Eight Reasons to Celebrate Alberta's Food Scene
Chef of the Year
Congrats too to Great Events Group Corporate Chef Daryl Kerr who has been awarded “Chef of the Year” by the Calgary Academy of Chefs and Cooks, a branch of the Canadian Culinary Federation. Chef Kerr is honoured for inspiring passion for his craft, his unending pursuit of creativity, and commitment to promoting the local food industry in Calgary.
Grand Master Chocolatier
And another big congratulations to Anne Sellmer, owner of Calgary’s newest chocolate company, cōchu chocolatier, who has been awarded “6-Star Grand Master Chocolatier” by the International Chocolate Salon in San Francisco. Sellmer was the only Canadian to receive the top 6-star rating, and one of only 10 in North America!
Chef/owner Ryan Hotchkiss has opened up Bundok in Fox One Tower on 104 Street in Edmonton. This is a cozy, yet contemporary space in dark blues with copper accents, and there’s a chef’s counter for walk-ins. Expect modern Canadian cuisine, a Canadian and French inspired wine list, and a classic cocktail program with in housemade sodas and bitters. The fried chicken skins with honey mustard and thyme are a must!
Gold Medal Plates
Congratulations to Chef Jinhee Lee, of Foreign Concept in Calgary, for sweeping the board at the 11th annual Canadian Culinary Championships in Kelowna. Chef Lee won gold as well as the People’s Choice for the Mystery Wine Competition, and Edmonton‘s Prairie Noodle Shop, Chef Eric Hanson, took home bronze! Way to go Alberta!
Edmonton welcomes a second location of vivo ristorante on 106 Street in the Ice District. True to their vision of sharing food and conversation over traditional family style dining, the new location includes a pizzeria under the direction of Master Pizzaiolo, Carlo Raillo, a taverna, and more private dining space too. Ingredients change frequently at vivo, but the service and the traditional Italian Piatti (courses) remain as good as ever.
Also in the Ice District, we welcome Baijiu (meaning “booze” in Chinese). With a focus on craft cocktails and Asian sharing plates, this dark and intimate cocktail bar/eatery is a blend of modern chic and old world, with a 25-seat bar, hot pink neon low lighting, and old school hip hop. We’re coming back for more of Chef Alexei Boldireff’s Devilled Tea Eggs, Korean Brussels Sprouts, and XO squid noodles!
And in Calgary, Thai Sa On brings us the new Pad Thai restaurant on 4 Street NW at 30 Avenue. You’re welcomed here by fragrant smells, rich red and black décor – and elephants! Patcharin Smith (ex-Glencoe Club) serves up her original dishes from north of Bangkok – authentic recipes that have been passed down through her family and recreated with her own flair. There are more than 100 choices, but don’t miss the shrimp rolls with red curry, pandan chicken with banana peppers, and of course, the Pad Thai!
Hansen Distillery & Yukon Brewing
And now two new distilleries have opened in Edmonton! The Hansen family were known for their moonshine during the 1930s, and continued to make small batches for special occasions. Now the recipe has passed to the great grandchildren who, 85 years later, have opened The Hansen Distillery on 111 Avenue NW at 174 Street. Strathcona Spirits founder, Adam Smith, ran an underground music venue located just off Whyte Avenue, which he has now turned into Old Strathcona’s first distillery, producing small batch craft vodka and gin using traditional methods and local ingredients.
Further north, Yukon Brewing are celebrating their 20th anniversary by releasing one special 650 mL bomber each month. Look for six forgotten favourites and six brand new brews in their “20th Anniversary – Canada 150 Series” of Limited Edition brews.