Calgary is blessed with a true community of great chefs
photo – Karen Anderson
Calgary's Best Restaurants 2014 | Avenue Magazine.
It was great fun to be one of Avenue Magazine’s eight “best restaurants” judges again this year. Beyond the voting process, I was thrilled to have the chance to be a cheerleader for my favourites in Calgary’s burgeoning food scene. Admittedly, not all of my picks made it to the top 10 list above but there’s more to this annual March publication than first meets the eye.
Read on to see what I’m talking about…
Dappled sunlight at day’s end signals time for a Joy Road Al Fresco dinner
photo – Karen Anderson
Canada’s Top 40 under 40 Foodies, Dana Ewart and Cameron Smith of Joy Road Catering are coming to Calgary March 15 and 16, 2014 for a weekend of sharing not only their cooking but their cooking skills.
Joy Road’s Al Fresco Winemaker’s dinner series – held on the clay banks escarpment high above Lake Skaha in Penticton, B.C. each summer – has been listed in the top ten dining events to experience in Canada. Tickets for each season sell out as quickly as they are announced. Patrons eagerly await the chance to return to the bucolic setting and taste of place this team serves up with deceiving ease. A multi-course dinner for 40, paired with local winemaker’s bounty, served outside on crisp white linens – complete with elegant flowers, candles and a touch of whimsy – are carried out with the panache that only comes with mastery of the culinary arts. The vibe is French or Italian countryside without the pricey plane ticket and jet lag but with all the subtle pride in a region’s produce and terroir.
The Joy Road Catering Calgary events at The Cookbook Co. Cooks are as follows:
March 15 – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – whole hog butchery – $135/person.
March 15 – 6:30 to 9 p.m. – Joy Road Catering’s wine paired feast – $100/person.
March 16 – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – hands on charcuterie-making – $100/person.
All tickets are available through The Cookbook Co. Cooks by calling (403) 265-6066.
Want to know a little more about what makes Joy Road’s Ewart and Smith so special? Read on for a cozy peek into life lived on Joy Road…
Heart health is mostly in our hands
Maybe it’s because I’m just back from a beach holiday where I ate fresh fish, fruit and vegetables everyday or maybe it’s because February is “Heart Month” but healthy eating is on my mind.
It could also be that I’m getting older and as The Rolling Stones infamous guitarist Keith Richards, says,
“The older you get, the older you want to get”.
If I have the good fortune to live a long time, I want to do that in health and prosperity. I think there are three things that are going to help me get there.
1. I cook (from scratch) and people who cook for themselves and their families are going to live longer because homemade food will always be healthier. A 2003 Harvard study led by David Cutler showed that most of the increase in obesity in America could be explained by the rise of food preparation outside the home.
2. I’m adopting the principles of the Mediterranean way of cooking and eating.
3. Last but not least, a body in motion stays in motion so you’ll always find me looking for ways to “move it, move it” as exercise is one of the most beneficial things you can do for a long and healthy life.
This post will examine what the mindful choice to eat in a more Mediterranean fashion might look like for a land-locked Albertan. I’ll also include a few articles that provide the evidence of why this really is a great strategy for living a longer and healthier life.
Naturally occurring sugars found in fruits are not included in the sugar excess contributing to heart disease
photo of local strawberries from The Jungle Farm – Karen Anderson
Yesterday I wrote a few blog posts about chocolate and some really sweet treats for Valentine’s Day. Chocolate and the sugar within it are great ingredients…in moderation.
Today, the first thing I read on the CBC news is that sugar has become an independent risk factor for Cardiovascular Death. It’s long been established that increased sugar consumption contributes empty calories to our diet and is a direct cause in the obesity and diabetes epidemic sweeping North America. Now sugar has been shown to contribute independent of obesity and diabetes to deaths from coronary artery disease.
National Geographic featured this phenomenon in the summer of 2013.
Fat vs. Sugar: Which Do We Crave More?.
It’s not just because excess sugar consumption causes obesity and diabetes, there’s something about the effect of excess sugar alone causing the increase in these deaths.
Seems like perfect timing for a short but sweet (couldn’t hep the pun, I mean, this is serious but I refuse to lose my sense of humour) note on balancing what we eat. After all we want to live long and savour it all – as goes the credo of my blog.
Chocolate is a great ingredient. You can eat it on its own and savour every morsel or you can add it to your baking for a loving touch everyone will appreciate.
For my Alberta at Noon Column this month I talked about bean to bar chocolate-made-from-scratch and a company called Choklat. Their’s is the kind of chocolate I eat straight up oe in the over 1000 kinds of truffles they make on site or melted in the cascading bliss of a chocolate fountain fondue for two. I want to savour every last gram of this expensive but exquisite chocolate.
This post will highlight a few recipes that do not call for such expensive and distinct chocolate. Single estate chocolate would be wasted in baking that calls for the alchemy of many ingredients combining to create something new and fabulous as a whole. I hope you’ll read on and see what treats I have in store for you.
Valentine’s is the kind of special occasion that I get my little chocolate fountain out and actually use Choklat’s chocolate to lavish the love of my life with his favourite treat
photo – Karen Anderson
Chocolate is a great ingredient and some say it is its own food group. In the history of chocolate, we’ve gone from small family run firms concerned with ethical practices and the purity of their product – to big multinational corporations infamous for their exploitive monopolies and ruthless quest to increase bottom lines – to a new trend back called the “bean to bar” movement which appears to once again be focusing on purity and ethics.
This post will talk about what it means to be a bean to bar chocolate maker and the history of how we’ve arrived at this trend. To close we’ll focus on Alberta’s one and only bean to bar operation, a company called Choklat and its three Alberta stores.