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CALGARY / FOOD & DRINK / RECIPES :: VOLUME 2 NO.9 :: MARCH 2014

CALGARY’S PUB CULTURE AN ALL-SEASON AFFAIR CHEESE AND BEER & BEER AND CHEESE

Dining In Style | Cool Climate Wines | Wayfarer: San Francisco


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VOLUME 2 / ISSUE #9 MARCH 2014

Features 14

The Littlest Cheese Shop On The Prairies You can eat a different cheese every day of the year at the four Springbank Cheese locations. by Laura Lushington

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Moo-ve Over, Cows The Benefits of Goat Milk by Andrea Fulmek

44 From Beer Parlours to Taprooms The Evolution of Calgary Alehouses by David Nuttall

Departments 6

Salutes and Shout Outs

50 Blanc & Franc Grapes with a challenge by Matt Browman

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Event Previews

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Ask Culinaire

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Cookbook Reviews

20 Old Versus Aged The Cheesy Truth by Jeff Collins 22 “Beer-y” Irish Stew Cooking with Irish beers by Natalie Findlay 28 The Pub is the Hub The History of an Institution by Jocelyn Burgener 38

The Style of Dining What should I wear? by Aldona Barutowicz

42 When Life Gives You Lemons ….make Limoncello! by BJ Oudman

A Pint Above: Libertine Public House The Libertine is one very busy pub. Satisfying, upscale food and quality service with personality! by Dan Clapson

Wines of Washington State Diversity in every glass by Adrian Bryksa

56 Not Just Another Ale Sumptuous Barley Wine by David Nuttall 64 Fernet Branca Classic bitters with attitude by Tarquin Melnyk

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Wayfarer: San Francisco Home to some of the best restaurants in North America, San Francisco justifies its ‘food mecca’ title. by Angelique Picanço

24 Step-By-Step Ricotta Cheese 24 Chefs’ Tips and Tricks! 30 Soup Kitchen 36

66 Open That Bottle 55 Erika Tocco, Vin Room by Linda Garson

8 Ways To Spice Up Shepherd’s Pie Menu Gems

Front cover photography by Ingrid Kuenzel, with thanks and appreciation to The Libertine.

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Letter From The Editor too, which always makes us feel more optimistic about the warmer days to come. It’s also St. Patrick’s Day, and we’ve been turning our attention to Irish food and pub culture. Fascinating to see how far our city has come in a relatively short time. We’ve so many choices of pubs and beer halls now serving really good food! We’ve also lots of easy and very tasty recipes for you to make at home, if you can’t get out to try the chefs’ originals.

March already, what have we got to look forward to this month? Certainly not losing an hour’s sleep when Daylight Savings Time begins, but it does herald the start of spring

We’ll be including special articles for your celebrations on our new website culinairemagazine.ca, as well as our new series of ‘Great Eats and Drinks of the Week’ - worth checking in to see recommendations for outstanding dishes and drinks that we’ve been privileged to enjoy, and that you can too.

We’re growing here at Culinaire, and soon to be starting a new series of culinary events. We’re very excited and while it’s still under wraps, we’ll be announcing it soon. If you’d be interested in hearing about these events in advance, visit the Contact Us page on our website, and let us have your name and email address, and mentioning “Special Events’. We’re also looking for someone to join our team and help shape the future of Culinaire – are you an experienced salesperson who’d like to work with us to grow the magazine? If so, we’d love to hear from you! Linda Garson Editor-in-Chief linda@culinairemagazine.ca

WE DELIVER! CALGARY / FOOD & DRINK / RECIPES :: VOLUME 2 NO.7 :: DECEMbER 2013

SeaSonal TreaTS and everyThing SweeT

The only way to get it fresher is to be there when they’re pressing it.

PoPPinG the Cork on BuBBLeS

Gift Guides for Foodies, Wine Lovers, Beer Lovers & Spirits Lovers

CALGARY / FOOD & DRINK / RECIPES :: VOLUME 2 NO.8 :: jANUARY/FEbRUARY 2014

in with the new and out with the old

PREMIUM EXTRA VIRGIN & NATURALLY FLAVOURED OLIVE OILS + VINEGARS Visit us in Canyon Meadows or The Calgary Famers Market

MORE AT

soffritto.ca

Comfort food and drinks to warm the soul Hot and Cold Winter Brews | Blogging and Apps | Wayfayrer: Vancouver

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. Makes a great gift too! Order today—only $30+gst.


CALGARY / FOOD & DRINK / RECIPES Editor-in-Chief/Publisher: Linda Garson linda@culinairemagazine.ca Contributing Drinks Editor: Tom Firth tom@culinairemagazine.ca

Our Contributors < Matt Browman

Bartending in Japan in the early 1990s brought Matt, in a roundabout way, to the beginning of a vinous obsession in Commercial Director Keiron Gallagher Niagara-on-the-Lake, 403-975-7177 where upon completion keirongallagher@gmail.com of an English Literature BA he accepted a beverage management position Digital Media: Laura Lushington for which he was sorely unqualified. He has laura@culinairemagazine.ca completed the ISG Diploma, WSET Diploma, as well as the Court of Master Sommelier Advanced Design: Emily Vance Diploma. Matt’s career has taken him through Contributors: Aldona Barutowicz restaurant, retail, education, journalism and judging as well as many of the major wine-growing regions Matt Browman of the world. Adrian Bryksa Jocelyn Burgener Jeff Collins < Angelique Natalie Findlay Picanco Andrea Fulmek Montreal native, Cory Knibutat Angelique Picanco Ingrid Kuenzel is an award-winning Laura Lushington Community Manager Tarquin Melnyk and senior Managing Karen Miller Editor for Cooking David Nuttall Channel’s “Bitchin’ BJ Oudman Kitchen” and upcoming JP Pedhirney travel show “Bite This with Nadia G”. When she’s Emily Shibley not strategizing, food blogging and chatting it up with the show’s fans online, she spends her time whipping up magical meals, binge-watching documentaries on Netflix and secretly planning world domination on weekends. Angelique is To read about our talented team of presently exploring the west coast, reporting on contributors, please visit us online at all things food, wine, and culture. Follow her on culinairemagazine.ca. Twitter @angelique_p!

Contributing Food Editor: Dan Clapson dan@culinairemagazine.ca

Contact us at: Culinaire Magazine #1203, 804 -3rd Avenue SW Calgary, AB T2P 0G9 403-870-9802 info@culinairemagazine.ca www.culinairemagazine.ca www.facebook.com/CulinaireMagazine Twitter: @culinairemag For subscriptions, competitions and to read Culinaire online: culinairemagazine.ca

CREATIVITY EXPERIENCE THE DIFFERENT SIDES OF CHEF DUNCAN LY, GOLD MEDALIST, AWARD WINNING CHEF

< Aldona Barutowicz

Aldona’s love of fashion and photography led her to become the Street Style Huntress when she started her blog a few years back, and she has since photographed stylish people on the streets of Calgary for Swerve Magazine, Downtown Calgary, and most recently 17th Avenue. Her writing has been featured in magazines, newspapers and online, and she is also half of Beauty by the B. Find Aldona on Twitter @AldonaB and on facebook at Aldona B Photography.

All Trademarks presented in this magazine are owned by the registered owner. All advertisements appearing in this magazine are the sole responsibility of the person, business or corporation advertising their product or service. For more information on Culinaire Magazine’s Privacy Policy and Intention of Use, please see our website at www.culinairemagazine.ca. All content, photographs and articles appearing in this magazine are represented by the contributor as original content and the contributor will hold Culinaire Magazine harmless against any and all damages that may arise from their contribution. All public correspondence, which may include, but is not limited to letters, e-mail, images and contact information, received by Culinaire Magazine becomes the property of Culinaire Magazine and is subject to publication. Culinaire Magazine may not be held responsible for the safety or return of any unsolicited manuscripts, photographs and other materials. Reproduction of this publication in whole or in part without written consent from Culinaire Magazine is strictly prohibited.

HOTEL ARTS | KENSINGTON RIVERSIDE INN


Salutes … Chef Ly does Calgary proud Yellow Door Bistro Chef Duncan Ly, was the People’s Choice in the Mystery Wine Competition of the 2014 Canadian Culinary Championships, and took silver overall!

Fred Malley, President CACC, Sheila Taylor, Chair CBE Board of Trustees, Blake Chapman, High School Initiative, Chair CACC

CACC are shining bright! Congratulations to the Calgary Academy of Chefs and Cooks (CACC) on receiving the Lighthouse Award from the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) for their contribution to education in Calgary. CBE and CACC share a vision regarding the quality of instruction students receive in the culinary arts, achieved by stewarding resources and actively sharing expertise and culinary knowledge between students and experts in the field.

Openings… Calgary foodies are going to be busy this month checking out: National Westhills, 180 Stewart Green SW, ntnl.ca Manuel Latruwe Belgian Patisserie, reopened after the flood damage, 1333 - 1 St. SE, manuellatruwe.com The Lake House (formerly The Ranche restaurant), 747 Lake Bonavista Dr. SE, lakehousecalgary.com Double Zero Pizza, spread across two floors in Chinook Mall later this month. doublezeropizza.ca 6

The day before the Competition, eleven Gold Medal Plate winning chefs were given Okanagan Valley’s Laughing Stock Winery ‘Blind Trust White 2012’, along with $550 to feed 425 guests. They had to decide on the perfect dish to pair with the wine and then find all the ingredients in Kelowna, with no suppliers or shops that they are used to, and relying solely on their ingenuity. Proceeds from Gold Medal Plates ($8.2 million to date) go to the Canadian Olympic Foundation

Photograph courtesy Lynda Miller

OJ’S and Grasshopper unite to give back Original Joe’s Restaurant and Bar (OJ’s), in partnership with Big Rock Grasshopper, will raise funds for charity over the next three months through its Community Pint Program. Between now and June 1, Original Joe’s and Big Rock Grasshopper will each donate 25 cents to the different nonprofits chosen by each OJ location, for every Big Rock Grasshopper pint sold at OJ’s locations throughout Western Canada.

Alberta BBQ Sauce wins Texas BBQ Award! More congrats to award-winning, Okotoks-based Cattle Boyz Foods who grabbed 1st and 2nd place at the 2014 Zest Fest in Dallas, in the heart of Texas BBQ country! Cattle Boyz Foods can now add additional bragging rights to their long line of awards, for their new Chipotle Maple Bacon BBQ Sauce, a glutenfree and fat-free sauce, which supports ALS Research from the proceeds of its sales. “We are really excited about this product, initial feedback has been tremendous which has just been verified with a seal of approval from our peers!” says Joe Ternes, founder and president of Cattle Boyz Foods.

Uber-Local at Swan’s! Swan’s of Inglewood are celebrating their 20th anniversary this year with a new program supporting Inglewood businesses. “It’s super unique as everyone knows everyone,” says Chef Mike Provo on his regularly changing menu of what’s fresh that day. Breads are from Wild Grainz Artisan Bakery; desserts from Choklat, produce from nearby Crossroads Market, and other ingredients are from nearby stores and producers. And now you can enjoy the new Sunday dinner at ‘Inglewood’s living room’, on your own or with friends and family - you’ll never be a stranger at Swan’s.


and Shout Outs … Entries now open for Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship

New downtown catering! WildFire Grill is now offering a brand new off-site catering service for corporate and private parties, with restaurant quality food brought directly to your office. Headed by executive Chef Mike Skarbo, all the dishes are made in the 8th Avenue kitchens, using locally harvested ingredients and supporting local businesses. From hot and cold breakfasts to snacks, lunch platters, salads, pastas, pies and meatloaf, there’s a wide variety of yummy meal options made specially for you and delivered to your door. irawleigh@concordegroup.ca, 403 869 7671

The search for future Canadian culinary stars is coming to Calgary June 22nd, with an opportunity to cook in front of some of the country’s most revered chefs including Charcut’s Connie DeSousa, NOtaBLE’s Michael Noble, Model Milk’s Justin Leboe and SAIT’s Michael Allemeier. 3 candidates will go on to the final in Vancouver September 28th. The $10,000 top prize will be awarded to the young chef under 28, with the drive, passion and skill to succeed. Closing date for applications is noon, May 5th. hawksworthscholarship.com

New name new look!

West coast wildlife spectacle coming soon The coastlines of Parksville Qualicum Beach will come to life mid-March to mid-April when it hosts the country’s largest annual Pacific herring spawn. Millions of silvery fish arrive at Parkville’s shores, so intense in numbers that the waters turn a dazzling aquamarine, a result of the herring milt mingling with the salt water. This rare and impressive sight draws nature enthusiasts from around the world, attracting an endless menagerie of marine life, from Brant Geese and surf scoters to seals and sea lions. visitparksvillequalicumbeach.com, brantfestival.bc.ca

Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant Re-Opens! Beautifully renovated, the century-old Fish Creek Provincial Park home of one of the original Calgarians, is now open for evening dining, special nights out and functions, under the new ownership of Calgary’s Great Events Group. A very warm welcome awaits from some of the friendliest people in the city, with Executive Chef, Daryl Kerr’s memorable Albertan and Canadian cuisine. The relaxed ambience in the 140 seat main dining room follows through in smaller private dining rooms; you can be dressed up fancy or casual and feel at home.

Welcome back Rush, to Calgary city centre dining, now named Rush Ocean Prime to reflect the premium steak and seafood offerings. After a major refurb, this gorgeous space still sparkles, but in a warmer and more relaxed way, and still with Chefs Andrew Keen and Casey Brien’s first-class eats. Bacon and eggs for starter? Here you’ll be blown away by the generous portions of Grilled Bacon (nearly 1/2lb of thick cut grilled pork belly with house made steak sauce) and Lobster Truffle Devilled Eggs rich and deep flavours but still elegant and completely addictive. Perception changing is the 3 course Express Lunch for just $25, and seafood mains $22$30, steak mains $27-$39. Share some sushi and enjoy special happy hour wines between 4pm-7pm – I’ll see you there!

Imagine sitting by the fire in this historical house eating Butter Poached Lobster Medallions with Coconut Corn Cream, Wild Boar Wellington with Mushroom Confit or Poached Artic Char with Parsnip and Yukon Potato purée – if you’re anything like me, you may never want to leave! 7


March Events

by DAVID NUTTALL

The Grape Escape

March 21-22, 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm BMO Centre, Stampede Park $65 per evening

The Big Taste 2014

March 7-16 Lunch: $15/$25, Dinner: $25/$35 Gourmet Big Taste: $65 (5-course meal with BC VQA Wine pairings at additional cost) Now in its 12th year, The Big Taste will be the ten tastiest days of the year. Look for Prix Fixe lunch and dinner menus at participating restaurants. Also special culinary and wine events, including cooking classes, where foodies can meet, learn from, and dine with celebrity chefs and noted food writers. bigtastecalgary.com March 7 Rush Ocean Prime $95 March 8, Downtownfood $95 March 9, Home Tasting Room $45 March 10, Trib Steakhouse $95 March 11, River Café $45 March 12, Earth, Sea, Sky $95 March 13, Teatro $45, SAIT Kitchen Party $125 March 14, Blink $45, Raw Bar, $95 March 15, National Bowl $45, Alberta Ate $125

The Grape Escape is brought to you by Calgary Co-op Liquor Stores. You don’t want to miss these informative and entertaining evenings, featuring samplings from over 75 producers of premium wine, beer and spirits. Tickets are all-inclusive and are available at all Calgary Co-op Liquor Stores. calgarycoopliquor.com/liquor_events

The Gluten Free Expo

March 29-30, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Olympic Oval, 2500 University Drive NW $15, Children 10 or under free supervised by an adult. The Gluten Free Expo is the largest gluten free event in Canada. Here is a chance to discover, sample and buy hundreds of Gluten Free products while learning from leading experts and over 85 exhibitors. Learn how to cook and bake to meet your dietary needs, or visit the public stage with sessions on gluten free living. glutenfreeexpo.ca/ab/Calgary Win Gluten Free Expo Family 4-pack tickets! Go to culinairemagazine.ca and enter to win.

