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Holiday Baking | Seasonal Drinks | HotelAlberta's Dining 2020 | Chocolate! freshest food & beverage magazine - December 2019


2 Alberta's freshest food & beverage magazine - December 2019


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Features 16

Finding Your Rhythm When two local professional ballet dancers retired, they found a new passion making cheese to feed their creativity and imagination. by Elizabeth Chorney-Booth

18 The Christmas Controversy Fruitcake is often the cause of much debate by Renée Kohlman 20 A Blue Christmas Crack open the Port with these cheeses! by Candace Hiebert 32 The State of Chocolate Past, present, and future by Mallory Frayn 34 Soak In The Holiday Season Baking with boozy fruit by Natalie Findlay 38 What’s New in Winter Brew …for you, you, and you by David Nuttall


Hotel Dining 26 Food for Change Times are a changing in hotels, no It’s the season for socializing, longer do you need to look outside indulgence, and sharing gifts with for where to eat - hotel restaurants are loved ones, but it’s also the time to now destinations in themselves. celebrate the spirit of giving. by Daniel Bontje by Lynda Sea

40 Making The Case Wines for gifting and gatherings by Tom Firth

Departments 6

Salutes and Shout Outs


Off The Menu: Notable’s Warm Chocolate Pudding

44 Cocktail Cheer! Celebrating the holidays in style by Linda Garson


Book Review Dirty Food

46 In the Spirit of the Season Who cares if it’s cold out? by Tom Firth and Linda Garson


Chefs’ Tips and Tricks: A Rocky Mountain Holiday Feast

50 Open That Bottle Gail Norton, of The Cookbook Co. by Linda Garson

48 Etcetera...

42 Holiday Pairings Canadian wines for the season by Tom Firth

On the Cover: We love pie all year round, but there’s something special about holiday time that has us hankering for buttery, flaky pastry filled with seasonal fruit. Thanks very much to Nancy Goemans of Pie Junkie for baking up a storm for us (there were more than a few pies that didn’t make it to the cover!) and to photographer Dong Kim for capturing our cover pie and helping to eat the others!

Alberta's freshest food & beverage magazine - December 2019 3

Letter From The Editor pairing dinners have been very well received with the majority selling out, as did our wine and culinary tours too. Both Calgary and Edmonton Treasure Hunts were a joy; we love the enthusiasm and energy from everyone who participates, and we believe you all thoroughly enjoyed them too. They’re so much fun, we can’t wait for next year’s Hunts!

Another year draws to a close… Are you sad to see it end? It’s rather strange times isn’t it; we never seem to have enough room to write about all the new openings and the changes in our cities - and there are many more this month - but we also lost some treasures too. It’s been a good year for us, I’m glad to report. I’m really happy with the decision to bring Vine & Dine into Culinaire, and our

It was a bumper year for both our third Alberta’s Finest Drinks Lists Awards and our seventh Alberta Beverage Awards, making the results even more meaningful with such stiff competition. Congratulations to all our winners. And we grew in size after our seventh birthday in May, adding extra pages in June and every issue since! Our December issues have often focused on the sweeter side, and in this issue we’ve included recipes and articles on baked goodies

as well as chocolate, and we’re also looking at the paradigm shift in hotel dining, with many hotel restaurants becoming destinations in their own right. But it’s also time to think on those less fortunate, and as we wholeheartedly support our food charities, we wanted to highlight four Alberta organizations that we haven’t brought to your attention before. And it’s time to thank everyone who has supported Culinaire this year: our advertisers, contributors, photographers, marketers, editors, and designers. Thanks too to Alberta Magazine Publishers’ Association, and to you for your kind words and encouragement. Please continue to shop local and support our local businesses. I hope it’s a very happy holiday time for you and your family, Cheers Linda Garson, Editor-in-Chief CELEBRATING EST.





Eat. Drink. Be Merry. Repeat.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro at holiday entertaining or hosting your first festive gathering, we have a bounty of fresh and imported ingredients and recipes to inspire. Pressed for time? Bring your own board and our deli team can put together the perfect cheese or charcuterie platter.

Grocery. Bakery. Deli. Café. EDMONTON Little Italy | Southside | West End

Italiancentre.ca CALGARY Willow Park

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 and Marketing: Denice Hansen 403-828-0226 denice@culinairemagazine.ca For Edmonton: Lorraine Shulba 780-919-9627 lorraine@culinairemagazine.ca Design: Little Blue Bug Studios Edmonton Contributors: Anna Brooks Elizabeth Chorney-Booth Natalie Findlay Mallory Frayn Candace Hiebert Dong Kim Renée Kohlman Karen Miller David Nuttall Lynda Sea

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

Our Contributors < LYNDA SEA

Lynda is a freelance writer/ editor based in Calgary. Currently, she manages web and social media for the Faculty of Nursing as a digital communications specialist at the University of Calgary. Lynda also does copywriting for local corporate clients through The Writing Department. Her writing has appeared in Avenue, WestJet Magazine, EnRoute and Flare. You can usually find her out hiking in the Canadian Rockies or eating her way through Alberta. Follow her @lyndasea.

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A lawyer by trade, Karen’s attention to details gives her a knack for picking apart recipes and cookbooks for Culinaire reviews. She has a passion for her ever-expanding cookbook collection, and the cooks and the stories they tell provide inspiration for her own cooking style. She believes cooking is meant for sharing and has taught many styles of cooking classes as well as being part of the Calgary Dishing girls (producing two cookbooks).

Steak & Lobster dinner special $95++


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

Mallory is a food writer and PhD candidate living in Montreal. She combines her two passions, food and psychology, to help people develop healthier relationships with food. Mallory is a regular contributor to publications such as Eat North and Eater Montreal where she writes on a variety of food and psychology-related topics. Her work has also been featured in Time Out Montreal, Canada’s 100 Best, and more. Follow Mallory @cuzilikechoclat.

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.

Last seating at 9pm Spots are going fast! escoba.ca 624 8th Ave SW 403-474-4829


Canada's Great Kitchen Party

Congratulations to the winners of Canada’s Great Kitchen Party Calgary. It was hard fought with no clear frontrunner, but Darnell Japp of Rouge took bronze; Workshop Kitchen + Culture’s Kenny Kaechele won silver; and the only woman to compete, Jenny Kang of Shokunin took the top slot!

Congratulations too to Edmonton’s Nataliia Shevchenko who won CBC’s third season of The Great Canadian Baking Show! And more congrats go to Chad Lawrence of Comery Block in Calgary, who won the North American Finals of the prestigious Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge!

and Shout Outs…

Calgary Farmer's Market It’s exciting times for Calgary markets Calgary Farmers' Market have broken ground on their second location, in Greenwich! We can't wait for the opening in Spring 2021, and they’re already fully leased! And Prairie Horizon Fresh Market is moving apace and set to open at New Horizon Mall next year!

Sidewalk Citizen’s new restaurant is now open in Beltline Calgary’s Central Memorial Park! They’ve added the gorgeous “Solarium” to the existing building that housed Boxwood and Provision, to now seat 80 people for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You’ll recognize some of the superb veggie-forward, Mediterranean sharing dishes from their other locations, and now there are more generous, large plates to share (or keep all to yourself!) too. As they’re in a park, the theme is plants and people as homage to the park. The sidings let in UV 60% so it’s not glaring – and plants are growing inside in the park soil too. It’s a must visit, but not on a Monday.


SPUD.ca has partnered with local brewers, distillers, and Vine Arts liquor store, so you can now add alcohol to your weekly grocery box and have it delivered to your door!

Duncan Ly has transformed Foreign Concept’s lounge area into Takori, serving up those Asian fusion tacos that we all love and crave at Avenida Food Hall, along with additional menu items like honey butter chips and more… and there’s a liquor licence too!

Much-loved holiday-pop up bar, “Miracle” is back at Calgary’s Proof Cocktail Bar which has transformed into a Christmas wonderland, with special holiday décor and cocktail menu! And for the first-time, Ricardo’s Hideaway has joined them as Sippin’ Santa! It’s full of tiki-style and Polynesian décor with a tiki cocktail menu. Franks on Macleod is Smuggler’s new restaurant, joining Bolero, Open Sesame, and Smuggler’s Inn in the ex-Tango Bistro spot on Calgary’s Macleod Trail. It’s a casual place to meet friends, share delicious plates of quality, modern, comfort food, healthy dishes, and all-day breakfast - at very reasonable prices. 7 days from 11 am.

There’s a new name in catering. After working at Nicole Gourmet for the last year, husband and wife, Camilla Sherret and Newell Orfei, have now taken over the company from Nicole Gomes. They’ve changed the name to Gather Catering but the quality is the same.

Sidewalk Citizen There’s no stopping Calgary’s Pie Junkie! In addition to their Spruce Cliff and Kensington stores, the new Mahogany location is now open in Westman Village serving up those super delicious, buttery, savoury and sweet pies seven days a week!

6 Alberta's freshest food & beverage magazine - December 2019

Edmonton’s Tokyo street food spot, Dorinku, has now opened a sister restaurant, Dorinku Osaka, on Jasper Avenue, serving up Osaka street food, cocktails, sake, shochu and more… and tucked in the back there’s Osaka Noodle ramen bar! Calgary’s Naked Leaf has moved next door on Kensington Road NW due to water issues in the lower level, and the new location is full of natural light, and much brighter than before! For teas, tea wares, custom tins and more! Open 7 days.

:: Cu lin aire Vin e & Din e Se ries :: Join us for fun and delicious Vine & Dine evenings this winter with your friends and family, or book your own private Vine & Dine for your holiday celebrations!

Christmas in Italy Bonterra Trattoria The Alley While we’re talking tea, Taiwanese teashop, The Alley, has now opened a chic Edmonton location on Currents Drive NW. There’s a wide choice of their handpicked and roasted tealeaves, with handmade tapioca pearls and house-made sugar cane syrup. Calgary’s fun and friendly arcade bar, Greta Bar, has also opened in Edmonton! The new location on 109 Street NW serves up cocktails, beer, wine, alongside fresh, locally sourced, grab-and-go food from around the world, and a choice of more than 50 arcade games! 3 pm-2 am, closed Mondays. Edmonton's historic Gibbard Block, on 112th Avenue at 65th Street, now houses three new businesses: Highlands Liquor is a boutique liquor store; Fox Burger is getting great reviews for their from-scratch, made to order beef, cod, chicken and veggie burgers, all washed down with an Alberta craft beer or signature shake; and Jewish-style licensed deli, June's Delicatessen, is also getting rave reviews for their bagels, soups, salads and sandwiches! Popowich Meat Company is now open at 170 Street, Edmonton. A full service family butcher shop, you’ll find local beef, pork, lamb, and chicken, as well as local meat pies and seasonings here, and a great range of ready to cook items to make your life super easy! Closed Sunday and Monday. And finally, when you’re in Toronto, Eataly has opened its first Canadian location in the Manulife Centre at Bay and Bloor. Over three floors you can eat in one of four restaurants, shop the market, take cooking classes… and there’s an in-house brewery too!

