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Outdoor Wines | Spring Bocks | Smokin’ Cocktails


30 12 54

VOLUME 3 / ISSUE #1 MAY 2014

Features 30

Standing Out in Steak Country Celebrating Calgary’s specialty at The Trib and LeVilla, two steakhouses simply doing it well. by Diana Ng and Linda Garson



Edelweiss Village A taste of European home by Laura Lushington

44 Amarone the Giant The original New World wine style? by Matt Browman


Salutes and Shout Outs


Restaurant Design Redefining the way we dine by Andrea Fulmek

46 Island Getaway Drinking well on Vancouver Island by Treve Ring


Event Previews


Cookbook Reviews

22 Beef Carpaccio The basics, and 3 ways to dress it up by Renee Kohlman

50 The Case for Wine in May Spring picks for outdoor sipping by Tom Firth


Ask Culinaire

26 The MasterChef Canada Experience Calgary’s Tammara Behl by Dan Clapson

52 Smoky Cocktails Adding char to your drinks by Tarquin Melnyk


Step-By-Step Beef Tartare


Chefs’ Tips and Tricks!


4 Takes on Wine by the Glass Calgary’s selection has never been better by Tom Firth


6 Lilac Fest Restaurant Refuges …in flood-recovered Mission by Diana Ng


Spring Is In the Air Of all the seasons, spring gets the least love from the beer world. The four styles of bock are the exception. by David Nuttall

Open That Bottle John Robarts of Bonterra, Cibo, and Posto by Linda Garson


Wayfarer: Victoria With more restaurants per capita than any other city in Canada, we’re unlocking Victoria’s culinary secrets. by Dan Leahul


24 7 Ways To Spice Up Salmon 28 Soup Kitchen 34

Menu Gems

Front cover photography by Ingrid Kuenzel, with thanks and appreciation to Raw Bar by Duncan Ly for the carpaccio plate.


Letter From The Editor best face for you, without compromising our strength - the content that I still so appreciate hearing how much you enjoy. Thanks for your feedback! I love hearing from you, and usually start the day with a smile after reading your comments. It’s also very rewarding to hear people talking so positively about Culinaire, and we know that we’ve become a force to be reckoned with on the food and beverage scene in Calgary. So what can we look forward to in year 3? We’re two years old this month! I hope you’ve seen the improvements in the appearance of Culinaire and our Culinaire website over the last year. We’ve been trying so hard to put on our

Well, the 2014 Alberta Beverage Awards are already promising to be bigger and better than the already hugely successful inaugural competition last year! We’ll be judging Alberta’s wines, beers and spirits after Stampede, and bringing you the results of the best beverages

available in our province, in the autumn. It’s very exciting! And there’s more Culinaire ‘Elite Chef Series’ events! Our first event last month sold out quickly. It was outstanding, and we’re thrilled to let you know of our next event in May – be quick though, hot cakes have nothing on Culinaire’s dinner events! I can’t sign off without thanking all who have helped make Culinaire the amazing success it has become in Calgary – our readers, advertisers and contributors, without whom we could not exist. We’re here to support the incredible culinary scene in Calgary, and are very grateful for the support we receive in return. Be well and eat well, Linda Garson Editor-in-Chief

presents the

‘Calgary Elite Chef Series’, intimate and exclusive dinners with Calgary’s notable chefs as they prepare their last dinner.

Duncan Ly, Executive Chef Hotel Arts Group May 29, 2014 To reserve your place at this premier evening, visit culinairemagazine.ca or contact linda@culinairemagazine.ca 403-870-9802


Our first event in April for this limited availability select series, sold out very quickly, so join us on May 29th to watch and learn from hugely awarded and medal-winning Executive Chef Duncan Ly, as he prepares hors d’oeuvres followed by five courses of his absolute favourite dishes, each course paired with a premium wine. You’ll enjoy the dinner tableside with him - and go home with the recipes! Presenting Sponsor

CALGARY / FOOD & DRINK / RECIPES Editor-in-Chief/Publisher: Linda Garson linda@culinairemagazine.ca Contributing Drinks Editor: Tom Firth tom@culinairemagazine.ca Contributing Food Editor: Dan Clapson dan@culinairemagazine.ca Commercial Director Keiron Gallagher and Advertising: 403-975-7177 keirongallagher@gmail.com Digital Media: Laura Lushington laura@culinairemagazine.ca Design: Emily Vance Contributors: Matt Browman Natalie Findlay Mallory Frayn Andrea Fulmek Renee Kohlman Ingrid Kuenzel Dan Leahul Laura Lushington Tarquin Melnyk Karen Miller Diana Ng David Nuttall JP Pedhirney Treve Ring

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

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

Our Contributors < Mallory Frayn

Mallory is a food writer and blogger, living and learning in Calgary. As a culinary student turned psychology major, she helps people develop healthier relationships with food (and chocolate is always included). Her blog becauseilikechocolate.com, combines two passions; food and psychology, and is centred on cooking, baking, eating, and learning to accept food one bite at a time. When she isn’t eating or writing, Mallory can be found jogging, especially in Canmore. Follow her on Twitter @cuzilikechoclat


OPEN lunch | dinner happy hour | wine

< Renée Kohlman

Renée Kohlman is a food writer and pastry chef living in beautiful Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Sweetsugarbean.com, her blog, is a combination of her favourite things: cooking, food photography and writing, and she considers herself super fortunate to make a living doing what she loves. Renée writes restaurant reviews for The Saskatoon StarPhoenix and whips up delicious gluten-free dessert creations at Leyda’s Café. Her affection for bacon, butter, and living room dance parties is legendary.


Executive Chef Eben Brummitt & Sous Chef Stuart Leduc invite you to try KORQ’s new spring/ summer menus, carefully selected to honour the local & seasonal ingredients of Western Canada.

< Executive Chef JP Pedhirney

Chef JP Pedhirney is a Red Seal Certified Chef from SAIT. He has trained in multiple cities, including New York and Chicago. JP is currently the Executive Chef of Muse Restaurant in Kensington and Starbelly Restaurant, opening in the community of Seton, summer 2014. Chef Pedhirney is known for his outstanding creative and contemporary cuisine. His food is best experienced through his five or eight course tasting menu at Muse Restaurant, which placed 17th on Vacay’s Top 50 Restaurants in Canada in 2013.

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.


Our wines are carefully selected to pair perfectly with our seasonal food program

801 – 6th Street SW 587.352.KORQ (5677) www.KORQwinehouse.ca

Salutes … Award-Winning Alberta Cheeses

Growlers for Good

Boosting Food Bank Donations

Congrats to our Alberta winners in the inaugural Canadian Cheese Awards, Canada’s biggest cheese competition. Noble Meadows Farm took ‘Best Farmstead Cheese’ for their Plain Soft Goat Cheese, Sylvan Star’s Natural Smoked Gouda won ‘Best Smoked Cheese’, and ‘Best Feta/ Cheese In Brine’ was awarded to Crystal Springs Cheese, of Lethbridge, for their Goat Milk Feta.

Village Brewery are reintroducing growlers after a recall for a manufacturer’s defect in the glass, and giving back to the community too. “We erred on the side of caution, and now we are back with safe growlers, we wanted to say thank you for understanding, Calgary,” says co-founder Jim Button. $1 from each Growlers for Good purchase will be donated to one of three Calgary theatre groups, Swallow-A-Bicycle, Loose Moose and Green Fools/Ghost River.

To help the Food Bank, Hyatt Regency Hotel Executive Chef David Flegel has contributed a Whole Wheat Macaroni Summer Picnic Salad recipe to a unique cookbook, Catelli® Pasta Plus Five: Five-ingredient summer pasta dishes. A serving of pasta is donated to the hungry for every “share” of the cookbook on Facebook, with a goal of donating one million servings across Canada. Download free-of-charge at catelli.ca or facebook.com/catelli.

and Shout Outs … Two Great Additions to Calgary’s Dining Scene! After a major refurb, the historic Lougheed Building on 6th Avenue SW is now home to Swine & Sow Wine & Ale House. The Ale and Wine sides have different ambiences but share the same seriously good upscale comfort food menu of local pork, beef and lamb, as well as Ocean Wise seafood. This is a welcoming space for lunch and dinner, or just to relax after work with one of Swine & Sow’s cocktails, craft beers or anything from the well-priced wine list. And welcome to Goro + Gun, Calgary’s first large-scale modern noodle bar! The space that ‘West’ used to occupy in the Scotia Centre is now a bright and

Swine & Sow Wine & Ale House


Goro + Gun

bustling Japanese Noodle Bar with a full-scale sake program. The elevated Ramens are slurpishly good, and you’ll be spoiled for choice with innovative dishes like Hay Smoked Fresh Fish with crispy garlic chips, and Hot Eel with melted Brie.

Bringing Home the Bacon The Ship & Anchor have introduced two more ways to enjoy their Pig Roast! ‘Ship To You’ delivers the whole roast dinner straight to your door, while for functions and weddings, you can have a portable bar designed by Village Brewery, and two people to run it too! Can’t wait for it to arrive? One phone call to 403-245-3333 and you can order your ‘Pig Out’ – the whole feast ready and waiting for you to take home and keep hot!

New Tutti Frutti Store Calgary now boasts another Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt at Deerfoot Meadows. “Our new store has 14 frozen yogurt flavours and 60+ toppings on any given day,” says co-owner Carmen Cheng. “We rotate flavours quite often to ensure customers get to try new ones, and are conscious that more customers are facing dietary restrictions, so we offer yogurt to suit intolerances to lactose, gluten, and sugar too.” Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt


The elemenTS of a greaT brunch

Showing off our Sunny Side

A Year of Beer | Easter Eats | Wayfarer: Kelowna


Calgary’s PuB Culture an all-season affair Cheese and Beer & Beer and Cheese

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

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 $39+gst.

 R   R


educating Calgary palates since 2005

Sunday, September 21 Thursday, October 2, 2014

Last four places available for our luxury Wine and Culinary Tour of Tuscany! This all-inclusive tour is for solos, friends and couples to soak up Tuscan life on this superb vacation.

For details visit:

vineanddine.ca/luxury-wine-and-culinary-tour-of-tuscany.html or contact linda@vineanddine.ca • 403-870-8902

Visit vineanddine.ca for food and wine events in Calgary too!

May Events Calgary Academy of Chefs and Cooks President’s Ball

May 23, 6:00 pm, Hotel Arts 119 12th Ave SW, Calgary Members/guests: $100 Non-members: $110 Executive Chef Duncan Ly has created an outstanding four-course menu, plus dessert with sharing plates and an amuse bouche to start. ccfcccalgary.ca


line-up are: Marchesi de’Frescobaldi (Italy), Hamilton Russell Vineyards (South Africa), Bodega Catena Zapata (Argentina), Château d’Esclans (France), Château Rauzan–Ségla (France), Kistler Vineyards (USA) and Spottswoode Estate Vineyard (USA). winesummitlakelouise.com

different cultures at the Flavours World Stage, and watch celebrity chefs Rob Feenie, Chuck Hughes, Lynn Crawford, Vikram Vij, and Ned Bell heat up the stage in throw down competition. eat-vancouver.com

25th Annual 4th Street Lilac Festival

May 25, 10:00 am-6:00 pm 12 Ave-25 Ave Thousands of attendees come out to enjoy the unique and pedestrianfriendly 4th St venue for an array of music, over 500 vendors, entertainment and perfect people watching. 6 stages host over 30 performances. 4streetcalgary.com/Lilac-Festival Wine Summit

10th Wine Summit Lake Louise

Post Hotel & Spa, Lake Louise Room Package: $3125 {double/person} Suite Package: $3425 {double/person} May 29: Welcome Dinner and Western Party, Super Tasting May 30: Morning/afternoon tastings, dinner May 31: Morning/afternoon tastings, Gala Dinner & Dance Meet some of the world’s greatest winemakers and taste the very best from their private cellars or from the renowned hotel menu. In this year’s 8

Eat! Chef Chuck Hughes photo courtesy of Dominique Lafond

Banff Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival

Banff Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival

Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel other Banff locations May 30: 7:00-10:00 pm May 31: 2:00-5:00 pm 7:00-10:00 pm Tickets: $22-$38 The Grand Tasting Hall overflows with an impressive array of local and international wines, premium spirits, single malt and blended scotches, specialty liqueurs, and import and micro-brewed beer. Banff’s most popular restaurants tempt attendees with mini-main dishes and desserts. rockymountainwine.com/Banff

12th Annual EAT! Vancouver

BC Place Stadium 777 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver May 30: 2:00-9:00 pm May 31: 10:00 am-9:00 pm June 1: 10:00 am-5:00 pm Tickets: $17 adults, $15 seniors, $9 youth, 12 & under free EAT! Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival is the ultimate consumer food expo. Taste your way around Vancouver in the Bites area, sample food from

Fifth Annual Calgary Ukrainian Festival

Acadia Recreation 240 90 Avenue SE June 7: 11:00 am-7:00 pm Zabava dance 8 pm June 8: 11:00 am-6:00 pm 2 Day Pass: $15, youth/seniors $7.50 1 Day Pass: $10 youth/seniors $5.00 6 and under FREE Ukrainians make up Calgary’s sixth largest ethnic group, with more than 80,000 people! There’s non-stop entertainment on the stage, while you browse local vendors, artwork and pysanky (Ukrainian Easter eggs). Sample local authentic varynyky (perogies), holubchi (cabbage rolls), and kolbassa, with Ukrainian beers and vodka. calgaryukrainianfestival.ca Calgary Ukrainian Festival

Book Reviews Snacking Dead

by D.B. Walker Crown Publishing 2013 $22.95 Following close on the heels of “Fifty Shades of Chicken”, author D.B. Walker has jumped onto another bandwagon, that of crazed zombies traipsing around trying to eat you in the struggle for survival. The category for this book tells it all, “fast/easy - humour”. In this regard the book succeeds in meeting expectations. It actually tells the story of Pam, her kids and her love for Daryl, trying to survive the zombie apocalypse in the manner of fighting for or foraging for food at every turn. Each chapter

Pok Pok

by Andy Ricker Ten Speed Press 2013. $40 Thai cuisine - one of the world’s most complex foods to duplicate. Many have tried and many with mediocre results. We often think of Thai food as street food or late night eating, but it is beautiful food with explosions of flavour in every bite. Andy Ricker fell in love with Thai food and did everything he could to replicate it back home. Through trial and error he succeeded and opened


(eg. “Dead Zone” and “Eat, Prey, Love”) follows them and their need for snacks. As one might imagine there are many references to death and killing as well as utensils used; knives, arrows, skewers and pizza peels (which never run out of ammunition) for cooking or fighting! The recipes are real as are the pictures, which do depict oozing materials way beyond the proverbial ketchup. But all in all, pretty tame. No barely cooked red meat dishes with real blood. The cover is deceiving in that regard. However, despite rather silly recipe titles (“Sweetish Fleshballs” and “Post Apocalyptic Po’Boy”) the story is his version of a Thai restaurant in a small take-out shack in Portland. Ricker does not claim it is authentic, only that it is his version, with ingredients he could get his hands on. The book has instructions on every aspect of Thai cooking, with an emphasis on the food, equipment, or things that make a difference in the end result. He does so in the most helpful way with useful and interesting information on each dish. All the recipes have provenance and stories


entertaining, the recipes easy and as the author says, “the apocalypse is no picnic but you do not have to starve!” Zombies be dammed! of those who helped Ricker along the way. He teaches the fundamental skills and techniques necessary to master this cuisine. For those willing to take the extra steps, this book will aid in producing the layered, scented, complex flavour components of a great Thai dish. Even Anthony Bourdain has stated Thai food is one best left to the experts but now Ricker is considered an expert by many, and rightfully so! 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.


