Culinaire CALGARYâ€™S FRESHEST FOOD & BEVERAGE MAGAZINE Volume 2/issue #4 september 2013
The Best of The 2013 Alberta Beverage Awards 120 Award Winning Wines inside Kings of the Plant Kingdom | Getting Fruity With Beer | Tequila Comes Of Age
Volume 2/issue #4 september 2013
Features 40 A Taste for Tequila 34 Local and Loving It Come casual….come often…grab For mixing in cocktails, shooting
something to go…Boxwood is very different to its older sibling, but they share the same values.. By Dan Clapson
Salutes And Shout Outs
By Linda Garson
14 Sunnyside Market Lights Up Kensington
By Karen Miller
By David Nuttall
11 Ask Culinaire
By Executive Chef JP Pedhirney
12 Menu Gems 13 Scratch-Made Farm Style Food in an Urban City By Carmen Cheng
By Natalie Findlay
28 Growing Their Own
By Diana Ng
31 Un-Forbidden Fruit Beers By David Nuttall 38 Ripe For The Picking By BJ Oudman 40 A Taste for Tequila
By Steve Goldsworthy
By Fred Malley, CCC
24 The ABC’S of Fruits and Vegetables
By Natalie Findlay
20 Chefs’ Tips – and Tricks!
27 Preserving Summer
By Brenda Holder
18 Step By Step: Tart it up
the first ever Alberta Beverage Awards, coinciding with twenty years of liquor privatization for our province this month. By Tom Firth
By Dan Clapson
17 The Comfort of Berries
By Elizabeth Chorney-Booth
16 Soup Kitchen
10 Event Previews
or for sipping and savouring, you don’t have to be a connoisseur to relish this plant-based spirit. By Steve Goldsworthy
42 The 2013 Alberta Beverage Awards: Wine Results Culinaire Magazine has launched
66 RIP ALCB
By Jeff Collins
By Jocelyn Burgener culinairemagazine.ca • 3
Cu inaire Editor-in-Chief/Publisher: Linda Garson Contributing Drinks Editor: Tom Firth
Contributing Food Editor: Dan Clapson email@example.com
Commercial Director: Keiron Gallagher 403-975-7177 firstname.lastname@example.org
Advertising: Corinne Wilkinson
Keri Lorencz-Pain 403-540-3062 email@example.com
Website and Social Media: Cory Knibutat firstname.lastname@example.org
Design: Emily Vance Contributors: Jocelyn Burgener Carmen Cheng Elizabeth Chorney-Booth Jeff Collins Natalie Findlay Steve Goldsworthy Brenda Holder Ingrid Kuenzel Fred Malley, CCC Karen Miller Diana Ng David Nuttall BJ Oudman JP Pedhirney
To read about our talented team of contributors, please visit us online at culinairemagazine.ca. Contact us at:
Culinaire Magazine #1203, 804 -3rd Avenue sW Calgary, Ab t2p 0G9 403-870-9802 email@example.com www.culinairemagazine.ca www.facebook.com/Culinairemagazine twitter: @culinairemag For subscriptions, competitions and to read Culinaire online: culinairemagazine.ca
Our Contributors < BRENDA HOLDER brenda was raised in Jasper National park and has spent a vast amount of time trekking from valley to valley. A Cree/iroquois métis, she follows her lineage as a traditional métis guide from the Kwarakwante of Jasper. brenda has spent many years with the plant people. teachings from her grandmother, mother, aunts and other medicine people have led her down the path of traditional medicine, but with a strong background and understanding in the world of science. brenda’s company, mahikan trails, offers walks, talks and experiential programs.
< FRED MALLEY Fred started cooking under grandma’s eye and continues to work with food. His career includes being a chef, food and beverage manager, educator, caterer, food stylist, author and technical writer. An alumnus of sAit polytechnic, he retired after 33 years of teaching and curriculum development, most recently for Alberta Apprenticeship for the trade of Cook, and is currently president of the Calgary Academy of Chefs and Cooks. Fred also established a Canadian standard for cook training as an author of On Cooking, A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals.
< NATALIE FINDLAY Natalie is a freelance writer, photographer and pastry chef. Her food aspirations started at an early age as she took over baking desserts for her family and friends as soon as she could use a mixer. Natalie’s love of food resulted in her graduating from the Cordon bleu’s pastry program. over the past 10 years, Natalie has been a pastry chef and cook in hotels and restaurants while managing her own business creating custom-made wedding and special occasion cakes.
Letter From The Editor more likely, the golden glow we see is a reflection of the abundant ripe produce in our markets. stalls are groaning under the weight of freshly picked local produce now, everything from apples and artichokes to plums and pumpkins – and lots in between. it’s a joyous time of year for fruit and veggie lovers, and in this issue we have some fabulous recipes and ideas that make eating the recommended seven to ten portions a day seem so easy!
How did it get to be september already? that must mean the long sun-basking days are over, although we haven’t seen too many of those this summer – maybe we’re in for a gloriously warm, dry and sunny september. We can but hope!
We can enjoy our fruit and vegetables in liquid form too, and we take a look at beverages that are either fruit or plantbased. there’s a whole new selection of fruit beers to choose from, and it’s time to take our tequila more seriously too, particularly the aged, high-quality sipping liquors.
from fruit – mostly grapes but not always. We’re enormously proud to bring you the wine results for the inaugural Alberta beverage Awards, singly the largest alcohol beverage competition in the province. launched by Culinaire magazine to coincide with twenty years of liquor privatization in Alberta, it was a vast undertaking, but a hugely successful one, and i can’t be too effusive in my thanks to everyone involved for their enthusiasm, energy and support. i do hope it helps when choosing your next favourite wine! linda Garson editor-in-Chief firstname.lastname@example.org
Wine, by its very definition, is made
caLgaRY’S FReSheST Foo D&
In today ’s busy world, you may not get a chance to pick up every issue of Culinaire. To ensure your copy, go to culinairemagazine.ca to have the next ten issues delivered right to your door. CALGARY’S FRESHEST FOOD & BEVERAGE MAGAZINE
CALGARY’S FRESHEST FOOD & BEVERAGE MAGAZINE
The Cream of the Crop:
Calgary’s seafood sce ne is better than ever
Culinaire Culinaire CALGARY’S FRESHEST FOOD & BEVERAGE MAGAZINE
CALGARY’S FRESHEST FOOD & BEVERAGE MAGAZINE
| winning co
Volume 2/issue #2 june 2013
ld Beers | ca
A CAlgAry love Story:
We’re all about eggs...
We’re spreading our love of dairy
volume 2/issue 1 may 2013
BeVeRage magaZine ue #3 july
The people, the places, & the drinks to go with it
with bacon on the side
WINE & BEER CHEESE PAIRING GUIDES | CREAMY LIQUEURS | TIPPLES FROM IRELAND culinairemagazine.ca
BBQ Reds Hoppy Beers Bourbon The Cocktails
pasta, Rice & Grains, Summer Sips, Local Brews, Gin for June
SIPS FOR SPRING | BREAKFAST AND BRUNCH BEVERAGES | THE BITTER TRUTH culinairemagazine.ca
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Salutes…. Eat – vote - win!
Eating well – feeling good
enRoute magazine has announced its short list of the 35 most interesting new restaurants, for the Air Canada enRoute Canada’s Best New Restaurants People’s Choice Award. And Calgary has 3 nominees! The kings of fusion small plates, Candela Lounge in Mission; ‘Japalian’ jewel, Carino Bistro on the Edmonton Trail; and local, house-made champions, Market on 17th Ave SW.
Hats off to Calgary cousins Jeremy Bryant and Andrew Hall, who have started ‘Mealshare’ -an innovative nonprofit that provides meals for those in need. Mealshare has partnered with local restaurants Blue Star Diner and Dairy Lane Café, with more to follow soon, and when a menu item displaying their logo is ordered, they provide a meal for someone in need to match it.
Until September 30, 2013,11:59 pm EST, vote with your fork and enter for your chance to win the grand prize of a trip for two to the Best New Restaurant Cocktail Gala event in Toronto. eatandvote.com/en
The program has taken off so fast that they provided over 750 meals over the first 17 days! Mealshare has joined forces with Calgary Drop-In Centre to provide meals locally, as well as the Children’s Hunger Fund who provides meals to needy children in developing countries. Now you can not only enjoy your meal,
but also enjoy knowing that someone else gets a meal as well! mealshare.com/intro.php
Canadian Chefs Cook it Raw Cook It Raw (www.cookitraw.org) is an annual gathering that brings together internationally recognized, avantgarde chefs, traditional food producers and academics to discuss and explore innovation and collaboration within cuisine. Until September 12, chefs are invited to post their profiles to the Raw Community site for a chance to win a trip to the Cook it Raw 2013 gathering in Charleston, South Carolina, to be featured in Food + Wine Magazine and participate in the Cook It Raw Charleston BBQ October 26 in partnership with Food Day 2013.
and Shout Outs…. Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship program is a non-profit culinary foundation helping talented young Canadian chefs get a head start in their career. Their inaugural competition gives future culinary stars from across Canada the chance to win a grand prize of $10,000 and the opportunity to showcase their skills to Canada’s most revered chefs. Judges include Top Chef Canada’s Chef Mark McEwan, Calgary’s own Chef Connie DeSousa of CHARCUT Roast House, Vancouver’s Chef Vikram Vij, as well as Chef David Hawksworth himself. The competition is open to all Red Seal Canadian resident chefs under 28 years of age, currently working full-time with a professional kitchen. Ten finalists will compete at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts in Vancouver on Sunday October 27th. Apply at hawksworthscholarship.com 8 • September 2013
Congratulations to Wolf Blass! This month marks the 30 anniversary of “Yellow Label Cabernet Sauvignon” in Canada – an accomplishment indeed, as once established, Yellow Label became the top selling cabernet sauvignon in the country and still holds the title today! th
To mark the occasion, Chief Winemaker Chris Hatcher has developed a limited edition wine, a 2012 ‘Yellow Label’ Shiraz/Grenache/Mourvèdre from Barossa McLaren Vale. Spicy and fruity, this complex wine pairs well with the full flavours of BBQ meats and aged cheeses. Watch out in your local liquor store for ‘Paint The Town Yellow’ – a chance to win one of 30,000 prizes, including instant win Cineplex movie tickets and grand prizes of a VIP night out.
History in the Making For the first time in history, beer brewed in Prince Edward Island is now sold in Alberta. Gahan Ales and Beach Chair Lager, from The Prince Edward Island Brewing Company, are now available at liquor stores across the province. To celebrate, they will be flying a lucky winner and guest for an all expenses paid trip to Prince Edward Island for some VIP treatment at the Brewery! Permanent residents of Alberta, over the age of 18, can enter at peibrewingcompany.com/ dreamvacation
Book Reviews Dirt Candy by Amanda Cohen Clarkson potter publishers 2012 $23.99 Amanda Cohen is a popular blogger, owner/chef of a New York vegetarian restaurant and a cooking show reality star (the first vegetarian cook to compete on iron Chef ). she does this with gusto and humour, and a good sense of what reality is in the restaurant business, especially the vegetarian restaurant business. she creates vegetable dishes that are not meant as side dishes; they are complex, and flavourful enough to satisfy vegetable and meat lovers alike. Smoke & Pickles by edward lee thomas Allen & sons 2013 $34.95 Ancestry is important here. An American of Korean descent from brooklyn, with classical French cooking training, now living in the American south. it does not get much bolder than that! this is an interesting
By KAreN miller
Cohen’s story of opening the restaurant and the trials of running it are told in cartoon format. Cooking techniques and tips are found in the illustrations, as well as great explanations. she often stacks her dishes with numerous profiles of one vegetable (roasted Carrot buns with Carrot and Cucumber salad). the book provides tricks to preserve and use all parts of the vegetable, allowing us to use them all year round. Cohen definitely wants us to consider vegetables a treat, ie. candy from the dirt.
And yes, she does make candy out of vegetables, such as Zucchini Candy and Candied Grapefruit pops, and who wouldn’t want Fennel Funnel Cakes?
story full of confessions, and an exposé on discoveries crucial to lee’s cooking style.
Asian bbQ with southern ingredients, using salt-cured country hams, (often smoked as well), in pho.
my favourite is him recalling tasting buttermilk for the first time when arriving in louisville, Kentucky - he threw it out because it was sour and he thought it was bad! to lee, who considers smoke to be the sixth flavour (after umami, the fifth), pickles and barbecue go hand in hand, the sharp pickle cutting the intensity of smoky food. there is so much bold flavour in this book, like the combo of
His creativity shines with 4 seasons of kimchi, and his versions of southern classics (parsnip & black pepper biscuits). if he had his way, every dish would start with smoke and pickles, and everything else a garnish. Give me Kimchi poutine and i will want nothing else. Karen Miller is a lawyer by trade, giving her a knack for picking apart a cookbook. She has taught many styles of cooking classes and was part of the Calgary Dishing girls.
