C A L G A R Y / F O O D & D R I N K / R E C I P E S : : V O L U M E 3 N O . 2 : : j une 2 0 1 4
Finding the perfect harmony of music and food
Summertime Italian | Canny Brewing | Outdoor Drinking & Dining
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Volume 3 / issue #2 JUNE 2014
Features 26 Two Takes on Italian, Side-by-side From upscale contemporary Italian cuisine to pizza and casual dining, Bonterra and Posto aren’t going stale any time soon. by Dan Clapson
Eat to the Beat Sounding good, feeling good: three local Calgary musicians fuel their creativity with the food on their plates. by Elizabeth Chorney-Booth
Find Your Best: Patio Dinner Your dining spot in the sun by Katy Bond, Robyn MacLean, Diana Ng, and Dan Clapson
Come for the Music, Stay for the Food Food, Drinks, and Rock ‘n’ Roll venues by Elizabeth Chorney-Booth
Spaghetti Warms Our Hearts Recipes from classic to trendy by Natalie Findlay
In The Absence Of Wine . . . Creative concoctions without alcohol by Erika Tocco
“We’re All The Boss Here” Fifty-six successful years for the Iamartino family by Jeff Collins
42 Ports and Summertime Forts Tipples for when the grass is green? by Tom Firth
35 100 Years of Dining in Calgary And The Palliser’s still on-trend by Cory Knibutat
48 The Case for Wine in June Drinking in the Great Outdoors by Tom Firth 50
To Can or Not To Can… For years, the image of canned beer has been cheap, low quality and mass-produced. Is it time to rethink? by Kirk Bodnar
Salutes and Shout Outs
Chefs’ Tips and Tricks!
20 Soup Kitchen 22 Menu Gems 24 Step-By-Step Pesto 30 8 Ways to Spice Up Hot Dogs
Open That Bottle Jamie ‘The Coach’ Herbison of XL103 Calgary by Linda Garson
Front cover photography by Ingrid Kuenzel, with thanks and appreciation to Oak Tree Tavern for the location, the burger and salad, and to Amy Theissen and Matt Blais for their time, patience and the private performance!
Letter From The Editor Culinary scene as Spolumbo’s, John Gilchrist and Calgary Farmers Market – and now Culinaire is the tenth! Thanks so much to everyone for your support; we’re giving ourselves a hardearned pat on the back!
We’re an award-winning magazine! At only two years old, it’s such great news and we’re very excited. The Calgary Academy of Chefs and Cooks nominated us for The Industry Recognition Award, and we have won for the Western Region. We’re in very good company; there have been nine winners since the award was started in 2003, including such doyens of the Calgary
Other notable culinary Calgarians have been honoured recently too - River Café’s Sal Howell as ‘Canada’s Best Restaurateur 2014’ in the Terroir Awards for Excellence in Hospitality, and Chef Andrew Winfield as ‘Canada’s Outstanding Chef 2014’ for their commitment to regional and sustainable cuisine. And we can’t forget the winners of Tourism Calgary’s White Hat of the Year - Rouge, in the restaurant category and Hotel Arts for accommodation. Congrats to all! Be well and eat well, Linda Garson Editor-in-Chief
From a Culinaire prizewinner: “Hi Linda: Just wanted to let you know that I was able to go to Big Fish for my prize lesson and dinner. Dwayne and Alberta both personally came to congratulate me and Dwayne was the one who actually taught me how to properly shuck an oyster. I don’t think I want to have to do it for a crowd, but nice to have learned for when I need that skill! We followed the lesson with a great meal of shrimp cakes, Arctic char and halibut as mains, and then pecan pie. The food, the wine and the people were all fantastic and I will return to enjoy it again! Thanks Culinaire and Big Fish for the treat!” Karen S, Calgary
w inning compe t i t ion en t ries We love reading your entries, and receive the most creative and fascinating stories. Here are the winners of two of our recent competitions: The winning entry in the ‘Win a Basket of Goodies from Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts’ competition was:
The winner of the ‘Win a Gourmet Brunch For Two At Monki Breakfast Club & Bistro’ was:
‘I could tell you about island ocean or mountain views, boat cruises, beach sunsets, sunrises or the sparkling, evening city lights, but I won’t. My best view was sitting on a wooden bench right on Banff Avenue in the middle of the day of the week. (I think it was Wednesday...HUMP day, in fact.) Why was it the best view? Pure peace, a healthy and a lovingly appreciation for the simplest things in life. I can explain. While listening to the accents of various visitors passing behind us, having the smell of country air (the Rockies’ perfume) a far cry from downtown Calgary, there we were watching the slowness of life: horse-drawn carriages, even joggers, walkers, strollers and the aged. You can see their enjoyment of where they were and that made us happy to watch them as our “scenery”. And every time a car drove past or stopped at the traffic light, we guessed from where they came from before we could see their license plate while making up stories about the people in the cars and why they came to Banff. That’s was our little game of entertainment as we ate local fish burgers and large, takeout organic juice drinks. The food matched where we were, the convenience of where we sat and the spectacular view of life moving slowly along. Uncomplicated. Just pure simplicity. Something you can touch forever in a memory.’
Brunch makes friends with everyone; You can wake up late or get up at dawn, And there’s always a table with eggs & bacon on. Brunch is a cure for long-lost friends, Or to cap a night that never ends; It’s a meal to let you make amends. Brunch likes to mix it up, Orange juice or coffee in your cup? It’s never to early to add hair of the pup. Brunch likes choices! It’s flavour-y! Are you keen on sweet, or sweet on savoury? To try ‘em together doesn’t take much bravery. Of all the meals, Brunch reigns supreme, Setting a hungry foodies’ eyes a gleam. We all love Brunch, of the crop it’s the cream.
CALGARY / FOOD & DRINK / RECIPES Editor-in-Chief/Publisher: Linda Garson firstname.lastname@example.org Contributing Drinks Editor: Tom Firth email@example.com Contributing Food Editor: Dan Clapson firstname.lastname@example.org Commercial Director Keiron Gallagher and Advertising: 403-975-7177 email@example.com Digital Media: Laura Lushington firstname.lastname@example.org Design: Emily Vance Contributors: Kirk Bodnar Katy Bond Elizabeth Chorney-Booth Jeff Collins Natalie Findlay Mallory Frayn Cory Knibutat Renee Kohlman Ingrid Kuenzel Laura Lushington Diana Ng David Nuttall JP Pedhirney Robyn MacLean Emily Shibley Erika Tocco
To read about our talented team of contributors, please visit us online at culinairemagazine.ca.
Our Contributors < Elizabeth ChorneyBooth
Elizabeth is a Calgarybased freelance writer with over 15 years of experience. She writes about people, entertainment, travel and food for a number of publications including The Calgary Herald, Swerve, Where Calgary, Up! and Culinaire. Elizabeth is also the co-founder and co-editor of RollingSpoon.com, a website that explores the connection between music and food through interviews with musicians and chefs, with recipes provided and inspired by her favourite bands.
< Cory Knibutat
A journalism graduate, Cory has had a life-long love affair with food. He blames his mother for teaching him how to make scrambled eggs when he needed a stool to look over the stove. Cory has translated his passion for food into his journalistic ambitions, not necessarily critiquing food but meeting the people who make it and finding their inspiration. He believes that everybody has a story to tell and there’s always something tasty to eat if you know where to look.
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.
< Erika Tocco
Contact us at: Culinaire Magazine #1203, 804 -3rd Avenue SW Calgary, AB T2P 0G9 403-870-9802 email@example.com www.culinairemagazine.ca www.facebook.com/CulinaireMagazine Twitter: @culinairemag For subscriptions, competitions and to read Culinaire online: culinairemagazine.ca
Erika began her hospitality career as a chef, earning her diploma at George Brown College in Toronto. During her nine years in the Okanagan Valley, she completed her WSET levels 1-4 while working for some of the most famous wines properties. Erika is a keen WSET educator, wine writer, wine traveller, and the senior wine director of Vin Room. Her program has been recognized both nationally and internationally for its extensive glass pour menu.
SPRING SUMMER MENU
FOR RESERVATIONS www.KORQwinehouse.ca 801 – 6th Street SW, Calgary AB 587.352.KORQ (5677)
Salutes … Helping endangered wildlife By collecting a $3 donation from tasting room visitors, Burrowing Owl Estate Winery has raised about $80,000 to purchase land and return it to the S. Okanagan Rehab Centre for Owls and the Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of BC, when government funding dries up. Great job!
Calgary’s first Chopped Canada Champ Congrats to Chef Jessica Pelland on impressing chefs Roger Mooking, Vikram Vij and Chuck Hughes to become our city’s first Chopped Canada champion. “The competition
was stiff, fiery and tested my skill with each surprising ingredient,” says Pelland, whose next challenge is heading up the kitchen of charbar restaurant, when it opens in East Village next year.
Alberta’s Top Mixologist Congrats too to Dominik Auschauer, winner of the 2014 Alberta Cocktail Challenge, who took home the gold medal and $1,000, and to Rod Redford of Milk Tiger Lounge, who came in second. It was tough competition at Hotel Arts, with 12 of Alberta’s finest bartenders battling for the title. Auschauer, mixologist/ bartender at Cilantro restaurant, won the Black Box challenge that featured
Photograph courtesy Tieran Green
a surprise ingredient – Cynar. “Cynar Flip is actually my twitter handle,” laughs Auschauer. “Cynar is one of my favourite liquors to use, so I was ecstatic when I found out that it was the black box ingredient.” Cocktails from each round were auctioned off with all proceeds benefitting the Calgary Distress Centre.
and Shout Outs … Savanna Dry Cider arrives in Calgary this summer The world’s #3 cider, Savanna Dry from South Africa, is set to launch in Calgary very soon. With a crisp, slightly tart taste and aromas of fresh apples, Savanna Dry is triple-filtered and double-chilled. “Savanna has a delicious and fresh taste that is less sweet than a typical cider, making it easy to drink and fitting for any occasion.” says Greg Smith, Distell Group Ltd. Country Manager for Canada. Enjoy it the South African way - ice cold with a slice of lemon in the neck – we did, and are eagerly awaiting this iconic stubby bottle in our stores.
Black Pig Bistro opens its doors One of the most anticipated additions to our culinary scene is now open in Bridgeland. Alison Bieber (formerly chef at Cucina) and partners Denise and Larry Scammell’s new bistro is named for the famed Spanish delicacy, 6
Black Pig Bistro
and Parmesan anchovy dressing ($14). You won’t want to share it, but these are generous portions! Spicy Cauliflower Chitarra ($19) with Serrano Ham, is a lip-tingling spicy pasta dish, and could be addictive, while the treatment of the Cornmeal-Crusted Red Snapper ($19) is masterful. blackpigbistro.com, 825 1st Ave NE, open lunch and dinner Weds–Sun.
New brews for Calgary
Black Iberian Pig. Spanish influences are evident in this small menu’s robustly flavoured dishes; the tomato-rubbed baguette that accompanies signature dish Jamon Iberico ($24) is totally authentic. Share, along with the stunning Green Salad ($12) filled with fresh herbs, green veggies, grapes and topped with avocado dressing – and you’ll have a delicious and satisfying lunch. Equally good is the Tomato Caesar Salad with basil, fried capers,
With brewpubs in Banff, Fort McMurray and Jasper, Bear Hill Brewing are now making beer in Calgary on 11th Ave. SW, formerly Brew Brothers. Later this year, they will also be distilling craft spirits and opening Last Best brewpub upstairs in the District/Amsterdam Rhino space. Currently on tap at select bars, as well as at liquor stores that offer growler fills, Last Best IPA, Show Pony Pale Ale, Dirty Bird Black Lager and There Will Be Porter debuted at Calgary’s Beerfest, where the porter won a gold medal.
Poutine Week And Burger Week: The Results! It’s been a heavy eating time for Calgarians this spring, with the second YYC Burger Week following straight on the heels of Calgary’s first Poutine Week. But what fun and creative dishes we’ve been lucky to enjoy – and raise money for charity too! Twenty eateries (including a food truck) participated in Poutine Week, and seventy people were transported around the city on the last day to sample six competing poutines in the showdown Poutine Crawl. 2,000 poutines were gobbled up over the week, enabling Mealshare to privide 2,000 meals to people in need. Restaurants selling the most poutine were: Chinook Centre’s State and Main - 147, Clive Burger - 135, and Waffles and Chix in 3rd place with 129. Winner of Poutine Crawl for the second year in a row was Downtownfood, just a few votes ahead of Wurst.