Street Food Festival

15 Calgary Food Trucks 15 Market Food Vendors Live Music & Entertainment Full-Open Night Market The Best of Calgary’s Street Food all at Kingsland Farmers’ Market www.kfmcalgary.com

FRIDAY MAY 30th 4:00-8:00 PM


Ask Culinaire by CHEF JP PEDHIRNEY

Is it worth doing my own butchering? Where would I start?

Answer: To me, butchering and

processing your own meat has great benefits. At the restaurant, cooks do almost all the butchery in-house when anything from pork to fish or poultry come in whole. As a chef, I recognize that there are cost savings involved, but I also want my kitchen to understand the quality of the animal they are working with, and how to utilize every part of it. Now, to do large-scale butchery at home isn’t very realistic, both for time or space, but there are a few things you can do that will help keep money in your pocket while growing as a home cook. The most important thing to know before you start involves good knives! There are two types of knives I always rely on when breaking down meat:

First, a good fillet knife is thin and flexible, which allows you to manoeuvre in and around bones to remove as much meat as possible. Second, a sturdy 10-12” chef knife will help with portioning meat and fish after the meat has been removed from the bones. Never forget that a sharp knife will help you cut through protein easier and safely. As we say in the restaurant industry, “You’re more likely to cut yourself with a dull knife than a sharp one”. Once you have your knives sorted, it’s time for you to select your protein to butcher. I suggest you start with simpler things such as deboning a whole chicken or filleting a fish. Take note of the price

You’re more likely to cut yourself with a dull knife than a sharp one


when shopping for these whole proteins because they should be around 10-20 percent cheaper than the separated and processed packaged cuts. After chopping, you can use all those left over bones to make stock, which can then be frozen and saved for later. As for techniques, I’d suggest going on the internet and checking out good ol’ YouTube for great step-by-step instruction videos on how to basically butcher everything from a whole cow to a small chicken. Butchery is a wonderful craft that really helps one understand the food we eat and where it comes from. It does take some time to learn, but remember that any left-over meat trimmings from any mistakes made as you learn, can be used in dishes like a stir fry, soup and so on!

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






Celebration Du Canard












Duck Fest May 12-June 21



Sundays, 9:30am to 1:00pm zoo






One great price. One great day.


calgaryzoo.com 11

Step By Step: The Raw Truth — Tartare story and photography by NATALIE FINDLAY

General guidelines for safe, delicious tartare success. 1. Keep your workspace clean. 2. Keep your ingredients cold. 3. Buy from a reputable butcher of

fishmonger, and let them know that you want it for a tartare.

4. Make sure to use the Legend has it that the feuding Tartare tribe did not have time to stop to cook their food so they used to keep raw meat under their saddle. After a day’s riding the meat would be minced then they would combine it with other ingredients for a quick meal.

freshest ingredients.

5. Pre-chop everything but the meat/ fish, and assemble at the last minute.

6. Chop the meat/fish just before using.

A more reliable explanation has tartare first being served in French restaurants early in the 20th century. What is now generally known as “steak tartare” was then called steak à l’Americaine. Today thankfully, we have a bit more time to cook, but why mess with a good thing; we still like it raw.


Here are three recipes for the famous dish. The first is a fairly traditional steak tartare, then a delicious Asian inspired tuna tartare and a spicy salmon tartare. The key to success with this dish is simplicity, freshness and quality of ingredients.

7. These appetizers should be eaten

immediately and not left out for guests to nibble over time.

8. Make sure your knife is very sharp. 9. Since this isn’t a very time-heavy

recipe, take the opportunity to chop your ingredients to a consistent size to make sure the texture is perfect.

Steak Tartare

Tuna Tartare

Spicy Salmon Tartare

700 g beef tenderloin 80 g grainy mustard 4 tsp (20 mL) extra virgin olive oil 1 Tbs (15 mL) Worcestershire sauce 4 tsp (20 mL) lemon juice, freshly squeezed 25 g shallots, finely chopped 20 g parsley, finely chopped 40 g capers, roughly chopped 10 g Parmesan, finely grated 3 g jalapeños, finely diced Generous pinch smoked sea salt To taste black pepper Balsamic vinegar to drizzle

700 g Ahi tuna, sushi grade 1/3 cup (80 mL) low sodium soy sauce 4 tsp (20 mL) rice wine vinegar 2 tsp (10 mL) sesame oil 2 tsp (10 mL) honey 15 g green onion, thinly sliced 5 g fresh ginger, finely grated To taste wasabi 4 tsp (20 mL) lime juice, freshly squeezed 1 avocado, cubed Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds

700 g salmon, frozen 80 g mayonnaise 10 g Sriracha hot sauce (can use your personal favourite) 2 Tbs (30 mL) lime, freshly squeezed 10 g chives, finely chopped 1 large mango, cubed To taste sea salt Sprinkle black sesame seeds

1. Wash and dry the meat. Freeze for

1. Place tuna in the freezer for

2. Add all ingredients except the meat

2. In a medium bowl add soy sauce,

Serves 4 people as an appetizer

about 20 minutes until the meat is very cold; this will make it easier to cut. and balsamic vinegar in a medium bowl. Stir to combine. Place mixture covered in the fridge until ready to use. Can be made 4 hours ahead.

3. Dice meat into small cubes. Add

meat to the other ingredients and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning to your taste.

4. Top with a selection of micro greens and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Serve cold on it’s own or on small toasts.

Serves 4 people as an appetizer

Make sure all ingredients are cold. approximately 20 minutes before cutting. This will make it easier to cube. rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, honey, green onion, ginger and wasabi, and stir to combine. Taste to make sure the flavours are balanced, and adjust according to personal taste. Can be made about 4 hours ahead.

3. Cube avocado and mix with lime

juice. Thinly slice and cube tuna. Add the tuna and avocado to the soy mixture and gently stir to combine. Taste to confirm seasoning. Can be served on it’s own or on small toasts, or in a leaf of endive.

Serves 4 people as an appetizer

1. Keep salmon frozen until the

morning that you will need it. Place in fridge to thaw.

2. In a medium bowl add the

mayonnaise, hot sauce, lime juice and stir to combine.

3. Cut the mango into small cubes.

Finely chop chives. Thinly slice and then cube salmon. Add the mango, chives and salmon to sauce mixture just before serving and stir to combine. Taste to confirm seasoning.

4. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds. Can be served on it’s own or on small toasts.

Side Note: You can also make a vegetarian tartare by combing a mixture of vegetables, cubed with a pesto or mayonnaise based sauce.

4. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Pre-chop everything but the meat/fish, and assemble at the last minute

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


Edelweiss Village: A Taste of European Home by LAURA LUSHINGTON photography by INGRID KUENZEL

It’s 9:20 a.m. on a chilly Calgary spring morning, 10 minutes before Edelweiss Village opens for the day. Traffic reports warned of longer than average commutes on main roadways, yet there are three other drivers idling their cars in the parking lot waiting for the doors to unlock. Yes, the cabbage rolls here are that good. Our patience is rewarded when we walk inside. The bakery case is brimming with fresh European pastries and cakes and the Kaffee Stube is bustling with cooks preparing sauerkraut, potato salad and the ever-popular Frikadelle, a German meat patty, for lunch. As my eyes glaze over with choices (do I go for the doughy custard-filled Berliner or indulge my inner-child and choose the fun swan-shaped cream puff?), I try to eavesdrop on the staff, using my very limited Polish vocabulary to pick up a word or two. 14

With little success, I decide to distract my sweet tooth for a moment by browsing the adjoining meat counter, as it’s here that Edelweiss Village began its journey 32 years ago as a European deli. Bought by founders Renate and Herbert Schuster in 1982, Village Mall Deli, as it was then called, was located in the northwest’s Brentwood Village Mall. Catering to Calgary’s European families, the deli imported meats and became a place where one could get a taste of home. With devoted customers, the

business quickly grew to add an attached Kaffee Stube (translation: coffee shop) featuring homemade German cuisine. In 1994, the Schuster’s daughter Marianne, and her husband Stan Kundert, took over the deli and Stube, adding a gift shop and importing housewares and goods from across Europe. In 1995, the business became Edelweiss Imports Ltd. and in 2000, their current location was built at the intersection of 19 Street and 20 Avenue NW, resembling a quintessential European chalet.

Yes, the cabbage rolls here are that good “We’re diverse and I think that’s what makes us work,” says Marianne. Edelweiss’ diversity doesn’t just apply to its food and goods (which range from napkins to decadently tall, house-made black forest cakes to packaged German soup mixes); it now also applies to the many nationalities that work there. “We have a diverse staff. We used to be just more or less German and I remember hiring my first Dutch staff member,” Marianne laughs. “That brought more Dutch clientele in and now we have staff members who are from all over Europe.” Four full-time cooks, three full-time bakers and additional staff make all Kaffe Stube’s food from scratch. They bring their own ideas and influences to

Renate’s original recipes, contributing to Edelweiss’ ability to provide a widerange of European cooking. “Everything is done by hand. The amount of potatoes they go through, the amount of potatoes they peel — we don’t bring in a pre-peeled potato. It’s a lot of work and our staff is very versatile,” says Marianne. One of the most popular specialty dishes is the Maultaschen, a traditional German dish from the region of Swabia, similar to a Polish perogy or Italian ravioli. It’s filled with meat, spinach, breadcrumbs and onions, and flavoured with herbs and spices such as marjoram and nutmeg. “We’ll have customers ask when we’re making it because we only make it every five or six weeks,” says Marianne. “So we call the customer and say, ‘today’s the day!’ or ‘you need to order it!’ because they go so fast.” To ensure the food is authentic, Edelweiss has established a relationship with a local Hutterite colony to provide fresh produce, while working with a German company to import spices as well as medicinal teas. A large part of Edelweiss’ business today deals with importing European goods and the distribution of them across Canada. Their import business started with the hard-to-find German teas and grew to everything from cuckoo clocks

to tablecloths. Even the deli’s meats come from a variety of suppliers and butchers, including some from Poland, Germany, Hungary and Austria. The Kunderts travel to Europe at least twice a year to attend food and giftware shows, and establish relationships with exporters that supply the goods their customers have come to know and depend on. “We have customers that have been long-term,” says Marianne. “We have 30-year customers.” However, Edelweiss is constantly attracting new customers, many of them new immigrants from Europe looking for a taste of home. Renate, 80, who immigrated to Canada in 1954, still works at the main till most days, relating to immigrants’ questions and concerns. It’s this personal touch, good ingredients, and attention to detail that have led Edelweiss to over three decades of success and a booming import business. Edelweiss Village is located at 1921 20 Avenue NW, Calgary 403-282-6600 edelweissimports.com

Laura Lushington is Culinaire Magazine’s digital media editor. She is a graduate of Mount Royal University’s Journalism program. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @LauraLushington


Chefs' Tips Tricks! story and photography by MALLORY FRAYN

Fundamentally, a burger has three basic components; the patty, the bun, and of course â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the toppings. However, a flaw in any one of these can have a devastating impact on the food on your plate and eventually, in your mouth. If you have ever been let down by a dry, overcooked patty, limp lettuce, or an unacceptable bun-to-burger ratio, you know exactly what I am talking about.

Buchananâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bacon Cheeseburger

The perfect burger can be an elusive thing to come by; simplicity is often difficult to achieve and the humble burger is no exception

We’ve talked to 3 Calgary chefs to get their take on what makes the perfect burger. Here are some tips to ensure that we all do justice to the burger, and our taste buds.

Buchanan’s Chop House — Harry Leong If there is anyone to trust for secrets of the perfect burger, it’s Buchanan’s. For over 25 years theirs has been one of the top burgers in the city, and it is still the best-selling item on their menu. As sous chef Harry Leong puts it, “Get the base down right and you will never have to change a thing.” Having been voted the best burger in Calgary for their 100% sirloin patty and having defended that title for years, clearly they are doing something right. Charbroiled and topped with bacon and cheese, it is everything you would expect from the all-American, or should we say, “all-Canadian” classic. At Buchanan’s it truly starts with the perfect patty. Originally all the meat for their burgers was ground in-house daily, but as demand grew, they realized that it was necessary to outsource, rather than spending the entire day grinding up beef. Their coarsely ground sirloin was developed specifically for Buchanan’s and there are key points to its success.

