chefs in the food lab – photo credit – Karen Anderson
With the downturn in Alberta’s energy dominated economy, it is estimated that 100,000 jobs were lost this province in 2015. Local news agencies have tracked the lay offs. It’s been devastating to watch. Job losses come with people attached. If not personally affected, everyone in the province knows family and friends who have been.
Fortunately, Albertans have true grit and with every flattened tire in the cycle of oil’s economy, the creativity of Albertans help diversify our economy away from that old cycle of booms and busts. We are a province of entrepreneurs and food entrepreneurs can get a boost for their ideas from a facility called the Alberta Food Processing Development Centre.
This post is about a day I recently spent at that centre and the positive potential that the centre has for impacting our economy. Continue reading
Great Plains Bison – photo – Karen Anderson
I love to ask the people I meet, What is Alberta’s food? Inevitably the answer is, Beef – of course. I bring this up because I think it illuminates our lack of knowledge of our food heritage.
Beef is not an original Alberta species. It is an exotic import. It was brought to Alberta from Scotland via Montana before there were fences – about 150 plus years ago. The Great Plains Bison, Elk and White Tail deer evolved with this land and are perfectly suited for it. They are Alberta’s indigenous species. They have been here for tens of thousands of years.
Alberta also grows great grains. Red Fife Wheat is one of them. We are one of the world’s largest honey producers. We have really sweet root vegetables and Prairie hardy fruits like Saskatoon berries. Our Canola oil is as luscious gold as its flowers when it is cold-pressed and organic. And, yes, we really do grow the world’s biggest and tastiest beef.
We’ve discussed the WHAT, WHO, WHERE and WHEN of Cook it Raw, this post will explore the WHY> If Cook it Raw were only the chance to have more people at home, and around the globe, realize the bounty of wonderful products in Alberta, that would be enough of a WHY for me. Still, I asked Alessandro Porcelli of Cook it Raw for his answer to WHY and I asked Fraser Abbott of Alberta Culinary Tourism Alliance as well. This post gives their answers as well as a few recipes inspired by the world-class produce of Alberta.
Alessandro Porcelli, the founder of Cook It Raw in the garden at Rouge Calgary – photo – Karen Anderson
In the previous post I answered the question, WHAT is Cook it Raw? This post looks at WHO is involved in Cook it Raw. Future posts will answer the other W’s in W5.
If you have no idea WHAT Cook it Raw is, this blog post is for you.
Watching the video above is a great place to start learning about Cook it Raw. Check it out and see if, while you’re learning about WHAT Cook it Raw is, you can also find seven Alberta food products that you might be quite familiar with but that the rest of the world might know very little about. That’s a pretty big hint about the answer to WHAT this is all about, by the way.
Don’t have time to watch the gorgeous video by Edmonton cinematographer Kevin Kossowan? Nah – go back and watch it. It’ll make you want to get on a plane to Lac LaBiche, Alberta – even if you have no idea where in the world that is. Hey, wait, that’s another clue to WHAT Cook it Raw is all about! Let’s cut to the chase.
Cook it Raw is a group of local and internationally-renowned chefs who gather to discover and articulate the essence of diverse and emerging culinary locations throughout the world. They are just winding up six months of intensive work in Alberta this very week. This is only the ninth time there’s been such a gathering since the inception of the program in 2009.
To learn more, read on and as an incentive to do so, I’ll give you the answer to exactly WHAT the seven truly Albertan ingredients are at the end of this post.
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.
Filed under Joy, Restaurants
the table is set for a season of long table dinners – photo – Karen Anderson
The Guinness World Record for the longest of long table dinners is 1.286 kilometres.
The record was set in August of 2014 in Finland where the long table dinner was measured with three decimal precision to eek out Spain’s record of 1.258 kilometres. This record has toppled more than once in the last few years proving that long table dinners are “a thing”. But are they truly a new phenomenon or are they an exaggeration of an age old tradition?
This post will look at this trend in dining and the list of long tables setting up for an exciting season of outdoor dining in Alberta this year. Check out a holiday menu inspired by this phenomenon here.