November 19th, 2018

Food Notes for November 19, 2018

  • Inspired by the fruit and veggie sales hosted by Food4Good in the west end, the All Saints Cathedral located at 10035 103 Street has started its own discounted produce sale (an article about the market’s origins appear in The Messenger). The Manna Market takes place weekly on Wednesdays from 2-5pm – follow them on Twitter for updates.
  • Colleen Heidecker of Colleen’s Chocolates will be leading wine and chocolate pairing sessions via Inspire YEG on November 29 and December 12, 2018 at Rebel Food and Drink. Tickets are $100.
  • The next Swine & Dine event on November 29, 2018 will be hosted by Drift at their winter location, the Shamrock Curling Club. Tickets for the 4-course menu are $45.
  • Meat Street Pies is returning to the City Market at City Hall to lead several gingerbread house workshops before Christmas. Kits are priced at $27 and dates include December 1, 8, and 15, 2018.
  • Speaking of gingerbread houses, if building one isn’t up your alley, consider checking out the masterpieces created by the Hotel Macdonald and Duchess (in the shape of Hogwarts).
  • The second annual Northern Lands Prairie Collective Holiday Market runs December 2, 2018 at the Prairie Gardens & Adventure Farm. In addition to local food vendors (including RGE RD), guests can tour a greenhouse, taste spirits, and enjoy roasted chestnuts.
  • Lui-Chi’s Coffee has opened its storefront cafe on the main floor of the Phipps-Mckinnon Building at 10020 101A Avenue. They’re known for their whiskey barrel aged coffee; they also serve up Arno’s French Pastry.
  • A second location of nut purveyor Mezos Roastery will be opening at Edmonton City Centre.
  • Hopscotch, an Ontario-based chain of Freshii-type quick-serve restaurants, is opening several Edmonton locations, starting with an outlet at West Edmonton Mall.
  • Bloom Cookie Company had to delay the opening of their 124 Street bakery – follow them on Twitter for the latest updates.
  • The Hotel Macdonald has released their annual festive season brochure, with information about their popular teas and buffets.
  • Vue Weekly announced that it will cease operations at the end of November. Like many other local writers, I also previously contributed to Vue, and have fond memories of the Dish section. It’s unfortunate, but hopefully food blogs and other media outlets that cover food can continue in its wake.
  • The New York Bagel Cafe had to fend off some bad press this week after a customer posted a receipt that she had been charged $3.50 for lemon water.
  • The contestants on The Great Canadian Baking Show shared their favourite local bakeries – all three Edmonton-area bakers chose Duchess.
  • Sharon posted about her meal at a new fried chicken joint in the southside, Alberta Fried Chicken (1260 25 Avenue).
  • Graham raved about the food served at Blowers & Grafton.
  • The Journal reviewed the plant-based offerings of Kanu.
  • Crystal wrote a pair of posts about Wilfred’s and Red Star Pub.
  • Vue Weekly paid Nudoru a visit.
  • Like Love Pizza, Seoul Fried Chicken will be starting its own delivery service after exhausting all other options.
  • Linda shared this great piece in Thrillist about the unintended consequences of elevating some small restaurants to regional or national fame.
  • It’s a bit dangerous having Rostizado just down the street from us – and their delicious La Mision burritos just a few clicks away for take-out. Packed with meat, beans, and cheese, they’re a great deal at $12.50, via Foodora.