If you start with the perfect meat, you will have a perfect burger

First of all, the coarser grind allows the meat to retain its moisture better than more finely ground products. This leads to a leaner patty than your typical 80:20 ratio; at Buchanan’s their sirloin burger is about 85:15 instead. That being said, the sirloin still has enough marbling to stay juicy and flavourful. “If you start with the perfect meat, you will have a perfect burger,” says James Buchanan, son of owners Carol and Mike. Chef Leong stresses the importance of the right cooking temperature; too low and the burger will steam, eliminating any hopes of a caramelized exterior that not only adds flavour but also ensures that the juices stay right where they belong, inside the burger. When it comes to toppings, there is nothing fancy about Buchanan’s. Leong noted that many places try to elevate their burgers by adding upscale toppings like foie gras, but in many cases, “it is like putting lipstick on a pig” if you do not have a quality patty to begin with. Cheddar cheese – medium, not aged – and crisp bacon are all that is added to their deluxe burger. Judging by the number of burgers I noticed at all of the surrounding tables when I was at Buchanan’s, they are all that is needed. “We are not reinventing the wheel,” says Leong, “We are just making it better.” Mike and Carol Buchanan

John Jackson & Connie DeSousa

Charcut Burger

Charcut — John Jackson & Connie DeSousa Long before the existence of the Alley Burger food truck, people were lining up in the alley behind Charcut at all hours of the night, just to get their hands on one of the best burgers in town. It is different than your traditional beef burger, made entirely with freshly ground pork shoulder, and no one knows pork better than chefs Connie DeSousa and John Jackson. “Chef Connie DeSousa and I feel using the best quality products to begin with and the right amount of fat to lean meat is also key in creating the perfect burger. I stick with 80% lean to 20% fat for best results in juiciness and flavour.” says Jackson. Not to mention that they have perfected the art of making a stellar burger bun to go along with it. “We love brioche at Charcut for our burger buns, but there are other soft bun recipes that are just as nice. Recently we had an amazing bun experience at our friends’ place, P&L Burger in Toronto. It seemed to be a cross between brioche and a soft, white dinner roll in consistency. It was delicious! A good amount of fat and the quality of flour is very important in making the perfect bun.” 17

At Charcut this means utilizing bread flour, which is higher in gluten than typical all-purpose flour and lends to the bun’s structure. Of course the healthy amount of butter in their brioche recipe does not hurt either. What other key points should you remember when creating the perfect bun for the perfect burger? Chef Jackson is adamant on baking them fresh, as the longer they sit, the less quality they become. If you have ever baked fresh bread at home, you can relate to this. Even bread baked first thing in the morning is dry as a sand dune by dinnertime. At Charcut they bake two batches over the course of a single dinner service always, “maintaining perfection.” And don’t forget – ALWAYS butter and grill your bun before serving. In the words of the folks at Charcut, this is a “critical” step! No one wants a cold, stale bun to ruin a pink, juicy burger. A good amount of fat and the quality of flour is very important in making the perfect bun

Braizen Food Truck — Steve Glavicich At Braizen you can get everything from braised lamb shank to chipotle pork tacos, but chef/owner Steve Glavicich also knows a thing or two about the perfect burger. Having worked in restaurants, hotels and as a caterer, he is well versed in feeding people elevated versions of the comfort food classics they know and love.

Steve Glavicich

Braizen Hypocrite Burger

“So many elements are essential in achieving burger nirvana,” says Glavicich. The bun has to be soft enough to soak up the goodness of the burger juices, but it also requires enough structure to hold its shape. Most can attest to the fact that there is, “nothing worse than a bun doing the splits on you mid-bite and depositing its fillings all over your lap.” Whether your patty is made of Alberta beef or stronger flavoured game meat, it is crucial not to mess with it once it is on the fire. “Be it an open flame or in a pan, avoid pressing down on the burger as it doesn’t cook any faster, it just squeezes out all of the succulent juices,” says Glavicich. A burger is not a burger without a great sauce to punch up the flavours of all of the other ingredients. Mustard-based condiments bring a nice tang and a little clear-out-your-sinuses heat too. Cooked toppings are also a good option, such as Chef Glavicich’s bacon jam with sundried tomatoes and local

Charcut and Braizen recipes are on the Culinaire website! Go to culinairemagazine.ca for Charcut’s perfect Brioche Buns and for Braizen’s Sundried Tomato Bacon Jam and Hypocrite Burger recipes. 18

camelina oil. Smoky and sweet, it adds just the right amount of caramelization to complement a grilled or seared patty. Also, plenty of melty cheese adds even more flavour and serves a functional purpose; helping to bind everything together. Along with the rest of the culinary world, Glavicich is on a fried egg kick, “putting them on everything I can get away with!” he says. We won’t judge. The way the runny yolk forms its own sauce with the burger juices and other toppings, it is no wonder why many a burger is crowned with the magnificent egg. Glavicich believes that, “No matter what your tastes, be you a vegan or an omnivore, there is a burger out there for everyone. All it takes is creativity, experimentation and a serious appetite!” There is no arguing with that.

Avoid pressing down on the burger as it doesn’t cook any faster, it just squeezes out all of the succulent juices

Mallory is a food writer and blogger living and learning in Calgary, Alberta. Check out her blog becauseilikechocolate.com and follow her on Twitter @cuzilikechoclat

Restaurant Interior Design: Redefining The Way We Dine by ANDREA FULMEK

Whether you dine out twice a week or twice a year, most of us dine out for the whole experience—good food, good company—but what about the elements surrounding your table? There is no denying that good food is good food regardless of where you eat it, but there’s a fine line between dining out and eating out—and that line becomes far more distinct with the help of interior design. Market 19

Diane Cassidy


I may be indecisive by nature, but a new restaurant in Calgary opening every six to eight weeks certainly doesn’t make my dining decision-making any easier. With hundreds of restaurants to choose from, it’s the little things about a restaurant, aside from the menu, of course, that ultimately keep me coming back for more. “I always say that people will often notice bad design, but good design is seamless. In the restaurant industry the experience starts when you walk up to the front door and should be something special until you leave,” points out Diane Cassidy, interior designer for McKinley Burkart. “When the food, the drinks, the staff, the furniture, the artwork, the

There’s a fine line between dining out and eating out branding all work together I think it’s magical. The menu says a lot about a restaurant, in essence it is the concept. A space that doesn’t reflect the mood and message of the food might create a disconnect, and ultimately a mediocre dining experience. According to another top-notch Calgarian designer, Sarah Ward - who’s worked on past spaces such as Candela and Wurst - it’s the little things that often shape a dining experience. From napkins, to plates, to the type of music played, Ward believes that every single detail in a space creates a message that the restaurant is trying to portray. 20

“Its more than just paint colour and fabrics,” Ward explains. “I need to understand what kind of food will be served, how the food will be served, what the utensils look like, what the servers wear—all of these things are things that you may not think about as impacting the interior design, but they all speak to this overall branding message that interior design encapsulates.” As important as it is for designers like Cassidy and Ward to focus on these finer details and ultimately create this “branding message,” at the end of the Sarah Ward

day, it is the goal of the restaurant to keep people coming back for more. Whether we are drawn to the artwork, or the lights or how comfy the chairs are, there is no denying that sometimes we simply just like a restaurant without necessarily liking a particular detail or feature. Sure, a comfy chair may keep us coming back, but it’s when all of the details come together, a moment that Ward defines as “magic”, that the effect or intention of the restaurant no longer needs to be told and is felt instead. “I think people assume that interior design should be noticed first, but a lot of times, we don’t want that,” says Ward. “Sometimes when the food is great, the ambiance is great, the right music is playing, the staff are really well-educated and friendly, the room just kind of supports all of that and that’s when there is magic.” So, while we may not be able to put our finger on it, it’s these unidentifiable elements

Restaurants are exciting spaces, vibrant with social energy and sense of community



that ultimately leave us with a good impression. With interior design having such a dramatic impact on what we feel and remember about a restaurant, it should come as no surprise to find that an increasing number of restaurant owners now see interior design as an essential component that cannot be overlooked. Calgary’s exploding restaurant industry is transforming everything we know Candela

about dining out, and with the bar being raised every time a new restaurant is opened, restaurant owners cannot afford to skimp when it comes to design. “As a native Calgarian (and food lover) being a part of this growing scene is very exciting.” says Cassidy who led the design on Market last year and is now putting the finishing touches on the Mercato Group’s new restaurant, Bocce Pizzeria and Bar in Mission. “I enjoy that this momentum and awareness brings with it an appreciation for restaurant design and our ability to create multifaceted spaces. Restaurants are exciting spaces, vibrant with social energy and sense of community, it’s my ideal project and clientele.” While a restaurant’s menu may be exceptional, the components of design are what help separate one Italian restaurant from another, and owners are quickly learning that while they are competing with quantity in the city, they are more importantly competing with quality. Translation? Your chicken cacciatore better be a heck of a lot better than cacciatore down the street, and did we mention that your restaurant better be pretty, different and cool too?

Every single detail in a space creates a message Ward, who knows all about pretty, different and cool, can hardly contain her excitement about new projects that she is working on throughout the city, more specifically Michael Noble’s new establishment, The Nash and Off-Cut Bar in Inglewood. Though many details of these projects are currently confidential, Ward explains that she is looking forward to a move away from the overwhelming industrial fad (barn wood, steel, Edison lights) and a move towards sleeker, modernlooking spaces. “We have seen so much of this rustic, industrial trend that’s it has lost its meaning,” Ward explains. “As a designer, we try to avoid being trendy. You never want to say ‘oh, that looks like it was designed in 2008.’ You want to be able to speak to a concept instead.” With this refreshing perspective in mind and a new understanding of the elements that make your dining experience so grand, try asking yourself what it is that you love about a restaurant next time you dine out. Whether you happen to notice the type of plate you are eating off of or the unconventional décor in the restaurant itself, there is no doubt that a heightened awareness of interior design will take your dining experience to a whole new level. Cassidy finishes off by saying, “To design for the public is an exciting and rewarding challenge. The best part is to then see a space come to life by the people who inhabit it, enjoying great food and beverage along the way.”

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.


Beef Carpaccio: The Basics And 3 Ways To Dress It Up story and photography by RENEE KOHLMAN

Beef carpaccio is on many upscale dining menus, and while you may be intimidated to try making it at home, I’m here to tell you it’s quite easy. All you need are fresh, top quality ingredients and a very sharp knife. Go ahead, splurge a little to get the best beef tenderloin you can afford, it really does make all the difference. It may be tempting to take out the day’s frustrations while pounding the meat into paper-thin slices, but a gentle touch goes a long way. The beauty of this dish really does lie in its simplicity, letting each and every flavour and texture shine through. So, serve this at your next summer dinner party and really impress those foodie friends of yours! Each recipe serves 6, and best if eaten immediately.

The Tenderloin 1 tsp mustard seeds 1½ tsp whole black peppercorns 1 tsp fennel seeds 1 tsp coarse salt 550 g grass fed beef tenderloin, trimmed of fat and gristle 1 Tbs (15 mL) olive oil

1. In a spice grinder or mortar and

pestle, process the spices and salt until medium coarsely crushed. Coat all sides of tenderloin with this mixture.

2. Heat a skillet until very hot. Add

olive oil and wait 30 seconds before putting in beef. Sear all sides - about 40 seconds each side. Remove from heat.

Beef Carpaccio with Arugula and Parmesan 3. Put on a plate and place in fridge

until completely cold. Wrap tightly in plastic and freeze for about 2½ hours. With a very sharp knife, mandolin or meat slicer, thinly slice the tenderloin.

4. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on

cutting board. Arrange a few slices of beef on plastic. Top with another sheet of plastic and using a meat mallet, pound the meat until doubled in size or very thin. Remove top sheet of plastic, invert the meat onto plates and remove remaining plastic very carefully.

The beauty of this dish really does lie in its simplicity 22

Beef Carpaccio with Arugula and Parmesan

This is the classic recipe for beef carpaccio. Once beef is sliced, it comes together in mere minutes. Peppery arugula gives a nice bite, while fruity olive oil and salty cheese balance out the flavours. Be sure to give each plate a lemon wedge so guests can squeeze fresh juice over their carpaccio. Then watch them smack their lips. 1 piece beef tenderloin (from above) 6 cups arugula 85 g Parmesan, shaved with a vegetable peeler Extra virgin olive oil Lemon wedges Sea salt Cracked pepper

Garnish each plate of beef attractively with arugula, Parmesan shavings, drizzles of good olive oil, squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper.

Beef Carpaccio with Ponzu Sauce and Radishes

Beef Carpaccio with Pickled Shallots and Asparagus

Reminiscent of Japanese beef tataki, this version of beef carpaccio is one of my favourite ways to eat it. The slightly sweet/salty Ponzu sauce is a fabulous accompaniment, and a little wasabi on the side would not be out of order - it could be miraculous. Be sure to take advantage of all those lovely spring radishes in the market now - they add great texture. Pea shoots are the prettiest garnish - don’t be shy when using them. 6 large radishes, very thinly sliced 4 green onions, thinly sliced on bias Handful of baby pea shoot or other shoots sesame oil

Ponzu Sauce

½ cup (120 mL) fresh lime juice ½ cup (120 mL) soy sauce 2 Tbs (30 mL) rice vinegar 2 Tbs (30 mL) mirin or sherry 2 Tbs coconut sugar or brown sugar Pinch red chilli flakes

1. Shake up ingredients in a jar. Let stand at least one hour for flavours to marry.

Beef Carpaccio with Pickled Shallots and Asparagus

2. Arrange thin slices of beef on

Asparagus season is my favourite season, and wouldn’t you know beef carpaccio loves it too. This is a fun dish to eat. The asparagus, just kissed with a little heat plays very nicely with the slightly pickled shallots and sweet cherry tomatoes. Pistachios and parsley round out this very pretty plate.

plates, and attractively garnish with thin slices of radish, green onions and pea shoots. Drizzle a few drops of sesame oil over beef.

