Cook it Raw Alberta ends with top international culinary talent joining Alberta chefs in the kitchen at SAIT
by Mary Bailey
Cook it Raw is a gathering of the world’s most avant garde chefs, “an annual event that brings internationally recognized and emerging chefs together with dedicated producers, community leaders, academics and cultural producers to discuss and explore the politics of food through four guiding principles—environment, tradition, creativity and collaboration.”
Imagine a think tank-type gathering of the best in the world, but with much better food.
There have been seven previous incarnations of Cook it Raw, founded in 2009 by the magnetic Alessandro Porcelli. The Alberta Culinary Tourism Alliance brought the gastronomic road show to Alberta in 2015, starting with a week in Lac la Biche Provincial Park in late May. The brief? To explore Alberta’s culinary frontier, to forge strong links between chefs worldwide and, most importantly for Albertans, create a lasting culinary narrative that attracts curious travellers from around the globe.
Heavy hitters, some of the biggest names in the culinary universe, with several Michelin stars among them—Albert Adria from Spain; JP McMahon from Ireland; Syrco Bakker from Holland; Magnus Ek from Sweden and Elizabeth Falkner, Amanda Cohen, Preeti Mistry and Brandon Baltzley from the US – joined 14 Alberta chefs on the culinary frontier. Literally. They fished, foraged, swam, wandered about in the woods, cooked, drank wine and talked about food, in particular Alberta’s culinary identity.
After several days at Mount Engadine Lodge, roughing it in Kananaskis country (no cell service), the Cook it Raw experience ended in Calgary with a walk-about tasting at Rouge Restaurant and a dinner in the SAIT kitchens.
Here’s a behind the scenes look at the prep for that dinner.
Click on thumbnails to zoom. All photos by Mark Mahaney.
|The idea of the dinner? A menu of seven Alberta ingredients, beef, bison, Red Fife wheat, canola oil, saskatoon berries, honey and root vegetables — everyday items for Alberta cooks; a culinary playground for the international chefs — reimagined as the foundation for an iconic Alberta culinary identity.|
This is the third in a series of Cook it Raw stories published by The Tomato. Find them at the tomato.ca. Visit our Facebook page and Instagram feed mar_ybee for more behind the scenes photos.