Chicken burritos from Rostizado

November 12th, 2018

Food Notes for November 12, 2018

  • The second annual Too Many Cooks collaboration dinner is scheduled for December 2, 2018. Proceeds will go towards the Bissell Centre’s community kitchen. Tickets for the 12-course drink paired dinner are $200, and features a dozen different chefs from some of the city’s best restaurants, including Baijiu, Biera, RGE RD, and XIX Nineteen.
  • Bloom, known for their vegan cookies sold at a number of farmers’ markets in the city, are finally ready to open their storefront bakery! Find them at 10350 124 Street. Although the official opening date is November 20, their soft opening is taking place on November 17, 2018 from 12-5pm. November 15, 2018 update: unfortunately, Bloom has had to delay their opening.
  • Liane has more information about the new north side location of Louisiana Purchase that opened up earlier this fall.
  • Vue shares the story behind OEB’s first location in Edmonton.
  • Twyla enjoyed the steaks at DOSC but expected better from the rest of the menu.
  • Graham was hoping for more from Buok Fresh Korean Kitchen.
  • Crystal wasn’t wowed by the vegan buns from Cinnaholic.
  • Also from Crystal, she recapped the most recent “gourmai dumpling pop-up” hosted by MasterChef Canada finalist Mai Nguyen.
  • Congratulations to Russell Bird (from Sherwood Park) who placed third in the ribs category at the World Food Championships!
  • Twyla has a list of all of the locations where you can purchase her biography of Gail Hall titled Maps, Markets, and Matzo Ball Soup.
  • If you’re looking for Christmas gift ideas, Linda has a great one – a do-it-yourself beer advent calendar.
  • Aarde, advertising its vegetable-forward cuisine with Dutch influences, opened last week at 10184 104 Street. Leduc previewed what to expect.


Aarde interior

  • Mack and I were fortunate to spend part of last week in Kananaskis. On the way down, we stopped for lunch at one of our favourite places – the Simmons Building in Calgary. We grabbed some sandwiches from Sidewalk Citizen, where I am never disappointed.

Sidewalk Citizen

Roasted chicken salad sandwich from Sidewalk Citizen

November 5th, 2018

Food Notes for November 5, 2018

  • Table Top Cafe is hosting its first Boardgame Brunch, catered by Preserve Food Truck, on November 10, 2018. Tickets start at $40 and include brunch, mimosas, and game play costs.
  • The Cacao 70 Eatery is now open in Old Strathcona, at 10430 82 Avenue. It joins the Cacao 70 Sweet House that is already open in Ice District.
  • The re-opening of the relocated, expanded Downtown Diner in Fort Saskatchewan has hit a snag – they’ve moved the expected date to spring 2019.
  • Hillaby’s, the housewares store located in The Enjoy Centre, is closing by the end of 2018.
  • I suppose it was inevitable for cannabis-related food businesses to crop up – one of the first is Much Munch, offering late night sweet and savoury snack deliveries in Edmonton.
  • Avenue has a couple of hot dog recommendations just in time for the Grey Cup: from Arcadia, Delux Burger Bar, and Pub 1905.
  • The Journal reviewed the supper club Halley’s located in West Edmonton Mall.
  • Stephanie shared her two recent brunches at OEB.
  • Crystal found the tasting experience at Evoolution to be educational and of good value.
  • An Edmonton-area contestant, Megan Stasiewich, has reached the finale of The Great Canadian Baking Show.
  • Second Cup held an internal national latte art championship in October, and So Young Min of Edmonton won the top prize. She works at the Second Cup kiosk at the Terwillegar Rec Centre.
  • Gyu-Kaku is opening in one of the bays made up by the former Sobey’s on 104 Street and Jasper Avenue. Gyu-Kaku is a Japanese BBQ chain with locations across the U.S. and Canada (including Calgary).


Gyu-Kaku coming soon

  • I finally had the chance to visit Meuwly’s on 124 Street. As expected, they had a great selection of cured meats, but they also had a good variety of other artisan products. The most interesting was their house-made hand cream (the key ingredient being pork lard) – stocking stuffer, anyone?



  • I met up with a friend at Partake. It is an utterly charming space that reminded us both of quaint European bars we’ve visited on our travels. The room was packed when we arrived – the server explained that the restaurant is known for their complimentary bar snacks served up during happy hour (4-6pm and 10pm-late). It was indeed a pretty generous spread: pesto-drizzled popcorn, cheese-stuffed dates, olives, and meatballs. We shared a few small plates, but I’ll definitely be back to try more.


Happy hour spread at Partake

November 4th, 2018

Preview: Jang

It’s always great to see locally owned restaurants grow and expand. In Edmonton, the trend over the past few years has been for restaurants to parlay their reputation into new concepts instead of replicating their initial successes – Tres Carnales/Rostizado, The Next Act/Meat/Pip, Elm Cafe/District/Little Brick, and of course, Corso 32/Bar Bricco/Uccellino are just some examples.