Monday December 2 Christmas is always special in the romantic wine room upstairs at Bonterra. A sparkling welcome reception is followed by an indulgent four course premium pairing meal. $107.95++

Gluten-Free Holiday Vine & Dine, Heaven Artisan GF Cuisine

Wednesday December 11 Heaven Artisan GF Cuisine is a 100% gluten-free restaurant - but you don’t have to be gluten-free to enjoy it! Join us for six flavourful pairing courses at this little gem. $78.75 ++

Holiday Celebration Pairing Dinner, Thai Sa-On

Vine & Dine, Mélo Eatery

Vine & Dine, Shoe & Canoe

Gung Hey Fat Choy! Mr. Chen’s Asian Brasserie

Wednesday December 4 Join us for this one-off evening in the beautiful ambience of Thai Sa-On to enjoy a special meal of 5 delicious courses of impeccable cuisine ~ all accompanied by superb pairings! $87.50++ Friday December 6, Friday 13, and Thursday 19 There’s a choice of 3 nights for our 6-course Canadiana pairing dinner at the fabulous new Shoe & Canoe. It’s not a hotel restaurant - it’s a restaurant in a hotel! $78.75 ++

Going Wild With Brian Keating! Safari Grill

Monday December 9 Brian Keating is taking us on brand new adventures! A superb 6-course pairing meal awaits, with Brian himself entertaining us with his never before seen videos and hilarious commentary of fascinating places and sights. A very special evening! $97.50++

Saturday January 18, Friday 24, and Thursday 30, 2020 We’re at Duncan Ly’s new French restaurant for three super delicious nights of 6-couse pairing dinners. We sell our nearly every time at Foreign Concept, so join us to enjoy Ly’s impressive new bistro! $81.75 ++

Wednesday January 29 A very special, one-off Fine & Dine pairing dinner at this beautiful, award-winning Mission restaurant, to celebrate the Lunar New Year in style with superb upscale fusion cuisine! $89.50++

Save the dates! ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen

Fridays March 13, June 12, October 2, and November 13, 2020 Our 6-course pairing dinners at ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen all sell out well in advance, so here’s our 2020 dates for you to reserve your places while they're still available! $81.75 ++

We’re announcing our brand new, all-inclusive wine and culinary tour of Northern Italy, September 2020 - ask for details! Check out culinairemagazine.ca/events and contact linda@culinairemagazine.ca, 403-870-9802 to reserve your places or to arrange a private event.

Off The Menu by LINDA GARSON photography by DONG KIM

How we loved to read this email: “Notable's Warm Chocolate Pudding is like molten cake on steroids. And something that's hard to pass on the menu, especially during the winter months. I've tried to figure out how to recreate it at home based on molten cake, but so far have always ended up with some form of cake with zero gooeyness.” Meghan W Well Meghan, we’re delighted to bring you good news. Many thanks to NOtaBLE, who have very kindly let us have the recipe for their Molten Chocolate Cake!

Notable’s Warm Chocolate Pudding Serves 4

180 g butter 110 g high quality semi-sweet chocolate 4 egg yolks 3 whole eggs 150 g white sugar 75 g gluten-free flour 50 g high quality bittersweet chocolate ¼ cup (60 mL) heavy cream

1. Melt butter and semi-sweet chocolate over a double boiler. 2. Mix egg yolks, eggs and sugar until sugar is dissolved, and combine with melted butter/ chocolate.

5. Once both parts are chilled, take 1 tablespoon of the ganache and press it into the centre of the chocolate pudding.

3. Add gluten-free flour, mix well then pour into oven-safe containers and chill until set.

6. Preheat oven to 350º F and bake for 8-10 minutes until hot throughout and set around the edges. Should be gooey in the middle. Best served with a scoop of ice cream.

4. Over a double boiler combine bittersweet chocolate and heavy cream to make ganache, then chill until set.

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 Alberta's freshest food & beverage magazine - December 2019


Book Review

Dirty Food

By Julie van Rosendaal Published by Dinner With Julie $19.95


I think we would agree that eating most food is typically messy. So what started as somewhat of a playful rant by Julie about the “clean eating” trend turned into a zealous Twitter conversation agreeing it implied some form of guilt for eating the “dirty” or “messy” foods we might enjoy.

Who can resist Julie’s version of poutine with Messy Fries on p.38, and the All Dressed chips on devilled eggs (p.27) - it works just as well on an open-face egg salad sandwich! Shredded Pancakes (p.18) sound perfect for any time of day and the Pimento Cheese Pull-apart bread (p.33) will make your kitchen smell amazing.

This in turn became the subject matter for the first in her series of single topic cookbooks. No one is more capable to tackle this subject than Julie. She is a prolific cook who lives, eats, and breathes all sorts of food, always sharing her experience with as many fans and followers as possible. This small format book is so easy to use, with satisfying recipes to make a delightful solitary midnight snack or fuel a hungry crowd. Julie adds in lots of “Crispy Bits” (also the name of her entertaining podcast), tips on preparation or modifications.

Julie’s food is everything she says it is: sticky, saucy, gooey, crumbly, messy and shareable well maybe not always as sometimes you may want it all for yourself!

It is always a pleasure to read Julie’s recipes, and she certainly makes everyone feel at ease using very “technical” cooking terms like “goo” to describe the syrup for her Sticky Buns (p.12), the first recipe in the book, and a good place to start.

Share the book at least, so we can all enjoy all our food with no guilt involved. If the rest of the cookbook series is anything like the first, we are in for a treat. 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.

This season, gather your family, friends or colleagues around our tables for inspired and memorable celebrations.




Chefs' Tips by ANNA BROOKS photography by DONG KIM


A Rocky Mountain Holiday Feast

The holiday season is here, and after years of practice, we’ve learned the best way to spend December is to eat, drink, be merry, and then eat (and drink) some more. Whether it’s turkey, mashed potatoes, or a legendary stuffing, we all have die-hard holiday dishes we look forward to every year. Local ingredients may seem scarce during the chilly snowscape that is December, but Rocky Mountain cuisine offers a plentiful array of locally sourced protein and veggies perfect for cozy holiday dinners. Plus, eating local helps mitigate waste, protect the environment, and support local communities and farmers.

root vegetables, to name a few – and building the flavour profile up from there.

For our special holiday issue, we spoke with four Alberta chefs about dishes that evoke the feelings of the mountains, and picked up some tips and tricks for making them at home.

Browned Winter Squash

For Daniel Nelson, executive chef at Deer Lodge, located just on the cusp of glimmering Lake Louise, mountain fare is inspired by things like bison, elk, berries, and pine trees. His strategy for a hearty holiday dinner is picking his base first – venison, pheasant, or

“Rocky Mountain cuisine to us is really about things that roam the area like bison and elk,” he says. “Especially during the winter when it’s cold, more about braised meat and stews.” For the perfect accompaniment or for those who don’t eat meat, try Nelson’s recipe for rustic browned winter squash. Serves 4

1 large butternut squash ½ cup raisins ½ cup (120 mL) dark beer 227 g (roughly two sticks) butter 2 Tbs juniper berries 1 tsp chili flakes ¼ cup pistachios, or any other nut of choice Pecorino cheese or Parmesan cheese Canola oil

1. Preheat oven to 350º F. 2. Start by cutting both ends off the butternut squash, and then cut in half lengthwise. Using a large spoon, remove the seeds. Place squash halves on an oiled baking sheet, and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until a fork slides smoothly into the center. 3. While squash is cooking, soak the raisins in beer. 4. When squash is finished, remove from oven and let cool. 5. In a large saucepan on medium heat, start

browning butter. Once melted, add juniper berries and chili flakes. Simmer until golden brown, approximately 10 minutes.

6. Scoop roasted squash out of its shell into a large mixing bowl. Lightly mash with hands. Strain brown butter into the bowl. 7. In the same saucepan, add beer and soaked raisins. Bring to a boil. Reduce sauce by half, approximately 5 minutes on medium heat. 8. Mix butter and squash together, and place in serving dish. Garnish with raisin beer sauce, freshly grated cheese and pistachios. 10 Alberta's freshest food & beverage magazine - December 2019

Rocky Mountain Meat Pie Serves 4 to 6

½ cup of salted pork belly 1 cup beef, cut in cubes 1 cup of lean elk, cut in cubes 1 cup moose, cut in cubes 3 cups potatoes, cut in cubes ¼ tsp allspice or five-spice powder 2 onions, minced 1 pie crust dough (homemade or premade) To taste salt and pepper The holiday season is big at the scenic Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge, where executive chef Eric Beaupre is busy making yule logs, meat pies, and of course, planning a massive turkey feast with all the best ingredients Alberta has to offer. Cloves, cranberries, sage… these are all flavours that to Beaupre, represent Christmas in the mountains, and are also ingredients you can find locally. “You can make something like carrot puree with maple syrup, and we have great local turkey here,” he says. “For me the whole point of the holidays is to take it slow, especially with food. With a turkey for example, take your time – don’t rush.” Putting an Alberta spin on a classic Quebecois dish, Beaupre’s recipe for cipaille, or layered meat pie, is sure to wow all your guests.

*Note: You can substitute any of the meats for your meat of choice. For centre dough: 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 Tbs butter 1 tsp baking powder 1/3 cup (80 mL) water Pinch of salt

1. Add meat, onion, and spices to a large

bowl. Mix well, and refrigerate overnight. In another bowl, mix all ingredients for the centre dough (except the water) together with a fork or whisk. Gradually add water. Form dough into a ball, wrap in cling wrap, and place in fridge.

2. Preheat oven to 350º F. In a casserole

dish (cast iron works best), line the bottom with a layer of meat. Place half of the potato cubes on top.

3. Cut ball of centre dough in half (save the

other half in the freezer for another recipe). Roll out dough until it’s the size you need to cover all the ingredients in the dish.

4. Place dough on top of first layer of meat and potatoes. On top of the dough, layer the remaining meat and potatoes. 5. Roll out the pie crust dough so it’s slightly bigger than your pot. Make a hole in the centre that’s roughly 2.5 cms around, and then lay dough overtop. 6. Slowly pour about 2 cups (500 mL) water in the center of hole until it just slightly overflows. Tip: For more flavour, substitute water for beef broth. 7. Cook in the oven until it comes to a boil. Reduce oven temperature to 250 º F and leave for approximately 3 to 4 hours, or until the top crust is a rich golden brown.

Nestled in beautiful Banff, The Bison restaurant is known for its spectacular traditional turkey dinner served at Christmas. Of course, winter in Banff isn’t the best time for growing ingredients, but executive chef Sal Polizzi says it’s still easy to find great local proteins and produce to incorporate into your holiday cooking. “Alberta has such a beautiful selection of maple syrups and honey,” he says. “One of my favourite winter dishes is chestnut soup with toasted pistachios. We also get a great variety of mushrooms that grow all year round.” Even for seasoned pros like Polizzi, turkey takes an enormous amount of time and effort. If you’re looking for a main dish that’s just as delicious and takes about half the time (and takes up less room in the fridge), try Polizzi’s recipe for crispy miso chicken.

2. Set up a steamer on the stove. Drain chicken and discard the brine. Put chicken in the steamer basket. Turn heat to medium, and set lid of the steamer slightly ajar. Steam for 40 minutes, and then remove and place on cooling rack. 3. Put the chicken in the refrigerator

uncovered (preferably still on the cooling rack) for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

4. Before frying, take chicken out of the

refrigerator at least 30 minutes ahead of time.