With hardly time to recover from carb overload, YYC Burger Week took Calgary by storm as thirty restaurants plied their specially created offerings which included elk, wild boar, lobster, foie gras, pork, beef, bannock, bao, ramen, Ahi tuna, roe, wasabi and seaweed! The winners in each of the three price bands were: $10 - Flipp’n Burgers, runner up Billingsgate Fish Market $15 - Craft Beer Market, runner up Naina’s Kitchen (2013 winner) $20 - NOtaBLE, runners up a tie between Brasserie Kensington and Diner Deluxe
At least 16,000 burgers were sold over the eight days, with Craft Beer Market accounting for over 1,500 alone - and seven people attempted to eat all 30! Donations from each burger went to support local charities Made by Momma, Autism Aspergers Friendship Society, and Calgary Canadian Mental Health Association. Can’t wait for YYC Salad Week!
WE DELIVER! CALGARY / FOOD & DRINK / RECIPES :: VOLUME 2 NO.10 :: APRIL 2014
The elemenTS of a greaT brunch
Showing off our Sunny Side
A Year of Beer | Easter Eats | Wayfarer: Kelowna
CALGARY / FOOD & DRINK / RECIPES :: VOLUME 3 NO.1 :: MAY 2014
LICKING OUR CHOPS IN CARNIVOROUS COWTOWN
VANCOUVER ISLAND - WE’VE GOT IT COVERED!
Outdoor Wines | Spring Bocks | Smokin’ Cocktails
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.
LDQG QH GLQH
educating Calgary palates since 2005
Sunday, September 21 Thursday, October 2, 2014
Deadline fast approaching! Only the last few places are 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 firstname.lastname@example.org • 403-870-9802
Visit vineanddine.ca for food and wine events in Calgary too!
June Events Edmonton Craft Beer Festival
Edmonton Expo Centre at Northlands 7515 118 Ave NW, Edmonton June 6: 4:00 pm-10:00 pm Beer Geek VIP 3:00-4:00 pm June 7: 2:00 pm-9:00 pm Beer Geek VIP 1:00-2:00 pm Tickets: $19, $25 at the door Beer Geek VIP: $25 Weekend Pass: $30 Beer Geek VIP: $40 Hundreds of booths featuring beers and food from around the world, plus Brew Master Seminars, Cooking With Beer Seminars, food and beer pairings, and more. edmontoncraftbeerfest.com
Tusks & Tails Gala
Tusks & Tails Gala
June 12, 5:30-10:00 pm, Calgary Zoo 1300 Zoo Road NE $500 per plate or $4,000 per table Calgary Zoo’s main fundraiser, Tusks & Tails Gala features regional cuisine prepared by the zoo’s own chefs, with a keynote address by Dr. Axel Moehrenschlager, the Zoo’s head of Conservation Research. Proceeds support the Calgary Zoo’s local and international wildlife conservation efforts. calgaryzoo.com
3rd Annual East Kootenay Beer Festival
Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, BC. June 14, 4:00 pm-8:00 pm
Camping and Mountain Lodge Packages from $160-$336 for two nights including tickets to the festival. Sample 8
by David Nuttall
beers from over a dozen local breweries while enjoying live music and great food. fairmonthotsprings.com/events The Big Rock Eddies
continued support of youth projects, and their work with many Calgary charities. calgaryhellenic.com/greek-festival
Canada Day, July 1
Canada Day at Fort Calgary 806 9 Avenue SE. fortcalgary.com
The Big Rock Eddies
June 16, 6:00 pm EPCOR Centre for The Performing Arts, 205 8 Ave. SE Tickets: $50 Eddies ticket proceeds go to local groups such as the EPCOR CENTRE, One Yellow Rabbit and the Calgary Folk Music Festival. 21 years ago, Ed McNally, founder of Big Rock, originally planned to have professional TV commercials made, but they were so expensive that he let his loyal beer drinkers produce some. He found them so humorous, he created an event to show them off to the general public. In a parody of the Oscars, close to 2,000 people show up in limos, walk the red carpet (complete with paparazzi), dress up in Hollywood glam, little black dresses, feather boas, velvet suits, shades and even costumes. See the winners, enjoy Big Rock beer, sample delicious food from local restaurants, and dance the night away. bigrockbeer.com/eddies
Dominion Day/Canada Day Heritage Park, 1900 Heritage Dr. SW. heritagepark.ca City of Calgary Celebrations at Prince’s Island, Riverfront Stage, Eau Claire Festival Market, Chinatown, Food Truck Roundup, Powwow, Stephen Avenue Walk and night time fireworks display. calgary.ca 109th Running of the Millarville Races, Millarville Race Track millarvilleracetrack.com East Village Street Fair RiverWalk Plaza, 618 Confluence Way SE. ev-na.com Banff: Canada Place and Central Park banff.ca Chestermere: John Peake Park. ab-chestermere.civicplus.com Cochrane: cochrane-tourism.ca
The Greek Festival 2014
Calgary Hellenic Society Community Hall, 1 Tamarac Crescent SW June 20: Noon-10:00 pm June 21: 11:00 am-10:30 pm June 22: 11:00 am-8:30 pm Calgary Hellenic Society’s Annual Greek Festival is an opportunity for Calgarians to experience Hellenic culture. This festival is about music, dance, wine and food, and the society’s
The Greek Festival 2014
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.
YOUR TABLE AWAITS.
Ask Culinaire by CHEF JP Pedhirney
What is the best way to serve pasta in summer?
Answer: When we think about pasta,
we tend to associate it with a carbheavy, comforting meal covered in rich, flavourful sauce and finished with a mountain of delicious cheese! By the end of consuming something as comforting as this, you may find yourself retired on the couch coping with “pasta sweats”. Personally, I don’t mind getting to this level of satisfaction, especially during the winter months when there isn’t as much to do outside. At this time of the year though, Calgarians want to make the most of the sunny summer days, so big plates of pasta aren’t really on the forefront of people’s dinner plans. Now that doesn’t mean that this popular, complex carbohydrate needs to hibernate in the pantry from June to September. We just need to approach it differently.
The first piece of advice I would give is that the pasta should be the supporting character in the dish. What I mean by this is that your focus of the dish should be to highlight the ingredients you paired with the pasta, not the pasta itself. It’s summertime, so celebrate the abundance of fresh, quality ingredients! For example, if I were to make penne with green beans and ham, I would bump up the amount of beans and other garnish being used, opposed to the penne. In other words, less carb more veg! Next, avoid heavy cream and tomato sauces and try using light, acidic sauces instead. Use reduced white wine or juiced lemons to add moisture and flavour to your pastas. A basic light pasta sauce can be made by sweating chopped shallots and garlic until lightly
In summer, pasta should be the supporting character in the dish
browned, then adding a decent splash of white wine to the pan, followed by swirling in some chilled knobs of butter to finish. You can also use olive oil or cold pressed canola oil with fresh lemon juice or balsamic vinegar. Finally, don’t shy away from adding different garnishes to enhance flavour. Although adding cheese to anything can be a good idea any time of the year, it doesn’t have to be the end-all-beall for a pasta garnish. Ingredients like nuts, herbs, pestos and greens, such as arugula, are all great items to finish your pasta dish. Going back to our penne and green bean pasta, use a basic white wine butter sauce and try garnishing with chopped ham or shrimp, almonds, a little bit of lemon zest and goat cheese for a pasta that is filled with the bright flavours of summer.
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
Find Your Best:
After a spring that didn’t really feel too much like spring at all, every Calgarian is itching to make the most of these summer months. As lovely as it feels to stroll the river paths or to lay in one of the city’s lovely parks and soak up the sun’s rays, what are you to do when hunger strikes?
Thankfully, there is no shortage of great patios in this city that can keep you fed and watered (or perhaps cocktail-ed is more suitable?) while still allowing you to embrace the warmth of summer. Here’s a few questions to help you find the perfect seat in the sunshine this month.
4. If it gets a bit cooler out during dinner I… a) put a sweater on. I come prepared. b) become best friends with a heat lamp. c) preferably find a table inside, I don’t like my food getting cold.
The kind of atmosphere I like on a patio is… a) big city ‘cool’. b) somewhat buzzing with an interesting crowd of people. c) calm and quaint.
When I head to a patio, I come with… a) some friends or colleagues from work. b) my girlfriend or boyfriend. c) my family.
My go-to drink when I’m sitting outside is usually… a) a beer. b) a strong cocktail to start. c) a great glass of wine!
6. I’m going to head to a patio to have… a) after work cocktails and something small to eat. b) a Friday night date with my significant other. c) a great meal with friends or family. 7.
The kind of food I’m looking to eat is… a) anything that’s good for sharing. b) contemporary, not just an order of chicken fingers. c) well-plated and multiple courses.
The amount of shade available on a patio is… a) very important, I don’t want to burn.
b) somewhat important, if there’s a bit of shade, that’s perfect. c) not important, I need more sun in my life!
If it starts to rain, it’s… a) just a bit of water. I’ll wait it out. b) patio game over, home time. c) time to move inside. I still want my dinner!
The amount of time I spend on a patio in one sitting is… a) a couple hours, depending on how nice the weather is. b) an entire night if it’s a fun one! c) enough time to enjoy a proper dinner.
10. How close to the sidewalk do you like to be when on a patio? a) I’d like to be able to pretend I’m nowhere near a busy street. b) Not too close, but it’s nice to see what’s happening around me. c) Far away. I don’t want my patio time tarnished by car motors revving and all that. 11
Oak Tree Tavern
Oak Tree Tavern
(the perfect low key spot, mix of As, Bs and Cs) by Dan Clapson During the summertime, nothing pairs better with a cold pint of beer than eating some tasty food outside with a group of friends. Just above The Source snowboard shop in Kensington (which is now closed), this little pub is perfect for a casual get-together on a patio. On the second story and a bit removed from
(the hidden gem, mostly As) by Katy Bond A good patio always makes having an early evening cocktail seem more appropriate. One such spot is Bar C, and not just because they offer an excellent cocktail list. This eatery has two patios for guests to choose from. Their street side patio is perfect for scoping the 17th Avenue action as you nibble on some food. But it’s their ‘alley patio’ that makes dining outside a truly delightful experience. This patio is sandwiched between Bar C and sister restaurant, Cilantro. A fantastic open air, yet enclosed space, makes it feel like a chic private patio in New York. Beautiful 9’6” ft tall historic boiler doors (salvaged from an old historic building in Calgary) serve as the gate between 17th Avenue and this cosy oasis. Along one side is a wall of windows 12
Oak Tree Tavern
10th Street NW, sitting outside at Oak Tree Tavern, you’ll feel relaxed and almost like you’re sitting on a friend’s backyard deck, letting the good times roll. Many pubs in this city have nice patios, but lacklustre food. Luckily, The Oak Tree does pub fare very well. Balance out your liquid intake and sun soaking with a big serving of their tavern nachos or some deep-fried pickles, a salty brine-y appetiser that is delicious any
time of year and also rumoured to cure hangovers. The stars of the menu here though are definitely the burgers. Alberta beef is ground in-house and formed into 8 ounce patties of pure deliciousness. The Applewood Burger, topped with grilled apples, smoked cheddar and bacon is a must-try. Rain or shine. This spot also has no shortage of evening events, from musicians like their Sunday afternoon live Irish sessions, to stand-up comedy acts (Wednesdays), so you can easily tap along to the tunes or catch a joke or two while sitting outside here. Oak Tree Tavern, 124 -10 St NW oaktreetavern.com, @OakTreeYYC
looking into Bar C, which brings the outdoors inside and vice versa. The patio also boasts a vertical garden that showcases a variety of plants. There’s even a fireplace, because we all know how Calgary’s temperatures tend to drop at night. If you are looking to kick back with a few friends over a glass of wine and some shared plates of food, Bar C has definitely ‘set the bar’ with their little urban-garden oasis. Bar C, 340-17 Ave SW bar-c.ca, @BarCFoodDrink Bar C
The Living Room
(cosy and romantic, mostly Bs) by Robyn MacLean The Living Room is best known for its charming patio, with its cosy outdoor fireplaces and enchanting ambient lighting, it’s practically a Calgary landmark located in the heart of the always buzzing 17th Avenue. The intimate outdoor space offers the perfect sanctuary from the sea of people on the popular street, yet still gives the impression that you’re right in the middle of all the action. Tall trees strung with little bright lights, flowering greenery and some heat lamps (appreciated at many times in our Calgary summers) are peppered throughout, and divide the classy dining space naturally.
no doubt spirited-guests will stay for more late-night cocktails. While people sit, chat and enjoy the food, they also experience people watching at it’s finest as the Calgary nightlife passes by. Always an interesting mix of individuals out for a stroll on 17th Avenue, to say the least! But this space also provides enough separation from the bustling strip, so you don’t feel like you’re sitting right next to the sidewalk while you’re trying to enjoy your dinner.