3. Pour ponzu sauce into individual dishes and serve with carpaccio.

Beef Carpaccio with Ponzu Sauce and Radishes

2 large shallots 4 Tbs (60 mL) apple cider vinegar 6 asparagus spears, very thinly sliced Handful cherry tomatoes, cut in half ½ cup flat leaf parsley leaves ½ cup pistachios, coarsely chopped Cold-pressed canola, camelina or extra virgin olive oil Sea salt and cracked pepper

1. In a medium skillet over high heat,

heat 2 Tbs oil. Add sliced asparagus and a pinch of sea salt. Cook until just warm. Remove from heat.

2. Arrange beef slices on plates and

top with warm asparagus, cherry tomato halves, parsley, pickled shallots and pistachios. Drizzle a little vinegar over each plate, along with a good drizzle of oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Renée Kohlman is a food writer and pastry chef living in beautiful Saskatoon. She writes restaurant reviews for The Saskatoon StarPhoenix and whips up delicious gluten-free dessert creations at Leyda’s Café. Check out her blog sweetsugarbean.ca



Salmon, also known as the king of fish, is a nutritional superstar. Packed full of omega-3 fatty acids, salmon can make your heart healthy and your stomach happy. It’s time to err on the lighter side when it comes to dinner this month. I mean swimsuit season is only a month or two away, right? The key to serving great salmon happens before you even bring it home. At the grocery store or fish market always choose wild salmon, says Kyle Groves, executive chef at Catch Restaurant and Oyster Bar. It’s crucial to buy wild for an upgrade in both taste and nutritional

value, but also because of ethics, sustainability and environmentalism. If wild salmon isn’t in your budget, the next best choice is to pick salmon that’s rated “buy” by a program like SeaChoice or OceanWise.

1. Salmon is a sturdy fish that can

take on strong flavours, adds Groves. Marinate it in a teriyaki sauce; oil, lemon juice and your choice of herbs; or try using honey, maple syrup, soy sauce, mustard or yogurt. Leaving the salmon in the marinade for at least an hour will ensure the best flavour and remove any “fishy-ness”: Kick the marinade up a notch by trying this... The juice of one lemon, ¼ cup (60 mL) olive oil, 1 tsp dried basil, ¼ cup (60 mL) maple syrup, 2 Tbs (30 mL) soy sauce, 1 clove garlic (minced), salt and pepper

2. Savoury salmon muffins! Use any

basic muffin recipe for the batter and change the spices and mix-ins by adding chopped chives or dill and smoked salmon. Trust me, these are delicious!

3. For a simple switch, change

your favourite burger recipe by using salmon instead of beef, pork or chicken!

4. Wrap salmon in bacon or prosciutto. Before baking, wrap salmon in bacon and then turn to broil for one minute when salmon is cooked to crisp the bacon. Or, if grilling salmon, wrap in prosciutto for a delicious smoky flavour. 24

5. Salmon’s versatility is proven with the variety of cooking methods to prepare it. From baking, grilling and poaching to skewering it on the barbecue, this fish can take the heat. Heck, it’s even been cooked in the dishwasher! For the adventurous, try making Gravlax — the Scandinavian version of raw, cured salmon.

6. Move beyond just putting smoked salmon on your bagel in the morning and make salmon a staple in your breakfast. Add smoked salmon (also called lox) to frittatas, omelettes, scrambled eggs, savoury muffins and eggs benedict (there’s a hollandaise recipe on the right!)

Try adding chopped chives, chopped onion and thinly sliced smoked salmon to scrambled eggs, or making an omelette with chopped spinach, smoked salmon and cheddar cheese.

May is the start of the asparagus season! Try this tasty recipe from Kyle Groves, executive chef Catch Restaurant and Oyster Bar.

Poached Salmon with Spring Asparagus and Hollandaise Serves 4

3 egg yolks 1 Tbs (15mL) lemon juice 1 tsp (5mL) Dijon mustard pinch of salt 1/2 cup (125 mL) hot melted butter

1. Poach salmon fillets in court bouillon

1. Place the first 4 ingredients in the

2. Carefully remove the salmon from the court bouillon and place on top of lightly grilled asparagus.

3. Drizzle fresh hollandaise sauce over sweet go hand-in-hand. Pair it with grilled peaches, a fruit salsa or a mixedberry glaze. Mixed Berry Glaze

1 ½ cups mixed berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries) ½ cup (120 mL) balsamic vinegar or red wine 1 Tbs sugar, if needed

Simmer all but ¼ cup of berries and liquid together over medium-heat until glaze thickens. Taste. Add up to 1 Tbs sugar, if needed. Pour over salmon.

Hollandaise sauce:

150 g fresh wild pacific salmon fillets 450 g fresh spring asparagus Hollandaise sauce (recipe below) Court bouillon (recipe below)

for 6-8 minutes, until you see white dots forming on the fish.

7. Add fruit. Salmon and something

Always choose wild salmon

the fish and asparagus. Court Bouillon:

4 L water 1 bunch of parsley stems 4 lemons halved and squeezed into the water 2 shallots, finely sliced 1 garlic clove 1 Tbs fennel seeds 1 carrot, peeled and chopped 2 celery stalks, washed and chopped

Bring all ingredients to a simmer in a non-reactive pot for 30-45 minutes. Strain and discard solids. Heat liquid up to a simmer again when ready to poach the fish.

blender and blend for a few seconds.

2. With blender running, slowly add

hot melted butter. Taste and season the sauce if needed. Hold the sauce in a warm place if you are not using it right away Asparagus: 1. Trim the asparagus about 1 cm up from the bottom.

2. Peel the asparagus from the top

down starting about 5 cm from the top of the spear (use a vegetable peeler).

3. In boiling salted water, blanch the

asparagus for 30 seconds and then remove it from the water into an ice bath. Remove from the ice water and pat dry, drizzle with oil and lemon juice.

4. Place asparagus on a hot grill for about 30 seconds-1 minute then remove onto a plate.


A Samosa-Maker To Be Reckoned With:

Tammara Behl And Her Masterchef Canada Experience story by DAN CLAPSON photography by INGRID KUENZEL and courtesy MASTERCHEF CANADA

Watching home cooks compete in stressful culinary situations like the ones you see on MasterChef Canada makes me question if American Idol is even that hard to win. I mean, of course you have to sing and the general public need to adore you, but youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re definitely not sweating bullets, accidentally cutting your fingers and trying to finish a plate of food with a camera in your face and judges staring at you or, occasionally, spitting out your food. Few cooks can handle that pressure, but one of those few is Calgaryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Tammara Behl.


Originally from Edmonton, Behl moved to Calgary with her husband seven years ago to further her career as a teacher. She now balances work and taking care of her two young girls. Chatting with the busy woman, you immediately get the impression that she is both vibrant and full of energy, but also businessminded. Qualities that a television camera loves, and a competitor any television series needs.

“Food is emotion, food is memories”

Although she spends her days teaching and chasing after her girls, Behl has always loved the culinary arts. In her childhood, the young Tammara was always stirring and baking treats in her oven. Even if it was a small, plastic one. “I started cooking when I was 3 years old in my easy bake oven!” She recalls. “Cooking - food in general - has always been an integral part of my life. Food is emotion, food is memories. I love giving these feelings to people through what I cook!” Behl was part of a small crop of Calgary area folks in the Top 50 of the cooking

competition when it premiered in January. After several large cuts, the group was whittled down to 16, where Behl remained as our city’s sole finalist. Needless to say, leaving her young family and her life behind while she filmed MasterChef Canada for six weeks last fall, was not easy. “It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Being away from friends and family in a competition setting was very difficult!” says Behl. “But, everyday I was gone from them made me want to work even harder to win. Not knowing who to trust [on the show] while missing my family, but trying to stay driven and focused was one of the biggest hurdles I faced.” Approaching 40 years old, the home cook is happy to admit that she was the oldest female finalist, but attributes her age and life experience to her ability to handle pressure and, most importantly, multi-task. “I think when you’re a mother of two, you’re always doing something. Watching one child, stirring a pot of tomato sauce, chopping an onion with some magical third hand!” jokes Behl as she explains her ability to juggle. “Watching some of my younger competitors on the show, they were running around with their heads cut off. If you’d watch us ‘older’ ones, you saw we were much more focused.” This focus would take Behl far. From the beginning, she was a front-runner, winning multiple team challenges, and cooking solo in one of the many ‘pressure cooker’ situations. Her plates elevated as the competition progressed, but it was her homemade samosas that got her on this national stage in the first place. “One of my best friends growing up was East Indian and I would always be over at her house trying all kinds of cuisine,” says Behl as she fills samosas in her kitchen. “Her family loved me because I would eat all kinds of spicy foods, but

Behl’s Homemade Teriyaki Sauce Behl says, “Be creative! If you like it spicy add some chillies. If you don’t have pineapple juice, no problem use orange! Use this recipe as a guide and make it your own.” 1/2 cup (120 mL) soy sauce 1/4 cup (60 mL) pineapple juice 2 Tbs (30 mL) sweet rice wine vinegar or Chinese cooking wine 1 Tbs plus 2 tsp brown sugar 1/4 cup (60 mL) honey 1½ tsp minced garlic 1½ tsp minced ginger

Place all ingredients in a saucepan; turn to medium heat and let cook until sugar and honey are dissolved, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer for suitable container and let chill in the refrigerator. To make into a glaze, mix 1/2 Tbs cornstarch with 1 Tbs water. Follow above sauce recipe, cook on mediumhigh heat and add cornstarch mixture. Simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes. my favourite thing to eat was always samosas!” Though the self-proclaimed ‘Samosa Queen’ did not end up winning the show, she was a fan favourite and fought her way to a respectable fourth place. As is the case with any kind of competition series on television, it’s not so much whether you win or lose (although she does agree that an extra $100,000 would have been nice); it’s all about what you do with the national exposure. “Life after MasterChef Canada so far has been a great experience. I have been able to get out of my house and into peoples kitchens. Do some catering work, some cooking schools, and even some professional kitchens as well. I have been cooking up a storm and there is no stopping me now!” 27

Soup Kitchen by DAN CLAPSON

Even though it’s mid-way through spring, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that we’ll see another snowfall - or god forbid two of them - before the end of this month. What does that mean? To me, it’s that a warm, comforting bowl of soup is always welcome on my dinner table. While this issue of Culinaire is undoubtedly all about meat, I can’t help but acknowledge the asparagus season on the horizon. Consider the rich, creamy soup as a bowl variation of a classic prosciutto-wrapped asparagus side dish you’re likely all familiar with.

The beef and onion soup is equally as enticing, but be sure to make a point of searching out the preserved lemons (find them at a Mediterranean market like Kalamata Grocery on 15th Ave and 11th St SW). Their bright, briney presence makes all the difference.

Red Wine, Onion and Beef Soup with Preserved Lemons Serves 3-4 Total cook time 2 ½ hours 1 Tbs (15 mL) canola oil 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced 1 red onion, thinly sliced 1 Tbs unsalted butter 450 g stewing beef, cubed 1 cup (240 mL) red wine 2 cups (480 mL) water 5 cups (1.25 L) beef stock 2 tsp dried rosemary 1 tsp dried oregano 1 preserved lemon, halved, thinly sliced 1 Tbs (15 mL) balsamic vinegar To taste salt and pepper

1. Heat the canola oil in a large pot

on medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions to the pot and cook until they are softened and are starting to turn golden, approximately 10 minutes, stirring intermittently.


2. Next, add butter to the pot, stirring to incorporate, reduce to medium heat and let cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Now, add water, cubed beef and red

wine and let mixture simmer until liquid has reduced by half, about 10 minutes.

4. Add stock and dried herbs to the

pot. Once the soup comes to a boil, reduce to low heat, cover and let simmer for 2 hours, skimming the top of the soup occasionally and discarding any excess grease.

5. After 2 hours, check and see if the beef is tender, the meat should pull apart easily when pressed with a fork.

6. Before serving, stir in thinly sliced

preserved lemon and balsamic vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve. Tastes even better when reheated the next day!

Cream of Asparagus, Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Soup Serves 4 Total cook time 45 minutes

3. Remove onion, garlic and bay leaf

1½ Tbs unsalted butter 1½ Tbs all-purpose flour 4 cups (1 L) homogenized milk 3 cups (750 mL) chicken stock 1 yellow onion, halved 3 garlic cloves, halved 1 bay leaf 8 thin slices prosciutto 10 asparagus spears, trimmed and 1 cm sliced ¼ cup goat cheese 2 tsp freshly grated lemon zest To taste salt and pepper

4. Roughly chop 5 slices of prosciutto

Preheat oven to 400º F.

1. In a medium pot, melt the butter on medium-high heat and stir in the flour to make a roux.

2. Add-in the next 5 ingredients

and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and let simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. The liquid should thicken noticeably.

Asparagus season is on the horizon

from the pot.

and place into the pot, along with the asparagus. Let soup cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Note: if soup is becoming too thick, and a few tablespoons of stock or water to thin it down)

5. With the remaining prosciutto, cut

each slice evenly into three pieces, place onto a prepared baking sheet and roast in oven until crispy, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer to paper towel to absorb any excess fat and let cool to room temperature.

6. Finally, stir in the goat cheese and

lemon zest. Season generously with ground black pepper and salt if needed, but the soup should be quite salty already from the cheese and prosciutto.

7.To serve, ladle out into bowls and garnish with prosciutto crisps.

Dan Clapson is a freelance food writer and columnist in Calgary. When he’s not writing about Canada’s amazing culinary scene, he is likely listening to 80s rock or 90s boy bands. Follow him on twitter @dansgoodside!