There’s another restaurant to add to this list – Jang is the brainchild from the folks behind Nudoru, the popular ramen joint in Old Strathcona (they had the distinction of being the first in Edmonton to make their own noodles). Although there are numerous establishments that serve Korean cuisine in the city, owner Eric Hui saw a gap in restaurants offering higher end Korean food. Chef Jamie Jang shared the same opinion, so when an ideal space became available on Jasper Avenue and 112 Street (formerly Soy and Pepper), Jang was born. It opened its doors in mid-October, and Mack, Emily and I were fortunate enough to attend a media preview of Jang last weekend.


Chef Jamie Jang and Eric Hui

“Jang” means sauce in Korean, and their hope is to create a fusion of flavours through a combination of Korean, Japanese and Western sauces. We tried a variety of their small plates and mains meant to be shared.

We started with a refreshing apple kimchi, an inspired take on a Korean staple. I appreciated that the heat level was cut by the crisp fruit; it made for a nice accompaniment as we sipped our drinks.


Apple kimchi

The salmon carpaccio, served with fennel, avocado, tomato, a Korean chili vinaigrette and cilantro mayo was very fresh. The fish was beautifully presented, and it was easy to see this dish as a representative of the type of polished plate Jang wants to be known for.


Salmon carpaccio

The kimchi croquette was one of our favourites that night – sweet potato mash, kimchi, and grana padano deep fried and served with a shichimi aioli. They nailed the textural contrast, with a crisp exterior and a smooth centre, punched up with the slightly spicy aioli on the side.


Kimchi croquette

The sizzling hot ika featured calamari tossed in a Korean chili pesto, with a poached egg, mashed potatoes, and a black olive emulsion. It didn’t come together as a sum of its parts, although the squid was itself well cooked.


Sizzling hot ika

Onto the mains, the baked kimchi dome was a bit of a puzzle. It was presented with some fanfare, with the server cutting into the naan crust at the table to reveal pork loin and tofu in a kimchi tomato sauce. While the meat was quite tender, the flavours of the stew could have been further developed, and the group agreed that the naan bread was unnecessary.


Kimchi dome

On the other hand, the beer-battered Korean fried chicken was definitely a crowd pleaser. Gojuchang and ganjang (soy sauce) dips were served alongside, but I preferred to enjoy the crispy, well-seasoned coating unadorned. The meat underneath was juicy and satisfying. The side of taro fries were an interesting choice, but they weren’t as crispy as I would have liked. For Jang’s grand opening from November 5-10, the KFC is on special for just $10 (regular $19).


Beer-battered Korean fried chicken

Jang’s gogi platter reminded our tablemate Cindy of the meat boards central to Rostizado, resplendent with different cuts and sauces. Here, teriyaki ribeye, galbi (Korean short ribs), pork belly and spicy pork shoulder is served with kimchi butter, ssamjeng dip and Asian chimichurri, alongside roasted potatoes, grilled vegetables, and some lettuce to create wraps. The ribeye was prepared well, with a good ratio of meat to fat. I also enjoyed the short ribs and their expected sweetness. If dining in a group, this would be a good way to sample a variety as we did.


Gogi platter

For the most part, Jang does meet its goal of serving more composed dishes with fusion flavours. As Edmonton’s food scene continues to develop, it’s encouraging to see restauranteurs take risks to bring their vision to life. Thanks to the team at Jang for their hospitality, and I wish them well in the weeks and months to come!

11212 Jasper Avenue
(780) 421-8281
Monday-Saturday 5-10pm, closed Sundays

For more early perspectives on Jang, check out Eat with Sharon and YEG Cravings.

