensive to grow. “Hardneck garlic can grow well here — it likes the sunshine and needs the
cold to vernalize [and form cloves],” Chalmers says. “But it’s not an easy crop to grow because every step involves hand labour. By the time a bulb gets to the grocery store or farmer’s market it’s been handled seven or eight times. There’s no mechanization involved at any step along the way.” This, coupled with the fact that local garlic is a seasonal product, means that Alberta hardneck garlic is more expensive than the softneck stuff, but it’s also more flavourful. New Oxley only produces two kinds of garlic — music and red Russian — but there are many other hardneck varieties for growers and consumers to experiment with. Another challenge that has plagued New Oxley and other growers over the last few years is Alberta’s increasingly erratic weather. For the past two years Chalmers’ crop has been all but destroyed by unpredictable weather patterns: in 2017 early thaws turned her garlic into mush, and last year after
formed with smaller garlic producers in the province. “Because I was one of the first to start doing it commercially again, I became known as the Garlic Queen and have had people coming to me wanting to grow their own crops, and also asking if I can sell their garlic,” she says. “So I have two or three growers under my umbrella. It keeps us out there and keeps us available for the people who love our garlic.” While New Oxley was selling its garlic at major grocery stores in Calgary, Chalmers has scaled down in recent years to keep the business more manageable.
planting in the spring, a lack of cold evenings left her garlic un-vernalized, making it only suitable for food processors who don’t mind working with large balls of garlic rather than neatly divided cloves. This winter’s mild weather and strong winds have left her garlic without a protective layer of snow, which has Chalmers worried, but she won’t know its fate until she can more carefully inspect it in the spring and then finally harvest it in August. Despite the uncertainty, Chalmers is able to keep New Oxley afloat thanks to relationships she’s
Her garlic is sold via mail order at newoxleygarlic.com and locally in Claresholm, which eliminates the need for her to personally drive into Calgary or Lethbridge to made deliveries.
Another challenge... over the last few years is Alberta’s increasingly erratic weather Chalmers has played a huge part in sparking Albertan growers’ return to local garlic, as well as the public’s understanding of the product and how it’s different from the mass-produced softneck garlic.
Seeing more and more local garlic on the market has been very rewarding for her. While her place in the local market is smaller than it once was, she thinks Alberta garlic is an industry with a lot of potential to grow, and that there’s always room for more local producers. “I believe most people do this because they love it, and from my personal perspective it has been one of the most fun and rewarding things I’ve ever done,” she says. “I have met amazing people and I have learned so much. It’s been a very fulfilling endeavour in spite of the challenges.” 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 and the Calgary Herald.
Let’s Roll – The Making Of A Meatball story and photography by NATALIE FINDLAY
Did you know that the humble meatball is a worldwide phenomenon? Almost every country has it’s own style. We are all familiar with Swedish meatballs – thanks Ikea! And of course polpette – the Italian meatball – who doesn’t 24
love Italian meatballs? Juicy, savoury, smothered in tomato sauce and cheese? In Greece they are referred to as keftédes, Indonesian meatballs are bakso, the Spanish call them albóndigas, Slovenia is polpeti… to name only a few. Each country uses their own mix of ground meat, seafood or vegetable products, spices, cooking techniques, and sauce.
The combination of meatball and sauce is vital; without a sauce – meatballs are lost. Whether it’s a dip, glaze, gravy, or soup – meatballs need a partner to make a great dish. Kind of like Batman and Robin. So when you’re planning your meatball dish – make sure you make a sauce! * See culinairemagazine.ca for Lamb Meatballs With Lemon Mint Yogurt recipe
Meatball Mac ’n Cheese Serves 4-6
300 g lean ground beef 175 g lean ground pork ½ onion, grated 5 cloves garlic, fine chop 1 tsp ground thyme 1 tsp sea salt 2 tsp black pepper 1 tsp ground oregano ½ tsp ground coriander 1 tsp chili powder 1 Tbs garlic oil 1 Tbs paprika 2 tsp (10 mL)) tomato paste 6 leaves fresh basil, chiffonade 1 Tbs (15 mL) olive oil
1. Combine beef and pork in a medium bowl. Add the remaining ingredients except oil, and thoroughly combine.
2. Wet hands, and roll meat mixture into smallish balls.
Five Spice Salmon Balls with Hoisin Glaze Makes 10 balls
335 g salmon, rough chopped so it resembles ground meat 1 Tbs 5 spice powder ½ tsp pepper ½ tsp garlic powder ½ tsp sea salt 1 green onion, thinly sliced
3. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.
3. Slowly add the milk, whisking
4. Remove from heat, add cheeses,
Add meatballs and brown on all sides. Remove and reserve. ¼ cup (60g) butter ½ small onion, grated ¼ cup flour 2 cups (500 mL) whole milk 200 g smoked gouda, grated 75 g Comté, grated ½ tsp sea salt ½ tsp chili powder ½ tsp garlic powder 1 tsp (5 mL) tomato paste 2 cups (220 g) elbow pasta Basil, chiffonade to garnish
Preheat oven to 350º F.
