Category Archives: Cool things

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:

Continue reading

Leave a comment

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

Cool Things #15 – 20 very cool gifts for food lovers – my annual guide for @CityPalate

These are a few of my favourite things...tools from Christmas past photo credit - Geoff Lilge

These are a few of my favourite things…tools from Christmas past
photo credit – Geoff Lilge

Stumped for gift ideas for the food lovers on your list?

Check out the 20 ideas I wrote about for Calgary’s City Palate magazine here.

UnwrapThis

Enjoy, and if you see something you like, just “fast forward” it to your own personal Santa.

Happy Holidays and remember to Savour it All.

Cheers, Karen

1 Comment

Filed under Cool things

Cool things no. 14 – @calgaryfoodtour included in @eatmywords @edmontonjournal review of Calgary food scene today and the power of encouraging words

Tracey Aubin of Terra Farms talks to guests and me (in red at back) about growing fresh herbs and how they help us savour our food photo credit and thanks to- Leilani Olynik of Calgary Farmer's Market

Tracey Aubin of Terra Farms talks to guests and me (in red at back) about growing fresh herbs and how they help us savour our food
photo credit and thanks to- Leilani Olynik of Calgary Farmer’s Market

Calgary restaurant scene impresses foodies on tour.

I’m very grateful that my small business, Calgary Food Tours Inc. was mentioned in this article by The Edmonton Journal‘s Liane Faulder. This was a very cool thing for me today and showed me the power of encouraging words.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Cool things, Savour life

Savour Food – cool things no. 13 – @DirtCraftNaturalBuilding COB oven workshops

Heather Noakes (and Ashley Lubyk not pictured) teaches classes on building and cooking with a cob oven Photo - Karen Anderson

Heather Noakes (and Ashley Lubyk not pictured) teaches classes on building and cooking with a cob oven
Photo – Karen Anderson

This week on CBC Radio One’s Alberta at Noon I’ll be talking about a company called Dirt Craft Natural Building and the courses they give on

How to Build a Cob Oven

in Alberta and across Western Canada.

What is a cob oven and why would you want one? Read on.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Alberta at Noon, Cool things, Heritage cooking skills, Savour food

Savour Food – Cool things no. 12 – @offthebeatenpal – coming June 6th – a PBS TV show about Alberta cuisine and culture

The crew of "Off the Beaten Palate"  Lt-Rt Jong Won Ham, Dan Dor, James Klopko, (Brian Smith from Wild Rose Brewery), Michael-Ann Rowe and last but not least ME!

The crew of “Off the Beaten Palate”
Lt-Rt
Jong Won Ham, Dan Dor, James Klopko, (Brian Smith from Wild Rose Brewery), Michael-Ann Rowe and last but not least ME!

Off the Beaten Palate is a fun TV show that I got to work on in September 2012. I was hired by Travel Alberta to act as scout, guide and production assistant for a TV crew based out of New York and Toronto. We spent a week visiting ranches, farms, restaurants and some of Alberta’s most iconic tourism destinations exploring the link between our cuisine and our culture. Travel Alberta’s whiz kid Jessica Harcombe-Fleming had worked on the project for several months and I just had to come in and put some icing on the big fat cake she had baked. She’s amazing.

Basically, from 5:30 a.m. to about 11 p.m. for a week straight, I drove the crew around, acted as their schedule “fixer”, props specialist, food stylist, caterer, photographer, social media coordinator and story consultant. It was a great privilege to find myself in this role and the crew headed by host Michael-Ann Rowe were amazing to work with. I loved my time with them and I loved introducing them to all my friends here in Alberta. I even got to be in the show. How fun is that? Pretty fun!

I hope you will all tune it to the broadcast. It will be on Detroit Public Television (DPTV) on June 6th at 7:30 ET. That’s Channel 81 on Shaw TV in Calgary. You can get more details here. You can watch lots of fun promo reels here.

I’d like to thank everyone who made this beautiful show possible and who bent over backwards to help us show the world how great Alberta’s Cuisine and Culture truly are. We had a week of perfect weather and every time I look at the rough cuts of the show or the promo reels I feel incredibly blessed to live in such a beautiful part of Canada. The Alberta show is part of a three-part Discover Canada series especially filmed for American Public Television. I hope all our southern neighbours will in the words of Mae West, come on up and see us sometime!

Of course, the best part of all for me is that being involved in this project has just made me Savour Food and Savour Life in Alberta more than I already do! Here’s a few more photos I took last fall just to give you a sample of what’s going to be served up in this fantastic Taste Award Nominated show.

