September 18

DSC_0458Want to tell your chenins from your chards? Or learn why some wines taste like vanilla and others like butter? Learn to taste like a pro in a Wine Spirit Education Trust (WSET) program, taught in 58 countries, and in Edmonton by Natasha Susylinski and Mary Bailey. Level I Foundation begins Monday October 7; Level II, Intermediate, Tuesday October 8; Level III Advanced, Wednesdays October 9, For more info and to register visit the website.

September is urban homesteading month. Learn some old-fashioned culinary techniques to preserve food, such as fermenting and canning, and how to make your own yogurt at the Urban Homesteading Store (4917 51 Avenue, Stony Plain, 780-591-4566). Find the calendar of events online.

Lots of chef movement recently — Kevin Ostapek is back at The Bothy; Jimmy Frost, Heather Dosman and Filliep Lament have left Three Boars — Filliep to travel in Europe, Jimmy and Heather to set up in Victoria; and Shawn Hix has left Glasshouse Bistro for some renewal time. Christophe Ithurritze has left Sage Restaurant and moved back to the USA; and Corso meat chef/Moshburger creator Phil Marokus is taking a bite of the big apple in October. We wish them well and hope to eat their delicious food again soon.

LarryJust opened, Tavern 1903, Larry Stewart’s fabulous new bar/resto in the new/old Alberta Hotel across from Shaw Conference Centre. Highlights include house-made pastrami with rye crumb and sauerkraut, tangy KFC cauliflower bar snack, and the impeccably delicious mozzarella bar. Later in October: Mike Scorgie and Andrew Borley open Woodwork across from the Westin, and check out a new project helmed by chef Ben Staley on 124 street, North 53. Look for two new restaurants from Daniel Costa of Corso 32 late this year.

Saturday, September 28 is the grand opening at the new Italian Centre west end store (17010 90 Avenue). It’s packed with great stuff, the coffee is amazing, the staff helpful, and the managers all very good-looking. Come for tastings, entertainment and special promotions. Let’s hope Ralph and Adamo will be there cooking sausages. Don’t miss Rocco Papallo’s pizza, it is really good; he’s a trained pizzaiolo from Udine, Italy. The coffee? Paolo Pucci trained in Milan and has the official barista certificate to prove it.

Chefs Sonny Sung, Chris Hryniuk and Jess Jackson, Sorrentino’s.

If it’s fall, it must be time for Sorrentino’s Mushroom Harvest Festival! (September 1-30) Enjoy cooking classes, hunts with mushroom experts and a fabulous mushroom dinner Monday, October 7 at Sorrentino’s Downtown (10162 100 Street). Enjoy five sumptuous courses with wine, ($85 per person, gratuity and GST not included) by exec Sonny Sung and Sorrentinos’ Downtown chef Jeff Jackson. Special guest is Elena Capobianco from Tuscany’s Antinori Wine Estates. Book online.

Canteen (10522 124 Street, 780 485-6125) is on the short list for enRoute’s Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2013. (Past Edmonton restos include Corso 32, Wild Tangerine, Highlands Kitchen, and Culina Millcreek). The 35 contenders will be narrowed to 10 in November. In the meantime, you can vote for the People’s Choice Award, and win a trip to the gala in Toronto. Vote for Canteen.

Sommerville Wine Room & Bistro (10723 124 Street, 780-454-9463) becomes a gastro pub every Monday from 5-10pm. Expect well-crafted classic pub grub, bangers and mash, crispy beer-battered fish with hand-cut chips, by their British-born chef Neil Chamberlain. Monday nights gives them a chance to shift gears a bit, and showcase their growing craft beer selection. As a wise man once said: “it takes a lot of beer to make good wine.”


Adelino Oliviera with Brandi Dawson, Sabor Divino.
Adelino Oliviera with Brandi Dawson, Sabor Divino.

Sabor Divino (10220 103 Street 780-757-1114) just opened their main floor wine and tapas bar. One of our favourite wine people, Brandi Dawson, is behind the bar, dispensing tastes, tales and tapas nightly. Check it out!

On Wednesday September 25 enjoy a new wine event, La Ronde’s Wine and Food with a View with Misun Bu, certified ISG sommelier. Explore four Okanagan reds paired with four small dishes, $35 plus tax, grat included. Call 780-420-6611 for reservations.

Lots of delicious events open to both members and non-members alike at the Edmonton Petroleum Club (11110 108 Street, 780-474-3411). Call to book. September 8, Brunch, $29 non-members; September 20, Lobsterfest, $85 non-members; September 30, Winemaker’s dinner with Champagne Cottet-Dubreuil and Cava house Agusti Torello Mata, $130; October 18, Oktoberfest.

French wine lovers would enjoy the Chevaliers des Vins de France dinner and tasting, October 1. Email for details and tickets.

The inaugural Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship competition deadline for entry is September 21. Ten selected finalists will gather for the competition in Vancouver, Sunday October 27, for the opportunity to win $10,000 (provided by the Chefs’ Table Society of BC) and a stage at a top international restaurant. The scholarship program, started by chef David Hawksworth, is a non-profit culinary foundation created to help talented young Canadian chefs launch their careers. Judges include chef David Hawksworth, Normade Laprise, chef/owner of Montreal’s Toqu√© and Brasserie T, author Jacob Richler, Anthony Walsh, corporate executive chef of Oliver & Bonacini restaurants, and Vikram Vij, of Vancouver‚Äôs Vij‚Äôs. Chefs! Don‚Äôt delay. See all the eligibility requirements on the website or Facebook¬† and enter by September 21.