Oct 19 2016

go for the gold

The Edmonton Gold Medal Plates competition rolls this Thursday night with two extraordinary guest judges: chef Ryan O’Flynn, 2015 national champion and Karl Johann Unnarsson, executive chef of Hotel Ranga in Iceland, one of the new destinations for Gold Medal Plates trips. The event is sold out — follow on instagram or twitter @tomatofooddrink or #GMPEdmonton. Meet the 2016  competitors here: https://thetomato.ca/2016-september-october/meet-2016-gold-medal-plates-contenders

The competing chefs have always been the heart and soul of this event but it can be tough (and expensive) to leave their restos to compete. How to make it easier to compete and more fun to win? New this year: each team’s food budget increases by $500, all the teams receive their own dining experience right after the competition and each chef gets two free tix for spouses or family to attend the event in their city. Here is the fun part: the winning chef in each city receives a one week Vineyard Villa Package at Borgo San Felice, in the heart of Chianti. Sweet!

love animals?

Red Ox Inn holds its third annual fundraiser dinner for the Edmonton Humane Society on Monday, October 24. It’s a lovely group effort, suppliers donate some of the food and the staff their time. We are big fans of Sean O’Connor’s cooking; here’s a chance to enjoy six delicious courses with wine and help the Society too. We have heard that there is a few tix left, $165 each, call 780-465-5727 to book.


North 53 (10240 124 Street 583 524 5353, http://north53.com) is now offering Sunday brunch from 11am-3pm. Their casual atmosphere (complete with a DJ spinning mellow grooves) is a relaxed spot to spend a Sunday afternoon catching up with friends. Indulge in a few brunch cocktails such as the London Fog or the Fruit Loop (tastes just like cereal milk) and the stick-to-the-ribs menu. We love the build your own stack, buttermilk pancakes at $2 each with a host of toppings both sweet and savoury, the vegetable pie redolent with south of the border flavours and the over the top delicious buttermilk fried chicken sandwich, complete with poached egg. Soon to join the North 53 family is Baiju, downtown in the Mercer building before the end of the year.

chicken sammie at north53 brunch

chicken sammie at north53 brunch

YEG Coffee Week is on ‘till October-22, plenty of time to enjoy good coffee and events such as speed dating at Café Rista or an embroidery workshop at the Barking Buffalo Café. Find all the details at http://www.yegcoffee.com. Speaking of coffee, love this story about Lock Stock founders Sal Di Maio, Blair McFarlane and Jason Thompson http://edmonton.com/story/deep-roots/.


holiday dining deals at pampa until october 30

Pampa offers some great deals for dinners booked from November 18 to January 14, 2017 for parties of 15 or more. Receive either one $150 promotional gift card or a $25 gift card for each guest.

The cards need to be used between Monday January 16 and Thursday March 30, Monday to Thursday dinner only (and not on Valentine’s Day). Until October 30. Visit http://pampasteakhouse.com/edmonton/2016/10/11/holiday-season-gift-card-promotion to book.


bagna cauda

Bagna Cauda is a savoury dip for vegetables from the Piedmont region of Italy. Serve it warm with raw fennel, celery, carrot, cauliflower, peppers, radicchio, endive and lightly cooked vegetables such as turnip or parsnip. Dip vegetables into the sauce, holding a slice of rustic bread underneath to catch drips, then eat the bread. Bagna cauda is a marvellous dish to celebrate vegetables and strong earthy flavours, though you will surprized at how friendly the garlic is. Drink with a young and fruity Barbera, as the forthright flavours overwhelm elegant Barolos or Barbarescos. This recipe is courtesy chef Pietro Baldi, a cooking instructor in Asti.

120 gr anchovies packed in salt
80 gr garlic
30 gr butter
200 gr milk
120 gr extra virgin olive oil

Remove the salt from the anchovy with a little water and remove the bones. Clean the garlic, remove the sprout, then chop garlic finely in strips and cook in oil over medium heat. When cooked and begin to brown add the cleaned anchovies and melt over medium heat. Add a knob of butter and a bit of water if it looks too dry. Mix well. Serve warm, at 70°C, with both raw and cooked vegetables.

Serves 4-6.