All posts filed under: Taste

Paella on the Prairies

For most Canadians, when we think of Spanish cuisine we think of paella and sangria. I’ve watched for years as my friends or new people we meet interact with The Spaniard – the conversation is often the same. If they have been to Spain it is to Madrid or Barcelona, and if they talk about food, they talk about paella. The Spaniard is from the north coast of Spain. While you can find sangria and paella at bars and restaurants in Santander, the region of Cantabria is far from the south where the dish and the drink originate from. Funny enough, The Spaniard only started making paella after he moved to Canada. He brought back a paella (the name for the flat pan the rice cooks in, as well as the name of the finished dish) to Edmonton after his first trip back home at Christmas, and he has been feeding my friends and family paella on the prairies ever since. Since a paella is to be cooked over an open flame, The Spaniard took advantage of the covered …

5 Downtown Edmonton Lunch Deals

My office moved downtown almost a year ago, which opened up a whole new dining scene for me at lunchtime. There is an assumption that fast food and food trucks are the only affordable options downtown, but I’ve managed to find some mid-day deals at some great Edmonton restaurants. Here are five lunch options downtown that won’t break the bank: 1. Sabor – $18 109 10220 103 Street, Edmonton A photo posted by Sharman Hnatiuk (@theporkgirl) on May 17, 2016 at 12:45pm PDT I love checking out Sabor for Chef Lino’s lunchtime feature – which includes a vegetable puree soup and one of three features for $18. I think it is a great price for a two-course meal that always includes a seafood option on the feature menu. Or if you love gluten, you can score a piri-piri chicken panini served with a soup, salad or fries for $16. 2. Rostizado – $15 Comida Corrida 10065 100th Street, Edmonton Loved the lunch #comidacorrida @Rostizado_yeg today #glutenfree #yegfood pic.twitter.com/PMd7oah4tV — Sharman Hnatiuk (@ThePorkGirl) August 9, 2016 Even on …

Taste Alberta: Prairie on a Plate at Red Ox Inn

Last week the Red Ox Inn hosted the third installment of Taste Alberta’s new Prairie on a Plate dining series. Red Ox Inn, an intimate restaurant owned by Frank & Andrea Olsen and located in mature Strathearn neighbourhood, has been a long-time supporter of local farms and featuring the best of Alberta on their seasonal menus. For the event, chef Sean O’Connor created a four-course menu for $60, with an optional wine pairing for $30. The event was limited to one seating and just 30 of us had the opportunity to taste his Prairie on a Plate menu. The first dish of the evening featured Erdmann’s Gardens zucchini fritters served with a green goddess aioli. Chef O’Connor recently received some CO-OP Gold Pure extra virgin cold-pressed canola oil from Simone with Alberta Canola Producers Commission, which he paired with Reclaim Urban Farm herbs for his made-in-Alberta aioli. For our second course Chef O’Connor married confit of Irvings Farms pork howl with soft polenta using corn from Erdmann’s Gardens. The beautifully plated dish was garnished with pickled onions and a salsa verde (that …

A Celiac in San Sebastián

When I returned home from my two-week whirlwind trip to Europe I was repeatedly asked what my favourite part was. Easy – it was the 24 hours I had in San Sebastián with The Spaniard. San Sebastián, or Donostia in Basque, is a coastal city just 20 km from the French border is famous for the culinary scene featuring a high concentration of Michelin Star restaurants. After saying goodbye to my Belgium friends in France I took three trains over 7.5 hours to get to San Sebastián where I met up with The Spaniard, who had to drive 200km from his hometown of Santander. We dropped our bags at our Air B&B apartment in the old town and our host provided us with a map and his recommendations of restaurants to visit. On my first two visits to The Spaniard’s hometown I had been in many places where pinchos, or a small snack, was available on plates on the bar; however, San Sebastián was a whole new experience. Walking along the pedestrian streets in the old town – everywhere we …

The smell of queso at Paddy’s Cheese

When The Spaniard walked in the door of Paddy’s International Cheese Market located off High Street (12509 102 Ave) in Edmonton for the first time he took a deep breath in and said “Oh my, I love this smell.” The pungent aroma of cheese, or queso in his case, must have brought him back to the market in his hometown of Santander for just a moment. While the selection of cheese at Paddy’s isn’t quite the same as the array of Cantabrian cheeses from the multiple cheese stalls at his market, I know that stopping in for some specialty cheese would be a pleasant experience for him in Edmonton. The last time we hit a specialty cheese store was in Toronto, where we walked out with a selection based on the advice of the man helping us. This time we decided to go with the aceite grand olive oil goat cheese (from Spain and also conveniently 15% off), and two recommendations from the store. We both love trying new things and were very happy to walk out with …

