All posts filed under: Taste

Recipe: Chicken Liver Pâté

COVID-19 is impacting how people are grocery shopping, which is having a direct impact on what ingredients are available to make meals at home. A few weeks ago we stopped in at our local Oliver/downtown Save-On Foods on a Sunday to find not only the toilet paper aisle empty, but also some extremely slim pickings in the fresh meat section. The only meat left in the fresh chicken section were three packages of chicken livers. The fact that so many people had overlooked this iron-packed ingredient made me feel sad for this tasty yet less-than-glamorous cut of meat. Staring at those lonely packages got me thinking – it had been some time since I had whipped up some homemade liver pâté. I suggested the idea to The Spanadian which he immediately supported, so I picked up one of the packages for just a few dollars. I have always loved pate. As a kid I absolutely loved spreading it on warm toast for breakfast. While other children were coming to school with peanut butter and jelly …

Devour the Rockies – Take Three

In February, I took in the third annual Devour the Rockies Food and Film Festival at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. Devour the Rockies is a satellite event of Devour, the largest film and food festival in the world held annually in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Devour the Rockies gives guests the opportunity to spend a weekend at the Fairmont JPL celebrating cinema, indulging in wine (as well as beer and spirits), and getting social alongside a stellar lineup of chefs. Attendance has grown from 125 at the inaugural event in 2018 to 200 people in 2020, but the weekend still feels like I’m attending a private and intimate event in the rockies. I love the itinerary, the opportunity to socialize with chefs in a laid back environment, and of course, a weekend at the stunning Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. SAVE THE DATE: DEVOUR THE ROCKIES FEB 26 – 28, 2021 The recipe to a successful event has remained the same since 2018; here are five reasons I love Devour The Rockies. 1. A cabin crawl …

Gluten Free Eats on 124th Street

Living in Grandin, technically the Oliver neighbourhood, of Edmonton certainly has its perks. Not only is my walk to work downtown a mere 10 minutes, I’m also a quick walk or bike ride to the shops and restaurants on 124th street. I am so grateful of the revitalization of that street/neighbourhood over the last decade, including the addition of both the Thursday and Sunday 124 Grand Markets. I’ve heard Giselle Courteau share stories how people thought she was crazy to open a bake shop in 2009, but just look at how much traffic that the Duchess Bake Shop has brought to the area. Today, 124 Street has to be one of the hippest and tastiest areas of the city. While not all the wonderful shops ands restaurants cater to Celiacs, there are quite a few that I feel comfortable dining at. Last year my friend Linda Hoang asked me to guest write a gluten-free guide for dining throughout Edmonton. Here is my disclaimer; like that list – this one is not exhaustive or inclusive of all …

10 Things I Learned From Chefs Anna & Michael Olson at Jasper CIN

Christmas in November (CIN) at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge (JPL) celebrated 31 years last month, and chefs Anna and Michael Olson have been there for 15 of them. As a contributor to Alberta Pork’s Passion for Pork initiative, I’ve had the privilege of attending Jasper CIN for the past seven years. I, very excitedly, get to introduce chefs Anna and Michael Olson’s culinary sessions, which have most recently been sponsored by Alberta Pork. During the 10 day event I watch their sessions daily, and while I watch them teach the same recipes on repeat, I always manage to learn something new. Between Michael’s dad jokes and Anna explaining how the holidays are all about winning, the dynamic duo always share noteworthy culinary tips and tricks that have impacted how I spend time in the kitchen. Here are ten things I’ve learned from chefs Anna and Michael Olson at Christmas in November at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge:   1. HOW TO COOK PORK BELLY PERFECT EVERY TIME The most influential recipe that Michael Olson …

Recap: Long Table Dinner at the Fairmont Macdonald

On Tuesday, August 20, 2019, The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald hosted their annual long-table dinner. This year, the hotel reduced the price to just $69 for a four-course menu which included a glass of wine from their signature collection (enjoyed on the patio with arguably the best view in Edmonton). I wasn’t the only one who thought $69 for a multi-course dinner at the Harvest Room at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald was a good deal. In response to the demand, The Mac oversold to accommodate 160 people  who were set up across two long tables in the Empire Ballroom. A wonderful thing about the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald is their ability to accommodate just about any allergy and food intolerance you throw at them. In addition to my gluten free needs, our friends also required a lactose free dinner – no problem for Chef Mridul and his culinary team, who served up a lovely summer-inspired menu. FIRST COURSE Scallop aguachile, cucumber, cilantro, tempura prawns, paprika oil SECOND COURSE Meyer lemon ricotta & broccoli gnudi, soya steak, petite …

