When August rolls around, I’m always scrambling to make the most of the last few weeks of summer before ‘back to school’ mode kicks in. This month has been ladden with road trips to Saskatoon, Kelowna and Edmonton and I’m about to take off to Vancouver for a few days as of tomorrow.
While I do have a parrot, I do not have any children, nor do I attend university, but I do run the cooking program Start From Scratch, so that’s how the ‘back to school’ feeling creeps into my life.
If you haven’t heard of the program before, Start From Scratch is a free 10 week cooking course for post secondary students in Calgary (MRU, U of C or SAIT) and Saskatoon (U of S). We take 30 participants in Calgary each semester and 15 in Saskatoon.(Start From Scratch alumni getting ready for service in the kitchen with Chefs Paul McGreevy and Dilan Draper.)
Now in our fourth year, the program is still a ton of fun. Just this week, we had a pop-up dinner in collaboration with Test Kitchen YYC where we brought some of our awesome alumni participants into the restaurant space to help cook and serve a coursed dinner to a full dining room. Was it scary? Of course! But, we pulled it off!
I’m not going to lie. I took this picture with my cellphone – blasphemous, I know. Sometimes, you just cook things for the sake of enjoying a meal with your friends and leave your DSLR on the sidelines. I occasionally have to remind myself that there is nothing wrong with that. Just breath, Dan. Just breath.
Anyway, back to the salad! Grilling romaine gives it a more robust taste and makes for a perfect summer dish. I think we can all agree that no matter how much we all love kale. It is definitely overused in the standard salad these days, so let’s give the green, curly guy a break this week, shall we?
Well, it finally feels like summer is here. I mean, that’s what three whole days in a row without rain has got to mean, right? When it’s sunny outside, everyone likes a chill dessert – with a little bit of booze in it too. So, time to make some granita that’s a nice, vibrant red for Canada Day. How patriotic!
I’ve had The Kenwood Cooking Chef now for about two months and am still enamoured with the cooking abilities of this superhero mixer. Last time I wrote about it, I had it cook me up some caramelized onions and since then, have used it for a variety of berry compotes, curds simple syrups and more. Since it uses induction to heat the base of the mixing bowl, I find it gets the job done quickly with whatever I’m tossing in there.
I got a little sidetracked over the winter and spring and forgot to round-up the great recipes from different chefs I’ve chatted with in my ‘Behind The Line‘ column for Swerve since the new year. From talking with my pal, Chris Shaften (pictured) about moving to Kelowna to open Krafty Kitchen and Bar, to Chef Rogelio Herrera on the connection between social media and short attention spans in young chefs, there is always something interesting that comes up in conversation.
Aside from the candid talks, here are some of the recipes that Calgary chefs have shared with me over the past few months.
Even though it’s getting warmer and warmer out, I still find a good quality bowl of soup still hits the spot. Besides, who are we kidding here? There are still plenty of rainy days in June!
The bisque recipe here is nice and simple, but when you’re working with lobster (or essence of lobster in this case), you don’t want to overpower its distinct flavour with a pile of other ingredients.
We’re in the home stretch now with Chopped Canada Mystery Solved, as the first season of the series comes to a close in a few weeks. From pickling quail eggs to cooking with instant coffee (definitely not my favourite thing to do), here are all of the dishes that we came up with this month on FoodNetwork.ca!
And, if you haven’t checked out the site this week yet, you’ll notice they’ve done a massive redesign. Looking sexier than ever, guys!
Quail eggs are used more for their appearance than they are for taste. Their speckled exterior, with colours ranging from light brown to blue, are quite beautiful. After you’ve cooked some up, whether they’re simply fried sunny-side up, or boiled like in my recipe below, you can’t help but look at the little guys and think, ‘Aw, cute!.’
- Culinaire Soup Recipe Round Up and Start From Scratch!
- Swiss Chard Stem and Shallot ‘Salsa’
- Grilled Romaine and Chorizo Salad
- Chipotle, Cranberry and Walnut Romesco Sauce
- The Kenwood Cooking Chef and Vodka, Apple and Cranberry Granita
- Appetizers & Co.
- Calgary & Area
- Magazine Highlights
- Season 2
- Season 3
- Something Sweet
- Top Chef Canada: Taking The Challenge Home
- United States