FRESH EVERYTHING. There's always something new to discover at the market. Come visit us this fall or check out CalgaryFarmersMarket.ca THURSDAY – SUNDAY
9AM – 5PM
510 77TH AVE SE
1067409_AD_Culinaire_Sept_7.625x3.125.indd 1 CREATIVE
2013-08-14 3:00 PM STUDIO
Previews By David Nuttall
September 7-8, 2013 Calgary Produce Marketing Association’s Harvest Sale Heritage Park, 1900 Heritage Dr. S.W. 9:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. both days Tickets: Regular entrance rates www.heritagepark.ca/plan-your-visit/ event-calendar/calgary-producemarketing-associations-harvest-sale. html
September 15, 2013 Slow Food Calgary’s 13th Annual Feast of Fields Rouge Restaurant Garden in Inglewood, 1240 8 Ave S.E. 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Tickets: Slow Food Members: Adults: $70 Family of 4: $180 Non-members: Adults: $90 Family of 4: $270 Each year people join Slow Food Calgary in the beautiful garden at Rouge restaurant for an afternoon of food, wine, and fun. Be entertained by live
music and meet some of the growers and chefs who are responsible for the culinary creations. www.slowfoodcalgary.ca
September 19, 2013 WinSport Legacy Gala Markin Macphail Centre at Canada Olympic Park 6:30-10:30pm Hosted by Catriona Le May Doan, with culinary creations from 7 of Calgary’s top chefs, the inaugural Winsport Legacy Gala is a celebration of Canadian winter sport, with a focus of helping to fund programs and bursaries for athletes who train at the Winsport Winter Sport Institute, Winsport Canmore and the Olympic Oval. Winsport is the cornerstone of maintaining Canada’s place among the top performing winter sport nations. The vision is to be the world’s leading winter sport institute. Contact: Joyce.VanZeumeren@winsportcanada.ca 403-247-5468
September 27-28, 2013 Calgary Oktoberfest BMO Centre, Stampede Park Friday: 4-11 p.m. Saturday: 3-11 p.m. Tickets: $19 Once inside, patrons will be transported to a German Beer Hall, with full sized beers, food, and Oom-pah and nonoom-pah bands and dancing. German food - sausage, sauerkraut, pretzels and more - and, of course, German beer will be consumed at long tables to add to the atmosphere. www.albertabeerfestivals.com
October 4-6, 2013 6th annual Fraser Valley Food Show Friday October 4, 2-9pm, Saturday October 5, 10-8pm, Sunday October 6, 10-5pm TRADEX Trade & Exhibition Centre, 1190 Cornell Street, Abbotsford, BC V2T 6H5 This year’s show features over 100 exhibitors, celebrity chef demonstrations, cooking competitions, Great Canadian Sausage Making Competition, cheese seminars, the Bite of the Valley, and the Wine, Beer, and Spirits Tasting Pavilion. New this year is the Gluten-Free Living Show. www.fraservalleyfoodshow.com
Ask Culinaire By chef JP Pedhirney
What is the best way to store leafy greens and herbs? Answer: When it comes to leafy greens and herbs, it is always best to buy your produce on the day of production, as this allows you to take advantage of the produce when its quality is at its peak. However, it’s a busy world these days and the chance to visit a local farmers market for great quality produce on a daily basis, isn’t always an option. So, in order to maintain that great quality throughout the week, we must find ways to properly store our beautiful lettuce and fresh herbs. Now, to extend the life of lettuce and herbs that you buy at the market, all it takes are a few steps and about thirty minutes of your love and care! First, when it comes to selecting lettuce or herbs, try to choose a market that provides local product, and not only because it is great to support local farmers, but you have to understand that as soon as lettuce is pulled out of the soil, or herbs are picked off their plots, they begin to decay. So, long story
short, the longer the trip the produce has to make to your local market or grocery store, the more the produce will have decayed in the process. Select lettuce and herbs that are firm in structure and have no signs of wilting. Sorting your lettuce and herbs is the most crucial step when maintaining freshness for a prolonged period of time. Most produce, especially fruit, leafy greens and most herbs, release a gas called Ethylene once they have reached a certain point of decay. Ethylene then causes all the produce around it to decay at a rapid rate, turning your beautiful lettuce into sludge within a day or so. It is now important to pick out that one bad leaf on your head of Butter Leaf lettuce or Tarragon because the whole batch WILL go bad if you don’t. After picking, you can let them rest in a sink filled with moderately cool water to wash off any dirt or impurities. Skim
your lettuce off the top of the water bath and spin dry, VERY DRY!!! When the lettuce is dry, break the leaves off its root and group a few together making a couple separate batches. Wrap each batch of lettuce or herbs with paper towel. Leafy greens and herbs are sensitive to heat so this will help protect them from the heat of opening and closing your fridge door throughout the week. Now your greens are in great shape and ready to serve up at a minute’s notice! Chef JP Pedhirney is a Red Seal Certified Chef. He led the kitchen at Rouge Restaurant as Chef de Cuisine and is now the Executive Chef of Muse Restaurant in Kensington.
Menu Gems We may love our meat, but there are great veggie dishes to be found in our city too. Our contributors are sharing their favourites… Jalapeño Peppers, Il Centro
Gado Gado, Indonesian Kitchen
Tomato salad, downtownfood Linda Garson
Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad, Redwater Rustic Grille
This quaintly practical lunch spot tucked away on the east side of Macleod Trail near Chinook Mall, serves up authentic country Italian fare. Marinated and dripping in garlic-infused olive oil, the plate of peppers packs some heat, while the oil-garlic combination and charred pepper tips add depth. Not for the gi-tract sensitive. Matt Browman
I love a good caprese salad but the tomato salad at downtownfood is exceptional. The usual culprits of tomato, basil, and boccocini are dressed up with housecured bacon and a spicy romesco. Packed with flavour, this dish is a great homage to local produce. Especially as the tomatoes and basil are grown on the restaurant’s rooftop, you can’t get more local than that!. Carmen Cheng
This interesting dish of lacto-fermented radishes, burnt garlic and squid ink ‘dirt’ is exactly how I like my vegetables. Still with a bit of crunch, a little quirky, but all round delicious. Dan Clapson
Hand Rolled Sweet Potato Gnocchi, Vero Bistro Who doesn’t love sweet potatoes? Pure comfort food! These little pillows come dressed with wild boar bacon, Gorgonzola, walnuts, aged balsamic and maple syrup – everything I love in one dish! When I’m too old to swallow, please feed these to me intravenously and I’ll be a happy person. Linda Garson
Eggplant Bartha, Spice Hut
As a conciliatory gesture to all the vegetarians, I occasionally indulge in an Eggplant Bartha. Tender eggplant in earthy spices showcases this simple Pakistani eatery perfectly. Gabe Hall
I had the pleasure of spending a day on International Avenue [17th Ave SE] with the ‘Around the World in 35 Blocks’ tour. Discovering Indonesian Kitchen’s Gado Gado made me dream of past days in Bali. The peanut sauce is fragrant, slightly spicy and generously poured over steamed veggies and tofu. So delectable! Heather Kingston
There is something sublime about roasted beets and goat cheese. They are a perfect match. For some earthy flavours, try the combination at Redwater Rustic Grille. They enhance the combination with arugula, toasted pecans, parsnips, grainy mustard and truffle vinaigrette. Fred Malley
Tempura Haricots Vert, Divino
My go to vegetable dish of Tempura Haricots Vert with Fireweed Honey-Hot Mustard is divine (pun intended). The beans are not overcooked and still crunchy and combined with a fried coating - it does not get much better! Karen Miller
Col Rizada, Ox and Angela
A salad of braised kale, Serrano ham, chickpeas and garlic breadcrumbs: it’s savoury and flavourful, without having too much meat or dressing. Raw kale is too thick as a green for my liking, but the cooked kale in this dish is perfect. The breadcrumb gives it a strangely awesome texture. Diana Ng
The tableside guacamole at Añejo is more than just a yummy vegetable dish - it is an experience. Deft hands prepare the avocados, peppers and tomatoes, whisking them up into a glorious green concoction right before your eyes. For twice the fun, have them whip up the salsa too! BJ Oudman
Farm Girls: Scratch-Made Farm Style Food in an Urban City By Carmen Cheng
surprise that the Braised Beef Shepherd’s Pie is loved. It is hearty and comforting with roasted vegetables, mashed yams, and blue cheese mousse. You can’t serve comfort food without Mac and Cheese. The Farm Girls’ version includes butternut squash, old cheddar, and a hint of truffle. Topped with crispy onions, pumpkin seeds and bacon, this gourmet dish is far better than the highly processed orangey-coloured mac and cheese of my childhood.
For many of us, our lifestyles and choices as adults are influenced by childhood experiences. Jocelyn Rempel and Amy Wenger grew up on a farm, eating fresh food made from scratch. As adults, the sisters can’t fathom eating food that is not prepared with the same care. Pursuing their passion to bring affordable, fresh food to Calgarians, they opened a food truck, fittingly named “Farm Girls”. “We wanted to remind Calgarians, what fresh, homemade food tastes like,” said Jocelyn, “we wanted to provide them with that nostalgic feeling of eating their grandmother’s home cooked meals. Ultimately we wanted to [give] people wholefoods straight from the farm to their plates.” In a few short months, Farm Girls has developed a strong following. Operating
part-time, the truck is currently out only once or twice each week, but their food is in high demand. And, it’s easy to see why; they offer a menu of simple comfort foods, but with a gourmet twist. The Herbed Pork and Goat Cheese Sliders are jazzed up with fresh arugula, a caramelized onion garlic sauce, and for balance, a tangy dill sauce. Served with a crunchy snap pea slaw and avocado dressing, this dish screams “fresh”. Calgarians love their beef, so it’s no
Loaded with spinach, beets, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado, and almonds, the Garden Glory Bowl is chock full of vitamins and antioxidants. It is drizzled with maple cider vinaigrette and served atop brown rice. It’s vegan friendly and gluten-free, but don’t let that that fool you, even devout carnivores covet this deliciousness. Since their launch in April, 2013, “Farm Girls” have shown that their name signifies more than just their cooking philosophy. They also embody a neighbourly spirit synonymous with farm communities. During the flood, while many brick and mortar eateries were shut down, the ladies and their bright pink truck came to feed residents and volunteers hot, freshly made food. It’s clear this truck has embraced being part of the Calgary community. Follow Farm Girls on Twitter @farmgirlsfood to find out where they’re rolling to next. Carmen Cheng comes from a family of adventurous eaters. There aren’t many foods that she won’t try. She loves to chat about what to eat next on twitter @foodkarmablog. culinairemagazine.ca • 13
Sunnyside Market Lights Up Kensington By Elizabeth Chorney-Booth Photography by Ingrid Kuenzel
Sunnyside has always had a great community feel - situated within walking distance from the city’s core, but isolated from downtown by its location on the North side of the Bow River, the neighbourhood has that magical combination of inner-city cool tempered by an almost small-town chilled-out vibe. Encapsulating that community spirit is the Sunnyside Natural Market, a bustling little grocery that not only feeds the residents of Sunnyside, but provides health-conscious patrons with a friendly neighbourhood hang-out spot. Newcomers to Calgary often complain that our city is lacking in the decent corner grocery stores that you’d more commonly find in Montreal or Toronto, but that’s certainly not the scene in Sunnyside. 14 • September 2013
The store has been operating as a market since 1997 (before that the owners operated an Eco Store in the same location) but current owners Pat Guyn and Patty Nowlin have only owned the shop since 2005. The couple were longtime customers and only became interested in the grocery business when the original owners announced that they’d decided to move on. Not wanting to lose their favourite food store to new owners who may not keep with the
standards that they’d grown to love, Guyn and Nowlan decided that they’d take on new careers and become their own friendly neighbourhood grocers. “The previous owners knew we would keep with their philosophy, which we’ve pretty much done,” Guyn says. “And it was a good transition for me because after 21 years of being a computer science programmer working downtown, I was ready for a different
path. I had no experience in retail at all I don’t think I’d ever worked a retail job!” That general philosophy is fairly simple: Guyn, Nowlan, and the rest of the team stock the store with as many organic products as possible and buy from local farmers and producers whenever it is feasible. Guyn isn’t just concerned about providing the healthiest food available to his customers, but he also is a big believer in supporting food producers who do their best to behave ethically in every way they can. Guyn makes sure he pays his staff a living wage and tries to work with farmers who treat their employees with a similar sense of fairness while also taking proper care of animals and creating safe, chemical-free food. “We love going out and visiting the farms,” he says. “It’s just really great being around the people growing your food and knowing how they grow it. You just have a higher level of confidence in how food is being produced, which is especially important for our meat. All of our meat comes from Alberta — it’s not all organic, but we’re really good about following up and seeing how the animals are being treated to make sure it’s as ethical as it should be.” And Calgarians seem to agree. Although many people still flock to larger supermarkets to get their food on the cheap, business at Sunnyside has been strong enough that the store doubled
its space earlier this year and partnered with the ever-popular Sidewalk Citizen Bakery to create a bakery deli counter complete with a pizza oven, fresh pastries, sandwiches, bread, and organic salads. For Guyn, bringing in Sidewalk Citizen and expanding the size of the store goes back to his commitment to providing his local community with a place to congregate and buy great food. In addition to supporting farmers by buying their wares, the market regularly participates in communitybuilding efforts in both Sunnyside and the local farming community at large by holding fundraisers for farmers who have been hit by bad weather, supporting local schools, and helping with various community gardens. During the flooding that hit Sunnyside this summer, Guyn and Nowlan were pleased to be able to deliver food within
the community and provide a place for patrons to come and share their stories about what was happening with their own homes. “Our store is a really comfortable place for a lot of our customers to come and hang out,” Guyn says. “There’s a lot of socializing that goes on and it feels a little bit like a hub for the people that shop here. It does make it harder to work because people always want to talk to you — but it’s a good thing!” Sunnyside Market is located at 338 10th Street NW and is open daily. Over her 15-year career as a professional writer, Elizabeth Chorney-Booth has written about music, film, business, and food, but ultimately she just likes to hear and share people’s stories.
Soup Kitchen By Dan Clapson
I love kale. Rain, shine or - dare I say - snow, it’s my vegetable any day of the year. There’s a multitude of delicious things you can do with this extra hearty green, like baking into chips and simply sautéing with some butter and fresh lemon. It’s equally as rewarding in soups and, now that the fall is upon us, here are two quick and easy kale-centric soups you can get on the dinner table faster than you can say: “Oh my god, kale is the best!”
Creamy Kale and Pancetta Soup Serves 3-4 Total cook time 35 minutes ¼ cup pancetta (1/4” cubed) 1 yellow onion (diced) 2 cloves garlic (minced) 4 cups green kale (stems removed, thinly sliced) 2 ½ cups (600 mL) chicken stock 4 cups (960 mL) half and half cream 2 tsp dried basil 1 tsp cayenne pepper 1 bay leaf 1 Tbs cornstarch 2 Tbs (30 mL) water salt and pepper
1. Cook the pancetta in a large pot on medium high heat until crispy on all sides, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from pan and let rest on paper towel to absorb any excess fat.