5. Pour enough oil for the chicken to be

submerged into a deep skillet. Heat to 350º F (you can also roast chicken in oven). Fry chicken in batches, turning once until the

Crispy Christmas Miso Chicken Serves 6

Chicken brine: 1 Tbs ginger, minced 2 Tbs garlic, minced ¼ cup (60 mL) soy sauce 3 Tbs (45 mL) white miso 3 Tbs brown sugar 8 cups (2 L) cold water One large chicken, cut into 4 to 8 pieces Oil for frying Miso dressing: 1 Tbs ginger 1 Tbs garlic ¼ cup (60 mL) rice wine vinegar 5 Tbs (75 mL) sesame oil 1 Tbs red chili peppers, sliced 1 Tbs (15 mL) miso ½ bunch cilantro 1 lime, juiced and zested To taste salt and pepper

1. Pat chicken dry. Mix all brine ingredients together and add the chicken pieces, cover or seal. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, and no more than 6 hours. 12 Alberta's freshest food & beverage magazine - December 2019

skin is deep brown and crispy, about 6 to 8 minutes.

6. For miso dressing, blend together all

ingredients in a food processor.

7. Place chicken in large bowl, toss with the miso dressing, and serve hot.

your energy whipping up a masterful main course. That’s why he sticks to simple, quality ingredients, and tries to plan something that can be prepped ahead of time.

Prep is the key to success “Prep is the key to success,” he says. “Anything you can make or prepare ahead of time to leave you with less to do on the big day will really help lower holiday stress.”

Last but not least: dessert. For chef Jeff Bazso at Murrieta’s Bar & Grill in the lovely mountain town of Canmore, holiday meals just aren’t complete without dessert. But dessert can be a bit of an afterthought, especially when you’ve exhausted all

1 tsp lemon zest 1/3 cup + 2 Tbs (110 mL) 35% heavy cream 10-15 Graham crackers or gingersnap cookies, crumbled Pecans, honey, white sugar, cayenne pepper for garnish Berries, mint for garnish (optional)

1. Combine the first five ingredients into a mixing bowl. Whip until smooth, and then refrigerate. 2. To make base, line jars with crumbled graham crackers, or ground gingersnap cookies for gluten-free.

One of Bazso’s new menu items is a deconstructed cheesecake, which is super easy to make and requires no baking. Try it yourself, and top of your perfect holiday meal with a perfect holiday dessert!

3. Toss pecans in honey, white sugar, and cayenne pepper. Toast lightly until caramel brown.

Murrieta’s Potted No-Bake Cheesecake

4. Scoop cheesecake mix into jars on top of base layer, and top with spicy honey pecans.

454 g (2 packages) cream cheese 100 g white sugar ½ tsp vanilla paste

Anna Brooks is an award-winning journalist and graduate student currently living and studying in New York City.

Serves 5

14 Alberta's freshest food & beverage magazine - December 2019

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S I N C E 176 2


Dancing Goats Farm Founders Find Their Rhythm in Artisanal Goat Cheese by ELIZABETH CHORNEY-BOOTH

When Craig Sanok moved to Calgary several years ago, he wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t quite sure what to do with himself. Sanok and his husband Paul Chambers had moved to town after both had retired from successful careers as professional ballet dancers, but while Chambers came to Calgary for another job in the arts, Sanok was facing a crossroads in his career. After dedicating such a huge chunk of his life

to that all-consuming passion, he found himself struggling to find a new vocation that would feed both his heart and his imagination. Sanok was as surprised as anyone else to come to the conclusion that his new lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s purpose would be cheese. While he was mulling over his career choices, Sanok took a job in a local cheese shop and discovered he loved learning about different cheeses,

16 Alberta's freshest food & beverage magazine - December 2019

their various qualities, and how subtle changes in cheese making can make a huge difference in flavour. His deep love of animals led him to meet (and milk) a goat on a small farm, and he used that milk to make a batch of his own cheese just for fun. Cheese making became a hobby and Sanok slowly realized that it was a pastime he could turn into a full-time business.

“I finally just came to the realization that this is what I was looking for,” Sanok says. “I was interested in food culture and sustainable efforts in our living and animal welfare, and I realized that the best way to combine all of these interests was to buy a farm, get some goats and start making some cheese.” And that’s exactly what he did (after doing some significant study in the art of cheese making, of course). In 2014, Sanok and Chambers bought a farm near Acme, and in 2016 Dancing Goats released its first cheese. The couple run the company together, with Sanok as the chief cheese maker. Of course, the other partners in the business are the goats themselves. Dancing Goats has a closed herd with 58 goats, 41 of which are milked. Part of the farm’s mandate is to care for the goats ethically and to give them natural pasture access. Sanok purposely keeps his herd fairly small so that he can get to know each goat’s personality. “It’s important to me that the milk I’m using for my cheese is coming from animals that have received the best possible care,” Sanok says. “But I didn’t have any goat experience beforehand. I did as much research as I could and visited a couple of farms before starting my herd. But really, I think the best way to learn about taking care of goats is to just take care of goats and do some hands-on learning.” It took Sanok a while to formulate his cheeses — he’s currently selling five different varieties, all named after different dance

styles. The signature is the Waltz, a fresh and spreadable product that people will immediately recognize as a classic goat cheese. The other varieties are the beerwashed Two Step, the feta-like Trata, the natural rind Jitterbug and the ash-aged Pavane. Sanok also has a sixth longer-aging cheese in the works, but he’s still working on perfecting it. “The soft spreadable cheese is definitely my biggest seller,” he says. “Because it’s familiar. People don’t really think about the fact that you can use goat’s milk to create firm or semi-firm cheese, so I’m still trying to expand Calgary’s awareness of that.” Dancing Goats sells its cheese in a number of stores in Calgary, including Peasant Cheese, Say Cheese, Cookbook Company Cooks, and Sunnyside Natural Market as well as Home Town Bites in Acme. It’s also available at a number of restaurants in Calgary, such as Rouge, Deane House and Royale, plus Eau Claire Distillery in Turner Valley.

He and Chambers have been pleased that their product has been so well embraced in Alberta, but he also urges local food lovers to continue to seek out new and different local products to keep the local industry thriving.

The farm’s mandate is to care for the goats ethically “Consumers supporting local food is really important,” Sanok says. “We can’t do what we do without our customers, be they restaurants or consumers. If we want to diversify and expand our food culture as Albertans, one of the most important parts of that is the consumer.”

That exposure has gained Dancing Goats a nice local following, but Sanok says that even as demand grows, he’s happy to keep his operation small. While he has hired an employee to help on the farm, there are no plans to expand. Sanok started the business because he loves working with the animals and the product, and wants to be able to continue to remain hands-on. Dancing Goats may be relatively small, but Sanok and Chambers are thrilled to be part of Alberta’s local food community.

Cookbook author and regular contributor to CBC Radio, Elizabeth is a Calgary-based freelance writer, who has been writing about music and food, and just about everything else for her entire adult life.

Alberta's freshest food & beverage magazine - December 2019 17

The Christmas Controversy Story and photography by RENÉE KOHLMAN

As far as Christmas controversies go, fruitcake is often at the centre of much debate. Team Fruitcake enjoys a good mixed peel when they see it, and the more raisins and currants, the merrier.

It’s for these exact ingredients that Team No Fruitcake dislikes the traditional Christmastime cake. I’ve been firmly planted on this team (it’s the fake green cherries that always do me in) but I have made it my mission this holiday season to create a fruitcake that will everyone will enjoy. The secret? No mixed peel! No fake cherries! Instead, I’ve used dried tart cherries and figs. They add a lovely flavour, while the dried fruit is soaked in whiskey for a few hours, this fruitcake isn’t over the top boozy. If you want more booze action, reduce the amount of boiling water and add more whiskey.

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Nuts are necessary to any good fruitcake, and I added toasted almonds here. Chunks of dark chocolate may not be in your grandma’s fruitcake, but they are in mine. I love biting into a bit of chocolate and a bit of fruit. Glory be, this is good fruitcake! It can be served as a centrepiece dessert after the holiday feast, or slices can be served with afternoon tea. Dessert for breakfast is definitely a thing in December, so keep in mind that a wedge of fruitcake and a cup of coffee go together like Bing Crosby and White Christmas.

6. With the mixer on low speed, add onethird of the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture, then half of the milk mixture. Scrape the sides. Repeat with the flour, then milk, then flour. When the batter is smooth, stir in the chocolate and almonds by hand. 7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Place the cake in the oven and turn the heat down to 300º F. Bake for 65-80 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

A few notes about the recipe. Be sure to use a 10-inch (25 cm) spring-form pan. You may look at your 9-inch and think you can cram all the batter in. You’re wrong. If you try to bake this cake in a smaller pan, I guarantee that there will be fruitcake overflowing onto the bottom of the oven, the smoke alarm will go off, and the bit of Christmas spirit you had will go up in… smoke. If you don’t own a 10-inch pan, borrow one, or check second hand stores.

Be sure to use a 10-inch (25 cm) spring-form pan And, about the booze: I used Canadian Club whiskey, but if you have a bit of brandy about, or want to use up that bottle of Amaretto your aunt gave you, by all means add it to the fruit. And, have a little sip for yourself. It is the holidays after all.

Chocolate and Cherry Fruitcake Serves 12-16

1¾ cups dried tart cherries 1 cup chopped figs or dates 2 cups (500 mL) boiling water 1 cup (250 mL) whiskey 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp ground ginger 1 tsp ground cloves 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp ground cardamom

½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg 1 tsp salt 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1 cup (250 mL) unsalted butter, softened 1½ cups firmly packed brown sugar 4 large eggs, at room temperature 2/3 cup (150 mL) molasses 2/3 cup (150 mL) whole milk, at room temperature 1 tsp (5 mL) pure almond extract 1½ cups dark chocolate chunks 1½ cups slivered almonds, toasted Icing sugar for garnish

8. Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes then carefully remove the sides of the pan. Let the cake cool to room temperature before serving. Carefully remove the bottom parchment. If making ahead, the cake can be tightly wrapped and kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

1. Place the dried fruit in a medium bowl. Add water and whiskey. Stir once or twice. Let the mixture sit for 3 hours. Drain and set aside. 2. Preheat the oven to 325º F and place the rack in the centre. Grease a 10-inch (25 cm) spring-form pan with removable sides. Line the bottom with parchment and grease that too. 3. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, spices, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. 4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each one, and scraping the bowl down too. 5. In a 2-cup (500 mL) measuring cup, stir together the molasses, milk and almond extract.

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.

Alberta's freshest food & beverage magazine - December 2019 19

A Blue Christmas


Is there a more iconic cheese pairing than blue cheese with a glass of port, preferably in front of a crackling fire? Bring that cozy, festive feeling into your entertaining this season with this delicious selection of blues.

St Angel

Luxurious, rich, with the texture of butter, St Angel Blue is covered in a velvety white rind and might easily be mistaken for brie. Hints of earth and mushroom round out the depth of its creaminess. It shines best on a cheese plate with crisp grapes or green apple to contrast with its lushness.


This rich, creamy blue from the region of Gorgonzola in Italy comes in two different varieties: Gorgonzola Dolce, which is sweeter and milder, and Gorgonzola Piccante, its more mature, stronger relative. Try it melted into a risotto, stirred into pasta, or on top of a homemade pizza.