Bison Short Rib sandwiches by chef Cindy Lazarenko, Culina Catering, Edmonton photo credit - Karen Anderson

Bison Short Rib sandwiches by chef Cindy Lazarenko, Culina Catering, Edmonton
photo credit – Karen Anderson

Spragg's Pork Spring Roll by chef Duncan Ly, Hotel Arts, Calgary Photo & styling credit - Karen Anderson

Spragg’s Pork Spring Roll by chef Duncan Ly, Hotel Arts, Calgary
Photo & styling credit – Karen Anderson

Game platter by chef Ralph Wollman, Rimrock Resort, Banff Photo credit - Karen Anderson

Game platter by chef Ralph Wollman, Rimrock Resort, Banff
Photo credit – Karen Anderson

Leave a comment

Filed under Cool things, Savour food, Travel

Savour food – cool things no. 11- @CalgaryFoodTour featured on @TourismCalgary Visit Calgary

We love to take guests to Alberta farms to "Taste this place" Here I am with Matt & Tilly at Winter's Turkey Farm  Photo credit - Karen Anderson

We love to take guests to Alberta farms to “Taste this place”
Here I am with Matt & Tilly at Winter’s Turkey Farm
Photo credit – Karen Anderson

Calgary Food Tours | Visit Calgary.

Thanks to Tourism Calgary for featuring my company Calgary Food Tours Inc. on their new Culinary Tourism feature page.

So many people look for food to enrich their travel. Exploring a city or country’s food is a great way to really get inside a culture and understand it. Food and culture have always been intricately linked.

Calgary Food Tours allows me to share my insights on how Calgary’s culture and food are linked with both local guests and visitors from around the globe. The culinary tours I’ve designed will help our guests discover all facets of Calgary’s culture. Here’s a dozen examples of how the links between our culture and cuisine play out in my business, life and city as follows:

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Cool things, Restaurants, Savour food, Travel

Savour food Savour life – designer Geoff Lilge of @onourtable features his favourite designs from MY kitchen – Sooo fun!

What's on my table  - as chosen by designer Geoff Lilge of @OnourTable

What’s on my table – as chosen by designer Geoff Lilge of @OnourTable

Thanks to my friends Cindy Lazarenko and Geoff Lilge for featuring me and my favourite kitchen items on their beautiful @Onourtable design blog. You can read that post here.

I care for great design. It makes our lives so much better. I had fun writing for On Our Table. It was a thought-provoking exercise and a rare opportunity to think about the things I’ve surrounded myself with. Beyond these creature comforts there’s one thing I care more than anything and that’s friendship.

Friendship could be life’s greatest design. I don’t know if its form follows its function. I don’t get to see my friends Lazarenko and Lilge much. I see them when their work brings them to Calgary so yes, I guess the form in which our friendship develops follows a function. We tweet, message, email and call. Those are other forms that allow our friendship to function. It doesn’t matter. Each friendship is unique in its design; like the snow flakes that fall from a dark night sky, each is uniquely created to land softly where it will.

I love each of my friendship’s intricate designs. I love the ability of friendship to withstand the high and low seasons of life’s continuum. I love the joy friendship breathes into our short time of being here on earth.

I count myself incredibly blessed to have these dear and talented friends. Cindy and Geoff, talented cook and designer, and dear kindred spirits, you help me savour my food and savour my life. Thank you.

My darling friend - chef Cindy Lazarenko of On Our Table

My darling friend – chef Cindy Lazarenko of On Our Table

Leave a comment

Filed under Cool things, Joy, Savour food, Savour life, Writing

Savour food – cool thing no. 10 – It’s @CityPalate magazine’s 20th anniversary

It is possible to get paid for writing - my first cheque was from City Palate Magazine

It is possible to get paid for writing – my first cheque was from City Palate Magazine

I’ve been writing for Calgary’s City Palate magazine since 2007. I still have a copy of the first cheque the publisher, Gail Norton, sent me on my bulletin board. It was the first time I ever got paid for food or travel writing. That cheque is doubly meaningful and sweet to me because it was also payment for the first article I ever submitted anywhere. When I opened the envelope and realized what that cheque was for, a quiet pride came to me. It was the kind of feeling that’s rare and hard to find and fills you deep in your core. It was a thrilling little glow that came from the center of my heart and warmed me to the tip of my toes and top of my noggin. Truth be told, I still do a little dance around my chair every time I get paid for writing.