Standing Out In Steak Country:

Trib and LeVilla by DIANA NG and LINDA GARSON photography by INGRID KUENZEL


“We have the best steak in town,” proclaims Rick Chuk, owner and chef of LeVilla Chophouse. Whether it’s at the traditional, rustic flagship location in the city’s west end or at the newer location in the young and hip Mission area, Chuk serves up awardwinning steak to carnivorous diners in aptly-named Cowtown. Having trained in Hong Kong’s five-star Mandarin Oriental Hotel, and honed his craft at Calgary’s Buchanan’s Chop House and Whisky Bar for 17 years before opening the successful and celebrated LeVilla on Sirocco Drive, 30

Chuk is now focused on showcasing Alberta’s specialty in the trendy neighbourhood. With unpolished overhead beams and a formally set up dining room, LeVilla’s Sirocco Drive location delivers an authentic steakhouse experience with conventional offerings like crab cakes, prime rib and rack of lamb that earned it multiple kudos, including a nod on Breakfast Television’s steak week last year. Compared to its older sibling, Chuk’s second restaurant is notably more laid-back - with cushy booth seats and wooden trim around the space - while

Herbivores aside, everybody in this city can appreciate a wellprepared steak, whether they’re dining at home or out at a restaurant. From old faithful Caesar’s Steakhouse to Vintage Chophouse, Charcut and everything in-between, it’s almost impossible to sit down at an establishment in this city, pop open a menu and not see (at least) one steak dish. There’s no denying that Calgary’s food scene has come a long way from a simple steak, starch and vegetable go-to dinner, but Alberta beef will always be a prominent ingredient here no matter what hipster-chic food trend is passing through. Here are two steakhouses doing right by Alberta’s prized protein. Blue, medium-rare, medium, whatever your preference may be (hopefully never well-done though), these guys have got you covered. still sticking to a traditional steakforward menu that includes perennial favourites like lobster bisque, steak salad and crispy potato galette. Since quietly slipping into the dining scene last October, the new location has been quickly gaining momentum and developing an identity. Calgary is definitely no stranger to steakhouses, many of which are institutions that have become part of the city’s culinary backbone Caesar’s, Vintage, Wellington’s. So, what makes LeVilla stand out? Beyond the placement of the restaurant and the absence of steakhouses outside the downtown core, Chuk credits his

Hanger Steak Salad Serves 2

Rick Chuk LeVilla

1 package baby arugula 1 pomegranate 1 small bottle of pomegranate juice 2-5 pieces of hanger steak (can be found at a good butcher shop, or you can substitute New York striploin 2 Tbs butter, melted Salt and pepper 2 shallots 2 Tbs flour Extra virgin olive oil Deep fryer or shallow pan with oil and thermometer.

1. Season steak with salt and pepper while your grill heats up. Once hot, place your seasoned steaks on. personal touch and expertise in the subject that puts his steak heads and shoulders above the competition. “I cook almost every steak that goes out,” says Chuk, proudly, about the offerings at the Mission location. “I can give you the best steak in the world, but if you don’t know how to cook it, it’s not going to be the best.” That, and the unique cut of bone-in beef tenderloin that’s not offered anywhere else in the city. Chuk designed the cut such that it combines the best of strip steak and filet, and retains more flavour than a regular tenderloin. The proof (not in the pudding, in this case) is on the plate. The fact that many diners polish off the 12 oz steak without batting an eye is a testament to the success of this rare cut. “A lot of people think it’s too much, but it’s so good that you finish it before you know it,” says Chuk.

Pomegranate Reduction:

3 parts pomegranate juice 1 part sugar

Reduce in a pan by 2/3, or until it coats a spoon. Let cool. Fried Shallots: Peel shallots and slice very thin, toss with flour, then shake off excess flour and place into pre-heated canola oil or deep fryer at 300º F for 1-3 mins. Remove and place on paper towel, set aside until you need them.

Potato Gallette Serves 2

handfuls of arugula in a bowl. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Divide arugula onto two plates.

1 large yellow potato 1 Tbs clarified butter 1/2 tsp canola oil 1 large sprig of fresh thyme, chopped Salt and pepper 55 g aged white cheddar 2 – 10 cm cast iron pans (or any ovensafe pan)

3. Return to your steak and flip to the

1. Preheat oven to 425º F. Mix oil and

2. While steak is grilling, place a few

other side. Brush with melted butter.

4. Cut pomegranate in half and remove seeds, add as many as you desire.

5. Drizzle with pomegranate reduction and a squeeze of lemon.

6. Once your steak is finished,

butter in a dish and lightly brush each pan with mixture.

2. Set mandolin to the thinnest setting

and slice your potatoes. Place under damp cloths to prevent from drying out.

3. Layer potato slices in a fan pattern

remove from the grill and let it rest 5 minutes. Season once more and brush with butter.

around your dish. Every second layer, brush with oil mixture, then sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. Repeat until your dish is full.

7. Slice the steak and place on top of

4. Bake 20-30 minutes until golden

arugula. Top with crispy fried shallots.

brown. Drain excess oil from the dish. Top with cheddar cheese and broil for 1-2 minutes.

LeVilla aims simply to make outstanding steak. It’s not the place for the latest “it” ingredient or technique in cooking. But, it’s the perfect place for selfinduced meat sweats. LeVilla is at 150, 1800 4th Street SW, Calgary 403-453-3670 levilla.ca/fourth @LeVillaOn4th 31

The Trib

Simple food done extremely well – that’s how things are done at the Trib. It’s also the philosophy of Executive Chef Ian Smith, “I let the product speak for itself. We have the best beef and we don’t mess around with it. We just treat it right, and accompany it correctly with things that lift the beef instead of hiding it,” he explains. Originally from Manchester, and gaining most of his chef experience in Nottingham, Smith left England and immigrated to Canada just ahead of the recession in 2008, to give his family more opportunity. He arrived in Canmore, working at Murrieta’s, before moving to Calgary and continuing as a Murrieta’s chef here. A year as sous chef at The Trib followed, leading to his current position three years ago as Executive Chef, now also for the newly opened Swine and Sow, on 6th Avenue SW. On pedestrianized Stephen Avenue, The Trib occupies the refurbished heritage building that was once the offices of the 32

Calgary Tribune newspaper. Upstairs, in the lounge, you can relax round the large central bar – a great place for drinks and conversation, appies and entrées - while the lower level is a more intimate, formal dining room with semicircular booths, wine bottle-lined walls and a welcoming fireplace. There’s a ‘secret’ private dining area for around twelve people down here too. The Trib’s menu changes with the seasons, “Calgary only has two seasons, so we change it twice a year,“ laughs Smith. But whichever season, he’s a fan of locally sourced food. “The hard part is finding the right product and after that it’s easy,” he says. “Our meat is from Lethbridge, we pull from local growers and suppliers for vegetables, cheeses and produce. During the summer, when we do our tableside roasts, our chateaubriand and our bone-in rib eye,

I let the product speak for itself. We have the best beef and we don’t mess around with it

instead of serving 100 percent veg, we’ll put up a plate of Hotchkiss tomato salad, just dressed lightly, seasoned, with olive oil and some shaved parmesan, and people go nuts about it. They go ‘wow, we wouldn’t have thought of serving this with a roast, but it works so well’.” He’s excited to be entering into a partnership with another local producer for beef too, ‘Top Grass’, from just outside Drumheller. It’s his comfort zone, as 100 percent grass fed beef is all he’s used to. Smith has been watching the changes in the Calgary restaurants over the last five years, “A lot of chefs in the town have pushed the boundaries, which is

Calgary has two seasons, so we change the menu twice a year

good to see. I just want to see Calgary get a restaurant with a Michelin star, that’s what I want.” But we’ve become more adventurous too, and are willing to try more out-ofthe-box cuisine and different methods of cooking, giving him a bit more scope. He couldn’t really use any elk or bison at first: even though he tried, no one would buy it, so he paired beef with game and now diners are loving it. The dish that brings a smile to Smith’s lips is his Elk Wellington. “It’s on the menu as an appetizer at the moment, with an apple and parsnip puree,” he says, “but I’m probably going to switch and put it back as an entrée. It could end up as our signature dish here; it sells like crazy and I’m pretty proud of that.” The Trib is at 100, 118 8th Ave SW, Calgary 403-269-3160 tribsteakhouse.ca @TribSteakhouse

The Trib’s Sticky Toffee Pudding Makes 8 pieces

275 g dates 1 1/4 cups (300 mL) water 1 tsp baking soda ½ tsp vanilla 100 g butter 85 g brown sugar 85 g white sugar 2 eggs 225 g flour 38 g cocoa powder 110 g walnuts, chopped

3. Fold in flour, cocoa powder and

1. Combine, boil, steep and strain

6. Pierce cake multiple times with

dates, water, baking soda and vanilla. Reserve liquid.

walnuts. Add reserved liquid to make smooth batter.

4. Pulse dates or chop finely, and fold into batter.

5. Bake at 350o F for 30-35 minutes,

until a skewer comes out nearly clean. Let cake rest for 5 minutes or until it settles. a skewer, and pour toffee sauce over.

2. Cream butter, brown and white sugar. Add eggs one at a time.

Sticky Toffee Sauce (Whisky Sauce)

Your chance to win lunch for two at The Trib AND LeVilla! Yes, you could be the very lucky person to win two superb lunches – one at The Trib and one at LeVilla. To win, simply go to culinairemagazine.ca and tell us what you love about a steak lunch. Is it your favourite meal? Or spending time with friends? Chance to escape the office?

Makes 2 cups (500 mL)

110 g butter 85 g brown sugar 85 g white sugar ½ cup (120 mL) cream 2 fl oz Whisky for finishing sauce

Combine all ingredients and heat to boiling.

The lunch submission that we like the best will win this great prize! Good luck, we can’t wait to hear from you! 33

Menu Gems Everyone has a favourite burger, and we asked our contributors to let us know theirs, and why it’s special…

Ship Burger, Ship and Anchor

Elk Burger, The Libertine

There are a ton of delicious burgers in this city, but I’m loving this new addition to The Libertine’s menu. The big, juicy elk meat patty is topped with mushroom ragout, blue cheese and house-made fig jam. It’s rich-tasting and a little messy, like any good burger should be! Dan Clapson

Pepperoni and Bacon Pizzaburger, Boston Pizza

When you want pizza and she wants a burger, try your local Boston Pizza. At the BP on 130 Ave SE, I found the “Pepperoni And Bacon Pizzaburger”. As promised, it’s a “1/2 lb prime rib beef burger wrapped in a pepperoni pizza.” It’s sealed on all sides so it’s not messy, and generously stuffed with bacon, mozzarella cheese, and pizza sauce surrounding a very nice patty of beef. $13.99 includes your choice of sides - worth every penny. Jeff Collins

The Fatburger, Fatburger

Right now, I’m loving the Fatburger, juicy beef, plenty of toppings, and straight up delicious. With cheese, and if I pass on the relish, it’s very close to the burger I make at home. With no clean up either! Plenty of sizes for appetites big and small, now if only they had decent wine… Tom Firth

Chickpea Fritter Sandwich, Boxwood

As I don’t eat meat, it’s not easy to find a good burger. Some are too mushy, some fall apart, and others are totally tasteless. Boxwood’s chickpea fritter sandwich combats all the above. A cross between a veggie burger and falafel, on a homemade ciabatta bun, I crave them at least once a month. Mallory Frayn 34

I like the Ron Swanson-esque utilitarian “Ship Burger” at the Ship and Anchor. For under 10 bucks you get beef and cheese between a bun (although I usually opt for the sautéed mushrooms) and a side of fries. No frills yet always satisfies. Helps having one among friends on a sunny patio a few pints deep. Dan Leahul

Organic Vegan Burger, Flipp’n Burgers

This is the best vegan burger I have ever tried. The patty is made from brown rice, broccoli, corn, carrots, peppers, onions and rolled oats, and is crisp on the outside while bursting with flavour. I also love that you get to choose your toppings including hummus, avocado and sautéed mushrooms. $7. Laura Lushington

Le Burger, Avec Bistro

100% veal burger with no filler. It comes with all the groceries and aged cheddar on a fresh baked bun. It’s juicy and insanely flavourful. You have the option to add sautéed mushrooms and a cute crispy bacon patty. Not strips, a mf’ing bacon patty! Tarquin Melnyk

Wagyu Burger, Market

Once in a while, I get a craving for burgers that distracts me from everything else. For those times, I head to Market for its hefty and juicy burger. The patty is always thick and moist, and perfectly cooked. The house cured bacon and housemade tomato preserve and pickles top it off perfectly. Diana Ng


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4 Takes On Wine By The Glass by TOM FIRTH

For so long, and at most restaurants, the wine by the glass selection would be a meager one at best. Well, fret no longer. The wine by the glass selection has never been better in Calgary. Maybe it was the tighter laws against drinking and driving, maybe it’s that there are so many great sommeliers here, and maybe it is just that better restaurants are offering better wines, but my first look on a wine list is always at the by the glass offerings. In restaurants with great by the glass programs, I am a fan of just asking for a glass of something interesting. Surprise me. I don’t even want to know if it’s a white or red coming out. Tell me what it is afterwards. With better by the glass menus in Calgary these days, we asked four of the city’s leading sommeliers and restaurateurs for their take on wines by 36

We asked four of the city’s leading sommeliers and restaurateurs for their take on wines by the glass: (clockwise) Jackie Cooke, proprietor and sommelier at Avec Bistro, Leslie Echino, restaurant director of Blink Restaurant and Bar, Erika Tocco, wine director of Vin Room, and John Robarts, operations manager of Cibo, Posto, and Bonterra Trattoria.

the glass. Jackie Cooke, proprietor and sommelier at Avec Bistro, Leslie Echino, restaurant director of Blink Restaurant and Bar, Erika Tocco, wine director of Vin Room, and John Robarts, operations manager of Cibo, Posto, and Bonterra Trattoria.

What do you look for in selecting wine by the glass? Jackie Cooke - First and foremost, balanced wine that pairs fondly with food, also of exceptional value and character. We sell a lot of wine from classic regions such as Rhône, Burgundy and Bordeaux, but I like to throw a ringer in there for people who want to

be adventurous, such as a tannat we are pouring from Uruguay at the moment. Leslie Echino - I love a wine that is varietally correct, first and foremost. I don’t love the obscure, but I do love something fun that tells a story. When I come back from travelling to a wine region, I look for wines that are amazing value for the price, and where I can tell the customer all about the wine/town/ people who make the wine. Erika Tocco - I look for unique wines that are not offered in other establishments, wines that are not the mainstream selection. I want to offer our guests wines that are good

value from all price points and from everywhere on the globe. About 10% of our list is built around well-known labels, we like to focus on the small producers and of course, unique or rare varieties that are hard to find. Diversity is key. I don’t love the obscure, but I do love something fun that tells a story John Robarts - The first word is value, any wine on our lists have to overdeliver for the price. Then we consider what else is on the list, where will a new wine fit in with the other wines?

