September 26

Italian-Centre-SausageSaturday, 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.

Want 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.

Agusti Torello Mata cava.
Agusti Torello Mata cava.

Lots of delicious events open to both members and non-members alike at the Edmonton Petroleum Club (11110 108 Street, 780-474-3411)  including a winemaker’s dinner with Champagne Cottet-Dubreuil and cava house Agusti Torello Mata on September 30, $130. Next up: October 18, Oktoberfest. Call to book all dinners and events.

Enjoy two upcoming tastings at Aligra Wine & Spirits (Suite 1423, Phase III, West Edmonton Mall, 780-483-1083). October 9, Magnifi-Zins Zinfandel, and on October 23, Malbec Smackdown with sommeliers Stacey Jo Strombecky and Ken Bracke.

DSC_2914There are a few days yet to partake in mushroom menus and cooking classes during Sorrentino’s Mushroom Harvest Festival until September 30, especially the 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. Visit the website to book.

Learn how to clean out your pantry in the most delicious fashion with chef Richard Toll, September 26 at the Pan Tree Kitchen (220 Lakeland Drive, Sherwood Park, 780-464-4631).  On October 12 learn all about herbs with Deborah Anzinger, home economist and cookbook author.

CCFCC Dubai 2013 TeamThe Canadian Culinary Federation (CCFCC) has been invited to send a team to the world’s newest culinary competition, The Dubai World Hospitality Championships 2013 . The team is a stellar line up of previous Bocuse d’Or competitors: team captain Michael Noble (NOtaBLE, Calgary) 1995, 1997; Chris Mills (JOEY Restaurant Group, Vancouver) 2001; Andrew Springett (SAIT, Calgary) 2003; Scott Jaeger (The Pear Tree, Burnaby) 2007; Bernard Casavant (culinary consultant, Kelowna), 1991; Ryan Stone (Centreplate Group, Vancouver) 2011; Morgan Wilson (Fairmont Empress Hotel, Victoria) 2005; along with Arthur Chen, (Shaw Conference Centre , Edmonton) who has competed in World Culinary Olympics as a pastry chef since 2000. The team manager, Dr. Jane Ruddick, is also a Bocuse laureate. The Canadian judge in Dubai will be the Shaw’s executive chef and mentor to countless cooks and chefs across the country, Simon Smotkowitz. The competition runs November 17-19. Canada is taking part at the invitation of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and the Emirates Culinary Guild. The event is sanctioned by the World Association of Chefs Societies and it is expected to become the Middle East’s premier culinary competition. Who wouldn’t want to go to Dubai? Let’s hope everyone gets a few hours off to shop. Edmontonians will get a chance to taste the excitement at an event at Joey on October 9.

Learn to cook a turkey on the Big Green Egg at Hendrix (14515 118 Avenue, 780-454-0432) on October 5. Or, take part in a Thanksgiving Italian-style cooking class with Antonella Cascione, September 26, $59. Call to book.

Edmonton’s newest chocolate shop is Choklat in Old Strathcona (8111 104 Street 587-524-3117). All stock is crafted from imported cocoa beans, rather than imported chocolate from Valrhona, Michel Cluizel, Chocolate Barry and so on. Owner Brad Churchill roasts the beans to make the base chocolate in Calgary, which is then made into truffles and such at the Old Strathcona location. Check it out!

Support Alberta Ballet simply by going to dinner. Enjoy the Madame Butterfly menu at Wildflower Grill (10009 107 Street, 780-990-1938) for one week only, from September 30 to October 6. Enjoy four Japanese-inspired courses, such as this intriguing first course, Hokkaido squash crème with lotus and truffle, along with wine pairings for $85/per person, which includes a donation to Alberta ballet. It’s a don’t miss.