October 29th, 2018

Food Notes for October 29, 2018

  • The next quarterly Dinner with Canada’s Top Chefs at the Shaw Conference Centre takes place on November 2, 2018. Tickets for the 7-course meal (including wine and spirits pairings) are $150.
  • The latest culinary experience from Northern Bites on December 1, 2018 features a visit to a Christmas market and cookie baking. Tickets are $70.
  • Congratulations to Bundok, which was honoured as one of Canada’s Best New Restaurants on En Route’s prestigious annual list.
  • Tiffin Box just announced a third location in Windermere.
  • OEB’s first Edmonton location opened today at 10174 100A Street! Lillian shared what she was able to try at the media preview.
  • The Harvest Room at the Hotel Macdonald will be offering a 45 minute 3-course express lunch starting November 1, 2018.
  • Twyla raved about her experience at vegetarian Vietnamese eatery An Chay.
  • Lydia previewed the food at Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle.
  • Crystal is a fan of the treats from Destination Doughnuts.
  • The latest episode of the Let’s Find Out podcast features Siu To, also known as the “Green Onion Cake Man” in Edmonton. He recently opened a storefront that sells his famous green onion cakes on 118 Avenue.
  • Also about Siu To – CBC’s Julie van Rosendaal shares his recipe for green onion cakes in case you’d like to try to recreate them on your own.
  • Although more restaurants are considering inclusive tipping models, a study indicates that tipping actually makes diners feel more satisfied.
  • In this new era of legal recreational cannabis, Fish muses about why public liquor consumption should be permitted.
  • Urban agriculture advocate Dustin Bajer was recognized as one of this year’s Avenue Edmonton Top 40 Under 40.
  • The Alberta Local Food Council met this week. They will “provide recommendations on provincial policies, programs, pilot projects or initiatives to support the continued growth and sustainability of Alberta’s local food sector.”
  • Mack and I stopped into DOSC last week for breakfast. Although their Sober Cat concept has been well received, their breakfast menu seems to be flying under the radar. The $5 breakfast sandwich with bacon, egg, cheese and tomato was a good deal, and was especially tasty with a house-made brioche bun. Our coffees were on the house that day, with a special offer from YEG Food Deals available until October 31, 2018.


Breakfast sandwiches from DOSC

Twyla Campbell

Twyla Campbell with her labour of love

October 22nd, 2018

Food Notes for October 22, 2019

  • The McLuhan House Book Club is hosting Edmonton Eats co-author Tina Faiz and photographer Dong Kim on October 25, 2018. The event is free, but attendees are encouraged to bring a dish to share.
  • Effing Seafoods now has a storefront located at 140, 44 Riel Drive in St. Albert. The grand opening is October 26, 2018.
  • Knifewear’s Kevin Kent has authored The Knifenerd Guide to Japanese Knives. He’s launching the book in Edmonton with a party on November 2, 2018.
  • Farm Fair returns to Northlands November 7-11, 2018. They’re hosting hands-on kitchen workshops again (free with gate admission) for ricotta and lemon cheese. I took part in a class to make the latter last year and found it to be one of the most value-oriented classes in town.
  • The first of OEB’s two Edmonton locations is set to open on October 29, 2018. It is located in the Kelly Ramsey building downtown at 19174 100A Street.
  • Congratulations to Chef Davina Moraiko of RGE RD who placed first at Canada’s Great Kitchen Party (formerly known as Gold Medal Plates). Chefs Serge Belair of the Shaw Conference Centre and Scott Downey of The Butternut Tree rounded out the podium.
  • Black Box Hospitality was successful in its quest to crowdfund $100,000 towards their Gibbard Block project in Highlands.
  • Sharon shared what to expect from the newly-opened Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle.
  • Also from Sharon – she has enjoyed her visits to Buono.
  • The Journal reviewed one of Alberta Avenue’s hidden gems – Mama Asha Cafe.
  • Crystal wrote a post about her visit to Nomiya.
  • Jonny sampled some of the beers in the taproom of Analog Brewing Company.
  • The Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis has made some further changes to liquor laws, including allowing bars and restaurants to create house-aged liquor products.
  • A 12-year old boy from Edmonton will have his recipe for aloo gobi featured in a nationwide cookbook called Kid Food Nation later this fall.
  • CBC published an article highlighting some of the challenges small farmers face regarding product distribution.
  • Gone Green Farms, located near Pigeon Lake, donated 10,000kg of root vegetables to Edmonton and Calgary Food Banks last week.
  • At some point I’ll have to try something other than the beef and gouda arepa at El Fogon, but until then, it’s always my go-to.

El Fogon

Beef and gouda arepa from El Fogon

  • Mack and I shared a gluttonous amount of food from the new Cosmic Pizza location downtown. It’s hard to find a deal as good as their $3.50 pizza slices anywhere else in the core, and Mack enjoyed his large donair featuring a very generous serving of meat. We also decided to split a donair poutine, but likely wouldn’t order it again as the fries just weren’t crispy.

