iDish – March/April 2014

KDALogoThe kitchen is the heart of the home

Built a new kitchen lately? Proud of it? Enter your kitchen in the Tomato Kitchen Design Awards (TKDA). Submissions open March 14 and close April 25. TKDA is open to architects, builders, contractors, designers, developers, and do-it yourselfers offering awards in several categories, including outdoor kitchens. See submission rules and regulations at

Eat drink dance

Part business incubator, part raucous party, the Hawker’s Market, created by Chris Jerome, offers fledgling food businesses an opportunity to work out kinks or try out new ideas and products. Expect vendors like Mojo Jojo Pickles; food trucks Parts and Labour, SailinOn, and Drift; holistic nutritionist Alison Landing; Chad Moss grilling pecorino cheese, and the South Island Pie Company (see Judy Schultz’ column on New Zealand’s love affair with meat pies). Entry is $10, with food chits ranging between $5-$8. Hawker’s Market, April 22, Mercer Warehouse, 10363 104 Street, don’t miss it! Tickets at

Grow your own

nait1You could say NAIT culinary has become an urban homesteader, part of the burgeoning do-it and grow-it yourself movement. Aspiring chefs will no longer open plastic packets of herbs nor purchase from a local grower or greenhouse. Instead, they’ll step over to the Urban Cultivator and harvest cilantro, basil and other herbs and microgreens for their dishes. According to Tarren Wolfe, founder of Urban Cultivator, the device is the world’s first commercial-sized appliance able to grow fresh, organic micro-greens and herbs every day of the year.

A new meaning to eating by candelight

horsesLong underwear? Check. Wool socks? Check. Thin merino sweater, thick sweater, down vest, several scarves, check. Getting dressed for the Rge Rd winter dinner at Natures Green Acres farm took almost as long as getting there. All well worth it, from the first Dr Zhivago moment in a Percheron-pulled sleigh, cosy in furs and sheepskins, to the last bite of the warming bread pudding under an impossibly starry sky. We love Blair Lebsack’s interpretation of Alberta food and this was a bravura performance; five courses cooked outside on several types of stoves. We’re still marvelling that plates and foods stayed hot while there was no issue keeping the Nova Scotia bubbles cold. Everybody was a good sport, though I did hear of a hefty cash offer being made for a Canada Goose parka.

The heart of the matter

LiannaLiana Robberecht, executive chef of the Calgary Petroleum Club was the special guest at Taking it to Heart, Alberta Canola’s fundraiser for Heart and Stroke held in February at the Edmonton Petroleum Club. Chef Robberecht is considered an über chef by her peers in Calgary; it’s good to see movement between the cities’ chef communities.


Happy new year!

CoupleOutsideA traditional lion dance, popping firecrackers and delicious food greeted guests at the Tét celebration of the Vietnamese lunar new year at Hoàng Long Casual Fare, David Vu and Cecilia Hoàng’s newest restaurant on 109 street. Their first small restaurant in Chinatown opened a few decades ago, leading to two west end locations. Now they are coming back downtown in a big way, opening near 100 Avenue in the summer. We love the fresh flavours of Cecilia’s cooking and the convenient eat-in or take-away ease of the 109 street location.