Huntsman Bleubry

This Canadian Blue is a lightly veined triple crème brie. Delicate and creamy, this is a fantastic gateway blue, tempting even those who are scared off by the idea of blue cheese. With a smooth, tender texture and a nutty, mild flavour, Bleubry is begging to be warmed and served dripping off slices of baguette with a dab of spiced cranberry jam.

Huntsman is an unusual layer-cake kind of cheese, a combination of two classic English countryside cheeses. A thick layer of strong, salty Stilton is sandwiched between bookends of mellow, tangy Double Gloucester, creating a cheese that is perfectly balanced. It’s gorgeous on a cheese board of course, but to get the full Huntsman experience why not melt it over a rare venison steak?

Roquefort All cheeses provided for photography and sampling by Worldwide Specialty Foods Ltd. Candace is passionate about food – eating it, making it, and talking about it - and is up to try any and all new culinary experiences, especially with friends.

20 20 Alberta's Alberta'sfreshest freshestfood food&&beverage beveragemagazine magazine--December December2019 2019

This sheep milk cheese can only bear the revered Roquefort name if it is aged in the caves of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon in the south of France. It was first mentioned in writing in 79 AD, making it one of the oldest cheese recipes around. With a sharp, bright tang, Roquefort delivers a wide range of complex sweet, smoky, and salty flavours. It is delicious at room temperature, paired with a sweet wine and a selection of figs and nuts.

Hotel Dining 2020 by DANIEL BONTJE

Travel is big business in our province, and a sector that has remained strong despite economic pressures. In 2016, tourism brought in 8.5 billion dollars, and filled 1.6 million hotel rooms. But “hotel dining” can conjure images of classic old world menus and outdated décor, so many Alberta hotels are challenging this idea to make their dining offerings more memorable, modern, and delicious. Hoteliers and chefs agree: the game has changed. Airbnb is a low cost alternative, travelers are more savvy than before, and few patrons walk through the doors without checking an online review - so the stakes are high. This has led many hotel restaurants to be bold and innovative in their décor, menus, and execution. Check out these six Alberta hotel restaurants that are leading the way. Poolside Hotel Arts, Calgary Hotel Arts has received such a positive response for their fun, upscale Poolside Restaurant that their idea was both bold and simple: give people more of what they like. So now they are keeping Poolside open all year round, and everyone can escape to the “urban oasis” to dine, and even swim.

Executive Chef Quinn Staple has always wanted to keep things fresh. “Hotel Arts has always set ourselves apart. Since opening, our restaurants haven’t conformed to typical hotel dining.” So what does a year-round poolside experience look like? Hotel Arts has worked with a local company to design an inflatable dome that covers the entire pool and courtyard area, with a heated pool and deck too for all-weather comfort.

22 Alberta's freshest food & beverage magazine - December 2019

No matter where it’s served, it still comes back to the food. Poolside’s menu features sharing plates and appetizers, but with Yellow Door and Raw Bar also sharing staff and kitchens, a favourite from one of the sister restaurants often finds its way onto the menu. “With a focus on locally sourced, seasonal cuisine, our restaurants have become local favourites,” he says. And to be outside for a delicious winter lunch or dinner downtown, it’s sure to stay a favourite!

Braven Restaurant/Alchemy Bar JW Marriott, Edmonton

“We want to be an educational focus to Edmonton,” says Stefanato.

When you enter the new Braven Restaurant, General Manager Kyle Stefanato knows that there will be something to catch your eye.

typical world.” It continues upstairs at the Alchemy Bar, where you meet your host in front of a bookcase that opens into the hidden speakeasy, serving up over 35 signature cocktails in a glamorous environment.

“We are all about stepping out of the ordinary. The décor is Las Vegas-esque with forest green walls, modern furniture, unique art and lighting… [it’s] an escape from the

With more than 200 wines on the list, upscale snacks, and the chance to try both historic cocktails and brand new creations, Alchemy is a great start or end to your night.

"You can see the beef being seasoned and put on the wood fire grill, the sous chef shucking oysters, every cocktail being made from scratch … it’s really spectacular.”

“Sometimes people are a little shocked when they see the open kitchen, but people love to see our chefs at work."

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CHIX Eggshop Alt Hotel, Calgary At this retro “fast fine diner” it’s clear that things are anything but ordinary - maybe it’s the 80s and 90s beats you remember, or the friendly counter service - it’s both quirky and inviting in the best possible way. John Jackson, along with co-owners Connie DeSousa and Carrie Jackson, had a clear idea for CHIX. “Some hotel restaurants run by the hotels just focus on the hotel guests,” says Jackson. “Since Connie and I both come from the hotel world as well as the restaurant world, we know what hotel guests expect but at the same time [we wanted to] get to what is exciting for people in the community, what they want and crave.” Open for breakfast and lunch, the menu is varied enough to make sure that everyone leaves with a smile on their face. There are

plenty of options for delicious healthy food, but you can get that with a side of nacho cheese fries or opt for an indulgent twohanded sandwich. The concept was inspired by their mothers, and if you look at the colourful wallpaper you Shoe & Canoe Delta Hotel Calgary Downtown Creativity is at the core of Shoe and Canoe. When the Delta Downtown underwent a massive renovation recently, the hotel decided to do something different as they reimagined the restaurant. To tell a uniquely Canadian story, they focused on cartographer David Thompson, who mapped much of western Canada. Operations Manager, Jeffrey Johnston, talks passionately about honouring this unsung Canadian hero, and how Shoe and Canoe is keeping his adventurous spirit alive. “The name comes from the two ways he would travel,” says Johnston. “He was one of

24 Alberta's freshest food & beverage magazine - December 2019

can see all three moms’ smiling faces stamped across the walls. “When my mom saw that it melted her heart” Jackson smiles. “I think for restaurants to have success, they need those stories that makes them special. If they don’t, you can see right through it.” the greatest explorers, and he was popular with the native people. We named some of our cocktails after the nicknames they had for him, Koo-Koo-Sint and Stargazer.” Johnston and his team are focused on celebrating Canadians; the Classic Cheeseburger is made with Alberta beef and Albertan Grizzly Gouda, the Slow Roasted Lamb Rump is Albertan, even the grains in the tabbouleh are Albertan. The wine list is exclusively Canadian, and draft beers draw from the local craft beer scene. “We try and source as local as possible for everything to keep in tune with that David Thompson feel where he had a relationship with the land. We try and live that.”

Seamus Dooley. “I’m proud of what we have put together here.” The Fairview is a recently renovated, gorgeous space, but the views are only part of the attraction. To create the best experience for tourists and locals, Dooley says it starts with incredible ingredients.

Fairview Bar and Restaurant Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise The Fairview Bar and Restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy an incredible view of the Rockies while you enjoy the best of the mountains in your glass and on your plate. “There is something unique and special about the Fairview with the sun shining in those big beautiful windows and looking out onto the water… it’s really incredible,” says Manager Thomsons Kitchen & Bar Hyatt Regency Calgary From its name to its styling, much at Hyatt’s old Sandstone Lounge felt a little dated. But now after a transformation that reimagined every aspect of the hotel restaurant, Thomsons has reopened as a whole new restaurant. The contemporary menu focuses on sharing plates that invite a communal dining experience in line with the spacious feel and grand live-edge tables. Executive Chef, Geoffrey Miller, describes his menu as “ingredient-driven” as has always been his passion. “Local matters to me, seasonal matters, so there are parts of the menu that are always changing so we can always offer the best.”

“Coming into Christmas, a lot of people come into the Chateau Lake Louise to celebrate. Given that, we feel it’s important to showcase some incredible world-class ingredients from across Canada, and some of the local bounty as well.” Partnership with Alberta producers is seen all over the menu, and by working with local farm collective, Galimax Trading, even smaller producers are featured. Executive Chef Simon Samad, and world-class bartender Nils Schabert, work closely together to elevate these beautiful ingredients by drying, preserving, or creating unique cocktail syrups and shrubs, so guests can enjoy these flavours all year round. With the focus on quality and variety as well as a wonderful selection of wines by the bottle and the glass, it’s no surprise that Fairview Bar won a Diamond Award this year at our Alberta’s Finest Drinks List for Best Overall List!

With a strong focus on showcasing the best local cuisine in a unique way, roasted Alberta bone marrow and Alberta bison tartare are just a couple of ways to enjoy Alberta, while empanadas and grilled haloumi are great vegetarian choices. With the redesigned menu comes a redesigned space, divided into three sections: Moody, Chatty, or Spirited, depending on the atmosphere guests are looking for. From people-watching on Stephen Avenue to making a new friend at the communal table, guests and locals should all check out how Thomsons made the leap to chic and modern from top to bottom. 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.

Alberta's freshest food & beverage magazine - December 2019 25

Food for Change by LYNDA SEA

The holidays are a time for sipping and savouring at family feasts and sharing gifts with loved ones, but it’s also the quintessential time to celebrate the spirit of giving and gratitude to those in need. To spread good cheer and kindness this month, we’ve been talking to some Alberta organizations that are addressing food access, nutrition and food as a connector in the community. Here are four food charities in Calgary and Edmonton that are making a difference.

Community Kitchen Community Kitchen started 28 years ago as a cooking program to help vulnerable populations in Calgary with food insecurity and poverty. It has since evolved into a multifaceted organization running seven different programs with 16 staff and 2,300 volunteers, all with the mission of reducing hunger in the city. “One in 10 Albertans are going without food,” says Sundae Nordin, CEO of

Community Kitchen. She says the philosophy behind the food-based charity is giving people a hand up, not a hand out. In 2018, Community Kitchen served 193,000 people in Calgary and area with all its programs, providing healthy food choices and enabling people to educate, equip and feed themselves. Good Food Box, one of its fastest growing programs, is where low-income individuals or families can purchase produce at a low cost from their nearest location of 125 different depots all around Calgary. Through another program called Calgary’s Cooking, participants work in a group kitchen to learn how to flyer shop, create recipes and cook healthy, nutritious and budget-friendly meals together. They often prepare around

26 Alberta's freshest food & beverage magazine - December 2019

14 to 16 cost-effective, healthy meals at a time for their families. “I want to get healthy food back on the table,” says Nordin. “That’s the first thing that goes out of a budget when people are having difficulties.” How to help Volunteers are needed all-year long but especially in spring and summer when numbers usually drop off after the holiday surge. Make a monetary donation online at ckpcalgary.ca/donate, by phone or mail. In kind-donations of food or materials are also accepted.

NSTEP Deb Hymers remembers the newspaper headline that spurred her to start NSTEP. In 2002, the World Health Organization declared that this was the first generation of children to die before their parents due to preventable nutritional diseases. “It was such a shocking statement,” says Hymers, a former Calgary teacher who started the hands-on nutrition and physical activity program now implemented in select classrooms across Alberta, B.C. and Ontario. Since January 2010, NSTEP has impacted more than 50,000 kids with its curriculum-integrated program for K-8 and high school students.

By educating students, teachers and parents about healthier food and physical activity choices, the hope is to create the foundations of healthy habits early on.

skills to children and youth. They learn skills like how to read nutrition labels, proper food handling and how to make healthy meals from scratch.

“We want to motivate children to eat better, walk more and live longer,” says Hymers.

Schindel says changes they see in youth who go through NSTEP are sometimes as simple as kids choosing to drink more water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages.

