Food News: announcing the Calgary Eats Cookbook Launch Party plus a preview recipe for Flourless Chocolate Cake – just for you!

Calgary Eats by Gail Norton and Karen Ralph
Note: This post is not sponsored. I’m just excited to share this!

The details:

Tuesday, September 17 – 6:30 pm at the Cookbook Co Cooks, 712 11 Ave SW, Calgary
Come meet Gail Norton and Karen Ralph, authors of Calgary Eats, and chefs featured in the book.
Tix – $50 per person* at 403-265-6066 extension 1

*Registrants will take home an autographed copy of Calgary Eats: Signature Recipes from the City’s Best Restaurants and Bars ($40 value).

The scoop:

Author Gail Norton is the fairy godmother of the Calgary’s food scene. For over 30 years she’s boosted restaurants and chefs through the magazine City Palate she co-founded and through her cooking school and cookbook slash gourmand store, Cookbook Co Cooks. Along with her friend, the accomplished cook and sommelier, Karen Ralph, she once again showcases our food community of local chefs, farmers and producers. This time with a collection of 80 signature dishes by the city’s top chefs called Calgary Eats.

A follow-up to the best-selling Calgary Cooks, these chef-tested recipes, with stunning photographs by Chris Amat, will help we mere mortals re-create the signature dishes of our favourite chefs and restaurants. Read on for one of the books most scrumptious recipes – Rogelio Herrara’s (Alloy Dining) Flourless Chocolate Cake.

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Zita Cobb – a much needed mentor for community-minded businesses

Build a destination property in a place NOBODY goes, said no one ever. And yet, that is exactly what the indomitable Zita Cobb and her Shorefast Foundation have done. AND, they’ve done it with great success based on the following belief:

All businesses can be community businesses. Business is a system, a social and economic instrument, and a tool that can be used to support place and shape relationships. Done well, business allows all of us to contribute our individual and collective capacities to society. – Shorefast Foundation

This model resonates deeply with me. It’s healthy for all involved and it’s what I strive for with my own business Alberta Food Tours, Inc. So, when I recently vacationed in Newfoundland and Labrador, staying at the Shorefast Foundation’s  Fogo Island Inn, the destination property in question in my opening sentence, was at the top of the places I wanted to experience.

While staying at Fogo Island Inn was a dream come true and I’ll be writing lots more about it, I never expected to meet Zita Cobb the founder. BUT…. just as we were checking out…. Zita Cobb was popping in. Kismet. We shared a brief chat about the Inn, positive tourism and food, of course. She was as warm and down-to-earth as I thought she’d be.

This post will share a bit about the full circle community centred life of Zita Cobb. If you are looking for a mentor for your community-minded business, like I always am, the clarity of Zita Cobb and Shorefast Foundation’s principles could provide solid direction.

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Savouring the flavours of late summer with a Zesty Potato Salad

potato salad fixings

I usually only make potato salad when it practically makes itself. By that I mean, I open the fridge door and there’s a few leftover boiled potatoes and peas staring me in the face. Cue the lightbulb over my head. From there it’s easy to boil and peel a few eggs and rummage around the fridge or garden for some fresh radish, onions and herbs.

I hope you enjoy this easy recipe. As summer wanes, we’ll be eating more and more root vegetables but the ones featured here are still kissed by the garden freshness of their companion ingredients.

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Celebrating Food Day Canada 2019 and the bounty of Alberta this August

Alberta Beef from Hotel Arts for Food Day Canada celebrations- photo courtesy of Hotel Arts
Alberta beef – photo courtesy of Hotel Arts

Food Day Canada is one of my favourite days of the year. It’s always held on the Saturday of the August long weekend and it’s a time to celebrate the height of our country’s growing season and the abundance of local produce available.

This Saturday, August 3, I’ll be celebrating Food Day Canada a few fun ways. First, I’ll lead a Canmore Tasting Trail food experience for my company Alberta Food Tours (there’s still a few spots left on that tour but our Savour 17 SW food tour in Calgary is sold out that day) and then I’ll be attending a long table Beef and Barley Food Day Canada Dinner with partners Hotel Arts and Trails End Ranch. Tickets are only $125 per person and there are still a few left.

Here in Alberta, that’s just the beginning of the celebration of local bounty this August. We’ve also got a new festival called Alberta on your Plate, August 9 to 18, to look forward to and our annual Alberta Open Farm Days, August 17 and 18, with 160 farms across the province participating. Check out the links for these last two events and read on for more info about the Food Day Canada Beef and Barley Dinner at Trails End Ranch.

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Secrets of Southern Alberta – An #EatAlbertaFirst Road Trip – September 10-13, 2020

old man reservoir - photo by Neil Zeller photography
Old Man Reservoir – photo by Neil Zeller Photography

Join me in September of 2020 for this once in a lifetime #EatAlbertaFirst road trip

There are as many ways to explore Alberta as there are range and township roads criss-crossing the province. But, how many of us have the time to plan a trip to truly get to know this beautiful place?

We dream of meeting Alberta’s leading edge food artisans and tourism entrepreneurs but don’t know how to make the connections? We search for meals brimming with Alberta’s signature foods and end up settling for roadside fast food. We long to slow down and soak up the beauty of this land but are too busy navigating life to take it all in.

Finally, here’s a trip where you just have to show up and every detail has already been taken care of for you.

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Mess Hall podcast with Avery Cochrane

Mess Hall Podcast with Avery Cochrane

Mess Hall is a weekly podcast by Avery Cochrane on the Alberta Pod Net. Avery features comedians, interesting personalities, other podcasters and foodies. That’s where I come in.

Here’s the podcast conversation we had when he invited me to talk about life as an entrepreneur, my Alberta Food Tours business, and my writing life with projects like Food Artisans of Alberta and A Spicy Touch.

Avery listens intently, has great recall and describes himself as a lifelong learner. It was a treat to be interviewed by him and I hope you enjoy the podcast. Avery’s love of podcasts started by listening to them during his daily commute. Maybe the next time you are stuck in traffic, you’ll tune into the Mess Hall and check out his latest offerings. I guarantee it’ll be fun to see what he’s “cooked up.”

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Poolside dining and the art of summer by Calgary’s Hotel Arts

showing off the new pool at Hotel Arts in Calgary

Cool thing No. 59 on this blog

Summer is short in Calgary. That’s perhaps why, the Hotel Arts’ pool, in the city’s Beltline district south of downtown, has become a mecca for those craving sun and a dip in the water when we do get a hot summer’s day. While the pool has always been fun, it’s now received a chic makeover which includes a cover designed to make it useable fall to spring as well as summer.

While guests get first priority, locals can pay a fee to also enjoy the recently renovated space and everyone is invited to enjoy dining at the new Poolside by Hotel Arts.

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