I used to look forward to watching my favourite Christmas movies each holiday season. Now I look forward to a four minute video from an airline.
I watch my favourite movies because they capture the spirit of Christmas – love, peace, generousity and all that’s best in humanity. I watch these WestJet videos for the same reason. They remind me how connected we are and what magic we can make for our fellow human beings just by caring for each other. The movies may be classic, the videos fresh but, the message is the same. Out of profound loss and grief, joy can arrive out of caring. And THAT is the coolest thing of all.
Cool and creamy gelato from Pulcinella Ristorante – photo credit – Karen Anderson
I’ll be on CBC Radio’s Alberta at Noon tomorrow (July 28, 2016 – 99.1 FM) between 1230 and 1 p.m. talking about quintessential summer foods. What’s your must-have summer food? If you’re anything like me, it changes by the week because there’s something new to savour with each seven day growing unit in our brief Northern summer.
I hope this post of fun food photos and events (including Food Day Canada this weekend) inspires you to hit the giant tasting trail that is Alberta or to search for your own favourites wherever you savour it all. Continue reading
Talus lodge – photo credit – Karen Anderson
It’s good to have life goals.
One of my favourites is to go to a different back country lodge in the Canadian Rockies every year. This year it was Talus Lodge.
To reach the lodge you take a helicopter from Canmore and fly about 100 kilometres due west. It takes about 15 minutes, goes by in a flash and when you land you find yourself in the high alpine deep in the Rocky Mountains. 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.
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.
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