Canmore Uncorked April 3-12

A chance to taste, experience, and learn at the inaugural Canmore festival, showcasing their creative food and beverage scene in a vibrant but relaxed atmosphere, against a beautiful mountain backdrop. Fixed price and progressive dinners, cookery classes and a long table dinner. canmoreuncorked.com

Slow Food Roots ‘n’ Shoots

April 14, Cocktails 6:00 pm, Dinner 6:30 pm River Cafe on Prince’s Island Park $125 for members; $160 nonmembers, (includes wine, gratuity and GST) Slow Food Calgary’s annual celebration of the return of spring. Hosted by River Café, Chef Andrew Winfield and his team, and guest chefs prepare a magnificent seasonal multi-course prairie menu, accompanied by stellar Canadian wines. Celebrate the transition from winter’s roots to springtime shoots. slowfoodcalgary.ca

Pisco and Appetizers

March 10, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Inti Restaurant, #208-3132 26th Street NE $30 includes GST Sample pisco cocktails with hot and cold appetizers at this unique walkround tasting! inti-restaurant.com 8

The Gluten Free Expo

Slow Food Roots ‘n’ Shoots


Cork & Canvas Festival

Celebrating 17 Years of exceptional wine, art, and music in support of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. Meet prominent wine makers and brewmasters, and enjoy culinary creations from Calgary dining establishments while CPO musicians entertain you. Vie for treasures in auctions for exotic trips and experiences, rare and unique wines, and original works. cpo-live.com

March 4 Vintage Wine Tasting, 7:00 pm Willow Park Wines & Spirits, $40

March 14 Craft Beer Night, 7:00 pm Willow Park Wines & Spirits, $40 March 18 La Chaumiere Luncheon, 11:30 am March 22 High Tea in Style, 2:00 pm The Fairmont Palliser, $60 March 28 The Art of Whisky, 7:00 pm

now open lunch | happy hour dinner | wine

April 5 Winemakers Dinner & Auction, 6:00 pm

Have You Checked Out Our New Culinaire Website? We’ve been busy working on new articles, recipes, contests, tips and recommendations exclusively for

D ai ly Spe ci alS starting at 4pm

W e e kly M e n u F e atur eS

culinairemagazine.ca

for lunch and dinner

so check back regularly for the hottest, coolest and latest on culinary Calgary! What’s coming up in March? - Great Eats and Drinks of the Week - Where to celebrate Mardi Gras - Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Calgary - What ingredients are in season and how to use them and many more easy to bite and easy to digest articles…

facebook.com/CulinaireMagazine @CulinaireMag

We’re also starting a special series of exclusive Culinaire Magazine events very soon, for only very limited numbers of people. They’re a completely different style of event and we’ll be letting you have the details in the next few weeks, but we’ll only email those who would like to hear about these occasional evenings. If you would like to be included in this special Culinaire address book, please go to culinairemagazine.ca/contact-us and let us have your name and email address, mentioning “Special Events’ in the comments box.

HourS o F ope ration Monday to Thursday 11am – 11pm Friday 11am – 1am saturday 6pm – 2am 801 – 6th street sW Calgary, alberta T2P 3V8 587.352.KORQ (5677) www.KORQwinehouse.ca


Ask Culinaire by CHEF JP PEDHIRNEY

How do I know that I am getting value when it comes to dining out?

Answer: First and foremost, to

understand the value of a restaurant experience, we have to understand what the basic purpose of a restaurant is and that is to serve and nourish people; thus, giving them joy and enthusiasm. Now, as simple as that may sound, is one restaurant going to provide a joyful, enthusiastic experience for every individual? No, absolutely not. This is why our options for dining-out are almost limitless. You can choose from Italian food, a steakhouse, French bistro, fine or casual dining and so on. This diversity is meant to cater to the specific needs and demands of consumers, providing an experience that is hopefully pleasant and promotes repeat business. The next step in understanding value is the price and what you’re paying for.

At the end of the day, a restaurant is a business, and as a business it needs to remain profitable to survive. The Chef and restaurateur will set the price of their menus to account for costs like food and beverage, physical labour, rent, credit card fees, and insurance - the list goes on. For example, if you’re dining in a unique, one of a kind location you can expect to see higher prices on common menu items due to fact that it just costs the business more to be in that certain location. Some may find value in having dinner in a secluded restaurant on top of a mountain or an exotic city, and some may not. It’s also important for consumers to be aware of the products that a restaurant is using. If the Chef is using locally sourced products from specialized

A restaurant is a business, and needs to remain profitable to survive.

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farmers, most often this will result in an increase in price because these products themselves cost more. Do people find value in the cost of local ingredients? I believe a large portion of people do, especially nowadays! If you’re dining out at a new establishment, it may be best to look at their menu online first or give them a call and ask them about their prices and products. This should give you an indication of whether they use local suppliers, prepare all their dishes from scratch, do in-house butchery, make their own house-sodas, etc. All of which cost the restaurant more money in ingredients and labour. In the end, doing a little research into the establishment you’re considering for dinner will definitely help you get the most out of a meal.

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


Book Reviews

by KAREN MILLER

A Girl and Her Pig

by April Bloomfield Harper Collins 2012, $38.50 In the age of celebrity chefs, Bloomfield is a breath of fresh air! Her culinary ancestry is impressive; friends with Jamie Oliver, worked at The River Cafe with Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers, partners with Mario Batali, but her focus is grass roots and she tries to shy away from the press. She just likes to cook and wants to do it as well as she can each and every time. The dedication to her craft shows. Bloomfield’s restaurants in NYC are the places chefs go for food after long days in their own kitchens. Bloomfield is a self-proclaimed perfectionist, but

is casual about other elements such as plating. The recipes are straightforward with a focus on high quality ingredients. Technique is important but not fussy, and despite this the food is elevated and the love shows. She talks about “feeling it” for salads and encourages use of intuition to create “balance”. Her favourite fish is the simple sardine, simply prepared. Although known for cooking meat, including all the “nasty” bits, her treatment of vegetables is really respectful. I truly feel a kindred spirit in her cooking. This is great Italian grandmother cooking at its best. I will work my way through this cookbook, hopefully with all the calm and love inspired by Bloomfield.

The Canadian Craft Beer Cookbook

by David Ort Whitecap Books 2013, $29.95 Although the proliferation of craft beer makers may have started with avid beer drinkers looking for cheaper beer, it has burgeoned into a sophisticated business. Pairing very well with the whole “eat local” movement, there has been an explosion of craft beer brewers in many marketplaces. Ort has been blogging about the subject and has a great grasp on explaining the whole phenomena for the uninitiated. He starts with an overview describing the requirements and the characteristics of craft beers. Each chapter of recipes then helps with the kind of beer appropriate for the foods and the reasons why. The range of recipes is

wide with the expected bar nibbles, to the unexpected use of beer in some dishes (guacamole?), main courses and even desserts (Blueberries with Dark Abbey ale whipped cream, anyone?). Not all the recipes contain beer but all are suitable for eating while drinking beer. The pairing suggestions are quite specific, but do provide recommendations on substitutions. In reading the recipes in the book even a non-beer drinker can appreciate how the flavour profiles offered by your local brewer can elevate so many recipes. Maybe we should all trying being a “ hophead” at least for a bit.

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.

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Moo-ve Over, Cows: The Health Benefits of Goat Milk by ANDREA FULMEK

Though the word “milk” is synonymous with our lovely Albertan cows, more goat milk is consumed annually worldwide, and its popularity seems to be on the rise. Should we be surprised that an increasing number of people are filling their cereal bowls with goat milk? Not with all of these benefits. Milk is one of the healthiest beverages available to us today, and though most of us reach for cow milk for our daily dose of calcium, there continues to be controversy surrounding goat milk, cow milk, and which is nutritionally superior. While both goat and cow milk contain vitamins and minerals to keep us strong and healthy, goat milk is especially nutritious, easier to digest for those with lactose sensitivities, and is a great source of bioorganic sodium. So, let’s break it down..


The Taste - There is no doubt that cow and dairy milk substitutes are more readily available to us than goat milk, but there is also no denying that many continue to reach for these other varieties after having a not-so-pleasant experience with goat milk. One of the common misconceptions that keeps us reaching for alternate varieties of milk is that goat milk can have a funny or “off” taste. Though it has a stronger flavour that may take some time to get used to, milk from goats that are properly raised and have closely regulated diets will taste quite similar, if not identical, to cow milk. Because goats will eat nearly anything in their path, an unregulated diet typically causes this “off” or rancid taste in the milk, and farmers are making extra efforts to ensure that goats are raised in an open environment with little to munch on other than grass. Calories, Fat, Sugar and Protein Though goat milk is slightly higher in calories and fat, the fat molecules in goat milk are much smaller than the fat molecules in cow milk, making it easier to digest. Additionally, the large number of medium chain triglycerides present in goat milk assist in speeding up your metabolism and lower cholesterol levels as they break down. Goat milk has less sugar than cow milk, which means that we require less of the enzyme responsible for breaking down the naturally occurring milk sugar, known as lactose. Lastly, one cup of goat milk has an additional gram of protein over cow milk, and is a complete protein containing all of the essential amino acids. Vitamins and Minerals - Even though cows can supply us with vitamin A, it is often in the form of carotenoids (betacarotene), which need to be converted by the body before it can be absorbed as vitamin A. On the other hand, goat milk offers higher amounts of this vitamin and it requires no additional conversion for us to reap the benefits.

More goat milk is consumed worldwide than dairy

Additionally, Goat milk is higher in vitamin c, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and like cow milk, is especially high in B-vitamins like B3 (niacin) and B2 (riboflavin), which play an important role in cell metabolism. Though goat milk has received some criticism for being lower in folic acid and vitamin B12, the lower values are closer to those in human milk than cow milk making goat milk an excellent choice for infants.

Lactose & Allergies - Good news: If you are lactose intolerant, there is a good chance that you will be able to tolerate goat milk. With nutrients similar to human milk and less lactose than cow milk, it is generally far easier to digest. Because it does not contain a substance called agglutinin that is present in cow milk, the smaller fat molecules do not cluster together, making them easier on our tummies. Additionally, goat milk is naturally homogenized, meaning that if left to sit, it will not separate into two layers like cows milk. Thanks to this natural consistency, there is no need for an additional processing stage. Milk allergies are mainly caused by a protein called alpha-S1 casein that is nearly absent in goat and human milk. Levels of this protein are close to 90% less in goat milk, and because it is lacking, goat milk is not only less allergenic, but is also perfect for children who have digestive issues or an intolerance to cow milk. Bioorganic sodium - Aside from being nutritionally superior to cow milk, goat milk is a fantastic source of bioorganic sodium. This mineral assists in the production of important enzymes in the stomach, and a lack of this sodium can lead to digestive problems, bloating and even ulcers. In addition to balancing the enzymes in the stomach, bioorganic sodium plays an important role in keeping joints limber. Recruiter by day, writer and foodie by night, Andrea finds nothing more exciting than baking with chocolate. If dessert could be eaten for every meal, she would be one happy camper.

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The Littlest Cheese Shop on the Prairies Four shops, four different sets of owners and more than 365 different types of cheeses have led the Springbank Cheese Company to success in this prairie city.

story and photography by LAURA LUSHINGTON


When the Springbank Cheese Company arrived in Calgary in 1989, its founders, the Hemsworth family, had almost 30 years of experience in the cheese business. Originating in Woodstock, Ontario, patriarch Frank Hemsworth had bought a railroad building in June 1960 and rechristened it a cheese storage facility — even though he barely knew the difference between Cheddar and Gouda. Hemsworth began to learn all aspects of the cheese business from grading and importing to wholesale and retail, passing his growing passion for cheese onto his children. Fast-forward to the late ‘80s and Hemsworth’s daughter, Jane had moved to Calgary and was looking to start her own store. Together, father and daughter decided that a storefront on 14 Street NW in Capitol Hill was to be the Springbank Cheese Company’s flagship Calgary location. Today, son Tom Hemsworth owns the Capitol Hill location and oversees the business. After noticing how popular the northwest store was (and is), husband and wife team, Carie Lee and Adrian Watters approached the Hemsworth family about opening their own Springbank Cheese Company on the

opposite side of town. In 2006, the first independently owned Springbank Cheese Company opened its doors in Willow Park Village. “We decided to look at owning our own business and we both had been in the food industry (Earls Restaurants) for quite a long time,” says Adrian, who has a degree in nutrition and food science, and has also been specially trained on the nuances of palates. “I was already selling cheese wholesale, so one of our first thoughts was to approach Springbank Cheese.” That the cheese business built on skills and knowledge the two already had, and allowed them to build relationships with customers, also sold the idea to the pair. But then came the hard work and “School of Cheese Knocks”, as Carie Lee calls it. “It was a question of excitement and chaos,” she says. “We first opened the store exhausted; Adrian had laid the floors with help from friends and trades, we got our first shipments of cheese, loaded them into the coolers, and began to cut, prepare and taste as we went.” With his distinguishable palate (as Carie Lee gushes), Adrian logged notes about each cheese’s flavours and profiles.


Matching cheeses to craft beers, raclette and fondue are on the rise right now.

Top Cheeses in Calgary Cave Aged Gruyere – Switzerland Consistently a top seller, this raw milk cheese is aged in caves outside of Lucerne.

Smoked Applewood Cheddar – England

Canadian’s love their Cheddar and this creamy British version that is dusted with paprika hits the spot.

Bellavitano Flavoured Cheeses USA

Try this rich, creamy merlot-flavoured cheese similar to an asiago, to curb your wine craving.

Blue St. Agur – France

A decadently soft, creamy blue cheese that is great on crackers or bread.

Top 3 Cheeses for Newbies Frere Jacques – Quebec

This Swiss-style mild cheese is made from cow’s milk.

Double Cream Brie – France/ Canada

A classic cheese, brie is a staple on cheese plates and comes in many sizes that are perfect for entertaining.

Manchego – Spain

Aged for six months, this pasteurized sheep’s milk cheese is easy to eat. 16

“In those early days we were tasting a lot, and alongside our customers. That’s how we learned — pounding back the cheese and exploring with it,” laughs Carie Lee.

Marda Loop serves a large French community. That said, all locations carry a wide variety of cheeses that will satisfy most tastes, so there’s no need to drive across town.

The Watters’ and Springbank Cheese Company made a big enough impression on Willow Park part-time employee Linda Kurytnik that she then opened the company’s Crowfoot location in 2010. Capitol Hill employee Shawn McDonald soon followed and opened the city’s fourth Springbank Cheese location in Marda Loop in 2011. Along with the family of four retail locations, Springbank Cheese products are also found throughout the city at markets and specialty grocery stores.

“We’re responsive to our customer base,” says Carie Lee. “We want to provide products our customers get excited about. I love having the ability to connect directly with our customers and find out about their background and what they’re looking for.”