1. In a medium pot, melt butter
over medium heat. Add onion and cook 5 minutes.
constantly. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, as the sauce thickens. salt, chili powder, garlic powder, and tomato paste. Stir until cheese is melted and ingredients are incorporated.
5. Cook pasta 2 minutes less than
package directions (it will continue to cook in oven). Drain and reserve.
6. Combine pasta and sauce in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the meatballs to the pasta and place in a 20 cm baking dish or cast iron skillet.
7. Bake 20 – 25 minutes, until sauce has bubbled up around edges. Let sit for a few minutes before serving and sprinkle with basil.
2. Whisk in flour and cook 2 minutes. 1 tsp (5 mL) rice wine 1 tsp ginger, grated 1 clove garlic, grated Green onions and sesame seeds for garnish
Combine glaze ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Once meatballs are
cooked, add glaze to pan to cover balls. Garnish and serve. Note: can be served as an appetizer or over rice for a main course. If serving as a main you may want to increase the amount of glaze.
Add all ingredients and combine in a medium bowl. Roll into balls and cook 7 - 10 minutes over medium low heat. Glaze 2 Tbs (30 mL) hoisin sauce 2 Tbs (30 mL) soya sauce
–– The procedure is always the same: mix all ingredients in a bowl by hand, form into balls, cook. –– Dampen hands before forming into balls to keep the meat from sticking. –– For exactly the same size meatballs (and cooking time) weigh the balls as you make them.
–– Baking the meatballs allows ease of cooking while being able to work on the sauce at the same time. –– Reduce meatball size to serve as an appetizer. –– Make one meatball and cook to check your seasoning. Once you have it right, then finish the batch.
–– Make lots; meatballs are easy to freeze. –– Experiment with different combinations of meats, fish, beans, vegetables, and seasoning. –– Always have a sauce or dip. Remember Batman and Robin. 25
Chicken Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce Serves 3-4
400 g ground chicken ½ small onion, grated ¾ cup chickpeas, mashed 1 medium carrot, grated 1 tsp sea salt 3 Tbs masala powder 1 tsp garlic powder
1½ tsp chili powder ½ tsp turmeric powder 1 Tbs parsley, rough chop 1 egg 2 Tbs (30 mL) oil
1 tsp sea salt 1 Tbs (15 mL) tomato paste 1 cup (250 mL) chicken broth 1 can coconut milk Cilantro for garnish
Combine all ingredients except oil in a medium bowl. Form into medium sized balls. Heat oil in a large pan, add meatballs and cook, turning regularly, for 12 - 15 minutes. Cut one open to be sure there is no sign of pink. Reserve.
1. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium
stock and coconut milk, and stir to combine. Bring to a low boil and reduce heat.
2 Tbs (30 mL) oil ½ onion, grated 2 cloves garlic, grated 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated 1 Tbs turmeric powder 1 Tbs cumin 1 bay leaf 2 curry leaves 1 lime leaf Pinch ground cloves 1 tsp chili powder 5 green cardamom pods 1 tsp black pepper
heat. Add onion and sauté 5 minutes.
2. Add garlic, ginger, spices, and leaves and stir to combine. Cook 2 minutes.
3. Add tomato paste and combine. Add
4. Let simmer ½ - 1 hour without a lid
so the sauce can gently thicken. Longer simmer will provide a thicker and more flavourful sauce.
5. Add meatballs and coat with sauce. 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.
SUPER SALE There is something for everyone when you set sail with Celebrity CruisesÂŽ during our first ever Super Sale! Book your adventure March 15 â€“ 30 for FREE drinks, gratuities, & up to $200 onboard cash credit!*
Contact one of our Calgary area locations today!
Airdrie (587) 600 7707 403 Mackenzie Way SW, Unit 7126, Airdrie
Aspen Landing (403) 717 9223 135, 333 Aspen Glen Landing SW, Calgary
Chinook (403) 252 5520 145, 9919 Fairmount Drive SE, Calgary
Chestermere (403) 263 3500 16, 140 East Chestermere Drive, Chestermere
Dalhousie Station (403) 208 3743 727, 5005 Dalhousie Drive NW, Calgary
Fish Creek (403) 278 7447 25, 11440 Braeside Drive SW, Calgary *Offers are per stateroom based on double occupancy on select sailings and vary by cruise line, destination, departure date & stateroom category. Valid for new bookings created and deposited Mar 1 - 30, 2019 and are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time. Additional restrictions apply. Contact us for full terms and conditions.
LIFE IS BETTER IN THE ROCKIES
The Wines Of Tuscany by LINDA GARSON
For a province roughly the size of Lake Winnipeg, Tuscany has the same population as Alberta, and attracts more than 100 million tourists a year. What makes Tuscany such a draw? Of course the art, culture, history, food… and a lot of great wine! The region is home to some of Italy’s most famous appellations: Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti Classico, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, so let’s take a brief look at a few of these notable wines. Brunello dates back to the late 1800s, when farmers around the picturesque, walled hilltop town of Montalcino began
experimenting with local sangiovese grosso grapes, but it wasn’t until the mid 1900s that its renown grew, and Brunello emerged from being a secret of those in the know, to one of the country’s most highly regarded wines. 30 K south of Siena, the climate of hilly Montalcino allows the grapes to ripen fully, often resulting in wines of 14 percent ABV or more. They stay long in the cellar, only released five years after harvest (six years for Riserva wines), and they’ll easily keep 25 years or more.