Rustic Tomato, Kale and Barley Soup Serves 4 Total cook time 45 minutes 1 yellow onion (diced) 2 cloves garlic (minced) 2 white potatoes (skin on, 1 cm cubed) 3 cups green kale (stems removed, loosely chopped) 1 340 mL can Scarpone’s Fire Roasted Tomatoes 5 cups (1.2 L) vegetable broth ½ cup uncooked barley 1 Tbs tomato paste 2 tsp garam masala 2 tsp chili powder 1 Tbs red wine vinegar salt and pepper olive oil
2. Using the same pot, reduce heat to medium and sauté the onion and garlic in the pancetta fat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 3. Add the kale, stock, cream and spices. Once the mixture begins to bubble, reduce to low heat and let simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until liquid reduces by approx a third. 4. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water, and stir into the soup to thicken slightly. 5. Return the cooked pancetta to the pot and let cook for 5 minutes. Lastly, remove the bay leaf and season soup generously with salt and pepper
1. Drizzle some olive oil in a large pot and cook the onion and garlic on medium high heat until softened, approx 5 minutes.
2. Add the next 8 ingredients and stir until tomato paste has dissolved. Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce to medium heat and simmer, uncovered, for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. 3. Add red wine vinegar, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Finally, season to taste with salt and pepper. *If you’re looking for something a bit more meaty, toss in some chopped up roast chicken or cooked ground meat for more carnivorous appetites. Dan Clapson is a freelance food writer and columnist in Calgary. When he’s not writing about Canada’s amazing culinary scene, he is likely spending his time listening to 80s rock or 90s boy bands like 98 Degrees. Follow him on twitter @dansgoodside!
The Comfort Of Berries By Brenda Holder
The huge disaster of June of this year brings to mind the exact thing that berries bring to mind for me… preparation and survival. My parents always made us collect berries when we were young, and my grandmother lived for them. Although we really had everything we needed, to my grandmother, berries were the means to sustain us through winter. It’s the way she grew up, and I guess not only do old habits die hard, they get passed on from generation to generation. To her they were a vital part of existence and when it was berrypicking season, everyone had to go, and so it became a vital part of our existence.
We are well prepared for most emergencies, but the teachings from my youth really hit home when those floodwaters rose to dangerous levels. Food, and the ability to get it, is such an important part of the plan, if it is long term. I guess it’s one reason I’m so honoured to be able to write about finding your own food, maybe one day it will help someone out in an emergency. Picking berries is a great way to get kids involved in learning about finding their own food. Perhaps one day they will look back and realize that they enjoyed the learning experience in ways that a parent may never guess, especially if you make it entertaining. My grandmother told stories to keep us from getting bored, although I would
be more enticed by the jumping spiders and eating more blueberries than I put in the bucket! As much as I disliked berry picking, to this day, it reminds me of all the wonderful things about fall; the smell of cooking and canning berries, and the knowledge that we’d have sweet fruit to enjoy during the long cold months ahead. There was a warmth to it, and even during the coldest times, an open jar of berries could set anything right. Eating warmed blueberries, sitting by a hot wood stove in my grandmother’s kitchen, was everything safe and comfortable. When the floods hit Canmore and we were evacuated from our home, my body screamed out for warm blueberries. It’s interesting how a memory of comfort through food brings those associations of a time when all was right in the world. Though we had everything organized for the evacuation, including being prepared for the unknown, we still hit times of stress and anxiety, and that is when the “blueberry feeling” overcame me the most. A Cree/Iroquois Métis, Brenda was born in Jasper National Park. Her company, Mahikan Trails (mahikan.ca) delivers unique programs through Aboriginal Tradition to explore the natural wonders of the Canadian Rockies. culinairemagazine.ca • 17
Tart It Up: The Sweet And A tart is similar to a pie, however it does not have a top crust and is typically baked in a shallow scallop-edged pan with a removable bottom. The fillings are wide open to turning your favourite dishes into a tart - sweet or savoury. Tarts make great entertaining dishes; the majority of the work is done beforehand, leaving you free to enjoy entertaining, not cooking. Purchase your favourite brand of puff pastry and get ready to tart up your dinner plans. Here’s a delicious savoury main dish that will have you loving tarts for dinner (or lunch).
Story and photography by Natalie Findlay
Thai Coconut Curry Vegetable Tart Serves 4 225 g puff pastry, thawed 2 Tbs (30 mL) canola oil (don’t use olive oil) 3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped 50 g ginger, peeled and thinly sliced 2 stalks lemon grass, bruised 1/2 medium red onion, peeled and roughly chopped 1 can coconut milk 3 kaffir lime leaves (if you can find them) or 1/2 cup (120 mL) fresh lime juice 2 Thai chilli peppers (to taste), cut in half 2 tsp (10 g) green curry paste (purchased) 60 g cornstarch Vegetables of your choice. I used: 125 g eggplant, cubed 150 g sweet potato, peeled and cubed 100 g red pepper, thinly sliced 100 g leeks, sliced thinly (white part only) To taste salt Note: You can also poach chicken pieces or shrimp in the curry.
Preheat the oven to 350º F.
1. Add canola oil to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes, add red onion, lemon grass and ginger, and cook 5 to 8 minutes more to soften onion. 2. Add coconut milk and lime juice or leaves, and the chilli pepper. Bring to a boil, add green curry paste then turn down the heat and simmer for 1/2 hour. 3. Strain coconut liquid and add the liquid back to the pot, returning to a boil on high heat. Mix cornstarch with 5 Tbs (75 mL) cold water and add to the coconut liquid. Keep whisking as the curry thickens, about 1 minute. Turn down the heat and keep warm. 4. Place all the chopped vegetables in a large bowl and season with salt to taste. 5. Line a baking sheet with foil. Add vegetables and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until fork tender. 6. Roll out the puff pastry to the size of your tart pan. Place pastry in pan, trim the edges and fork the bottom of the dough. Place the puff pastry in the freezer for 15 minutes; this will help stop the pastry from shrinking. 7. Remove vegetables from the oven and add to the coconut mixture, stirring gently until all vegetables are coated. Add mixture to the tart shell and bake at 400º F for 30 minutes. 8. Let cool about 10 minutes before removing from tart pan, serve.
Building Your Tart
For the main attraction:
Preheat oven to 375º F.
Go quiche! Replace your regular piecrust with puff pastry and proceed with your favourite quiche recipe Pizza with puff pastry - you bet, just exchange your regular pizza dough for puff pastry and add toppings (no pizza stone required)
1. Roll out puff pastry to fit tart pan (20 cms). Place into pan and trim to fit sides. Fork the base of the dough and set in freezer for 15 minutes.
2. Line pastry shell with tin foil and add dried beans or pastry weights and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
Mexican - refried beans, pulled pork, salsa, cheese and top with avocado and cilantro
3. Spread pastry cream mixture into
Note: just add a green salad and you will be set for dinner or lunch
shell and place drained poached peaches and blueberries on top. Sprinkle with icing sugar (optional). Serve.
Some sweet choices: Pastry cream + sautéed bananas in brandy and brown sugar + chocolate curls Pastry cream + a bevy of fresh fruits
Peach and Ginger Tart
1. Heat milk on medium high until
bubbles form around the edge of the pan.
400 g puff pastry, thawed 565 g peaches, sliced into wedges 45 g ginger, peeled and thinly sliced 2 cups (500 mL) water 250 g sugar 125 g blueberries Ginger Poached Peaches: 1. Add sugar, ginger and water to a medium pot and bring to a boil. Stir. Boil until all the sugar has dissolved.
2. Turn off heat, add sliced peaches and cover with a circle of parchment paper to keep the peaches submerged. Let cool. Peaches can remain in the poaching liquid overnight. Pastry Cream 1 2/3 cups (400 mL) 2% milk 4 egg yolks 100 g sugar 40 g flour 2 lemons, zested ½ cup (125 mL) whipping cream
2. Whisk egg yolks in a medium bowl. Add sugar and whisk to combine, then add flour and whisk. Add lemon zest and whisk to combine all ingredients.
3. Once milk is bubbling, add half of it slowly to the yolk mixture, whisking to keep the eggs from turning into scrambled eggs. Return pan to the stove to keep the remaining milk warm. Gently whisk the yolk mixture and milk together until thoroughly combined and add to the milk on the stove. Continue to whisk on medium high until the mixture starts to bubble.
4. Pour this pastry cream into a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap, making sure it touches the cream so a skin does not form on the top. Refrigerate for 4 hours and up to 3 days.
5. When ready to use, whisk the whipping cream into the pastry cream until smooth.
Mascarpone cream + orange zest + fresh figs + honey Note: these are all lovely with a dollop of Chantilly cream on the side
Chefs’ Tips And Tricks! Story and photographs by FreD mAlleY, CCC
Behind most great chefs is a team of dedicated professionals; the titles vary. They don’t often get the limelight, but their responsibilities mirror the principal’s and they are very hands-on in the dayto-day operation. Many are accomplished in their own right. We caught up with some of these chefs to see what they are doing with root vegetables on their menus.
Flavour is the primary purpose they choose to use them, and they like that most are available from local producers. the food cost is reasonable for the raw product, although they rarely serve the product as is. purées are common on many menus, as a base point or a colourful accent. the goal is not to mask the flavour of the vegetable, but to enhance it as an accompaniment to a protein. What do our chefs feel the next trend in dining will be? labossiere envisions increased support for farm to table, and restaurants making more of their own charcuterie. He also believes chefs need to respond to the healthier, smarter eating choices that diners want. staples thinks things will move back to more fine dining, but with a rustic focus. Harling has similar sentiments, but with restaurants being more relaxed; he thinks molecular has run its course.
Justin Labossiere, Executive Chef at NOtaBLE Joining michael Noble and the crew for opening, labossiere left a career as Corporate Chef and then Director of operations for the Concorde entertainment Group, opening seven operations with them. Why leave such a plum position? At 30 years of age, labossiere wanted to get back in the kitchen and actually experience the business developing and growing. He believes in nurturing cooks and teaching them how to run a business. labossiere’s food mantra is straightforward; perfect ingredients, perfect technique and perfect execution. Keep it simple, less is more. buying local is a must and he is a strong supporter of poplar bluff Farms, where he sources beets and potatoes. beets are his favourite root vegetable and he is sharing two recipes, both served under grilled halibut topped with ratatouille vinaigrette.
Parsnip Chèvre Puree Serves 4 4 parsnips milk whipping cream kosher salt 100 g chèvre (goat cheese log)
1. Wash, peel and rinse the parsnips, slice in rings. 2. Place the parsnips in a saucepan and just cover with equal amounts of milk and cream, add salt to taste. Cook over medium heat until tender.
3. Transfer everything to a blender and add the chèvre. Blend for 30 – 40 seconds until smooth. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Maple Pan Roasted Beets Serves 4 3 golden beets 1 Tbs (15 mL) salt 1 bay leaf 10 black peppercorns 1 star anise 4 Tbs (60 mL) white wine vinegar
1. Scrub the beets clean and place all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer 35-40 minutes until tender. Remove beets from brine with a slotted spoon and cool for 10 minutes.
2. Rub off the skin with a dry paper towel, and cut beets in wedges. Reserve. 2 Tbs (30 mL) olive oil 3 Tbs (45 mL) maple syrup
1. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and sauté the beets until light golden brown.
2. Add the maple syrup and coat the beets. Season with kosher salt and serve.
culinairemagazine.ca • 21
Jamie Harling, Chef de Cuisine at Rouge Harling keeps the Rouge kitchen under control when Paul Rogalski is away. His sister convinced him at 19 to take over her restaurant while she took some time off, and she is still a major mentor in his life. His fresh face belies experience garnered at Bymark in Toronto following classes at George Brown College. Heading west he landed at Dobson’s and Craft Beer Market. Food to Harling is about celebrating the best available; that means seasonal and local; and building around a key ingredient. He prefers a simple approach with complex flavours, as evidenced by his recipe for Carrot Cumin Puree that he serves with grilled lamb. Harling loves carrots, hates okra (slimy) and enjoys tucking into a big bowl of pho at least three times per week. Braising is his cooking method of choice because of the rich flavours. He likes to use salt, peppery olive oil and fresh herbs.
Carrot Cumin Puree 250 g carrots 1 tsp (5 mL) canola oil 1 tsp (5 mL) cumin To taste salt and black pepper 1/3 tsp (2 mL) lemon juice 2 tsp (10 mL) butter
1. Wash, peel and rinse the carrots, then slice thinly. 2. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add the canola oil, cumin and carrots. Sauté until the cumin is fragrant. Add just enough water to barely cover the carrots, cover and simmer until soft. Strain and reserve the cooking liquid.
3. Puree the carrots in a blender until smooth, adding some cooking water to make a smooth, firm puree. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in the butter. * A note on preparing root vegetables; scrub and wash them, then peel them followed by another rinse to remove any traces of soil. It keeps them more food safe. 22 • September 2013
Celery Root Puree 1 celery root (celeriac) 1 Tbs (15 mL) butter ¼ bay leaf milk- 3.25% lemon juice salt
1. Wash, peel and rinse the celeriac, then dice. Melt the Quinn Staples Sous-Chef at Yellow Door Bistro, Hotel Arts. Staples’ first restaurant job was at Crazyweed in Canmore before going to SAIT. The Tribune followed, with a month long stage at Grant Achatz’s Alinea in Chicago, where he learned what it takes to establish a working environment to be a 3 star Michelin restaurant. There is even a technique for closing the fridge door. Staples is a strong believer in not masking flavours and overpowering ingredients. He prefers to layer flavours to create the marriage, much like building a curry dish. Root vegetable favourites are a bit more exotic; he likes sunchokes and salsify in season and detests rutabaga. Here he shares a celeriac (celery root) purée that Yellow Door serves with braised fennel meatballs (see culinairemagazine.ca for recipe). Staples cooks the celeriac in whole milk to make the flavour mellow and to preserve the colour.
butter in a wide saucepan and sweat the celeriac until it starts to soften.
2. Add bay leaf and enough milk to just cover celeriac. Cover the pot and simmer until tender. Strain off the milk and reserve. Remove the bay leaf.
3. Puree the celeriac in a blender and add just enough milk to make a thick purée. Pass the purée through a sieve and season with lemon juice and salt. Fred currently validates Individual Learning Modules for Alberta Apprenticeship, for the trade of Cook. Chair of the Canadian Culinary Institute for five year (the body that certifies Chefs de Cuisine (CCC), Fred actively mentors and examines chefs across Canada.