Cosmic Pizza

Donair poutine from Cosmic Pizza

October 15th, 2018

Food Notes for October 15, 2018

I took a break from the blog last week for a quick getaway to Vancouver Island – we left Edmonton’s winter for a few days to bask in their fall glory. Thankfully, it seems autumn has also (temporarily) returned here at home! On to this week’s food notes:

  • The fifth annual Restaurants for Change fundraiser is planned for October 17, 2018. RGE RD and Otto are participating; proceeds from their dinner service that night will go towards supporting Food4Good in Edmonton.
  • Northern Bites has planned an Oktoberfest-themed experience featuring beer, pretzels, and sauerkraut on October 24, 2018. Tickets are $70.
  • Audrey’s is hosting the launch of Twyla Campbell’s biography of the late Chef Gail Hall, titled Maps, Markets and Matzo Ball Soup, on October 28, 2018.
  • Studio 99, a new sports bar located inside Rogers Place, opens on October 18, 2018. Note that a valid game day ticket is required to access the bar.
  • Chef Hung, a BC-based restaurant chain that specializes in Taiwanese noodle soups, is set to open their first location in Edmonton on October 21, 2018 in Old Strathcona. Find them at 10336 81 Avenue.
  • Three Vikings, which took over the space formerly occupied by Daravara, is now open at 10713 124 Street.
  • I missed the opening of a new cafe in the west end back in the spring called Rise & Root, located at 20020 Lessard Road.
  • A couple of new Chinatown restaurant openings: Noodleholic, at 9658 107A Avenue and Tacos Y’amor at 9711 107 Avenue.
  • You can now find a cafe serving up coffee and pastries inside the Hotel Macdonald!
  • Soy and Pepper at 11212 Jasper Avenue is no more, but in its place, Jang looks to offer similar fusion flavours from Korea, Japan.
  • Cafe Linnea now offers two- and three-course prix fixe menus daily, at the cost of $35 and $45, respectively.
  • Linda shares just how economical the food is at the Green Onion Cake Man’s Alberta Avenue storefront.
  • The Journal is the latest outlet to visit Cartago in Forest Heights.
  • Vue Weekly was not impressed by the food at the King of Donair.
  • Sharman recapped the most recent Swine & Dine event that took place at Salz.
  • Twyla positively reviewed Tang Bistro.
  • Speaking of Twyla, she is interviewed for the latest More than Maple Syrup podcast to discuss the current state of Alberta’s food scene.
  • Liane spoke to some local restaurant operators to see how the minimum wage hike has affected their operations.
    • Chef Daniel Huber wants the practice of “house tipping” to end in restaurants.
    • A sponsored post in Bon Appetit lists 8 notable restaurants to visit in Edmonton.
    • It looks like a new Edmonton food magazine is on the horizon, called Eat Local Magazine. A digital version of their pilot issue is available, but they’re hoping for their first print copies to be released in December.
    • Vegan hot dogs are now available at the IKEA in Edmonton.
    • Food4Good is hosting a free screening of a documentary about a community food centre in Dartmouth on November 2, 2018.
    • It was my first time at Liuyishou Hot Pot in Chinatown over the weekend. We opted for a communal pot, but they have the option for individual hot pots as well! I’m more familiar with the buffet versions for hot pot, as opposed to ordering individual items off of a menu, but with our large group, we ended up paying just $20 per person. Bonus: we helped ourselves to a ton of the pickled daikon and roasted peanuts to snack on throughout the night.

    Liuyishou Hot Pot

    Hot pot at Liuyishou Hot Pot

    • It’s been too long since my last visit to Pho Tau Bay – but finally, I was able to satisfy my craving.

    Pho Tau Bay

    My usual

    October 5th, 2018

    Preview: Olde Towne Beverly Dining Week, October 5-13, 2018

    There are so many parts of Edmonton that I have yet to fully appreciate, and I am grateful when opportunities arise to encourage further exploration. When it involves food, I’m even more likely to participate – so the first ever Olde Towne Beverly Dining Week is right up my alley.

    Eight restaurants in Beverly are showcasing their fare from October 5-13, 2018, ranging from long-standing establishments to several newcomers to the neighbourhood. I had the chance to visit some of these restaurants with my friend Freya on Wednesday during a media preview event, and was pleasantly surprised by the diversity and the sense of community evident that night.