Darlene Schindel is a registered nurse and NSTEP health champion in Edmonton. “The food we eat has a critical role to play in our mental health,” she says. “If we’re only eating food with no nutritional value, our brain isn’t functioning to its best.” One component of NSTEP is an afterschool initiative called Chef on NSTEP, which teaches food literacy and cooking

“Yes, kids need to be fed, but that’s giving them a fish,” says Schindel. “They need NSTEP because that’s teaching them how to fish.” How to help NSTEP is a registered charity and nonprofit. Donate by visiting nstep.ca.

Courtesy Jared Sych-RedPoint Media Group

Courtesy Leap Frog Photography

Courtesy Leap Frog Photography

Redefin’d It’s quitting time at the Redefin’d headquarters and there’s a swirl of activity at the Bowness Community Kitchen. Several 20-somethings are busy cleaning up the kitchen, wiping down surfaces and mopping the floors. Earlier that day, they were baking a giant Black Forest cake to celebrate one of their members hitting the three month mark at the organization. Courtesy Leap Frog Photography

alongside their peers. Everything is facilitated through food and the community. “Food is this major connector - it naturally allows them a way to go out and participate in society in ways they would never before,” says Liz Duerholdt, Redefin’d founder and executive director. “Trauma recovery is about rewiring the brain and nothing gets you into a meditative state like hand-rolling pasta or making bread.” Because the tactile hands-on work activates senses and helps to relieve stress, Redefin’d participants make everything in their kitchen from scratch. One day they may be preparing homemade tacos with hand-pressed tortillas or an Indian buffet the next.

Since 2016, Redefin’d has been a trauma recovery community for people aged 18 to 30 years in Calgary. It provides young adults who’ve experienced trauma from addictions, homelessness, poverty, previous incarcerations and more, a safe space to heal and build personal and professional skills

They also regularly cater community events in Bowness and at the Grand Theatre. Bi-weekly, the youth set up a free food and seniors’ cafe at the Bow Centre Housing Society across the street and chat over coffee with the residents. Ashleigh Kennedy is a former Redefin’d Krew member. She describes a childhood where abuse was prevalent for the first 12

28 Alberta's freshest food & beverage magazine - December 2019

years of her life and the transition through foster homes and through programs like Hull Services. It wasn’t until she arrived at Redefin’d that she felt at home. “I remember my first day walking into the kitchen and seeing the people there talking and laughing and I immediately felt comfortable,” says Kennedy. “They became like my family. I found it was my escape.” While at Redefin’d, she nurtured her passion for baking bread. She is enrolled in the Baking and Pastry Arts diploma program at SAIT. “My dream job is to work in and own my own bakery and cafe,” says Kennedy. “I want to help Calgary youth and bring in people who need help and a step in the right direction just like I got.” How to Help Donations support Redefind’s work projects by funding the purchase of supplies and materials. Purchase a cooking class to work with the Krew or donate food or your time. Redefin’d homemade soup and hand pies are also available for purchase at the Bowness Community Centre. redefindcalgary.org


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#EatTogether and President’s Choice Children’s Charity In 2017, supermarket chain Lobaws started Eat Together Day (June 14) to encourage Canadians to take more time to share meals with loved ones. Funds raised from the #EatTogether movement support the President’s Choice Children’s Charity, which tackles childhood hunger through food access and education, mainly by funding school meal programs.

In Alberta, the company has supported more than 200 schools with programs like their School Nutrition Grants. One of the schools it supports in Calgary is the Niitsitapi Learning Centre, an early development centre/preschool and K-2 for Indigenous students. Students who need it are provided well-balanced meals for breakfast and lunches.

How to Help Make an online PC® #EatTogether pledge and Loblaws will donate $1 to its PC Children’s Charity at pc.ca/eattogether. Or donate directly to the Presidents’ Choice Children’s Charity at presidentschoice.ca. Lynda Sea is a freelance writer/editor based in Calgary. Her writing has appeared in Avenue, Westjet Magazine, enRoute, Flare. You can often find her hiking in the Canadian Rockies and eating her way through Alberta.

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The state of chocolate: Past, present, and future by MALLORY FRAYN

Chocolate; it has been around for thousands of years, but like all foods, has continually evolved with time. While the Mayans drank a savoury concoction far from saccharine, modern day hot cocoas, today’s chocolate market has become inundated with bean-to-bar offerings and new-found genetic variants like ruby cacao. When you look at a cacao bean, it’s hard to envision anyone deciding to crack it open and then remove the mucus-like coating from the beans before fermenting, roasting, and grinding them into a paste that would become what we today know as chocolate. President of Cococo, Brian Beck, describes cacao’s history as “the product

of conquest.” European explorers were originally introduced to cacao when they colonized the “New World”, but it took hundreds of years for chocolate to become a pantry staple. Over the centuries, and finally come the Industrial Revolution, chocolate evolved into more of a confection, with the addition of sugar and milk powder to reduce cost and increase the shelf-life of the end product.

One of today’s responses to this “chocolate”, that isn’t really chocolate at all, is the “bean-to-bar” movement that has arisen over the past decade or so. Similar to how third-wave coffee has brought traceable, ethically sourced coffee beans to the masses, leaders of the bean-to-bar movement have made it their mission to see the whole process from start to finish, and thus control the quality and ethics of the finished product.

Just take a look at most grocery store chocolate and you’ll see that cacao barely makes the top list of ingredients.

32 Alberta's freshest food & beverage magazine - December 2019

Geordan Spicer

Courtesy Penny Breedon Photography

Cumbersome as it may sound, they source cacao beans from various countries of origin, from the Dominican Republic to Madagascar, and then transform this raw product into chocolate. In 2019, Canada is rife with bean-to-bar producers, with Alberta specifically being home to businesses like Kin + Pod, Jacek Chocolat, Choklat, and others. However, Brad Churchill, owner of Choklat says that there is still a long way to go to educate the average consumer on chocolate. “The general public is still under the impression that chocolatiers make chocolate when they don’t. They USE chocolate, just like they USE butter and cream and sugar to make their final confections,” he explains.

It took hundreds of years for chocolate to become a pantry staple

That being said, Cococo is just one example of how it’s not necessary to make your own chocolate to ensure that it’s sourced from ethical origins. Beck points to cacao’s troubling history as the instigation of problems that sadly still exist today, especially in the West African nations of the Ivory Coast and Ghana.

“Chocolate began as a slave trade and we continue to face issues with child labour, gender inequality, and equitable wages for farmers today,” he says. Although he admits that solutions to these issues are ongoing and are a long way from resolution, Cococo has elected to address them by sourcing only Rainforest Alliance Certified chocolate. In order for chocolate to receive the third-party certification, it has to meet standards related to both labour laws and agricultural practices, ensuring that both people and the environment are protected in the production of cacao. Traceability is important to Beck, and in trying to promote it, Cococo has adopted the motto, “less but better” to ensure that the chocolate they sell is a product that both they and their customers can feel good about. For Rebecca Grant, owner of Edmonton’s The Violet Chocolate Company, focusing on health may be one angle to start from in educating consumers. “With the rise in popularity of diets like Keto, we’ve seen a shift in the type of chocolate our customers are purchasing. Higher cocoa content chocolates have been in the spotlight because of the potential health benefits of dark chocolate. With gourmet products people want to feel good, not just when consuming chocolate, but also know that it is a sustainable product,” she says.

Courtesy Rebecca Grant

So, whether you’re in it for the taste, or just to get a little buzzed, it doesn’t hurt to think about what you’re eating and where it comes from. As more and more chocolatiers and chocolate makers try and address the hard questions surrounding sustainable cacao, it follows that consumers should have an easier time making informed choices. Says Spicer, “I think the question that all {chocolate} makers need to ask themselves is, ‘how can we progress to a more sustainable future for the chocolate industry’? ‘How can we as producers solve the cacao slavery crisis, and still pursue a more environmentally sustainable approach to production?’ ‘How can we better bridge the gaps between farmer, producer and consumer?’ Our company is always hopeful. The future is only as bright as we make it.”

The future of cacao continues to evolve with the emergence of a new market altogether: edibles. Geordan Spicer from Kin + Pod notes that, “more and more companies {particularly in the US} are moving toward the ‘edibles’ route with their bean-to-bar and craft chocolate, but points out that, “we still don’t know whether to call it bean-to-bar or craft chocolate.” In Calgary specifically, Churchill boasts that Choklat is the first chocolate company in Canada to apply for their cannabis processing license, which he says is, “an exciting direction we are seeing come to fruition.”

Mallory is a Calgary freelance writer now living, learning and eating in Montreal. Check out her blog becauseilikechocolate.com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @cuzilikechoclat

Alberta's freshest food & beverage magazine - December 2019 33

Soak In The Holiday Season Story and photography by NATALIE FINDLAY

Soaking in a hot bath feels luxurious especially over the holiday season. But soaking isn’t just for baths. Soaking fruits in alcohol imparts rich flavours without a lot of hassle. There are many uses for these boozy fruits, so having a jar or two on hand over the holidays can add elegance and depth of flavours when used as a quick addition to savoury or sweet dishes. Soaking for Boozy Fruits Makes 1 - 350 mL jar 2/3 cup raisins ½ cup currants 2/3 cup dried cherries ½ cup prunes 1 cup (250 mL) wine ¼ cup (60 mL) spiced rum Combine all ingredients in a medium pot and let simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat

and cool. Store in the fridge in a glass jar until needed, or sterilize and store in a cool dark place until ready to use. This mixture can be used straight away but is best when it is left to mature at least one month. It can also be served over ice cream for a quick, decadent dessert. Add it to stuffing for a rich taste, and of course in your Christmas stollen or cake. Cardamom Prune Bread Makes 1 loaf 1 tsp dry yeast ¾ cup (180 mL) water, lukewarm 1½ cup whole wheat bread flour 1 cup bread flour

34 Alberta's freshest food & beverage magazine - December 2019

1 tsp table salt ½ tsp ground cardamon Pinch cloves Pinch nutmeg 1 orange, zested ½ cup soaked prunes or other soaked fruit 1. Add ¼ cup (60 mL) water to a small bowl. Add the yeast and stir to dissolve. Let stand 5 minutes so the yeast starts to foam. Add ½ cup (120 mL) of water and combine. 2. In a medium bowl, add dry ingredients and orange zest together. Add yeast mixture and stir to combine. 3. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and kneed for 5 minutes. Add the soaked

fruit and kneed for another 5 minutes until the dough is not sticky, adding more flour as needed. Form dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest 1 hour in a warm, draft-free place. 4. Remove dough from bowl and kneed a few times and reform into a ball and let rest again for 45 minutes in a lightly greased bowl, covered and in a warm, draft-free place. 5. Remove dough from bowl. Knead a few times and form into an oval. Cut slits in the top. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and let rest for 1 hour. 6. Preheat oven to highest level. Place baking baking sheet in oven. 7. Close door and turn down heat to 425º F. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when turned over and tapped on the bottom. Note: this bread is delicious sliced fresh or toasted with melted double or triple cream brie. You can use this bread as the stuffing base for your chicken or turkey or as your bread for French toast. Egg Bread with Boozy Fruit Mix Makes 2 loaves 1½ cup (360 mL) lukewarm water 1 packet active dry yeast 1 tsp sugar 1 egg 3 egg yolks 1/3 cup (80 mL) honey 2 Tbs (30 mL) canola oil 2 tsp salt 4½-6 cups flour 1 egg 1 Tbs (15mL) water ½ tsp salt 1 cup soaked fruit or dark chocolate pieces, or both 1. Add ¼ cup (60 mL) lukewarm water to small bowl. Add the yeast and stir to dissolve. Let stand 5 minutes so the yeast starts to foam. Add remaining 1¼ cups (300 mL) water to the bowl along with the egg, yolks, honey, oil, and salt, and blend thoroughly. 2. Begin adding the flour to the bowl by half-cupful, stirring with a large spoon each time flour is added. When mixture becomes too thick to stir; empty onto counter and use your hands to start kneading.