Cooking in Gascony, France

Life moves pretty slow in Gascony, an area of southwest France where I spent six days last summer immersed in a culinary course. Just how slow life moved was reinforced the day I tried to get back to the Gascony Cookery School’s kitchen before our French instructor Bernard delivered our first course of foie gras for lunch. I had just sat down in the restaurant for lunch with a glass of rosé when I realized I had left a tart in the oven from our morning pastry class. I was hustling back the 150 meters between buildings when our neighbor, who seemed to never be wearing a shirt, but always drinking a bottle of wine, caught sight of me. “Ca va?” he asked, concerned. In my remedial French I responded that yes, I was alright. He brought his arms to his side and swung them back and forth rapidly, laughing as he mocked my urgent speed-walking. I lacked the language skills to say my tart may already be on fire, so I just smiled and …

Recap: Taste Alberta dinner at The Common

I’ve had the opportunity to organize four Swine and Dine collaboration dinners for Alberta Pork alongside The Common’s Chef Jesse Morrison, so when I pitched him the idea of hosting a Taste Alberta – Prairie on the Plate dinner, I knew he would jump at the opportunity to create a menu featuring ingredients from Taste’s commodity partners:  Alberta Chicken, Alberta Pulse Growers Commission, Egg Farmers of Alberta, Alberta Canola, Alberta Turkey, Alberta Milk, and Alberta Pork. On Tuesday, June 25, 2019, The Common hosted over 70 diners for chef Morrison’s first ever Taste Alberta – Prairie on the Plate dinner. Together with his girlfriend Tressa (also known as my favourite local designer – Sessa Wearables), chef Morrison created a menu inspired by great local products, produce, protein and pulses in season. The result was a multi-course menu that had a fresh spring/summer taste that flowed from one course to the next. As seen in his previous Swine and Dine dinners, Chef Morrison shared his love of Alberta pork with a perfectly cooked porchetta main course. But, he also took advantage of …

Winery Spotlight Series at the Edmonton Expo Centre

With his extensive fine-dining culinary experience with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts globally, including Edmonton’s Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, it is no surprise that Chef Jiju Paul launched a Winery Spotlight Dinner series at his new culinary home – the Edmonton Expo Centre. While the venue may spark images of concession food or banquet-plated dinners from the list of sporting, music, or trade show events that frequent the Edmonton Expo Centre, chef Paul is eager share just how memorable a dining experience at the Edmonton Expo Centre can be. When chef Paul invited me to his second dinner in the Winery Spotlight Series, I was overjoyed to learn the evening would feature Spanish wines, especially as The Spanadian would be joining me and he would be able to have a taste of home. Although I know chef Paul is talented, my expectations for the event were not high because I had a preconceived notion about the venue. How good could a wine dinner at the Edmonton Expo Centre really be? Well, I have no problem admitting I was …

Recap: Taste Alberta Prairie on the Plate at Cafe Linnea

Earlier this month, Cafe Linnea played host to Taste Alberta‘s most recent Prairie on the Plate dinner. Many are surprised to learn that Cafe Linnea is open for dinners, as the restaurant first became known as a all day breakfast and brunch spot when in opened in 2016. Well, I am eager to help spread the word that chef Kelsey Johnson and her culinary team are serving up a fantastic dinner menu at Cafe Linnea. In addition to the regular dinner menu available Wednesday to Saturday nights, guests can experience a two or three course chef’s choice menu for $35 and $45 respectively. Including an amuse bouche to start the meal, I think it is one of the best dinner deals going in Edmonton. Since the restaurant opened, chef Kelsey has used local ingredients in ways inspired by her French and Scandinavian heritage to create a menu that is unique to Cafe Linnea. Her focus on Alberta grown, Alberta raised, and Alberta produced products made Cafe Linnea a perfect fit for a Prairie on the Plate …

Recap: Prairie on the Plate at Under the High Wheel

Well, the 2019 Taste Alberta Prairie on the Plate kicked off at Under the High Wheel with a flavour-packed Asian infusion on Thursday night. In advance of Lunar New Year, Chef Doreen Prei shared a four-course Asian-inspired menu featuring feature ingredients from Taste Alberta‘s commodity partners: Alberta Turkey, Alberta Chicken, Alberta Canola, Egg Farmers of Alberta, Alberta Milk, Alberta Pulse Growers Commission, and Alberta Pork. A new addition to the Under the High Wheel culinary team, chef Prei has been tasked with shaking up the dinner menu. She was eager to create a Prairie on the Plate menu to help spread the word that the brunch/lunch favourite in Old Strathcona is also open for dinner, but also because Under the High Wheel has always been a local-ingredient focused restaurant; hosting a Taste Alberta dinner was a natural fit. Our evening started with a welcome cocktail – made with ginger and basil syrup, gin, and topped with sparkling wine – followed by a welcome from Chef Prei and an explanation of our first dish of the …