Gastronomic happenings around town — the Dig-In Horticulinary Festival, Gold Medal Plates, Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Fest and a really delish Port.
go for the gold
Edmonton’s Gold Medal Plates competition is Thursday, October 12. This year’s competing chefs are a mix of veterans and first timers —Alberto Alboreggia, Sorrentino’s Downtown; Levi Biddlecombe, Packrat Louie; Steven Brochu, Chartier, Steve Buzak, Royal Glenora Club; Shane Chartrand, Sage; Andrew Ihasz, Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel; Ryan Hotchkiss, Bündok; Tony Le, Century Hospitality Group; Medi Tabtoub, Vivo; Jan Trittenbach, Solstice Seasonal Cuisine. New this year is Gold Medal Pints. For tickets visit goldmedalplates.com.
drink like it’s 1692
Get your hands on a bottle of the Taylor’s 325 Limited Edition Anniversary Tawny (under $50), a blend of tawny ports with an average age of 15 years. “I’ve selected wines with age for complexity, and wines with youth for vibrancy,” said winemaker David Guimaraens, “I wanted this wine to be accessible, unpretentious.”
And delicious. Redolent of baking spices, chocolate, coffee and sticky toffee pudding; sweet and luscious, yet well-balanced with a warm heart of red fruit, both candied and fresh, butterscotch and gingerbread, the wine is both complex and ready to drink now.
Then there’s the cool bottle — based on the oldest bottle with the Taylor Company’s mark. Taylor’s, was founded in 1692 by English merchant Job Beardsley, who travelled to Portugal to start a wine business.
party like it’s 1997
It’s year 20 for the Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival (Shaw Conference Centre, November 10, 11) and organizers say it will be the best ever. Taste new-to-the-market (or, new to the show) wines, beers and spirits (Vancouver’s Stanley Park Brewing, Camrose’s Back40 Distillery, Grande Prairie’s Broken Tine Orchard, Italy’s Carpineto and Portugal’s Luis Pato) and tasty food from The Holy Roller, Japonais Bistro, Chop Steakhouse, XO Bistro Bar and Atlas Steak and Fish. Don’t forget to get the jump on tix — early bird specials are on offer until September 27.
dig it at dig in
Love gardening? Love food? Combine it all at St. Albert’s Dig In Horticulinary Festival, September 19-23. Enjoy culinary tours by foot or bike; hands-on Make & Take Workshops where you can make cider, bake bread, learn to can and uncover the ultimate in raised bed gardening. Check out the full lineup of events and get your tickets at diginstalbert.ca.
roasting made easy
The OXO Silicone Roaster Racks, keeps your turkey (or whatever you are roasting) above the liquids and fats that accumulate during cooking. The bottom stays crisper and cooking is more efficient, allowing the hot air to circulate all around the bird. Easy to clean in the dishwasher too, no metal racks to scrub. Set of two, $20.
back to school
The School Year Survival Cookbook by Ceri Marsh and Laura Keogh (Appetite by Random House, $30) comes in a handy coil-bound oversize format. That’s the first clue that this cookbook will be used over and over in the kitchen. It’s extremely user friendly with good info on cook once, eat three times kind of meals (aka, how to make leftovers on purpose that taste great.) Great pantry and freezer tips; nutrition info; two pages of real world mixes — muffins, pancakes and biscuits, and lots of pics of adorable kids. But don’t think it’s just for people with young kids. I found lots in the book to like and I don’t even have kids. It proposes terrific ways to plan better meals for busy people, period.
NAIT baking instructor and program chair Alan Dumonceaux will be one of six competitors, and the first Canadian, to compete in the gourmet baking category of the Masters de la Boulangerie — the world’s top, and toughest, baking contest — in Paris next February. “You have to be really creative to win against the best in the world. It’s a daunting challenge, but an exciting one,” says Alan.