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A Weekend Road Trip to Banff

The Bison Banff menu

Earlier this fall, I got to have a little mountain getaway in Banff while taking the new Volkswagen Touareg for a spin. The weekend of relaxing (which I don’t do often) and eating wrapped up nicely with this beauty of a breakfast pizza from The Bison, but let’s rewind 48 hours here back to the beginning.

Volkswagen Touareg 2014

Now, most of you would find this hard to believe, but I lived in Calgary sans-vehicle for almost 7 years until this summer when I decided that it was probably time to get a set of wheels again. While it was nice having a reliable 2008 car in my possession in August, it was even cooler to be able to drive this one for a few days. I’m not a vehicle expert by any means, but it was nice to head out to the mountains in an SUV that had all kinds of voice activations, navigation systems and more. Yes, my car sitting outside my home was seeming older and older by the minute the closer we drove to The Rockies.

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Swerve Calgary – Behind The Line: Chef Recipes Highlights For The Fall

Avec Bistro menu

Every time I sit down and chat with a local chef for this Behind The Line column, I end up learning more about them and the history of Calgary’s food scene than I’m expecting. It’s so interesting how individual in the city’s culinary community has helped shape it into what it is today in some shape or form.

(Chef Dilan Draper’s food is pictured above, by the way. Good stuff!)

Below, you’ll find some great recipes chefs have shared with me over the past few months, but before we dive into tasty food, I’m excited to share that Behind The Line has moved onto now with a more national focus. I’ll still be sharing candid conversations with chefs from Calgary, of course, but I am also pretty eager to get to know chefs in other cities like Winnipeg, Vancouver, Halifax and more.

Anyway, onto the food!

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6 Delicious Things to Eat in Vancouver and a #TasteForTravel Quiz from!

ARC Vancouver menu

I’m not usually a huge fan of partnering up for promotions and that sort of thing, but every once and awhile I find something that’s a pretty good fit with what I’m all about.‘s new campaign #TasteForTravel is all about upcoming food trends in different culinary destinations across the world and also about finding which food-centric city is match with your palate. Needless to say, if you’re a picky eater then all of this likely won’t appeal to you, but if you are a picky eater then why are you writing a food blog right now? So, I’m going to assume there are no picky eaters around here!

Anyway, the #TasteForTravael quiz is honestly pretty fun and let’s face it, most of us take one of those Buzzfeed quizzes at least a few times a week that don’t have anything to do with anything. What 90s rocker are you? Which Dawson’s Creek character would you be? (ok, that may be of interest to me…) But, come on…how about something a little more relevant?

Culinary tourism is continually on the rise across the world, which means that these days the average traveller is more interested in what lands on his or her dinner plate in a foreign city than a statue or landmark to take a selfie beside.

Take the quiz here and see what your match is. Mine was New York City, sa-weet!

#TasteForTravel quiz

There’s a lot of great cities on’s ‘Top 10 Culinary Destinations’ for this year including Seattle, Florence, Stockholm and New York City (no shocker there). If you are looking to plan a trip some time soon, then it’s worth taking a look at what trends are happening in these cities and see what piques your interest. For me, I’m pretty interested to see if hand-held pies in Toronto really take off. I mean, who doesn’t like a pie? Especially when it’s mobile!

Just to add a little value above the soapbox for this culinary personality quiz, I thought I’d share some delicious dishes that I’ve enjoyed in my recent travels to one of the ‘Top 10′ cities has listed, Vancouver. Obviously it’s no shocker that one of Canada’s biggest cities would have more mouthwatering food options than you can shake a stick at, but here’s just a few to get you started…

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Swerve Calgary – Behind The Line: Chef Recipe Highlights For The Spring

Chris Shaften Chef

I got a little sidetracked over the winter and spring and forgot to round-up the great recipes from different chefs I’ve chatted with in my ‘Behind The Line‘ column for Swerve since the new year. From talking with my pal, Chris Shaften (pictured) about moving to Kelowna to open Krafty Kitchen and Bar, to Chef Rogelio Herrera on the connection between social media and short attention spans in young chefs, there is always something interesting that comes up in conversation.

Aside from the candid talks, here are some of the recipes that Calgary chefs have shared with me over the past few months.

Ginger Pickled Plums

Chef Chris Shaften’s Ginger Pickled Plums

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Avenue Magazine: Restaurant Round Up For The Winter

Yes! Winter is officially over! That being said, I guess it did just blizzard in Calgary, so we’re stuck with some snow here for a little while longer, but I see some shorts, tank tops and patio beers in my not-so-distant future. Forever the optimist…

There’s been a few new restaurants popping up in Calgary over the past three months and here are a few that you should check out, if you haven’t already!

Bensonhurst Pizza Co.

Bensonhurst Pizza Calgary

To be honest, I’m not sure the main drag of 17th Avenue necessarily needed one more restaurant but Bensonhurst Pizza Co. is an intriguing enough concept to contend with the regular suspects we already know and love.

Recently opened in the same building as Roosevelt at 9th Street S.W., Bensonhurst may not immediately grab your attention as you pass by, so make sure to follow the smell of freshly made pizza sauce.

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Swerve Calgary – Behind The Line: Chef Recipe Highlights For The Fall

Continuing along with my ‘Behind The Line’ column this year, I’ve been learning so much about different chef’s backgrounds, and the history of Calgary’s food scene in general. Ever sit-down with these local chefs has been amazingly interesting and if I’ve learned one thing since this biweekly column in Swerve began back in the springtime, it’s that everyone has got a story to tell.

Here are some of the chef recipes that I shared along with the interviews over the past few months. All pretty damn tasty!

John Michael Macneil Teatro Chicken Sauce

Chef John Michael MacNeil’s Chicken Sauce

Leaving the modernist techniques aside for this recipe, chef John Michael MacNeil says, “Serve this with your Sunday roast dinner. It works great with fish as well.”

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