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!
I don’t normally do giveaways on my website, but this December, I thought it would great to be able to provide some great culinary experiences to some well-deserving individuals.
There are always people in our lives that deserve that extra something. Whether it’s a person working hard volunteering for a local initiative, a friend that carpools with you to work, a boyfriend that always holds the door open for you, or even someone who’s recently experienced the passing of a relative.
There are thousands of people (in Calgary alone) that could have their day deservingly brightened by an extra special gift. Well, not wanting to be a Grinch this year (not that I am typically a Grinch…), I’ve reached out to some great businesses and am excited to partner with them all for three weeks of giveaways.
I’ll be selecting one person each week leading up to Christmas for a dinner for four at one of Calgary’s top restaurants, some cookbooks and gift card to Calgary Co-op. What more could you ask for?
I’m beyond stoked to spread the word that my local cooking initiative, Start From Scratch, is having its inaugural fundraiser in late June. My program partner, Jacinthe Koddo, and I have been working hard improving the cooking course and getting ready for an exciting expansion happening this fall.
To help us with that, we’ve partnered up with Casel Marche, six amazing chefs and six talented food writers/bloggers to create a fundraiser full of delicious food and wine. To stay in-line with our Start From Scratch philosophy, we’ve paired up each chef with a local food writer/blogger to come up with six special dishes for the evening. There will even be take home recipe cards so that each attendee can go home and recreate the dishes themselves! Needless to say, we’re all about cooking from scratch!
Here are the six pairs of foodies coming together for our first ever Start From Scratch Summer Social:
I’m beyond thankful that all of these talented people have donated their time to our cause. As I previously mentioned above, the fundraiser will take place at Casel Marche on June 21st, starting at 8 p.m.
In addition to six unique dishes, J. Webb Wine Merchant will pair a perfect beverage with each offerings. The evening will also feature some live music, silent auction and a very special guest (will reveal who very soon once the details are confirmed)!
Tickets for the Start From Scratch Summer Social are available now (click here to purchase). For only $50, you get to try six awesome dishes, complete with wine/cocktail pairings and get to mingle with some of Calgary’s top chefs and foodies. What better way to kick off summer than with some amazing food and great people?
I hope to see you there! Tell your friends!
I’ll admit it. When I first moved to Calgary six years ago, I thought this city was simply a meat and potatoes, oil and gas kind of a city. So, now, here we are. It’s 2012, Calgary is the cultural capital of Canada, the stampede is celebrating its 100th anniversary and I’ve turned into a cowboy. Ok, maybe one of those things aren’t true, but I definitely have come to appreciate my steak (and potatoes).
Actually, I love a good steak. Hell, I’d probably date a steak if it was legal (one day…), so you can imagine my excitement when Tourism Calgary invited myself and a few other Albertan food enthusiasts to experience some delicious steak-centric offerings around the city. To be more specific, five restaurants would dish out their ‘new take on steak’ to us over the course of two evenings. I’m not good at math, but I knew these two nights of eating would definitely equal one full stomach.
Attention Vegetarians: If you haven’t noticed yet, there will be many, many mentions of meat in this dining recollection. I apologize in advance and recommend that you close your eyes.
The beginning of this ‘New Take On Steak’ adventure started at Ox and Angela. Sister restaurant to Una Pizza, this establishment prides itself on a menu focusing on Latin American flavours.
Things started off with a simple bite of their feature pinxtos, a ‘CLT’, which was a skewer of house-made chorizo, cherry tomato and greens.
Inbetween the one bite starter and our servings of steak, we sampled some of their cocktails. Now, I don’t want to label myself as a lush, but I may of already been fairly familiar with their booze-related offerings.
My go-to here is definitely ‘The Ox’, a mix of rum, bitters-infused sugar and white grapes. Well, colour me thirst quenched!
Now, isn’t that a handsome drink?
It wasn’t long before we were presented with their grilled flat iron steak, which was served with a piquillo pepper confit and grilled lemons. On the side, there was a simple aioli for dipping as well as a mojo verde that had a predominant presence of cumin.
In regards to the verde, and somewhat similar to a five year old, I repeatedly asked ‘Is there cumin in this?’ until one of my table mates finally said ‘Yes.’. Also known as ‘Dan, please just eat your god damn dinner!’.
The steak also came with an array of sides like Ox and Angela’s signature ‘patatas bravas’ and ‘braised kale’, which were all delicious, but our dessert stole the show.
Served with a warm chocolate sauce for dipping, these little guys always remind me of being in Disney World as a child, eating a churro chasing after Snow White for a hug. Those were the days…
Once we were done fighting over the last bite of churro, we were whisked away to our second destination of the night. I was on my way to being full, but still had room for what Anju had prepared for us.
Anju is somewhat hidden in the downtown corner of 5th avenue and 10th street SW. Their Korean-fusion tapas offerings are unique and delicious. We had a few starter plates prior to the steak which included oysters with kimchi mignonette and ox tail tortellini, but the show starter/stopper was definitely the crispy tofu.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, this is one of the best applications of tofu that I have ever experienced. Even tofu nay-sayers will reluctantly agree. This tofu dish strikes the perfect balance between soft, crisp, sweet and savoury. Seriously, this is a tofu dish for meat-lovers. Which reminds me, why are we still talking about tofu? Back to the steak!
We washed the bold flavours back with soju, a Korean liquor that everyone should taste at least once in their lives.
And, thus, ends the first night of my tasty Tourism Calgary ‘New Take On Steak’ experience. This Friday, I’ll be sharing my second evening of steak adventures featuring bison heart, beef tartar and short rib crusted tenderloin. Stay hungry folks.
In the meantime, here are a few more pictures from dining at Ox And Angela and Anju to
drool enjoy looking at…
Patatas Bravas at Ox and Angela. Starchy goodness with just the right touch of lemon.
Ox and Angela’s grilled scallions with romesco sauce.
Ox tail tortellini topped with truffle oil at Anju.
Anju’s fresh oysters with a kimchi mignonette.
Who the hell stole my camera?
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