SUSTAINABLE LIVABLE DESIGN
The Living Room, 514-17 Ave SW livingroomrestaurant.ca @LivingRoomYYC The Living Room
The romantic ambiance makes it an ideal setting for date night, anniversaries, or just a fancy night out with friends. Guests will be drawn into the restaurant for a nice dinner to sample chef Kevin Hill’s contemporary cuisine, but after drinking their signature “shaft”, there’s River Café
(fine dining, finer patio, mostly Cs) by Diana Ng It’s not surprising that one of the best restaurants in the city, River Café, also has one of the best patios. Tucked away in Prince’s Island Park, the most romantic spot in the heart of downtown, is the warm and rustic, award-winning Calgary institution. Its Canadianainspired decor, reminiscent of a fishing lodge and complete with canoes hanging
from the ceiling, is matched by the charming terrace that lines the wood and stone exterior. Peeking out from trees and shrubs, overlooking the Bow River and lush green landscape, the umbrella-lined and casual outdoor space offers an unparalleled view of the cityscape while just separated enough from foot traffic. Feast on top-notch Canadian cuisine made with local ingredients and Ocean Wise-approved seafood - starting with light bites like beef tartare, wood-grilled humboldt squid and tuna crudo, before dining on mains such as sablefish and bison striploin - and sip on wines from major producing regions in the world as you take in rays from one of the sunniest cities in the country. River Café, 25 Prince’s Island Park SW river-cafe.com, @RiverCafeYYC
* yup, there is a view too . . .
Spaghetti Warms Our Hearts:
From Relatively Classic To Trendy On The Plate story and photography by Natalie Findlay
Spaghetti and meatballs is a great comfort food dish at any time of the year. It is rich, satisfying, affordable, and easy to make. The whole family can enjoy these three recipes - from classic to show stopping! 2. Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat and cook meatballs without overcrowding the pan until browned, about 10 minutes. The meatballs do not need to be cooked all the way through as they will cook further in the sauce. Tomato Sauce
Spaghetti with Bison Meatballs and Tomato Sauce
The ‘Traditional’: Spaghetti with Bison Meatballs and Tomato Sauce Serves 4
550 g ground bison 250 g ground pork 10 g parsley, roughly chopped 40 g Parmesan cheese, grated 4 cloves roasted garlic or fresh garlic made into a paste 1 egg Pinch paprika Pinch ground mustard To Taste salt To Taste pepper 5g ground thyme 3 Tbs (45 mL) olive oil, for sautéeing
1. Combine all ingredients apart from oil in a large bowl, and form into 16 x 50 g balls. 14
2 Tbs (30 mL) olive oil 40 g onion, finely diced 30 g carrot, finely diced 40 g celery, finely diced 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp tomato paste 5 g dried thyme 2 bay leaves 400 g crushed canned tomatoes To Taste salt and pepper 45 g parsley, finely chopped 10 g basil, chiffonade
1. Heat olive oil in a saucepot. Add
onion, carrots and celery and sauté for 8 minutes until soft. Add garlic and sauté another 2 minutes.
2. Add tomato paste, thyme and bay leaves and sauté 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. 3. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add meatballs and let simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Remove the bay leaf, add parsley and basil. 4. To serve, cook your favourite
spaghetti, top with sauce and meatballs and add a generous topping of parsley and Parmesan cheese - enjoy slowly.
The ‘Unique’: Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meatballs and Mushrooms Serves 4
Now to turn the concept of spaghetti on it’s head, here’s a recipe using spaghetti squash. It’s easy to cook and is delicious with this sauce or you can use the tomato sauce recipe, or simply garlic, butter and parsley. To cook squash, pierce with a fork around 20 times and cook in 400º F oven on a baking sheet for 45 to 60 minutes until soft. When cool enough to handle, slice in half and remove the seeds. Rake out the flesh with a fork. Voila – spaghetti! Turkey Meatballs
400 g ground turkey 200 g ground pork 3 cloves roasted garlic or 2 cloves minced fresh garlic 10 g parsley 1 egg 30 g sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped Pinch ground coriander 5 g ground marjoram To taste salt and pepper Drizzle olive oil
Preheat oven to 350º F. Combine all ingredients then form into 12 x 50g balls. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 18 minutes, turning once.
Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meatballs and Mushrooms
DURABLE CLEAN DETAILS When cooked, spaghetti squash takes the form of strands that resemble, well...orange spaghetti Sauce
150 g Chanterelle mushrooms, stems removed and sliced 3 cloves garlic, minced 5 g ground thyme 2/3 cup (150 mL) white wine 2 cups (500 mL) cream To taste salt and pepper 2 Tbs (30mL) olive oil
1. Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook 8 to 10 minutes until their liquid has started to release. Add the garlic and thyme and sauté 2 minutes. 2. Deglaze with white wine and reduce
The ‘Unexpected’: Squid Ink Spaghetti with Garlic and Shrimp Serves 4
This recipe turns the delicious and humble spaghetti and meatball dinner into something unexpected for a special occasion. 340 g squid ink spaghetti 4 slices pancetta 2 Tbs (30 mL) olive oil 1 shallot, thinly sliced 4 cloves garlic, finely diced 680 g raw shrimp, deveined, tail on or off 150 g cherry tomatoes, cut in half To taste salt To taste red pepper flakes 20 g parsley Squeeze fresh lemon juice
1. Cook squid ink pasta around 7
for 5 minutes. Add cream and bring to a gentle boil to reduce and thicken, about 8 minutes.
minutes in a pot of boiling water. Drain and reserve.
3. Divide spaghetti squash between
2. Cook pancetta in large pan until
plates, top with a meatballs and mushroom sauce.
crisp. Remove onto paper towels to drain. Reserve.
4. Garnish with goat cheese and
3. Heat olive oil over medium heat in
toasted walnuts for a hearty meal. Squid Ink Spaghetti with Garlic and Shrimp
the same pan. Add shallot and garlic and sauté without browning until soft. Add shrimp and tomatoes and cook just until the shrimps turn opaque.
4. Place the spaghetti and shrimp
mixture in a bowl and top with parsley, pancetta and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
Natalie is a freelance writer, photographer and pastry chef. A graduate of Cordon Bleu’s pastry program, she creates custom-made cakes.
* our blog . . . is nuts
We’re All The Boss ” Here
by Jeff Collins photography by Ingrid Kuenzel
“It was one aisle, one aisle of groceries in the store. That’s all we could get. We couldn’t even find garlic, My Dad was like, ‘Don’t they have garlic anywhere?’ One aisle covered everything.” Sera Duros laughs. Here we are sitting in the spacious café in The Italian Store at 5140 Skyline Way NE. Her parents, Alberto and Christina Iamartino, opened the original deli, grocery store and wholesaler, as Great West Italian Importers, in 1958. Sera was born the same year. Their first location was purchased by the City of Calgary as it extended Crowchild Trail over the Bow River. The proceeds of the deal allowed Iamartino to purchase a bigger warehouse and storefront in Inglewood, just across the river from the Italian neighbourhood of Bridgeland. Sera literally grew up in the family business. “After school, I would take the bus and go help them do the shelves. They didn’t speak English very well so I even did most of their paperwork. Then, they started selling to Safeway. I remember I would go and fill up the shelves for Safeway because you had to make the stuff look good or they wouldn’t buy it from you. It was a lot of hard work. (But
I knew) I was always going to be a part of the family business.” Today, Sera is one of four partners who own and operate Great West Italian Importers. Alberto’s younger daughter, Sue, her husband Giovanni Oliverio, and Sera’s husband Mike, make up the rest
You’re not going to come to this country as a 40-year-old labourer and get a law degree! of the management quartet. Together they run Great West as an umbrella company with two divisions: The Italian Store and Scarpone’s Quality Italian Foods. The former is the retail end of this family-owned food business. The latter imports products from all over the world, and packages food under its own Scarpone’s brand name. When Sera was
asked about the boss at Great West, she answered, “We’re all the boss here.”
in his words, “drives the bus”, as the Operations Manager.
Giovanni Oliverio, AKA Gio or John, was on his way to law school when his canny father-in-law intercepted him. “I took a year off to work in the business and I just fell in love with it.” Respect and admiration are evident in his voice when he talks about the now 92-yearold patriarch. “After the war,” he says, “there were limited opportunities for immigrants. You’re not going to come to this country as a 40-year-old labourer and get a law degree! So he started his own business. He knew food. He had a passion for all things Italian and he just felt that it was something he could give back to the community, bringing in, at that time, these first-tomarket products, bringing them in from Europe and being a distributor and wholesaler, for the new restaurants that were popping up. It was an immediate success.”
“We all have our own jobs.” Says Sera, “That’s why it has been so successful. We all are good at certain things. We’re not stepping on each other’s feet. We all have our own little niche that we like. And that’s what we stick to.”
According to Sera Duros, the reason the business has been around for 56 years is the distribution of the workload among the relatives. She runs the retail store, her husband Mike looks after Purchasing, her sister in law, Sue Oliverio minds the money as the Controller, and her husband Gio,
“We’re not stepping on each other’s feet. We all have our own little niche that we like.” Except, of course, when there’s a big decision to be made such as expanding the warehouse or buying the building next door to expand The Italian Store. Then all four sit around the table and hash things out. According to Gio, “If one of us feels extremely passionate about a project, even if it is not 100% consensus, we respect each other enough to…to give way. So it is not majority rules by any means. Sometimes it’s more just passion rules.” His sisterin law concurs. “I’ve always held back a little bit,” confesses Sera, “but the younger generation, Gio, and my sister, because she is 12 years younger than me, have a different vision. They had a bigger vision, which is great because they like to move forward, and ask the question “is this building for sale?” I would have never done that.” Succession planning is already underway. Sera and Mike’s son and daughter and their spouses already work for Great West Italian Importers. Sera worries about the challenges of finding good staff as their older workers retire, and Gio worries about the stress on the management team of almost constant growth. But both remember the advice offered by the aging, but still very savvy, Alberto Iamartino. He told Sera, “Never look at what other businesses are doing. Never worry about everybody else. Just worry about yourself. Go straight and you’ll be fine.” Jeff Collins is a retired CBC broadcaster. He now lives, works, writes and eats in SE Calgary.
Chefs' Tips Tricks! story by Mallory Frayn Teatro photography by Ingrid Kuenzel
Summer is clearly the season for salads, but often we don’t make the most of our fruits and vegetables. By using different ingredients and techniques, you can make salads a memorable part of your next summer barbeque or dinner party. Two Calgary chefs give us insight on making your next salad so much more than just a pile of greens and a dose of vinaigrette.
Executive Chef John Michael MacNeil loves to give traditional dishes a facelift by utilizing modernist techniques. He emphasizes that it is imperative to start
with great ingredients; things that are in season, fresh and local. When it comes to the dressing, he suggests using a good olive oil, but nothing too fruity, as some extra virgin oils can predominate the flavour of a dish and mask the other ingredients. Acidity is equally important in achieving balance. Different vinegars and even
Chef John Michael MacNeil’s Compressed Yellow Honeydew Melon Salad with Iberico Ham Serves 8
1 white flesh melon, seeded, and cut into 8 wedges (peel on) 1 cup (240 mL) white vermouth ¼ cup sugar Iberico ham (or serrano or prosciutto), lime zest, fresh mint, micro greens and white balsamic vinegar, to garnish
1. Mix vermouth and sugar together until dissolved. Pour with the melon into vacuum bag, and vacuum on high 18
Chef John Michael MacNeil
fruits, such as apples and grapes, can be used to accomplish this. White balsamic vinegar is Chef MacNeil’s go-to as it is both sweet and sour, and the clear colour does not darken the rest of the food, unlike traditional balsamic. Chef MacNeil’s compressed melon salad with Iberico ham makes the perfect summer salad. It is so simple that it is pressure. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, use a Ziploc bag, sucking as much air out of it as you can. Marinate for 6 hours, refrigerated.
