Tag Archives: calgary

@postmedianet @CalgaryHerald @EdmontonJournal cut access to #local editorial food content with layoffs of @gwendolynmr #GwendolynRichards and @eatmywords #LianeFaulder

I’ve always looked forward to opening The Calgary Herald on Wednesday morning. I knew there would be food content that was editorial and journalistic. Whether it was her Cooking the Books review column or the scoop on a new development in Calgary’s burgeoning food scene, Gwendolyn Richards wrote with savvy and gave a voice to stories that would make a difference in our community.

I met The Edmonton Journal’s (until yesterday) food editor, Liane Faulder a few years ago when she was teaching a food writing course at The Okanagan Food and Wine Writer’s Workshop. I watched her in the field as she interviewed a pioneer in the seed saving movement, synthesized the data and crafted a story which she then filed for print the next day. If you scan the headlines of that paper’s food blog it’s easy to see her dedication to covering the stories of Edmonton’s food scene and to imagine the impact of those stories.

Both these journalists had the ability to judge the impact of stories that would be important for their community. They made a difference for fledgling restaurant businesses, chefs, farmers, food artisans, cookbook authors and cross-cultural food community events.

I wonder how news about local food projects will be shared now? We’ve lost two trusted critical thinkers. You can be doing great work as a food business but unless there’s an objective editorial voice to share that with your community it can make or break your project’s success.

Today, when I read the paper I found a long-standing recipe advert-orial column sponsored by the local gas utility and a collection of food photos from Twitter and Instagram. The photos and their one sentence tag lines don’t seem to contribute meaningful impact for the broader community given their propensity to glittering generalities and myopic focus.

I know this content helps newspapers pay their bills but, sometimes it seems newspapers are turning into a print version of Pinterest. The publishers “pin” stories from news feeds and patch together a scrapbook for publication each day. I’m not sure this is a great strategy as consumers can find that content themselves – very easily and in much more beautiful formats.

If content is king, then it is no wonder our local papers are turning into paupers.

Local papers have always been about local content. If that is missing, the local paper will be less and less compelling as a part of local culture (culture as in DAILY LIFE and HABITS). The last bastions of local content in local papers seem to be backgrounder columnists for politics, business, finance and human interest breaking stories. But, let’s face it, breaking news is old news if you wait to receive it in paper format each morning and so is the re-hashing of it.

I value original story journalism and observe with solemnity the bleeding edge of print media and its declining subscriptions. But, instead of holding onto their strength – the provision of depth and variety in local original content for local interest – newspapers that let go of local content experts take the leading edge that they had and add to that bleeding edge that’s slowly (or not so slowly) killing them.

We just lost two golden keys that opened the gateways to understanding our food scene as a piece of our local culture. To use an analogy from the food world, restaurants that take favourite features off the menu frequently fail in entirety shortly thereafter. I’ll see what the Calgary Herald’s Friday Swerve Calgary and Saturday food section continue to bring, but in all honesty, reading today’s paper felt like “the day the music died” for me. I’ll be looking elsewhere in my efforts to savour it all.

4 Comments

Filed under Writing

#beer is big theme in 10 New Calgary Restaurants Opening in 2016 via @AvenueMagazine

There’s lots of good news in this Avenue Magazine piece by Alana Willerton. For the most part, beer is da bomb but if you are going to be flying from our sparkling new international terminal at the Calgary International Airport, plan to get there early and enjoy pre-flight wine and tapas at Vin Room Airport. Knowing owner, Phoebe Fung, it will be tres chic and tres fun.

Chef Darren Maclean’s long awaited Japanese Yakatori place called Shokunin will open this month, Village Ice Cream is expanding and the most exciting of all – for me – Nicole Gomes’s Cluck and Cleaver fried chicken place will open soon. I predict line-ups for this heavenly bit of taste bud orgasma. She doesn’t need to grow a white goatee or be called “the kernel”, for those of us that have been hooked on her fried chicken for years, she’s already the Queen of Cluck!

Read more from the

Source: 10 New Calgary Restaurants Opening in 2016

Leave a comment

Filed under Restaurants

40 New #Restaurants That Opened in #Calgary in 2015 via @avenuemagazine

We love to eat out in Calgary –  photo – Karen Anderson

I’ve had the pleasure of being a restaurant judge for Calgary’s  Avenue Magazine for several years now. It may surprise you if you’ve not visited Calgary in awhile, but our city is filled with talented chefs and great produce to inspire them.

One of our newest restaurants, Pigeonhole, was even voted Canada’s best new restaurant by Air Canada’s Enroute magazine this year.

While our oil sector is not as slick as it could be right now Alberta’s agriculture and tourism sectors are flourishing and according to this recent Avenue article, Calgary’s dining scene got even stronger in 2015.

Here’s that detailed piece from Avenue with something for every taste in the  40 New Restaurants That Opened in Calgary in 2015

Kudos to writer Allan Willerton for researching and writing this piece.

