Alright, so I don’t normally cook on the road, but sometimes life just doesn’t go your way. As luck would have it, I had to jet set off to Toronto for a national food bloggers conference this past weekend which happened to coincide to my Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home cooking days. I wasn’t quite sure where I would end up cooking, but knew I had to find a space somehow. Traveling with produce was definitely a first for me, which may seem a bit strange, but it would have been even stranger had I chosen to travel across Canada with cuts of meat in my suitcase.
I went by The Calgary Farmers’ Market and secured the heartiest greens and fresh vegetables I could find that would make a trip safely to Ontario and last a few days while I figured out a location to whip up my recreation, Rory’s Corn Fricassee. My weekend conference was actually located just outside of Toronto at the Hockley Valley Resort where, oddly enough, Top Chef Canada season one filmed its finale. The more you know.
If there’s one dessert I can’t have just one piece of, it’s definitely baklava. Typically, I only indulge in this honey-soaked goodness of a pastry while I’m picking up some late night eats at a shawarma place after the bar. I mean, clearly, six pieces of baklava is definitely the correct thing to eat at 3 a.m. right? Right!
My Start From Scratch program wrapped up for the spring a couple weeks ago and our final class is always, always desserts! After ten weeks of learning in the kitchen, it’s only appropriate to end on a sweet note. Aside from making some chocolate souffles, which kicked ass, I decided to make baklava with my class.
This rendition is by no means traditional, but was a hit with the entire group.
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!
After watching last week’s episode, I was wishing, praying and hoping that I’d get to make remake Becky’s bar platter. Pickled vegetables, beer cheese and deep-fried bacon and beans seemed like a fun concept to play around with. When the poll started out online, I became a little worried because Caity’s dish seemed to be ahead of the rest. Not that I didn’t want to make a pomme fondant, which did sound cool, but I’m afraid that if I don’t cook a dish of hers right, that she will fly to Calgary and yell at me! Man, is it just me, or are this season’s cheftestants super vibrant personalities?
After swinging by The Calgary Farmers’ Market to grab my bounty, full of fresh vegetables just ready for the pickling and some always stellar bacon from Spragg’s Meat Shop, I also got to buy some beer. Granted, I probably would have bought beer anyway, but today I had to cook with it as well as drink it. Yes, this would be a fun one!
I always forget how ridiculously easy mussels are to make. They cook in hardly any time at all. They’re great in pastas, sans-shell in soups, even chilled with some seafood sauce, but, best of all? They’re cheap! A couple Sundays ago, I wanted a quick and easy dinner, so thought mussels would be the way to go. This vodka tomato sauce would also be pretty stellar on some spaghetti with some homemade meatballs. Just saying…
If you’re not a booze hound like me, feel free to leave the vodka out. It just adds a nice little kick to the sauce.
With a double elimination in the second episode and some, um, tension between Caity and Ruth, I thought it might be less dramatic in my kitchen for this second round of recreating if I didn’t do it alongside someone else. And, especially not anyone named Caity! Kidding…sort of…
Anyway, as per my usual weekly routine, I swung by The Calgary Farmers’ Market to grab some ingredients for the dish I was recreating. For a second week in a row, I was (happily) assigned to reimagine a dish by Calgary’s Nicole Gomes, a plate Arctic Char with Tomato Emulsion and Chorizo that she created in episode two with Rory White. In lieu of making my own chorizo at home, I settled for some great sausages from the Spragg’s Meat Shop, as well as some beautifully fresh char fillets from Blu Seafood.
- Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home, Week 8
- Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home, Week 7
- Lemon Rosemary Beer Granita
- Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home, Week 6
- Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home, Week 5
- Appetizers & Co.
- Ask Dan
- Calgary & Area
- Monday Night Supper Club
- Season 2
- Season 3
- Something Sweet
- Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home
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