The roots of Thanksgiving are all about being thankful for the bounty of the fall harvest. While most of us in Calgary aren’t growing our own food, we certainly can celebrate the opportunity to enjoy it, especially when we’re eating at our favourite restaurants that celebrate locally grown food. We caught up with some key players in Calgary’s culinary scene to ask what makes them thankful about our city.

Alison MacNeil
former executive chef at Black Pig Bistro

“I’m most thankful for the support I get everyday from my community! I love and respect all the chefs and industry people in Calgary, and love that they always come together to support each other in collabs, fundraisers and events. What a great city we live in, I look forward to furthering my career here!”

Jamie Harling
executive chef at Rouge

“Aside from the camaraderie of chefs in Calgary, I am most thankful for the great suppliers. All of my producers genuinely care about how they raise their animals, how they grow their produce, and they make sure they do it the right way. Between Green Eggs and Ham, Driview Farms, Top Grass, Broxburn,Hotchkiss and many others, I am very lucky to use the great products that I do.”

Michael Noble
Chef/Proprietor at The Nash and NOtaBLE

“Essentially I’m very thankful for the quality of the Calgary food scene; there are so many good restaurants out there now with so many having been opened by the “next-gen” of Calgary chefs and restaurateurs… with so many more on the horizon. (I feel that Calgary is totally overlooked on the Canadian food scene and never gets its due credit in national polls/lists).”

Shayne Perrin
owner Dairy Lane, Blue Star Diner, Cannibale

“For me, the true joy in life is making real, meaningful human connections. I’m thankful that the Calgary food scene has helped me build and be part of a community. A community of entrepreneurs, farmers, servers, cooks,and of course, the people we serve. I’m grateful for all these people.

John Jackson and Connie deSousa
co-chefs at Charcut

“We are most grateful for our city’s food culture that promotes and celebrates collaboration, community and connections with each other. As chefs in our city we crave this, and together we will put our city on the world culinary map.”

Janice Beaton
owner Janice Beaton Fine Cheese

“I delight in my “food route” — howeasy it is to visit my favourite haunts to gather provisions for my table and my pantry, that fuel my body, and my heart: Sidewalk Citizen, Calgary Farmers’Market,Community Natural Foods, Sunnyside Market, Crossroads Market, The Cookbook Company, Manuel Latruwe, to name a few. I am grateful too for those who take care of that other “food group” — our cadre of fabulous boutique wine shops!”

Gwendolyn Richards
Calgary Herald food columnist, cookbook author

“I’m thankful that Calgary’s food scene is so diverse and creative, with so many chefs offeringup their visions on a plate. No matter my whim or cravings,whether for comfort food or something more unusual, there is a restaurant or cocktail bar that will fit the bill.”

Keith Luce
Culinary Director at Corbeaux Bakehouse

“There is also a real strong sense of community. I’ve been so lucky to meet an amazing group of chefs, producers and restaurateurs that immediately accepted me as part of the culture, and I’m happy to now call friends. It is such a great time to be here, when you look at places like Native Tongues, Proof, Anju,Pigeonhole… all those places would thrive and be relevant in any market.”

Karen Anderson
owner Calgary Food Tours

“I’m thankful for the maverick spirit of the food entrepreneurs in this city. When I first started my business, even if a business owner did not know me,they were willing to take a chance and try something new based on my pitch to them. Now in my 10th year in business, with over 50 business partners, we are like family. I’m deeply grateful for the quality and generosity of our culinary community and am proud to showcase all it has to offer.”

Jay del Corro
owner Eats of Asia

“I am thankful for the cultural diversity and creativity in today’s culinary scene. The sheer selection of ingredients in Calgary today, as well as the number of new and incredible places to eat here,are a far cry from what was considered exotic or adventurous back in the late‘70s and ‘80s when I was growing up.”

Nicole Fewell
owner Cheezy Bizness food truck

“The thing I’m most thankful for is the ever-evolving creative and diverse talent in our culinary community. Everyone is constantly growing and upping their game, which is so inspiring.”

Julie Van Rosendaal
food writer, CBC Radio columnist, cookbook author

“I’m thankful for the talent we have in Calgary, the diversity and creativity. When I was in Parma last year, they had some wonderful food — but it was very much the same. All the restaurants were Italian. People say there’s no bad food in Italy, but at the end of the week I was craving the diversity of the Calgary food scene — the wonderful bakeries, fantastic pizza, and dishes that are helping make Calgary a culinary destination.”

Michal Lavi
co-owner Sidewalk Citizen

“There is a lot to be grateful for in Calgary’s food scene; there is an incredible culture of collaboration and support between restaurants, chefs and food growers. The food scene here is vibrant, growing with great care for more local and specialized quality items, and people are happy to try new foods and support local businesses. It’s an exciting time to live here.”

Duncan Ly
former executive chef at Hotel Arts

“I am thankful for the sense of community with the Calgary food scene. Chefs really unite together in true spirit of collaboration, which only helps to strengthen our food scene and create national exposure. I am also grateful for the wonderful foodies we have in Calgary who really support local chefs pushing the boundaries, and doing things that make a difference to our city.”

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