Argiano Brunello 2013 – Sheer joy and still a babe, this outstanding wine will only get better. Soft flavours of mulberry and blackberry are complemented by polished tannins. I almost don’t want to spoil the pleasure by adding food, and can’t wait to see how it develops. CSPC +615120 $63
The locals will be eating hearty dishes, such as beef tagliata from the local white Chianina cows, and pasta with rabbit or wild boar ragù, with their Brunello – but savour it with our Alberta beef or lamb, and you’ll be well satisfied.
And try Col D’Orcia Brunello di Montalcino CSPC +403642 $58, and Castello Romitorio Brunello di Montalcino CSPC +702886 $68 The land between Florence and Siena includes Castellina, Gaiole, Greve, and Radda – Chianti Classico’s home since 1716. Easily identified by the black rooster on the neck label, these age-worthy wines are split into three levels of quality. They’re all a minimum of 80 percent sangiovese grapes, which can be blended with indigenous red grapes such as canaiolo and colorino, or with varieties more familiar to us, like Merlot. The wine we see most on our shelves, as it accounts for almost three-quarters of the production, Chianti Classico spends at least a year in oak barrels before release, while the Riserva ages for two years in barrels, and amounts to less than a quarter of the region’s wine. 28
And try Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano CSPC +413278 $33, and Poliziano Vino Nobile di Montepulciano CSPC + 586784 $39 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is the most premium, made only from estate fruit with a minimum 30 months aging in oak, and accounts for only four percent of production. These high acid wines, along with their earthy and spicy notes, are the perfect partner to tomato-based sauces. They’re very food-friendly, and enjoyed alongside a wide variety of pasta, meat, and veggie dishes. To enjoy at their best, uncork at least an hour in advance to allow the wine to breathe.
Fonterutoli Chianti Classico 2016 – Aromas of dark cherry, tea, and tobacco follow right through to the palate, balanced by bright acidity that cries out for pasta marinara with smoked sausage. CSPC +748709 $34
And try Brolio Chianti Classico Riserva CSPC +769728 $36, and San Felice Gran Selezione CSPC +769604 $44
Vino Nobile is made from grapes surrounding the medieval hilltop town of Montepulciano, an hour southeast of Siena – and as North America has yet to fully appreciate these wines, they’re one of the best values around. Documents mentioning Montepulciano’s “wine of the nobles” date back to 1350; it’s long been a favourite of kings and popes. We’re talking elegance here; Nobile ages beautifully over a decade, and as it evolves, it becomes earthy and savoury, with notes of leather and wood. A minimum of 70 percent sangiovese (locally called prugnolo gentile) and other grapes, Nobile ages for at least two years before release (three years for Riserva), producing a premium fine wine of great finesse. Try with a dish of pork or beef pappardelle (or wild boar to be authentic), long simmered casseroles, and braised meats.
Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2013 – Class in a glass. A silky, structured wine with a long finish, and dark cherry flavours leading vanilla and pencil lead. I might slip on my little black dress for this refined wine. CSPC +368910 $37
Probably the most traditional Tuscan dessert is cantucci – baked almond biscotti biscuits, dunked in Vin Santo – Italy’s “Holy Wine.” Another historical style of winemaking, trebbiano, and often malvasia grapes, are left to dry on hooks in an airy loft for several months, before being pressed and left in old barrels for natural fermentation to start. There the wine will slowly ferment for at least three years, and often up to 10 years. These complex wines can be fortified, and develop an oxidative character not unlike sherry or Madeira, which makes for an exquisite pairing with blue cheese, aged pecorino, and parmesan.
Il Poggione Vin Santo – Wow, be prepared for an intense wine, with dried stone fruit and honey, almonds and spice – and delight in the pleasure of this wine with strong cheese, blue or other. CSPC +851870 500 mL $45
But don’t miss Vin Santo dei Barbi CSPC +702954 375 mL $29 29
Vermouth: A Quiet Renaissance? by LINDA GARSON photography by INGRID KUENZEL
Hands up if you have a bottle of vermouth gathering dust in your spirits cupboard or lurking at the back of your fridge! While it might be time to dispose of it (it is wine, after all), it could also be time to reacquaint yourself with this aromatised drink, and buy yourself a new bottle. With the recent growth of craft distilleries resulting in a huge boom in gin over the last few years, interest and demand is increasing worldwide for drinks infused with botanicals. Vermouth bars are opening up across Spain and in London, and while we’re not expecting to see any in Alberta in the near future, we can certainly enjoy the wide variety of vermouth available to us – neat or in cocktails. Originally marketed for medicinal purposes, sweet red vermouth was created in 1786 in Turin, Italy, and dry white vermouth 14 years later in France, as a fortified wine comprising 75 percent wine and 25 percent brandy infused with botanicals. But it really found its home in some of history’s most iconic cocktails. Dry vermouth for Martinis and sweet for Manhattans – right? An easy guide might be to remember white vermouth with white spirits and red vermouth with brown spirits! In between cocktails, do refrigerate as the flavour will start to lessen and become dull – much like those herbs you’ve been storing for years at the back of your kitchen cupboard. 30
We’re spoiled for choice in Alberta; as well as from Italy and France you’ll find vermouth on liquor store shelves from the Czech Republic, USA (try Brovo or Quady), Spain (try Lustau Vermut), Germany (Ferdinands), Australia (Maidenii) and even Canada (try Odd Society Distillery’s Bittersweet Vermouth from BC, or Dillons Small Batch Vermouth from Ontario). Graham Teare, of Cardinale in Calgary, suggests playing with the flavours. “Try three different styles of red vermouth as a Manhattan cocktail with the same rye whiskey, and see how totally different they are from each other. Or really have fun and try with different ryes! A bit of citrus zest brightens it up and takes away any syrupy texture too,” he adds.