Each independently owned location imports cheeses from around the world including France, England and Spain. They are constantly on the hunt for new varieties but if you can’t find the cheese you tasted on your latest trip, ask one of the “cheeseheads” and they’ll try to bring it in for you. “Our customers are becoming more aware of all the different cheeses of the world because of their travels,” says Carie Lee. “We learn about new cheeses from them too.” “We never get bored,” adds Adrian. “There’s so much out there to taste and try. I always go back to some favourites time and time again but I’m always looking for the next great flavour, texture and experience.” At each of the four Springbank Cheese Company locations, you’ll find different cheeses catering to the palates of the customers in each neighbourhood. For example, the Crowfoot location sells more traditional cheeses like Cheddar and Havarti; the Willow Park outlet caters to more unique cheeses, and

The four stores have also been keeping up with Calgary’s ever-growing food culture and have seen many trends in cheese pop up. Matching cheeses to craft beers, raclette (a type of cheese and way of cooking where the cheese is scraped/poured on top of grilled veggies and meats) and fondue are on the rise right now. On the wholesale side of things, the Springbank Cheese Company has also seen a change in Calgary chefs becoming more involved in their restaurant’s cheese selections. According to Carie Lee, there’s been a huge transition towards chefs not only shopping for cheeses they cook with but for creating dessert plates or cheese courses as part of their menu. “Overall, people are looking beyond the Cheddars,” she says. So, the next time you’re thinking about picking up that brick of marble, try heading to the Springbank Cheese Company instead. From the fun coconut Gouda (It tastes just like a pina colada) to the simply delicious French Morbier, there’s something for everyone. Laura Lushington is a recent graduate of Mount Royal University’s Bachelor of Communication – Journalism program and Culinaire Magazine’s Digital media Editor. She’s @LauraLushington or lauralushington.com


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Step By Step: Look Mom, I Can Make Cheese!

story and photography by NATALIE FINDLAY

What do you get when you cross milk and lemons? Ricotta. No really – it’s that easy to make cheese in your own kitchen! Ricotta

Makes approximately 300g

Homemade ricotta cheese that has a light, silky, smooth texture and a rich, milky taste. It’s so simple, it can be made in the morning and ready in time for dinner! Note: a kitchen thermometer is a

necessary when making ricotta.

4 cups (1 L) 10% milk (the fat in the milk is needed) 2 Tbs (30 mL) lemon juice, freshly squeezed

Gather all utensils. You will need a heavy-bottomed pot, kitchen thermometer, colander, cheesecloth, a long-handle spoon, ladle, milk and lemon juice.

1. Pour milk into pot and place over

medium heat. Attach thermometer to the side of the pot.

2. Watch the thermometer, especially as the temperature climbs. Stir occasionally and increasingly as it rises.

3. Once the temperature reaches 195º

F, remove the pot from the heat and add the lemon juice (make sure to strain the juice of seeds and pulp). Gently stir the lemon juice through the milk until it starts to curdle. Let sit for 10 minutes to give the ricotta curds time to form.

4. Gently scoop curds into ricotta

moulds or into a cheesecloth-lined colander set in the sink or over a sheet tray, so the whey can drain. Allow excess whey to drain for about 1 hour. And voila - you have ricotta cheese. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.


Pasta with Sausage, Fresh Ricotta and Arugula Serves 4

4 sausages, preferably spicy, or your favourite sausage ½ cup (125 mL) olive oil, plus more if needed 5 cloves garlic, minced 50 g arugula 200 g homemade ricotta 100 g Parmesan cheese, grated 1 lemon, zested To taste salt and pepper Linguine or fettucini pasta

Preheat oven to 375º F.

1. Place sausages on a baking tray and

roast 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Cut each sausage on an angle into 6 pieces.

2. Bring plenty of well-salted water

Fig and Chocolate Ricotta Pie Serves 6

One of the beauties of ricotta is its versatility with savoury or sweet preparations. The following recipe is an easy pie to put together for dessert. Ricotta provides the creamy texture to the recipe, but it is up to you to provide the flavour profile. This recipe is based on Italian Ricotta Pie that is traditionally served at Easter. It’s so easy that it should definitely become a part of your dessert repertoire!

1. Mix icing sugar, eggs, vanilla, orange zest, Amaretto, ground almonds and ricotta until smooth. Set aside.

2. Lightly butter a 9” pie dish. Lay 1

phyllo sheet over the bottom and up the sides of the dish, allowing it to hang over the sides. Brush with the melted butter. Top with a second sheet of phyllo dough, laying it in the opposite direction to the first phyllo sheet. Continue layering the remaining sheets of phyllo in the same fashion until all sheets have been used.

This pie is made for those of you who don’t like a sweet dessert but is packed with flavour.

3. Gently stir the figs and chocolate

4. Fold the overhanging phyllo dough

Add the sausages along with the garlic. Sauté 4 or 5 minutes or until sausages are crisp and the garlic is golden (not burnt). Add a couple of tablespoons of pasta water (or white wine) to stop the garlic from continuing to cook. Remove from heat. Add the arugula and the ricotta to the pan.

450 g homemade ricotta cheese 40 g almonds, ground 3 eggs, lightly beaten 2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla extract 3 Tbs (45 mL) Amaretto 1 orange, zested 50 g icing sugar 200 g figs, dried, roughly chopped 60 g chocolate chips, semi sweet 6 sheets phyllo pastry, thawed Sprinkle granulated sugar 85 g unsalted butter, melted

4. Drain the pasta. Place in a large,

Preheat the oven to 400º F

to boil and add the pasta. Cook as directions on the package making sure you don’t overcook the pasta (a key technique for a delicious end result).

3. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan.

warm serving bowl and add ricotta and sausage mixture, lemon zest and half the Parmesan cheese. Add more olive oil if needed, and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

chips into the ricotta mixture and spoon into the phyllo-lined dish. over the top of the filling to enclose it completely. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

5. Bake the pie until golden brown

and the filling is set, about 35 minutes. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool completely.

Natalie is a freelance writer, photographer and pastry chef. A graduate of Cordon Bleu’s pastry program, she manages her own business too to create custommade cakes. 19


Old Versus Aged: The Cheesy Truth

by JEFF COLLINS

We have all run into people who are old without being aged. The same is true of cheese. A cheese labeled as “old” is still a relative youth. “Most cheddar, if it’s ‘mild’, has been aged for three months. If it’s ‘medium’, six months. ‘Old’, a year. And ‘extra-old’, 18 months.” Crystal McKenzie is one of the owners of the Peasant Cheese Shop, in Kensington. She goes on to explain that this applies even to the so-called “commodity cheeses”, the big bricks of bright orange cheddar you often find as loss-leaders in the cooler at your local chain supermarket.

That explains how disappointed I was at my first taste of a block of supposedly “old” cheese purchased at a chain near my home. It had a slightly stronger flavour than the “mild” but lacked the sharpness and the crumbly, crystalline texture I prefer in a piece of cheese. Adrian Waters tells me, “Larger cheese manufacturers don’t always necessarily want to develop those flavours as they are going for a wider audience, so they

will use different cultures, different PH levels, and different ways of making the cheese so that it is more mainstream.” Adrian and his wife, Carrie-Lee, own the SE location of “The Springbank Cheese Company” in Willow Park. He goes on to say that the crumbly texture, so beloved by fans of cheese that really is old, comes after at least two years of sitting on a shelf in carefully controlled conditions.“


What the cheese is swaddled in shortly after birth also makes a difference, says Chrystal Mckenzie, as she wrestles half-a wheel of three-year old Hafod out of her cooler. There’s three different styles. In clothbound, they get more oxygen. In wax and plastic, they don’t get any oxygen at all so they get sharp. In clothbound, they get more earthy,

The Rules The federal government does not tell a cheese maker when to label a cheese as “old”. However, it is particular about labeling a cheese as “aged”. In response to an e-mail from Culinaire, Lisa Murphy with CFIA, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, replied, “According to the Dairy Product Regulations (DPR), Section 6 (3) (d) (ii), to claim that cheddar has been aged it must have been aged for at least nine months, and the amount of time for which it has been aged must be specified on the principal display panel of the product label. The terms “old” and “extra old” are industry terms to describe the flavour and texture of cheese. These terms are not defined in the DPR. “

grassy flavours. They are not necessarily as sharp because some of the acid comes out of the cheese because of the oxygen going in.”

Perfectly placed in the South Okanagan

Hafod is a traditional cheese from Wales. This Hafod was like some of the people I enjoy. It was not old. It was aged. It turns out I like my people the way I like my cheese. Mature, dry, and a little bit crusty.

Why most cheddar cheese is bright orange. Two juicy stories are used to explain why much cheddar cheese is a uniform orange when the milk from which it is made is white.

1. English cheese makers in the 17th

century skimmed off the cream in milk before making cheese, and added colouring to cover up the fact.

2. English cheese makers dyed their

cheddar bright orange before it was sent to troops in Europe during World War One to make it easy to spot if it were sold on the black market instead of being consumed by soldiers. Depending on which you believe, the colour is either a fraud, or a clever way to make sure fighters were well fed. Jeff Collins is a retired CBC broadcaster. He now lives, works, cooks and eats in southeast Calgary.

P

erfectly placed on rich South Okanagan farmland, Tinhorn Creek overlooks the old gold mining creek that is the winery’s namesake. We are environmental stewards of 150 acres of vineyards: “Diamondback” on the Black Sage Bench, and “Tinhorn Creek” on the Golden Mile Bench. Both provide us with the fruit to craft the superb, terroir driven wine that we’re known for. Our top tier Oldfield Series represents the finest of each vintage.

www.tinhorn.com


Lamb Stew with Boiled Potatoes and Mint Serves 4

1/3 cup (80 mL) canola oil 900 g lamb shoulder, cubed flour for dusting 125 g bacon, sliced 200 g crimini mushrooms, cut into quarters 4 cloves garlic 20 pearl onions, skin and ends removed 2 Tbs (30 g) tomato paste 5 bay leaves 5 g thyme, dried To taste salt and pepper 1 can Stout (Guinness or similar) 1 cup (250 mL) beef stock 3 medium carrots, sliced 3 medium parsnips, sliced 750 g potatoes 20 g gremulata - a mix of finely chopped fresh mint, parsley, and lemon zest

1. Heat oil in a medium-heavy bottom

pot. Season lamb with salt and pepper and dust with flour. Brown lamb (do not over-crowd pot) and reserve.

2. Add bacon and cook 5 minutes. Add

“Beer-y” Irish Stew Story and photography by NATALIE FINDLAY

A traditional Irish stew is always comforting and hearty. A great meal for a cold winter’s night or a blustery, stormy spring day. This stew is based on simple ingredients that are simply cooked for a long time. The following recipes use the tradition of the Irish stew and add a modern twist to the cooking techniques and an extra ingredient or two. Irish beers aren’t only for drinking. Irish monks created beers that lend themselves to cooking by making them light on the hops, as hops in a beer can lead to a very bitter taste once reduced through cooking! The more you know! 22

mushrooms, garlic and pearl onions and cook another 8 minutes. Add thyme, bay leaves and tomato paste to the pot and cook 2 minutes.

3. Add beer and stock to deglaze pot.

Return lamb to the pot and bring to a boil. Simmer 1 hour and add carrots and parsnips to the pot. Make sure they are covered with liquid.

4. Cook another 1 1/2 hours until

everything is cooked through and the lamb is soft. Check seasoning and adjust. For a thicker sauce, bring to a boil for another 10 minutes.

5. Boil potatoes for 18-25 minutes

depending on size, until soft when pierced but not falling apart. Serve with the gremolata sprinkled on top.


The Quick ‘Stew’ Serves 4

This is for when you want the heartiness of a stew, but are a little short on time. 3 Tbs (40 mL) canola oil 4 sausages (chicken sausage is great) 1/2 onion, thinly sliced 1 leek, thinly sliced, white and light green part only 2 cloves garlic, minced ¾ cup + 1 Tbs (200 mL) Red Ale (Smithwick’s or similar) ¾ cup + 1 Tbs (200 mL) chicken stock To taste salt and pepper 5 stalks thyme, fresh 2 leaves sage, fresh 750 g potatoes parsley, fresh, roughly chopped 25g butter

Preheat oven to 375º F.

1. Heat oil in a large cast iron pan.

Brown sausages. Remove and reserve.

2. Add onion, leek and garlic to pan

and cook for 6 minutes until browned.

3. Add beer and stock to pan along with the thyme and sage. Bring to a boil and return sausages to pan. Remove from heat and cover (you can use foil if the pan does not have a lid). Place in oven for 30 minutes.

4. Meanwhile boil potatoes for 18-25

minutes depending on size or until soft when pierced but not falling apart. Drain and return to pot. Add butter to melt and season with salt and pepper.

5. Serve with potatoes sprinkled

with fresh parsley and your favourite vegetable.

Pork and Cabbage Stew Serves 4

4 Tbs (60 mL) canola oil 1.2 Kg pork loin 1 onion, cut into 1 cm wedges 4 stalks celery, 1 cm sliced 4 cloves garlic, minced 5 bay leaves 5 g thyme, dried 1 cup (250 mL) veal or beef stock 1 cup (250 mL) Irish Lager (Harp or similar) 2 carrots, 1 cm sliced 2 parsnips, 1 cm sliced 2 apples, each cut into 8 wedges 1/2 Savoy cabbage, cut into 4 wedges To taste salt and pepper 25g butter, cold Grainy mustard, for serving

1. Heat oil in a medium-heavy bottom pot.

2. Season the pork with salt and

pepper. Place pork in the pot and brown all sides. Remove from pot. Add celery, onion and garlic and cook 7 minutes or until golden.

Now, here’s the change - instead of adding the vegetables to the pot to cook down with the meat, we are going to roast the veg. It makes a world of difference to the final taste - and for all who say they don’t like cabbage, you will like it now!

4. Preheat oven to 350º F. Place all

ingredients on two lined baking sheets and drizzle with canola oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes turning once.

5. When pork reaches 145º, remove

from the pot and cover. Thicken the sauce by turning the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil. Let boil 5 - 10 minutes, string occasionally.

6. Add the pat of cold butter at the

very end and stir to dissolve. Return the pork to the pot and add all the vegetables. Serve with a dollop of grainy mustard.

3. Add stock and beer and deglaze pot. Return pork to the pot and cook 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 145º.

23


Chefs' Tips Tricks! story by CORY KNIBUTAT photography by INGRID KUENZEL

St. Patrick’s in Calgary Beer, whiskey and shamrocks - whether you’re Irish or not, we’ve reached the time of year to celebrate Ireland and its culture. You can choose to honour the orange, white and green by tossing back a few Guinness, debate the validity of St. Patrick’s legend, or by downing some green beer – something that’s as authentically Irish as Lucky Charms (not at all). What about traditional Irish food? Lamb, stews, pies, all paired with an irresistible Irish beverage, filling your belly and giving you boundless, snakesmiting energy. We spoke with a transplanted Irish Chef as well as a couple of Calgary’s premiere Irish pubs, for their thoughts on the food to focus on this month, as well as some recipes for you to try at home!


Jamesons’ Shepherd’s Pie Pie Filling

Serves 4-5 500 g ground beef 500 g ground lamb 1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil 1 large red onion, diced 2 large carrots 3 celery sticks 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 tsp black pepper 2 tsp fresh rosemary 1 tsp seasoning salt 1/2 cup (120 mL) tomato paste 2 tsp beef base

1. Cook the ground beef and ground lamb in a large skillet for about 10 minutes until browned.

made here with the best ingredients possible.

2. Sauté carrots, celery, onion, garlic, rosemary in olive oil in a separate pan for 5 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper.

“We’ve continually been moving to more organic product, fresh product, and local,” says Jamesons owner, Harry Dimitriatis. “We’re doing as much local buying as we can.”

3. Combine beef and lamb with vegetables in a large pot.

4. Add tomato paste and beef base. Bring to a simmer for 45 minutes. Mashed potatoes 1.5 Kg baby red potatoes 1 cup (240 mL) milk 2 sticks of butter 2 tsp minced garlic 1 tsp ground white pepper 2 tsp salt 1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese

1. Boil the potatoes until you can put a

fork through without any force. Strain, then place in a mixing bowl and blend on a low speed for 2-3 minutes.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and

blend on medium speed for a few more minutes until there are no lumps.

3. In a large baking pan, put an even

layer of pie filling topped with mashed potatoes. Bake at 400º F for 10 minutes until golden brown.