2. After 6 hours, remove the melon from the bag. Slice close to the skin, cut each wedge into 7 pieces and place back onto the skin. 3. Zest about ¼ of a lime on top of each melon wedge, as well as 1 leaf of fresh mint, torn into pieces. 4. Place as much ham as you like on
top. Garnish with micro greens and a couple drops of white balsamic, to taste.
Just because a salad is simple and fresh, it does not have to be boring not a recipe as much as it is a list of ingredients. Melon and prosciutto is a very typical Italian flavour combination, but Chef MacNeil elevates it into a salad that is not over complicated, despite its modern twist. The sweetness, saltiness, acidity and bitterness all balance together to make a great appetizer for a summer barbeque or even a late night snack. The first step is to compress the melon, removing the air and creating a dense, jello-like texture, as Chef Macneil describes.
Salad is often served as an appetizer or side, but it can also make for a substantial, yet light, entrée. Husband and wife team, Chefs Chevonne Miller and Fabio Centini, at Centini restaurant, find that as the warmer months approach, customers choose more
The key to playing a cool and collected host is to prepare all your mise en place ahead of time
containers. Then when you are ready to eat, just dress the lettuce with good vinegar and olive oil and artfully arrange the remaining ingredients on top. Chef Miller suggests trying Spanish sherry vinegar as it has a complex flavour without coming across as harshly acidic. She also encourages home cooks to get creative, stressing that there are no fixed rules when making a delicious salad. Depending on what you like to eat and what ingredients you happen to have on hand, you can experiment with different techniques and flavour combinations. Maybe you will end up creating a salad that becomes your own signature summer dish!
salads for their main course, something that you can easily replicate at home. Chef Miller says that buying quality ingredients and combining them in just the right way can help you to produce, “restaurant-worthy dishes that will never fail to impress your friends or family.” By prepping each individual component in advance, when it comes time to serve, all that remains is to dress and assemble the salad. For Centini’s Salad Niçoise, you can wash the greens, boil the eggs, potatoes and green beans ahead of time and store them chilled in individual
Centini Restaurant’s Ahi Tuna Salad Niçoise Serves 4
8 cups mixed lettuce, gently torn and left in large pieces (butter lettuce, radicchio, romaine, Belgian endive, etc.) To taste sea salt/Maldon salt and black pepper ¼ cup (60 mL) sherry vinegar (if you are using a different vinegar, cut back a little to control the acidity of the vinaigrette) ¼ cup (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil 8 Gherkins, cut in half lengthwise 8 boiled eggs, cut in half 8 tomato quarters or 8-10 cherry tomatoes 25-30 assorted green and black pitted olives 8 boiled fingerling potatoes, cut lengthwise in half 20 boiled green beans (use crisp cooked asparagus if you prefer) 1 pickled cauliflower and a few roasted pickled peppers 850 g Black and White Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna
Dress the lettuce with vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in serving dish or on platter and artfully arrange the remaining ingredients on top. Top with Black and White Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna (see culinairemagazine.ca for Centini’s tuna recipe). Chef Fabio Centini
Mallory is a food writer living and learning in Calgary, Alberta. Check out her blog and blogger becauseilikechocolate.com and follow her on Twitter @cuzilikechoclat
Soup Kitchen by Dan Clapson
Just because it’s summer now, doesn’t mean that you still can’t appreciate a beautiful bowl of soup. Like Chef JP Pedhirney mentioned earlier in the magazine in regards to pasta, soup doesn’t need to be off the menu during the warmer months, it just needs to be brightened up. Needless to say, cream, butter and cheese will not be found in these bowls this month.
Both recipes have some wine tossed (or rather, poured) into the mix too, because I always say that making dinner is a little more fun when there’s a glass of wine nearby!
White Bean and Italian Sausage Soup 1. Heat canola oil in a medium pot on medium-high heat until hot. Add crumbled sausage, cook until browned and transfer to paper towel to absorb any excess oil. 2. Place onion and garlic in the pan and
cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
3. Next, deglaze pan with red wine and
let cook until liquid reduces by half, approximately 3-4 minutes.
4. Add the next 5 ingredients to the
pot and bring to a simmer, then reduce to medium heat and let cook for 20 minutes.
Serves 3-4 Total cook time 40 minutes 2 tsp (10 mL) canola oil 1 Spolumbo’s Italian sausage, casing removed and crumbled 1 yellow onion, diced 2 cloves garlic, minced ¼ cup (60 mL) red wine 4 cups (1 L) chicken broth 1 cup (240 mL) water 20
1 cup crushed tomatoes 1½ cups cooked white beans 1 Tbs (15 mL) balsamic vinegar 2 cups fresh spinach 10 kalamata olives, pitted and halved To taste salt and pepper
5. Return sausage to the pot, along with olives and spinach and cook for 5 more minutes. 6. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
Soup doesn’t need to be off the menu during the warmer months
Lentil and Summer Vegetable Soup Serves 3-4 Total cook time 30 minutes 1 cup uncooked beluga lentils, green lentils in lieu 5 cups (1¼ L) vegetable broth 1 cup (240 mL) white wine 1 bay leaf 2 cloves garlic 1 yellow onion, halved 1 bunch scallions 1 small zucchini, halved and thinly sliced, approximately 2 cups 1 Tbs (15 mL) lemon juice 2 tsp (10 mL) turmeric powder 2 tsp (10 mL) liquid honey 1 tsp lemon zest 1 cup snap peas To taste salt and pepper
1. Place the first 6 ingredients in a
medium pot and bring to a boil on medium-high heat.
2. Reduce to medium heat and let simmer, uncovered, until lentils are al dente, about 15 minutes. 3. Remove bay leaf, garlic and onion from pot and discard. Add in scallions, zucchini, lemon juice and turmeric powder and continue to cook for 10 minutes. 4. Add remaining ingredients, season to taste with salt and pepper and cook until snap peas are bright green and tender, approximately 2-3 minutes.
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
Menu Gems Salad days are here again! And there’s a whole new crop of delicious and healthy choices in Calgary eateries right now. Our contributors let us know their favourites…
Romaine Salad, Posto
Wedge Salad, Saltlik Steakhouse
My current favourite is Saltlik‘s “Rancher Salad”, and I know why! A wedge of iceberg lettuce that you’ll need to chop yourself, a blue cheese dressing with a bite like a plug of chewing tobacco, generous bacon bits, and luscious beefsteak tomatoes. Gets you good and ready for the red meat to come. Jeff Collins
Apricot and Wheat Berry Salad, Korq Winehouse
This Apricot and Wheat Berry Salad is a great juxtaposition of flavours and textures: silky spinach, chewy and nutty Red Fife wheat berries, fruity apricots, sweet red onion and soft Fairwind Farm Chèvre, all lightly dressed in a honey-tarragon vinaigrette. Linda Garson
Pesto Caesar Salad, Villa Firenze
Who doesn’t like a good Caesar salad? At Villa Firenze they do it right, with lots of garlic and something a bit special - pesto in the dressing. Even their amazing homemade focaccia croutons are perfect. Speaking of which, make sure you request lots of it to eat alongside. They keep the bread refills coming all night. Mallory Frayn
Green Salad, Black Pig Bistro
This vibrant green salad is simply delicious. A mix of greens, herbs, and pea shoots, apples, cucumbers and grapes; no two bites of this salad are the same. The avocado dressing lightly coats each component and is silky smooth. This is the way I like to eat “green”. Laura Lushington 22 22
I adore the romaine salad at Posto. With white anchovy fillets, hearts of palm, smoked pancetta and caper berries, it’s pure heaven! Ciabatta croutons contribute a slick, savoury crispiness to the mix. It’s a hearty salad that can be enjoyed on its own as a main or as a shared appetizer, and the freshness of it reminds me of summer. Erika Tocco
Dungeness Crab Salad, Yellow Door Bistro
The Dungeness Crab salad at Yellow Door Bistro has crisp butterleaf lettuce and the perfect balance of grapefruit, ginger and apple. A generous portion with a pop of pink grapefruit pearls throughout - makes for an excellent afternoon summer salad. Chef JP Pedhirney
Early Tomatoes, Buffalo Mozzerella and Basil, Charcut Roast House
It’s such a simple salad but I find myself polishing the plate whenever I have it. The freshness and savouriness of the tomatoes, the soft and creamy cheese, fragrant basil and just the right amount of citrus makes this a refreshing salad that shows off each of its components beautifully. Diana Ng
Vine-Ripened Tomato Caprese, Cucina
I’m not an entree salad kind of gal. I like a small, simple bite of salad before I carry on to the rest of my meal. That’s why I choose simplicity with bold flavours. My favourite part of this classic salad is slowly pulling apart the creamy fior di latte mozzarella, pairing it with vine-ripened, local tomatoes, and soaking up the arugula pesto. Tastes like summer. Robyn MacLean
â€˜tis the season!
The season of outdoor cooking and entertaining has arrived! Visit Willow Park Village for naturally raised meats, seafood, specialty cheeses, sweet treats and all the other essential ingredients of the season! New Store: Oil & Vinegar (Next to Caesarâ€™s Restaurant, north parking lot)
macleod trail & wil ow park drive se
Step By Step:
Arugula & Pumpkin Seed Pesto
Pesto by Renee Kohlman
Pesto is one of the most infinitely versatile sauces you can make at home. Dating back as early as the 16th Century, this iconic sauce hails from the Genoa region of Italy. The word pesto comes from the verb pestare, meaning to step on or to pound, using a mortar and pestle. While some purists may take the time to slowly crush the garlic, pine nuts, baby basil leaves, salt and Parmesan cheese, today a trusty food processor does all of the work, which means having a jar onhand is only the press of a button away. These recipes are just guidelines, but really all you need is something fresh and green, herbs or baby greens or a combination of both, nuts or seeds, cheese or no cheese, and a healthy drizzle of olive oil to marry it all together.
Makes about 1½ cups (360 mL).
Traditionally only the small, baby leaves of the basil plant are used, but I’ve made it with large, fat leaves and results have been extraordinary. Pine nuts are classic, but also very expensive. Their lovely, buttery addition is more favourable than, say, almonds or walnuts but use what you can afford or have on hand. Parmigiano-Reggiano is the go-to cheese, but the bite of a pecorino would also suffice. Use the best extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil you can when making any raw sauce, particularly pesto. Spread on flatbread, swirled into soup, mixed with mayo for a sandwich spread, the possibilities are endless.
This herbaceous, vibrant sauce can elevate a ho-hum dish to extraordinary heights with just the addition of a few tablespoons. 24
2 cups fresh basil, packed 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 2 cloves garlic ½ cup pine nuts (or almonds) ½ tsp each salt and pepper 1 cup (240 mL) extra virgin olive oil
Put all ingredients except oil in bowl of food processor. Pour in the olive oil while motor is running, and process until smooth, scraping down bowl of mixer once or twice. Visit culinairemagazine.ca for Renee’s ‘Flatbread with Pesto, Bocconcini and Cherry Tomatoes’ recipe.
Arugula & Pumpkin Seed Pesto Makes about 1½ cups (360 mL)
Sometimes fresh basil isn’t available, so it’s good to have a Plan B. Fresh greens such as arugula, baby kale and other less glamorous herbs, like parsley and marjoram, can fill in the gap. Pumpkin seeds are a great substitute for nuts - I appreciate their mild flavour with the more pungent hit of Asiago. Perfect for tossing with hot pasta, drizzling on roast vegetables or grilled steak and seafood; this one is a winner.
