Category Archives: Cooks I know

Bonus: @ChefGroves shares @CatchCalgary @ocean_wise #halibut recipe

Pan Seared BC Halibut with Morel, English Pea and Chorizo Ragout photo - Karen Anderson

Pan Seared BC Halibut with Morel, English Pea and Chorizo Ragout
photo – Karen Anderson

In this week where sustainable fisheries are on my mind, it’s nice to receive inspiring news that a leader in Calgary’s restaurant scene has firmly anchored his seafood restaurant in the mostly unchartered waters of promoting sustainable fish consumption. I wrote about Catch restaurant’s new buycatch seafood market here. Many thanks to chef Kyle Groves for sharing this beautiful recipe and now we know where to get the “Jet Fresh” halibut we need to make this palate pleaser.

Pan Seared BC Halibut with Morel, English Pea, and Chorizo Ragout
courtesy of Chef Kyle Groves, Catch and The Oyster Bar, Calgary, Alberta

Serves 4
4 X 6 oz. Pieces of Wild BC Halibut Fillet
4 oz. Morel Mushrooms – washed and patted dry
8 oz. English peas – out of the shell and blanched
8 oz. Boiled ratte or fingerling potatoes – peeled and cut into ½” thick disks
6 oz. Chorizo meat – chopped into small pieces
½ oz. Fresh thyme – leaves only
4 oz. Fresh cold butter
1 oz. shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 oz. chives, minced
3 oz. Dry white wine
Salt / Pepper / Lemon juice to taste

1. In a cast iron pan sear the halibut fillets on one side until golden brown
2. Transfer to a 400*F oven and cook until the fish reaches 135*F
3. When the fish comes out of the oven, add a few thyme leaves and cook for one minute
4. Meanwhile, in a sauté pan cook the chorizo until the fat has rendered out of it
5. Add the minced shallot and garlic and cook in the chorizo fat until softened
6. Add the Morel mushrooms and sauté until softened
7. Add the fresh thyme leaves and cook until they “pop”
8. Add a splash of dry white wine to cool the pan slightly
9. Add the cooked potato disks and the English peas
10. Bring mixture to a boil and add the cold butter cubes slowly
11. When mixture is thick, season with salt pepper and lemon juice
12. Divide onto 4 warm plates and sprinkle with fresh chopped chives
13. Top with the halibut and serve right away


Filed under Cooks I know, Great ingredients, Recipes, Restaurants

@CatchCalgary – this 100% @ocean_wise Calgary restaurant now introduces 100% ocean wise seafood market

Chef Kyle Groves of Catch and The Oyster Bar at the Hyatt Regency Calgary photo - Karen Anderson

Chef Kyle Groves of Catch and The Oyster Bar at the Hyatt Regency Calgary
photo – Karen Anderson

This week I’ll be talking about sustainable fisheries on CBC Radio One’s Alberta at Noon. In a related story, one of Calgary’s flashier downtown restaurants just announced an interesting new sustainable seafood program.

Catch and The Oyster Bar became the first seafood restaurant in Alberta to offer a 100% Ocean Wise™ menu last year and now they’ve added a completely Ocean Wise™ seafood market called buycatch (its a market by Catch where you buy the fish Catch carries but there’s no harmful bycatch – a term referring to birds and other species of fish inadvertently caught with unsustainable fisheries methods). The menu of offerings will change on a daily basis as their “Jet Fresh” supply arrives from the coasts of Canada. Ocean Wise™ provides consumers with the Vancouver Aquarium’s assurance of an ocean friendly sustainable seafood choice.

Here’s how the buycatch program will work.

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Springtime in #Paris – Succulent Paris Food Tours

Aurelie Mahoudeau and Marion Willard of Succulent Paris photo - Karen Anderson

Aurelie Mahoudeau and Marion Willard of Succulent Paris
photo – Karen Anderson

I’m continuing my Springtime in Paris theme by sharing some of the stories I’ve written about the world’s most visited city.

One of the best days I’ve ever spent was a day in Paris when my sister Sue and I shopped and cooked with two Parisians – in their neighbourhood market and in their kitchen. It was glorious for me. I had to keep pinching myself that entire day to make sure it was not a dream and I had to write about it.

The article I wrote was called Succulent Paris and it was published by Bonjour Paris and editor/founder Karen Fawcett. Succulent Paris is also the name of the food touring company that delivered this fantastic life experience. We’ve stayed friends and I hope you’ll check out their wonderful tours the next time you visit Paris.

Let the story that follows wet your appetite to do so…

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Filed under Cooks I know, Food markets of the world, Travel, Writing

Mexican fiesta food for Cinco de Mayo – My @AlbertaatNoon column for May

Light and lively Mexican cuisine photo - Karen Anderson

Light and lively Mexican cuisine
photo – Karen Anderson

This week on CBC Radio One’s Alberta at Noon I’ll be talking about light and lively Mexican food that you’ll find easy to prepare for Cinco de Mayo or any time you feel like refreshing your Mexican cooking repertoire.

I learned these simple and delicious recipes while visiting Zihuatanejo (Zi-wha-ta-nyay-ho – only it sounds much more beautiful when Mexicans say it) Mexico on a recent family holiday.

I took a food tour and Mexican cooking class with chef Mario Miranda of Club Intrawest resort this year and in years past I’ve done the same tour with his predecessor the amazing Edgar Navarro (who has now moved to Whistler to run two restaurants at that bustling resort). Miranda was kind enough to share the recipes included in this post. I hope you enjoy them and the photos of my market tour with him.