Jamesons on 17th Jamesons, at 1230 17th Ave SW, has never had a problem attracting customers seeking an authentic Irish experience since opening its doors in one of the most competitive areas in the city. Chef Kostas Karvouniaris has finetuned the menu over the last 10 years, focusing on scratch cooking, and sourcing ingredients better than most competing pubs can afford to do. “All of the recipes are home recipes,” Karvouniaris says. “All of the food is made by the boys here with me. I like everything fresh and homemade. No pre-cooking, no frozen food and no microwave.” Jamesons offers the classic pub favourites you can find in any Canadian bar but they love to show off their traditional Irish dishes such as Boxty, Irish Stew and Shepherd’s Pie, also found at many Irish themed pubs, but

“It’s been a constant evolution and that’s what people are demanding and that’s what we want to serve,” Dimitriatis adds. “Some things you’ll notice like the certified Angus beef. People who recognize what certified Angus is will appreciate that but they’re not going to know about the locally bought bison and the locally bought tomatoes, but that is something we’re really pushing.” The highest quality ingredients have made its way into one of Ireland’s favourites at Jamesons; the Shepherd’s Pie. Boasting a delicious mix of seasoned lamb and beef, under an irresistible shell of mashed potato, you won’t go wrong this St. Paddy’s day indulging in this classic. “The number one seller is going to be the Shepherd’s pie,” Karvouniaris says. In the summertime, the boxty will sell more than Shepherd’s pie but in the winter, the Shepherd’s pie does a better job of warming you up.” 25


and Canada but I haven’t actually seen a green beer.” “It’s funny because Irish people don’t really eat Irish stew on a daily basis,” Keogh adds. “The thing with Irish stew is technically, it has to be lamb, but you have to remember one thing: every single housewife and every single mother makes a different stew. So my mother’s stew involves pieces of beef, beef meatballs, pork sausages, carrots, onions and oxtail soup to thicken it.” “It’s not a traditional stew but it’s her stew. If I go to somebody else’s house, it’s a different stew.”

Thomsons For a little over a year, Darren Keogh has worked for Thomsons Restaurant & Sandstone Lounge, at 112 Stephen Avenue Walk, overseeing a largely western Canadian style cuisine. When he has the chance, the Chef de Cuisine incorporates his own Irish culinary style into dishes here and there to overwhelmingly positive reviews. Specializing in classical French and European cuisine, Keogh was hired on as a Sous Chef before earning the Chef de Cuisine position a few months later. “I do menu planning, paperwork and keep things moving,” Keogh says. “I do all the menus. All the dishes are mine but it’s Canadian.”

Keogh does the beef cheeks in house with a Guinness braise. This dish does require a long cooking time, but the payoff in the flavour and texture will make it all worthwhile.

Darren Keogh’s Traditional Beef & Guinness stew Serves 4-5

400g stewing beef ¾ cup (200 mL) Guinness 2 large carrots, diced large 1 large onion, diced large 2 celery sticks, diced large 1 portabella mushroom, diced large Bunch of each fresh thyme & parsley 4 garlic cloves 4 cups (I L) thick beef stock 1 bay leaf Puff pastry To taste salt and pepper

1. Season and brown the beef in a widebased pan. Don’t overload the pan.

2. Once browned, cover with water and simmer for 30 minutes.

3. Sweat vegetables and garlic.

“Guinness and beef is just a marriage,” Keogh points out. “People over here don’t see it as much as we do.”

4. Drain the beef, but keep the

Surely Ireland must at least focus on St. Patrick?

with Guinness, reducing by almost half, before adding beef stock and cooking on a low heat for 30 min. If you need more liquid use reserved cooking liquid

“No, it’s St. Guinness (laughs).”

cooking liquid.

5. Add beef to vegetables and cover

6. Add chopped parsley, thyme and

the whole bay leaf to stew. Simmer for 30 minutes until meat is tender.

7. Cut puff pastry into the shape you’ll

need to cover your serving dish and bake at 350 for 10-15 min until it rises.

Beer and whiskey are obviously Irish enough, but when asked what Irish dishes he pines for around St. Paddy’s day, Keogh reminisced for the classics and tossed one big cliché to the side.

8. Adjust seasoning of the stew if

“The first thing you do as a chef on St. Paddy’s day is you set up your stew and your beef & Guinness there on the menu, no matter what; then your bacon and cabbage,” Keogh says. “But this green beer thing is a bit of a fad because we don’t do that. The English do that and I suppose a bit of Europe

**We usually serve with champ (mash potato and green onion) and honey roast root vegetables

26

needed. Cracked black pepper works great with this dish. Spoon the stew into oven proof serving dish, cover with pastry and bake for 5 mins


“It (the cheese) comes out marbled but it’s black and yellow,” says General Manager, Neil Currie. “It looks like cheddar surrounded by stout.” “The burger did take time for it to pick up but it’s definitely one of our best sellers,” added Chef James Viergutz. If you wanted to stick with the oldschool, you certainly can’t go wrong by enjoying the familiar Shepherd’s pie or perhaps the people’s champ: the chicken, leek and bacon boxty?

Limerick’s Lamb Burger and Red Onion Marmalade Serves 4-5

Burger 500g ground lamb ¼ cup yellow onion, minced 1 large egg ½ cup breadcrumbs 1 tsp pepper 1 tsp salt 1 tsp thyme Combine all the ingredients by hand then portion into 4 patties and cook.

Red Onion Marmalade 1 red onion, 1/2 cm diced 1 Tbs margarine 2 Tbs (30 mL) Red Wine Vinegar 3 Tbs Brown Sugar

Limerick’s One of the biggest jewels in Calgary’s Best Pubs’ crown, Limerick’s Traditional Public House at 7304 Macleod Trail S, has been a south-Calgary institution since 1999, building its reputation as one of this city’s best Irish-themed pubs, and delivering a consistently great experience.

“We have the traditional stuff but the boxty is a big seller,” Viergutz says. “Most people don’t know what a boxty is. I like to describe it as a potato crepe almost, since it’s thinner than a pancake. A lot of people will give it a shot and end up coming back for it.” Limerick’s pride themselves on consistent quality, having built their reputation over the last 15 years doing just that, and they want to keep the ball rolling.

48 beers on tap, two floors of expansive yet cozy layout and seating. Sprinkled into the menu of pub classics, are some standout Irish dishes, some just as you would expect, and others executed in a contemporary style too tempting to pass up.

“We have loyal people and we want them to keep talking about their experiences here and keep coming back,” Curries says. “We’re willing to try new things. Some have worked and some haven’t, but there’s no ego when it comes to that. We think, ‘Well at least we tried.”

How does a fresh lamb burger with a red onion marmalade and Guinness cheddar sound?

“We’re not resting on our laurels by any means.”

1. Sauté red onion in margarine until onions begin to caramelize. Deglaze with red wine vinegar and add brown sugar.

2. Stir often, reduce heat to low and simmer until mixture has thickened and reduced. Cool before serving

**We recommend finishing this burger with Guinness Cheddar and Crispy Fried Onions. Having worked in restaurants since he was 14, Cory translated his passion for food into his journalistic ambitions, meeting the people who make it and finding out what inspires them. 27


The Pub Is The Hub by JOCELYN BURGENER

In Herefordshire some social care for elderly and vulnerable adults is available at the local pub, and in Cornwall community libraries are supported by two rural pubs. These are but a few examples of local initiatives, funded through The Pub is the Hub, a not for profit agency, funded by the Princeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Trust. Initiated in 2001 by HRH the Prince of Wales, pubs are recognized as an integral resource within the community.


With this integrated focus the pub has become more than a place to enjoy your favourite pint, or where the soccer team gathers after a match, the place to exchange gossip, or play a game of darts.

prepared for such a pilgrimage, he notes the accommodations at the Tabard Inn, a tavern in London, and the demographics of the tour group. A precursor to Fodor’s 1936 guidebook Europe On the Continent—The Entertaining Travel Annual, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, provided local information, and a colourful description of the experience. Gathering at the pub, sharing stories, and meeting the locals became an important part of the journey.

Pubs can be found around the globe, but they originated in Britain, and their history is the history of the country itself. From a marketing perspective the evolution of the pub provides an enduring example of the impact of brand recognition. Inn the Beginning: During their occupation of Britain, (34 AD to 180 AD), the Romans built an extensive network of roads throughout country. Their main purpose was to allow the rapid movement of troops and military supplies. The roads were also vital for trade and the transportation of goods.

The first pubs were established during the Roman occupation The first pubs were established during the Roman occupation. Called Tabernae, from which the word tavern originates, they were located along the network of roads, not unlike today’s Tim Hortons or Swiss Chalets located on the Trans-Canada highway. They served food and wine, and quite likely, local home brewed ale. Unfortunately, just as in today’s economy, if you lose a major client, your business may falter, when the Roman army left Britain, the Tavernae went out of business. In his article Early Inns and Alehouses in Britain, Alan Butcher writes that following the Roman occupation, the taste for strong ale was linked to the arrival of the Anglo Saxons in Britain. Eventually each community had a brew master operating, not in a private residence, but a public house, or pub. When the ale was ready for

consumption, a bush was hung above the door. Travellers would stop at the house with the bush, sure of a tankard of ale and all the latest news. In 1170 AD the latest news centred around the murder of The Archbishop of Canterbury. King Henry II had appointed his great friend Thomas Beckett as Archbishop. When Beckett refused to support the king’s challenge to the authority of the Catholic Church, it was rumoured that the king had ordered his death. Beckett was buried at Canterbury Cathedral, which is located on one of the many Roman roads leading out of London. After his death miracles were attributed to his gravesite, and pilgrimages began from across England and abroad to visit this holy site. By the time Chaucer wrote his famous Canterbury Tales, in the 13th century, inns and taverns were back in business. The trademark “hanging bush” gave way to unique signage. As the competition for the pilgrims’ patronage escalated, pubs began using distinctive logos (keep in mind most travelers were illiterate) to differentiate the brand of ale served and the quality of accommodation. Through his writing, Chaucer was instrumental in creating a marketing campaign. He describes how he

Pubs received further recognition courtesy of Samuel Pepys. In the meticulous diaries he kept from 1660 -1669, the British Parliamentarian noted, “There is nothing which has been yet contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn. He further described the pub as “the heart of England.” First published in 1825, as the British Empire expanded around the globe, Pepys’ comments were akin to a modern day product endorsement.

The pub has become more than a place to enjoy your favourite pint Modern beer commercials are all about effective marketing. Chilled bottles in the cooler, the snap as the can pops open, the distinctive ‘ahh’ after the first taste, and the camaraderie of friends in familiar surroundings. A good beer commercial builds brand loyalty by connecting your favourite brew with the perfect social environment. For centuries, especially in Britain, that perfect social environment has been your local pub.

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. 29


Soup Kitchen by DAN CLAPSON

March is sort of a strange time of year. Much like the ‘will-she-or-won’t-she’ suspense on The Bachelorette (joking, I do not actually watch that show), we never seem to know what kind of weather we’ll be experiencing throughout the month. In that vein, here are two soups that are big on flavour and can warm you up if some snow happens to be falling, or work well as a light dinner on a more fair weather day. And remember, like most soups, these taste even better the next day! Carrot, Honey and Boursin Soup Serves 4 Total cook time 50 minutes

1 yellow onion, thinly sliced 3 cloves garlic, minced 4 large carrots, halved, 1 cm sliced 5 cups (1.25 L) chicken stock 1 cup (250 mL) half and half 2/3 cup boursin cheese 2 Tbs (30 mL) liquid honey 1 Tbs (15 mL) cider vinegar 2 tsp (10 mL) smoked paprika ½ tsp grated nutmeg To taste salt and pepper Olive oil

1. Heat some olive oil in a large pot on

medium-high heat. Cook the onion and garlic in the pot until softened, about 5 minutes. 30

2. Add another drizzle of olive oil, place the chopped carrots in the pot and cook until the carrots and onion begin to caramelise, approximately 10 minutes.

3. Pour the stock and cream into the

pot. Once it comes to a simmer, reduce to medium heat and let cook for 15 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until it’s very smooth.

4. Add remaining ingredients to the

soup, stirring until the cheese has become completely incorporated. Let soup continue to simmer for another 20 minutes, uncovered.

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


Curried Tomato and Fennel Soup Serves 3-4 Total cook time 45 min 2 Tbs unsalted butter 2 tsp (10 mL) sesame oil 3 shallots, diced 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 Tbs (15 mL) Thai red curry paste 4 cups (1 L) crushed tomatoes 2 cups (500 mL) vegetable stock 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced, approx. 3 cups 1 Tbs (15 mL) sriracha 2 tsp cane sugar 1 Tbs (15 mL) soy sauce (tamari to stay gluten-free) 1 Tbs (15 mL) rice wine vinegar To taste salt and pepper

1. Heat the butter and sesame oil in a

medium pot on medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 2 minutes.

2. Next, add in the red curry paste, stir

4. Finally, add the soy sauce and rice wine vinegar just before serving for a little extra depth and brightness. Season to taste with salt and pepper and ladle it out!

until paste has incorporated well into the shallot mixture and continue to cook for 5 minutes.

3. Place the next 5 ingredients into the

pot. Once the liquid starts to simmer, reduce to low heat and let cook, uncovered for 35 minutes, stirring every so often. Dan Clapson is a freelance food writer and columnist in Calgary. When heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not writing about Canadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s amazing culinary scene, he is likely listening to 80s rock or 90s boy bands. Follow him on twitter @dansgoodside! 31


A Pint Above:

Libertine Public House by DAN CLAPSON photography by INGRID KUENZEL


A lot of pubs pour the pint, dish out the burger and fries and call it a day. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but when you can seat a few hundred people (presumably hungry and thirsty ones at that) and need to juggle a plethora of group reservations and events, there’s a lot more to consider than just serving a cold beer and hot food. Libertine, which turns 3 in June, is Stephen Avenue’s premier gastropub. That is a word that people throw around a lot these days, so what exactly does it mean? Coined in England in 1991, ‘gastropub’ stands for a pub (surprise!) that serves high-quality food. In other words, come for the food, stay for the booze. Opening around the same time as Craft Beer Market back in 2011, many other gastropubs began popping up shortly after, like Beer Revolution, National and The Pig and Duke, just to name a few, proving that the upscale pub trend had officially hit Calgary. Still to this day, it doesn’t really show any signs of slowing down. Walking through the doors of the restaurant, you’ll find the front area flooded with natural light coming from the floor-to-ceiling windows. When the snow melts and temperatures rise, they also pop open, making way to a small patio facing the bustling Avenue, a

seasonal addition that adds to their seat numbers, which is already at a whopping 400. “A lot of people don’t even realise that we have an upstairs here,” says Kelly Mandeville, Libertine’s marketing manager, on the unexpected size of the establishment. “People come into the pub several times before they even ask what’s up there! Ha, ha, ha.” Primarily used for group bookings, the upstairs is also a bright, open room with another set of floor-to-ceiling windows, polished concrete floors and an accent exposed brick wall. If you’re not sitting in one of the many booths - either upstairs or down - lit up by old kegs turned into light fixtures, the long ‘U’ shaped bar makes for a great spot. Essentially, Mandeville is in charge of making sure things run smoothly here. As important as cuisine is to any quality establishment, in spaces like this, it’s equally important to have someone

who’s able to juggle (and promote) all of the events, like cask nights and brewmaster dinners, as well as the never-ending list of big party bookings. “It’s kind of the best of both worlds, I’m able to pull from everything I enjoy doing. I like being organised, I like having fun, it’s just the best fit for me. I’m able to keep moving, stay creative, meet people and it’s interactive, and I have as much fun with it as I want to.” She continues, “Sometimes we’ll have, say, 250 upstairs and about 150 down here or 70 over there, 50 in the corner, 50 up there, 50 there...It can be a lot. You need to have people that know what they’re doing because people will be coming and going and coming and going. You have to plan the crap out of it.” Manning, er, heading up the kitchen here, is seasoned local chef, Mel LaFleur. After joining the 3 Horn restaurant group back in fall 2013, LaFleur brings with her years of experience from The Vintage Group, as well as time spent in charge of the kitchen at National 17. “I think the food scene has gotten a lot more laid back, it’s not so hoightytoighty, you know, as ‘white table linens’ like it used to be.” says Lafleur on the style of food Calgarians look to nowadays. “I think things are a lot more comfortable and easy. I mean, look down 17th Avenue, everything’s so casual, and that’s great!” 33


Especially these days when customers are increasingly interested in who’s running the kitchen and executing their food, it helps when a chef can put on a smile and engage in conversation. Luckily, Lafleur has personality in spades. “She’s so fresh. Ha, ha. She has a ton of energy, she’s positive and she’s so talented,” explains Mandeville of working with Chef Lafleur. “But, she makes good food, that really is the best part. It’s like having that one friend that you know will bring good food to your party. Then you know you’re set!”