Pesto is one of the most infinitely versatile sauces you can make at home. Roast Asparagus with Arugula and Pumpkin Seed Pesto
Makes about 1¼ cups (300 mL)
With its Asian flavour profile and fresh, bright flavours, this pesto variation will be an instant hit in your kitchen. Stirred into noodles, tossed with steamed vegetables, even added to your next homemade burger filling, once you have a jar of this in your fridge you’ll wonder how you ever cooked without it. ½ cup peanuts, roasted and salted ½ cup cilantro leaves, packed ½ cup Thai basil leaves, packed ¼ cup mint leaves, packed 1 lime zest and juice 2 cloves garlic 1 Tbs chopped ginger 2 tsp (10 mL) maple syrup 1 tsp (5 mL) Sriracha sauce (or chili flakes) ½ tsp (2.5 mL) fish sauce ½ tsp salt ½ cup (120 mL) extra virgin olive oil
4 cups fresh arugula, lightly packed ½ cup asiago cheese, cut into chunks ½ cup pumpkin seeds 2 cloves garlic ½ tsp each salt and pepper 2 tsp (10 mL) maple syrup 1 cup (240 mL) extra virgin olive oil
In the bowl of a food processor, add all the ingredients except oil. Add oil while motor is running, processing until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl once or twice. Pesto should be smooth. Pour into container with tight fitting lid. Will keep in fridge for up to 2 weeks or can be frozen.
Put all ingredients in bowl of food processor except oil. Add olive oil while motor is running, scraping down bowl once or twice. Pesto should be smooth. Pour into container with tight fitting lid.
Pad Thai Salad Serves 4
Sometimes fresh basil isn’t available, so it’s good to have a Plan B.
100 grams rice noodles, cooked according to package directions and drained well 1 zucchini, cut into julienne strips 1 red pepper, cut into julienne strips 1 carrot, cut into julienne strips ½ cup crushed peanuts lime wedges, to serve
Roast Asparagus with Arugula and Pumpkin Seed Pesto Serves 2-4
1 large bunch asparagus, tough ends snapped off 1 Tbs (15 mL) olive oil 2-3 Tbs (30-45 mL) arugula and pumpkin seed pesto
Preheat oven to 400º F.
In a large bowl, toss together the cooked rice noodles and vegetables. Toss with the Thai pesto and adjust seasonings. Divide into bowls and garnish with crushed peanuts. Serve with lime wedges.
In a shallow baking dish, toss together the asparagus and olive oil. Roast until tender, about 10-12 minutes, tossing once. Remove from oven and drizzle pesto, tossing to coat. Serve immediately.
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.
Pad Thai Salad
Bonterra & Posto: It’s no simple task to stay on a diner’s radar in Calgary, especially after the explosion of new restaurants over the past few years. At 14 years and counting, Bonterra has been a staple of the bycity’s dining scene without becoming Dan Clapson photography by Ingrid Kuenzel stale-dated.
Two Takes On Italian, Side-By-Side
It’s no simple task to stay on a diner’s radar in Calgary, especially after the explosion of new restaurants over the past few years. At 14 years and counting, Bonterra has been a staple of the city’s dining scene without becoming stale-dated. Much like a family getting a puppy, only to have it (playfully) nip at the heels of an older family dog, Creative Restaurants Group opened up Posto next door to their acclaimed Italian eatery in fall, 2013. “It definitely brought a lot of energy to this location.” explains Operations Manager, John Robarts, on the buzz around Posto opening last year. “It brought some attention back to Bonterra. Bonterra has had steady growth for 14 years, but when you put
a new spot next door that everyone’s excited about, it’s a good thing. It also put a bit of pressure on Glen and the team at Bonterra because all the food on the Bonterra side needed to live up to the publicity that Posto was getting. So, we’ve never been better in Bonterra as a result of it.” One day, Robarts had caught wind that the Edo Japan franchise next door to Bonterra would be shutting down. It was then that the idea of Posto began to form, as they proceeded to take over
the space and begin the overhaul to turn the fast food skeleton into a pizzeria and bar. The finished product is a small space with a lively atmosphere. During the day, sunlight brightens up the room from the large west-facing windows. By night, the lighting is warm but dim, with the sound of many clinking wine glasses and the crackling fire inside the pizza oven.
“We had always dreamed of putting a pizza oven into Bonterra, so now had the opportunity to do so, but just next door.” says Robarts. “Being on 8th Street where there’s not a lot of places for people to stop in, have a quick glass of wine and reasonably quick food. We wanted Posto to be that, but really chef-driven.”
on the well-known convenience food), that is one of the things that people really love.” Chef Manzer says happily. “Ben Mills [Posto’s head chef] is really hitting his stride now, which is great, but we don’t want to push the cuisine too far, we just want to keep it comfortable.”
A much more casual dining experience than it’s next door neighbour, Posto offers up anything from salads to sharing plates, and clearly, pizza. Despite its more casual nature, Chef Glen Manzer still seeks to make sure the food is as equally pleasing to your palate.
Posto’s bright blue oven is the focal point of a room filled with mild brown tones, and rightfully so as it’s the busiest piece of equipment in the space. With 10 artisan pizza creations to choose from, it’s always a good idea to head here with a group of friends so you can get a taste of the spectrum.
Pizza is arguably the star of the menu here, or rather, the items a table will Robarts continues, “Because this is our smallest restaurant, we’re able to change always gravitate towards, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start out a the menu, change the wine list, change meal here without trying some of the whatever we want...Our wine list is antipasti like swordfish bresaola or very small, we wanted to be able to gorgonzola with wine-poached pears. update it every week, or every day Speaking of cheese, the imported even. Here, things could change when burrata they use here is so soft and we felt like it.” tender, it seems like it was taken out of a vendor’s hand in a small marketplace “The evidence in in Italy and jetted over here just that guests enjoying morning. The octopus and potato salad our pizza is in the also makes for a great summer dish to ‘pizza bones’.” share, with big pieces of tender octopus.
“We have interesting things happening on the menu at Posto, there’s a rabbit There’s the speck and pineapple, a dish that is doing really well right now refined take on the old standard ham and our Lamb Pizza Pop (an upscale take and pineapple, squash confit with
rapini and fior di latte cheese, or the potato and leek pizza with thinly sliced potatoes, creme fraiche, leeks and smoked pancetta. The latter is a selection that’s become a crowd favourite since Posto opened their doors. “The evidence in guests enjoying our pizza is in the ‘pizza bones’.” says Robarts with a smile. “You know, the crusts left behind on the plate. Everyone will eat a piece of pizza here straight through from the toppings to the crust!”
Chef Glen Manzer
it’s not too polished. It’s just a good, comfortable restaurant, and I think doing the basics well for so long while keeping up with the trends in food and wine, putting forward a quality product, definitely goes a long way and makes for longevity.” Now, with their newest restaurant, Scopa Italian, just opened on Centre Street N, there is no doubt that the two will have their hands full juggling four different concepts. So, how do they stay inspired?
Over at Bonterra, guests will find a much more intimate atmosphere. A bit cosier, with banquet seating, candles on the tables, and a small upper level with divided sections for anyone who wants a little more privacy with their dinner. The culinary offerings here are more of a coursed, contemporary Italian dining experience, accompanied by a more extensive wine menu as well. Since local produce is ripening steadily this month, starting with Bonterra’s Caprese salad with heirloom tomatoes and aged balsamic is a perfect idea before moving along onto the pastas or main courses. Whatever you end up ordering, look to the back of the restaurant where you’ll find the restaurant’s patio. Now in full bloom and greenery with two fireplaces, it’s pretty much a no-brainer that this is where you want your table to be on a warm summer’s night. “Glen has done an amazing job over the years with keeping all our food consistent with the trends that are going on, while sticking to our basics; using quality, local ingredients and just cooking things properly.” says Robarts on keeping Bonterra a popular destination. “It’s not uptight or pretentious [here], we base it on making friends out of our guests...The room itself, it’s not fancy, it’s not slick, 28
“We always try to build restaurants that we’re excited to come to work at. I never want to feel like I’m headed into a ‘job’. Robarts points out. “There are a lot of influences to what we do at our restaurants, but no matter what it always has to be something that we’re interested in. The style of food that Glen wants to cook and the style of restaurant that I want to operate.”
Pancetta and Shallot Vinaigrette
350 g smoked pancetta, diced small 150 g shallot 150 g fennel, diced small 3 egg yolks 20 g minced garlic 20 g minced capers 10 g minced anchovy 200 g excellent quality sun dried tomato 60 g rocky mountain brassica mustard
1. Cook pancetta until rendered. Add shallot and fennel, cook out a touch. 2. Combine the rest of ingredients and emulsify in a food processor. 3. Fold in cooked ingredients and season with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper Insalata Caprese Serves 4
Your Chance To Win A Pizza-Making Lesson For 2 At Posto With Lunch! Yes, you could be the very lucky winner of a pizza-making lesson for two at Posto followed by lunch where you get relax and dine on all your hard work with the pizza oven! To win, simply go to culinairemagazine.ca and tell us what you love about pizza. Is it the crust? What is your favourite topping and why? The pizza submission that Posto like the best will win this great prize! Good luck, we can’t wait to hear from you!
1 Kg ripe fresh tomatoes 500 g fiore di latte (or buffalo mozzarella) Good handful fresh basil 5 Tbs (75 mL) great quality extra virgin olive oil ¼ cup (60 mL) great quality balsamic vinegar Freshly cracked pepper To taste black pepper and salt of your choice (we are using Maldon)
Slice tomatoes in different sizes and wedges, arrange on a platter. Hand tear cheese into bite-sized pieces, drop on tomatoes. Tear basil leaves and sprinkle over. Drizzle with oil then drizzle on balsamic vinegar and season to taste.
Ways to Spice Up
hot dogs by Laura Lushington
It’s the time of year when backyard barbecues, camping and summertime eating fill our evenings, weekends and if you’re extra lucky - some weekdays too! Hot dogs are staples at these get-togethers, but there’s no reason why you should stick to the bare bones basics. From different types of dogs to a multitude of cooking methods and endless toppings, it’s time to elevate the humble hot dog.
1. Simmer in beer For 8 hot dogs
Score all-beef hot dogs with a knife or pierce with a fork. Over medium heat in a large pan add: 330 mL bottle of your favourite beer 2 cloves garlic 2 Tbs (30 mL) ketchup 2 Tbs chopped onion
After adding the hot dogs, simmer until they are plump. Finish by grilling hot dogs and topping with remaining sauce. Play with different toppings like sauerkraut.
2. Try a new kind of dog
4. Pizza Dog
If you’re tired of eating the same old hot dog over and over again, why not try a new style? You’ll get instant flavour updates from an Italian sausage or bratwurst. Or ask your local butcher what dogs he has in stock. You can also change up the kind of meat in your dog. Try chicken or pork hot dogs.
Add your hot dog to an Italian bun slathered in tomato sauce. Melt mozzarella on top and add your favourite pizza toppings like mushrooms, green peppers or basil.
Fun Facts: Hot dogs, wieners and frankfurters are essentially the same thing. All hot dogs are sausages but not all sausages are hot dogs.
3. Bun-crazy Get creative and use a different type of bread to hold your hot dog and toppings together.
Try: • A croissant, toasted with a marinated hot dog and sauerkraut • A tortilla or taco shell, add salsa as a topping! • Pretzel bun, add a drizzle of spicy mustard
You had to know this was coming. Wrap one piece of bacon around each hot dog. Fry in a pan making sure to rotate hot dogs to cook evenly. Go one step further and create a BLT hot dog by adding lettuce, tomato and mayo as toppings.
Easy Tomato Relish:
1 Tbs (15 mL) olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, pureed 2 cups tomatoes, chopped 2 Tbs brown sugar 2 Tbs (30 mL) red wine vinegar
Heat olive oil in a pan and add onion and garlic. Once the onions are soft, add the tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes. Add brown sugar and red wine vinegar, and continue cooking until mixture is thickened. Cool overnight in fridge before serving. Simple Homemade Mustard
6. Boil, roast or fry.
8. Add homemade toppings.
While for many of us a hot dog tastes best cooked over an open fire, there’s many other ways to cook them.
Stop buying the 3-pack of relish, ketchup and mustard at the grocery, and make your own for barbecue night.
Try: • In a pot: Boil your hot dogs in water or beer for about 5 minutes. Or, steam for 7 minutes. • In the oven: Make a slit lengthwise in each hot dog and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Roast at 400º F for 15 minutes. • In a pan: Slice each hot dog in half and sear in a hot pan with a tablespoon of butter.
It’s time to elevate the humble hot dog
7. Vietnamese Hot Dog Turn your Vietnamese sub in to a Vietnamese hot dog! Instead of a bun, use half a baguette with a dollop of mayo and top with shredded carrot, thinly sliced cucumber and cilantro.