The ABC’S of Fruits and Vegetables By Jocelyn Burgener
September is back to school month. Here’s a refresher on the ABC’s of nutrition to ensure a healthy start to the school year.
In 1939, Bing Crosby sang “An apple for the teacher will always do the trick, when you don’t know your lesson in arithmetic”. But don’t underestimate the nutritional value of a daily apple on student performance. Canada’s Food Guide recommends 7 -10 servings of vegetables and fruits a day for adults, so toss an apple or two into your lunch bag. As it’s a good source of immune-boosting Vitamin C, collect bonus points!
Studying ancient history? The earliest known reference to dried fruits dates from 1700 BC Babylonia, with recipes using dried dates, figs, apples, pomegranates and grapes. When you have a craving for sweets, dried fruit provides a healthy, convenient alternative.
BROCCOLI: President George H. W. Bush banished broccoli from the White House, but he could not alter the nutritional value of this popular vegetable. Raw and cooked broccoli can help lower cholesterol levels due to its high soluble fibre content.
CELERY ROOT: A root vegetable, celery root is at its best in the fall, winter and early spring. Peel down to reveal the creamy, solid flesh inside. Enjoy celery root shredded as a salad, or added to soups and stews. Perfect for fall.
EGGPLANT: With its rich purple colour, the eggplant is beautiful but it’s more than just a pretty face. A good source of fibre, potassium, manganese and copper, this harvest vegetable offers enormous health benefits.
FIGS: Who gives A Fig? A good source of potassium and dietary fibre, figs have been with us for a very long time. The leaves can also serve a useful purpose, as worn by Adam and Eve and Michelangelo’s David. Ontario author Steven Bigg, the ‘Fig Pig’, and winner of the 2012 Silver Award of Achievement, Grow Figs Where You Think You Can’t, built his website for people in fig-unfriendly places. See Grow-Figs.com.
GRAPEFRUIT: Forget about the “Grapefruit Diet” - enjoy grapefruit for its refreshing taste and nutritional value. During flu season, grapefruit is an excellent source of antioxidant Vitamin C, providing about 52% of the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI). Vitamin C helps the body develop resistance to infectious agents. It is also required for the maintenance of healthy connective tissue.
HONEYDEW MELON: Considered the sweetest of all melons, Honeydew melon is a variety of the Muskmelon that originated in France. Select one weighing about 5 lbs, with a creamy yellow colour and waxy to the touch, for the best taste. 24 • September 2013
ICE CREAM: With blender, cream and variety of frozen berries in hand, ice cream may shift from dairy and become an official fruit! is there a better way to enjoy burgundy cherries?
JUICER: When pearl Jam tours, they carry their own juicer, along with celery, beets, tomatoes, apples, oranges, grapefruit, bananas, ginger, ginseng root and 6 lbs of carrots (“no stems”) - to be available in their dressing rooms prior to their concerts.
KALE: the World’s Healthiest Foods site (whfoods.org), recommends adding kale to your diet. serving ideas include braising chopped kale with apple, then sprinkling with balsamic vinegar and chopped walnuts. see page 16 for two delicious kale soup recipes!
LUNCH BAGS: With new materials and design features, lunch bags have come a long way. No more soggy sandwiches or warm juice! Check out the comparisons done by Good Housekeeping (goodhousekeeping.com) and today’s parent (todaysparent.com).
MUSHROOMS: mushrooms carry a mystique matching their exotic taste, as Alice in louis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” discovered. “One side will make you grow taller, and the other side will make you grow shorter. “One side of what? The other side of what?” thought Alice to herself. “Of the mushroom,” said the Caterpillar…
NUTS: is a nut a fruit or vegetable? that depends on how nutty you are. Hazelnuts, almonds, hickory nuts, walnuts and pecans fall into the hard-shelled fruit category. other nuts like pistachios, brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias and pine nuts are actually kernels, or seeds. peanuts are from the legume family, which also contains beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas. tHis QuestioN Will be oN tHe test!
COMING IN OCTOBER...
The 2013 Alberta Beverage Awards:
Spirits & Beers Results
UTENSILS: Whether you do a weekly meal plan, or wing it from day to day, it helps to have the right utensils when preparing and serving food. Help your kids get an “A” in Home Ec. by showing them how to use a whisk, strain spaghetti, peel a carrot, grate cheese, or set a table.
VEGAN: OLIVES: “Shaken, not stirred, and double up on the olives.” A martini may not be classified as a health food, but the olive should get an honourable mention as a staple in the Mediterranean diet. In what country is vodka the staple?
PICKLES: Pickles are a signature food, a garnish that completes a meal. What’s an order at Montreal’s Schwartz’s Smoked Meat without a dill pickle? Or a hamburger without bread and butter pickles? Related to the cucumber, sweet gherkins brighten any picnic fare.
QUINCE: Scrabble players pay attention, there is a small deciduous tree, which produces a pear-like fruit called a quince. It is bright golden yellow when mature and makes great jam. On a triple word square it is worth 45 points!
RHUBARB: Rhubarb is usually considered to be a vegetable; however, a New York court decided in 1947 that since it was used in the United States as a fruit, it was to be counted as a fruit for the purposes of regulations and duties. Tart and tasty, and grown in your own back laneway; rhubarb is served in pies, casseroles, jams and homemade wine.
STRESS: Between managing a career, a family and taking care of yourself, September’s Back to School preparation can be extremely stressful. Reduce stress and anxiety by eating foods rich in Vitamin B (clams, lentils, chickpeas and quinoa). Fruits and vegetables with orange and yellow pigments also contribute Vitamins A and C, as well as folate, which increase your energy level and repair cell damage caused by stress.
TOMATOES: Colourful, flavourful, versatile and delicious, tomatoes act like a vegetable but are actually a fruit. The presence of lycopene can help lower the risk of certain cancers (lung, stomach, and prostate). High in key antioxidants such as Vitamins A and C, these vitamins work to fend off DNA damage from free radicals.
26 • September 2013
Variety is the key to a nutritionally sound vegan diet. A healthy and varied vegan diet includes fruits, vegetables, plenty of leafy greens, whole grain products, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
WATER: Essential for preparing, cooking and cleaning up afterwards, water keeps fruit and vegetables fresh. Add sliced cucumber, lemon, or cranberries to spice up your next glass. Keep your water bottle handy and clean.
XOCOLATL: Treat yourself to something sweet or bitter, light or dark, cold or hot. The ancient Aztecs called it called it Xoxolatl. Chocolate!
YAMS: When is a yam not a yam? When it’s a sweet potato! Often mislabeled as their orange cousins, a true connoisseur would know that yams range in colour from ivory flesh tones to purple. With almost 200 varieties, they are decorative and nutritious.
ZUCCHINI: Stuffed or baked, an entree or dessert, the zucchini is an amazingly versatile vegetable. Watching your weight? A medium zucchini is about 35 calories. Don’t even try counting the calories in a zucchini cake with cream cheese and applesauce icing. Frozen or fresh, first time or favourite - enjoy the ABCs’ of fruits and vegetables. A former MLA, Jocelyn was Director of Public Affairs for the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and ran her own consulting business. She finds clarity in chaos and humour in everyday life.
Story and photographs by Natalie Findlay
Preserving foods is an age-old technique that is thankfully enjoying a revival these days. As the first signs of fall hit us, thoughts of hunkering down for the winter start to creep in. There are many ways of preserving that summertime taste for those of you who still want the freshness of their fruits and vegetables even as the temperature begins to plummet. Not all preserving requires hours of your time. Hereâ€™s a few simple ways that you can preserve your summer fare and still have time to enjoy the sunlight hours.
Drying - this is great for all the extra herbs you planted and for your favourite seasonal fruits. Dried apples would make a great snack for kids to take to school. In order to dry herbs, tie stalks into small bunches and place each bunch in a paper bag with ventilation holes. Tie the neck of the bag tightly and hang in a warm place. The bag keeps the light from degrading the leaves and flowers. They should keep for about a year after being dried, stored in an airtight container.
Canning - this process does require more time. However, if you get together with friends and each purchase a different fruit to jam or vegetables to can, and just share the abundance, you will be set for the winter to sit back and enjoy the delicious flavours of summer and the grace of your friends.
Pickling - there is a long way and a quick way. Here is a recipe that will allow you to savour your own homemade pickling in no time.
Sweet and Savoury Quick Pickles 6 small cucumbers or 2 regular cucumbers 1/4 cup kosher salt 1 cup (240 mL) water 1 cup (240 mL) rice vinegar 1/2 cup sugar 1 Tbs coriander seeds 1 Tbs mustard seeds 1 Tbs whole allspice berries 1 cinnamon stick 3 cloves 2 bay leaves
1. Wash and dry the cucumbers. Using a sharp knife or a mandolin, slice the cucumbers thinly and place in a colander. Sprinkle the cucumbers with all the kosher salt and give it a toss to coat. Place the colander over a bowl and allow it to sit, covered, for about 1 hour.
2. Rinse off the salt and dry the cucumber slices well. Place them into a sterilized large 1 L sized jar (you can sterilize a jar by placing it in the oven at 250Âş F for 15 minutes), or any combination of size of jars you prefer.
3. In a small saucepan add the water, vinegar, coriander, mustard, allspice, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves. Stir to dissolve sugar and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow it to cool. Pour the brine over the cucumbers in jar. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Will keep, refrigerated, for about 2 weeks.
culinairemagazine.ca â€˘ 27
Growing Their Ownâ€Ś By Diana Ng
For chefs, fewer things are more satisfying than cooking with home-grown, high quality ingredients. In land-locked Calgary, diners have come to expect local Alberta meats and some local vegetables. While itâ€™s extremely difficult to fully support the needs of the business, restaurants in Calgary are taking steps to produce as much of their own as they can, despite the wild weather that is typical of our city. At the very least, customers get impeccable ingredients and know their source. At best, gardens educate and foster a sense of community between producers, pushing environmental responsibility to a higher level. While all the restaurateurs mention the need to reduce the variety they grow and instead focus on volume, regardless of scale, here are a few restaurants that are doing it right.
As one of the top seafood restaurants in the city that strictly adheres to Ocean Wise guidelines, Catch takes the same diligent approach to producing local herbs and vegetables from its 2-year-old rooftop garden that it shares with the Hyatt hotel.
The most ambitious rooftop garden goes to Darren MacLean of Downtownfood. Along with GreenGate Garden Centres and Leaf Ninjas, the chef-owner set out to prove that food can be grown in urban settings and inspire environmental responsibility, creating the first urban agricultural partnership in Calgary. The garden of over 30 varieties of herbs, vegetables and fruits (from as many non-GMO seeds as possible), includes an apiary and solar-powered drip irrigation system, supporting 100% of the micro greens and most lettuces needed for the menu.
The key, according to Executive Chef Kyle Grove, is to educate the staff in the maintenance of the garden: seeding, watering and weeding. Keeping the garden on the roof also keeps away contaminants from pedestrian foot traffic. With limited space in the downtown core, coupled with Calgary’s unpredictable weather known for spontaneous hailstorms, it’s vital to make each of the 25 varieties from the eight-planter garden count. With the help of carefully designed planters that use chicken wire to shield the plants from the elements, Chef Groves takes full advantage of the crops they get, like radishes and nasturtiums, in specials and featured dishes.
MARKET With limited outdoor space and no easy access to the rooftop at Market, owner Vanessa Salopek, executive chef Dave Bohati and their team took the garden
indoors with the help of an urban cultivator. Compared to a conventional garden, the urban cultivator is easy to maintain, clean, and keeps plants free from bugs and pests, allowing them 100% yield on their nasturtiums, pea shoots, micro basil, lemon balm, micro mustard, baby shiso, and wheat grass. Convenience does not come cheap, though. At a start-up cost of $8,000, it is a pretty hefty investment. The consolation is that maintenance nutrients and seeds - is reasonably priced, there is less food wastage, and the herbs take only one to two weeks before harvest. “Plus, it’s a pretty rad showpiece,” says Bohati.
While most restaurants are satisfied with just building a garden, MacLean takes the extra step to include bees on the rooftop. The apiary houses two bee colonies, each with 25,000 bees, projecting 50 kg of honey this year. “The project is not just a garden; it’s a rooftop ecosystem. You have to have a way for plants to be pollinated. Our tomatoes are doing way better than I expected and I attribute that to the bees,” says MacLean. “Even if we don’t get the honey that we expect, the bees are out pollinating other plants in the city core. The more we can do to keep the bee population up, the better it is for the planet, and that’s what the project is all about.”
culinairemagazine.ca • 29
ROUGE Located just five minutes from downtown in Inglewood is Rouge, a hidden classic gem with one of the most spectacular, largest and oldest restaurant gardens in the city. The story is simple. Chef and owner Paul Rogalski believes that nothing beats fresh produce, and that it is important for cooks to know the story of food before they can prepare good dishes: where food comes from and how to tend a garden. At Rouge, the seeds from which their vegetables grow come anywhere from friends and family to online organic seed retailers, and the soil they use comes from their own compost, truly illustrating the sense of community the restaurant has built with its surroundings and other passionate gardeners.
The entrepreneurs of the Naaco Truck proved that you really can start a garden anywhere if you are passionate about being green. Co-founders Stephanie Shields and Aman Adatia maximize the space they have on the truck by putting the 24 square foot garden on the roof (incorporating the design into the truck before its inaugural roll-out). Their truck-top garden, called Naaco’s Edible Garden, grows herbs like tarragon, parsley, mint and basil, mostly used in chutneys and dressings on their neoretro Indian menu. Luckily, even with so many restrictions concerning food trucks, a garden is not one of them. To generate a greater yield, and as a remedy to her self-proclaimed lack of green thumb, Shields buys plants instead of seeds from GreenGate Garden Centres, and uses 100% of the harvest. With limited realty, Shields and Adatia are looking to replace some of the herbs with chili peppers next year, which produce a higher yield than herbs over a shorter period.