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Filed under Alberta at Noon, Cooks I know, Food markets of the world, Recipes, Travel

Art Installation #5 – Cool things #16 – @CityPalate presents #CheflyScreenShots #film 2 celebrate 20th anniversary

Chefly shorts trailer from Ramin Eshraghi Yazdi on Vimeo.

Chefly Screen Shots
Wednesday, May 7 6:30 p.m.
Festival Hall in Inglewood

This event qualifies as both a very #CoolThing and a major #ArtInstallation. It promises to be quirky, upbeat and delicious and I’d say it’d be the funnest event this year for those that love food, art and film.

Here are the details and ticket link from the City Palate press release as follows:

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Filed under Art Installation, Cooks I know, Cool things, Savour food

@AvenueMagazine’s Best Restaurants 2014 list for Calgary

Calgary is blessed with a true community of great chefs photo - Karen Anderson

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…

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Ode to @JoyRoadCatering – coming soon to @CookbookCooks in Calgary

Dappled sunlight at day's end signals time for a Joy Road Al Fresco dinner  photo - Karen Anderson

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…

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Filed under Cooks I know, Heritage cooking skills, Joy, Restaurants, Savour food, Travel, Wine

Vietnamese Pork Salad Rolls – recipe fr @Chefdly of @RawBarYYC @HotelArtsYYC

Chef Duncan Ly's Vietnamese Pork Salad Rolls made with Spragg's pork photo - Karen Anderson

Chef Duncan Ly’s Vietnamese Pork Salad Rolls made with Spragg’s pork
photo – Karen Anderson

Humanely raised pork is a great ingredient. Yesterday, I wrote about a few Alberta Pork Producers that are raising their animals humanely. Today, I’d like to share the recipe for the beautiful pork salad rolls pictured above. Consider them an added incentive to go out and find some of these products. You can nourish a new direction for the pork industry as you nourish yourself.

This recipe was created by a wonderful cook that I know; chef Duncan Ly of the Hotel Arts in Calgary. Ly shared this recipe for a PBS television show called Off the Beaten Palate. I was the production assistant for that show when they visited Alberta and one of my jobs was to line up chefs and farms to highlight Alberta’s culture and cuisine. Ly’s food is so beautiful in both taste and style that I was thrilled when he agreed to participate. I had previously guided chef Ly on a visit to Spragg’s Meats pork farm and I knew he loved the taste of their product. We were all thrilled with the beauty of the dish he presented.

This post will share chef Ly’s recipe in both a written and video format.

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Filed under Cooks I know, Farmers I know, Great ingredients, Recipes, Restaurants

Savour food – behind the scenes of the culinary school @SAITPolytechnic School of Hospitality and Tourism – a study in stainless steel

My friend and colleague John Gilchrist just wrote a bang-on backgrounder piece on SAIT Polytechnic’s School of Hospitality and Tourism’s Dean Tom Bornhorst last week in Swerve Magazine. The article was called

The Education Of A Chef

and I include it because if you want to understand how – like a great soufflé – Calgary’s culinary scene has risen so well and so high in the last few years – than all this background information is very helpful.

We do have an excellent culinary school in Calgary. The video below shows off the facility, the program and the instructors.

When you watch a promo video like that and a student says our instructors are soft; they want to help us; they want to find us jobs and they use their connections for us – you might be tempted to think that the comments were scripted. I know for a fact these things really are true. I have had the good fortune to witness many of the instructors interacting with and acting on behalf of their students. The instructors I know are kind, fun and passionate about what they do.

This blog is not a glitzy video or flashy newspaper article. It’s more of an overdue thank you note to a few friends of mine – Andrew Hewson, Simon Dunn and Kat Mori – for the day last spring when I popped by with 25 people for a tour of SAIT’s culinary garden. Even though school was done for the year and they had started their summer holidays, they not only agreed to help me spread the word about Calgary’s thriving Urban Agriculture scene but they also treated our tour group to an al forno pizza making class and a tour of the pristine clean and seriously scrubbed post semester kitchen.

I call this blog post “a study in stainless” because beyond the colourful garden shots and short video of Dunn stretching pizza dough, what you’ll see is the massive amount of stainless steel it takes to outfit a professional kitchen. I had never realized it before that eerily quiet – where are all the students – day in this kitchen.

My husband makes more than a little fun of me because I have “a place for everything and everything in its place” in my home kitchen. I felt quite vindicated when my camera captured that adage in the truly silver lining of this kitchen.

For the pros, working as a team with everything in place – mise en place – is an axiom true for ingredients but also for their equipment. It’s one of the keys to running a successfully organized and smoothly operating facility.

I hope you’ll enjoy this behind the scenes visit to SAIT’s culinary school via these photos as much as I enjoyed being there in person with my culinary heroes – my amazing culinary instructor/chef friends. I don’t watch TV so these guys are my cooking rock stars. I doubt there could be any finer.

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Savour food – backpacker’s treats from chef Marianne Abraham of Mt. Assiniboine Lodge for @AlbertaAtNoon

A chef/angel lives here - kitchen door - Mt. Assiniboine Lodge photo - Karen Anderson

A chef/angel lives here – kitchen door – Mt. Assiniboine Lodge
photo – Karen Anderson

For my August column on CBC Radio One’s Alberta at Noon I’m going to talk about great treats for the hiking trail. This column is inspired by my recent trip to Mt. Assiniboine Lodge.

While I was at Assiniboine I had the delight of sitting down for a post breakfast coffee chat with their chef Marianne Abraham. This blog post will be a distillation of what we brewed up in that conversation including her picks for the backpacker’s treats that have been most popular with guests in the lodge’s 85 year history.

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Filed under Alberta at Noon, Cooks I know, Recipes, Savour food, Travel