6 Tbs mustard seeds (dark seeds are hotter) ½ cup dry mustard 2 tsp salt 3 Tbs (45 mL) apple cider vinegar ¼ cup (60 mL) white wine ¼ cup (60 mL) water 2 Tbs honey ¼ tsp paprika ¼ tsp turmeric ¼ tsp garlic powder
Grind mustard seeds in a spice or coffee grinder or with a mortar and pestle. In a bowl, add the ground seeds, salt and mustard powder. Add liquid ingredients and stir until thick. Season with spices. Let mustard rest overnight in fridge. Homemade Ketchup:
1 can tomato paste ½ cup (120 mL) white vinegar 2 Tbs honey ¼ cup (60 mL) water 1 tsp salt ¼ tsp garlic powder ¼ tsp onion powder
Heat all ingredients in a pan over medium heat. Blend until smooth. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and stir frequently. Simmer until thick. Remove from heat and let ketchup cool. Refrigerate in a tightly sealed container.
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
Eat To The Beat:
Local Calgary Musicians On The Food That Fuels Them by Elizabeth Chorney-Booth photography by Ingrid Kuenzel
Musicians tend to get a bad rap when it comes to food. Rock ‘n’ roll is typically more associated with cheep beer and greasy pizza than pricey wine and fine dining, but as the rest of our culture wises up to the pleasure that comes with a properly cooked meal made with fresh and delicious ingredients, the people who make the music that we like to enjoy while we eat our dinners are just as likely as anyone else to be interested in checking out the hot new chef in town or trying their hand at making their own boeuf bourguignon at home (or sushi, in Matt Blais’ case).
general comfort level. If you’re sweating out curry, you’re not going to be that comfortable.”
The Healthy Singer-Songwriter
When you think about it, a lot of connections can be made between music and food: if executed properly, both offer very a sensual experience and we all have very personal preferences when it comes to both. But how do musicians themselves fuel their creativity with what they put on their plates? We talked to three very different local musicians to find out:
The Road Warrior Matt Blais is an alternative blues rock player who spent about half of 2013 on the road, playing bars, coffee shops, theatres, and other venues all over Canada. A relatively young and fit guy, Blais says that he does often turn to pizza, wings, and other bar food simply because that’s what the venues he plays tend to feed touring bands. Still, the
really start to look forward to a homecooked meal, even if it’s just a tuna casserole or spaghetti and meat balls.” Blais is an energetic performer with a big voice, which means that he also has to be aware of how food affects his ability to perform. He tries to avoid eating anything too heavy before jumping on stage, and has a secret weapon that gets him through his shows, which can be up to three hours long. “Orange juice is my magic cure,” Blais says. “I’ll usually have an orange juice, or sometimes a vodka and orange juice before the show. As for things I avoid, it’s not so much to do with the voice, but my stomach and how I feel and my
While Matt Blais’s blues rock calls for bar food, Amy Theissen’s intimately grown-up folk sound is a perfect match for a laid-back but sophisticated restaurant — which is why she’s currently in the middle of a spring residency at Raw Bar. While some musicians don’t love the idea of people digging into a steak while they’re pouring their heart out on stage, Theissen likes setting a tone for people’s dinner dates.
Food is totally like music “My style of music makes it great for me to play while people are eating,” she says. “I’m not a get up and jump around kind of girl, my music is for people to listen to. The challenge of playing in a restaurant is that people may be talking, but after a couple of sets when everyone is relaxing after their meals, people really start listening.” As for what she eats herself, Theissen also keeps herself busy as a yoga teacher
You really start to look forward to a home-cooked meal quest to find something healthy and delicious is almost always on his mind when he’s on tour. “Our contract often says ‘no pizza’ because every venue you play with will just give you pizza,” Blais says. “You
In the Studio
trainer, so she’s very conscious of properly fueling her body for that and she’s also been a vegetarian since she was 12. She loves shopping for salads and veggies at Community Natural Health and tends to cook simple stir fries, quinoa pilafs, and Indian dishes at home, but she knows that when she hits the road she needs to be a little bit flexible when it comes to eating. “In Northern Alberta it’s hard,” she says. “I don’t eat a lot of gluten, I don’t eat a lot of dairy, and I need to let go of those kinds of restrictions as soon as I hit the road. I just have to go to Tim Horton’s right away and say ‘This is how my life is going to be’ and accept it.”
Lorrie Matheson is not only a muchbeloved performing musician (he plays solo and also leads the band Sons of Bears and plays keyboards in Night Committee) but he also works as a producer, spending a lot of time in his studio with a lot of different bands. Matheson says that he does indeed see a lot of bands (especially the younger ones) turning to the traditional rock ‘n’ roll diet of pizza, chips, and beer, but there’s also a higher percentage of locavores and vegetarians in the music world since the punk rock ethos is so often accompanied by higher social awareness. “I find for a lot of people they’re very conscious of what they’re eating for a number of reasons,” Matheson says. “A lot of people are worried about their health because it can be an unhealthy lifestyle with the staying up late and getting up early and the travel. A lot of musicians are very socially and politically involved, and that plays into the food they eat.” Matheson also enjoys the way that food can bring working musicians together. The whole idea of a business dinner where colleagues can let loose, sit down and eat something delicious
Rock ‘n’ roll is typically more associated with cheep beer and greasy pizza than pricey wine and fine dining
while solidifying their professional relationships, applies to musicians the same way it applies to corporate business people. “Your relationship when you’re eating together is more intimate,” Matheson says. “When you’re in the studio and you’re working on a record, tensions can get high and frustrations can set in, so when you take a break to eat something you can relax. That’s the time to decompress.” Going back to the whole idea of an inherent connection between music and food, all three of these local musicians can see all kinds of parallels. Whether they’re eating steak and lobster (Blais’s personal favourite when he plays a place called Kergano’s Bar and Grill in Moose Jaw), a veggie burger from the Blue Star Diner (one of Theissen’s favourite places to take friends and family), or a fatayer from Aida’s Bistro (a meal Matheson has bonded over with other musicians), food is hitting many of the same senses that they use when they make music. “Food is totally like music,” Theissen says. “You figure out what sounds right to you and what makes you feel good, and you do your best to create something that comes from your heart and represents your journey. And food is the same. I want to be able to taste all different kinds of things, but I don’t want to overwhelm my senses on just chocolate. Or even carrots!”
Matt Blais’ current album The Heartbeat is out now. Amy Theissen’s new album In Between Goodbyes was released on May 31 at Festival Hall in Calgary. Lorrie Matheson’s most recent solo album is called The Night is For Sleepers.
Elizabeth Chorney-Booth is a Calgary-based freelance writer, and co-founder/co-editor of RollingSpoon.com. She enjoys exploring the connection between music and food through interviews with musicians and chefs.
100 Years Of Dining In Calgary by Cory Knibutat
A lot can happen in 100 years. Two world wars, prohibition, and an oil boom (or two) are just a few highlights the Fairmont Palliser can tell you about as they celebrate their centenary this month. 35
In June 1914, The Palliser, as it was called in the beginning, opened its doors, putting the hotel’s best foot forward to welcome the world to its doorstep. Functioning as a hub for travelers, and built primarily to attract tourists from the already established Banff Springs Hotel, The Palliser was a beacon in a young, western Canadian city. “It really connected Canada and it was the gateway to the Rockies,” says Jacqueline Tyler, Communications Manager at The Fairmont Palliser. “Some people today forget that’s why we originated - we’re a castle by the tracks.” “Being a Calgarian, I love showing people who we are here,” Tyler adds. “Looking at Calgary, and seeing how special this property is and seeing how
The Palliser was a beacon in a young, western Canadian city true it is to Calgary’s spirit and our western hospitality, and food is very close to that.” Food is the best way to showcase a region and a culture. A century ago Calgary was finding its identity, with The Palliser making a name for itself as the new cornerstone of the city’s cultural foundation. “At the time it was the only place to go in Calgary,” Tyler says. “It was the tallest building in the downtown core, so this was a hustling and bustling place. This is where everybody met. You’d stop in and get your crusty French loaf of bread and hop on the train.” Business meetings, banquets, and weddings were all held at The Palliser over the years and the ability of the 36
service staff - upwards of 350 strong to accommodate all guests is what made them special. “When people came to purchase and make decisions on stocks, they’d have their meetings upstairs,” Tyler points out. “There were a lot more meetings that took place here, just because it used to be the most formal place to meet as a group.” “Even today we’re specialized as a business traveler hotel,” Tyler adds.
“Monday through Wednesday we’re sold out, and then on the weekends we’re really trying to gain, as a city, more festivals and conferences that take place over the weekend to fill up the hotels.” Any high-end restaurant you’ve heard of in the past five years, preaches a local and sustainable mantra to craft their menus around, but 100 years ago you didn’t have a choice. Out-of season fruits and vegetables were not available at a neighbourhood market, making you wonder how The Palliser pulled off their menus every day. It’s even more remarkable when you consider the lengths the hotel would have to go to source not only produce, but staff as well in the beginning.
“Everything would come by horse and buggy,” Tyler says. “Think how far the chef at the time would go to a farm and build a relationship with the farmer to source something direct. But it would all be local.” “And that was true for the way we would receive new towels and bed sheets too.” Harry Sanders, local historian and former Historian Laureate of Calgary, says that since The Palliser was a part of Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) Hotels, they had a detailed manual of service that established this service benchmark. Staff were sometimes transferred between properties, which explains the presence of an established service standard. Drawing from their far-reaching talent pool, The Palliser was able to steal many of their first staff away from CPR Hotels across the country as well as
CREATIVITY EXPERIENCE THE DIFFERENT SIDES OF CHEF DUNCAN LY, GOLD MEDALIST, AWARD WINNING CHEF
HOTEL ARTS | KENSINGTON RIVERSIDE INN
across the world, the first chef, Chef M. Dematties, hailed from France. One of Chef Dematties’ original recipes can still be found on the menu today – the Clam Chowder. That same recipe has lasted through many chefs who value tradition and preserving some of Calgary’s heritage, but make no mistake, they are more than happy to accommodate current food trends too.
“We’re a castle by the tracks” The Palliser’s recently implemented “Whatever you Want” option dares guests to challenge the kitchen to create — keeping staff on their toes and eager to try something new. “We just started that a few months ago,” Tyler says. “Chef will order certain
lobsters just in case we get the question. He did a Mac & Cheese grilled cheese recently as well.” The Palliser was and still is, in many respects, a benchmark of culinary and hospitality excellence. The service staff, built upon a century of tradition, is the kindest, most professional staff a hotel or restaurant could hope for. They have to be, and they have only themselves to blame for such high standards. “I just love the whole idea of welcoming the world and creating that guest experience, turning moments into memories and just seeing how everyone can make that so authentic,” Tyler says.
Having worked in restaurants since he was 14, Cory translated his passion for food into his journalistic ambitions, meeting the people who make it and finding out what inspires them.
Come For The Music, Stay For The Food:
Calgary Venues That Serve Up Food, Drinks, & Rock ‘N’ Roll by Elizabeth Chorney-Booth photography by Emily Shibley
There’s an ongoing debate over what role music should play in the dining room, some restaurant managers believe that music is an integral part of the dining experience, others think it distracts from the food and dinner conversation. Many Calgary restaurants are using music effectively, with some fine dining establishments even bringing in live musicians, acknowledging that music can indeed complement high-end food.
But what about the other side of the coin - can food be used to enhance a musical experience? Music venues are not traditionally known for their topnotch grub. More often than not, if a rock club does serve food it’s going to be greasy chicken wings or a plate of sadlooking nachos. But with Calgary’s own world-class alternative music festival Sled Island at the end of June, it may be time to take a closer look at what some of Calgary’s music venues are doing in their kitchens. If there’s one place in Calgary that puts equal emphasis on the food and the music, it’s the Palomino Smokehouse (109, 7th Ave SW). With a barbequeheavy menu that features favourites like Applewood smoked pulled pork, deep fried pickles, and one of the best macaroni ‘n’ cheeses in Calgary (complete with add-ons like brisket or double smoked bacon), the restaurant
has become a haven for both touring musicians and local rockers. The basement performance venue has hosted countless rock, punk, folk, and indie pop bands and occasionally also holds shows on a smaller stage upstairs in the restaurant. “French haute cuisine probably isn’t going to work at a punk rock show,” says the Palomino’s manager Arlen Smith. “But a really good mac and cheese, or poutine or barbeque works really well.” Smith says that the advantage of serving great food as well as great music is that music fans who have tickets to a show downstairs may show up early to grab a plate of barbeque upstairs, while barbeque lovers may venture downstairs to check out a band that they otherwise wouldn’t have even known existed. This isn’t just good for the Palomino’s business, but also makes for a better, more well rounded experience for customers. “There are so many advantages to knowing that if you’re going to a show that you can just get a bite to eat there and it’s not going to be warmed up pizza that’s being sitting there for who knows how long,” Smith says. “We really think that the music and the food each make each other better and make the environment better.”
