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.
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.
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 EatNorth.ca 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!
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!
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.
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!
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.”
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!
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.
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
- Caramel Butternut Squash and Apple Holiday Squares
- A Weekend Road Trip to Banff
- Lobster and Green Pepper-stuffed Mushroom Caps
- Swerve Calgary – Behind The Line: Chef Recipes Highlights For The Fall
- Thai Coconut Roasted Carrot Soup
- Appetizers & Co.
- Calgary & Area
- Magazine Highlights
- Season 2
- Season 3
- Something Sweet
- Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home
- United States