Martini & Rosso Riserva Ambrato – flavours of musk, cinchona, honey, and acacia, with a bright acidity. Perfect for a flavourful martini with lemon peel. CSPC +801797 $25 Calissano Vermouth Rosso Superior – chinotto, a small citrus fruit with a bitter taste, used in amari, is evident as well as black pepper and cloves. CSPC +802258 $35-$37 Cocchi Dopo Teatro – bittersweet, with notes of plum jam, cinchona, and rhubarb. Add a twist of lemon zest. CSPC +759077 $50-$52
Here are a few Italian vermouths to try:
Carpano Antica Formula – a classic, and elegant. Expect vanilla, toffee, liquorice, and pepper. Drink on its own, or for a different flavoured Manhattan. CSPC + 752677 $50-$52 1 L
Scarpa Bianco – sweet and unctuous with flavours of honey, apricot and coriander. Serve on the rocks with a twist of orange peel. CSPC +777926 $50-$52
Many thanks to Graham Teare of Cardinale, in Calgary, for his knowledge and expertise, and vast selection of Italian vermouths. And for letting us photograph a few of them on his bar!
WEALTH MANAGEMENT IS LIKE YOUR FAVORITE RECIPE WITH THE BEST INGREDIENTS PREPARED BY YOUR OWN PERSONAL CHEF
PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT | FINANCIAL PLANNING
RT MOSAIC WEALTH MANAGEMENT
GUIDE TIP SIX:
ONE SIX-PACK EQUALS FIVE NEW FRIENDS
11819 ST. ALBERT TRAIL SHERBROOKELIQUOR.COM
CASUALLY ELEGANT. UNIQUELY VINTAGE.
WEEKDAY EXPRESS LUNCH Two-course $20 | Three-course $25 WEDNESDAY PRIX FIXE DINNER Three-course $40 THURSDAY HALF PRICE WINE Select bottles of wine 50% off | Lunch and Dinner An opportunity to enjoy fine wines at an incredible price! See our website for upcoming events: • Friday Night Flights • Dinner & A Movie • Games Nights • Shamrocks and Shenanigans Reservations Recommended 403.268.8607 or www.SelkirkGrille.ca OPEN TUESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY FOR LUNCH AND DINNER. OPEN SUNDAY FOR LUNCH. CLOSED MONDAY.
Italy – A Country Known For Its … Beer? by KIRK BODNAR
When you think of Italy, what images come to mind? Perhaps famous sights such as the Colosseum, or Florence’s Duomo? Masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, or Da Vinci’s Last Supper? What about the food? Neapolitan pizza, cheeses, and prosciutto from Parma? Perhaps you can envisage enjoying a lovely romantic lunch in a quaintly rustic Tuscan piazza, sipping Chianti with a simple, but perfect, pasta dish – oh the pasta… 32
One thing you may not think about straight away is Italy’s beer. Let’s face it, Italy is a wine-loving country, and for good reason – Italy produces some of the world’s finest wines. While Italians drink, on average, more wine than most other nationalities, Italy has one of the most exciting up and coming craft beer scenes in the world. For a number of years, craft beer experts have been suggesting that Italy’s beer scene is on the cusp of greatness, and although beer in Italy hasn’t yet experienced the same prominence as other European or
international markets, the quality, and definitely the creativity, of Italian craft brewers is world class. One such brewery is Birrificio Del Ducato, located in the small lower Parma town of Roncole Verdi – also the birthplace of Guiseppe Verdi. The beers produced there are truly masterpieces sculpted from the raw elements, as though their brewer was Michelangelo chiseling away at a slab of marble. Del Ducato New Morning is a delicious Belgian-Style saison – a rustic style of beer originally brewed to quench the
located in the town of Verdi’s birth, the brewery pays homage by presenting a very bold and rich imperial stout with chilli peppers, which provide a subtle, though distinctly spicy, finish. CSPC 783496, 335 mL $6.80
thirst of farm labourers, and in this case amped up with the addition of wild flowers, chamomile, coriander, green peppercorns, and ginger. It is at the same time floral, spicy, and refreshingly dry – and very food friendly, especially with rustic Italian meat dishes such as Osso Bucco. CSPC 783495, 335 mL $5. Del Ducato Verdi Imperial Stout is another excellent example of Italian beer at its best. As the brewery is
Another exiting Italian craft brewery is White Pony Microbrewery, located just outside Venice, in a town called Piove de Sacco. They operate their business (including a pub) in Italy, but brew much of their beer in Belgium – a practice that is quite common in Europe. Despite the Belgian connection, the beer is Italian to the core, and White Pony is well respected in their region of Italy as well as internationally. White Pony’s Ambra is a Belgian-style amber ale with a distinct spicy and somewhat fruity yeast character. The beer has a pleasant light caramel and mild dry fruit flavour as well. This would be a very cheese-friendly beer, and pair very well with a number of Italian cheeses. CSPC 807987, 12 oz bottle $4.50.
