W5 -a series of questions about @cookitraw @albertaculinary – WHERE and WHEN is #rawAlberta? @mountengadine

Mount Engadine Lodge - photo courtesy of Karen Fitzgerald at Mount Engadine Lodge
Mount Engadine Lodge – photo courtesy of Karen Fitzgerald at Mount Engadine Lodge

Mount Engadine Lodge in Kananaskis Country near Canmore, Alberta is WHERE the 22 chefs of Cook it Raw’s #rawAlberta are gathering.

I spent a few days there this summer. The Lodge holds exactly 22 guests and sits perched over a meadow where a moose comes each evening to a natural saltlik. He’s not exactly like clockwork but he shows up and is nonplussed by the fuss he creates as the lodge guests watch in fascination as he lowers his heavy rack of horns between sprawled knobbly knees to taste the earth. He is vulnerable to be sure. I hope 22 hungry chefs don’t take on a moose hunt as part of their “raw” experience. Right now they actually have a lot in common. They’re putting themselves out there and they are bringing us a taste of this place.

This post will share some photos of WHERE the #rawAlberta chefs are sequestered. And, it will also share the details of a Public event WHERE you can meet all the #rawAlberta chefs and taste the dishes they’re creating using 7 great Alberta ingredients.

The 22 chefs involved in Cook it Raw’s #rawAlberta are currently on retreat in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains. When the founder of Cook it Raw, Alessandro Porcelli found Mount Engadine Lodge he thought it was perfect for this experience. The chefs are learning about the aboriginal culture, the land and crystal clear fresh water lakes and the ingredients our rugged province produces by day and then, they are cooking each evening getting ready for two private dinners Thursday and Friday followed by a big public offering this Sunday.

I’ve included some photos of my hiking trip and stay at Mount Engadine Lodge above so you can visualize where the chefs are. It is a great bit of Kismet that I just happened to stay there on my summer vacation. Maybe it’s good I got in before the chefs make it famous. I think people from all over the world will love it here.

The mountains surrounding the lodge are jagged peaks. The hiking can be fierce going but the views are breath-taking. This is why Albertans have to “Remember to Breathe”.

Sometimes, when you are surrounded with so much natural beauty it really does sweep your breath clean out from under your lungs. I hope the chefs get the same welcome back to the lodge that we got at the end of each day – charcuterie, a warm fire and a beer or glass of wine on the deck.

If you’re like me, you’re following along with the Cook it Raw and Alberta Culinary Instagram accounts for glimpses of what the seven Alberta Ingredient teams will be serving up. With root vegetables, bison, honey, red fife wheat, Saskatoon berries, canola and beef on the menu I know we’re in for an exceptional tasting.

Now for the WHEN of #rawAlberta. If you are interested in a chance to taste the food of the 22 Cook it Raw chefs here’s the public event that you can still buy tickets for as follows:

The Feast on the Frontier
Sunday, October 11, Noon to 3 p.m.
Rouge Restaurant’s Garden at 1240 8th Ave SE, Calgary
Guests will sample the results of the #rawAlberta collaborations from the seven teams at food stations in the garden at Rouge.
Tickets are $125/person here.

That’s all for this post except to say, that if you listen to Alberta at Noon tomorrow, October 8, 2015, I’ll be giving away two tickets to The Feast on the Frontier this Thanksgiving Sunday. We’ve talked about the WHAT, WHO, WHEN and WHERE of #rawAlberta, now it’s time to focus on the WHY? That’s coming right up in the next post along with the How – a few recipes inspired by Alberta’s great ingredients.

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