FINE DINER As the name suggests, Inglewood’s Fine Diner specializes in gourmet diner fare like duck Benny and truffled mac
30 • September 2013
“I think it’s very important for young cooks and chefs to know where their food comes from and how much blood,
sweat and tears go in to producing a single head of lettuce. It teaches respect for the product, reduces wastage and makes for a well-rounded cook who cares about the product,” Greco says. “In many restaurants, staff can’t tell you where the produce comes from or who the farmer is. My staff can.” Greco proves his unwavering passion by tending to every level of the maintenance. “We compost everything we can at the restaurant and use it to keep our soil nutritious,” he says. “The Garden was very expensive to set up. The greenhouses alone were over $5,000, plus trucking-in soil, building the aquaponics system, irrigation, sheds for storage, fencing, bees to pollinate and so on. We are in this garden pretty deep and are proud to be. It is an extension of our restaurant.”
While those without a green thumb assume that growing your own vegetables is cost-effective and lucrative, Rogalski will tell you that it is in fact the opposite. As a restaurant that relies heavily on its crops but doesn’t have the economy of scale of large farms, taking care of an acre of land half of which goes into food production - is labour-intensive, and that labour translates into produce like spinach that costs four to six times more than if he were to buy it. “You can’t control the weather. You dance with Mother Nature every year,” says Rogalski.
n’ cheese, and uses nothing but quality ingredients (no Wonder Bread here). Chef/co-owner Rob Greco, along with Scott Weir from Growing Gardeners, recently started a herbicide- and pesticide-free garden, including a greenhouse with an aquaponics system, at Greco’s home in northwest Calgary.
Despite inclement weather and poor soil, the duo managed to crank out about 25% of the restaurant’s needs this year. Next year, they hope to generate enough to support 50%. Diana Ng is the web editor at up! magazine and a freelance food writer who is constantly trying to get food stains out of her shirts.
Un-Forbidden Fruit Beers By David Nuttall Fruit beers have been around as long as any beer style, but have been needlessly dismissed by many until recently as not very “manly”. Back when the quality of beer was not what it is today, fruit was often used as an adjunct to add some necessary sweetness to some overly bitter beer. Belgium breweries, in particular, took to making several beers with added fruit, and have become world renowned for their efforts. Germans, being a little stricter in their brewing guidelines, rarely added fruit to the brewing process, but often added fruit to the finished product. People often added woodruff, raspberry or lemon flavoured sugar syrups to sour ales such as Berliner Weisse (mit schuss) or simply added whole fruit directly to other styles such as altbiers (altbierbowle). In England, “lager and
lime” or “shandy” has been around for centuries. To make a fruit beer, the fruit or fruit extract is added anywhere during the brewing process depending on the desires of the brewmaster. While wheat beer is the most common base beer for fruit beer, any style could be used. Some fruit beers look no different in appearance from any regular beer, while others let the colour of the added fruit show through. The best fruit beers have a balance between the base beer and the added fruit. Of course, this equilibrium rests in the tastes of the drinker, with some beers being very subtle, while others may seem too overpoweringly fruity. However, this category of beers continues to grow in sales.
this has prompted more breweries to make this style of beer, using different fruits and base beer styles. Citrus Hystrix (500 ml bottle-approximately $8) from Nøgne ø of Norway is a rare fruit ipA, which contains rye, oats and both kaffir lime and tangerine juice to produce a distinctly hoppy beer with an understated lime/orange finish. At 7.5% AbV and 60 ibus, this is no ordinary fruit beer. similar in recipe, but a world away in taste, is san Diego’s Coronado brewery’s Frog’s breath ipA. so named after two local navy frogmen’s home brew recipe, its flavour comes from kaffir lime leaf, lemon, orange zest and Centennial hops. this beer comes in at a slightly quieter 6.5% AbV and 50 ibus (650 ml bottle, $11) For more fruit beer that packs a wallop, try shmaltz’s He’brew rejewvenator (8% AbV in a 650 ml bottle, $8). shmaltz doesn’t make normal beers, exemplified by this half belgian-style Dubbel Ale, half Doppelbock european lager. it begins brewing using lager yeast in a cold, bottom fermentation, then is warmed, and a hybrid Abbey/trappist belgian ale yeast is added. Finally, it is infused with all natural date and fig concentrates, aged for a few weeks, and voila, certainly not your everyday fruit beer.
32 • September 2013
Another new fruit ipA is Howe sound’s super Jupiter Grapefruit ipA from squamish, b.C. (1 l reclosable bottle, $10). brewed as a dry hopped ipA with four varieties of bittering and aroma hops, real grapefruits and dried grapefruit peel, this beer is full of citrus aroma and flavour and packs a punch at 6.8% AbV and 69 ibus . it came out on the heels of their 4 Way Fruit Ale (same bottle and price as above).this beer is brewed with 50% white wheat, 50% barley and sybillia hops in combination with mango, passionfruit, raspberry and pomegranate. using 100% fruit purées gives the beer a fresh, genuine fruit flavour. At only 14 ibus and 4.4% AbV, it is lighter, easier drinking and very refreshing. Also in the lighter category are three new beers from innis and Gunn brewing Company. Known mainly for their oak barrel aged beers, they have created a new line called melville’s Craft lagers. these are small batch craft lagers made with super styrian hops with either cold pressed Jubilee strawberries or
Glen Ample raspberries added to the lager. the other beer infuses natural stem ginger (yes, technically ginger is a spice, but for continuity, we will include it here) into the beer for a more natural taste. the two berry beers have a very reddish hue to them, and all three lagers have a very pronounced “fruit” flavour, but still maintain their beer character. only 4.1% AbV, they are sold in 4 X 275 ml bottle packs ($13).
Alley Kat from edmonton continues to provide a line of seasonal beers and this summer produced their summer squeeze Grapefruit Ale. this wheat ale is infused with grapefruits and Cascade hops. At 5% AbV and only 12 ibus, the combination of the citrus flavour from the grapefruit and the hops makes it seem like it is a much more bitter beer than it really is. sold in a 6 bottle pack ($15), it is also an invigorating thirst quencher.
Since the onset of the tougher drinking and driving limits in Alberta, lower alcohol beers have been enjoying a new found appeal. Radler, an Austrian style beer which combines lager with (usually) lemon or grapefruit soda have proven to be very popular. Two new additions to the Alberta scene are Rieder Lemon Radler from Austria and Damm Lemon, a Spanish beer which calls itself a Mediterranean shandy. While both are very similar, Rieder is 40% Rieder Maerzen and 60% lemon soda (2.5% ABV in a 330 ml bottle, $3); Damm Lemon is the reverse, 60% Estrella Damm and 40% Mediterranean lemons with a slight touch of lime soda (3.2% ABV in a 330 ml bottle, $3). Both are extremely refreshing, and while full of fruit flavour, have enough beer in them to still taste like a beer, and not a cooler. Even the big boys are jumping on the bandwagon, with Molson’s introducing its Rickard’s Shandy this summer. Their combination of lemonade and lager is slightly higher in alcohol at 4.5% (6 pack bottles, $14). All three are great with lighter grilled fare or by themselves.
In the realm of unusual fruit beers, try Tree’s Mellow Moon Pineapple Hefeweizen. A wheat beer with the aroma of pineapple and spices, it gets points for originality. A decided pineapple fragrance and taste are very evident. The addition of citrus and clove give it a spicier finish. This beer was made for ham and pineapple pizza and Indian food. Available on tap and in 6 X 330 ml bottles ($14). Locally, the group down at Village Brewery has developed a cool fruit beer with their Farmer Cucumber Farmhouse Ale. This unfiltered beer is made with three malts and three hops and their own Saison yeast. The nose gives off the distinct fresh aroma of the
#223 - 8th Avenue SW • thelibertine.ca
hundreds of cucumbers which went into the batch. At only 4.9% ABV and 16 IBUs, try this with a slice of cucumber in the beer. Available for a limited time in their 1.89 L growlers ($15) and on tap. As our precious patio time disappears for the year, try some of these new fruit beers. You’ll find they are not all the same, and the variety out there now means there tends to be something for everyone. They are available in a variety of fruit flavours, at alcohol levels ranging from 2.5% to around 8% ABV, and in an array of styles. After all, this is one of the food groups we are all supposed to consume every day. David Nuttall has been a stalwart of the Calgary beer scene for over 15 years, and owner/president of Epicurean Calgary (www.epicureancalgary.com) since 2002.
ROTATING TAPS OF NORTH AMERICAN CRAFT BEER.
Boxwood: Local And Loving It
By Dan Clapson Photography by Ingrid Kuenzel
There really aren’t many places like Boxwood Cafe. At first glance, you’d think a restaurant in a park would be seasonal. You know, shutting down in the late fall and opening its doors in the spring when the snow melts away. Well, ‘seasonal’ could very well be used to describe Boxwood in terms of their local, sustainable menu, but they are anything but a fairweather establishment. Rest assured, this little Beltline gem, nestled into the back of Central Memorial Park near the corner of 13th Avenue and 4th St SW, pleases Calgarians’ palates year-round.
“Location, location, location. I was definitely attracted to the opportunity here because of the setting. It’s beautiful.” explains owner, Sal Howell, who decided to open up the beltline park destination back in 2010. “You can see the downtown through this gorgeous landscaped area with these beautiful fountains, the flowers...It’s one of the more formal gardens in the city. Anyway, it’s gorgeous!” Howell is right, the park and seasonal weather changes we have here in Calgary are a perfect fit for her concept. As the temperature begins to drop in
the coming fall months, the cafe will become extra cosy, the park (eventually) covered in soft white snow, the perfect juxtaposition to the warm woodaccented interior inside. Whether you’re coming in with a group of friends, or just popping by during the lunch hour and grabbing a seat at their polished, reclaimed wood bar, you will feel right at home here. On the surface, Sal’s two cafés, River and Boxwood, may seem quite different, but they share base principles when it comes down to the cuisine. Howell explains, “They are different models.
This is much more casual [here]. You know, drop in/casual/come often/grab something to go...Whereas River Café is definitely more of a destination. So, the style of service has to be a little bit different. But, the culinary philosophy in our passion for local, regional, seasonal ingredients, and our interest in growing food, is the same.” Andrew Winfield, Executive Chef of both Boxwood and River Café, furthers Sal’s point, explaining his approach to the menu in a more casual environment. “We try to develop things that mix together, simple flavours, great techniques. Focusing more on the ingredients and the quality, and not doing much to them.” A great example of keeping things beautifully simple is Winfield’s Burrata and Peppers dish, made with local peppers, a rich tapenade (see recipe below) and cheese from White Gold. “It’s one of the dishes that’s great to have in [here]. Local peppers, creamy burrata.” Winfield continues, “[The cheese] is a handmade item. It comes from Frank Fiorini at White Gold and he does a great job of it. He sources his milk... everything about it!” Behind Boxwood lays their fantastic urban garden where chefs can pop in and out of the restaurant and pick fresh greens and edible garnishes to be enjoyed by their patrons, literally within seconds. “It has a really interesting
microclimate, actually, all to itself.” Howell adds. “It’s on the south side of the building and we’re growing and harvesting greens, spinach, etc...well before most people are planted. It’s really warm and sheltered.” When the garden eventually closes for the season and the backdoor greens are gone, Howell and Winfield are looking forward to seeing how their current green project benefits their gardens next season. “We’re piloting this new project that is ‘from farm to table, from table to farm’. We’ve always composted
our vegetable waste to a site, but now we’re working with our gardener to send almost all of our compostable materials here directly to his composting site, which returns nutrient soil back to our actual garden. I don’t know anyone else that is doing that.” While River Café will always remain one of the top locations in the city for a one-of-a-kind fine dining experience, Boxwood has a few features that its older sister does not. “You wouldn’t think of River Café to pick up some take out on the way home...Here, it’s always
Win A Sunday Supper For Two At Boxwood In Our Special Competition! Every Sunday evening, Boxwood offer a family-style, local and seasonal, regional dinner with a weekly changing menu. Enjoy three courses of generous share platters for a wholesome, nutritious and delicious supper.
To win, we want to know your favourite local food. Who makes or grows it? Where it is from? Where did you enjoy it? Go to www.culinairemagazine.ca and let us know about your favourite local food, to be entered in the competition. We can’t wait to hear from you!
easy to pull up nearby.” says Howell of the Boxwood’s central location. “All of our salads travel well, and our chicken dinner to-go...Anyway, it’s such a wonderful thing and better than a home cooked meal because there’s more diversity of ingredients that come in your package. I like the accessibility and the portability of the food here.” While there’s still time this month, everyone should be taking advantage of Executive Chef Andrew Winfield’s menu and (hopefully) our Indian Summer-style weather. I’m not talking about their patio, folks, I’m talking about bringing a blanket, ordering some dishes like the cafe’s popular rotisserie chicken and earthy lentil hummus with house-made crackers, then nestling into a cosy, green spot in the heart of Central Memorial Park. If picnics aren’t your thing, swing by on a Sunday evening for one of Boxwood’s ‘Sunday Supper’ experiences; a community dinner with a collection of dishes that changes from week to week. At only $35, for more than a generous amount of courses, it will leave you and your friends feeling happily full - and your wallet too, for that matter. Dan Clapson is a freelance food writer and columnist based out of Calgary. When he’s not writing about Canada’s amazing culinary scene, he is likely spending his time listening to 80s rock or 90s boy bands like 98 Degrees. Follow him on twitter @dansgoodside!
Red Lentil Hummus Makes 1¼ Litre 2 cups organic red lentils ¼ cup dried tomatoes 3 cloves organic garlic ½ cup (120 mL) olive oil 2 tsp whole cumin seeds To taste salt & pepper
1. Toast cumin seeds in a dry pan on the stove or in the oven until fragrant. Grind in a coffee grinder until they reach a powdery consistency and reserve (ground cumin will work as well). 2. Rinse lentils in cold water until the water runs clear. Trim the ends off of the garlic cloves and smash with the side of a knife. Place lentils, garlic and dried tomatoes in a large pot and fill with cold water to about 1 cm over the ingredients. Cook over high heat stirring a couple of times until the lentils have all changed colour and are tender. You may have to add a little more water.
3. Remove from the heat and puree with an emersion blender or food processor. With the mixer still running, add the cumin and the olive oil. Season with a good amount of salt and a little pepper. Cool and serve with crackers, bread sticks, pita or sliced bread.