What do you think a good by the glass program should look like? Leslie Echino - They should have variety, good value, be fresh and interesting. Nothing is worse than seeing the same wines in restaurants, it’s so boring. I also get upset when I feel like I am being ripped off. The consumer is a much more wine savvy nowadays and no one likes to pay too much for a glass of wine. Erika Tocco - Our wine selection includes 112 wines by the glass. To my knowledge we offer the largest glass pour program to our guests in the entire country. Every month we offer

Complimentary wine, beer or spirit tastings every Friday.

Knowledgeable, experienced and helpful staff.

The boutique experience without the boutique prices.

something rare and very special on a monthly basis as well. For instance, a few months ago we offered a super Tuscan flight on the Enomatic: we poured Sassicaia, Tignanello and Solaia by the glass. We like to focus on the small producers and of course unique rare varieties that are hard to find

How often do you rotate your by the glass offerings? Jackie Cooke - I change our list frequently, as our list is small. Sometimes the wine list changes twice a month and some selections stay

on for many months. When we first opened, I had more new world wines on the list, thinking they would be more popular. But that wasn’t the case, so I adjust accordingly. We sold WAY more Sancerre than Californian sauvignon blanc by the glass, even when new world wine was less expensive. Leslie Echino - I am always excited by new wines, therefore the menu changes quite often. There are some winemakers like Pascal Marchand who is a French Canadian, making wine in Burgundy that I always have on my glass list, or Alex Gambal. Then, I like to bring things on as they strike my fancy. I recently added Gramercy Cellars grenache/ syrah/cinsault blend from Washington, as it was so yummy! It is a little on the expensive side, but well worth the price.

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Erika Tocco - I rotate the program twice a year, where I will replace 25-30 wines by the glass. I also change the list periodically between those two times. Sometimes I will find a great little gem but will only be able to buy four or so cases of it which I have to split between each of our locations (our Mission and our west location have the same wine menu) and then replace it with something else sooner. John Robarts - At Posto, we have 10 whites and 10 reds by the glass and we change them as needed. Probably at least one wine a week gets changed. Many of our wines by the glass are only available in limited quantities, which mean that once they are gone, we need to find something else. For Bonterra and Cibo, we change the list about once or twice a year.

Some of the drawbacks of wine by the glass for a restaurant? Jackie Cooke - If you have a solid program, spoilage shouldn’t be an issue, but it is always a concern. John Robarts - Wastage and spillage of course. To help reduce the waste, we write down the date and time that the wines are opened for the by the glass menu. Our staff is expected to know the wines well, and to know how the wines should taste if there are any problems or if it is time to open a fresh bottle.

Is there anything customers should know about by the glass programs that they might not know? Jackie Cooke - Wines by the glass say a lot about the person choosing them. A good, interesting list should reflect the palate, personality and passion of the list’s creator. Erika Tocco - I think a lot of customers still play it “safe” when they are out dining. I think it is great to be able to try a variety of different wines rather than committing to a full bottle. Wine is an 38

artistic and scientific expression that has so many facets, it is great to be able to try different selections when out. Also clients should use their servers/ sommeliers more: we are trying those wines all the time so it’s great to rely on us for expert advice when deciding on something to drink.

The first word is value, any wine on our lists have to over-deliver for the price

How do you price wines by the glass? Are they significantly more than by the bottle? Is the wastage much higher? Leslie Echino - my wines by the glass are priced to sell, some are marked up more, but the higher-end the wine is, the lower the mark up. Usually the inexpensive wines are marked up the most. I don’t go through much waste with glass pours, but I’ve also spent 6 years building up trust with the customer regarding my wines. Erika Tocco - Pricing, well for us it is different. Wastage is not really high for us because of the Enomatics and they pour perfectly. We price out our

ounce pours so that they are all equal to the price of a bottle. We don’t charge more for bottles at Vin Room. I like to be competitive but fair, I am always looking at other wine lists to see if I am in line with other venues, I don’t want to charge more for wines that someone else has. We do have to calibrate and check the machines on a weekly basis to ensure that they pour correctly, which is normal considering the amount of use they get.

Anything else about wine by the glass? John Robarts - Don’t be afraid to ask for a taste of a wine and don’t be afraid to look at the bottle program either. Some restaurants may even be willing to let you order a few glasses from a bottle on the bottle list. Jackie Cooke - In Alberta, we have the luxury of an abundance of fantastic wine at all price points, there is no excuse to ignore this opportunity. Also…I wouldn’t order a wine by the glass from a menu that was laminated.

Tom Firth is the contributing drinks editor for Culinaire Magazine and the competition director for the Alberta Beverage Awards. Follow him on twitter @cowtownwine

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6 Restaurant Refuges

For Lilac Fest by DIANA NG

After the miserable, drawn-out, and meddling winter, Calgarians are set to squeeze every droplet of outside time this summer.

Before we get to the obligatory rafting on the Elbow, let’s kick summer off with some of the best food in the city, live music, artisanal crafts and signature Calgarian sunshine with the 25th Annual 4th Street Lilac Festival, in the floodrecovered Mission neighbourhood. It’s hard believe that there will be over 500 vendors showcased in just a few short blocks. Here’s a list to help you separate the must-haves and the mehs when it comes to restaurants to stop by.



What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than soaking up the sun on the patio with a cold one? With its casual and inviting patio, extensive selection of beers from around the world, German-inspired dishes like roast half chicken, schnitzel, bratwurst platter and pretzels, Wurst is undeniably the best place on 4th street for that. Or, if you’re seeking shelter from the crowd outside, its spacious interior makes it a great place to hang out for ein maß

(mass). Those looking for a calmer atmosphere can sit back on the airy and well-lit upper level, while those looking for more noise can head downstairs and make some friends at the communal tables. Prost!

to sample by the glass from the wall of enomatic wine dispensers, and hundreds more by the bottle at every price point, this bold and cosy spot is the place for everyone from wine beginners to experts to relax at the end of a long day.

Earls Tin Palace

Mission Diner

While Mission has a lot of character and independent and trendy restaurants on every block, there’s a time and place for more predictable favourites, like the fare at Earls that you know will please the palates of your entire clan. Its signature burger, warm cheese and spinach dip, chicken, brie and fig sandwich and pecan chicken rocket salad are all easy going and reliable options for when you just want a night or afternoon out without fussing over details of the style of food you want. The newly renovated spot is great for a casual meal regardless of what you feel like having and who you’re with.

Vin Room

There’s definitely no shortage of pubs and beer halls in the city, with many watering holes on 17 Ave packed every night. But, if you’re looking for a sip instead of a swig, pinot instead of pilsner, pork belly lettuce wraps instead of chicken Caesar wraps, then head to Vin Room: a quiet, calm and elegant nook for some of the best wines in the world. With 64 different wines available

With some of the city’s most popular brunch spots concentrated in Bridgeland, this gem may not always come to mind, but it should. Owner Mhairi O’Donnell insists on making everything from scratch, sourcing local ingredients whenever possible, and pairing breakfast items with cocktails, wine or beers. It’s hard to choose from classics like eggs and bacon, any of the five eggs Benny dishes, all the

There will be over 500 vendors showcased in just a few short blocks

possibilities you can have with the omelettes, sandwiches, burgers and French toast. Whatever you choose, consider pairing it with the bacon Caesar; it will cure whatever ails you.


Named after a category of aged tequila, this modern Mexican-inspired restaurant is known for its selection of tequila (over 150), mescal, and cocktails made with the spirits. Find a spot on the intimate patio if you can. If not, grab a seat at the bar to learn all about different tequilas and their

styles from the well-versed staff. Menu items cover small bites like empanadas and tuna tartare to traditional large plates like chili relleno and red mole chicken. Start with any of the eight wildly popular margaritas. If the chili coconut margarita borderlines on your heat tolerance, douse the flame with the tableside-made guac (served in a molcajete) and a zesty ceviche. Finish the meal off with mellow glass of the blue agave liquor.


Consistent with Alloy’s theme of global and Latin-inspired flavours, Candela Lounge, its whimsical sister restaurant, delivers platters, small plates and refreshing cocktails that create the perfect backdrop for date nights as well as stylish group catch-ups. The eclecticism of the decor mirrors that of the menu. Graze on house-cured salmon, seafood fritters with yuzu aioli, chicken tacos with yellow curry and mango chutney and lamb meatballs with feta and olives, or feast on lamb shank and steak. The global influence extends to the cocktail menu as well, with drinks like the ama-mizu (fresh watermelon shaken with soju, Absolut vodka and lime) and whisky tears (maple syrup, pressed cardamom and ginger shaken with Wisers spiced whisky and Pernod).

Diana Ng is a co-founder of Eat North and freelance writer who will eat your food when you’re not looking.


There are four main styles of bock; helles or maibock, traditional bock, doppelbock and eisbock.

Spring Is In the Air:

Bocks and Fresh New Beers by DAVID NUTTALL

Of the four seasons, spring gets the least love from the beer world. Summer has its patio beers and as the hottest, busiest season, breweries run full-steam ahead. This is followed by the fall harvest, and the bounty that it produces often finds its way into a cornucopia of spiced, harvest and holiday beers. Bock is the word for goat in German 42

Winter beers are the home of the bold and dark, and are often brewed to last through to Lent and the cold days, which extend to April. Many breweries often reduce production in the first four months of the year, as they are the slowest time for beer sales. That being said, there is joy by May and June, as breweries begin cranking up production again to have beer for the upcoming summer months. Because of the spring slowdown, there are very few beer styles synonymous with the season. The exception is bock. This lager originated in the 14th century in the northern German city of Einbeck, and was later adapted in Munich in the 17th century. Their Bavarian accent corrupted the name to “ein bock” and it stuck. Bock is also the word for goat in German, so these beers often employ a picture of a Billy goat on their labels.

Maibock is the newest style of bock and most associated with spring and the month of May (Mai). It is usually light amber in colour with a medium body. Dortmunder Actien Brauerei (DAB) and Holsten both produce a Maibock in 500 mL cans (about $3), which can be found in Alberta. Traditional bock is the most common style of bock, and is a bit darker and full of malty caramel flavour. This comes from a decoction mashing technique and a long boil. Hops are used only to balance the sweetness and are rarely even detectable in the taste. Lahnsteiner Brewery’s Schnee-Bock (snow bock) is an example of a dark traditional bock from the Rhine Valley ($5 for 500 mL bottle). Doppelbock (or double bocks) were first brewed by the monks of St. Francis of Paula in northern Italy and found their way to Munich. This Franciscan order made the beer as “liquid bread” for their periods of fasting and named it Salvator. Today, that name is trademarked by the Paulaner Brewery, so the term doppelbock came into use. Theses beers are usually darker, range from 7%-11% alcohol by volume (ABV) and are rich, toasty and almost chocolaty tasting. Weltenburger Kloster Asam-Bock is a fine example available here in 500 mL bottles for about $5.

Eisbocks are the rarest bocks, made by partially freezing a doppelbock and removing the ice (eis) to concentrate the flavours. This also darkens the colour of the beer and increases the alcohol to between 9%-33%. Because of the high alcohol, these beers pour with very little head, are quite sweet and intense, and often have notes of prunes, raisins or plums. Schneider Weisse makes classic examples of both a doppelbock, Aventinus ($5), and Aventinus Eisbock ($9). Both are available in 500 mL bottles. Another German brewery has taken this ice bock style and cranked the volume to 11. Schorschbräu, from Franconia, makes several beers well over 10% ABV. Their current record is at 57% ABV, but it’s not available here…yet. They do have Schorschbock 31 here, which is an eisbock that is 31% ABV. At this level, there is almost no head, and the alcohol flavour becomes recognizable. It is sold in a 330 mL ceramic bottle in a box for about $115. There are numerous bocks of all kinds made in North America, and they go great with BBQ, roast meats and especially chocolate desserts. Now that bocks are made in all the seasons, enjoy them more than just in the spring; they are a great year-round beer.

