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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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Avenue Magazine: Restaurant Round up for the Fall

The snow has finally come and I think we can all agree that nothing says “Goodbye warm weather!” quite like a slippery, snowy sidewalk. It’s not all bad though, as cold as it can be outside, at least there’s no shortage of tasty, comforting food to enjoy around town. Here are some of the restaurant features I’ve done for Avenue over the past few months. Happy eating!


Affogato Calgary

Brunch hotspot Diner Deluxe has given its sister space next door, Affogato, a bit of a facelift — and a name change — to offer much more than just baked goods and preserves to its patrons. If you’re either not in the mood to stand in line for brunch at the diner or if you’re just too damn hungry, the revamped space, Affogato, offers a fairly varied menu including sandwiches, pizza and waffles to appease your appetite.

The decor here is simple — bright and white with space invader decals on the wall, a Pac-Man arcade machine tucked in the corner and a large open-air bar that can let you soak up a bit of sun. Weather permitting, of course.

Available daily from 7:30 a.m. to  3 p.m., the waffles can come classic with a healthy drizzle of maple syrup and icing sugar, or with fresh strawberries and cream, blueberries and lemon curd or bananas and Nutella. For a sweet-meets-savoury kind of experience, get some pulled pork on top of your waffles with a bourbon maple syrup.

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8 Recent Food Moments Worth Capturing On Instagram

Sometimes it really frightens me just how many images of food I have on my phone. Granted, it just sort of comes with the territory, but between snapping photos, socialising while out for dinner and, dare I say, actually eating what’s on my plate, sometimes different moments don’t get the full explanation they deserve. Especially if you don’t have Instagram (blasphemy!) and can’t see what’s going through my stream.

In no particular order, here are 8 pictures I’ve shared on Instagram over the past few months that, when looking back, have been especially memorable for myself…

Stacked Broccoli at Calgary Co-op’s Downtown Marketplace

Stacked broccoli at Calgary Co-op

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Okanagan Street Food

Okanagan Street Food

I love visiting Kelowna. Actually, I’m even heading there this weekend. Aside from having more boutique wineries and sexy landscapes than you can shake a stick at, there’s also some pretty damn good food there too. The city is also currently the host city of The Canadian Culinary Championships, a final competition between ‘Gold Medal Plate’ winners from across the country.

The last time I spent some time in this lovely mountain valley city, my friend and I had a whirlwind tour that included stops at a dinner at Waterfront Wines (an absolutely amazing restaurant, I’ll touch on this culinary hotspot at a later time) , Urban Distilleries (the birthplace of my all-time favourite gin), Okanagan Spirits and lunch at a cute, little spot called Okanagan Street Food.

I love duck fat

After working for years at a winery in Summerland, owner, Neil Schroeter moved to Kelowna to begin his own venture. The endeavour initially existed as a street food vendor, but after increasing popularity the business shifted to a bricks and mortar restaurant space in the industrial area of interior Kelowna.

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