Of course, the Palomino isn’t the only place in town that does a great job of combining live music and food. After barbeque, hot dogs are probably next on the list of the most rock ‘n’ roll foods and the most rock ‘n’ roll hot dogs in Calgary come from Tubby Dog. In addition to serving up delicious hot dogs at its kitschy flagship location (1022, 17 Ave SW) the restaurant periodically hosts punk rock shows. Tubby Dog’s sloppy, over-the top franks (topped with anything from chili and sauerkraut to peanut butter and Cap’n Crunch cereal) are also a great choice if you need a little something to sit in your stomach after drinking all night at a rock ‘n’ roll show (their window is open until 4 am on Saturday and Sundays).
Can food be used to enhance a musical experience?
For something a little more refined, Inglewood’s Ironwood Bar and Grill (1229, 9 Ave SE) features a folkier list of upcoming concerts and offers sit-down table service. Rather than selling traditional tickets to concerts, the Ironwood usually asks that patrons reserve a table for dinner; the ticket price is added to their tab. The dinner menu consists of slightly elevated comfort food like burgers, chili, seafood risotto, and a variety flatbreads, salads, and appetizers.
(811, 1 St SW) for a more eclectic music mix (and a dynamite menu) or The Blues Can (1429, 9 Ave SE) for blues performances and delicious Cajun cuisine. Whatever you choose, there’s no longer an excuse to make a dinner out of beer and nachos or hit the late night McDonald’s drive-through just because you have tickets to go out and see your favourite band. Suss out the menu of your favourite rock venue and make a night out of it next time you go out to see some live music.
And that’s not it. If you happen to be hankering for a bite while you catch some live music during Sled Island (or other times of the year), options include Local 510 (510, 17 Ave SW), Broken City (613, 11 Ave SW), the Ship & Anchor (534, 17 Ave SW), and Dickens (1000, 9 Ave SW), all of which feature various takes on pub food. If you’re not a rock fan or Sled Island attendee, try places like Wine-Ohs 39
In The Absence Of Wine There Was . . . by Erika Tocco
I did get to taste wine, after all I have to in my job, but I spat 100% of the time, instead of the sometimes response of, “Oh that wine is amazing, I am not spitting that! Can I have a little more?”
In my profession you have to like wine. Really like it, and I do. I don’t think there is anything else I like so much or have so much respect for other than the production of fine wine. So you can trust how hard it was when I was a pregnant wine director, the presence of wine as a beverage in my life was sorely missed.
Let’s get one thing straight: I am a creative person. My husband, through those months, was very amused at my antics: that is, the creation and sourcing of creative cocktails in the absence of my favourite chardonnay. I will do almost anything to find something unusual to drink that doesn’t make me feel left out of daily happy hour. Such is life. We do what we can. And I need fun things to drink! We all do! So I decided to investigate. What options are there for women with buns in the oven? What kind of social drinks are available to them? Surprisingly, a lot of my restaurant friends came to the rescue with some highly creative and juicy concoctions that truly made me feel like I was missing nothing from the party. Fear not, there are those out there that will truly make the effort to satisfy even the pickiest of palates.
We travel to Milk Tiger Lounge (1410, 4th St SW) first. The site of my first date with my husband. This trendy cocktail joint always has the edge on classic cocktails made superbly well. I went on a date with my husband after work one Saturday and let the bartender make me whatever he wanted to. My only request was for a savoury drink, nothing too sugary sweet and cloying. What he made me was a non-alcoholic whiskey sour. Bam! Kapow! That catapulted me into the highly elite genre of cocktailsavvy hipsters that surrounded me that evening. And it tasted exactly like a whiskey sour. Very impressive.
What options are there for women with buns in the oven?
Here is another cocktail that is sure to impress.
Salted Lemon and Sage Refresher
4 fresh sage leaves 1 oz simple syrup Dash of Kosher salt 1 can of club soda 1 lemon quartered 1 lemon wedge, edged in salt
Muddle the sage and syrup together. Add the lemon and salt. Season with more simple syrup if you like a sweeter cocktail. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice and top off with club soda. Garnish with a lemon wedge. The next stop a couple of months later was Anejo (2116, 4th St SW). It is a common resting stop for those of us who are too tired to travel all the way downtown, and besides that, I have a love of margaritas that knows no bounds. Anejo has a great selection of different flavours that are sure to please anyone. After much trial and error, this is my favorite at-home recipe that I have come up with.
Lime Margarita Punch:
1 oz of Limeade concentrate (frozen) 1 oz of lime concentrate 3 wedges of lime squeezed Simple syrup to taste 1 egg white ½ cup of crushed ice Carbonated water to top up
Perfectly placed in the South Okanagan
Combine all the ingredients, except for the water, together in a cocktail mixing glass and shake hard, frothing the egg white. Strain into a highball glass. Sweeten with more simple syrup if needed. Top up with carbonated water to the rim. Now I have a friend who is very famous, you might have heard of him: “Captain” Kirk Shaw of Avec Bistro (105, 550 11 Ave SW). He is well known throughout the Calgary’s food and beverage scene for his blood orange negronis. I don’t think you can say you have really had a negroni unless you have had one of his. When we celebrated his fiftieth birthday, his bartender assured me he could make me one of Kirk’s negronis with the absence of alcohol. Needless to say, it made my mouth water on impact. This is my best rendition of Kirk’s cocktail with my tasting buds as my guide.
3 oz blood orange juice squeezed fresh 1½ oz of Sanbitter (Italian bitter soda) Two orange wedges Dash of orange bitters (non alcoholic bitters) Soda to top
Toss all the ingredients, minus the soda and one wedge of orange, into a cocktail mixing cup and shake over ice. Strain into a highball glass that is full of ice cubes. Top up with soda and garnish with an orange wedge.
erfectly placed on rich South Okanagan farmland, Tinhorn Creek overlooks the old gold mining creek that is the winery’s namesake. We are environmental stewards of 150 acres of vineyards: “Diamondback” on the Black Sage Bench, and “Tinhorn Creek” on the Golden Mile Bench. Both provide us with the fruit to craft the superb, terroir driven wine that we’re known for. Our top tier Oldfield Series represents the finest of each vintage.
Erika Tocco is the senior wine director for Vin Room and has taught for WSET, levels 1-3. Follow her on twitter @corkscrewlady. www.tinhorn.com
Ports And Summertime Forts by Tom Firth
Calgary is a city with two distinct seasons the old joke goes… winter and construction. All joking aside, we have a clearly identifiable winter, a short and typically wet spring, and some of the best summers around. Hot, dry days (aside from the odd hailstorm), long nights, and in most years, few insect pests to ruin a summer evening. Our beverage choices usually migrate to ice-cold beers, refreshing cocktails, and for wine, light and crisp are the order of the day for most people. By the time summer of 2013 had come around, I was a little burned out on wine. I’d recently judged three major wine competitions, been reviewing a pile of other wines, and needed a short break from pinot gris, riesling, and unoaked chardonnay. I wanted to enjoy a glass (maybe two) some nights, but didn’t want the hassle of a full bottle staring back at me wondering when the rest would be consumed, and I started
reaching for the wines that are stored in my liquor cabinet rather than the wines in the cellar. That’s right, my fortified wines. Tawny port, sherry, and madeira are styles of wine we don’t think about when the grass is green in Calgary, but they can make for a wonderful summer tipple.
from being cloying. Good ones are not inexpensive, but a bottle once opened, can keep for up to a year. They are also surprisingly versatile with food; the drier styles work for soups, poultry, and appetizers, while the sweeter styles work with a variety of desserts. Madeira
Tawny port, sherry, and madeira are styles of wine we don’t think about when the grass is green in Calgary Madeira is a fortified wine that comes from the Portuguese island of Madeira in the Atlantic Ocean. The wines are subjected to a heating and cooling cycle during their manufacture which intentionally oxidizes the wine, “cooks” it a little, giving it a burnt sugar or nutty taste, and pretty much makes it indestructible once it gets into a bottle. They range from very dry to very sweet, yet their high acidity prevents them
can be served slightly chilled and is a wonderful glass to sip on. Especially if it’s too early in the day for whisky. Port, the “other” great fortified wine of Portugal is known for premium prices, elaborate decanters, and teethstaining colour. Bottle aged ports, such as vintage ports, tend to have the red colour most associated with port, while barrel aged ports have a distinctly tawny hue. These tawny ports typically come
Sherry is often maligned, but always misunderstood
with an age statement such as 10, 20, 30, or 40 years of age, or have a vintage (in the case of colheita ports), indicating the year the grapes came from, and they then have to spend a minimum of 7 years in barrel, though in practise most spend much longer. Tawny ports, unlike their brawny brethren, are ready to go once released requiring no further aging,
and are incredibly versatile with food complementing spicy foods, anything with nuts, or a simple charcuterie platter. Tawny ports prove versatile in a number of cocktails and they can also be enjoyed slightly chilled. Tawny port will also keep up to six months once opened-but try to keep it under three months.
Sherry is often maligned, but always misunderstood. Somehow only remembered as a tipple for grandma or from cheap, sweet, Canadianmade examples, sherry is poised for a comeback. True sherry only comes from the vineyards around Jerez in Spain. The hot temperatures, chalky soils, and a special little yeast called “flor” make for a special little wine called fino. Fino sherry is meant to be served almost ice cold, it is pale, delicate, crisp, and possibly the best pairing out there for sushi, charcuterie, almonds, or salty appetizers. Finos are relatively fragile and should be purchased for the occasion if possible. Once opened, fino sherry loses most of its freshness within a few days.
Croft NV Pink Port
Blandy’s 5 Year Sercial Madeira
Gonzalez Byass Tio Pepe Fino Sherry
Strawberry jam and candy notes, floral aromas and a cool pepper spiciness come through with pretty good balance through and through. Serve well to lightly chilled, and don’t be afraid to try it in a cocktail. $28
Very pale with almond and briny notes, lemon peel, spice and caramel, this dry madeira has some excellent acidity, just crying for some food. Serve slightly chilled, think about pairing with poultry, nuts, or even some sushi. $27
Tio Pepe is light and fresh with almond and yeasty aromas, a delicate nuttiness on the palate and served nearly ice cold, so you can enjoy summer in Spanish style. Fino doesn’t keep well once opened so try to get through it over the weekend you open it. $22
Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Old Tawny Port
Blandy’s 10 Year Bual Madeira
Taylor Fladgate makes some of the best ports on our market. For me the 20 has the right balance of fruit and wood character. Serve lightly chilled, and the bottle will keep once opened for about 3-6 months. $65
Look for caramel, cocoa, lime, nougat and biscuit, with flavours of citrus, nuttiness, and spice along with more caramel. The unbelievable acids perfectly complement the richness of the sugars. Maybe best for after dinner, bring it out with the foie gras or blue cheese. $54
Tom Firth is the contributing drinks editor for Culinaire Magazine and the competition director for the Alberta Beverage Awards, follow him on twitter @cowtownwine.