Although the prominence of wine as the drink of choice in Italy is likely not diminishing any time soon, the interest in beer is continually growing. With creative masterpieces such as those from Birrificio Del Ducato’s Giovanni Campari and other like-minded craft brewers, maybe Italy will soon emerge as a top beer destination, just as experts have been predicting for a number of years. So the next time you are choosing a drink to pair with your pasta, why not give Italian craft beer a try? Kirk Bodnar is a Certified CICERONE®, BJCP beer judge, beer consultant, history teacher, home brewer, and Education Director for CAMRA Alberta. Follow him on Twitter @beersnsuch
Before Or After Dinner Cocktail? by LINDA GARSON photography by INGRID KUENZEL
Pre-dinner aperitivi and after dinner digestivi are enormously popular in Italy. “Aperitvo hour”, or happy hour to us, is a time to unwind after the day’s work, and to socialise with friends. Typical drinks might be a spritz of prosecco with vermouth, or a bitter-sweet cocktail to get your digestive juices flowing. As it sounds, digestivi such as the distilled herbal amari, are enjoyed after your espresso at the end of the meal, to aid digestion. They take pride of place at Cardinale, in Calgary, who have a selection of more than 30 different types, which they serve traditionally as well as combining them with other spirits and juices for their cocktail menu. This month, Graham Teare, partner and general manager of Cardinale, has created an amaro sour for us to make at home that is equally good before your meal too! “Black Note amaro has flavours of mocha, cola, cinnamon, and cloves, with a rhubarb aftertaste,” says Teare. “We combine it with bright citrus notes of lemon and grapefruit to give the drink a refreshing aperitivo quality.” The frothy egg white adds a creaminess to the cocktail, and it’s finished with crushed aromatic allspice, to round out and complement the spice notes of the amaro. Salute!
Almost Brown 2 oz Black Note amaro 1 oz lemon juice ¼ oz simple syrup 4 dashes grapefruit bitters 1 egg white Allspice and a twist of orange peel to garnish
Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker without ice. Dry shake for a minute, then add ice and shake for another minute. Pour into a coupe glass, and garnish with crushed allspice berries and orange peel.
Newly renovated guestrooms Four onsite dining options www.carriagehouse.net | calgary, alberta
ELEGANCE AND CHARACTER
A smooth and elegant Sangiovese, with intense progression, harmony, and impressive proportion of all its components. This is a modern vision of the classic Sangiovese; it represents Umberto Cesari to the world.
Please drink responsibly.
Beer Cocktails And Blends: Here To Stay by DAVID NUTTALL photograph by INGRID KUENZEL
If you glance at any bar menu, you’ll notice an upsurge in cocktails. Gin has somewhat returned to its former glory, there are more flavours of vodka than you ever knew existed, whiskies are on the rise, and other foreign ingredients have come into the mix (literally). Not only do we have the return of the classics, but a whole world of new cocktails is now in vogue. To this, you can add the current trend of beer cocktails – in 2017, this category saw the largest growth in cocktails, at 13.6 percent.* Beer purists may cringe, but on one hand it makes sense; there are now more flavours of beer available than ever before. It was only natural that beer would be treated just like any other alcohol, and not only blended together but with other ingredients too. Of course, the other side argues that beer is already fine as it is, and any adulteration is blasphemy. Yet, if you look at the history of beer, blending has been commonly employed. 36
Many beer styles, such as porters, arose from blending – or it is part of the brewing process, such as in many Belgian beer styles (sours, lambics, and many more). Combining older beer vintages with new beer is also a way many brewers keep flavour consistency. Today, blending barrels and batches for strengths, consistency, or new flavour profiles is popular with craft breweries. This has now grown to blending different styles together in the brewery to create completely new and unique beers. Some beer cocktails have a long history; the Black and Tan is at least 300 years old, the Shandy about half that long, and the Red Eye became popular in the 20th century, if not before.
In beer cocktails today, we have two parallel developments. One uses standard, mass-produced lager as a base, and gives it a boost in flavour by adding other ingredients. The other is blending modern craft beers together to create something not only unique, but hopefully damn tasty as well. You can experiment with your own blends, testing small batches at ratios of 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, and 1:4 until you find one you like. The permutations are endless, so have fun creating your own cocktails and beer blends – or try some of these recipes.
The Classics Beer and Clam – The Canadian version of the Red Eye, substituting Clamato for tomato juice. It seems to only exist in Canada, along the US/Canada border states, and places Canadians frequent abroad that have access to Clamato. You can turn this into a “Beer Caesar” by adding drops of Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Beer Margarita/Beerita/Beermarita/ Bulldog – Combine light lager beer, tequila and one can of lime concentrate in a pitcher, stir, and serve over ice in salt-rimmed glasses. Other versions use ice in a blender to create the slushy kind. The beer/ tequila ratio is to taste and tolerance levels. The Bulldog is simply inverting a light lager bottle into a slushy margarita, and pouring it in.