From Gull Lake to Bentley – a central Alberta bounty

One of the best things about getting away for the weekend to my sister’s cottage at Gull Lake in central Alberta is visiting some great local producers in the area. One of my go-to spots in the Pik n’ Pak – a small warehouse ten minutes off the QEII owned by two shareholders, Gull Valley Greenhouses and Doef’s Greenhouses. The warehouse has a door to a cooler stocked with fresh produce – but you have to bring cash and your conscience, because you tally up your own bill and put the correct amount of cash in a safe. Pik n’ Pak was celebrating its 30th anniversary the last time I was up, so we got to tour the facility and enjoy a taste of the produce including tomatoes. For the event, Cilantro and Chive was on site catering up dishes featuring the local produce including a gazpacho and bruschetta.  After enjoying a few samples, we stocked up on a couple of cases of fresh cocktail tomatoes, eggplants, butter lettuce, and peppers and were on our way. Our next …

Taste Alberta’s Prairie on a Plate at The Harvest Room

Last week, chef Serge Jost hosted Taste Alberta‘s second Prairie on a Plate dinner in The Harvest Room at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald. For the event, Chef Jost created a four-course meal highlighting the best of what is produced, raised, and grown by Alberta farmers, including Brix ‘N Berries, Sunworks Farm, Highwood Crossing, Signature mushrooms, Mountainview Farming, and loads Alberta-grown pulses. First up was the an Alberta “Power Grain” & chorizo Aranccini. The amuse bouche – a treat from the kitchen – was a delightful start to the evening. The first course for the evening was a beef consommé poured over a boar bacon and white bean ravioli & yellow pea and vegetable succotash. While this gluten-free girl couldn’t take advantage of the ravioli, Chef Jost and his team made a gluten-free version of the dish for me to enjoy. I just love when soups are poured table side. Our second Prairie on a Plate dish had the table questioning how chef Jost made the dish. ‘Egg in egg with cremini mushrooms’ involved a 64 degree sous vide …

Sunday Brunch at The Royal Glenora Club

A new addition to the Sunday brunch scene in Edmonton is the Royal Glenora Club. Since Chef Steve Buzak took over as executive chef of the private member club, the door for non-members has slowly been opening to a number of social and dining events at the river-valley venue. I had the pleasure of working with Chef Buzak when he hosted a Swine & Dine for Alberta Pork back in March at the RGC. Chef Buzak invited me to check out their new brunch – open to members and non Royal Glenora Club members by reservation- but only until Father’s Day. The Spaniard and I visited the RGC for brunch this past Sunday where four seatings were available: 10:30am, 11:00am, 11:30am, and 12:30pm. We were seated in one of the upstairs ballrooms with a window view of the river and asked what we would like to drink. The Spaniard opted for a latte and apple juice while I couldn’t turn down the offer of a mimosa. Knowing that I am celiac, sous chef Pawanjit Singh greeted us at …

The Workshop Eatery helps launch new Taste Alberta dining series

On Tuesday April 5th, 2016, Taste Alberta launched a new dining series – Prairie on a Plate – aimed at giving local chefs the opportunity to create a menu that highlights the very best of what is grown, raised, prepared and served in Alberta. Organizing Swine and Dines for Alberta Pork has been an incredible journey for me in Edmonton; I found that local chefs enjoyed the opportunity to feature local producers. So, I approached Taste Alberta about a dedicated dining series that would not only include Alberta Pork, but feature small-scale farmers to industry partners that make up the entire agriculture industry in Alberta. Alberta’s prairie boasts a big blue sky and some of the best food producers anywhere – why not have a dining series to showcase and celebrate all of the flavours that come from our incredible province? I approached Chef Paul Shufelt to host the inaugural event. I thought he was the perfect fit; when he opened his new restaurant The Workshop Eatery in November, 2015, the menu shined with a number of local …

An evening at the Red Ox Inn

Although Red Ox Inn recently received an honourable mention for best overall restaurant in Avenue Magazine’s 2016 Best Restaurant Awards, when I mention it as one of my favourites in Edmonton I still find that many people have not eaten there or sometimes even heard of it. Perhaps it is because it is not the new and trendy kid on the block, but owners Andrea & Frank Olson have consistently kept loyal customers happy over the years. Chef Sean O’Connor and his culinary team have always served me remarkable meals; every time I leave I think – I must come here more often. The menu is not extensive – but a small menu clearly allows the kitchen to perfect each dish. We shared the pork belly and lamb carpaccio appetizers, both dishes left me wishing we had ordered another serving. Served perfectly pink, The Spaniard was very pleased to have taken our server’s suggestion of the lamb for his main course. Marc decided on the gnocchi, and while I couldn’t sample his gluten-filled dish, I feel he made …