Since coming on board, Lafleur has happily reworked the restaurant’s menu with her more home-style take on pub food, drawing inspiration from her family and comforting dishes from her home kitchen. “Being on Stephen Avenue, you do have to be a bit more meat heavy, obviously.” Lafleur admits as she smiles. “But, more fresh fish and things that I would want to cook and eat at home are things I am bringing to the menu here.” She continues, “At home, I love cooking up a lot of things that my grandma taught me how to make...I love making curry, especially vindaloo from scratch. It’s really amazing.” Out of the chef’s love of warming curries, a big bowl of rich and comforting pappardelle has found its way onto the menu. A house-made curry sauce, using her own blend of spices, coats big noodles, langoustines and tomatoes, making for a surprisingly aromatic dish that’s fitting for a rainy (or snowy) early Spring day. Also, you’ll find dishes like a big, meaty elk burger on the menu, topped with mushroom ragout and sweet fig jam or a flatbread - perfect for sharing - topped with a spicy bison salami, nicoise olives, mozzarella and more. 34

Lafleur’s elk meatballs are especially satisfying, coming out of the kitchen piping hot in an iron skillet with a sweet and salty soy-based sauce and doublesmoked bacon, finished with crumbled blue cheese for a little extra punch. Last, but not least, the confit duck clubhouse sandwich is a triple-decker piece of heaven. Tender confit duck meat is layered with crisp lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, smoked Gouda and house made red pepper jelly. You‘ll never look at a standard clubhouse the same way after having this one. Another thing that helps in a buzzing atmosphere, chock full of happy drinkers, is having a personable demeanour, and that goes for the front of house and the back of house!

On the drinks side of things, Libertine’s beer selection does pale in comparison to the tap selections of micro-giants (perhaps the most perfect oxymoron to ever be weaved into a sentence) Craft or National. Having said that, they pride themselves on traveling, researching, and offering their patrons an interesting array of microbrews throughout the year. Whether it’s a seasonal pint from local microbrewery, Village, or a few kegs from Phillips Brewing Co in Victoria, or Rogue Brewery in Portland, rest assured that the bartenders here can pour you a glass of something even a beer aficionado would be proud of sipping. When they’re not dishing out the regular menu to a packed restaurant of downtown 9-5ers over the lunch hour, the pub is also known for their signature pig roasts in the evenings. A big, bad smoker in their kitchen allows groups to enjoy a succulent, crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, hog with all the fixings for a get-together.


Elk Meatballs Serves 5

“Every Wednesday at 5 we do the free pig roast here and we pack the house with it!” says Lafleur. Mandeville continues, “A lot of people who have never had a pig roast, but are interested in doing one with us, then it is the perfect time to come down to try it out. People always ask, ‘Is there an apple in its mouth?’ or ‘Is there pineapple on it?’ Ha, ha, ha. Just come, just come down and see!” The synergy between the two women at The Libertine, a balancing act of food and service quality, and a revolving door of happenings, are what helps to keep establishments like this successful for years to come. Cheers to many more years of cold beers and good food at this great definition of a ‘gastropub’.

1 Kg ground elk 2 Tbs fresh garlic, chopped 1 Tbs fresh rosemary, chopped (stems removed) 1 Tbs fresh oregano, chopped (stems removed) 2 tsp kosher salt 2 tsp ground black pepper 2 Tbs grainy Dijon mustard 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs (or regular breadcrumbs) 1/2 cup (120 mL) heavy cream, 35%

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all

the ingredients except for the cream and breadcrumbs. Separately, combine cream and breadcrumbs, and let sit for 10 minutes, so the breadcrumbs absorb the cream. Add to the elk mixture.

2. Use your hands to gently

incorporate all the ingredients, being careful not to over-mix.

Red Pepper Jelly Makes 2 cups

A great spread for sandwiches, or paired with cheese! 6 roasted red peppers 1/2 cup (120 mL) water 3 Tbs (45 mL) red wine vinegar 1 cup white sugar 2 tsp chili flakes 1 tsp kosher salt 1/2 tsp black pepper

1. Place all ingredients into a small

350º F for 15 minutes, or brown in a pan over medium high heat for the same time.

saucepot, and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated.

4. Serve with your favourite sauce, or

2. Pulse a few times in a food

3. Form into meatballs and bake at

form into larger patties for burgers!

processor or blender until a jam-like consistency is reached. Let cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Yes, you could be the very lucky person to win this amazing experience at Libertine – and share it with 20 of your friends!

Your chance to win a special Pig Roast Dinner at Libertine - for you and 20 friends!

To win, simply go to culinairemagazine.ca and let us know what you think The Libertine pig is thinking! The short thought that Libertine like the best will win this fantastic prize! Good luck, we can’t wait to hear from you!


Whether you call it a Shepherd’s Pie or a Cottage Pie, this British staple has been around since the 1800s and refers to a meat pie with a mashed potato crust. Traditionally, Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb while Cottage Pie is made with beef, but today the terms are used interchangeably. Shepherd’s Pie can be made with leftover ingredients or fresh. It’s always a hearty dish good for cold nights, or when you’re just craving a nice, big helping of comfort food!

4. Change your sauce If you’re changing the type of meat you use, you can also change the type of sauce stirred into the meat (in my family’s recipe, we use tomato soup). For beef and lamb: try substituting 1 cup (250 mL) gravy For turkey and chicken: try substituting 1 can mushroom soup For beef and lamb: try substituting 1 can baked beans

1. Switch up the meat

Ways to Spice Up Shepherd’s Pie by LAURA LUSHINGTON

So you have a fridge full of leftovers and no inkling what to do with them. Why not try making a simple Shepherd’s Pie?

36

You can go with either the traditional lamb or beef Shepherd’s Pie, or switch it up and substitute pork, turkey, or the lean deliciousness that is ground bison!

5. Go meatless

2. Paté Chinois

Try this substitution for the filling:

Quebec has its own version of a Shepherd’s Pie called Paté Chinois. Simply begin your Shepherd’s Pie as normal but before you layer on the mashed potatoes, cover the meat with 1 large can (540 mL) of creamed corn.

1 cup carrots, chopped 1 cup celery sticks, chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1 Tbs (15 mL) oil 1–1 ½ cups cooked or canned green or brown lentils, beans or vegetarian protein 1 can tomato soup To taste salt and pepper

3. Add a Sweet Potato Topping Roast 4 medium sweet potatoes in the oven at 375º F until potatoes are tender (about one hour). Peel and then mash with ¼ cup (60 mL) cream, 1 Tbs butter, 1 tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper.

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pies are made using lentils, beans or crumbled vegetarian protein. Many also include the addition of mushrooms.

1. Sauté carrots, celery and onion in oil. 2. Add tomato soup and lentils. Cook until thickened, about 30 minutes.

3. Add salt and pepper to taste.


6. Cheese-ify Modern Shepherd’s Pie recipes can call for cheese either mixed in with the potatoes or sprinkled (generously!) on top. Try: Mashing potatoes with ¼ cup Cheddar Sprinkling Parmesan cheese on top

7. Literally, spice it up You can add a variety of spices to your base to boost the flavour of your Shepherd’s Pie. Common spices include thyme, bay leaves and rosemary, but you can add your favourites or even things that are a bit more exotic like Asian Five Spice powder or garam masala! Try: 1 tsp. thyme 2 tsp. rosemary 1 tsp. oregano

8. Add your veggies

Easy Shepherd’s Pie with Garlic Mashed Potato Top Serves 4

6 medium potatoes 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 medium onion 1 Tbs (15 mL) oil 1 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper 500g ground beef ¼ cup butter 1 can tomato soup Salt and pepper

1. Peel potatoes and place in water

immediately. Rinse, then cut into quarters and place in pot of cold water. Bring potatoes and garlic to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

2. Dice onion and then sauté in oil

for three minutes. Add ground beef and continue to sauté until thoroughly cooked. Halfway through cooking, add ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper to meat.

3. While beef is cooking, drain potatoes and mash with butter, 1 tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper.

4. After beef is cooked, stir one

Many Shepherd’s Pie recipes call for the addition of vegetables. Peas, carrots and corn are traditionally mixed in with the meat but feel free to use up whatever vegetables you have leftover in your fridge.

can of tomato soup into pan and mix thoroughly.

Try: Red, yellow and orange peppers Green beans Mushrooms

at 350º F.

5. Spread beef into casserole dish and layer mashed potatoes on top.

6. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes Laura Lushington is a recent graduate of Mount Royal University’s Bachelor of Communication – Journalism program. She’s @LauraLushington or lauralushington.com

Make your Shepherd’s Pie ahead of time and freeze for an easy weeknight meal. 37


The Style of Dining Story and photography by ALDONA BARUTOWICZ

Trying to decide which fabulous cafe or restaurant to visit is usually only half the battle, at least from a fashionistaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s perspective the other is what to wear.


Although you don’t necessarily have to be a fashionista to revel in this as well, trust me, there is no better and quicker way to enrich your dining experience than by showing up in style. ‘What should I wear?’ is a question that slips off one’s tongue much too easily. In many circumstances, going out on the town is the perfect opportunity to have fun with your choices by wearing something funky and maybe even bold. Although sticking to classics and streamlined garments is always a great option too. Of course what you end up wearing will be much dependent on where you decide to go and what the occasion might be, and what you choose to wear can sometimes also be determined and dictated by the menu and vibe of the place in question. Perhaps fitting in with the decor is your cup of tea, or you may

Dining should be an experience, so you might as well make it a stylish one. take a note from other patrons as your form of inspiration. To make your style and fashion choices a little bit easier, we decided to capture the street style of patrons at three Calgary hotspots to showcase how the current clientele are choosing to sparkle and dazzle. Dining should be an experience, so you might as well make it a stylish one.

Vendome Cafe A gem in Calgary’s Kensington neighbourhood, Vendome Cafe is the perfect place to grab brunch with your girlfriends, or to simply enjoy some quiet time with a book or magazine. With its high ceilings, fantastic wood touches, beautiful natural light, and photo portraits that you can’t help but study in detail, the casual vibe also allows for a fresh, young and funky style that can be laid back at the same time.

touch. Ankle booties are not only ontrend, but they work with pretty much anything, especially in a black or other neutral tone. Once again we see the circle scarf, which is a great winter accessory to incorporate into business casual or just casual. Botto also tops off her outfit with the addition of a bold red-orange lipstick that is stylish, trendy and always looks good, no matter where you’re heading out to - day, evening, casual, or formal.

Blink Blink is the perfect mix of modern and classic, with a menu featuring local and fresh ingredients that change as often as fashion does - with the seasons. Over the past six years the restaurant has become a welcoming, comfortable and well-known locale on Stephen Avenue, and its loyal clientele have come to expect a certain caliber of delicious

As Miranda Botto shows here, leggings, a circle scarf, ankle booties and a funky oversized jacket are the perfect choices for Vendome Cafe, among many others. During my visit I saw everything from fur hats, slouchy toques, denim, dresses, patterns and all colours of the rainbow, all worn in varying personal styles that blended well with the coziness and warmth of the cafe. Botto’s outfit was not only perfect for a Sunday afternoon at Vendome, but also full of versatile pieces that she will be able to incorporate into various outfit combinations, whether she’s coming back to Vendome or not. The dark blue tone of her jacket is also perfect for its versatility and classic 39


food. Add on an extensive wine list and fabulous dessert options, this place aims to impress. And with that ‘impression’ also comes a way to dress. Even when you walk in for lunch midweek, it becomes obvious that this is a place that attracts many business meetings and those working in the downtown core, which automatically puts a professional spin on the fashion choices. For evening, Blink is an upscale dining experience where a cocktail dress can certainly make an appearance, although many other options remain open, and are not limited to a skirt/top combo, dress pants, blazers, and of course, the favourite little black dress which never fails to impress. As for the gentlemen, you can never go wrong with a suit and tie, no matter what time of day. What’s great about Blink is that although you can dress to the nines, a more business casual option is also appropriate, which is exactly what Christina Cleveland decided to go for. She put together classic pieces in bold colours, a fantastic circle scarf and a funky pair of patterned tights to add some splash and unexpected fashion flair to her ensemble. She keeps her look streamlined with black flat boots that are versatile and perfect for skirts and dresses, and an oversized Michael Kors tote that is appropriate all year round and will never go out of style. A fitted pencil skirt, no matter what colour or tone, is always a great choice and perfect for both work and Blink.

Model Milk Model Milk’s three tiered layout always makes for a great place to enjoy one of their delicious cocktails while people watching, especially if you’re on a mission to spot trendy and stylish Calgarians. With its exposed brick, the feel of the restaurant is hip and relaxed, leaving much room for fashion choices to be explored and shown off. 40

work wonderfully at this restaurant. As a huge fan of layering, I’d recommend bringing a cardigan or blazer, not only to complete the fashion equation, but also for practical reasons in case you get chilly.

So when a restaurant declares that they are “unique...featuring a fresh, local and innovative menu,” it certainly sets the tone for unique and innovatively dressed, and that’s precisely what I was able to spot from my bar view of the entire space. It only took a few minutes to notice and meet Thomas Robert Lee with his stylish and standout moustache, perfectly coiffed hair, and streamlined, yet effortlessly casual, outfit. Gentlemen - and ladies too - a sleek pair of black pants will never steer you wrong; you can always choose to dress up or down as you wish. Ladies, this is a great and subtle way to showcase your legs, especially when you tuck your top in and add a pair of heels to elongate your legs. What’s so good about the pant choice here is that many outfit options can be formulated, as they can be worn with a t-shirt, sweater or blazer, for a combination of looks that would all

Lee chose a two-toned checkered shirt that is by nature quite casual, although by tucking it in, it makes his look a bit more formalized. A great way to expose your funky boots is to give your pants a slight roll, and Lee does just that to draw attention to his fabulous and winter-perfect shoe choice. If you’re rocking some art on your arms, roll up your sleeves too. The most impressive part about Model Milk - aside from its cuisine and sleek interior - is the fact that you can dress to impress in whatever style truly want to embrace. The little black dress. Jeans. Or a checkered top. You can find all of these here, and much, much more.

Aldona Barutowicz is the Calgary-based Street Style Huntress specializing in photography, writing, fashion and lifestyle. She is also half of Beauty by the B. Website: aldonabphotography.com, Twitter: @AldonaB


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When Life Gives You Lemons... Make Limoncello! by BJ OUDMAN

“First, book a plane ticket to Sorrento, Italy to buy lemons.” Making limoncello from scratch was destined to be costly with this advice! The teacher was Toni Hilton, an American expat who rents out not only her house at the peak of Villa San Secondo, but provides a supply of homemade limoncello in the freezer. Mysteriously, our often half-consumed bottle would be filled again with the sweet, tart, slushy lemon concoction that we grew to accept as a daily staple of Italian life. Limoncello is a liqueur made from lemon, alcohol and simple sugar. Enjoyed as an aperitif, a digestif or in a cocktail, it is sunshine in a glass - a perfect way to freshen your palate from the ports and bourbons that warm you during the long winter months. Produced since the early 1900’s in southern Italy and at that time known simply as “yellow liquor”, the name limoncello became a registered trademark only in 1988. Although imitations are made in other regions, including California, true limoncello is made only from Sorrento lemons. 42

This region of the Amalfi coast, with abundant sunshine and volcanic soils, grows plump lemons with gnarly skin and powerful fragrance - so unique that Sorrento lemons are a protected geographical indication (IGP) in Europe.