Beer cocktails ... saw the largest growth in cocktails
Black and Tan/Half and Half – Layering stout over pale ale. Pictured left. Black Velvet – Stout with champagne or other sparkling wine. You can turn this into a cocktail by adding a teaspoon of crème de cassis, garnish with liqueursoaked cherries, and serve in a coupe glass.
Lager and Lime – An old British favourite. Add a teaspoon each of fresh lime and Rose’s lime juice into a glass of lager. Garnish with a slice of lime.
Pink Velvet – Calgary’s Wild Rose Brewery has created several blends of their beers, but the first and most popular is a blend of Wraspberry Ale and Velvet Fog wheat ale. Try it at home! Radler/Shandy – Essentially these two drinks are the same thing; a light ale or lager combined with fruit juice or lemon/lime pop, ginger ale, or your favourite mixer, usually at a 50/50 ratio. The ratio can be altered to taste and alcohol content. These can be found prepackaged, and there are over three dozen in the Alberta market. Red Eye – A lager and tomato juice mixture, with a few drops of Tabasco sauce. Some versions add an ounce of vodka with one egg dropped in as a supposed hangover cure. Snake Bite – A blend of lager and cider.
Chelada/Michelada - The Chelada is lime juice and a light lager (usually Mexican), with ice, served in a salt rimmed glass and garnished with lime. The Michelada has the same blend, but with the addition of Clamato or tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and a dash or four of hot sauce.
There is no shortage of beer/liquor mashups being created today and blending two beers together is becoming commonplace. The latest craze is dropping shots of hard liquor into beer to create some new form of Depth Charge. Enjoy this with the endless headache.
Crown Float – Stout layered over cider, sometimes using the “back of spoon” pouring technique.
David has worked in liquor since the late 1980s. He is a freelance writer, beer judge, speaker, and since 2014, has run Brew Ed monthly beer education classes in Calgary. Follow @abfbrewed.
*Stats from Technomic Inc.
Making The Case: For Italian Wine by TOM FIRTH
There is something undeniably wonderful about Italy for almost anyone who enjoys travel. From the architecture and the history, the art and the people, to the wine and the food. I dare claim that Italy is perhaps the finest example of the magic that food and wine can achieve together. Each region brings authentic, local cuisine to the table, and these feasts (there really is no other word to describe them) complement and elevate the local wines. With a bevy of local and indigenous grapes to choose from, these beautiful wines complete the meals of the country's regional cuisine.
A note about prices and CSPC codes. The code we’ve provided can help you find a liquor store in Alberta that has recently ordered it. Go to liquorconnect.com to use this service. Your local liquor store can also use this code to determine if they have stock, or need to order a specific product. On prices, we’ve tried to provide a range to give you an idea of what the wine might cost, based on typical markups in Alberta. Some stores might sell for less, some maybe a little more, but it should help you avoid any unpleasant surprises... Salute!
Istine 2015 Chianti Classico, Tuscany One of the beautiful gems of Tuscany, and at a remarkable price for the quality. Rich, tart cherry fruits, earthy nuances, and layers upon layers of discussion-worthy traits. Not quite swayed? It’s small volume (like only about 3,000 bottles); and is a wine you’ll want to show off to your wine friends – after you’ve stocked up. Serve with any classical Italian fare. CPSC +782522 About $33-35
Monte Schiavo 2017 Marzaiola Lacrima di Morro d’Alba, Marche A showstopping wine from a recent trip to Marche, the grape is lacrima, an uncommon grape where verdicchio is king, queen, and court entire. Black pepper and damson plums with a touch of overripe fruit, and mild earth and herb. Deep and flowery on the palate, but above all – it’s damn good and fun to drink. Match with dishes you’d pair excellent gamay with. CSPC +742046 About $23-25
Zenato 2011 “Cresasso” Corvina Veronese, Veneto
Tom is a freelance wine writer, wine consultant, and wine judge. He is the contributing Drinks Editor for Culinaire Magazine, and is the Competition Director for the Alberta Beverage Awards. Follow him on twitter @cowtownwine 38
photograph courtesy Linda Garson
A wonderful treat whenever I pull one of these out of the cellar, naturally, because it ages well, but also it’s a rare expression of the corvina grape which is typically blended. Brambly red fruits with deep, rich, loamy characters and hints of floral notes and spice. Plenty of tannins too which handle rib eye steaks just as well as cured meats. Delicious! CSPC +740293 $48-50
Tommasi 2015 Poggio al Tufo Rompicollo, Tuscany
Prà 2017 Otto Soave Classico, Veneto
Gigglewater NV Prosecco, Treviso
Earthy, and maybe brooding on the nose and palate with some serious tannins on the finish, there is plenty to love here. Look for subtle spice and leather tones, a touch of bell pepper, blueberry and cherry fruits, and that lovely finish. I’d gladly pair this with a striploin or roast. Delicious! CSPC +721783 $21
Soave used to have a reputation for cheap and cheerful Italian white wine, but in recent years it's emerging as a unique and well-crafted wine utilizing the garganega grape. Peach and apricot fruits with an abundance of floral characters and a mild bitter/salty finish. Quite a treat on it’s own, but would be a match with lighter seafood dishes, or cream sauces. CSPC +779676 $25-26