Leave a comment

Filed under Restaurants, Travel

#Art Installation 15 – @offcutsyyc – the photography of @jeremyfokkens and the good humour of #Calgary #chefs – Art raising dollars for @bb4ck

Offcutsyyc - SAIT Polytechnic Culinary Instructor - Michael Allemeier - photo used with permission - Jeremy Fokkens Photography

Offcutsyyc – SAIT Polytechnic Culinary Instructor -Michael Allemeier -photo used with permission – Jeremy Fokkens Photography

What is @bb4ck?

Brown Bagging it for Calgary Kids (BB4CK) is an organization that feeds the 2500 children that go to school hungry each day in our city. It’s sad that this situation exists. It is wonderful that some people are dedicated to doing something about it. BB4CK doesn’t just give handouts. They give a hand up by working within communities to provide community development. And, they don’t let children go hungry in the meantime.

Cooks love to feed people and they hate to see anyone, especially a child, go hungry.

When Kevin Kent, the owner of Knifewear stores across Canada, found out that a team of Edmonton chefs had posed partially clothed to raise money for food charities last year he was inspired to bring that idea to Calgary and to raise money for BB4CK. Kent put up the money to pay for the printing costs for a Calgary project and enlisted the talents of his friend, the photographer, Jeremy Fokkens (I’ve written about Jeremy’s abilities with Human Connections previously). Fokkens volunteered his time. Twelve male chefs from Calgary were enlisted to pose shirts off (for better or worse). With costs absorbed, all proceeds from sales will go to the charity.

The calendar is called The Offcuts and starting next week it’s time for THE OFFCUTS REVEALED. Click the link and find out more about these “hot” commodities that are nine parts generosity and perhaps one part oddity.

Click here for more “talented” subjects allowing themselves to be objects for a good cause.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Art Installation, Cooks I know

last day to get tix for @citypalate REALLY REALLY Long Table Dinner – Monday, September 14, 2015

City Palate magazine's 3rd Annual REALLY REALLY Long Table Dinner - illustration by Pierre Lamielle - used with permission

City Palate magazine’s 3rd Annual REALLY REALLY Long Table Dinner – illustration by Pierre Lamielle – used with permission

I’ve written about Long Table Dinners for CBC Radio One’s Alberta at Noon. I’ve written about Alberta Long Table Dinners for Calgary’s City Palate magazine.

I love them. They’re a joyous occasion. Have you been to one?

Now’s your chance. You’ve got about 19 hours left to get tickets here. You can never have too much joy.

There’s really really nothing quite like a long table dinner when it comes to the chance to savour it all.

Leave a comment

Filed under Joy, Restaurants

Happy #CanadaDay and Happy @calgarystampede – 2 #coolthings about where live in #alberta #canada

Canada Day cookies - photo - Karen Anderson

Canada Day cookies – photo – Karen Anderson

Cool thing #31 – The Millarville Races and
Cool thing #32 – The Calgary Stampede
2 more great reasons to Explore Alberta

I love that summer starts with a big bang in Calgary. We get dressed up in red and white for Canada Day…

…and then we rock our maverick culture with an ode to western heritage for the 10 days of The Calgary Stampede. It’s the world’s largest outdoor show and one of the world’s largest music festivals.

This post will be a photo essay of how I usually spend Canada Day – at the Millarville Races – along with some food ideas for your own celebrations and then a quick look at the fun of our beloved Calgary Stampede.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Cool things, Travel

Corner Store Revival – my March column for @AlbertaatNoon

Corner Grocer Goodies - photo - Karen Anderson

Corner Grocer Goodies – photo – Karen Anderson

Loblaws, Canada’s largest grocer, announced this week that they will add 50 stores and spend $1.2 billion on expanding their network and distribution. Walmart echoed this push announcing $300 million in expansion. Big chains are getting bigger. That is not a story.

The stories in the grocery world right now, for me, are two trends I’ve been watching.

One is happening in a big way south of the border with Amazon dot com. They’ve been a distributor of all things since the 90s and 15,000 dry good groceries for a good part of that. Now, in their home base of Seattle and Los Angeles, if you join Amazon Fresh and pay a fee of about 200 dollars a year, you can order online from a wide variety of grocers and specialty stores for home delivery. As you long as you order by 11 p.m. – for most items – that which you desire will arrive on your doorstep by 6 a.m. the next morning. No wonder Loblaws are looking into e-commerce to broaden their distribution. They might be looking at some very empty big boxes of stores if this catches on in Canada. They’ll have to go some to catch Amazon who’ve been doing e-everything since the 90s and who just spent $750 million on their inventory robotics systems. Now that is a big story but it’s not the one I’m going to focus on.

The trend I’m going to focus on is the opposite of big. It’s small in every way. It’s the revival of the corner grocer.

Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under Alberta at Noon, Savour food