There are a few bottlings available in our market. Costiera Limoncello is produced from the peels of lemons (and double


the standard amount) sourced from a strictly controlled area of guaranteed origin on the Amalfi coast, and contains no additives or preservatives. It is clean, pure, 32% alcohol and $35 on the shelf.

Luxardo Limoncello, with a recognizable lemon on the label, is a well-known brand produced since 1905. Made with the peels, pulp and juice of southern Italian lemons, it is a tad sweeter on the palate, with 27% alcohol and priced at around $26. Mix limoncello with tonic for a refreshing cocktail and to create a perfect patio sipper less sweet than sipping the liqueur on its own. You can also try making this adult palate cleanser:

Sgroppino

1 oz frozen limoncello (will be a slushy consistency) 1 oz vodka 3 oz prosecco

In a cocktail shaker, whisk the limoncello with a splash of the prosecco. Slowly add the vodka and the remaining prosecco. Pour into a martini glass, finish with some lemon zest or mint and enjoy!

Making homemade “limoncello” is simple (and not expensive sans a quick trip to Sorrento!).

Toni Hilton’s Homemade Limoncello:

Eight to ten large organic lemons 750 mL bottle of Everclear or other 95% pure grain alcohol (in a pinch, use vodka)

1. Scrub the lemons and remove the

rinds. Be careful to not include the pith as it is very bitter. Place in a large glass jar, pour in alcohol and let sit in a dark, cool place for one to two weeks, allowing the lemon oils to be released, and then strain.

2. Make a simple syrup by combining

3 cups (750 mL) water and 3 1/2 cups of sugar in a pot; bring to a boil and let simmer for ten minutes.

3. When the syrup is cool, mix

equal parts of both liquids and let sit overnight. Strain through a coffee filter to remove impurities.

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.

by LINDA GARSON

Limoncello also makes a wonderful marinade for chicken. Here’s a very easy recipe that will fast become a favourite.

Limoncello Chicken Serves 4

¾ cup (180 mL) limoncello ¼ cup (60 mL) olive oil 1 Tbs rosemary 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1 tsp jalapeno, chopped (or substitute with chilli flakes) ½ tsp salt 1/2 Tbs honey 4 portions chicken (breasts and legs)

Combine all the ingredients together and marinade chicken breasts and drumsticks for four or five hours. Remove chicken from marinade and sauté till browned and cooked through.

Calgary’s Best Selection of Organic Fruits, Vegetables and More!

7711 Macleod Trail S. www.kfmcalgary.com

Open Thursday - Sunday Kingsland Farmers’ Market 9:00 am - 5:00 pm


From Beer Parlours to Taprooms:

story by DAVID NUTTALL photography by EMILY SHIBLEY

The Birth of Calgary Alehouses


Back in the last century - before the mid 1980s, getting beer in Calgary public houses was at best, a pedestrian experience. There were no stand-alone pubs or bars, no drinking on Sundays or holidays (without a meal), and you simply ordered “draft” in beer “parlours”.

The meagre selection of taps was whatever the bar was pouring, from Molson, Labatt or Carling O’Keefe (and rarely all three in the same location). It was served in an ALCB approved draft glass, which you knew was legit because it had ALCB embossed along the white pour line. The bottle selection came from the same three breweries, with a couple of mainstream imports sprinkled in. You could only drink in licensed restaurants, or else in beer “taverns”, nightclubs, and lounges within, or attached, to hotels. During the lead up to the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, things began to change. Pubs, bars and nightclubs were opened by any qualified applicant in any approved location. Sunday drinking was approved and, most importantly, new beers began to show up in the province. First it was a trickle, with Big Rock leading the local charge, but a few new bottled imports began to appear and a variety of draft (now spelled draught) beers in actual pint glasses became available. In the 1990s, Calgary public houses, outside a couple of notable vanguards, were reluctant to expand their beer menus which had remained largely unchanged for decades, with the exception of adding a Big Rock here, or a Wild Rose there. Eventually, as the new millennium headed towards its second decade, a new wave of beer bars began to spring up. What had begun slowly turned the corner in 2011 with the opening of the big beer bars; National, Craft and Beer Revolution. With their multiple and frequently rotating tap lines, a tenfold

increase in the variety of draught beer happened almost overnight. Their success has led to a trickledown effect; new, smaller locations are creating great beer lists and some established venues have embraced craft beer by simply revamping their beer menus. There is still a long way to go in Calgary. Even new pubs, built out in barely completed communities, with their servers in black tops and short tartan skirts, have beer lists more reminiscent of when the Social Credit party ruled the province. Here are some of the better beer places you may or may not have heard of. Some have been around for a while, while others opened only a couple of years ago, and some are brand new. The good news is, there are many more coming down the pipe. Look for more and more places to offer expanded and inspired beer lists in 2014.

The Vanguards These locations were established when there was about 1/10 the beer available in the province as there is now. They deserve praise for experimenting and developing beer lists with products no one else was willing to try. Their longevity is a testament to their vision and success. When Stuart Allen opened Bottlescrew Bill’s Pub (140, 10th Avenue SW, bottlescrewbill.com) in 1985, next to his established Buzzards Restaurant, it was the first location in Calgary to have an expansive beer list. Not much was available from local breweries, but Bottlescrew Bill’s soon had Calgary’s largest selection of imported beers. They now serve over 300 bottled beers from over 40 countries, have 26 tap lines, and tap special casks on Thursdays. They were the first to produce a Beer Passport, which allows one to “travel around the world in 80 beers”. 45


lies the Hop In Brew (213, 12 Avenue SW). Opened in 1996, owner Dick Hoppener has made it a policy to keep a good beer selection on hand. While rather small, they continually rotate taps and have a large bottled beer selection on hand.

Hop In Brew

If you want to try an unusual beer outside downtown, Limericks Traditional Public House (7304 Macleod Trail S, calgarysbestpubs.com) has been around since 1999. With two levels, two patios, 48 taps (44 craft and domestic and four Flex Taps), and 26 bottles, this is one of Calgary’s largest pubs. By using both 20 oz. pints and 12 oz. glasses, this was one of the first pubs to have line pricing for its draught.

The Established Opened in 1990, almost everyone has heard of the Ship and Anchor Pub (534, 17th Avenue SW, shipandanchor. com), known usually just as the “Ship”. One of the first pubs to ignore mainstream beers, they have 28 taps and 35 bottles. Besides being busy almost all day, every day, their patio is legendary for opening any day of the year if people are willing to sit there. Just a few of blocks away, in an old house just off Central Memorial Park,

Around the turn of the century, more imports were appearing in Alberta, but the craft beer explosion taking place in the U.S.A. was barely a “pop” heard here. However, these locations dared to try some different beers back then, and have since adapted to the new craft beer scene. Up the hill from downtown is Nixx Pub (2418 Edmonton Trail NE, nixxpub. com). It has expanded and changed owners since it first opened in 2003

Limericks

46

as Nicastro’s, but it has one of the best bottled beer selections outside downtown. During a renovation about a decade ago, they added a huge beer cooler with six-foot doors at the back of the bar. This let customers see the over 60 beers, coolers and ciders that lay therein They now have 15 taps, of which 5 are seasonal or rotational, with beers from all over the world represented.


taps and over 40 bottles still maintain a strong European bent. Have you ever been to a coffee house and found out it had a great beer selection? If you havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t, then youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never been to Kawa Espresso Bar (1011333 8 Street SW, kawacalgary.ca). Established in 2008, it looks and smells like a coffee house, but its 60 bottled beers are a different brew. The beer menu changes often with new, mostly import beers, arriving every month. Nothing mainstream here, as 650 mL bottles, 500 mL cans and a whole host of exotic beers dominate the menu.

Belgo Brasserie (501, 8 Avenue SW, belgo.ca) opened in 2006 and was one of the first restaurants with a large Belgian beer menu. The last couple of years, the beers have expanded and changed, but while it has added a few more North American beers, its 14

www.wpv.ca

When 1410 World Bier Haus (1410, 17th Ave SW, 1410bierhaus.com) opened in 2005, 17th Avenue SW was awash with bars carrying the same beers (except for the Ship). Now it and its sister location 1600 World Bier Haus (1600, 90 Ave SW, 1600bierhaus.com) carry well over

new stores, new looks.. more than you remember! www.wpv.ca

macleod trail & willow park dr se

experience great shopping, experience wil ow park vil age

100 bottled beers from 16 countries and 27 taps from nine countries. They deserve applause for letting customers


The New Wave The craft beer boom hit Calgary in 2011. Suddenly, big beer halls appeared featuring an unheard of number of taps rotating constantly through untold numbers of beers. During this period, a number of smaller venues have appeared, each with their own style, while a number of established locations began to embrace craft beer. The group that resurrected the Unicorn (one of Calgaryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first pubs, and a good beer pub in its own right) took over an old, somewhat seedy pub down the street and reopened it as The Libertine (223, 8 Ave SW, thelibertine.ca) in 2011. Its two floors and two bars have 18 taps each, most of which rotate almost know the alcohol content of the beer on the menu along with a two-page description of 16 beer styles. They offer an array of glass sizes from 250 mL to 1-litre steins to 2-litre boots. You can also try 5 oz. tasters of any draught beer for $3. Check out their newer location, Roosevelt (933, 17 Ave SW, rooseveltcalgary.com), which has Canadian and European beers on tap.

In Bridgeland, along 1st Avenue, lies the family-run La Dolce Vita Italian restaurant. A neighbourhood icon since 1978, its upstairs became a pizza bar in 2012 named LDV (916, 1st Ave. NE, ldvpizzabar.com). Done in the style of a rustic Italian pub, this cozy bar has 8 taps that go through a constant rotation and about 30 bottles on hand. While the beers tend towards the European, there is a touch of local brewery flavour. Newly opened this summer in Kensington, Midtown (302, 10 St. NW, midtownkitchen.ca) has replaced the former Greek restaurant that was there for years. With 12 fully rotational taps

Midtown

monthly, and they carry a couple of dozen bottled beers as well. Their theme is North American craft beer, and they have special cask nights and Tall Can Tuesdays, where $8 lets you try one of several 473 mL or 500 mL cans. If East Coast beer and music is more your liking, check out Below Deck, located downstairs. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll find the North Taphouse (55 Skyview Ranch Road, northtaphouse. com) way up in the northeast, in the new community of Skyview Ranch. While it only has nine taps, it does have about 200 bottles, which continually change to include seasonal and new releases. They carry beers from all over the world, in all sizes, from 275 mL to 750 mL and they also offer a Beer Passport. They just opened up a sister location in Chestermere (320 West 48

Creek Dr.), which has 12 taps and 100 bottles.

and over 40 bottles, this pub features local and North American craft beer. Here you can also try a four-beer flight for $8, and they have 650 mL bottles too. Also newly opened this summer is Local (310, 8 Ave. SW, localon8thave. com). The first in Calgary of a chain of gastro pubs run by Joey Restaurants


of Vancouver, their eight rotating taps are divided into lager, wheat, mild ale, American ale, IPA, + fruit, sugar and spice and Brettâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pick. They also have an additional 11 permanent taps rated from light to full-bodied and 11 bottles. With just a couple of exceptions, all the beers are North American.

almost weekly. Look for more to open in 2014 than in any other year. Given that Calgary is only entering its fourth year of great beer bars, while the USA is headed into its second decade of craft beer growth, we have a lot of catching up to do.

The Bottlehouse (102, 10 St. NW, bottlehouse.ca) is in a location on Memorial Drive that has changed hands almost yearly. Reopened in 2013, it kept the same name and somewhat the same theme as its predecessor. It now has 11 taps (two rotational) and over 40 bottles from all over the world. With plans to add and change beers a couple of times a year, hopefully Bottlehouse 2.0 stays around a while. The venues listed above are by no means inclusive. There are numerous other establishments all over the city that are recognizing the importance of diverse beer lists, and that number is growing

Look for more and more places to offer expanded and inspired beer lists in 2014.

If you know of a location with a great beer selection which deserves mention here, email David at dave@ culinairemagazine.ca.

4 1 . 4 0 .

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131 - 6TH AVENUE SW 403.237.9585 WWW.SWINEANDSOW.COM


Blanc & Franc

Chenin blanc and cabernet franc share relegation and exile by their more popular peers and progeny. With strongholds in the Loire Valley, chenin and franc live in the shadow of their respective sauvignons. Sauvignon blanc lays claim to the more famous Loire white wines, while chenin, known for its sweeter styles, is a casualty of drinking fashions. Then, with all the Oedipal irony befitting a king, cabernet franc is a parent (along with sauvignon blanc) of the much flashier, more sought after and prolific cabernet sauvignon.

by MATT BROWMAN

Mulderbsoch Vineyards

Despite, or perhaps because of, their unfashionable standing, wine cognoscenti love chenin & franc the way Bobby Fischer loved white and black squares. They offer intrigue and challenges to those wine drinkers with a penchant for curiosity and pursuit of the unusual. Chenin blanc is a high-acid white grape that can be stylistically compared to riesling with its ripe citrus, stone fruit and floral perfume, searing acidity, magnificent longevity, and incarnations from bone dry to lusciously sweet. And though cabernet franc is the king of red in the castle-laden Loire, the Loire is a mere smudge of lead in the ledger of world red wine sources. In its Loire incarnation, cabernet franc offers distinctly red fruited, herbaceous and spicy wines with fresh, red plum acidity, 50

medium tannin and mild earth and dill flavours. But the Loire Valley is not where their stories begin and end. Chenin found a happy home in South Africa in the 1600s where it remains the most planted variety. Known here as â&#x20AC;&#x153;Steenâ&#x20AC;?, it is used widely as bulk box-wine for an off-dry, simple style. As we can see from the great Loire appellations however, the raw material is capable of producing exciting, expressive, complex wines when handled with care from specific sites. Some excellent, yet inexpensive, exploration includes Mulderbosch ($23) and Lammershoek ($30), with Spier ($15) and Arabella ($14) for extreme value. As in South Africa, chenin blanc gained ground for the wrong reasons in the US.


Loire Valley

It is common as a workhorse blending grape from the Central Valley since it is easy to grow and makes inoffensive wine – many a box of ‘California Chablis’ is chenin heavy. In the 1980s more chenin was under vine in California than in the Loire itself. However old plantings in Clarksburg, Napa Valley and Mendocino produce some intriguing dry table styles. Beyond California, Quail’s Gate ($25) in the Okanagan Valley has gained a firm following for its combination of steely, citrus and floral aromas with a slight heft for all its dry crispness.

Wine cognoscenti love chenin & franc the way Bobby Fischer loved white and black squares

Cabernet franc tells a similar-yetdifferent tale. King of the Loire (that big fish in a small bowl), it also holds respect on Bordeaux’s right bank where it is the dominant grape in one of the world’s most famous wines, Chateau Cheval Blanc. But a single stronghold does not an empire make. An important component in almost all Bordeaux red wines, its role is more to serve its savage son. Cabernet franc ripens earlier than sauvignon, and provides a slightly higher yield of slightly larger berries. In the unstable autumn climate of Bordeaux, as well as in other more continental growing regions, this trait is an advantage. Outside of France, cabernet franc has been gaining ground in California for intriguing (albeit expensive) varietal versions, using longer hangtime and taking advantage of warmer temperatures to create more fullthrottle bottles. A classic component of Bordeaux, and by extension Meritage

(a legally protected term that refers to North American wines made using exclusively Bordeaux heritage varieties), much franc ends up as a blending component. Keenan ($75), Larkin ($75) and Palazzo ($97) are impressive wines. Perhaps the most exciting developments are in our own backyards. Ontario and BC both deliver world-class red wine quality with cabernet franc, with Tawse Laundry ($40), Poplar Grove ($45) and Hester Creek Reserve ($36) some of the top examples. Unfortunately, due to the care required and relatively small plantings, good cabernet franc rarely competes under $25. Shining chenin has seduction potential, and frankly, franc has class. Yet despite their ability to deliver high-quality wine, demand borne of fashion is too low to see significant growth of varietal chenin and franc. The mother-son sauvignons usurp them at all turns. If chenin had a champion the way sauvignon blanc has New Zealand, or if the francs we shelled out for franc were about 60% fewer, we could see a more active shift. But the way coffee drinkers may opt for tea on occasion, or romantic comedy fans approach the odd film noir, a full shift-phase is unlikely at best. Instead, they get to continue to act in supporting roles, and remain secrets of the wine adventurous. Matt Browman’s 1980s inception into the restaurant world led to certification from ISG, WSET and the Court of Master Sommeliers, with restaurant, retail, education, journalism and travel experience. 51


Wines of Washington State

Diversity In Every Glass by ADRIAN BRYKSA

Washington State has a long and storied grape-growing culture that has a Canadian connection; the first vines planted in Washington in the 1820s were planted by the Hudsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bay Company. From those early plantings, vines were planted state-wide by European settlers to the area looking to bring the important aspect of their culture to their new home.