The “Best in Class” prosecco winner at the 2018 Alberta Beverage Awards, Gigglewater is an even softer, gentler expression of the ubiquitous and quaffable prosecco. A near overabundance of fresh tropical fruits and a perfect level of fizz, make for an easy, refreshing sparkler when the nice weather comes back. CSPC +791849 About $18-20
Michele Chiarlo 2015 Le Orme Barbera d’Asti, Piedmont
Mezza di Mezzacorona NV Italian Glacial Bubbly, Trentino-Alto Adige
Speri 2014 Sant’Urbano Valpolicella Appassimento, Veneto
Barbera d’Asti is one of my favourite Italian wines, striking a deft balance between power and poise. The nose evokes blackberry jelly on good bread in a slightly smoky field, with a touch of alcohol heat to tickle the senses. Sweet fruits buffered by smooth tannins and tight, taught acids, and graced with a long clean finish, I’m thinking a few ribeye steaks would do very nicely here. A steal! CSPC +727648 $18-20
May there always be a need for fresh, fun bubbly. A slightly unusual blend of chardonnay, pinot blanc, and about 10 percent muller thurgau, this sparkler bridges the gap between off-dry sparkling wine and crisper, tighter sparkling wines others may want. Fresh pineapple, honeydew, and apple fruits dominate, with a good mousse, and generous finish. Would absolutely kick ass on the deck this summer. CSPC + About $17-20 on most shelves
The Valpolicella wines of the Veneto region are some of the most popular with wine drinkers around the world – but make no mistake, these aren’t flabby fruit bombs appealing to the most basic of palates. Take Speri’s for example, sweet berry fruits well offset by rich earthy spices and a long, almost savoury finish, with the right amount of tannins. Perfect on its own, but would complement almost any classically Italian dishes that call for red wine. CSPC +736517 About $35
Lini 910 Lambrusco Reggiano, Emilia Romagna
Villalta 2014 Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore, Veneto
Viberti Giovanni 2016 “La Gemella” Barbera d’Alba, Piedmont
Lambrusco is a bit of an oddity in the wine world. To the layperson, it’s a sparkling red wine, but in reality, so much more. Made from lambrusca grapes (of which there are several types), but often made as a ripe, rich, sparking red. Lini is among the best, with tart, generous, blackberry fruits. Try matching with cured meats, hard cheese, or pizza. CSPC +754780 $19-21
Sour cherry fruits with blackberry jelly dominate the nose, but not to worry, there are plenty of spicy, earthy, and even dark chocolate aromas to enjoy as well. Ripe and juicy on the palate with great fruit presence and the right amount of acidity and tannins. I’d pair this with many things, but what comes to mind are homemade lasagna, or baby back ribs. Yum! CSPC +735056 $21
Magic for the senses, with a deep base of berry-driven fruits on the nose with sweet, almost incense-like spice and aromatic characters bringing additional nuances. Palate-wise, plush with generous fruits and milder tannins. I could drink this all day long. Pair up with homemade burgers, thin crust pizzas, or just enjoy a glass on its own. CSPC +798819 About $26-29 39
Etcetera Regal Fresh Egg Pasta
Fabbri Amarena Wild Cherries in Syrup
In a lovely jar that you’ll want to keep and use for something else in your kitchen, these wild amarena cherries from Bologna, in Italy, have an intense flavour and are preserved in a rich sweet syrup.
The Regal range of fresh pastas is produced in Abruzzo, on Italy’s east coast, for Alberta’s Catalia Foods. Filled or plain, the pasta is 100% natural and made from just eggs, water and durum wheat, with a texture and taste like homemade. It cooks in less than five minutes, and most impressive – it can last in your fridge for 160 days from the production date, although we suspect that it will all be gone well before then! Available at Scarpone’s, Sunterra, the Italian Centre Shop, and other Italian markets. $7-$9
These cherries are no secret, but the recipe has been closely guarded since 1905. They’re perfect over ice cream and dark chocolate desserts, but try them in cocktails too for a new way of livening up your Manhattans and Old Fashions. 8 oz, around $13 at Italian Centre Shops, specialty markets, and from Amazon.
Seedlip Non-Alcoholic Spirits
Seedlip is making waves with their distilled non-alcoholic spirits using only natural herbs and spices. There are three spirits for those not drinking: Spice 94, an aromatic blend of allspice and cardamom, barks, and citrus; Garden 108, with peas and hay from founder Ben Branson’s farm, along with garden herbs and hops; and Grove 42, a blend of oranges, ginger, lemon, and lemongrass. Not intended to be drunk neat, just add tonic – or 40
Amaroni Capriccio di Pesce, Antipasto
Capriccio di Pesce could be thought of as the seafood equivalent of the other spicy speciality from Calabria, in the south of Italy – nduja, a fiery, spreadable pork salumi. Noodlefish, or ice fish, are combined with sweet peppers, hot peppers, and sunflower oil, to create a “piccante” (spicy-hot) antipasto that, like ndjua, could just be spread on crusty bread, but try it as a seasoning in tomato sauce, on pizza, or in salad dressing. 190 g, around $12 at Italian Centre Shops and specialty markets.
experiment with teas, syrups and sodas to create your own cocktails. Widely available in markets across Alberta.