3. Continue to add flour and knead the dough until the dough becomes less sticky. Add the soaked fruits or chocolate chips to the dough and continue kneading. The amount of flour you will need to

Alberta's freshest food & beverage magazine - December 2019 35

1. In a medium mixing bowl add butter and beat until soft. Add each ingredient one at a time and beat until fully incorporated. Let sit in fridge 10 minutes. 2. Preheat oven to 350º F. Place tart shells on baking sheet. Fill each shell with approximately 1 Tbs of filling. Add 1 Tbs of topping on each tart. It will soften and spread in the oven. Sprinkle with slivered almonds. 3. Bake 20 - 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool on rack. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

achieve a smooth texture varies - only add flour until the dough feels elastic, and not sticky.

toasted and served with a dollop of ice cream and a drizzle of caramel for a fantastic and quick dessert.

Note: Individual tarts are great for casual entertaining, potlucks, and a delectable and satisfying snack. For a more elegant presentation double the recipe and make as one large pie. Cut in slices and serve with whipped cream or crème anglaise.

4. Form dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest 1 hour in a warm, draft-free place. Remove dough and punch down to remove air pockets and reform into a ball. Place it back to rise for another hour or until doubled in size.

Decadent Mince Meat Tarts Makes 12 tarts

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.

5. Place dough onto a floured surface. Knead a few times, adding flour as needed to keep the dough from feeling sticky. Split dough into 2 balls. Then split each ball into 3 portions and roll each into long tubes (you will have 6 tubes). Use 3 tubes and braid, tucking under the ends. 6. Place each braided loaf on its own parchment lined cookie sheet. Prepare your egg wash by beating the egg, salt and water together. Use a pastry brush to brush the mixture onto dough. 7. Heat oven to 350º F. Let the dough rise 45 minutes longer or until doubled again. Brush with egg wash and bake 30 - 40 minutes. Test the bread for doneness by turning over the loaf and tapping on the bottom; if it makes a hollow sound, it’s done. Let cool. Note: this bread can be made ahead and used for French toast for family brunch, or as the base for bread pudding or stuffing, as well as

1½ apples, peeled and seeded ¼ cup (60 mL) water 1 Tbs brown sugar ½ tsp cinnamon 1 cm ginger, grated In a small sauté pan, add all ingredients and cook over medium low heat until soft. Add more water as needed so it doesn’t burn. Let cool. 1/3 cup soaked raisins ½ cup soaked prunes ¼ cup soaked currents ½ cup soaked dried cherries 1 orange, zested In a medium bowl add the ingredients above and the apple mixture. Almond Topping for Tarts 1/3 cup (75g) butter, room temperature ¾ cup icing sugar ¾ cup almond flour 1 Tbs flour 1 egg ½ tsp orange liqueur 12 tart shells Slivered almonds, for garnish

36 Alberta's freshest food & beverage magazine - December 2019

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What’s New in Winter Brew That Rings True? by DAVID NUTTALL

Why it’s holiday beers for you and you and you… That’s who! (with apologies to Dr. Seuss) It doesn’t matter when you think the Holiday Season begins, breweries are making beers to celebrate it.

Beers celebrating religious holy days or the winter solstice have been around for many a millennia.

As harvest/fall beers are now showing up in August and Oktoberfest has become a worldwide phenomenon that begins in September, it seems like more than the last quarter of the year has become a time for celebrating new beers.

While brewing holiday beers peaked during the 1800s, it fell more into commercialism through the 1900s, pretty much disappearing outside Europe in the era of the Big Brewery, who simply just repackaged their regular beer in a winter wrap.

Not only do these timely special beers make great gifts for friends, they are something worth trying yourself.

Along came craft breweries in the 1980s, and the resurrection of small batch brewing allowed them to produce seasonal or special beers. Alberta followed suit, led by the established craft brewers of Big Rock, Alley Kat, Brewsters, Grizzly Paw, and Wild Rose. The new breweries, born in this decade, are now also producing beers to celebrate the season. Holiday seasonal beers can be grouped into one or more of five categories. They can be any beer style, but darker and higher alcohol beers tend to predominate:

Here in Alberta, we get a large selection of imports, many of which have been mentioned in this space in issues of Decembers past. Look for the European beers especially from Germany, Belgium, and the UK, some of which come with glassware or other accoutrements. However, the focus of this article will be on Alberta breweries’ plans for this unique time of the year.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Aged or conditioned beers that get released at this time of year Winter warmers or spiced beers Beers that mimic holiday foods, especially desserts A special release beer Beers with a seasonal name

Here are a few from each category you should be able to find this winter. The beer’s name is usually descriptive of the style. Look for them in their brewery’s taproom and select liquor stores.

38 Alberta's freshest food & beverage magazine - December 2019

Aged or Conditioned Beers These beers were designed to be put into conditioning tanks or barrels to bring out more comprehensive flavours. Many sit for several months, waiting for this time of year to be released. Look for barrel aged beers, barley wines, imperial stouts, or strong ales such as: Rapid Ascent Aged Rum Barrel Tropical Stout Stronghold Brewing Imperial Stout Brewsters Bourbon Barrel Aged Barley Wine Hell’s Basement Elevator Dopplebock Winter Warmers and Spiced Beers Like chefs, brewers add spices, fruits, herbs, vegetables, etc. to create a desired flavour profile. Here you’ll find coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and a variety of seasonings added to any range of base beers. Look for: - Blindman (with Grain Bin and Hell's Basement) Spiced Wit - Brewsters Howitzer Winter Ale - Cold Lake Brewing 8 Months of Winter Ale, a brown Ale with Quebec maple syrup, Mexican vanilla, and chocolate malt - Canmore Brewing Chocolate Maple Porter - Apex Predator and Ol’ Beautiful Brewing’s Hermoso Apice, a Mexican hot chocolate stout with ancho chilies and cayenne pepper

- Hell’s Basement Ghost Train Coffee Stout - Coulee Brewing’s Brewed Awakening Coffee Porter, Pop This Belgian Cherry Ale, and Milk River Vanilla Stout - Paddy’s Mocha Stout, made with coffee and cocoa nibs - Rapid Ascent Roof Rack Ready Winter Fruit Ale, a fruited black ale - Theoretically Brewing Space Chai-m - Continuum Chai Vanilla Porter - Eighty-Eight Brewing Company Good Morning Vietnamese Coffee Stout Yes, cider can become a seasonal as well, and you can try them heated too. Look for these spicy concoctions: - Sunny Cider Solstice Blend Cider, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and “a few other great things thrown in” - Elite Brewing and Cidery Area 51 Jamaican Sorrel Cider

Scottish Ale - Hawk Tail Brewery Double IPA

Beer as Dessert Spiced much like those described above, however, these beers attempt to replicate a specific food, especially desserts.

Look for: - Alley Kat Lost Mitten Blueberry Sour, a brown ale with flavours of caramel, toffee and tart blueberries, made without hops - Citizen Brewing Christmas Stout with Campio Brewing - Big Rock Traditional in a holiday can

Try: - Cold Lake Brewing Oatmeal Cookie Stout - Prairie Dog Gingerbread Brown, nutty English brown ale with molasses and a custom blend of spices - New Level Krampus Eggnog Stout - Folding Mountain Hazelnut Chocolate Stout - Elite Brewing and Cidery Hürtgen Forest Black Forest Cake Porter - Eighty-Eight Brewing Company 'Easy Bake' Chocolate Caramel Stout Special Releases Every season gets its own releases; however, the fall and winter tend to dominate, partly because of the harvest, but also because of the multitude of holidays, which happen in these months. You’ll find beers like: - Big Rock’s Mindbender White Stout and Midnight Rhapsody (a dark ale with black currant, cherry and raspberry) - Two House Brewing Blackboard Stout - Common Crown Andy's Wee Heavy 39

Seasonal Names The home for any beer as long as its name and/or label matches the season.

Most of these beers were not released at time of writing so descriptors were provided by the breweries. This list is by no means inclusive, so do visit some of the over 100 operating breweries in Alberta and celebrate the season with them. Happy Holidays! 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.

Making The Case: Wines For Gifting and Gatherings by TOM FIRTH Last month my heart was set on sharing white wines for these cooler days, but now that December is upon us, I felt the need to talk about reds. We’ve left the holiday specific wines for another page (p.42) but this month I’ve selected wines for any large gathering or even some giftable wines. A recent wine conversation with friends reminded me that not every evening requires expensive wine to be a fun experience, so I’ve tried to include some pricier bottles and some very reasonably priced ones, so no matter the budget, there are options. I’d happily serve any of these wines to my friends or family. From the big reds of the Okanagan, to some chewy cabernets, these are wines that will pair with Seuss-ian sized roast beast, a big casserole, or even something from the grill if you like barbecuing with ski gloves on.

Find these wines by searching the CSPC code at liquorconnect.com; your local liquor store can also use this code to order it for you. Prices are approximate.

Rust Wine Co. 2017 Cabernet Franc Okanagan Falls, British Columbia A bright and generous expression of cabernet franc from Okanagan Falls with strawberry fruits, cedar and resin, and a touch of creaminess on the nose, while on the palate spice and tart fruits with lifted acids and a long juicy finish. Dare I call it a smashable cabernet franc? Try matching with short ribs or pork shoulder. CSPC +805651 $27-30

Laughing Stock 2016 Portfolio Okanagan Valley, British Columbia One of the red gems of the Okanagan, it’s also a testament year after year to the skill of the winemaker. The 2016 is a blend dominated by merlot (51 percent) with cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, malbec, and petit verdot. The end result is a monstrously good red with depth, nuance, incredible fruit, and cellarworthy staying power. Always a safe bet in your cellar’s… portfolio. CSPC +1086969 $58-62

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

Bartier Bros. 2016 Merlot Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

El Casetero 2017 Garnacha Campo de Borja, Spain

Quite possibly, merlot is my favourite red grape from the Okanagan Valley and wines like Bartier Bros. helps confirm that. Deep and plush with intense berry fruits and a wicked floral component balanced by mineral character on nose and palate. Serious tannins support the fruits making for a fantastic vinous experience. CSPC +761518 $33-37

Grenache (or garnacha) is a showstopper in the right hands. Wonderfully intense with softer tannis suitable for any number of dishes, enjoy those ripe red berry fruits, milder rosemary and herb tones, and zippy acids. Pair with pork or cured meats, though sausages or grilled dishes will work too. Bloody magical wine for a heck of a price. CSPC +820290 About $16-19

40 Alberta's freshest food & beverage magazine - December 2019

Copain 2016 Tous Ensemble Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast, California

Mt. Boucherie 2016 Summit British Columbia

Rust Wine Co. 2018 Gamay Similkameen Valley, British Columbia

Simply put, this is excellent quality, delicious pinot noir. Loaded from start to finish with a generosity of fruits and the right amount of savoury character and vegetable leaf. Noteworthy are the perfectly placed acids, which will work just as well with a ham, as it would with turkey and all the fixings this holiday season. CSPC +788070 Around $34

