It’s been almost two months now since the premiere of Top Chef Canada season 3. In total, we’ve now seen eight competitors leave the competition. Whether it was Kayla‘s self-sacrifice orDan Hudson’s failed shortbread cookie, it’s never nice to see a talented Canadian chef go home.
Now, since I’m Calgary-based and all, you can imagine the raincloud over my head this past week after watching Chris Shaften get the axe in the previous episode. With three chefs on the show, this has been Calgary’s largest representation in the history of the series, so it was definitely sad to see one of them pack their knives up. In honour of Shaften’s departure, I only ate picklewichs for the past week. That’s Canada’s new national dish to me, pal!
When it came time to vote, I’m sure it will come as no surprise that Nicole Gomes’ Beaver Balls swept the polls. If her viewing party was any indication, I’m assuming that the majority of Canada laughed uproariously at her candid interview regarding the inventive dish and David Rocco andMark McEwan’s innuendo-filled commentary.
Now, I would be lying if I didn’t rack my brain for the majority of the week, thinking of the best possible ‘ball’ references to make. There were some funny ones, some predictable ones, and some just plain inappropriate ones that I will not bore you with today.
This time around for Taking the Challenge Home, I may have cheated slightly and sought a bit of advice from Nicole. Before you start pointing fingers and saying, “Hey, that guy has bad hair!” or more relative things like, “Hey Dan, you’re not supposed to do that!” let me just clarify that I was interviewing her for a separate article and it just came up in casual conversation.
After our chat, I swung by The Calgary Farmers’ Market for some ‘Beaver Ball’ ingredients. I considered trying to source some actual beaver meat, but was unsure of the legalities surrounding that, so decided against it. Probably for the best, I think beavers are more fat than meat anyway…
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?
I guess winter is not technically over yet, but we’ve had some nice days last week, so I’m pretending that it is on its way out and you should too! Here are a few restaurant pieces that I’ve done for Avenue Magazine over the past few months! Still so many great new places opening up here in Calgary. We are one lucky food scene, I’m telling you!
Our most recent addition to Calgary, MARKET, opened up this past Friday and I can’t wait to eat there once I’m back from my trip down under.
Suburban territory in Calgary has typically been left for the Moxie’s and Earl’s of the world, but now we’re starting to see some great local restaurateurs recognize the potential of these areas outside of the core. Just a few weeks ago, Vin Room opened a second location in Aspen Landing called Vin Room West.
Owner Phoebe Fung has always had a great thing going in Mission and now residents of one of Calgary’s far west neighbourhoods can have a taste of what she’s offering.
The new Vin Room has a beautiful interior. The floor-to-ceiling windows shed light on fantastic design accents like a 30-foot wine bottled wall, all full and drinkable and can be accessed by a library-esque ladder. There’s an upstairs private dining area, modern walnut bar chairs and a brightly coloured piece of artwork on one of the main floors that captures the eye…
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!
One of the most anticipated restaurants, MARKET, hosted a pop-up charity dinner event in mid-December at The Calgary Farmers’ Market. With all proceeds from the dinner going towards The Calgary Food Bank, the five course menu was well worth the ticket; both for a good cause and deliciousness.
MARKET’s executive chef Geoff Rogers (formerly of Home Tasting Room) and their chef de cuisine Dave Bohati (formerly of Rush) have joined together to head the culinary team of the upcoming restaurant, set to open February 1st, 2013 on 17th Ave SW.
Though the official menu for MARKET is not yet finalized the chefs gave last night’s guests a taste of what everyone could expect in the new year.
Their pop-up dinner menu was a reinvented look at the traditional Christmas Dinner full of flavour and flare. I may be biased, but, personally, I can’t wait for this restaurant to open its doors.
Until then, here are some teaser pictures of the style of tastiness you’ll be able to experience there…
Blood Orange and Cinnamon Cocktail, a sweet and spicy start to the evening.
Turkey Veloute, a rich soup reminiscent of a comforting stuffing and gravy.
- 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
- United States