All posts filed under: Taste

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 …

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: 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 …

Recap: Taste Alberta Brunch at Bodega

Last weekend, chef Lino Oliveira of Sabor and Bodega Tapas and Wine Bar hosted Taste Alberta‘s first ever Prairie on the Plate brunch. Taste Alberta’s Prairie on the Plate dining series invites chefs to create a unique meal that celebrates ingredients, farmers, and producers from commodity groups that make up Taste Alberta. Chef Lino took on the challenge – and his brunch menu featured ingredients from six of the seven partners including: Alberta Canola Producers, Egg Farmers of Alberta, Alberta Milk, Alberta Pulse Growers Commission, Alberta Turkey Producers, and Alberta Pork. Both the Bodega Highlands and the new Bodega 124th Street locations offered brunch on both Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 2 pm, so chef Lino and his culinary team decided to offer a three-course menu for $25 at both locations throughout the weekend. To kick things off, diners received a pintxo – a small snack typically eaten in bars in northern Spain. Chef Lino featured Winding Road Artisan Cheese‘s RDB cheese from Smoky Lake, Alberta, paired with quince marmalade on a slice of baguette. For the main course, diners had a choice of three dishes: …

Recap: Taste Alberta’s Prairie on the Plate at Buco Epcor Tower

Every Wednesday, all three Buco Pizzeria & Vino Bar locations (Epcor Tower, St. Albert and Windermere) feature a Date Night three-course chef’s choice meal for just $32. Last week, chef Spencer Thompson transformed the weekly Date Night menu at the Buco Epcor Tower location into a Taste Alberta Prairie on the Plate menu featuring an assortment of ingredients from across Alberta. A post shared by Sharman Hnatiuk (@theporkgirl) on May 9, 2018 at 6:05pm PDT To kick things off, diners were treated to house-made tortellini with ricotta, spinach, and Alberta-grown dandelion greens. The pasta was served alongside chicken sausage, made by their sous-chef Michael who is also a butcher, along with Sylvan Star Grizzly Gouda, pickled pine nut butter, and shaved apples. I’m told sous chef Michael spent over 20 hours prepping the Alberta Pork main course. He had to source pork trotters from a number of different Alberta pork farmers, which he braised, and then deboned. Chef Michael then made his own pork sausage using the trotter along with pork belly and shoulder, which …

Chef Mridul’s culinary journey dining series at the Harvest Room

Last month, I joined a new dining series aimed at taking diners on a culinary journey around the world. Chef Mridul Bhatt joined the  Fairmont Hotel MacDonald culinary team last summer, and the Indian born and raised chef is eager to bring some international flavour to the Hotel Mac’s Harvest Room. A post shared by Sharman Hnatiuk (@theporkgirl) on Mar 30, 2018 at 8:50pm PDT Sadly, I missed his first two destinations – India and Spain – but managed to get my culinary passports stamped with his latest Italian dinner over the Easter weekend. I felt $75 for the dinner was an excellent value for our five-course Italian dinner, and of course the service in the Harvest Room was impeccable. Chef Mridul and this team happily accommodated my gluten-free needs, but I did have a moment of envy while dining with the Spaniard and our friend Jose-Mi. While I did enjoy my gluten-free spaghetti with truffle, sunchoke, egg yolk and pecorino, I know I was missed out on the the hand-made parpadelle from the pasta course the …

Confections Cake Co. dessert bar now open in St. Albert

If you have a sweet tooth there is a new dessert bar in the Edmonton area to add to your baked-goods hit list. Confections Cake Co., tucked between Jack’s Burger Shack  and Cerdo Tacos + Tequilla on Perron street in St. Albert, quietly opened on Tuesday last week, offering up an assortment of sweets late into the evening seven days a week. I spotted a tweet on Friday from my massage therapist about the newly opened dessert bar, which caught my eye as she mentioned gluten-free options. I happened to be in St. Albert on Sunday evening and was excited to learn they were open until 10 p.m. Actually, they are open every night until 10 pm! At present, Confections Cake Co. is run entirely by life and business partners Brittany and Jarrett. Brittany, who hales from Vancouver Island, took three years of cooking school before studying pastry arts. She first moved to Edmonton to gain work experience at Duchess Bake Shop, before spending five years with Over the Top Cakes in St. Albert. The current …