Nefiss Lezizz Kalamata Olive Tapenade Makes 1¼ cups 1 cup Nefiss Lezizz green olives, pitted 2 Tbs capers 3 cloves organic garlic, minced 1 tsp fresh thyme 2 Tbs Three Farmers Camelina Oil 1 lemon zest & juice To taste salt & pepper Add the olives, capers, garlic cloves, thyme, lemon juice, and olive oil into a blender or food processor; pulse to mince. Blend until everything is finely chopped. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Ripe For The Picking By bJ ouDmAN
When it comes to ripe red wines, the crowd favourites are often undisputed, with legends like amarone, zinfandel and shiraz taking the spotlight. There are other contenders as well - new world cabernet sauvignon, grenache, and malbec, and lesser-known talent such as primitivo and aglianico.
First of all, what exactly defines ripe wine? A fruity, robust wine made from fully-developed, mature grapes would be the simplest descriptor, but what also defines a ripe wine is the balance between acids (too little and the wine becomes flabby) and sugars, in addition to the fruit. ripe wines tend to be higher in alcohol content as the higher sugar translates to higher potential alcohol. because there is no single determination that indicates when grapes are ripe, it is the winemaker’s vision for the completed wine that determines when to pick them. the sugar, acid and pH are measured in order to harvest the grapes at the optimum maturity, but there will never be a single set of numbers that define maturity under all conditions or for all varieties. As it’s the fruit on the vine that determines ripeness, once the grape is picked, it is up to the winemaker to make the best wine possible using that fruit. ripe wines tend to be specific varietals. later ripening varieties allow more sugars to be developed in the grape,
and more fermentable sugar equals higher potential alcohol, but the fermentation may also be halted earlier, leaving more residual sugar and generally a richer or sweeter style of wine. these varieties include cabernet sauvignon, syrah, zinfandel and grenache. it also comes down to region. A cabernet from Napa tends to have more ripe flavours than a cabernet from bordeaux. A region with a warmer, longer growing season predicts a riper wine as the sugars have time to develop. if too cold or wet, the grapes may have to be harvested early, not allowing them to meet their optimum ripeness. too hot a vintage though can cause grapes to ripen too early, halting full development. ripe styles of wine are generally easy to enjoy and enjoyable to people who may be new to wine, they work exceptionally well at barbecues, with large groups, and when you just want a tasty glass of wine. BJ Oudman is a physical therapist with a passion for food and wine. She travels the world when she has time between consulting in both physical therapy and wine.
Villalta 2009 Amarone, Veneto Italy Weighing in at 15% alcohol, it is the usual blend of corvina, rondinella and molinara. the grapes are dried until they lose 30% of their weight, further intensifying the ripe flavour of the wine. Classic black cherry, intense bouquet and long finish, on the shelf at $55. For a wild card pairing, try it with a dessert plate of parmigiano and dried fruit.
Klinker Brick 2010 Old Vine Zinfandel Lodi, California From the lodi region of California, where 37% of California zins are produced, thanks in part to large diurnal temperature changes (the same reason taber corn is reputed to be sweeter!). bright, dark fruit with a nose of exotic spice and 15.8% alcohol, it teams well with smoked meat - think pulled pork or brisket. $25
Punch in the Face 2006 Shiraz barossa Valley is a star at making shiraz, and for a true knockout (literally, at 16% alcohol), try out. over the top ripeness and full of plums and blackberries, it is definitely a fruit bomb. try it Aussie style with ribs from the barbie - it can even hold up to a spicy bbq sauce. $22
Belle Glos Clark & Telephone 2010 Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara, California i did mention any varietal could be ripe, and this pinot noir delivers smooth ripe fruit all for $40 and 14.4% alcohol. A great glass to drink on its own, it holds up to any pork dish with a fruit sauce.
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A Taste for Tequila
By steVe GolDsWortHY
Tequila. The word evokes to most a few instant images; a sundrenched Mexican vacation, a catchy little instrumental ditty from 1958 by the Champs, or a hazy hangover from one’s youth. In years past, tequila was often given a bad rap, after a night of salting, liming and licking. But tequila has entered a true renaissance in recent years. Step up to any cocktail bar today and you will see the Mexican spirit sharing the shelf with single malt scotches and fine French cognacs. As with most things involving liquor, it comes down to quality. When entering into the glorious world of sipping tequila, know your grades and ingredients going in. And savour them as you would any other fine spirit. For the record, tequila is a distilled spirit produced from the blue agave plant in areas surrounding the mexican city of tequila. by mexican law, tequila can only be produced in the state of Jalisco and some parts of Guanajuato, michoacán, Nayarit, and tamaulipas. 80% of all tequila is produced in Jalisco with more than 300 million plants harvested there each year; the agave plant thrives in the blue volcanic soils of the region. the Aztecs of Central America were distilling a sacred drink from the blue agave plant long before the spanish arrived in 1521. As the european conquistadors ran out of their precious cognac, they turned to the natives to
learn their methods of agave distillation. this early spirit was actually mezcal, made from the agave plant known as maguey. in 1795, King Carlos iV granted Jose maría Guadalupe Cuervo the first commercial license to produce tequila. As a result, Jose Cuervo is the oldest tequila producer in the world. in the late 19th century, above-ground, steam-heated ovens were introduced to the distillation process. producers gave this new form of agave spirit the name tequila, after the city of the same name in the Jalisco state where it was produced.
Tequila Types in the 100% agave category, there are three main types – blanco, reposado and Añejo. two other types are joven (young) - a gold tequila and often a mixtos (made from a minimum of 51% agave, the quality is generally low); and extra Añejo, aged a minimum of three years in oak barrels. blanco (white) or plata (silver) tequila is clear. it is bottled and stored immediately after distillation. if it is aged at all, the period is less than two months in stainless steel or neutral oak barrels. tequilas, in their simplest form, will take on the harsher more vegetal tones of the agave plant. As a result, they are well suited for mixing in cocktails. reposado (rested) tequila is aged a minimum of two months, but less than a year in oak barrels. the liquid has a slight golden hue. reposados will have more depth of flavour than a gold or silver tequila. they are more refined than a
blanco, but are often mixed into drinks as well. Añejo (aged or vintage) is aged a minimum of one year and up to three years in small oak barrels. Naturally, these tequilas will have more oak characters of vanilla and buttered rum. Aged tequilas are treated like any other oak-aged spirit such as scotch or rum, as something to sip and savour. the relatively new category of extra añejo (“extra aged” or “ultra aged”) was introduced in march of 2006. these tequilas are aged a minimum of three years in oak. of course they are reserved for the tequila connoisseur and offer subtle and complex characteristics on par with fine French cognacs and armagnacs.
Tequilas Worth Tasting
offer soft, well-balanced agave flavours at a price that equals some lesser mixtos brands. Another recent addition to the market is the Cabrito brand. Cabrito is the number one tequila brand in mexico and represents good quality at a decent price, starting at $35 for their blanco and $37 for the reposado. A sister brand of Cabrito is the Centinela tequilas. While a little higher in price across the board, a rare treat is their Centinela Añejo tres Anos (3 year), aged for a minimum of three years in used bourbon barrels. price can be upwards of $450 a bottle but well worth it. A fine brand of tequila that strikes the right balance between quality and price is the Aha toro. they have a blanco starting at $45 and an añejo that goes for a very reasonable $65. their extra Añejo is brilliant at the amazing price of $165.
some of the more interesting tequilas on the local market include, baluarte, uno mas, el Amo and lluvia De estrellas.
Now raise your Caballito glass and say it with me – teQuilA!
New to the local scene are the lunazul tequilas. their blanco and reposado
Steve Goldsworthy is a free-lance writer, children’s author and screenwriter and filmmaker. He has spent 17 years “learning” about wine while running Britannia Wine Merchants.
The 2013 Alberta Beverage Awards By Tom Firth-
When we sat down earlier this year to talk about what would become the Alberta Beverage Awards, we wanted to celebrate the incredible selection of beer, wine, and spirits available in Alberta. With a selection much larger than that found in any other province in Canada, we wanted to have some of the best and brightest sommeliers, mixologists, retailers, educators, and palates in Calgary judge these products, and we also wanted to feature the results in Culinaire Magazine. Over three days in July, we assembled 18 judges to taste through well over 500 different products, pouring them nearly 3,000 blind samples sorted into various flights of similar products. Tasting blind meant that the judges had no idea what the wine, beer or spirit was in each glass but only knew the category, such as cabernet sauvignon or tequila. Each sample was assessed individually and then, once the judges had assessed all the samples, they had a chance to discuss the products they had just tasted. What follows over the next eighteen pages are the top wines entered into the competition and we hope that you will use these recommendations for your next wine purchases. Be sure to pick
up October’s Culinaire for the results of the beer and spirits portion of the competition. The results are grouped into styles or grape categories, and in some cases into regional groupings. In each category there is a “Best in Class”, which is the top performing wine in its category, followed by “Judges’ Selection”, which are other high performing wines in the category. In some categories, we identified a “Top Value”, which is a high performing product that also provides exceptional value. The wines were scored by the judges using the 100 point scale, and we used the scores to determine which award, if any, each entry would receive. Putting together the inaugural Alberta Beverage Awards was a lot of hard work and would not have been the success it was without the support of the many people involved from the Alberta beverage industry, including the Import Vintners & Spirits Association, Len Steinberg and our volunteer stewards Pat, Mairi, Lana, Alex, and Paul, as well as our hardworking judges. Special thanks to the Hotel Blackfoot who were attentive, on the ball, and provided us with a great venue for the competition.
Originating in Bordeaux, France, the marriage of cabernet sauvignon and merlot, with help from cabernet franc, malbec, petit verdot, and syrah, has become the world’s most popular blend. Merlot’s bright plum, red fruit, and finesse mixed with cabernet sauvignon’s tannin, structure, and black fruits, creates a balanced base that can range from fruity and medium bodied to big, bold and deep. This category offered all styles and was the broadest range I tasted, showing great quality and value. In the early 1900s, Bordeaux winemakers started adding Northern Rhone syrah to enhance a vintage; this practice has now resurfaced in the New World. The Bordeaux/Meritage Blend top wine continues this custom with Luigi Bosca de Sangre 2010 from Mendoza, Argentina. These blends’ pairings include red meat, hard cheeses, and grilled meat; they are also my go to for potlucks, as their balanced style works with a range of dishes. (PS)
BEST IN CLASS
Montes 2011 Limited Selection Cabernet Sauvignon Carmenere, Colchagua Valley, Chile $18
Luigi Bosca 2010 de Sangre, Mendoza, Argentina
Chateau des Charmes 2010 Equuleus, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario $36
Great intensity of cassis, cherry, and spice on the nose. Dry on the palate, with powerful dark berry, black cherry, raspberry, and ripe plum with violet, black pepper, cake spice, and vanilla. Long finish that stays bright, big bold round tannins and mediumplus acidity. $25
Chateau Pey La Tour 2009 Reserve, Bordeaux, France $20
Laibach Winery 2010 Ladybird Red, Stellenbosch, South Africa $25
TOP VALUE Cono Sur 2011 Organic Cabernet Sauvignon Carmenere, Colchagua Valley, Chile $13
JUDGE: PETER SMOLARZ Peter Smolarz has become an expert in everything from wine to tequila. Now Fine Wine Director at Willow Park Wines & Spirits, and conducting tastings and WSET classes, Peter has completed his ISG 1, WSET 1, 2 & 3, and Bordeaux Appellation Classes. He has also traveled across the globe to further his understanding of winemaking and in 2006 he worked the Chianti Classico harvest in Tuscany.
Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet sauvignon really only comes single-packaged in the new world, which primarily puts this grape in the spotlight in the Americas, Australia, and South Africa, while in Europe, the main role of cab is usually in a blend. We love it on its own and at times I am not so sure why. There are two types of cabernet sauvignon growers in the new world - those who focus on creating a very big wine, and those who focus on finesse and elegance. All too often the sneaky green bell pepper is all too apparent in our cabernets. They can have a tendency to be made in a slightly jammier, oaky style with all that green bell pepper protruding from the palate and the nose. It is strange to me that some people like this style, yet they wonâ€™t touch cabernet franc. In Napa Valley, we are seeing a shift away to leaner, earthier styles with higher acidity and more complex fruit. Many of these cabernet sauvignons will age well in a cellar or pair extremely well with red meats. (ET)
BEST IN CLASS
Cakebread 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California
The Show 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, California $16
The Cakebread Cabernet scored highest with the judges for its dark blue and red fruits, leather, and firm oak notes. It showed a more pronounced savory character than the rest, with more depth and excellent balance. $87
J. Lohr 2010 Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles, California $22
Errazuriz 2010 Max Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon Aconcagua, Chile $17
Liberty School 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles, California $21
entwine 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore Valley, California $15
TOP VALUE Bodega Renacer 2011 Punto Final Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendoza, Argentina $13
JUDGE: Erika Tocco
Erika is senior wine director of Vin Room, where her extensive glass pour menu has been recognized internationally. She began her career as a chef, and completed WSET levels 1-4 during her nine years in the Okanagan working for wineries. She is a keen WSET educator, wine writer and wine traveller, as well as a graduate of Level 1 Master Sommelier program.
Merlot Merlot is sometimes a maligned grape, and perhaps mistakenly lacks prestige outside Bordeaux and Meritage blends. It can also get an unfair bad rap, such as in the movie Sideways. However, in addition to being a magnificent blending grape and showing what itâ€™s really made of in Cheval Blanc, it is a grape capable of tremendous versatility. Around the world, Merlot varies widely in quality; at its best it shows structure, fruit, and tannin and at its worst, it is plummy, flabby, and uninteresting. Overall, the wines that did well in this category showed good fruit, with acidity and some tannin structure. Merlot is a solid performer at the table as well, with burgers, lamb dishes, and pasta. (AM)
BEST IN CLASS
Mission Hill 2009 Reserve Merlot, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $22
Callaway 2011 Merlot, California
Sterling Vineyards 2009 Napa Valley, California $29
Flat Roof Manor 2011 Merlot, Stellenbosch, South Africa $13
Judges noted the juicy raspberry and cherry fruits, with a touch of green tannin giving structure to the fruit. Spice and incense characters rounded out the palate, making for an interesting and enjoyable wine. $14
Peller Estates Family Select 2011 Merlot, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $16
TOP VALUE Santa Rita 120 2011 Merlot , Maipo Valley, Chile $12
JUDGE: ALANNA Martineau Alanna is the Proprietor and Director of Wine at WineOhs Bistro & Cellar. She is a passionate wine enthusiast and advocate of wine exploration. Follow Wine-Ohs on Twitter @WineOhsInc and Alanna at @alannamartineau.
