Author: theporkgirl

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 …

Chef Corbin Tomaszeski on growing up on a farm, knowing where his food comes from, and inspiring people to cook and eat together

At this year’s Christmas in November at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, celebrity chef Corbin Tomaszeski was all about teaching others to have fun in the kitchen. His culinary sessions included everything from sabering champagne bottles to having his kitchen helpers on stage (like my friend Abe) gobble like a turkey every time he said “turkey” while sharing his recipe for spiced turkey sliders. Beyond the giggles and entertainment in his Taste Alberta sponsored cooking demos and fireside chats, chef Corbin had a message to share about ingredients, cooking food, and eating a meal. It was a simple concept, and one that Corbin experienced throughout his childhood growing up on a farm in Alberta. Through his first-ever cookbook – In Good Company: Easy Recipes for Everyday Gatherings – Corbin hopes to inspire others to share homemade food together with friends and family. I sat down with Corbin during Christmas in November at the Fairmont JPL to learn more about his farming roots and what motivated him to write his first cookbook. What was your introduction to food …

A weekend in Los Angeles – 10 things to do without a car

When Westjet posted a seat sale a few weeks before The Spaniard’s birthday, I took advantage of a deal I saw on the direct flight from Edmonton and booked us a three-night trip to the city of angels. I knew I wanted to take him to an NBA game, but after that I wasn’t sure what we would get up to. Everyone I spoke with said we would have to rent a car, but we weren’t excited by the prospect of sitting in traffic, trying to find parking, or paying for parking (especially with the Canadian $ making our American trips more expensive). So – I took a look at where the LA metro and bus system could take us, and we decided to plan our trip around that. From the airport we took the free shuttle to the LAX metro stop  where we were able to take the metro conveniently for around the same time it would have been for an uber or the FlyBus in high traffic times. Google didn’t give us the …

Get Creative at a Cory Christopher Fresh Floral Workshop

For the past few years, Cory Christopher has inspired me into attempting holiday decor designs at home after attending his Do-It-Yourself (DIY) decor sessions at Christmas in November at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. Cory, who is like a Christmas elf with a green thumb, manages to whip through about 15 projects in the 75 minute class using an assortment of fresh florals, second-hand books, and home accessories from everywhere from the storage closet to the dollar store and Canadian tire. It is exhausting and inspiring all at the same time.   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Cory Christopher (@corychristopher) on Oct 2, 2018 at 9:11pm PDT If you follow Cory’s Instagram account, it is hard not to be inspired by the beautiful floral bouquets, succulent displays, and wedding theme photos he and his team create around the province of Alberta. Thankfully, Cory offers a chance to recreate his bouquets through his hands-on fresh floral workshops at his studio in Edmonton and at his family farm north of St. Albert. …

Five Reasons You’ll Want to Devour! The Canadian Rockies

In March, I was invited to attend the inaugural Devour! The Canadian Rockies Food Film Festival at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. Even though my weekend was complimentary, I was blown away by the incredible value of a two-night stay at the JPL including most meals, alcohol, and access to all the happenings of the food and film festival. Now in its 8th year in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Devour! is a food and film experience combining cinematic excellence with extraordinary gastronomic activities. Festival organizers chef Michael Howell and Lia Rinaldo have expanded the maritime event to include satellite Devour festivals around the world – including Alberta’s only event at the JPL. Devour! The Canadian Rockies Food Film Festival is back at the Fairmont JPL – February 22 – 24, 2019 – $479 per person After experiencing last year’s event, I’m happy to pay the $479 for a spot at the 2nd annual Devour! The Canadian Rockies Food Film Festival.  In fact, The Spaniard and I are already booked for 2019! Packages for the 2019 edition …

Recap: Taste Alberta Prairie on the Plate at the Harvest Room

Chef Mridul Bhatt, the executive chef at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, has lived in Alberta for just over one year, but already has a knowledge and deep appreciation for ingredients grown, raised and produced from across the province. On Friday night, Chef Mridul and his culinary team presented a six-course menu Prairie on the Plate menu highlighting ingredients from Taste Alberta‘s commodity partners: Alberta Canola Producers, Egg Farmers of Alberta, Alberta Milk, Alberta Pulse Growers Commission, and Alberta Pork. After welcoming us to the Taste Alberta dinner, Chef Mridul shared his passion for using local ingredients and introduced our upcoming dishes. Our first course – ‘Rebel Within’, was a 63 degree Alberta egg, was nestled inside an applewood cheddar & jalapeño muffin and served alongside a chorizo tomato sauce. A quick slice with the knife revealed a perfectly runny egg.   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Sharman Hnatiuk (@theporkgirl) on Sep 7, 2018 at 6:21pm PDT Chef Mridul explained that he was inspired by the strength of the egg, and complimented the Egg Farmers of Alberta for what …

A Weekend in Montreal – 10 things to keep you busy

Montreal has been on our travel Canada hit list for some time now, so when my friend Adrienne asked if we wanted to join her for the August long weekend, we took her up on the offer of a free bed. We took a couple extra days off work so we had extra time to eat and have some extra fun in the sun (and humidity). Here are 10 things that will can keep you busy on a summer weekend in Montreal. 1. Watch tennis at the Rogers Cup Both The Spaniard and Adrienne are tennis fans, so when the initial invite came to come visit – we knew we would be going to the Rogers Cup. This year the women were playing in Montreal, and we got up-close with number of high-ranked players including Johanna Konta, Jelana Ostapenko, Sloan Stevens, and Maria Sharapova. 2. A culinary walking tour Montreal is a food-lovers dream city. We arrived late on Friday afternoon and decided the best way to orient ourselves (it was The Spaniard’s first time …

Recap: Get Cooking -Taste Alberta Burger Club

Earlier this month, Get Cooking Edmonton transformed their final Burger Club in their summer pop-up dining series into a Taste Alberta – Prairie on the Plate event. Chefs Doreen Prei and Kathryn Joel helped celebrate a Prairie on the Plate first by featuring all seven of Taste Alberta’s partners – Alberta Canola Producers, Egg Farmers of Alberta, Alberta Milk, Alberta Pulse Growers Commission, Alberta Chicken Producers, Alberta Turkey Producers, and Alberta Pork – on their Burger Club Wednesday menu. The sun was shining and most of the patrons that night opted for a seat on the Get Cooking patio. To help keep everyone hydrated, butcher (and Get Cooking culinary instructor) Elyse Chatterton was helping out on the bar serving up everything from Alberta brewed Medicine Hat Brewing Company Burnside Blood Orange Ale and Pimm’s cocktails. The appetizer for the evening was deep-fried chickpeas, which helped recognize the Alberta Pulse Growers Commission, represents 6,000 growers of field pea, dry bean, lentil, chickpea, faba bean and soybean in Alberta. There were four burgers packed with Taste Alberta ingredients available, each served with side of either kennebec fries …