Good Earth Coffeehouse Azalea Single Origin Coffee, Costa Rica The latest release of Good Earth's quarterly coffee feature, Azalea is Rainforest Alliance Certified, and comes from the Central Valley of Costa Rica – but almost of utmost importance, this is rich, smooth coffee of subtlety and nuance. Tired of near-charred, over-roasted coffees? This should be your new morning ritual…. 340 g $18
Will your products be winners in 2019?
Registration is now open! Celebrating Albertaâ€™s Best Beverages Visit culinairemagazine.ca/aba to enter your wines, beers, spirits, and soft drinks for the 2019 Alberta Beverage Awards. Registration Deadline June 28 Judging Takes Place July 15â€“17 For more information, contact competition director Tom Firth: email@example.com
marry her. They lived in a duplex with his maternal grandparents, but at home nobody spoke English, so Marghella’s first language is Italian. He was immersed in the traditions of Calabria, in southern Italy. His family taught him how to make sausages and wine, and the Easter and Christmas traditions – all of which have stayed with him to today. When finishing high school in 1999, his grandfather decided that Marghella needed a job, and took him to see Mr. Spinelli, sitting outside in the sun at the Italian Centre in Edmonton’s little Italy. The memories have never faded. “I said, my name is Geniale, but they call me Gino here. It’s after my dad’s dad in Italy. I’m looking for a job,” recalls Marghella. “He asked for a resume to give to his daughter, Teresa, as he was sick and she was slowly taking over at that time.”
Open That Bottle by LINDA GARSON photography by INGRID KUENZEL
“Saturday we got married. Sunday, Italy won the World Cup, then Monday we opened up the Southside store. 2006 was a great year,” says Gino Marghella, General Manager of the Italian Centre Shops. In true romantic Italian style, his mom went to Italy on vacation, fell in love, and his father immigrated to Edmonton to 42
He started three days later. It was a Saturday and De Cecco pasta was on sale for 49 cents. The deli was lined up round the block. “There was something about the deli,” he says. “It was that interaction with the customer about food; it was like history, and tradition of where we came from, and the store was a centrepiece of the community – and I fell in love with it.” Marghella was studying economics and accounting as well as working, and has very fond memories of the time. “In the lunchroom we got to interact with all Mr. Spinelli’s friends – politicians and hockey players, and it was so neat to be around that,” he says. “On my 18th birthday, they actually took me out.” It was the guys together, and then the next day they had to work. A position opened up for deli manager and he took it, going to school at night. A store manager position followed. Then in 2013, Teresa offered him the opportunity to open the West
End store. In 2015, he was opening the Calgary store. “It changed my life forever, because Calgary has been a beautiful place for the Italian Centre and for my family, and that’s really important, I’ve loved it ever since. My passion is passing on legacy of Mr. Frank Spinelli,” Marghella says. “He was larger than life to a young man like me, and taught me a lot. It’s all about people, and giving me an opportunity to really do what I love. It’s going to be 20 years, and last year I became the general manager, so I look after all the stores. I go every second week to Edmonton.” So what bottle is Marghella saving for a special occasion? When he came to Calgary, he bought two bottles of wine and has been saving the 2007 Masi Costasera Amarone. “The store means a lot to me, and to my family’s life, and I want to open it when we open our next store. Hopefully we’ll do it soon,” he says. “We are lucky to be here, it’s a beautiful community. They’ve embraced us and supported us. When we open another store, there’s a few people that are going to drink it with me. My brother-in-law has been a good mentor, so I wanted to drink it with him; a glass to Teresa; and some of my guys that have been with me since day one, and believed in the vision of what we’re trying to do here.”
“Even us picky eaters found somethin' to chew on!"
So there's no excuse not to attend On Friday April 12th, 2019 you’re invited to the 7th annual Taste of Bragg Creek. Year round, Bragg Creek wine & food merchants and restaurateurs offer culinary experiences to fit every occasion. Whether it’s after a long day on the trails, to quench your thirst after golf or to impress a significant other, Bragg Creek is the destination for you and your taste buds. Celebrate the Taste of Bragg Creek culinary event for the entire month of April.
For complete details visit tasteofbraggcreek.ca Facebook facebook.com/tastebraggcreek Twitter @TasteofBragg
Proudly supported by
REAL MILK COMES FROM REAL COWS. ANYTHING ELSE IS NUTS.
HONEST. CANADIAN. DAIRY.
Alberta's freshest food and beverage magazine, Dining out, dining in, wine, beer, spirits, and cocktails. March is Tutto Italiano - our Ital...
Published on Mar 1, 2019
Alberta's freshest food and beverage magazine, Dining out, dining in, wine, beer, spirits, and cocktails. March is Tutto Italiano - our Ital...