Until now, I’ve never told anyone about my quiet celebratory publication and payment ritual and I’m not gloating now. I’ll still keep my pride private for the most part. But, I just want to share the gratitude and joy I feel at being a very small part of something so infinitesimally bigger than me. I’m also wise enough (read: old enough) to realize it’s important to celebrate every time something wonderful happens to me. I think it will be way more fun to have 1000 small celebrations as frequently as possible instead of saving up for one colossal “someday” that procrastination may rob me of. Now is an especially good time to celebrate being part of the City Palate team. My friends at the magazine are inspiring quite a bit of joviality themselves just now. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Calgary’s City Palate magazine.

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Cool things, Savour food, Writing

Savour food – Cool things no. 9 – you can be a cheese maker – @makecheeseinc will show you how

Ella Kinloch started Make Cheese - She's a teacher turned cheese making teacher

Ella Kinloch started Make Cheese – She’s a teacher turned cheese making teacher

Want to be a Cheese Maker?

Not all of us are going to become artisan cheese makers like the great Alberta cheesemakers I wrote about here. But that doesn’t mean we can’t get in on the fun.

Ella Kinloch, was a high school teacher who dreamed of making cheese. She did an extensive internship in New Jersey and Vermont and realized that while she might not have the assets to set up her own artisanal cheese making facility she could use her skills to teach others about cheese making. Her company Make Cheese hosts cheese making classes for four to ten people in your home. The “Lotsa Motza” class is $40 per person and includes a $30 kit (which will make 29 more batches) and a skills lesson. Kinloch sells the kits online and also has brie, cream cheese and poutine kits available with blue and Gouda kits on the way.

You can place a web order here.
Phone: 403-689-3552 for more info.

1 Comment

Filed under Cool things, Great ingredients, Heritage cooking skills, Savour food

Savour food Savour life- Cool Thing no. 8 – this @IndianSummerCND festival video features @Vijs_restaurant

I love Indian food and culture so much I’m going to have to figure out how to get to Vancouver this summer to attend the Indian Summer Festival. It is an annual event celebrating arts, ideas and diversity and it connects Vancouver and South Asia via 10 days of music, literature, film, well-being, dance, cuisine & visual art.

I took a group to Kerala, India last year and will explore India’s Golden Triangle’s cuisine and culture this coming fall with the help of my business partner Indus Travels. As a student of Indian culture I’ll be waiting for this Vancouver festival to announce this year’s schedule of offerings. The more I can learn about India the better guide I can be for my guests. To be totally honest, I’d also like to go to Vij’s Restaurant for a much needed fix of his food and I could shop for the saree I need for the Diwali party I’m invited to on November 2 in New Dehli. This is what I love about being Canadian. I could potentially be dressed up in my cowgirl gear presenting at The Calgary Stampede Western Life Calgary Coop Showcase Kitchen one day in July and then be shopping for a saree in Surrey, B.C. the next day. Coincidentally or non-coincidentally The Indian Summer Festival in Vancouver is the exact same dates as our Calgary Stampede - the biggest outdoor show on earth – July 5 – 14, 2013.

I need to go to Vancouver for this fun, delicious and intellectually stimulating Indian Summer Festival. It will definitely help me savour food and savour life.

In case you doubt my sincerity, here’s a poem I was moved to write one morning when I was on my Kerala soujourn last fall. I have a lot more to write about India but this was a good way to start. Hope you agree.

Glorious India
By Karen Anderson (written in Kovalam, November 30, 2012)

We met in God’s own country Kerala
In you my heart opened wide to receive love poured forth
Nothing is hidden here
Angel’s Trumpets white and pink, blue morning glories, red puffs of calandria, orange marigolds, lush green forests; they all grow beside humanity’s debris.
The colours, the noise, the spectacle, the fragrance and your sheer numbers, they keep me focused on all that really exists
The here and the now
Your gift is the present
The present is your gift
A sea of earthen people remind me that we come from and go back to your body and the oneness within
The endless variation of faces and smiles remind me of infinite love and the universal power of creation
I sit at your feet and see it takes three oceans to wash them
Each wave of the Arabian caresses and massages your sensual body
Each wave is your breath; deep and regular and completely without effort
Each wave joins your body and my mind and takes my spirit to join a universal one
I am ready to allow what will be
You have opened me just as they said you would
You are mother, goddess of women and feminine energy divine
I have received you
I take you with me and all is well
Here
Now
Wherever I will be
We are forever one
Oh Glorious India

Lunch delivery Keralan backwaters Photo by Karen Anderson

Lunch delivery Keralan backwaters Photo by Karen Anderson

1 Comment

Filed under Cool things, Restaurants, Savour food, Savour life, Travel, Writing