To Can Or Not To Can… by Kirk Bodnar
If I were to ask you to think about “canned beer”, what would come to mind? Would it be a fuzzy memory from your past, pounding cans of fizzy yellow swill at a college frat party or perhaps throwing back cheap suds while tailgating? For years, canned beer has been equated to cheap, low quality, massproduced beer that is nearly flavourless – except for the ubiquitous tinny, metallic character that has become a part of canned beer legend. Surely this is just the way canned beers are, no? Well, the craft beer world begs to differ. Over the last few years, even some of the highest rated and most respected craft beers have been showing up on store shelves in – gasp – cans. What is this world coming to?!? Some craft breweries are taking it even further by completely eliminating bottles from their production, deciding to solely package their beer in cans (in addition to kegs, of course…). But isn’t a can an inferior vessel compared to a bottle? One brewery that has decided to forego the bottle is Calgary’s Toolshed Brewing Company. Owners Graham Sherman and Jeff Orr faced many crucial decisions when they recently started, not the least of which was the bottle vs. can debate. “After significant research, the clear winner was the can,” states Sherman, “and we now are huge proponents of canned beer!” He explained that beer’s biggest enemies,
in terms of packaging, are light and oxygen. A can is completely sealed, so there is no chance of oxygen entering and imparting a stale, or papery character. Likewise, cans don’t let in light, which is an ever-present concern with bottles; though brown bottles are superior to coloured or clear bottles, they still can eventually let in enough light to create the typical light-struck, skunky character in the beer. “The can is the vessel that absolutely ensures that our beer maintains the highest quality from the time that it leaves the bright tank to the moment it reaches your face!” Sherman explains, “That is of the highest importance to us.” The first American craft brewery to pick up on the can concept was Colorado’s Oskar Blues Brewery. Jamie Gordon
For years, canned beer has been equated to cheap, low quality, mass-produced beer that is nearly flavourless from Craft Brewing Systems described his first trip to Lyons, Colorado, over a decade ago to visit the then tiny 7-barrel brew house that was Oskar Blues Brewpub. Even Oskar Blues, which has since expanded to two breweries with a capacity of well over 100,000 barrels annually, and has gone on to use cans exclusively in their production, originally scoffed at the idea – thinking canned craft beer would never sell. Perhaps it was just by chance that the brewpub was located close to a popular mountain biking trail. Oskar Blues founder, Dale Katechis, being an
TAP THAT CASK.
avid mountain biker himself, noticed that it was common for patrons to come for lunch and then head to the store down the street to pick up a six-pack of Coors to take on the ride up the mountain. Katechis soon realised that cans were the key to success among the younger, outdoor-focused local demographic. It was at this time in 2002 that Oskar Blues and Calgary’s Cask Brewing Systems created a partnership that has since become somewhat legendary in the craft-brewing world. Cask
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Brewing Systems were among the first companies to promote the idea of cans to the craft brewing industry, at a time when it was believed to be “the dumbest idea of all time – nobody would ever put their beer in cans” – or so they were told when they started attending brewing conferences in the US. Now over 150 breweries in 18 different countries use Cask’s canning systems, and this number continues to grow. But what about that metallic flavour? “Beer cans are lined – the beer itself never touches the aluminum in any way,” States Gordon. “If you are tasting metal, it’s probably because you have a
“The dumbest idea of all time – nobody would ever put their beer in cans” big piece of metal in your mouth… the can! Pour your beer into an appropriate glass, and you won’t be able to tell the difference between beer from a can or a bottle. The beer from a can will maintain the original flavours over time, as there will be no chance for oxidation or light to affect the beer at all.” If you don’t believe that canned beer can taste as good as bottled beer, dare to forego the bottle, and give one of these canned craft beers a try. Toolshed Brewing Red Rage Calgary’s Toolshed Brewing Company produces three beers, Red Rage being my personal favourite. Red Rage is a unique Red Ale that has more of a 46
roasted or even chocolaty character than typical Reds. It has a good dose of hop bitterness as well, which makes the beer quite complex, yet very quaffable. 6x355mL Cans, 5.6% ABV, $11 Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale The original canned craft beer, Dale’s Pale Ale from Colorado’s Oskar Blues needs to be included here. It is delicious, though quite bold for a Pale Ale – with a serious dose of hops, which in my opinion pushes this beer closer to the range of an IPA (and is indeed even hoppier than many IPA’s in our market). 6x355mL Cans, 6.5% ABV, $15 Philips Brewing Bottle Rocket ISA Phillips Brewing founder Matt Phillips’ reasons for going the way of the can echo the earlier stated points – namely the preservative nature of cans in terms of keeping oxygen and light away from the beer, and prolonging the desired flavour profile in a way that bottles simply can’t do. Last year, Bottle Rocket was released – in cans, not bottles - to mass appeal. It is an ISA rather than an IPA – the “S” standing for “Session” which implies that it is “Sessionable” or easy drinking and lighter in terms of alcohol than most of their beer – though it is still full of flavour with a solid citrusy hop character. 6x355mL Cans, 5% ABV, $11 Central City Red Racer IPA One of Canada’s most awarded IPA’s over the last few years, Central City’s Red Racer IPA is most commonly found in cans – surely in an effort to maintain the beer’s intense hop characteristics. The beer is a near perfect balance of
complex malt character - largely due to the use of British Marris Otter malt - and intense, west-coast style hop bitterness and flavour. A personal favourite! 6x335mL Cans, 6.5% ABV, $12 Guinness Draught Although the best example of a Guinness will always be a properly poured pint of draught (and possibly in Ireland), a completely acceptable Guinness can also be enjoyed from out of a can. This is due to a particular item that Guinness introduced to the canned beer world – the nitrogen widget. The widget bursts upon opening the can, releasing nitrogen gas into the beer, which creates the typical cascading bubbles effect when you pour the beer into a glass. This emulates the effect that occurs when the beer is poured out of the tap – which truly is a beautiful sight to behold. 8x440mL Cans, 4.2% ABV, $22 Howe Sound Lager Despite offering most of their beers in a distinctive one-litre bottle, Squamish BC’s Howe Sound Brewing decided to package their Lager in cans instead. This Dortmund-style lager features less of a crisp hoppy character found in many European-style Pilsners, and more of a toasty and ever so slightly sweet malt flavour. The beer is quite complex and more full-bodied compared to many other craft lagers. 6x335mL Cans, 5.5% ABV, $12 Kirk Bodnar is the Beer Cellar Steward at Charcut Roast House in Calgary, as well as a beer consultant for some of Calgary’s better beer destinations. He is also a certified BJCP beer judge. @beersnsuch, facebook.com/beersnsuch
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Making The Case: Drinking In The Great Outdoors by Tom Firth
Who doesn’t love drinking well in June? Barbecues are going full tilt, and cuisine ranges from simple and light fare to full-on barbecue ribs and burgers. At home, we eat outside on the deck almost every chance we get, and wine served ranges from hale and hearty reds to refreshing whites. Don’t forget the rosé either, these bottles are versatile on the table and are a great glass to have on hand when unexpected guests come over. Speaking of entertaining, it’s well and good to stick with grapes or producers you know and love, but this is a great time to head outside the box and try new regions and grapes. Who knows? You might find a new favourite. This is a great time to head outside the box and try new regions and grapes
Gabriele Meffre 2013 GM Rosé Côtes de Provence, France A pale, delicate pink, aromas of icing sugar, candy stick, strawberry, and bare hints of raspberry fruit lift from the glass. So delicate to taste – it’s almost ethereal, but soft fruits and a little sweetness should be great on the deck or patio this year. $17
Deerfield Ranch 2012 White Rex Sonoma, California A highly unusual blend in two ways. First, it’s mostly pinot grigio, with sauvignon blanc, riesling, and chardonnay. Second, it works - not only that but these varieties play well together. Look for bright, tropical fruits, a slightly creamy texture, and a long, silky finish. Pair with almost anything. $31
Norton 2012 Malbec Rosado Mendoza, Argentina Congo pink (I looked it up) in the glass, the nose is wonderfully floral with spices, plum, and more raspberry fruits. Quite dry, plenty of malbec character shows through, although vanilla tones subdue the fruits leading to the back end before a slightly bitter finish. $12
Groth 2012 Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley
Groth 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
Deerfield Ranch 2009 Zinfandel Sonoma, California
Wonderful melon fruits, with green apple, and apple jelly show a softer, mellower side to sauvignon blanc. The use of about 60 percent neutral oak adds depth without making it all oaky or taking away the crispness of the grape, while a touch of capsicum creeps up on the finish. Wonderful stuff. $29
Delicious stuff to be found in this bottle. Rife with solid and expressive cabernet notes of cherry, cassis, plum, lilac, green cedar, spice box and just a little blackberry jelly through and through. The addition of about 19 percent merlot softens the wine slightly and opens up the fruit allowing it to drink well now or keep a while yet. $75
As a zinfandel should be, with big, brambly fruits, loads of spice character, blueberries, and black cherry. Black pepper and clove spice complement those fruits and lead into big, but smooth tannin structures and a long smoky finish. Enjoy with pizza, barbecue, roasts, or burgers. Drink now. $35
Peter Lehmann 2011 Barossa Blonde South Australia
Les Halos de Jupiter 2011 Côtes du Rhone, France
St. Hubertus 2013 Frizzante Rosé Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
A well put together blend of several white varieties, aromas of honey, citrus, apple, peaches, grass, and mineral. This perfect wine for warm weather is tart, juicy, and with plenty of acids, should go with seafood, salads or on its own this summer. $16
Built around grenache, woody, cherry fruits, clove spices, and a touch of smokiness lead into similar flavours on the palate with great acids and balanced tannins. A nice alternative from big new world wines for entertaining around the grill. $26
Almost neon-pink in colour, fruit aromas are summery - if almost jammy in intensity. Spice box, rock candy, and just a touch of cranberry juice are also present. Very slightly sparkling, the touch of bubble offsets some of the sweetness and brings a little balance to pairing with fuller flavoured seafood dishes. $18
Birichino 2012 Vin Gris California
Jean Leon 2012 “3055” Chardonnay Penedes, Spain
Jean Leon 2012 “3055” Merlot Petit Verdot, Penedes, Spain
Pale pink with a distinctively orange current, the nose is chock-full of strawberry fruits, candy cigarette, and some herb notes. Made from grenache, cinsault, and mourvèdre it’s probably the only CA rosé around with that blend - and they do it well. Love the long, tart finish! $25
Excellent chardonnay-perfect for summer. Macintosh apple, honey, hazelnut, toast and fresh pineapple with tart acids and a long toasty finish. Only about 30 percent of the wine is barrel fermented so oak is nicely restrained, drinking perfectly now, and it should pair with grilled chicken, pasta dishes, and even lighter appetizers. $21
A highly unexpected blend from northeast Spain, merlot and petit verdot -who knew? Look for big black fruits, tar, liquorice root, and some spices on both the nose and palate. Nice tannins and a big jammy finish should make this great with sirloins or homemade burgers. $21 49
Open That Bottle by Linda Garson photography by Ingrid Kuenzel
“One thing you find about wine folk is that they love to talk as much as radio people do.” Jamie ‘The Coach’ Herbison spent seventeen years with Don and Joanne at Lite 96, until his wife was transferred to her oil company employer’s headquarters outside San Francisco. In Calgary, Herbison always had a passion for wine and cooking, and was fascinated by pairing them. “I got lucky,” he says “and was invited to trade tastings and was able meet the principals and ask lots of questions.” Friends in the industry suggested he look into WSET courses. “There was all this knowledge swimming around in my head and none of it was organised…so I did levels 2 and 3, and passed both with merit, and that organised everything. So now it all made sense, and that was huge,” Herbison explains. Ending up one hour south of Napa in the spring of 2010, Herbison saw that
the wineries were hiring for the high season. “Winejobs.com offers wine jobs from everything from cellar hands to winemakers to sales reps, and Mondavi were looking for wine educators and I managed to get hired,” he says. In 2011, he got lucky again when an opportunity arose to work with Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, designing and implementing wine programs to enhance their guest experience, and he stayed until Mondavi called a year later to ask him to come back. “Sure!” was his response, and he worked part time with them on the 2012/13 vintages until he moved back to Calgary. ”It was a fantastic experience,” he says. “It was fulfilling being around the grapes and around a winery for entire vintages. You see everything from bud break to bottling, and it was something I always wanted to experience.” The planets aligned for Herbison’s return to Calgary in January this year, and everything fell into place, although it took a few serendipitous things to happen to reunite Don, Joanne and the Coach again.
So, what bottle is Herbison saving for a special occasion? Herbison’s magnum of Saddleback Cellars 2006, Napa Valley Cabernet, was made by Nils Venge who, at Groth Vineyards, made the first 100 point Napa Cabernet. “One of the things I learned down there is that there are 400 wineries in Napa and thousands of labels from $8 to crazy esoteric and expensive stuff,” says Herbison. “And I found that what the people there got excited about was who grew the grapes and who made the wine.” “That’s what gets people jazzed”, he adds. “It’s not just the label but the story behind it. This wine symbolizes all the stuff I learned.” And when will Herbison open the bottle? “I’m going to give it the full ten years at least if not longer,” he says. “I could go as far out as 2019 for our tenth wedding anniversary – but you never know, it could be on Friday!”
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