    Wild Heart Collective (the folks behind Eats on 118 and the 124 Grand Market) worked with the Beverly Business Improvement Area on developing the event. Wes Robson, the Executive Director of the BIA, said Beverly is an often forgotten part of Edmonton. That’s definitely been the case for me – I haven’t been back to the area since I visited the farmers’ market a few years ago (with a pit stop for doughnuts from Take 5). After the tour, I could easily see myself returning to spend an afternoon in Beverly, having lunch and picking up groceries and dessert to go.

    Beverly Dining Week

    Olde Towne Beverly

    Two of our stops highlighted the Ukrainian heritage of some of the original settlers in Beverly. Uncle Ed’s is a city institution, and one restaurant that has been on my to-visit list for ages. Collette Hennig, whose grandfather opened Mundare’s famous Stawnichy’s in 1959, is now the third generation to run the family business. Her daughter has recently been dipping her toe in operations as well, something that is great to hear.

    Although the first Edmonton location opened in 1986, the current iteration of Uncle Ed’s has been in Beverly for twelve years. The shop is split between a grocery store offering Stawnichy’s meat products and frozen goods, and a family-friendly restaurant serving up Ukrainian comfort food at very reasonable prices. Their Dining Week special is a sampler plate, featuring perogies, sausage, cabbage rolls, baked cheese bun, cheese crepe, and homemade pie for dessert. Based on our tastes of these items, I’ll be back for a full serving very soon.

    Beverly Dining Week

    The spread at Uncle Ed’s

    I hadn’t heard of Widynowski’s Sausage House prior to the tour, but it turns out they also have deep roots in Beverly, having been in operation there for 34 years. Tyler Hawryluk, whose father and uncle started Widynowski’s in 1984, has since taken over the business, and shared that everything in the shop is still hand made. They have a selection of sausages and jerky, in addition to frozen perogies, cabbage rolls, and other Ukrainian delicacies. The ham and garlic sausage we tried was delicious, and is included in the take-home bundle Widynowski’s has put together for their Dining Week deal.

    Beverly Dining Week

    Sausage at Widynowski’s

    We also sampled the fare from two more recent establishments. The first was Old Beverly Cafe, opened by Rachel and Michael Benti in January. Although the interior has been designed to resemble the mine shafts that recall the coal mining history of Beverly, the menu is much more eclectic. That night, we sampled poutine, paninis, and their Dining Week specials, bruschetta and a Mediterranean burger, with tzatziki atop a lamb patty.

    Beverly Dining Week

    Old Beverly Cafe

    It’s a cozy little spot that I wouldn’t have thought to encounter in Beverly, charming and quaint. Their breakfast menu looks particularly intriguing, with a breakfast poutine that I wouldn’t be able to pass up.

    Beverly Dining Week

    A sampling at Old Beverly Cafe

    Nalaz Kitchen is another newcomer to the neighbourhood, having opened in January. The couple behind the restaurant is originally from India, but the chef has extensive experience in international hotels and cruise ships, inspiring a menu they describe to feature “Indian flavours and Canadian tastes”.

    We sampled several of their savoury dishes, including a curry poutine, chicken tikka burger and fish and crisps. The spice level was tuned for more moderate palates, but everyone around our table enjoyed the plates. The highlight of the meal, however, was dessert – a red velvet waffle with cream cheese frosting that silenced the room. If one were to plan a food crawl in this area, Nalaz would be the ideal choice to end the evening.

    Beverly Dining Week

    Red velvet waffle at Nalaz Kitchen

    Swiss 2 Go is well-known to many in Edmonton for their scratch-made sandwiches. Originally from Switzerland, Drita Keller and her family moved to Edmonton in 2012, and opened up a small cafe in Beverly. Although they moved to a location across from West Edmonton Mall for a few years, Drita said they didn’t find the community they were hoping for and so, returned to Beverly again about three years ago.

    Drita is a consummate host, and warmly hugged each patron before we departed. It’s amazing she has the energy she does, given she starts working at 3:30am to ensure the shop is stocked with freshly baked pretzel buns each day. Given the foundation of a great sandwich is the bread, it’s no wonder why Swiss 2 Go has the reputation it does. The ingredients are fresh (the sandwich I tried featured prosciutto, salami, bocconcini, and sundried tomato), but it really is the pretzel bun, studded with rock salt, that sets is apart. During Dining Week, a select variety of their regular and large sandwiches are 20% off.