Sourced from both Similkameen and Okanagan fruit and a mostly Bordeaux style blend (with 3 percent syrah) and based on 51 percent merlot, Summit just sings on the nose with generous and open fruit tones, nuanced cedar and spice, and a touch of smoke and earth. Very manageable this young, it will cellar quite well too. An all-star wine from BC wine country. CSPC +805198 $73-78

Some of the finest new world gamays I’ve come across are coming from the Similkameen Valley where the grape seems to develop these lovely, peppered strawberry and granite mineral tone. Not too heavy on the palate, but those spices sure lead the way. Fight fire with fire and match with well-seasoned beef cuts like tenderloin- or if the bbq is beckoning… some steaks. CSPC +805043 $27-30

Tinhorn Creek 2015 The Creek Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Schug 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma, California

CVNE Imperial 2011 Gran Reserva Rioja, Spain

The flagship bottle from Tinhorn Creek, The Creek had big shoes to fill when it was launched since so many of Tinhorn’s bottles were well loved already. A Bordeaux blend focused around cabernet sauvignon, this sleeping monster is barely ready to drink, but will keep for a decade or so with clean and true berry fruits and subtle earth, juniper berry and dried herb on the palate. Fantastic stuff. CSPC +795983 $75-79

Sure, it says cabernet sauvignon on the label, but in the bottle, there are a few buddies – like 13 percent merlot, and a smidge of petit verdot, cabernet franc, and malbec hiding inside. This bottle is a big, black, beauty. Dense with cassis, violets and black fruits on the nose and palate, the best part is how full and smooth those tannins are. Drink with any sort of steak or roast if possible. CSPC +709297 $42

Are you drinking enough rioja? Probably not, these powerhouse wines from Spain are based on tempranillo (though white rioja is also a thing) and subject to extensive barrel aging - not so much for oak flavour, but the development of the wine and softening the tannins. Black cherries and cedar with tobacco leaf and a deep, earthy richness. Delicious, but even better with roasted pork or prime rib. CSPC +816990 $90

Rodney Strong 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County, California

Gerard Bertrand 2017 Domaine de Villemajou, Corbières Boutenac, France

Boschendal 2017 Elgin Pinot Noir Elgin, South Africa

Another classically styled cabernet from Sonoma, but minimizing the bell pepper character all too many cabs have. Cherries, cedar and violets lead the way with tight tannins and a long, juicy finish. Try pairing with tenderloin or pasta dishes. Sonoma was devastated by wildfires, and a number of wineries were affected; please do support the region by rediscovering Sonoma favourites. CSPC +226944 $24

A red blend focused around syrah and grenache with mourvèdre and carignan, that evokes a real sense of place on the nose, rocky bluffs heated by the sun, dried herbs and chaparral vegetation, raspberries and cherry fruits in abundance. Firm tannins and dense flavours make for a deep, expressive wine that will surely will age gracefully, but showing so well now. CSPC +812886 $30-32

I’d never had a pinot noir from South Africa like this one. Absolutely premium quality, yet still well priced pinot noir with mid weight body and tannin (for a pinot noir) with intense floral aromatics, clean fruits of raspberry and cherry and a touch of honey. The palate? Even better. Wickedly versatile at the table, but might be fun to have a few on hand to surprise wine savvy guests. CSPC +823251 About $55-60

Holiday Pairings by TOM FIRTH

So many people are casual wine drinkers these days, but it seems that the holiday season can add a little stress when picking wine for family get togethers or even for host or hostess gifting. At this time of year, I always prefer to share or give Canadian wine when I can.

CSPC +240978 $21-23

Noble Ridge NV “The One” Sparkling Wine Okanagan Falls, British Columbia One of my favourite sparklers from British Columbia, Noble Ridge’s “The One” is rich and toasty on the nose with all the depth and flavour one needs on the palate too. Well crafted, and will also develop nicely in the cellar if you forget you have a bottle on hand. Pairs best with appetizers or snacks like popcorn on a cool evening. CSPC +769194 About $45

JoieFARM 2018 “Quotidien” Brut Okanagan Valley, British Columbia A lovely quaffer built around riesling and chardonnay grapes, and made in the Charmat method (the second fermentation that puts the bubble in your bottle happens in a tank) just nails the “yummy” factor. Quite dry with some sweetness to the tropical fruits, this is easy to enjoy and should please a group. CSPC +791047 around $30

Liquidity 2017 Chardonnay Okanagan Falls, British Columbia One of those wineries that are “in the know” for BC wine enthusiasts, Liquidity has a welldeserved reputation for high quality, terroirdriven wines. Tightly wound, flinty chardonnay is found in this glass with the right amount of creamy, buttery notes to support all these acid and fruit tones. Would shine with roasted poultry or something with hazelnuts. CSPC +777434 $30-32

Liquidity 2017 Reserve Pinot Noir Okanagan Falls, British Columbia This was a pleasure to sip, swirl, and taste. Tart cherry fruits with mild vegetal characters and loads of savoury herb and spices lead things off, priming your palate for all those taut fruits, prominent acids, and mellow, midweight tannins which lead into a long, almost chocolaty finish. Will pair with anything, and it’s a little hard to find, worth searching for. CSPC +826668 $60-65

Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catharine NV Brut Niagara Peninsula, Ontario Although we don’t see a lot of Ontario-made wine in Alberta, they do make a number of great bottles, and some stunning sparkling wines too. Henry of Pelham makes some of the best and its great to have it here. A quaffable chardonnay/pinot noir blend that has all the taste and balance of Champagne but proudly Canadian made. CSPC +217521 About $40

CedarCreek 2018 Gewürztraminer Okanagan Valley, British Columbia Gewürztraminer is just a pleasure for the nose. All those clean tropical aromatics like mandarin oranges, lychee, lime, and green apple hard candies. A little bit of sweetness is here on the palate, but buffered by enough acidity to bring it into balance. This would rock equally well with some salty appetizers as it would some spicy seafoods.

Spearhead 2018 Riesling Okanagan Valley, British Columbia Another gem of a riesling from the Okanagan, and one I was glad to see available in Alberta. Flint and granite mineral characters dominate the nose with somewhat subdued fruits letting all those layers show through. Bright acids show on the palate pushing down a smidge of sweetness. Match up with Indian or Germanic cuisine as it will handle spice or heat with style. CSPC + 821414 $25-29

Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catharine NV Rosé Brut, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario With a roughly inverted blend from the Cuvée Catharine Brut (70-80 percent pinot noir and 20-30 percent chardonnay) in the rosé, this is coppery pink in the glass with a nice balance of cranberry and raspberry fruits on the nose and palate. Seriously good, with vibrant acidity and a great palate. A great wine to have on hand. CSPC +217505 About $40

42 Alberta's freshest food & beverage magazine - December 2019

Cocktail Cheer! by LINDA GARSON photography by DONG KIM

Whether you're entertaining family and friends or celebrating the holidays by treating yourself to a Netflix binge in front of the fire, it’s the perfect time to try some new drinks. This month, we asked two Alberta mixologists for their ideas on seasonal recipes that we can make at home for one or make for a crowd!

Marlene Evanow Bar Manager, Calgary Petroleum Club “For me Christmas is a time of gatherings and festivities with family and friends,” says Calgary Petroleum Club’s Marlene Evanow. “I’ve always loved Christmas, and I love chocolate. I love a drink that is simple to make, and this martini is perfect - it just screams ‘holiday’ all over it,” she adds. With bright notes of candy cane and peppermint, and luxurious chocolate, this creamy, minty, and delicious Chocolate Candy Cane Martini is perfect for parties during the holiday season, as well as with your holiday meal, and is also a great way to end your evening as a nightcap. Chocolate Candy Cane Martini Makes one cocktail ½ oz your favourite whisky cream liqueur ½ oz peppermint schnapps ½ oz white chocolate liqueur ¼ oz white crème de cacao ½ oz cream Grenadine Chocolate Shavings 2 miniature candy canes Add the whisky cream liqueur, peppermint schnapps, white chocolate liqueur, white crème de cacao, and cream, to a shaker filled with ice. Shake until very well chilled and strain into your prepared, chilled martini glass. Top with chocolate shavings and garnish with a miniature candy cane. Martini Glass: Lightly drizzle grenadine and swirl around the inside of a chilled martini glass. Rim with grenadine and candy cane crumbs.

44 Alberta's freshest food & beverage magazine - December 2019

Maya Bartha Bar Manager, Yardarm Cocktail Bar

Combine all ingredients except milk and set aside.

*Rosemary syrup Makes 1 Litre

“Gin is often thought of as a summer spirit, however the woodsy tones in many gins can make them a great base for a holiday cocktail,” says Yardarm’s Maya Bartha.

Bring milk to a simmer then add to the mixture. It should curdle immediately.

2¼ cups granulated sugar 2¼ cups (540 mL) water 1 Tbs dried rosemary

“The combination of rosemary, mint tea, gin, and Christmas spices in the Rosemary Milk Punch results in an elegant beverage,” she continues.

Let sit in fridge for 24-48 hours, then fine strain out the milk curds using cheesecloth. You should be left with a clear liquid. Serve over ice with a rosemary sprig to garnish.

Combine sugar and water and bring to a simmer. Add rosemary and remove from heat. Stir and let steep for 30 minutes. Strain.

“It can be served before or after dinner, at holiday parties, and it also pairs well with warming foods, such as the confit duck leg with white wine-poached apple mostarda at Yardarm.” Combining milk with a spirit may be unfamiliar, but the first published example of clarified milk punch dates from the early 1700s. Traditionally the base was whisky or rum, but turning any drink into a milk punch lends body and a subtle sweetness. Bartha chose an organic Swedish gin with a complex and delicate flavour profile for her cocktail, but you can substitute any gin for a different, but still delicious result. Clarified Rosemary Milk Punch Serves 8-10 14 oz Spirit of Hven gin, or your favourite gin 2 oz Cocchi Americano 4 oz lime juice 4 oz rosemary syrup* 4 oz chilled mint tea 14 oz milk Spice blend: zest of 1 lemon, 1 orange, 1 tsp clove, 1 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 vanilla pod 1 rosemary sprig to garnish

Alberta's freshest food & beverage magazine - December 2019 45


Let’s face it, winter is here to stay and while the cold weather is here with us (probably until about…. April? May? Maybe June?), we might as well warm our hearts and bodies near the fire or at least with some seasonal or warming spirits. Canadian Club CC Chronicles No. 2 – The Dock Man

Who was born in 1977? Here’s one for you… Canadian Club has just released its oldest whisky to date, limited edition The Dock Man, and it’s aged for 42 years. The nose is sweet with caramel notes, and it’s smooth on the palate with undertones of rye. It’s named for the men who sold the real Canadian Club from ships during prohibition… as opposed to the counterfeit versions! CSPC + 819632 $260-$280 

Eau Claire Christmas Gin

Can there be anything more seasonal than a snow globe gin (with 24 karat edible gold floating around, no less!), infused with frankincense and myrrh? And it’s Eau Claire master distiller, Caitlin Quinn’s fifth Christmas Gin - her first recipe after joining the distillery in 2015. It’s perfect for cocktails, a little lemony, a little spicy, and would be ideal in a French 75, or you know - just with artisan tonic water! CSPC +823736 $54

Gran Marnier Cuvée Louis-Alexander Burwood OriGIN Hopped Gin The Louis-Alexander was launched several years ago, but has been tweaked with a newer formula. The base cognac is now a VSOP aged for a minimum of 4 years with a milder expression of oranges. Personally, this is my favourite of the range as the cognac really shines through and over the restrained orange notes. Excellent through and through. CSPC +525261 $66-$70

The craft brewery scene in Alberta is hot right now, and Burwood have chosen to pay homage to the brewers by releasing a seasonal hopped gin. They’ve played with the botanicals so the hops are highlighted, resulting in the most complex and beautiful nose; hops and juniper are evident, but can you name the other 13 botanicals? It makes a great contemplative sipping gin. Available at the distillery, $55.


