Well, it certainly seems like Calgary is having a hard time staying out of the Food Network Canada limelight these days. In-between Top Chef Canada, You Gotta Eat Here, Eat St. and now the network’s newest show, Donut Showdown, there’s a good chance that every time you turn to the channel there will be a little piece of Calgary’s culinary community being showcased. I am A-OK with that!
Donut Showdown, which premiered two weeks ago, is a competition series centring around – you guessed it – doughnuts! Tonight at 8 p.m. (MDT) you’ll be able to catch two of Jelly Modern’s co-owners, Chef Grayson Sherman and Rosanne Tripathy, battling it out with two other pastry teams for a cash prize of $10,000. Holy dollar bills Batman!
I chatted with Chef Grayson while he was busy dipping away this past week about being on the show, strange doughnut creations and why Jelly Modern’s doughnuts kick some serious ass!
March is always an exciting month for restauranteurs and food lovers in Calgary. It’s the month where Avenue Magazine celebrates our food community and hands out their annual Restaurant Awards. Like last year, I was excited and honoured to be on the judging panel with some of Calgary’s top culinary folks.
With all of the restaurants we have popping up lately, next year it’s going to be even more difficult to decide who takes the top spot in the various categories we argue over in a small room. Picture a heated Law and Order courtroom debate. Yes, it is that intense – ok, maybe not that intense.
In addition to the many categories we deliberated on, all contributors had the opportunity to put together some ‘Top 10′ lists to go along with the 10th anniversary of this particular issue. (You can check out all category winners and other content here)
A couple of the lists I wrote up were on food trends in Calgary. Food trends that I thought should be on their way out and trends that I’m happy are happening around town. Obviously, just like dining out, some things come down to a matter of taste. So, take a look at each of these lists. I’m curious to know if you agree or disagree with me.
Ten Calgary Food Trends We Wish Would Go Away
For example, I think ridiculously flavoured vodkas like this need to hit the road. What do you think? James Bond would be so unimpressed!
On the flip side of things, I love a good cocktail and am so happy to see cocktail culture gaining momentum in Calgary.
So, what do you think?
Finally, it’s back! Monday nights are about to get way more exciting once Top Chef Canada, Season Three kicks off on March 18th on Food Network Canada. This new season is especially exciting for myself, being a Calgarian, as our city has an extra strong contingent, with record number of three competitors on the show. Yeah, that’s right, look out Toronto!
First things first, I chatted with a couple of my favourite Top Chef Canada alumni to see what they were looking forward to seeing on the third season.
Trevor Bird, season two finalist, “I’m excited to see the challenges and what [this season's] talent has to offer. I want to know what I’ll have to go up against in Top Chef Canada: All Stars! Ha, ha, ha.”
Dale McKay, season one winner, “I can’t wait to see all the new chefs and what kind of challenges and time restraints they will all be under this season. Let’s hope for some exciting guest judges in season three!”
The return of show brings with it my coinciding Food Network Canada online series, Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home for a second round.
A quick refresher, after every episode of Top Chef Canada, viewers will be able to go to FoodNetwork.ca and vote in a poll to help decide which dish from that week’s episode I will have to recreate at home. Once the poll closes, I’ll have a few days to figure out how to assemble the dish, all on my own.
I can’t wait to see what people vote for this time around, so stay tuned for more details on when all the voting fun begins!
Anyway, back to the show…I’m excited to watch sixteen new cheftestants navigate their way through weeks of intense cook-offs and challenges and, it goes without saying, I’ll definitely be rooting for the Calgary folks! So, here they are…
There are good potlucks, and then there are awesome potlucks, and then…there’s CHARpopLuck. The co-owners of Charcut, by some miracle of god, assembled a line-up of dozens of chefs to contribute to an epic potluck dinner at The Calgary Farmers’ Market for 100 lucky attendees this past weekend.
In addition to helping raise over $20 000 for the Calgary Food Bank, which is awesome, the event gave food-lovers the opportunity to spend some time with the city’s best chefs and some great out-of-towners too. The list of chefs is too long to list here, but included dishes by Paul Rogalski (Rouge), Kyle Groves (Catch), Roy Oh (Anju), Dale Mackay (Top Chef Canada winner, season one) and many, many more.
I think that, sometimes, pictures can say it better than words could describe, so check out all the happy, smiling faces I captured at Charcut’s CHARpopLUCK event. What a night!
Top Chef Canada season one competitors, Dale Mackay and Connie Desousa, reunited for the night!
As you can probably guess, I’m an avid home cook. I whip up dinners comfortably (usually with the help of a sous chef or two) for groups of friends. I can turn the miscellaneous contents of my refrigerator into some semblance of a ‘charcuterie’ board if I have guests popping by unexpectedly. Yes, it would seem that I am slowly, but surely, becoming a kitchen wizard of Hogwart’s proportions.
Having said that, I can occasionally get so carried away, making something unusual or attempting to meld odd flavours together on a plate that I forget about the tastiness that can come out of the uncomplicated approach to cooking.
I’ve read Bon Appétit for years. I use it for inspiration in my kitchen, staying informed on the culinary happenings in North America and, regardless of the time of day/week/month/year, as an appetite stimulant. The magazine has started off the new year with a “Cooking School” issue. A good chunk of its pages are filled with how-tos and tips to get you cooking more often.
A lot of the pointers, guides and recipes I read through weren’t necessarily things that I did not know how to do, but, rather, things that I forgot to do. I am definitely the type of person that needs constant reminders in all aspects my life, and reading through this January issue of Bon Appétit was my culinary reminder for 2013. ‘Tis the season, so let’s consider this a resolution too.
Well, did the world end today? No, it did not…not yet anyway…If it does, I would actually be slightly relieved. Finally, all of those deadlines I’ve been stressing over, all of those marriage proposals I’ve been putting off, all of it. Gone in a flash. Ah, finally that feeling of serenity I’ve been searching for all year.
So, in no particular order, here are ten things (list restrained to Calgary and Vancouver due to travel limitations should we only have a few more hours left on earth) I would make sure to eat before the world exploded today, or became overridden with zombies, or whatever…
There is a whole ton of things I can’t get enough on Justin Laboe’s menu at Model Milk, but the shaved rabbit mortadella with pistachios is a little slice of tasty, bunny heaven.
Honestly, I’m pretty surprised that a liver dish snuck onto this list, but, nonetheless, this beauty of an appetizer, created by chef John Michael Macneil, served with a sour cherry preserve could make any liver naysayer change their minds.
This new restaurant in Gastown, Vancouver stole away one of Calgary’s most talented pastry chefs, Kira Desmond, to lead the dessert team in their kitchen. She makes some of the most beautiful desserts I’ve ever seen, but this cheesecake takes the, uh, cake (for lack of a better word). If it really is the end of the world then I’ll take two plates please!
- The Canadian Food Experience Project: Seabuckthorn Berry and Shallot Vinaigrette
- Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home, Week Twelve
- Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home, Week 11 (and a contest!)
- Sweet And Spicy Udon Noodles
- Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home, Week 10
- Appetizers & Co.
- Ask Dan
- Calgary & Area
- Monday Night Supper Club
- Season 2
- Season 3
- Something Sweet
- Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home
- United States