    Beverly Dining Week

    Sandwiches at Swiss 2 Go

    Their desserts, also handcrafted, were made for Instagram, served in a molded chocolate teacup.

    Beverly Dining Week

    Freya enjoys her “tea”

    While it probably helped that board members of the Beverly Business Improvement Area were among the group that night, we felt very welcome at each of the establishments we visited. Nearly all of the business owners mentioned that they felt a kinship with the community, and indicated that they felt well supported by the residents. Well, it’s about time that this well kept secret is shared with the rest of Edmonton!

    Thanks to Wild Heart and the Beverly BIA for a wonderful evening!

    Check the Beverly BIA website for more information about Olde Towne Beverly Dining Week.

    October 1st, 2018

    Food Notes for October 1, 2018

    • Those of you looking for a fully-prepared Thanksgiving meal are in luck: you can purchase a feast from several different vendors in Edmonton, including the Shaw Conference Centre and Sorrentino’s.
    • The Downtown Business Association is hosting the first annual Harvest Fest, with 17 restaurants offering menus featuring seasonally inspired ingredients. Harvest Fest runs October 11-14, 2018.
    • The next Dinner with Friends meal, hosted by the Friends of the Royal Alberta Museum Society, is taking place on October 25, 2018 at Tiffin Fresh Kitchen.
    • Click Dishes, an app that allows customers to pre-order food, has partnered with West Edmonton Mall to offer in-mall delivery services starting in mid-October.
    • Crema Espresso Bar will be opening up in Edmonton City Centre Mall.
    • New Neapolitan pizza chain Firecrust opened its first Edmonton-area branch in Sherwood Park this week, located at 210, 410 Baseline Road.
    • Congratulations to Little HK who made En Route’s list of Canada’s Best New Bars!
    • Great to see Chef Jiju Paul back in Edmonton, now leading the kitchens at the Edmonton Expo Centre.
    • The Star Edmonton published a feature on Siu To’s new green onion cake shop on 118 Avenue.
    • Have you been to Meuwly’s yet? Sharman provides an overview of what to expect.
    • Lydia offers a snapshot of new wine bar Partake.
    • The Globe posted a positive review of Kanto.
    • Crystal shared her experiences with four Edmonton delivery services – Skip the Dishes, Door Dash, Foodora, and Uber Eats.
    • Twyla recapped the second annual Prairie Grid dinner held in Edmonton last week.
    • Timothy Fu, the youngest contestant on The Great Canadian Baking Show from Edmonton, is still in the running.
    • The Bissell Centre is looking for votes to earn an Aviva grant to start a community kitchen.
    • I learned more about the vision behind Black Box Hospitality’s ambitious Gibbard Block project in Highlands. The Kickstarter campaign went live 10 days ago and has already reached 30% of its goal, but Nate Box and his team are hoping to raise $100,000 to help with financing costs. The three concepts include:
      • June’s Delicatessen, inspired by the Jewish delis encountered in the team’s travels to Toronto, Montreal, and New York. Scratch-made bagels will be on offer (and in fact, are already being served up at District).
      • Fox Burger, which will be helmed by Chef Sean O’Connor (formerly of Red Ox Inn). They will aim to be a family-friendly destination for great burgers of all types (vegetarian included!), and overindulgent, greasy spoon brunch on the weekends. The beer program will highlight great local craft breweries. Watch for “secret menu” items that those in the know can request. Chef O’Connor will be testing out the menu for the first time at a pop-up to be held at Salz on October 15, 2018. Follow their Instagram page for updates on how to snag a reservation!
      • Highlands Liquor, will be a fun and approachable liquor shop. As it will be the smallest of the three spaces, expect a highly curated selection.

    Black Box Hospitality

    Gibbard Block project by Black Box Hospitality

    • Mack, Emily, and I finally made it to the 124 Grand Market on Thursday! The weather was dreary but poutine from Drift helped to lift our spirits. With the imminent end of food truck season, Drift will be serving up their food at the Shamrock Curling Club in the winter.


    Poutine from Drift

    • Mack and I celebrated our anniversary this weekend with a meal at The Marc. Everything was on point – the food was superb, and the service exceptional.

