Gastronomic happenings around town

chefs rock in calgary

Connie DeSousa of Calgary’s Charcut
Connie DeSousa of Calgary’s Charcut

The top-notch Women Chefs and Restaurateurs (WCR) mentorship organization is coming to Calgary, October 2 with an amazing roster—chefs Lynn Crawford (Ruby WatchCo, Top Chef Masters), Elizabeth Falkner (WCR past President, Chopped All-Stars), Connie DeSousa (Charcut, Top Chef ) and restaurateur Sal Howell (River Café, Boxwood). Winsport exec chef and WCR member Liana Robberecht, instrumental in bringing the conference to Calgary, is chair of the first WCR event to be held outside the US.

What’s in it for you? Whether you are an established chef or restaurateur, or just starting out, come to the WCR conference to meet and learn from some the biggest names in the field. It’s an opportunity to be inspired, to gain insight and to network with hospitality colleagues. Tickets: Early bird tickets are $175, $225 after September 14.

relish food on film

It’s year two for the Relish Food on Film Festival at Metro Cinema, La Cité Francophone and RelishFest Dinners & a Movie around town. Highlights: The northern Alberta premiere of An Alberta Farm, which garnered first place in the 2015 Big Rock Eddies; special screenings of the Cook it Raw videos; RelishFest Dinner & a Movie featuring the German comedy Soul Kitchen with a fabulous menu by chef Doreen Prei at Get Cooking October 29, and a unique long table dinner at La Cité Francophone. Relish was chosen as one of Alberta Culture’s Top Do Not Miss Food Festivals in the province. New this year is Tell us a Food Story. Relish is looking for short films on food by pros and amateurs alike. Find entry forms for Tell us a Food Story and the full Relish program at and get ready to go to the movies!

vegetables a to z
Rose Murray’s newest book contains over 250 tried and true recipes ranging from homey to dinner party-worthy, all in an easy peasy alphabetical format. Each chapter is headed by practical information on how to choose, store and cook each vegetable—lots of good stuff here. We feature the tarragon-buttered beets recipe on page 10. Rose Murray’s A-Z Vegetable Cookbook, Formac Publishing, $24.95.

Rose Murray’s latest cookbook
Rose Murray’s latest cookbook
oil and vinegar do mix

Lisa Makelki’s soon to open Oil & Vinegar shop
Lisa Makelki’s  Oil & Vinegar shop

Lisa Makelki’s new shop Oil & Vinegar features extra virgin olive oils from Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey, South America and California; high-quality grape seed oils from California; walnut, avocado and pumpkin oils and Mediterranean pantry items such as spices, mustards, tapenades and hand-made Italian pastas. “My mission is to have Edmontonians use these oils like Mediterranean people do,” says Lisa. “There is study after study that supports the Mediterranean diet and the importance of good quality olive oil to heart health.”

Oil & Vinegar, Commerce Place, 10155 102 Street, 780-705-7150, opening mid-September.

dinner in white

Ampersand 27’s Nathin Bye and Diner en Blanc platter
Ampersand 27’s Nathin Bye and Diner en Blanc platter

Chef Nathin Bye of Ampersand 27 had three things in mind when creating menus for Diner en Blanc. “Even though the food is made to be served cold it still has to have substance and good taste,” he says. “It has to stay true to the idea of a French picnic and the food has to be in the Parisian style of eating—nibble, take a sip of wine, share or trade a bit of bread and cheese.”

Guests chose from three options: the vegetarian Une Belle Soiree, salad, pecorino and house-made ricotta cheeses, house-made pretzels and mustards, a goat cheese vol-au-vent and a smoked single origin chocolate mousse. The Pièce de Résistance menu adds duck and chicken liver pate, a variety of house-made charcuterie, candied and smoked salmon, and a salted caramel marcaron. Saveur Traditionelle is a three-course dinner starting with a frisée and roasted beet tartlette, a confit Sunworks hen leg and thigh, marinated green bean salad, tomato, roasted fingerlings, and a vanilla and ice wine panna cotta. The organizers expect 1500 people this year on September 3. Let’s hope we don’t get hit with a deluge like last year.