Spring gets the least love from the beer world New Breweries Arrive For Spring Two major US breweries have recently become available in Alberta. The biggest new brewery to hit the province is New Belgium Brewery from Ft. Collins, Colorado. Ranked as the third largest craft brewery in the United States by beer sales volume, it a major player in the craft scene. While the original brewery opened in 1991, they are expanding by adding a second brewery in Asheville, N.C., which will help supply the east coast. Although they make dozens of beers in many styles, the two they are launching in Alberta are their flagship beer, Fat Tire, and their American IPA called Ranger. Fat Tire, so named after cofounder Jeff Lebesch’s bike trip through Europe, is an amber ale with a biscuit and caramel aroma and a nice toasty malt flavour with a hint of sweetness and a slight hoppy finish. Using four malts and Willamette, Goldings and Target hops, it comes in at 5.2% ABV and 22 IBUs. This versatile beer will go with cheese, salads, almost any meat, BBQ, pizza and desserts, especially if there is caramel involved. Ranger IPA (named in honour of the Forest Rangers) is a light amber beer with the distinct aroma of floral and citrusy hops. The pale malts balance well

with the Chinook, Simcoe and Cascade hops, allowing for a nice slightly bitter finish. At 6.5% ABV and 70 IBUs, it is perfect for Mexican, Cajun, Indian, Thai, and other spicy oriental dishes. Both are available on tap and in 6 pack bottles (approximately $18). Look for further NBB products to arrive in the coming months. The other new arrival is not quite as big as NBB, but still ranks in the top 40 in American craft beer sales. Big Sky Brewing Company of Missoula, Montana is familiar to anybody who has visited our only neighbouring state since 1995. Being by far the largest producer in the state, their beers are everywhere in big sky country. The three beers being brought into Alberta are Scape Goat Pale Ale, Trout Slayer Wheat Ale, and Big Sky IPA. Trout Slayer is a light coloured wheat ale which is made for easy drinking. At 35 IBUs and 5% ABV, this beer is great for fishing expeditions, but will go with any lighter fare. Scape Goat is made in the British pale ale style with East Kent Golding and Crystal hops. This light coloured beer is also 5% ABV with a slight citrusy hoppy finish at 40 IBUs. Big Sky IPA is well balanced between the malt and the hops. Not too bitter at 65 IBUs and 6.2% ABV, this is another beer to pair with spicy foods. All three are sold in 6 pack cans for about $17 and are available on tap as well. 43

Amarone The Giant by MATT BROWMAN

A quest through the rolling, pastoral zone that is The Valley of Many Cellars (the val-poli-cella) offers sweeping views of small fiefdoms dotting the landscape. Nestled in the hills, the almost two hundred feudal properties border each other on all sides, their battlefields now vineyards, their conquests — recognition for and sales of their wares. Each kingdom has its lore, a romantic yarn spinning human history, technique, and wisdom passed down from yesteryear. Today’s citizens carry out farming and production tasks that occupy the space between Mother Nature’s will and the end consumers’ wants. If Cabernet Sauvignon to the west is the king of wine, and Riesling to the north the Prima Ballerina, then the local Amarone has to be the clubwielding giant. Not born, but made from mortal grapes through the alchemy of concentration

and conversion, the magic process imbues tremendous power and size, but can also amplify imperfections and asymmetry. Giants can be ugly, overweight and simple, but so too can they be dashing, powerful and complex. Thus the raw material must be perfect and the spell must be correct. Amarone, ‘the great bitter’, rode into North America after WWII on the coattails of its minstrel Valpolicella. Once Valpolicella charmed its audience with a sprightly, easy melody from the corvina, rondinella and molinara grape varieties, Amarone emerged with its sonorous baseline and seductive seriousness. The grapes and vineyard sources are the same. But where Valpolicella is fermented dry from freshly harvested grapes, Amarone


One could argue that Amarone, despite its Old World genesis, was among the original New World wine styles

uses those same grapes left to dry. The desiccation concentrates sugars to give more body, increases the aromatic spectrum, and then amplifies that spectrum. If the fruit isn’t pretty, we see it more clearly, and the road to completion is fraught with the danger of rot. Originally christened Recioto della Valpolicella, the grapes came from the orecchie, or ‘ears’ of the bunches as

they saw more sun, were more raisined and therefore sweeter. The resultant wine retained some sweetness, for when the alcohol levels reached around 14%, unfermented sugars remained in the finished wine. And when a vat was forgotten and the wine continued to ferment, the massive alcohol levels left a bitter flavour, which lead to the name Recioto della Valpolicella Amarone. Today it is properly Amarone della Valpolicella, colloquially ‘Amarone’. Like the wine or not, Amarone manages to enchant, or at least interest, everyone. Having found a ready audience in North America, one could argue that Amarone, despite its Old World genesis, was among the original New World wine styles. When we stylistically define New World, we talk of richer wines with softer tannins, lower acidity and bigger fruit. Amarone? Check. Check. Check, and check. Yet its magic lies in its ability to occupy both realms simultaneously, for despite its New World appeal, acidity should remain ample enough to prevent booziness, and the big fruit should maintain some of the Old World attributes of leather, raisin and prune, herb, flowers, game and earth. Which brings us to the purpose of our quest: what’s good, and why? What you like will depend on your bent toward traditional or modern styles. The traditional wines offer earthier, more leathery aromas and acid structure that make for a feast-friendly food wine. Venison, wild boar, and pheasant with risotto are perfect partners. Modern styles show darker, more polished fruit and a heavier body that works as a sipping wine, or with post-banquet hard cheeses.



Masi 2008 Costasera

Farina 2009 Amarone

Easily the biggest name in Amarone, the Masi is our first step from the earthier versions toward modern polish. Retaining some rusticity, it does not attempt the enormous weight of some of its more modern counterparts, but rather balances some expressive fruit and earthiness with rich, yet firm, texture. $45

Another outstanding value charmer, the Farina shows complex plum and raisin, dusty earth and crushed flower petals. Fine tannins offer some intrigue. $45

Brigaldera 2008 Amarone

Zenato 2007 Among the icons, Zenato makes a distinctly polished, approachable style. Ripe plum and sultana let a little game meat and licorice emerge. Entirely soft textured, its richness is impressive and endlessly pleasing. $50

Pound for pound, the finest expression on the market. After an hour in the glass, the counterpoint of dark fruit and dried cherry allows the aniseed, dried herb, leather and game meat to seduce us. The texture is firm with fresh acidity keeping the 17% alcohol in easy check, giving the whole the sense that this giant makes a perfect dance partner to the Prima Ballerina. $65

Where Valpolicella is fermented dry from freshly harvested grapes, Amarone uses those same grapes left to dry

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.


Island Getaway 48 Hours Of Drinking Well On Vancouver Island by TREVE RING

photograph by Deddeda Stemler 46

When you think of hopping on a plane for an island getaway, chances are you’re thinking of palm trees and Mai Tais, endless sand and crashing waves. Well, swap the palms for old growth Douglas fir and the Mai Tais for craft beer, and you can keep the sand and surf. If you insist, Vancouver Island actually has palm trees growing here and award winning bartenders who could shake up a wicked Mai Tai for you. One quick hour from Calgary and you’ll find yourself on British Columbia’s far west coast and on a island like no other. Vancouver Island has a unique geography, climate and terroir not seen elsewhere. The island spans all terrains - from sandy beaches to rugged coastlines, marshy lowlands to rolling farmland, and lush, old-growth rainforests to snowcapped mountains. Tucked against the mainland coast of BC, Vancouver Island stretches 500 km southeast to northwest and is a quick hop (via ferry or floatplane) to Vancouver and the lower mainland of BC. Vancouver Island is bisected by a mountain range, crossed by undulating rivers and rimmed with countless bays of sheltered waters, strong tides, and dramatic coastlines – an adventurer’s dream. But man cannot live by rock and river alone. Fortunately, Vancouver Island has also emerged as a mecca for the locavore – a fertile haven for growers, producers, vintners, distillers, brewers, foragers, roasters, cheesemakers, chocolatiers, bakers and food artisans. The best way to experience the abundance is through engaging all of the senses, so book a weekend hop over the Rockies, save room in your suitcase and arrive hungry.

produced grüner veltliner in Canada. I mention hop up, because this sustainably farmed, family owned winery is situated hilltop, with a spectacular view of the Pacific and Mt. Baker beyond. Just across the street you’ll stumble upon (and stumble out, if you’re not careful) Victoria Spirits, site of Canada’s most famous premium gin, the regal and memorable Victoria Gin. Distillery tours and tastings run often throughout the summer months. You’ll be getting hungry by now, so steer your rental car south 30 minutes to downtown Victoria, and the microbrewery trail. Within a short 5 km radius you can visit 8 breweries, all working together in camaraderie to strengthen Victoria’s craft beer scene. Moon Under Water, Hoyne Brewing, Lighthouse Brewing and Canoe Brewpub are all remarkably close and overwhelmingly welcoming. Don’t miss sampling Fat Tug IPA at Driftwood Brewery (repeatedly awarded BC’s Best Beer), and a sampling of the seasonals in the tasting room/art gallery at Phillips Brewing.

Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse

Day 1 – Calgary to Victoria Landing at Victoria International Airport is a breeze – the moderate scale and recent renovations mean you can be from tarmac to rental car in less than 20 minutes. The airport also is in the middle of the Saanich Peninsula, home to the south island’s farmlands, and also our wineries. A few kilometres away from the airport you’ll gain an appreciation for the tradition of heritage cider at Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse, one of the cornerstone producers responsible for rekindling the artisan cider renaissance. Don’t miss pairing local Island cheeses with Sea Cider’s organic Rumrunner, a crisp, off-dry beauty aged in old rum barrels. From there it’s a short hop up to DeVine Vineyards, and the site of the first commercially

Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse 47

Day 2 – Heading North After a quiet sleep in the art-filled Swans Hotel, you’ll hop back in your car and head north up over the Malahat. The ‘hat, as locals call it, is a spectacular mountain drive that separates Greater Victoria from Cowichan Valley, just one hour’s drive north along Highway #1. Cowichan is the name given to this area by the First Nations peoples living here hundreds of years ago, and translates to The Warm Land. It’s a fitting title; the Cowichan Valley has the highest average temperature in all of Canada, creating an ideal growing climate. These rolling, fertile valleys are where the majority of the Wine Islands members call home, evidenced by the numerous roadside grape markers directing you to the wineries. The 2nd largest wine region in BC after the Okanagan Valley, it would take you more than 48 hours to visit the dozens of tasting rooms in the area. Make sure you stop at Averill Creek, a striking, gravity fed winery specializing in premium pinot noir, Unsworth Vineyards for their serious, traditional-method sparkling cuvee, and Venturi-Schulze Vineyards for their uncompromising, idiosyncratic wines, many from obscure and characterful grapes. Venturi-Schulze also crafts beautiful ancient method balsamic vineyards. Merridale Estate Cidery is a culinary tourism powerhouse, home to a progressive distillery and bistro, as well as the

Driftwood Brewery

bustling cider bar and store. A mid-afternoon wood-fired pizza on their patio overlooking the orchard will fuel you for more touring. Less than one hour further north from Cowichan and you’ll find yourself in the central island zone and the town of Nanaimo. Wolf Brewing Company has been crafting solid brews since 1996, and you should refresh with their Golden Honey Ale, brewed with local raw honey. MooBerry Winery has a humorous name, but there is nothing comical with pairing their pure, fresh fruit wines with a tasty lineup of handmade artisan cheeses from neighbouring Little Qualicum Cheeseworks, all part of the family businesses situated on Parksville’s picturesque Morningstar Farm. Heading north on the fast (110km/hr) and new Island highway it won’t take long until you reach Comox Valley, less than one hour north. The fertile Comox Valley is home to 450 farms,

One quick hour from Calgary and you’ll find yourself on an island like no other

Unsworth Vineyards Unsworth Vineyards

numerous specialty food producers, wineries and Vancouver Island’s most serious distillery to date. The architecturally stunning Shelter Point Distillery has been almost a decade in the planning and building, and has now released BC’s first single malt vodka, made entirely from local barley. Their single malt whisky, made in part from grain grown on the property’s own farm, is due to be released in 2014, “sown, grown and distilled on site”. Comox’s Beaufort Winery is remarkable not only for its wines (pick up the estate-grown traditional-method Red Sparkling from hybrid leon millot, marechal foch & cabernet foch grapes) but also for the massive 14 foot solid Easter Islandesque statue, The Nose. Also of note – Beaufort was recently sold to Hollywood director James Cameron.


Merridale Estate Cidery

Inspired 2nd Home Ownership

Merridale Estate Cidery

You’ll doubtlessly be tired from a full day of tasting and touring, so check into the Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa in nearby Courtenay. Their sea-inspired, self-guided hydropath spa treatment is worth the drive from Victoria alone, but the beachfront luxury suites and Breakwater seafood restaurant will ensure total serenity and lull into a deep sleep. After a sleep in (ok–and perhaps one more walk through the hydropath) it’s an easy drive to the quiet Comox Valley Airport to return your rental car and hop a quick flight home. Your suitcase might be heavier, but your mood will certainly be lightened. That’s exactly how it should be for your island getaway – palm trees or not. Treve Ring is a wine journalist, editor, judge and educator who can be found tasting at The Trevehouse or on the road visiting every wine region worldwide – a fortuitously endless goal.

Helpful Links For Your Island Getaway

he asked what I wanted for my birthday, “ When I suggested a vacation home in six countries. We celebrated my birthday at our place in Hawaii and we’ll be spending Christmas at our place in the south of France. We’ll celebrate his birthday at our condo in Manhattan. Investing in M Private Residences made it all possible.

Tourism Vancouver Island : www.tourismvi.ca Tourism Victoria : www.tourismvictoria.com The Wine Islands : www.wineislands.ca

Invest in your lifestyle™ 1.877.264.0993 • mprivateresidences.com

Making The Case For Wine In May by TOM FIRTH

Although May is clearly well into spring, in Calgary, May isn’t really that grand. We typically have some nice days, the snow is gone (usually) and we usually have a lot of rain. Wine picks should range from dry whites, tropical, almost summery whites, to hearty, rainy day wines. Most importantly, this is the time of year when the weather begins to cooperate, when our household chores become time spent outside: mowing the lawn, washing the windows, and cleaning out the garage. A rest after your labours can also take place outside whether chilling on the hammock, cooking on the grill, or just sitting around on the deck with friends and family. Why not enjoy a nice glass of wine too?

In May, a rest after your labours can also take place outside

Tinhorn Creek 2013 Pinot Gris, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia Clean white fruits of peaches and pears with a hint of herb and “Popeye candy sticks” (you know-those candy cigarettes you had as a kid). About 1/3 of the wine gets some malolactic fermentation and there is a pinch of residual sweetness lending some body to the mid-palate. A nice pinot gris for the grownups. $25

J. Biondi Santi 2009 Sassoalloro IGT, Tuscany, Italy The “entry-level” wine from Biondi Santi is anything but entry-level quality. Look for black fruits, tar, liquorice and lots of earthy flavours. Drink now or cellar 2-3 more years to soften the tannins a little. The 2009 was also a Judges Selection winner at the 2013 Alberta Beverage Awards. $39

Espino 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo Valley, Chile Higher altitude cabernet with 15 percent cabernet franc yield a good range of berry fruits with liquorice, dill, and a touch of smokiness leading to nottoo-heavy flavours on the palate, with cedar, spice box, and just slightly chewy tannins. Drink now or within a year or two. $25

Espino 2011 Chardonnay, Maipo Valley, Chile

Emiliana 2011 Adobe Reserva Rosé, Rapel Valley, Chile

Masi 2012 Rosa dei Masi, Veneto, Italy

Chablis icon William Fèvre pulled up stakes in France and began the Espino project in Chile a few years ago. Just beautiful to smell with citrus, mineral, and Fiji apple fruits, it’s balanced, crisp, and has a touch of creaminess on the mid-palate. Virtually unoaked, more chardonnay should taste like this. $25

Fully organic, the nose is quite spicy with hints of cedar and pepper to boot. Some sugar creeps up on you in the mouth, but the full flavours and zingy acids bring great balance to a slightly creamy back end. I’d suggest pairing with grilled pork or some nice charcouterie. $15

Stalwart Masi Agricola produces a number of well-known and wellregarded wines available to Albertans. Made from the little-known refosco grape, plenty of spice and citrus character offset some berry fruits. The palate is quite dry with rich fruit presence right through to the finish. Summer salads, or sipping solo, it is about $16 on the shelf.