46 Alberta's freshest food & beverage magazine - December 2019

Bridgeland Eau de Vigne

A grappa-style product made from gewürztraminer with a wonderful nose capturing at least the essence of the grape. Hints of spice, lychee and mandarin with restrained barrel characters leading to a lightly fiery, but smooth spirit expression. Quite enjoyable, well-made spirit worthy of your collection. 375 mL CSPC + 822116, $50

Alvear Vermouth

New to Alberta, Alvear’s Vermouth Artesano Rojo is a surprising, yet enticing, juxtaposition of acidity and smoothness, sweetness and bitterness, herbs and spices. It makes your mouth water, ideal for an aperitif to prepare you for food, yet with caramel notes it could be a digestif after your meal too. Try it in a Manhattan! CSPC 816814 $31.99



Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge

The perennial classic, Gran Marnier has been a staple of back bars and home enthusiasts since forever. A blend of top-quality cognac with the essence of select orange zest. It has some mild sweetness, but the classic expression is about the warmth of the cognac with orange. Perfect in many cocktails, but also makes a mean crêpes Suzette… CSPC +1784 $42-$47

Rig Hand Rocking R 100% Rye Whisky Batch 1

100 percent rye whisky with all those, spicy, pungent rye spirit notes. Look for raisin and dried cranberry fruits on the nose, while the spirit is chewy on the palate. Loads of rye character for sure, but still quite smooth - if big on the palate. A sipping rye, but should prove versatile in mixed drinks too. CSPC + 816679 $89

Bowmore Vault Edition First Release: Macallan Double Cask 12 Year Old  Atlantic Sea Salt We know you love Mac n Cheese but have Do you choose salted caramel over plain caramel? Then like me you’re probably going to love Bowmore’s first release of their four-part limited edition series. Even though it says Sea Salt on the bottle, you still won’t believe your nose on first sniff. Think chocolate-coated sponge toffee sprinkled with sea salt at 51.5 percent ABV… CSPC +785443 $180-$200

you ever though of having a “Mac”allan n cheese? The Double Cask 12-year old is a delicious dram with notes of honey and vanilla custard that would be as perfect cradling the glass in front of the fire as it would be with a mellow sheep cheese like pecorino or manchego to cut through the whisky’s spice and citrus notes. Try a different “Mac” and cheese this holiday! CSPC +787186 $84-$90


@Pacific_Prairie @pacific_canada @pacificcanada

Etcetera... Canadian Spirits: The essential cross-country guide to distilleries, their spirits, and where to imbibe them. It’s about time really. Artisan spirits are produced all across Canada and the craft spirits movement reached Alberta a few years ago. Authors Stephen Beaumont and Christine Sismondo have organized the entries from sea to sea (east to west), and included notable distillers from each province or region. While not completely inclusive and some information has changed since, Canadian Spirits is a good resource for the spirits enthusiast. Nimbus Publishing $30.

Silk Wine Bags By Jean-Michel

T-Fal ActiCook & Stir The new ActiCook & Stir is a 10-cup, one-pot multi-cooker and we’ve had a lot of fun putting it through its paces. It has a stirring paddle, so once your ingredients are added, and you’ve set the timer and chosen from one of eighteen cooking functions, you can just walk away and wait for the beep to let you know your meal is ready! Super easy to use and to clean, it can slow-cook, sauté, deep fry, and bake - and make yogurt, risotto, and bread too! At Canadian Tire and amazon.ca $285

Unique and gorgeous, these silk wine bags by Calgary photographer Jean-Michel Gires are a reflection of nature’s art, and the example shown was shot at Olympic Plaza, with others captured in Victoria, New York, and Paris. They have a drawstring handle and make a beautiful gift by themselves or of course, filled with a great bottle of wine! Order online at byjeanmichel.com or visit the showroom (where you’ll discover more beautiful silk items!) at 537 23 Avenue SW $30

Turkish Delight  

More new products from Fraser Valley Gourmet! They’ve branched out with handy grab ‘n go packs of beautiful Turkish Delight. Available in two flavours: Rose & Lemon, and Fruit Flavours, these soft gummy cubes are dipped in icing sugar to provide a traditional Turkish delicacy that is gluten, dairy, and nut-free. 110 g about $5 at Italian Centre Shops and Piece on Peace.

Dom Perignon 2008 Lenny Kravitz Limited Edition This is the second year that Lenny Kravitz has collaborated with one of the world’s most legendary champagnes to create this beautiful boxed limited edition bottle with its prominent, gold hammered metal shield. It’s powerful, yet elegant, with a bright lemon peel acidity, a creamy mouth-feel and those toasty brioche flavours we love, a little ginger, and a long complex finish. Will lay down for many years. CSPC +758451 $250-$270 48 Alberta's freshest food & beverage magazine - December 2019

The Kitchen Playbook ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen Bring your A-game to the kitchen with this colourful, glossy paperback book from the team of experts at ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen. Over 60 easy to make, game-changing recipes along with tips and simple techniques are spread over six sections from brunch to dessert, all beautifully photographed, and with all recipes tested by ATCO’s chefs and professional home economists. $25 at ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen or at atco.com/products.

T-Fal Sapphire Thermo-spot Frying Pan

The Spice Tailor Keralan Coconut Curry We really enjoy these 3 step, 10 minute curries from The Spice Tailor, Anjum Anand, and now she how brought out a new flavour from the state of Kerala, in the southwest of India. The cuisine here ranges from mild and mellow to rich and spicy, but the love of coconut is a common bond. Keralan Coconut Curry is quite delicate and creamy, but full of flavour. It’s perfect with seafood, chicken, or veggies, and it makes a great soup too! $5-$6 at Walmart stores.

We’ve also been playing with T-Fal’s sapphire-infused frying pans, and are impressed with the versatility and durability of the Sapphire – whatever we cooked, nothing stuck! The patented Thermo-Spot lets you know when the pan is at the right temperature to start cooking, and the stainless steel handle means you can finish your dish in the oven. It’s good for all heat sources too. Widely available, $29-$55 prices will vary on size and store.

Fraser Valley Gourmet Butter Crunches

SIP: 100 gin cocktails with only three ingredients Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it? And while this very attractive book with its gilt-edged pages has recipes under the headings of Really Simple, Classics, Occasions, and New Takes, it also includes a brief history of gin and how its made, as well kitting out your cocktail bar, and some techniques. There’s a section on sloe gin too, with a few cocktails. Gin lovers will be happy to receive this! By Sipsmith, Octopus Books, £22

Fraser Valley Gourmet in Langley, BC, has brought out two new varieties of their Almond Butter Crunch for the holidays. These very moreish squares of buttery, crunchy goodness have a soft texture, and are now available in stocking-stuffer sized clamshell packs in Cranberry and Maple, and also Candy Cane flavours. 100 g, around $5 at Italian Centre Shops and Piece on Peace.

But new ways to get information were taking away from people buying cookbooks, and they needed to branch out further. When Norton would be teaching, someone would always ask ‘where did you get that?’ so they decided to open a specialty store, “There aren't any products on our shelves that we don't buy ourselves, and that has become our niche,” she says. “We have it on the shelf, but we also know what to do with it. We don't have anything in the store that plugs in. There are all sorts of gadgets, but there's also a really good knife and a cutting board.”

Open That Bottle by LINDA GARSON photography by DONG KIM

“I never could understand why people didn't want to go home for lunch or for dinner because we had great times at the dinner table eating (mother’s) simple but great food, and sitting around telling stories,” says Gail Norton, co-owner of Calgary’s The Cookbook Company. “And then I'd go to dinners at my friends and go, what? You can buy scallop potatoes in a box? Which I honestly thought was very exotic,” she laughs. Norton grew up in Calgary. She studied Special Education, and when both she and her husband graduated in 1984, teaching jobs were sparse so they decided to take a road trip across the country. “We went to Toronto, and we stopped at a store on Yonge Street called The Cookbook Store,” she says. ”It was like a beam from the heavens, because I cooked a lot as a kid and I've always been a retail person. So in 1984, my mom and I got together, and we opened up a teeny weeny store on 17th Avenue called The Cookbook Company. Our first sale, in

November 1984, was Betty Crocker’s Boys and Girls Cookbook for $7.95.” In 1996, after a couple of moves, Richard Harvey of (Metrovino) proposed sharing premises - and 722 11th Avenue SW was born. Norton has stayed at the heart of Calgary’s food scene since, and The Cookbook Co. has stayed busy. In 1986 they started a cooking school, and later added kitchenware and catering, as well as a culinary cooking camp in France, and then in Italy too. “Cooking classes, and private events, corporate events, and private bookings are a large part of what we do,” she says. "And every year I get to go to France in spring and Italy in the fall, and take clients on tours.”

In 1993, Norton founded City Palate magazine, and while she hasn’t been involved with it for a few years now, she published “Calgary Cooks” book in 2014 and this year “Calgary Eats”, with signature recipes from the city's restaurants and bars. “Everything's just happened because of a need, and it has grown organically from there. It isn't like I had a business plan for the next 35 years,” she smiles. So which bottle is Norton saving for a special occasion? “I have a big wine cupboard that was built for me, and I was looking for the bottle that was the dustiest; it's got to be pretty special if it's been in there long enough to get dusty,” laughs Norton. She has a bottle of Frias Family Vineyard 2006 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. “They’re a third generation family from California who were originally from Mexico. We did a one-off culinary tour to California, and Fernando was our host that day. It was super cool because he was serving us this absolutely delicious, very expensive California wine - and he made us Mexican food on picnic tables, showing us this side of the wine industry. It was the bottle that I could afford and then put away in a cellar.” “I think it's probably coming up for the 10th anniversary of that culinary tour we were on, and that would be a good reason to open it.”

50 Alberta's freshest food & beverage magazine - December 2019


Consommer Moët & Chandon avec modération. Please consume Moët & Chandon responsibly. - www.moët.com SP_M&C MUST BE 2019 WINTER BEAUTYSHOT CRAVATE 150 ANS NEW_ATL_8,25X10,75inch_R_CAN.indd 1

21/11/2019 10:16

Profile for Culinaire Magazine

Culinaire #8.8 (December 2019).pdf  

Alberta's freshest food and beverage magazine! Ideas for dining in, dining out, wine, beer, spirits, and cocktails ~ and recipes to make at...

Culinaire #8.8 (December 2019).pdf  

Alberta's freshest food and beverage magazine! Ideas for dining in, dining out, wine, beer, spirits, and cocktails ~ and recipes to make at...