Walla Walla Valley

Climate-wise, Washington State has everything grapes need; including up to 17 hours of sunshine during the summer as well as water in the mountain runoff that brings much-needed irrigation to the semi-desert geography east of the Cascade mountain range. Grape growers enjoy a twofold rain-shadow effect where warm, moist air coming in from the Pacific has to pass over two mountain ranges and loses much of its water with each pass. By the time air reaches the Columbia Valley, almost all of its water has dropped on the western side of the range and valleys.

In doing a search of the LiquorConnect. com website, there are over 350 wines from Washington State that are currently available in the Alberta market.

This desert environment is also inhospitable to the famous phylloxera vine louse, which means grape growers do not have to graft European vines to resistant rootstocks. This helps to protect the vines from the potentially bitter-cold winters seen in Washington State, and allows for purer varietal expression of flavour.

Notable AVA’s

Horse Heaven Hills

Columbia Valley

Established in 2005, the AVA is known for producing some of the best fruit within the larger Columbia Valley AVA. It is home to some of the finest single-vineyard expressions of noble varieties like cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah in the United States. International critics have been paying attention as well and the wines from this AVA routinely earn at, or near, perfect scores. It has excellent proximity to the Columbia River and south facing slopes, which allows for ideal ripening conditions for not just the red grapes but also white grapes like chardonnay and riesling.

In the 1960’s, commercial scale producers began to make wines that gained the attention of oenologists like Andre Tchelistcheff, whose arrival and expertise paved the way for modern winemaking practices in the state. Today, the state has over 700 wineries, which in 2012 produced over 180,000 tons of grapes representing 13 different AVA’s (American Viticultural Areas). Wine is big business in Washington State and we, as consumers in Alberta, have access to some of the best it has to offer.

Today, Washington State has over 700 wineries

Columbia Valley AVA was established in 1984 and in terms of sheer size, is by far the largest in the state. It has the unique characteristic of containing several smaller AVA’s within it such as Walla Walla Valley and Horse Heaven Hills along with several others. The area can act as catch-all for vineyards and producers who grow, buy and sell grapes within its borders to make wines of remarkable beauty and elegance. The most popular varietals grown are cabernet sauvignon, merlot, chardonnay and riesling.

Also established as an AVA in 1984, this area gained its reputation as the home of Leonetti Cellars whose star rose in the 1980s providing the winery “cult status”. The valley represents almost 100 different wineries producing reds, including cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah and to a lesser extent, cabernet franc, sangiovese, grenache, malbec and petit verdot. On the white spectrum, chardonnay leads the pack with gewürztraminer, riesling, and sauvignon blanc hot on its heels.

Varietal-wise, for whites, chardonnay and riesling reign on high and for reds, the crown goes to cabernet sauvignon, merlot and to a lesser extent syrah. While the popularity of these varietals remains high among producers and consumers alike, there have been some strides with white varietals like pinot blanc, sauvignon blanc, gewürztraminer and chenin blanc. On the red side, malbec and sangiovese show promise as growers and winemakers look to diversify and better express the terroir of their areas. 53


Climate-wise, Washington State has everything grapes need

Being a keen observer of consumers, retailers and restaurants, it appears that the wines from Washington State are at best, little known in the Alberta market. For example, a quick poll of wine drinkers at a recent wine event noted that the majority knew a white wine that was being poured, Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling, but had no idea where it was from. Clearly, we have a lot to learn about the 2nd largest American wine growing area that occupies a latitude between the French wine regions of Bordeaux, has had no bad vintages in past 10 years, and has delivered consistent quality and value, year after year.

Columbia Crest 2010 Horse Heaven Hills Merlot Columbia Crest created their line of H3 wines to celebrate the Horse Heaven Hills AVA and the unique expression of its terroir through a select group of grape varieties. Their 2010 merlot carries a bouquet of milk chocolate and spiced plum. The palate shows dark chocolate dusted cherries with a round mouthfeel and medium acidity. The plums and dark chocolate show on the finish with tannins that are soft and sweet. It is almost like a holiday dessert that is ready to drink now. $25

Columbia Crest 2011 Gewürztraminer Columbia Crest is one of the biggest players in wine from Washington State and this entry-level gewürztraminer from the Two Vines line is a perfect “pop and pour” candidate. With lots of lychee and lightly spiced tropical fruit on the nose, and clean, off-dry mineraltinged sensations on the palate, this is great as an aperitif and would make your holiday turkey/ham sing. Drink now. $15

54

Trust Cellars 2010 Syrah, Walla Walla Valley With only 393 cases made, Trust Cellars focuses on expressing terroir through their small production wines. The 2010 syrah shows a plum coloured medium body with loads of spice, dried herbs and flowers, and black berry on the nose. The palate is rewarded with elegant acidity, delicate nuance that turns dark over its long length. Cellaring will be rewarded but can be enjoyed now with a decanting period. $42

L’Ecole No. 41 2008 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon L’Ecole No. 41 has been a family business since 1983 and since 1989, in the hands of the second generation. Their 2008 Columbia Valley cabernet shows a purplish red medium-hued body with a bouquet of pencil lead, black currants, and light oak with a mineral streak. On the palate, it maintains bright acidity with red currants and well-integrated tannins. It finishes ultradry and stylistically is more Bordeaux than Napa. Drink now with decanting or cellar further for long-term enjoyment. $41

L’Ecole No. 41 2012 Columbia Valley Chenin Blanc 2012 was a superb vintage for white varietals like chenin blanc in the Columbia Valley and the winemakers at L’Ecole No. 41 took full advantage of it. Their chenin has wonderful mandarin orange and tropical fruit flavours and aromas, and carries just a hint of sweetness over its clean, vivacious finish. While it is drinking beautifully now, chenin blanc does have the ability to age, and it would be interesting to see how this wine is holding up after a couple of years in the bottle. $23

Always relevant and never compromising, Adrian is one of the voices behind yycwine.com and has freelanced for Wine Spectator, New York and Good Bottle of Wine, London, England.


Menu Gems We asked our contributors to pick a memorable dish from a Calgary pub, and they are sharing them with us here.

Local Tacos and Yam Fries, Local 510

Local 510’s Local Tacos are the perfect appetizer for me, of the chicken variety. With a spicy lime salad, guacamole and cheddar, I make it a meal by adding their crispy and delicious yam fries to the mix. It’s all made even better with a side of Garlic Aioli and a bottle of Estrella.  Aldona Barutowicz

Fish and Chips, The Ship

With fish dipped in batter, deep fried on the top, Of a large order of chips served very hot The fish moist and tender, splash of lemon and brown vinegar My favourite pub meal by a long shot Jocelyn Burgener

Shepherds Pie, James Joyce

Some of the best in my experience comes from the James Joyce on 8th Ave SW, where I am partial to the Shepherd’s Pie with a pint of Harp or Guinness. It has all the components of comfort food that will keep you warm on a cold night and provides all the fuel you need for a night on town. Adrian Bryksa

Chinatown Potstickers, Fergus & Bix

If you consider Fergus & Bix a pub, then their Chinatown Potstickers must be thought of as pub food. Advertised on the menus at both locations as “locally made”, these delicious pork dumplings are provided by Cheun May Food Products. If you are at all heat-adverse, ask for the spicy ponzu sauce on the side. Jeff Colllns

Nachos, Ceili’s

I’m a big fan of nachos with a nice pint or two. Striking the rare perfect balance of chips, cheese and toppings, Ceili’s (I’m near the Southland location) makes my perfect version of this classic pub fare. Oh, and hold the black olives. Tom Firth

Meatloaf, Oak Tree Tavern

The Oak Tree Tavern’s meatloaf is a big helping served with garlicky mashed potatoes that I can’t stop eating. The tomato bacon jam on stop of the meatloaf adds a sweet and salty punch along with a touch of freshness. Wash it all down with a pint of their signature Oak Tree Lager and it’s a good pub night, indeed. Laura Lushington

100% Chuck Burger, Briggs Kitchen & Bar (Scene) You’re in a pub. They have a fully loaded, succulently juicy burger cooked in a Jospar Charcoal Broiler Oven with perfectly hot and crispy Kennebec fries on the side. And you paid $12! You’re at Briggs Kitchen & Bar, and you’re welcome. (End Scene) Tarquin Melnyk

Nachos By The Foot, Kildare’s

Kildare’s nachos are above average and get extra points for smothering yellow and red corn tortillas chips in both cheddar and mozzarella cheeses for gooey goodness. Topped with tomatoes, green onions and jalapenos, these nachos are unique in that you order them by the foot, ranging from onefoot to the monster five-foot boat. David Nuttall

Happy Hour Pizza, 4th Spot

4th Spot is my neighbourhood’s local pub. Regulars crowd the place (and the patio on a sunny day) for daily food specials, but the best deal is the happy hour pizza. 6”, a thick crust and any two toppings for five bucks make it perfect to go with a cold pint from their rotating taps of local microbrews. BJ Oudman


Not Just Another Ale: Barley Wine

by DAVID NUTTALL

March can be a cruel month. While spring officially arrives in its third week, around here, to paraphrase the old saying, it comes in like a lion.... and often leaves like a lion. However, that just means there is still time to drink some more full-bodied, rich and warming beers. And you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get a beer more sumptuous than barley wine.

Barley wine is a specific type of strong ale which has its roots in what used to be called October Ales, which were big, flavourful beers that were barreled and aged for months-even years, to be brought out for special occasions. When the British were in conflict with the French (a large part of the previous millennium since 1066) and were unable to get French wine, this beer was brewed to an alcohol level comparable to wine to compensate for the aristocracyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inability to access Bordeaux or Burgundies. These beers were often vintage dated, can be cellared for years, and are 8%-12% ABV, similar to wine. If aged, they develop to become smoother and richer. This makes them perfect to be consumed in snifters, in smaller amounts, and served slightly warmer than regular beers. Barley wines are brewed with the same pale and caramel malts that go into

pale ales, but often have two to three times the amount of grain, sometimes have added sugar, and are boiled for an extended period of time. This helps caramelize the sugars and gives the beer its rich, deep flavour and dark amber colour. To help balance the brew, an enormous amount of hops is added. The main two styles, English and American, are differentiated by the types of hops used and by the resulting IBUs (international bittering units). The English style is maltier and ranges from 35 to 70 IBUS. The American style uses the more citrus-y native American hops giving a slightly more bitter flavour, with up to 120 IBUs. They often take as long as a year to make, and have an appearance and flavour more analogous with sherry or port than any other beer style. Because of the large grain bills and aging, they do not have the tartness of comparable


IPAs. A good barley wine will be a summation of its parts; a balance between malt, hops and alcohol which requires time to blend together. It also usually has less carbonation, with the aroma of raisins, other fruits and spices that provide a sweet taste on the palate. Because of this, barley wine is not a great food beer. Yes, it will go well with some lamb or game meat and desserts, especially chocolate, but it is not made for light fare or most main dishes. Its best pairing is cheese, with Gorgonzola, blue, and aged goat or sheep cheese being the best. Until very recently in Alberta, barley wine has often been an afterthought in the market. For years, Olde Deuteronomy from Alley Kat was the only barley wine one could find on a regular basis, but it hasn’t been made since 2011. In 2012, Big Rock came out with a very limited release of Barghest Barleywyne, but it takes over a year to make, and since there is none in the tanks now, who knows if and when it will reappear. However, almost overnight, in the last year, over 20 different barley wines have arrived in Alberta for you to try. Many come from obscure breweries, play fast and loose with the style, and, as is the norm these days, use a variety of casks for aging, or even peat smoke for the malt, creating a whole new world of barley wine.

Below is a sampling of a few barley wines now available in Alberta. All are in bottles and will age well for several years:

Cucapa Green Card English style with the flavour of plums, and very well balanced. (Mexico, 10% ABV, 650 mL) $8

Bruton Dieci Very much an English style with flavours of caramel and liquorice, and little alcohol taste. (Italy, 10% ABV, 330 mL) $8

St. Ambroise Vintage Ale Unusual in that this beer has wheat in the malt. It has a very malty flavour and tastes like plum pudding in a glass. (Quebec, 10% ABV, 341 mL) $5.50

TAP THAT CASK.

Rogue XS Old Crustacean Despite using native hops and being 105 IBUs, it doesn’t have the citrus flavour you would expect from an American barley wine. Almost cognac-like, this beer is unfiltered. (Oregon, 10.75% ABV, 750 mL) $19

Dieu Du Ciel Solstice d’Hiver This beer also has wheat malt but has added sugar, which gives it a sweet caramel flavour but with a hoppy finish. (Quebec, 10.2% ABV, 4 x 341 mL) $14

Beer Here Farligwine and Hoptilicus The Farligwine (11% ABV, 70 IBUs) is cross between English and American styles, while the Hoptilicus (9% ABV, 80 IBUs) is closer to a double IPA. Both pour with a big head, and have a more citrusy flavour due to their generous use of American hops. (Belgium, 500 mL) $8

SWINE & WINE WINE fREE PIG ROAST N $5 T 5PM! every WEDNESDAY A R YOU BOOK A PIG ROAST FO AND 20 FRIENDS!

THURSDAY, MARCH 13TH AT 4PM FEATURED IN “MY FAVOURITE RESTAURANTS” 8TH EDITION BY JOHN GILCHRIST | WWW.THELIBERTINE.CA


Photo courtesy of San Francisco Travel Association/Scott Chernis

Wayfarer:

San Francisco by ANGELIQUE PICANÇO

Home to some of the best restaurants in North America, San Francisco is rightfully coined the food mecca of the western world. Whether you’re headed there for business or pleasure, you’ll find that it’s rather impossible to not pamper yourself with the food indulgences that await you. 58


this-world chicken is still the most desired item on the menu. Wait times have been known to extend to an hour, just because everyone is ordering the roasted chicken. The crisp golden skin, tender and juicy meat is the best you’ll taste and that in itself, is worth the wait. Smitten Ice Cream is a couple of blocks away – about a 9-minute hike – and worth the digestive walk there. Their ice cream is made to order. And by “made to order” I mean they freeze flavoured cream with liquid nitrogen in front of you. Suffice to say, it’s not your typical ice cream shop. Kelvin (the machine they use to freeze your cream) makes your order in about 60 seconds (on a rare day with no wait lines). The result is nitrogen-frozen ice cream that’s creamier, smoother and more San Francisco-y, only local and When I decided to deliciously devour organic ingredients are used and that my way through California, I knew I’d makes everyone feel good. Prices are be guilty of some seriously gluttonous hefty, but better than any magic trick behaviour. Gluttony, for lack of a better I’ve seen. They’ve miraculously made ice word, means excessive indulgence. And cream before your very eyes and worth when you head to San Francisco, rest much more than any magician show in assured, the scrumptious sinning doesn’t Vegas. stop. Keeping with the low-level cardio Nestled beautifully in the bay, San momentum, Mission is a great cultureFrancisco’s cooler Northern California temperatures allow you to dress in Mission layers; many come to learn that it’s warm in the sun, but most definitely colder in the shade. Conveniently, as you make your way to your must-try restaurants and bars, layering makes the pilgrimage you are most destined to take monumentally easier, stripping layers off as you trek up and down San Francisco’s infamous hills.