Shiraz has a wonderful affinity with grilled meats, particularly game meats, due to its complex earthy, smoky profile. The fruit usually shows dark and jammy, in the sense of freshly made cherry and plum jam. All too often my palate gets overwhelmed with the surge of spice and black jammy fruit combined with high alcohol that can really exhaust the palate. Bright pepper notes add to the complement, and round voluptuous textures follow on the palate. Shiraz can be big, full bodied and bright but it can also be made in a lighter style, with fresh red currant and sweet spice. Shiraz is grown all over Australia, however doesn’t lose its identity when grown in different soils; the style is emulated in other parts of the world, particularly South America. While I love French syrahs for all their meaty, smoky, violet flavours, most of the top performing entries were the Australian style. (ET)
BEST IN CLASS (TIE) Wyndham Estate 2010 Bin 555 Shiraz, South Eastern Australia
Jacob’s Creek 2009 Reserve Shiraz, Barossa Valley, Australia
This was particularly attractive with its spicy earthy character, very youthful and bright with loads of black pepper and violets. Smoky and meaty, with a full body and dried herb core. $20
A slightly earthier example compared to some of the other Australian offerings. Prominent fruits, some meatiness, white pepper, cassis, and fairly smooth tannins work well here. $24
JUDGES SELECTION Hillside Estate 2009 Syrah, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $35
Layer Cake 2009 Shiraz, Barossa Valley, Australia $26
George Wyndham Estate 2010 Founder’s Reserve Shiraz, Langhorne Creek, Australia $30
TOP VALUE Juno 2010 Shiraz, Western Cape, South Africa $16
JUDGE: Erika Tocco Erika Tocco is the senior wine director for Vin Room and has taught wine education for the WSET, levels 1-3. Follow her on twitter @corkscrewlady
This category exhibited both a dynamic offering of this grape’s stylistic differences, and offered tremendous value. Overall, the wines showed consistency, without a huge gap in quality, typicity and ranking. Californian examples exhibited beautiful balance, offering acidity from cooler regions - think Russian River Valley - while maintaining the richness and ripeness associated with this sunny state. Burgundian offerings were few, which was disappointing considering how many entry level and above wines are available in Alberta. Hopefully, we will see more Bourgogne blanc next year, as well as Canadian wines, we would have liked to have had more of these wines in front of the judges. Stylistically, producers have continued the trend away from heavy-handed use of oak and have focused on balance, pretty fruit notes and hints of minerality. Overall, this is good news for consumers, and restaurant wine buyers, as this style shows more versatility with wine pairings. Anything and everything from more delicate shellfish to sweetbreads to roast chicken can be paired with the top ranking wines. (JC)
BEST IN CLASS
Rodney Strong 2010 Sonoma County Chardonnay, Sonoma County, California
Quails’ Gate 2011 Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $20
Judges were impressed with the bright citrus and tropical fruit characters of the J. Lohr 2011 Riverstone Chardonnay, Rodney Strong. No less important was the Arroyo Seco, California $20 judicious use of oak and lees presence in the wine along with the nutty, almost smoky finish. $28 Fog Crest Vineyard 2010 Laguna West Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, California $28
Louis Latour 2010 Bourgogne Chardonnay, Burgundy, France $17
Norman Hardie 2011 Prince Edward County Chardonnay, Prince Edward County, Ontario $37
TOP VALUE Santa Rita 120 2011 Chardonnay, Maipo Valley, Chile $12
JUDGE: JACKIE COOKE
Spanning fifteen years, Jackie‘s wine career includes cellar worker at Tinhorn Creek; sommelier at Mission Hill and Bearfoot Bistro, Whistler, and ISG instructor in Calgary. Besides running a wine consulting business, she has been part of Bin 905, Vin Room, Metrovino and Una, and a partner in the original Petite, before opening Avec Bistro last year. Follow her on twitter @onlychampagne
One of the sexiest grapes out there, when you examine it by the descriptors often used: sensuous, sultry, feminine (Chambolle-Musigny), masculine (Gevrey-Chambertin). There is much romance in the world of Pinot Noir, especially when you discuss terroir-driven Burgundies. Pinot noir has been a popular varietal in the last decade, with plantings showing up in new regions and tremendous variations in style. Some on the lower end only loosely resemble the quality of higher-end pinot noir, but there are plenty of options to explore, especially from New Zealand. For food pairing options consider trout, salmon, roast chicken, duck, and anything with Chanterelle mushrooms. The Alberta Beverage Awards included pinots from France, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and USA. The lineup ranged tremendously in qualityâ€Śin general, reserve extensive ageing for higher price point offerings. (AM)
BEST IN CLASS
Kim Crawford 2011 Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand $25
Peter Yealands 2011 Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand
Quailsâ€™ Gate 2011 Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $26
Very enjoyable, with chokecherry, violets, thyme, earth and bright acids. Lighter tannins and a rich mouthfeel round out the mid-length finish. Perfect for duck or on its own. $22
Mudhouse 2010 Pinot Noir, Central Otago, New Zealand $19
Louis Latour 2011 Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Burgundy, France $21
TOP VALUE Le Pinot Noir 2010, St. Vernay, France $15
JUDGE: ALANNA Martineau Alanna is the Proprietor and Director of Wine at WineOhs Bistro & Cellar. She is a passionate wine enthusiast and advocate of wine exploration. Follow Wine-Ohs on Twitter @WineOhsInc and Alanna at @alannamartineau.
Malbec has been the darling of the wine world lately, with fleshy fruit and bold tannins; consumers love its ability to pair with Alberta beef and very reasonable price. But there are such a variety of styles available, it is difficult to know what might be in the bottle. This category exuded value from entry level to the most expensive, and was the highest-ranking flight of the competition, for some judges. This is very positive feedback from wine geek judges, who are on the hunt for new grape varieties from the most exciting wine producers. Additionally, there were a few wines that were perfect for the cellar, more good news for the consumer, considering their approachable price point. The most expensive malbec came out on top, but a couple of the least expensive wines could easily be put away for another 2-5 years. Overall, lots of complexity from plum to smoked meat and brooding tannins, make the top wines of this category really stand out. The best advice? Buy the top wines by the case and continue to taste them over the next few years. (JC)
BEST IN CLASS
Trivento 2011 Golden Reserve Malbec Mendoza, Argentina
Amado Sur 2010 Malbec Mendoza, Argentina $15
Judges loved the power and fruit of the top offering. As judge Jesse Willis said about the Trivento, â€œWelcome to Thunderdome!â€? big black fruit, vanilla, perfume, and chocolate all in abundance. $28
Medrano Estate 2011 Malbec Mendoza, Argentina $15
Luigi Bosca 2010 DOC Single Vineyard Malbec Mendoza, Argentina $23
Trapiche 2011 Broquel Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina $17
TOP VALUE Argento 2012 Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina $11
JUDGE: Jackie Cooke Jackie Cooke is the proprietor of Avec Bistro and is a talented and passionate sommelier as well as the past president of the Calgary Sommelier Society. Follow her on twitter @onlychampagne
Winner of the Judges Selection for Chenin Blanc for 2013
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Italian Reds/Tuscany i would have liked to see more wines from different areas across the country, specifically piedmont, sicily, Campania, and puglia, which had few entries. that being said, the wines that were entered were good wines overall, and while tuscany stole the show, a relatively new producer to the market from marche took the top spot for italian reds. As well, three wines from the Veneto region all did very well, especially the Corte sant’Alda ripasso Campi magri, with its beautiful cherry, leather and tobacco aromas and big juicy palate. the overall winner from tuscan category was a tie between a wonderful wine from the montepulciano region of tuscany - the poliziano Vino Nobile di montepulciano - and a well-known Chianti Classico, the Ducale d’oro. As erika tocco put it, “tuscany has embraced modernism and the results are fantastic.” sangiovese is a grape that does well with ageing and these two wines are no exception; you can feel confident in cellaring them for several years. (sl)
BEST IN CLASS
Domodimonti 2008 Il Messia IGT, marche, italy
Corte Sant’Alda 2009 Ripasso Superiore Campi Magri DoC, Veneto $41
black cherry, plum, anise and fennel notes with plenty of power and some serious tannins. top quality here from a less wellPlaneta 2011Cerasuolo known región. $62 di Vittoria DOCG,, sicily $25
Tommasi 2011 Ripasso, Veneto $24
Andrea Oberto 2011 Barbera D’Alba, piedmonte $25
Domodimonti 2007 Solo Per Te IGT, marche $93
TOP VALUE Zenato 2008 Corme delle Venezie IGT, Veneto $25
JUDGE: SEBASTIEN LAFORTUNE Sebastien Lafortune is a sommelier with Calgary Coop Wine Spirits Beer, and can be found at the Oakridge location, where he hosts a wide range of wine and food tasting classes. Follow him on Twitter @sebastienwine.
BEST IN CLASS (TIE) Poliziano 2009 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG
Ruﬃno 2006 Riserva Ducale D’Oro, Chianti Classico DOCG
this ruby wine is beautifully expressive on the nose with pretty floral aromas that hint at rose petals, along with some dried cranberry notes. $36
ruby in color with aromas of cherry, plum and violets along with more complex notes of tobacco, chocolate and coffee, this wine is delicious. $25
JUDGES SELECTION Villa Antinori 2009 Toscana IGT $23
Ricasoli 2009 Rocca Guicciarda Chianti Classico DOCG $27
Castiglion 2011 Del Bosco Rosso di Montalcino DOC $30
J. Biondi Santi 2009, Sassoalloro Toscana IGT $31
TOP VALUE Banfi 2010 Centine Rosso Toscana IGT $15
Pinot grigio, to me, is a simple, fruitier style of wine from Italy that rarely translates into something more than a delicious glass of white to be enjoyed on a patio or somewhere warm. The grapeâ€™s true potential really lies in the form of pinot gris (still the same grape), hailing from Alsace where aged examples show increased complexity and character. Pinot grigio/gris is great with white fish or shellfish and soft or semi-firm cheeses that are not too pungent in aroma and flavour. Whether it goes by pinot gris or pinot grigio is typically more about marketing rather than an adherence to either style. Either way, this grape is all about enjoying a nice glass of wine, and not worrying too much about it. (ET)
BEST IN CLASS
Poplar Grove 2012 Pinot Gris, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Peller Estates 2012 Family Series Pinot Gris, British Columbia $14
Complex with grapefruit, sweet spice, candied tropical fruits, and floral notes. With a slightly heavier body than the rest, it pressed a slightly oily character to the palate that was quite pleasing. $30
Wayne Gretzky 2012 Okanagan Pinot Grigio, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $16
entwine 2010 Pinot Grigio, Livermore Valley, California $15
Santa Cristina 2011 Pinot Grigio IGT, Sicily, Italy $15
TOP VALUE Flat Roof Manor 2012 Pinot Grigio, Stellenbosch, South Africa $15
JUDGE: Erika Tocco Erika Tocco is the senior wine director for Vin Room and has taught wine education for the WSET, levels 1-3. Follow her on twitter @corkscrewlady
Award Winning Wines Available In Alberta Judges’ selection
best in class
Category: Syrah and Grenache Based Blends
Category: Bordeaux Blends
Fess Parker Frontier Red (USA)
Ricasoli Rocca Guicciarda Chianti Classico 2009 (ITALY)
Luigi Bosca Malbec DOC 2010 (ARGENTINA)
Luigi Bosca De Sangre 2010 (ARGENTINA)
best in class
Category: After Dinner
Category: Sparkling Wines
Category: After Dinner
Category: Red Single Varietals
Fonseca 20 Yr Tawny (PORT)
Taittinger Brut Reserve (CHAMPAGNE)
Taylor 10 Yr Tawny (PORT)
Yalumba Bush Vines Grenache 2011 (AUSTRALIA)
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Sauvignon Blanc Sauvignon Blanc, in the Alberta market, is sometimes met with disdain. Largely thanks to an abhorrent quantity being mass-produced in New Zealand. However, it has still cemented itself as being in most people’s top 3 go-to whites, and rightfully so. This piercingly aromatic and extremely refreshing white is a perfect patio thirst quencher for our ‘blink-of-an-eye summer’. This year this category was packed with New Zealand producers. Next year hopefully we will see a more diverse range from its home in Loire, France, particularly Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume, to a neat little pocket near Chablis called Saint Bris or from a personal favorite, Chile. This fun zippy category had some very well done surprises -especially from New Zealand. (IB)
BEST IN CLASS (TIE) Dry Creek 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma County, California
F. Lurton 2011 Fumeés Blanches Sauvignon Blanc, Languedoc, France
Showing good balance with a refreshing crisp apple acidity and hints of a green, grassy lemon. Best way to enjoy this is ice cold, paired perfectly with a couple of dozen fresh shucked oysters on a sunny patio with some great friends. $38
Judges loved the mildly toasted character of this sauvignon blanc with herb, flinty mineral, and lemon meringue, all with crisp, clean acidity. A nice alternative to New Zealand’s style of sauvignon blanc. $15
JUDGES SELECTION Mudhouse 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand $15
Mario Schiopetto 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, Colli Orientali, Italy $36
Wither Hills 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand $20
JUDGE: IAN BLANEY Ian Blaney is General Manager of Catch & The Oyster Bar (Catch), and an industry leader. Educated by ISG and WSET, his accolades include a Gold Medal at the Vancouver Playhouse Wine Awards, and Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator Magazine. Ian’s expertise and continued success with Catch has positioned him as a knowledgeable representative of culinary tastes in Calgary and throughout Western Canada.