    The Marc

    Mushrooms on toast from The Marc

    September 26th, 2018

    Recap: FEASTival of Fine Chefs 2018

    In Edmonton, we are fortunate to have a diversity of culinary events to attend. While it sometimes seems like there are new tastings or markets popping up every weekend, other events can claim a long history, and have endured the whims of an ever-changing food community. The FEASTival of Fine Chefs, put on by the Alberta Food Processors Association, is one such example, celebrating its thirtieth year in 2018. Mack and I were fortunate to attend the event as guests last week alongside our friends Linda and Sharman.

    FEASTival of Fine Chefs

    FEASTival of Fine Chefs

    A showcase for Alberta products and a fundraiser for apprentice chefs, FEASTival pioneered the idea of the “black box” challenge. 24 hours before the event, participating chefs receive a hamper containing a variety of locally sourced produce, grains, pulses, and proteins which they have to transform into 4 different courses. Diners are given four vouchers that correspond with each course and a restaurant station number. The distinct aspect of this event, however, is that the station numbers change after each course, so guests end up with dishes from four different places. Linda captured her experience of this really well, but I will say this Russian roulette-style dinner was unique. It’s ideal for those with adventurous palates, and created a easy going atmosphere in the Shaw Conference Centre hall.

    FEASTival of Fine Chefs

    Our meal tickets

    There were a total of 17 participating restaurants this year. Because of the time and labour-intensive nature of the function, organizers shared that it is difficult for smaller establishments to participate. As a result, all of the restaurants were representing hotels, institutions, or chains. Still, event chair Chris Short maintains that FEASTival is a great opportunity for young chefs to challenge themselves, in addition to exposing them to the range of products available from home grown producers.

    FEASTival of Fine Chefs

    Chefs hard at work

    Before dinner, we whet our appetites by exploring the menus the restaurants had put together. Although I could extrapolate from the dishes what ingredients were provided in their black box, it would have been visually interesting to see what a sample hamper contained.

    FEASTival of Fine Chefs

    Plating perfection

    I was particularly impressed by the few who had an overall theme to their dishes (the Renaissance Hotel was inspired by Korean cuisine), or a fun display (the Royal Glenora had set up a big top tent complete with popcorn decorations and a spin-the-wheel game).

    FEASTival of Fine Chefs

    The Royal Glenora carnival

    Overall, I was pretty impressed by the food, and by circumstance, ended up with a fairly cohesive meal. My appetizer was prepared by the Highlands Golf Club; a birch-glazed bison short rib with a sweet potato purée and charred rutabaga. The meat was nicely tender, and I appreciated the pair of vegetables served together, as they complemented the other well.

    FEASTival of Fine Chefs

    Birch-glazed bison short rib

    I was delighted to see a soup course on the menu (Mack jokes that I could eat soup all day every day, and it’s true). Of the two I sampled, I preferred the roasted chicken mushroom consommé from Stages Kitchen & Bar. While it was on the salty side, I thought there was a lot of depth to the broth.

    FEASTival of Fine Chefs

    Roasted chicken mushroom consommé from Stages Kitchen & Bar

    My main course was prepared by the Royal Glenora Club. I very much enjoyed the spiced rack of boar, served with a curried cauliflower purée, cabbage, and northern bean cassoulet. At an event this size, I often find the meat to be overcooked, so I was pleasantly surprised that the boar was a perfect medium rare. In addition, the highlight of the plate for me was the flavourful bean cassoulet.

    FEASTival of Fine Chefs

    Spiced rack of boar from the Royal Glenora Club

    Most of the desserts around the table were chocolate-based. Considering the event’s local philosophy, I was expecting more dairy, egg, or fruit concoctions, but I recognize that chocolate is a crowd-pleaser. My dessert was a flourless chocolate cake from the Highlands Golf Club; it was a very rich way to end my meal.

    FEASTival of Fine Chefs

    Flourless chocolate cake from the Highlands Golf Club

    The event finished with a rousing bagpipe-led parade of chefs, providing diners with the opportunity to show their gratitude to those that had their hand in preparing the evening’s food.

    FEASTival of Fine Chefs

    Chefs’ parade

    Thanks again to the event organizers for a fun evening, and to Linda for inviting us to join her! Tickets for the 31st FEASTival of Fine Chefs next September will go on sale April 1, 2019.