Tag Archives: calgary

Cooks I know – @knifenerd Kevin Kent on the Japanese knives he sells at @knifewear

There’s so many reasons Calgary is Canada’s Chowtown.

The fact that our chefs can access Japanese knives at Knifewear to make all the chopping they do easier – and therefore make the long hours they spend cooking for us more enjoyable – must surely be one of the reasons the food in this town rocks.

The motto of Knifewear is “sharp knives rocks”. I think the chefs using them and their food also ROCKS.

If you live in Calgary – come out tonight and see Knifewear’s Springhammer documentary about the Japanese blacksmiths that hand forge the knives they sell. Details are here.

SAIT Polytechnic Culinary School Alumnus Kevin Kent cut his cooking teeth with Fergus Henderson at St. John in London, England and at River Cafe in Calgary. He started selling knives to chefs in Calgary from his backpack and now owns five Knifewear stores across Canada. He’s one of Calgary’s culinary mavericks.

Japanese knives help me savour it all. Right now I’m savouring the idea of … buying myself another one.

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Let there be light! – Art installation #7 (cool thing #25) – A new central Calgary Public Library for @calgarylibrary

From the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation’s press release today…

“The New Central Library has been a long time coming, and moving forward with this project was a key part of my platform when I was first elected,” says Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “When City Council created the Community Investment Fund in 2011, we also created a mechanism to finalize the funding of a New Central Library that will serve the needs of a growing population now and into the future. I’m immensely proud of what we’ve achieved together—The City of Calgary, CMLC, Calgary Public Library, and all citizens. The New Central Library will be a new icon for Calgarians and a jewel of public space and opportunity for all.”

The prime design consultant team, Snøhetta + DIALOG, deeply understand that a library is far more than just a building with books – something that’s evident in every aspect of the final design.

“Since embarking on this project, one of the things we’ve kept reminding ourselves is that we don’t just want to build the best library in the world. We want to build the library that’s best for Calgary.” Craig Dykers of Snøhetta explains, “At this moment in time, with the city conditions that surround us, with the different needs of all of you in the community, we continue to ask ourselves, how we are going to make the right library?”

From me…

The City is laying a bridge with this architectural icon to connect the long neglected East Village to downtown Calgary. City Hall was built with its back to East Calgary. This new building brings the area back into the fold and celebrates it as a beacon for our bright future as a whole with no area left out. That’s Nenshi building a different legacy for the city.

When East Village is completed in 2027 there will be more than 11,000 residents. They will have the RiverWalk, St. Patrick’s Island Park, the National Music Centre and an urban shopping centre to enjoy along with this inspiring gathering place that will be our new Central Calgary Public Library. This isn’t the first time a new library has acted as a beacon of light for our city.

The first library in Calgary at Central Memorial Park was opened in 1912. The Women’s Literacy group of Alberta applied for a building grant from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation. Carnegie had come from nothing in Scotland to become the wealthiest man in the world. He was a firm believer in the ability of learning, books and free libraries in inspiring and lifting humanity to its full potential. He funded over 2500 public libraries in the world and our first library was one of them. That building was built in a feminine Beaux Arts style and raised on a pedestal in honour of the women who got it built. It was Alberta’s first library and brought some balance to our “rough and ready” existence at the time. Central Memorial Library is set in a park, is still open and still very beautiful 100 years later.

It’ll be exciting for our children’s children to see what the next 100 years and this new library inspire. And isn’t it right that all this new light is rising from the East…Village.

I like these two libraries. They are beautiful bookends in our city’s history. Libraries truly shed light and help us savour it all.

Central Memorial Library

Central Memorial Library

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@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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17 Reasons Calgary #yyc is awesome via @CalgaryHerald writer @meghanjessiman

17 Reasons Calgary is awesome.

There are so many reasons I find it easy to savour it all in Calgary. This article speaks to 17 of them.

What are you waiting for? Hop on a plane. Come to Calgary and Savour it All

What are you waiting for? Hop on a plane. Come to Calgary and Savour it All

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Bean to Bar Chocolate by @Choklatyyc for Valentine’s Day – my @AlbertaAtNoon column for February

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

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.

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Ho-Ho-Hold onto that party idea till the New Year – How small groups can have BIG holiday fun once the season has wrapped up

Wine tastings are always fun. Time for a little time out...for good behaviour?  Here's a list of fun things to do for your small group Photo - Karen Anderson

Wine tastings are always fun.
Time for a little time out…for good behaviour?
Here’s a list of fun things to do for your small group
Photo – Karen Anderson

I’m thinking about all my friends in the hospitality and retail industries who are going gangbusters right now. It doesn’t take three wise men to know that they’ll be holding on till the New Year for a share of the good cheer most of us our currently enjoying thanks to their hard work.

There’s also whole gaggle of small groups and groups with small budgets in our town who can’t afford to check everyone into a spa-laden hotel or to fly in The Eagles to help them Take it Easy like some of this city’s generous corporate giants have been known to do (Calgary is Canada’s corporate head office capital).

Think of this post as a stocking overflowing with ideas for small groups whose gratification must be delayed. Here’s a few flings you can have before spring.

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Art installation #2 – seeing the #yycflood through the eyes of Kate Sara Bennie and a really good gift for @nenshi

"Summer 2013- Flood; Consume" acrylic on canvas by Kate Sara Bennie from the artist's website - used with permission

“Summer 2013- Flood; Consume”
acrylic on canvas by Kate Sara Bennie
from the artist’s website – used with permission

My friend Kate Sara Bennie works at the Tea Trader shop in the Inglewood neighbourhood of Calgary. She’s an artist. She works enough to pay her rent and feed herself but otherwise protects her time to paint and to just be still. Being still lets daydreams and flashes of places distill within in her – which of course, often leads to more painting.

In this installation I’ll talk a bit about Bennie and the story behind the painting above.

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