J. Biondi Santi 2006 Annata Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy

Castello di Gabbiano 2010 Bellezza, Tuscany, Italy

Tinhorn Creek 2011 Cabernet Franc, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

If your pocketbook doesn’t fit the Riserva, or you like drinking your wine within 20 years, consider the excellent Annata Brunello. Layers upon layers of complex flavours including cherries, tar, menthol tobacco, dried herbs, and floral notes. Tannins are big, but this a beautiful ride for the tastebuds. Drinking well now, or keep if you’d like 5-10+ years in the cellar. $150

Stunning wine from Chianti juggernaut Gabbiano. This wine will fit under the new “grand selection” tier of chianti with the 2013 vintage, but for now, just know it’s delicious. Generous fruits, floral character, menthol, leather and spice box balanced by perfect tannin structure. Drink or keep, it retails around $44.

I’ve long been a fan of the cabernet franc being made at Tinhorn Creek. Spicy, gingerbread aromas and flavours without that pesky green character cab franc can have. With lifted herb and flowery notes complementing berry fruits and some pretty delicate tannins. Tasty, through and through. $26

Longview Devil’s Elbow 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Adelaide Hills, Australia

Quarto di Sole 2005 Reserva, Campania Italy

Blandy’s 5 Year Old Verdelho, Madeira, Portugal

New to the market, and an uncommon variety from Adelaide Hills, look for liquorice, lilac, pipe tobacco, cherry fruits, and mint leaf. Rich and full in the mouth, big, black fruits, and some fullon tannins mean this should be a good bet for a barbecue. $27

Made from 100 percent aglicanico, the current vintage on the market is the well-aged 2005. Aglicanico can be a bit strident when very young, but the extra years behind the 2005 make it a stunning bottle right now. Olive, black cherry fruits, and liquorice jump out of the glass-balanced by perfect tannins. Around $45

A medium-dry madeira (with 70 grams of residual sugar), look for almond and lime notes with toffee, brine, and a touch of dried leather on the nose. Zingy, wonderful acids complement the toffee and hazelnut flavours. The long, nutty finish is perfect with desserts that aren’t too sweet. Around $28 51

Smoky Drinks by TARQUIN MELNYK

The concept of smoke in a drink is something typically favoured by a true drinks enthusiast. But there are many ways to introduce mildly pungent or char flavours to a beverage. In the right hands, smoke is something that will appeal to almost anyone. Adding smoke can happen in many ways, from the use of burnt oil over a glass from an orange peel (fun to try over any drink that calls for a fresh peel!). To the use of a smoking gun to pump burnt oak or another wood’s smoke into a dish or a bottle of alcohol. My own experience tells me that it’s hard to find spirits or liqueurs that genuinely benefit from the introduction of wood char smoke. One exception is the use of smoke infused into a bottle of vanilla bean macerated vodka. It takes on a creamy, rich, toasted marshmallow quality that is fun to play with. Then there is the use of already smoky ingredients, such as peaty scotch or mezcal from Mexico, which is made from charred and aged agave plants. A popular cocktail that uses Ardbeg (a heavily peated whisky) is the Meat Hook cocktail, by Shawn Layton of L’abattoir in Vancouver.

The Meat Hook

40 mL Wild Turkey 101 Proof 20 mL Punt E Mes Vermouth 10 mL Ardbeg 10 yr, which provides a bold, briny, sooty smoky character to this otherwise smooth and savoury drink. 5 mL Maraschino liqueur

In the right hands, smoke is something that will appeal to almost anyone It is important to note that not all peated whiskies are created equal. Islay scotches are known for briny, sooty smoke that you either love or hate. Scotch produced in Speyside takes its smoky character from a Heather derived peat. The result is a creamy, fragrantly floral smoke that can win over many a scotch, or peat, novice.

The Smoke + Oak Old Fashioned Currently, Brendon Brewster of North 53 in Edmonton, is creating the most unique smoked drinks you’ll find in Alberta. They take thinly cut blue sprucewood ‘coasters’ and smoke them with a blowtorch. Catching the smoke in a rocks glass. The drink builds its flavour around a barrel aged gin from Victoria Spirits (Victoria, BC) The gin is stirred with smoked maple and bitters then served on the smoked blue spruce ‘coaster’. It’s a fun, wildly visual and satisfying sip.

Stir and strain into chilled cocktail glass, garnish with brandied cherry 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.



photograph by Deddeda Stemler

Wayfarer: Victoria by DAN LEAHUL

Remember when you were a kid, and you discovered that cool, hidden spot where you could hang out in secret, and it was all yours? Then you told a friend, and they told a friend, and so on, until it was not-so-secret anymore? 54

Vancouver Island is a bit like that, except for food. Call me greedy, but I’ve stumbled across a great Canadian culinary secret, and I’d like it to stay that way. While neighbours Vancouver and Seattle hog column inches, islanders seem quite content with their near non-status as a fine-dining destination. It’s hard not to indulge in this deliciously smug brand of satisfaction—but it’s just that good. And when you find yourself here, deep in warm conversation in a busy pub, or deep in quiet joy after a main course, you’ll be struck by how little you’re thinking of the mainland at all.

otherwise, let your freak flag fly, try the B-Ry, served on cornbread with avocado and bacon, or the Rabbie Burns, with whisky-caramelized onions and black pudding.


If you like beer, lucky you! Victoria’s pubs are unparalleled. Spinnaker’s is a crowd-pleaser with vast seating across two floors, attractive harbour views and a beer menu featuring over a dozen

With more restaurants per capita than any other Canadian city, second only to San Francisco on the continent,

For light and refreshing, that is if you can resist their pesto hash browns, Mo:Lé’s makes a mean smoked salmon scramble. Do dare to venture out of downtown, veggie omelets at Bubby’s Kitchen in Cook Street Village or sandwiches and scones at Parsonage Café in Fernwood are worth the short trek.

Victoria has more restaurants per capita than any other Canadian city, second only to San Francisco on the continent highlighting Victoria’s must-hit eats is no small feat. If you’re short on time, just remember there are three things that Victoria does best: breakfast, beer and just about everything else, particularly locally sourced cuisine. For breakfast, go downtown to Jam, Shine, or Mo:Lé. Weekends are busy, but wait times are quick and worthwhile. Dedicate your time at Jam to your once (or twice) yearly sugar-bomb—your eggs whites and green teas will still be at home when you get back home. Jam’s daily chalkboard offerings are good enough to bank on, but if you’re one who likes to go in with a breakfast game plan, the fried oatmeal with lemon curd or brioche French toast with caramelized bananas must be considered. Going to Shine? Get a benny. If you think humanity may have peaked with hollandaise, you can’t beat the classic benny with rich smoked ham;


year-round brews, made right in-house. Order the dark and hoppy Northwest Ale with a bowl of warm seafood chowder as you contemplate again why it is that you don’t live here. With over ten inner-city craft breweries, you’ll fare fine at the multitude of cozy, English-style pubs that dot the capital.


But for something special don’t skip the Garrick’s Head, The Guild, Swan’s or the Fernwood Inn. For beer selection, it’s Garrick’s Head. With 55 taps, it’s best to lay yourself at the mercy of the cheerful, beer-addled bartenders: they know what they like, which is why they offer the best, small-batch beers from the island and beyond. It’s got gastropub grub with plenty of veggie options worth boasting about. For a little less rowdy, do this at The Guild. For pure atmosphere, it’s Swan’s. Grab a table in the streetside sunroom and while the day away with a halibut burger and in-house IPA. If you’re there long enough, there’s


Jam 55

Brasserie L’École

kilometers away. Locals will undoubtedly steer you towards Sobo for spicy fish tacos and a side of polenta fries - heed their advice. If you find yourself in quaint little Courtenay, look at your watch - if there’s a number on it, head to Atlas Café. Breakfast, lunch or dinner will wow, and bully for you if they happen to be serving their blackberry bison bourguignon.

live music every night. For cozy, find the Fernwood Inn. For even cozier, Christie’s Carriage House is just a few blocks walk from there. From food-trucks to fine-dining, you’ve got your work cut out for you too. If you’re on the run, the caramel chicken with Vietnamese ginger at Foo Asian Street Food will plant you in your heels for a few ecstatic minutes. Or seek out one of two Hernande’z Cocina locations for black bean tacos—bring cash and leave cilantro-haters at home. The chicken katsu sandwich at Relish is the perfect alibi for pretending you weren’t there just for their mind-melting brownies. Taste buds that demand a swift kick in the keister should seek out authentic Indonesian take-out Ayo Eat. For cod and chips, don’t bother going anywhere but Red Fish, Blue Fish. If you’re not in a rush, good - how very islander of you. You’ll of course know then that a visit to Brasserie L’École is in order, and you’ll start with french onion soup, then the steak frites, and

Red Fish, Blue Fish 56

finish with a French 75. The pizze funghi at Prima Strada may have you momentarily forgetting your first name, while Rebar’s salted caramel tart will have you forgetting you had a care in the world. For fresh-shucked oysters, do Ferris’s. Make sure to ask for extra sherry mignonette. Small plates and wine, try Stage and their fried haloumi. Small plates and something stiffer, try Veneto and their rye, mescal, whitechocolate chili cocktail. The show-stopping tuna don more than makes up for the criminally short opening hours at Uchida. For the best

And not just a clever name, at Locals you’ll be amongst locals eating locallysourced everything, like Comox Valley Muscovy duck, with orange and fennel. For a bit of Britain, tuck into pub grub and pints at the Crow and Gate in Nanaimo. Or call ahead for a table at tiny Nest Bistro - the mushroom and brie tart is worth rubbing elbows with the freakishly-friendly locals. If you fancy yourself a bit of a honeydripper, Hudson’s on First in Duncan is pure romance, and their almond parfait is sex on a plate.

Islanders seem quite content with their near non-status as a fine-dining destination

local ingredients the island has to offer, head to Ulla or Café Brio and point your finger blindly at anything on the menu.

Up-island It’s the capital, not the centre of the universe - venturing north of Victoria reaps great rewards. A feast for the soul and the senses is a short day-trip or overnight stay away. Tofino’s reputation as a knockout precedes it. For food as fresh and homegrown as the coastal ocean breeze, gimme Shelter, and their Thai-inspired Cortes Island mussels, or pan-seared salmon hooked only a couple

Amusé on the Vineyard, deep within the Cowichan Valley is worthy of the trip out west alone. If it’s sunny, bless your stars and bask in the vineyard-view patio. Newlywed and nearly dead? Yup, that’s exactly what these islanders want you to think. Or not. With a belly full of worldclass food and drink, and a heart full of homegrown hospitality, once you’re here, you might find you’re too content to really care what anyone thinks. Dan Leahul is a freelance writer and communications professional based out of Victoria, BC.

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Open That Bottle


“I’m a bartender at heart, I love the bar,” says John Robarts, Operations Manager of The Creative Restaurants group, the folks behind Bonterra, Cibo, Posto and now the brand new Scopa. And Robarts has spent almost all his adult life working with bars and restaurants, even during his days studying Engineering at university. “I love meeting people, and letting them try something new,” he explains. “And the variety of what you have to do behind a bar, making drinks, keeping organized, multitasking, making one type of drink while greeting other guests and answering the phone - just doing a whole bunch of different things all at once, it’s fun.” Edmonton born and raised, Robarts moved to Calgary in 2001, following his family who had already moved south. He applied to work at Wildwood but ended up at Bonterra, shortly

afterwards taking over as GM. “I committed myself to its success,” he says, “to making sure it was one of Calgary’s favourite places to dine. I’m a firm believer in a handshake; eye contact and a smile go a long way in the world. It creates a sense of trust and makes people feel welcome.” It was a very close family friend who spelled out to Robarts why he was successful, that when people come to the restaurants, they feel important, and that they matter. “And it’s so true,” he admits. “What he said opened my eyes and put to words the way I felt.” Expanding their horizons, the group started looking for new space, opening Cibo in 2012. The space next door to Bonterra then became available, so they opened Posto last year, and now Scopa. “We’ve got our eyes on a whole bunch more,” laughs Robarts. Outside of work life, he’s also the proud father of a soon to be one-year-old daughter, the apple of his family’s eye. So what special bottle is Robarts saving for a special occasion? “I’m super lucky to have a small selection of very nice wines in my cellar at home,” he says. “We’ve got wines classified as before midnight and after midnight. Often the wines you drink after midnight, you’re drinking less responsibly, so I knew I had to look


at the before midnight selection to pick one. I thought about a nice Super Tuscan, a wine from France, from Spain, but this is the special one.” In 1997, Wine Spectator awarded this 1994 Vintage Fonseca Port 100 points, as well as their number one wine in the year’s top 100 wines listing. And when Robarts will open the bottle? As a wedding gift from his longest standing friend, whose father who opened Robarts’ eyes as to why his guests feel special, Robarts says, “With my wife, and probably with my friend who gave it to us as a gift.” Not to celebrate the opening of his next venture? “Ha ha, the opening of a restaurant is a long process, and typically you’re just so busy you just want a beer on those nights!”

The Vintage Group collection of iconic restaurants have satisfied Calgary palates

for over 10 years. Our locally-owned eateries offer award-winning cuisine and exceptional service. With everything from authentic Southern BBQ to Canadian comfort food, prime steaks and premium fresh seafood, we take pride in creating a unique and memorable dining experience.






Profile for Culinaire Magazine

Culinaire #3 1 (may 2014)  

Culinaire #3 1 (may 2014)