The Tomato

get inspired with sonny sung

Tickets just went on sale for the Italian Centre Chef’s Inspiration Dinner, Tuesday March 7, featuring Bistecca’s exec chef Sonny Sung. The first dinner in the series with Red Ox Inn’s chef Sean O’Connor was not only delicious, the casual atmosphere and top notch food and wine pairings by Color de Vino made for a fun evening, over by nine pm, perfect for a school night. Chef Sung is known for his Italian-inspired seafood; the star of the March menu is his prawn risotto. Visit for tix.

hop to it

Don’t miss the 2017 Hops & Whiskey, March 2, 6:30-9:00pm at the Royal Glenora Club. It’s a convivial event—sample an incredible selection of craft beer and whiskey while enjoying small bites from exec chef Steve Buzak’s kitchen, Fuge Sausage and the silent auction. Visit for tix. Proceeds fund programs at the Pride Centre of Edmonton. Don’t forget the special 6pm VIP Tasting add-on for only $25!

the northern lands wine dinner experience

Consider this: 47 Canadian producers, 35 chefs, 17 restaurants, 16 dinners, one delicious night. Choosing which Friday, May 5 dinner is the hard part. Will it be the collaboration dinner at Hardware Grill with Calgary’s Cam Dobranski, and chef Andrew Fung from XIX? Both chefs began their careers at Hardware. The dinner promises to be an extraordinary culinary reunion, paired with wines from Darryl Brooker, Mission Hill, John Skinner, Painted Rock, Summerhill’s Ezra Cipes, and Leslie LeQuelenec from Clos du Soleil. Or chef Shane Chartrand’s amazing food paired with NK’MIP winemaker’s Justin Hall delicious wines at Sage at River Cree Resort? Check out all the dinners at Don’t delay, many dinners are already sold out.

The Hardware Grill by Toti

twisted love

Love a nice chewy pretzel? Check out the new Zwick’s Pretzels just off 124 Street. The selection: Basics (anything but basic with a smear of mustard); Dusted (think sour cream and onion or cinnamon sugar) and Cheese (cheddar and black pepper, feta with guajillo, or mozzarella with spicy scallion). The pretzels come in three sizes; you do have to pre-order the small and the cocktail size. There are sandwiches (on a pretzel bun, natch), sides and a soup as well, along with sweet and savoury dips for purchase. Yum! Now that the pretzel jones has been satisfied, all we need is a cinnamon bun shop. Zwick’s Pretzels, 12415 107 Avenue, 780-451-8882,, open Wednesday to Saturday, 10am-6pm; Sunday, 10am -3pm; closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

A pretzel sandwich at Zwick’s

the skinny on a great grilled cheese sandwich

Having a staycation this weekend? Have a winter picnic. What to make? Grilled cheese! So easy to eat out of hand and tasty served at (almost) any temperature. The Cavern’s Tricia Bell tells us how. “Selecting a cheese with appropriate melting characteristics will generate the most predictable results. However, playing around with non-classic melters (like fresh chèvre) can be a super fun adventure. Cook on a low-medium temperature for even melting and cooking. Use butter, preferably salted.”

Appenzeller With Roasted Onion Garlic Jam

My favourite recipe for grilled cheese is with Appenzeller, a classic Swiss melting cheese. Its pleasantly sweet taste is in contrast to the savoury jam, leaving a wonderfully balanced and rich sensation on the palate.” Tricia Bell, The Cavern.

2-4 T butter
4-6 slices Appenzeller cheese
4 T roasted onion garlic jam
sourdough or French breadjam

Spread butter evenly on the outside of each bread slice. Spread half of the onion garlic jam on the inside of one sourdough slice, layer Appenzeller, then spread the remaining jam on the inside of the other. Grill in a stainless steel pan or cast iron skillet. Cook until golden brown on each side and the cheese has completely melted, 3 to 4 minutes per side, turning once. Before removing from the pan, flip sandwiches to reheat first side, about 15 seconds. Serves 2. More winter picnic ideas:

illustration for the Tomato by Kyle Brownrigg

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