The Dish for May and June 2019

RGE RD’s 2019 Farm dinners; Bountiful Farmers’ Market opening soon, David Hawksworth is NAIT’s 2019 Chef in Residence, new Eau Claire canned craft cocktails.

The RGE RD team plate a farm-to-table dinner
The RGE RD team plate at their very first farm dinner at Nature’s Green acres

farm to table eating with rge rd
RGE RD continues its series of farm dinners with seven dates this summer, beginning with a dinner at Gold Forest Grains, Sunday, July 7 and ending with a dinner at Prairie Gardens (one of four), Sunday, September 8. Dinner at Nature’s Green Acres (the original RGE RD farm dinner) is Wednesday, August 17, and, there is a dinner at Riverbend Gardens on Sunday, July 21. The dinners are multicourse, served family-style with wine pairings and always, some surprizes. Find a way to go to at least one. They are magical affairs celebrating the bonds between farmer and chef and anyone who loves home-grown food. Tix: $165+/p,

Artist’s rendering of the new Bountiful Farmers’ Market
Artist’s rendering of the new Bountiful Farmers’ Market

market bounty on the south side

Look out for the new European-style, indoor, multi-day farmers’ market opening in June near 99 Street and 34 Avenue. The Bountiful Farmers’ Market plans to have its grand opening the weekend of June 21-23 with a cheerful celebration of local culture and food—chef demos, kids programming, cultural happenings, giveaways. Vendors we know of so far include Strathcona Spirits, Fieldstone Fruit Wines, Blindman Brewing, Irvings Farm Fresh, Delton Sausage, The Farmhouse Bakery, Arno’s, Riverbend Gardens. Check out Bountiful’s Instagram as they are announcing vendors pretty much daily. Plan to visit June 21-23, tons of parking.

Cchefs David Hawksworth (L), NAIT 2019 chef in residence and Nigel Webber, NAIT culinary instructor
Chefs David Hawksworth (L), NAIT 2019 chef in residence and Nigel Webber, NAIT culinary instructor

nait chef in residence is vancouver’s david hawksworth

David Hawksworth is a power chef. He rubs shoulders with the best in Canada and beyond; people listen to what he has to say. And he says Canadian chefs are underappreciated. What to do? Increase skills and visibility. In 2013, he launched the Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship Foundation, which runs an annual culinary competition for young chefs across Canada. The winner receives $10,000 and a chance to

stage (apprentice) at a restaurant of his or her choice. “There is not a lot of help for young chefs. It’s hard from them to be noticed,” he says. “The competition puts young chefs in front of a lot of people, chefs like Norman Laprise (Toqué! Montreal).” This April chef Hawksworth was the 11th chef in residence at NAIT. He spent the week with the culinary students, coaching, refining technique and helping them grow a bigger vision. Words of wisdom:

“To be a cook needs to be more prestigious than it is. Cooks should have to get their Red Seal to work in professional kitchens.

“You have to be a journeyman to be an electrician, so why not a higher standard for professional cooks?”

“Be aware of how physical the job is. Do you ever see a cook sitting down?”

NAIT’s Hokanson Chef in Residence program was made possible by a generous donation from John and Susan Hokanson. The program provides students with a rare opportunity to learn firsthand from the best chefs in North America.

Wilderness Kitchen’s hearty offerings
Wilderness Kitchen’s hearty offerings

hearty and rustic food for hikes at maligne canyon

The Maligne Canyon Wilderness Kitchen is now open summer hours, 8am-10pm daily, until September 30. Expect hearty and rustic—bison burgers, canyon poutine, pulled pork, grilled venison sausage, gardener’s flatbread—all served family style. There is a grab and go, if you just want to pick something up for the drive home after the hike. On Saturday nights, take the free shuttle from Jasper townsite or JPL.

Canned spirits from Eau Claire
Canned spirits from Eau Claire

new ready to drink cocktails from eau claire

Turner Valley’s Eau Claire Distillery is adding two new cocktails to its canned craft cocktail line up. Along with their gin and tonic, you can now try the Cherry Gin Collins and the EquineOx Mule. All use local southern Alberta ingredients, such as cherries, Saskatoon berries, prickly pear cactus and Eau Claire’s spirits, made with local barley, adding a unique prairie twist to the category.

“We wanted to create a family of canned cocktails that were refreshing and easily enjoyable for all your summer adventures,” said Eau Claire’s master distiller, Caitlin Quinn. We like the lower alcohol (six per cent) too. Sold in 355 ml cans, $14.50 per four pack.