Typically, I take a break from soups when spring rolls around. That being said, we have had some pretty sub-par weather here in Calgary, so soup is still hitting the spot even though May is just around the corner. But once it warms up, I’m kicking soup to the curb!
This third season of Top Chef Canada has been wicked so far and last week’s episode was the most fantastic one yet. From Shereen’s food auction with Chris’ $36 kale and mushrooms (yikes!), to Lisa Ray’s genuine surprise party and guest judge Andrea Nicholson, it was the best hour a guy could ask for on a Monday night.
When I arrived back in Calgary from my adventures in Australia and New Zealand, I immediately took to eating. Not that I didn’t eat a lot while I was traveling, we humans need to eat of course, but in the month and a half I was away, five new restaurants had opened up. Crazy!
A transformation of space and taste is always expected when a new restaurant opens in the place of an old establishment but looking at the newly opened MARKET restaurant, you would never know that it had a previous life as The Yardhouse bar.
The interiors in MARKET are visually divided, with black floors and walls highlighting a bar area covered in a funky chalk mural, while whitewashed walls pull your sight straight back to the open kitchen. Living orbs hanging above MARKET’s long, tiled bar are the real design highlight in the space. Small living plants hang from the roof while bartenders shake, stir and pour drinks for patrons.
MARKET dishes have a sort of rustic elegance. Though the offerings change often — note the ‘print date’ on the top corner of the menu — you should cross your fingers that the bison tartar with flank jerky and pickled shallots as well as the Pork Salad with kale, pork shoulder, bacon, pig ears and shaved gouda both grace the menu when you arrive.
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!
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.
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