Congratulations to family-owned food business, Great West Italian Importers, on their 60th anniversary on April 1st! Founded by Alberto and Christina Iamartino in 1958, we know the two divisions as The Italian Store (the retail end), and Scarpone’s Quality Italian Foods, who import products from all over the world, and as you’ve seen in supermarkets across the country, have their own brand too. Today the companies are still owned and operated by Iamartino’s daughters and their families. What a great success story!

Winter’s nearly over (we hope!) and it’s almost time for planting. So to help with the planning and to get the most out of your edible garden from seed to supper, ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen has released a brand new digital cookbook, “Grow Gather Graze” – and it’s available for free!

The new digital book includes gardening guides for all Albertans, with gardening tips and resources from the Calgary Horticultural Society to help your garden flourish. There are step-by-step guides on how to plan and maintain your edible garden, how to start an indoor or outdoor herb garden, How to dry or freeze excess herbs, and how to store your garden harvest. And there are 14 recipes for soups, salads, mains and desserts, such as Zucchini, Barley and Sausage Soup, Herb & Lemon Pork Chops with Basil and Pumpkin Seed Pesto, and Rhubarb and Raspberry Crumble.

Download your copy at

Mark your calendars!

Calgary Poutine Week is April 20 – 28, 2018. It’s the seven days of the year you can eat poutine GUILT FREE! Every poutine sold during Poutine Week in any of the participating restaurants provides a free meal to someone in need thanks to Canadian non-profit, Mealshare. Last year, Calgary Poutine Week sold 8,000 poutines, which means 8,000 youths received a free meal!

YYC Taco Fiesta runs April 27 – May 6. This week-long festival celebrates everyone’s favourite hand-held food, and supports two charities, The Calgary Homeless Foundation and Kids Up Front.

After a decade as one of North America’s most exciting culinary events, Cochon555 is heading north! On Saturday April 28, Fairmont Banff Springs will be the first destination in Canada to host his dramatic chef’s competition to prepare and present a heritage-breed pig. 40 courses of ethically sourced heritage pork dishes will be served to hundreds of roving diners enjoying wine, local craft beer, and spirits. The winning chef will compete at the finale in Chicago for the Grand Cochon crown. The aim of Cochon555 is to provide education to chefs and consumers, raise awareness of Banff and Lake Louise culinary offers, and create experiences that guests can sink their teeth into: honest food from real farmers.

A portion of all event sales will benefit charities Piggy Bank and the Banff Food Bank.

Calgary International Beer Festival is coming soon! Increase your beer knowledge and find a new favourite by sampling some of the more than 500 different types of beer on site. There are beer seminars to enjoy, People’s Choice awards to vote for, new people to meet, and delicious foods to sample, on Friday, May 4 (3-10pm) and Saturday May 5, 2018 (2-10pm) at Calgary’s BMO Centre. (Watch this space for news on Edmonton’s Craft Beer Festival June 1 and 2 in our May newsletter!)

New this year is the Craft Distillery District, a special area at the festival for people to discover locally distilled spirits, and to connect with the people who brew and distil it. There are also opportunities to learn about the process of making craft spirits with seminars in this new area, and all visitors to the festival receive an official Calgary International Beer Festival mug to use throughout the event and take home with them afterwards!

Downstairs beneath Two Penny Chinese on Calgary’s 1st Street SW, The Tea House is now holding weekly comedy nights on Thursdays at 7pm. Mark your calendars for an hour of Ken Valgardson, Adam Blank, Brent Ayton, Tim Nutt and Jebb Fink – all coming soon. Tickets $10.

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