Tacolicious

filled area that takes up most of your day but won’t leave you breathless (unless it’s because you’ve eaten too many tacos). Speaking of tacos, if you’re going to try one while strolling around, be sure they’re from Tacolicious. Generally, I avoid kitschy things ending in “licious” (Jerseylicious, Bootylicious and Fergilicious, I’m looking at you!) but Tacolicious is anything but tacky. In fact, it’s down right delicious. It was in the Mission that I stumbled upon a restaurant – no name in sight – with only an orange taco sign to decipher it from the rest of restaurants on the Valencia Street. I have since then gladly revised my rule if it meant having madeto-order guacamole, flaky, moist, fried rock cod tacos and shots of tequila, prickly pear, and citrus in my life. Once stuffed full of tacos and authentic Mexican Cuisine, switch things up

If your food travels bring you to the Hayes Valley, where it’s mostly flat and trendy, a pleasant restaurant called Zuni Café will surprise you. Zuni Café won the James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant in America in 2003, and in the following year its founding chef-owner, Judy Rodgers, was named Outstanding Chef in America. Her legend lives on at Zuni Café, as their mouthwatering, flavourful, out–of59


Brie cheese baked with pecans, poached cranberries, pear, and baguette toasts sounds delicious and sure to satisfy the wicked foodie in you.

Tartine Bakery Photo courtesy of Postcard PR

completely and satisfy that sweet tooth of yours with Tartine Bakery. From croissants to coconut cream tarts, they have it all. They have so much, that you’ll have trouble deciding what you’d like to try and finally decide to sample as much as your stomach can handle. If you’re feeling confident, try the double pain au chocolat, pain au jambon, and a gigantic croque monsieur. The pain au jambon is a croissant stuffed with ham and gruyere. Picture the airy, buttery taste of a fresh croissant, and now add ham, gooey cheese, and happiness to that. If you have to ask what a croque monsieur is, then that’s further proof that you must order it, for you’ll never want to eat a mediocre sandwich ever again after you’ve tasted a croque monsieur. It’s dinnertime, and you’ve spent a considerable amount of time taking in the sights (and burned a few calories no doubt). Maybe you’re craving something memorable, a unique experience, perhaps? Foreign Cinema is one of those experiences. The restaurant boasts a lovely outdoor space, equipped with vintage streaming lights, heaters, and old movies playing on a white brick wall at the back of the courtyard-like seating area. If the ambiance isn’t enough to have you swooning, the food definitely 60

will. Ideally I would have recommended the baked goat cheese with olive tapenade, lavender oil, walnuts and crostini as a starter, but taking a look at the menu, I would say that the Santa Barbara smoked salmon, little chioggia beets & Santa Cruz farm egg toast or the Brandade gratin, blended salt cod, potatoes, garlic, olive oil, Thai green chillies and house pickles are also great starter choices. Even the Warm Fermier

The Mission has some great nightlife, but if you’re in the mood for visiting another famous district, the legendary Castro District is close by and bustling with energy. Not only is people watching fabulous, but Chile Pies boasts a famed green chilli apple pie everyone should experience. It’s the kind of sweet-savoury combination that sets this apple pie aside from the rest, flaunting a flaky crust, topped with a walnut crumble, and crisp apples with just the right amount of green chilli kick. Be sure to check out the famous Castro theatre and maybe taste test the options at the Crème Brûlée Cart always stationed off Castro and Market. Don’t feel too bad about stuffing your face, you’re about to start walking up hill soon enough. Huddled in an alleyway between Union Square and the Financial District, Gitane boasts some of the most amazing dishes I’ve had to date. The decor – downright vampy – creates the perfect ambiance for what’s about to

Gitane is famous for its Bacon Bon Bons

Gitane


If the ambiance isn’t enough to have you swooning, the food definitely will.

Sweet Woodruff

happen to your mouth! Not to mention, it’s a great date spot. Available on the bar menu, Gitane is famous for it’s Bacon Bon Bons: dried prunes, stuffed with goat cheese, wrapped in bacon, and smothered in a port glaze. You don’t have to be a bacon-lover to be salivating at the mere thought of popping a few of those in your mouth. When seated in the dining area, the menu won’t list them, so be sure to ask your waitress so you don’t miss out. Gitane’s stylish interpretation of Spanish dishes will have you loving every last bite, especially with dishes like Suckling Pig Confit, pancetta wrapped rabbit loin, grilled rabbit and pork sausage, and the roasted duck breast. You can’t go wrong, unless you don’t go here.

you in the Tendernob. Aside from the great neighbourhood bars, they’ve got some real sweet spots. Sweet spots like Sweet Woodruff. At Sweet Woodruff there isn’t room for too many people to be seated, 20 to be exact. The kitchen space is bigger than the seating area and the island where the chefs prepare leaves any wanna-be chef jealous every time they visit. It’s what I love most about this place –the focus in on preparing the food and not on fancy distracting décor. Great for brunch, lunch, dinner, and dessert, their menu changes often, but everything you see at Sweet Woodruff is prepared using local fresh ingredients & prepped before your very eyes. It’s that kind of thing that makes Sweet Woodruff unlike

any place you’ve ever been to and it’s the reason you’ll have a sweet spot for it too. Moving upwards towards the apex of your voyage, picturesque Nob Hill is quant, classy, and seems like it’s on top of the world. Olea is a neighbourhood restaurant featuring organic, fresh, and almost always local produce from surrounding California farms. Olea will bring you to your latest escapade in gourmandizing in the form of French toast. The challah custard toast, tastes more like a brioche - dense, sweet, and decadent. It’s topped with cinnamon sugar, poached pear, and real maple syrup! I should warn you, the wait-time for Olea is beyond ridiculous, but it’s a

Photo courtesy of San Francisco Travel Association/Scott Chernis

Making you’re way back past the Financial District and past Union Square, you’ll begin to notice that SF hills are no joke. Say what you will about the Tenderloin but a brisk 3-5 minute slow-jog up a block and you’ve got some pleasant surprises waiting for 61


Even More Not-To-Miss Dining Hotspots North Beach

Civic Center & Hayes Valley

Park Tavern - 1652 Stockton St. parktavernsf.com

Absinthe - 98 Hayes St Cool drinks, cool ambiance absinthe.com

Embarcadero Plant - Pier 3, The Embarcadero The duck confit pizza is out of this world theplantcafe.com

Wharf Scoma’s - 47 Al Scoma Way Touristy, but always the best seafood you’ll have at the Wharf

Marina & Cow Hollow Umami Burger - 2184 Union St Best Burgers. Ever. umamiburger.com

Western Addition Fat Angel - 1740 O’Farrell St. Order the Mac n’ Cheese and the Chicken Pot Pie Fatangelsf.com

Pacific Heights & Japantown Statebird Provisions - 1529 Fillmore St Named the “Best restaurant in America” statebirdsf.com

Rich Table - 199 Gough Street You need the porcini donuts Richtablesf.com

Nob Hill, Tenderloin, Russian Hill Brenda’s French Soul food 652 Polk St. Go for brunch, always get the beignets frenchsoulfood.com Sons & Daughters - 708 Bush St For the culinary adventurous sonsanddaughterssf.com

SOMA

small place that’s insanely popular with the locals, especially on the weekend. It’s not uncommon to find hoards of people already waiting outside – boasting crowds that you’d only see outside a trendy nightclub or bar. But don’t let the 45 minute wait deter you, instead go early with a party no bigger than four, I promise the toast is worth the wait. Over and in between the hills you will find more trendy, food focused neighbourhoods like Hayes Valley, Russian Hill, North Beach, Marina & Cow Hollow, Pacific Heights, Panhandle and even way out in the Richmond. Each area is home to dozens of memorable dining experiences just waiting to be explored. As my culinary adventure continues, I invite you to get the map out and embark on your own. The journey, I’ve discovered, can be scrumptious.

Twenty Five Lusk - 25 Lusk St Super trendy new American cuisine 25lusk.com Zero Zero p 826 Folsom St Great Pasta, awesome Pizza Zerozerosf.com

Mission Flour + Water - 2401 Harrison St Hard to get a seat, but worth the wait flourandwater.com

San Francisco is rightfully coined the food mecca of the western world

Photo courtesy of San Francisco Travel Association/Can Balcioglu

Montreal native, Angelique is an award-winning Community Manager and senior Managing Editor for Cooking Channel’s “Bitchin’ Kitchen” and upcoming travel show “Bite This with Nadia G”. Twitter @angelique_p 62


THE BIG TASTE MARCH

7-16

#BIGTASTE

YYC

RISE AGAIN WITH OPEN HEARTS AND MOUTHS

REVOLUTIONEATERIES • 10 DAYS • ONE BIG APPETITE B I G TA ST E CA L G A R Y. C O M

Now Open! The Lake House, formerly The Ranche Restaurant, has moved to Lake Bonavista and has changed its name. The restaurant has not changed per se, just the location.

747 Lake Bonavista Dr. SE / lakehousecalgary.com / 403.225.3939


Fernet by TARQUIN MELNYK

Fernet is an ‘Amaro’, Italian for “bitter”. Fernet itself is a category within bitters named after a fictitious Dr. Fernet Svedse, a supposed Swedish medic first credited with championing its healthful benefits. It is also drier and more medicinal in flavour than most bitters. Bitters are made as an infusion of herbs, spices, vegetables or even fungi, in alcohol. They can be barrel-aged or not, as their dark hue comes from the addition of caramel and sugar to soften their hard edges. Bitters also come in two primary categories “Potable” and “Non-Potable”. Potable bitters can be consumed on their own, and non-potable bitters are concentrates typically added to cocktails or foods to add a note of ‘seasoning’ flavour. There are many different fernet brands that come from either the Czech Republic or Italy, companies such as Luxardo, Cinzano and Martini & Rossi all make fernet, though they are not all easily found. When people ask for “fernet”, they are by and large referring to Fernet Branca, by the Fratelli Branca Distillery, which has operated in Milan since 1845. While the exact 40 ingredient strong recipe is a tightly held secret, Fratelli Branca is the world’s biggest consumer of saffron. Its iconic logo, of the soaring eagle grappling a bottle of Fernet Branca in its talons over the globe, has been officially registered with the Italian Ministry of National Economy since November 1905. Despite its Italian roots, San Francisco is considered by some to be the second home of Fernet Branca. Fernet has been one of the service industry’s favourite end-of-shift drinks there for 64

decades, supposedly since Prohibition, when establishments served it legally as a medicinal beverage. The city has the single biggest consumption rate on earth with a quarter of all North American Fernet consumed there. Not to be outdone, in Argentina, almost 4 million cases of Fernet Branca are consumed annually. They have their own distillery in Buenos Aires, built in 1905. The only ingredients that are different in the South American version are the sugar, sugar cane distillate and their own local chamomile. Everything else comes from the same sources as the Italian distillery. Like many classic bitters, Fernet Branca started as a medicine for the treatment of cholera and it has several ingredients known to boost liver function (one more benefit of imbibing). The ingredients of Fernet Branca are independently hot steeped, like a tea, or cold steeped in alcohol. The longest infusions take up to 90 days to complete, then the many infusions are blended and aged in oak for a year. It is then lightly sweetened and brought down to 39% alcohol. The best quote on the taste of Fernet Branca came from Rachel Smith when she reviewed it for British newspaper, The Daily Telegraph. She called it… “Unapologetic”


Fernet Branca started as a medicine for the treatment of cholera

For those searching for a craft cocktail with Fernet, try a “Toronto” by David Embury, from his book The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks. 2 oz. Alberta Premium Rye 1/4 oz. Fernet Branca 1/4 oz. simple syrup (1:1 sugar/ water dilution)

Fernet Branca doesn’t care if you don’t like it. It asks you to come to its level. To get a sense of what Fernet Branca will taste like, the easiest frame of reference for many is Jagermeister, with the sugar level cut drastically. While Fernet is a potable bitter, it is fun to create cocktails with its plethora of complex flavours. In time, you may enjoy drinking Fernet in a simple shot. But until then a great introduction to fernet is a drink that delicately opens its ingredients,’”Fernet con Cola”, as the Argentinians prefer to enjoy it.

late night. It also aids digestion, so can be enjoyed before or after a meal. It has a fresh, cooling sensation, which is ideal for hot days. It is higher in alcohol and more medicinal than most bitters, which can help keep you company on a cold day. So really, it is perfect for all occasions. There isn’t a day of the year, or a time of day that I’d refuse the offer to sip or shoot some Fernet Branca. Fernet Branca isn’t the elixir that should be your first stop on an exploration of the world of aperitifs, amaro and bitters. But is a stop that you should definitely take. Cin Cin!

What’s the best time of year to get into Fernet or the best time of day to try it? It has a curative effect on hangovers, so it’s welcome in the morning after a

Tarquin Melnyk is a Bon Vivant Cocktologist, Certified Specialist of Spirits, Traveller & Adventurer. Always down to try something new, especially when he can write about it.

Tools: mixing glass, bar spoon, strainer Garnish: strip of orange peel

Combine ingredients in mixing glass. Add ice and stir until well chilled. Strain into cold glass and garnish with orange peel.


Open That Bottle by LINDA GARSON photography by INGRID KUENZEL

developed eczema on her hands that became so painful she couldn’t work with food. Her boyfriend had a job at Bouchon Bistro in Kelowna where there was an opening for a part-time hostess, so she transitioned to front of house.

Erika Tocco always wanted to work with food. “I think it’s because of my dad, being Italian,” she says. “I didn’t grow up with processed food, we never went out to restaurants, we always made everything fresh at home; everything was a ritual.” When she was ten, the family moved to Italy for a year, and on graduating from Chef School at George Brown College, Tocco returned to work as a chef in Rome for a spell. She moved to the Okanagan and to Mission Hill Winery as a cook, with her boyfriend as assistant sommelier, but in her early 20s Tocco 66

“I was hostessing, but then I got bored and they put me on the bar,” says Tocco. “The boys taught me about wine and I soon found out that I had a pretty good palate, so I started taking courses but it was more of an interest than a career.” She didn’t seriously think about going into wine for another three years. “I can really thank Mission Hill.” Tocco adds, “They really encourage growth and education, and exploration of food and wine.” She now holds her WSET Level 4 diploma, as well as Level 1 Master Sommelier. Tocco worked back of house at NK’Mip Cellars, Twisted Tree and also Cedar Creek, but she missed the international wine exposure. With family in Calgary, she headed east and in 2009 started working at BIN 905, as a server at Vin Room, and also teaching for WSET. Working her way up at Vin Room she became Assistant General Manager, then Assistant Wine Director, taking over as Wine Director in 2011.

So what bottle is Tocco saving for a special occasion? “I think every sommelier has something they’ve always wanted to try, the ultimate taste for them, and this is mine,” she says. “I’m a big fan of Italian and Spanish wines. I learnt about Vega Sicilia at school, and there’s a romantic image around the wine.” Her husband gave her the 1995 Vega Sicilia Unico three years ago as a gift, and it’s been carefully preserved. But when will she open it? “I’m going to be rude and say that I’m not going to share it with anybody but him. I really won’t.” Tocco smiles. “The longevity of this wine is remarkable. I keep looking online and tracking what the professionals are saying for when to drink it and how it’s tasting, and they’re currently saying twenty years from now. But I’m not going to wait that long, so maybe we’ll open it in a couple of years, for our 4th wedding anniversary.” I ask if she won’t open it when she has her baby, due March 7th? “No”, Tocco laughs, “I have Champagne for that!”


Culinaire #2:9 (march 2014)  

Calgary's freshest food, drinks, recipes, culinary tourism magazine

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