Spain/Portugal Blends It’s difficult to summarize the historical importance of these two legendary wine producing countries. While they have each served to influence winemaking around the world with their classic styles, both Spain and Portugal are experiencing their own renaissance as a new generation of winemakers seeks to revitalize forgotten vineyards and grape varieties, and to make their mark exploring new regions. Look for previously obscure regions such as Bierzo, Toro, Jumilla, Dao and Alentejo to climb the ranks in the coming years to join the fame of established areas such as Rioja and the Douro Valley. This flight affirmed my view that Spain and Portugal are producing some of the best values in the world of wine. These hearty reds over delivered for the price, and presented a great mix of modern and traditional winemaking. The Portuguese wines were particularly impressive, with bold structure and dark fruit notes that make them a great old world alternative for fans of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon looking to try something new. (JW)
BEST IN CLASS
Terra de Falanis 2010 Muac! Mallorca, Spain $20
Lemos & Van Zeller 2010 “Rufo” Douro Tinto, Douro, Portugal
JP 2012 Tinto, Azeitão, Portugal $12
Packed with flavours of ripe blueberry, huckleberry, licorice and spice, this is a stellar value for under $20 on the shelf and a great companion to a Sunday afternoon barbecue. $18
Syrah & Grenache The Syrah and Grenache flights are usually top notch. The market’s demand for soft, supple wines with fresh jammy fruit qualities and round structures, has had producers fine-tuning their wines for decades, helping them to garnish high scores and often at modest prices. The selection of high quality Syrah this year was quite thin though, with very few wines offering anything to chew on. We are living in the golden age for Rhône Valley wines though. Recent vintages, namely 2009 and 2010, have been stellar; viticulture and winemaking techniques have never been better. You could argue that the world’s greatest Syrah and Grenache come from the Rhône Valley. This tasting proved this to be the case. (BR)
BEST IN CLASS Gabriel 2010 Meffre Côtes-duRhône, France
Spier 2010 Creative Block 3, Stellenbosch, South Africa $22
Fess Parker Lot 121 Frontier Red Santa Barbara, California $16
An aromatic nose rendering cured bison, dew covered lilac trees, fresh ground black pepper and beef jerky. Minor tannins allow the acids to be fresh, giving the wine a lovely structure that can reward minor cellaring. Drink now to 2016. $15
Chenin Blanc is one of the great shape shifters of the wine world. In its traditional home in France’s Loire Valley, it is produced in an array of styles ranging from steely, powerful Savennières to sweet and sultry Coteaux du Layon. In recent years, its versatility has helped this humble grape to spread far beyond the Loire and has made it a go-to grape for winemakers around the world. The overall quality of the chenin blancs that were submitted was very good, with entrants from South Africa, the Okanagan and France’s Loire Valley. The breadth of styles really showed the versatility of this grape, ranging from crisp and fresh to rich and decadent. I thought the two sweet wines that were entered were the most interesting of the group, both showing bright acidity that kept them from being cloying or syrupy. (JW)
BEST IN CLASS
Guimonière 2005 Chaume, Loire Valley, France
Varennes 2009 Savennieres Loire Valley, France $24
The Chaume, has a luxurious texture and delivered complex flavours of toasted pecans, lemon pie, crème brûlée and a finish that lasted for a full minute. The Chaume would be a perfect pairing with a soft blue cheese or the Maple Bacon donut from Jelly Modern Donuts! $27
Rudera 2009 Robusto Chenin Blanc, Paarl South Africa $29
Bellerive Quarts de Chaume, Loire Valley, France $39
Spier 2012 Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch, South Africa $15
TOP VALUE Ken Forrester 2011 Petite Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch, South Africa $13
JUDGE: JESSE WILLIS
Jesse is the co-owner of Vine Arts Wine and Spirits, Calgary’s newest specialty wine and spirits shop located in the heart of Victoria Park. Jesse also serves as the wine director at Taste Restaurant and has previously served as an instructor with the International Sommelier Guild. You can follow Jesse on Twitter at @willisonwine and online at www.vinearts.ca
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White Single Varietals The white single varietals are always an interesting flight to judge, as you really never know what you’re going to get. In your glass could be an aromatic gewürztraminer, perhaps some scheurebe, and if you’re lucky a few glasses of assyrtiko and moscato cross your nose. The gewürztraminer entries were quite small, with Gray Monk putting forth a lovely 2011 example, bright with ample concentration. Not much assyrtiko this year (such a pity), but moscato had healthy entries with wines from Piedmont dominating, however, the United States and Australia both had representation. This was not surprising given the rise in sales of moscato in North America, with more and more companies wanting a piece of this juicy, frothy action. The 2012 Batasiolo Moscato d’Asti shined in our panel tastings, taking home the top spot in this category. Their considerable efforts to ensure purity and freshness produced an archetype example of moscato, well done! (BR)
BEST IN CLASS
Batasiolo 2012 Moscato d’Asti
Quails’ Gate 2012 Dry Riesling Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $20
It’s impossible to resist the rich orange blossom, fresh vanilla cream and white lily that effortlessly flows from the glass. The wine offers sufficiently plump acids to Mission Hill 2009 Reserve Riesling, balance the fruity sweetness. The palate Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $20 is long with a beautiful finish ending with notes of mandarin, quince and white peach purée. Drink now. $16 Herencia 2011 Altes, Terra Alte, Spain $15
Pfaffenheim 2011 Gewürztraminer, Alsace, France $16
TOP VALUE Gray Monk 2011 Gewürztraminer, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $20
JUDGE: BRAD ROYALE Brad Royale is the wine director for Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts, which includes Bar C, Divino, Cilantro and The Ranche, along with Emerald Lake Lodge, Deer Lodge and Buffalo Mountain Lodge in the Rockies. Follow him on twitter at @bradroyale 60
Red Single Varietals While perhaps a catch all category for all those great varieties that didn’t quite have enough entries for their own categories, we were thrilled that Spain and Spanish varieties really connected with the judges. Spain has been consistently offering high quality at very low prices. That said, there is no denying that Yalumba’s bush vine grenache really impressed us. Just as important was the lone gamay winning an award since we’ve all known that Beaujolais is a great place to go for great food friendly wines. The reds on this list can handle a little age if desired, but will taste great now, perhaps with a little decanting and definitely with some food such as game or other red meats, cheese, or pork. (TF)
BEST IN CLASS
Castaño 2011 Monastrell Yecla, Spain $14
Yalumba 2011 Bush Vines Grenache Barossa, Australia
Duboeuf 2011 Beaujolais-Villages Beaujolais, France $16
Judges loved the spicy characters with abundant red currant, raspberry, and strawberry fruits with tones of vanilla, violets, and a touch of smoked meat and clove. Versatile and enjoyable. $21
Anciano 2002 Tempranillo Aged 10 Years Valdepenas, Spain $15
TOP VALUE Castillo de Monseran 2011 Garnacha $10
JUDGE: Leslie Echino Leslie Echino brings with her more than 22 years of restaurant and fine-dining experience. The owner and restaurant director for Blink Restaurant & Bar, her understanding of sophisticated cuisine, coupled with extensive worldwide travel, has equipped Leslie to offer a uniquely impressive fine-dining experience to Calgary. 61
Red Blends/White Blends Blending is really where the magic is in wine. Often, the very best wines are an ensemble production. The harmony of components in a good blend is a marvelous experience and to my mind, these are some of the most interesting wines to try. Sadly, some blends of grapes are made from the lowest common denominators and are syrupy, bland, and flabby offerings - youâ€™ve seen these brands, but there are many noteworthy ones as well. Blends add depth, nuances if you will, and are often much greater than the sums of their parts. I will also say that blending seminars are a humbling thing to participate in and I have the highest respect for producers making good-and balanced blends. I hope you enjoy them. (TF)
BEST IN CLASS
Las Moras 2011 Reserva Cabernet/ Shiraz San Juan, Argentina
Clos de los Siete 2009 Mendoza, Argentina $22
Deep and plummy with good fruits, vanilla, kirsch, and a good bit of spice and tannin. Very well made for a very good price. $14
Voga 2009 Quattro Sicily, Italy $17
Peter Lehmann 2010 Clancyâ€™s Legendary Red, Barossa, Australia $17
PB Hein 2007 Trail Blazer Napa Valley, California $28
Bartier Brothers 2011 The Cowboy Red Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $29
Hat Trick 2010 Red Niagara Peninsula, Ontario $14
JUDGE: Heather Kingston Heather is the Wine and Spirit Educator for the Alberta Liquor Store Association. She produces educational videos and writes articles for the five hundred store members and staff. Follow her blog hlkwine.tumblr.com
BEST IN CLASS
Braida 2011 Il Fiore IGT langhe, italy $25
Laibach Winery 2012 Ladybird White stellenbosch, south Africa A combination of chardonnay, chenin blanc and viognier, the final blend shows strong varietal characters of each component with citrus, floral aromas, apricot, and a lengthy, structured finish. Delicious. $19
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Vila Real 2011 Colhieta Douro, portugal $14
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TOP VALUE Stark Raving NV White California $13
After Dinner Wines This is always a tough category to assess or judge. These wines are best with a meal or after one, and often hard to judge blind completely removed from the context that makes them great. Topping the category was a vidal icewine that impressed judges with both sweetness and balance, while port and fortified wines made up the middle ground. Not surprisingly, some big names in port made the grade, but we also saw a very well made fortified wine from Moldova that judge Erika Tocco called, “wonderfully complex”. No less important, a fruit and a honey-based wine also earned awards at this year’s competition proving that these styles of wine are ones of quality and of balance. Judges commented on the quality of the wines, but also wanted to see a wider range of entries. (TF)
BEST IN CLASS
Lakeview Cellars 2011 Vidal Icewine, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Taylor Fladgate NV 10 Year Old Tawny Port, Portugal $36
Pronounced aromatics with floral pineapple mango, spice, and a mild nuttiness. Plenty of sweetness but good balance with acidity, and a fresh, long apricot finish. $23 (200ml bottle)
Fonseca NV 20 Year Old Tawny Port, Portugal $69
Stradivari Rubin Fortified Wine, Moldova $29
Field Stone NV Bumbleberry Fruit Wine, Alberta $17
Spirit Hills Honey Winery 2013 Saskwatch, Alberta $23
TOP VALUE Sandeman 2007 Late Bottled Vintage Port, Portugal $21
JUDGE: TOM FIRTH Tom Firth is the contributing drinks editor for Culinaire Magazine and the competition director for the Alberta Beverage Awards, follow him on twitter @cowtownwine
Sparkling Wines People associate bubbles, especially Champagne, with celebration and they are indeed well suited. However, sparkling wines can be enjoyed at any occasion and we see this opportunity with many popular, and less expensive, versions of sparkling wine in the market. For clarity, it’s only called Champagne if it comes from Champagne in France. All other examples are sparkling wine. Prosecco is a popular variety and style, and there are some nice examples, but there are many alternatives and styles to explore as well, such as crémant from France, made in the traditional method as in Champagne. There are also many good quality sparklers being produced in the New World, which provide nice alternatives to Champagne. There is huge diversity in sparkling wine styles and therefore a plethora of food pairing options. Ageing vintage Champagne and sparklers can be fun but your non-vintage ones - enjoy fresh, soon, and often! (AM)
BEST IN CLASS
Taittinger NV Brut Reserve, Champagne, France $62
Lanson NV Black Label Brut, Champagne, France
Veuve Clicquot NV Yellow Label Brut, Champagne, France $65
The stand out in the category was the Black Label with lovely notes of baked apple pie, clove, and citrus. A sparkler for any occasion and enjoy as an aperitif or as the end to a meal. $58
Chandon NV Rosé, Napa Valley, California $33
Segura Viudas NV Brut Rosé, Cava Spain $15
Freixenet NV Cordon Negro, Cava Spain $15
Gazela NV Sparkling Wine, Vinho Verde, Portugal $13
TOP VALUE Louis Bouillot NV Rosé Brut, Cremant de Bourgogne, France $19
JUDGE: ALANNA Martineau Alanna is the Proprietor and Director of Wine at WineOhs Bistro & Cellar. She is a passionate wine enthusiast and advocate of wine exploration. Follow Wine-Ohs on Twitter @WineOhsInc and Alanna at @alannamartineau.
RIP ALCB By JeFF ColliNs
Twenty years ago, Ralph klein and Steve West took an axe to the Alberta Liquor Control Board and put more than 200 ALCB liquor stores up for sale. The then-Premier and his Minister of Municipal Affairs became pioneers of liquor privatization, and the ALCB became the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission. steve West remains proud of his privatization legacy. He believes other provincial governments simply lack the courage of their free-market
convictions. “they didn’t have the political will to take on some of the most powerful organizations in the world, called liquor Control boards”, says West from his home in Vermillion. “You have to take them on politically. everything came at us. ‘there’ll be more crime. there’ll be more drinking. there’ll be more problems.’ that scares away 95% of politicians.” What scares Andrew murie is the social cost of privatizing liquor sales. murie is the Ceo of mothers Against Drunk Driving, or mADD Canada. in its most recent report on provincial liquor boards, mADD links more liquor stores, open more often, with all sorts of societal ailments. “if they pop up like convenience stores then what happens is consumption rates go up, and we know that when consumption rates of alcohol go up, impaired driving goes up with them.” steve West is not buying it. He says, “Access to alcohol has never been proven to be the problem. people who get into problems with alcohol will find access one way or the other. that was
proven right back to temperance and prohibition.” According to the AGlC website, aglc.ca, there are now more retail liquor stores open in Alberta: 208 at the beginning of 1993 compared to 1312 as of the spring of this year. only 2200 products were available in Alberta twenty years ago. Now Albertans have access to almost 18,000 items. that’s more than anywhere else in the country. other provinces have been reluctant to follow Alberta down the road to private liquor stores. However, many have modernized their retail outlets, increased selection and moved beyond banker’s hours. murie is hoping that’s as far as it goes. He points out that alcohol, “...is a drug and you can’t compare it to other food products. this is not milk, tea, coffee. this is a drug that is legally sold and needs to be sold with caution.” Jeff Collins is a retired Calgary broadcaster living in Delia, Alberta, where he serves on the Village Council, He is an avid target shooter and hunter, and an enthusiastic, if not entirely competent, cook.