Kitchen Sink – March/April 2014

Wine tastings happenings & events

Icelandic chef Hákon Már Örvarsson joins chef Shonn Oborowsky for a collaboration, the Taste of Iceland dinners at Characters Fine Dining (10257 105 Street) March 5-8. Curious? So are we, call 780-421-4100 for resos.

Beer lovers! Don’t miss The Rock of Ales dinner Sunday, March 25 at The Marc (9940 106 Street, 780-429-2828, with Quebec’s fine Le Trou du Diable Brewery, Canadian Brewery of the Year, featuring head brew master Andre Trudel. Chef Bryan Cruz has paired the beers with dishes such as seared scallops with lemongrass, and confit of pork belly.

Y’all goes eh when Southern BBQ comes north at the Porkapalooza BBQ Festival June 13-15. Visit for info about team sign-ups and volunteering. More than $10,000 in prize money!

Accidental Sommelier wine tastings are $25 and begin at 7:30pm at Unwined Fine Wine, Spirits and Ales (#2, 512 St. Albert Trail, 780-458-4777, Tuesday, March 18, Beware the Wines of March; April 15, April in Paris.

Aligra Wines & Spirits (#1423, Phase III, West Edmonton Mall, 780-483-1083, upcoming tastings: Ole! Spanish Wine, March 11; Taste the Best of British Columbia at the Edmonton Petroleum Club, April 29. The second annual Tequilafest presents tequila master Eric Lorenz at the Edmonton Petroleum Club on May 2. Call Aligra for the most up to date ticket info.

Patios aren’t just for summer? No! Celebrate the end of winter at the Farewell to Winter Patio Party, March-14-16. Visit Café Bicylcette, the Hotel Mac or Café Tiramisu and check out all the other locations at

Don’t miss Hot Chefs, Cool Beats, Saturday, March 29. This year’s event rocks to a Hollywood theme with Little Village Food Truck; Century Hospitality, Nomiya, Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse, Duchess Bake Shop, Transcend Coffee, Drift, Tr√®s Carnales, Elm Café, Filistix, Bistecca Italian Steakhouse and the Shaw, and cocktails by Chuck Elves of Three Boars, and entertainment including The Rockin’ Highliners. Tickets, $125 at, support the High School Culinary Challenge and the Edmonton Community Foundation.

If you’re interested in wildlife/habitat conservation, sustainable food production and good ranching practices, don’t miss the Alberta Fish and Game Association’s Conservation Caravan when it rolls into town Monday, March 24. Tickets:

Visit to book tickets for the Eat Alberta conference Saturday, April 26. It’s workshop-style with a mix of tastings, presentations and demos highlighting Alberta foods and producers.

Mark the date for HOST, Edmonton’s first hospitality conference May 22-24, for culinary professionals and home kitchen masters, featuring Kevin Brauch, Christine Cushing and Marc Murphy. Tickets at

Experience Indulgence a Canadian epic of food and wine Monday, June 9; fabulous food/wine pairings from the city’s top chefs, food producers, Canadian wineries and craft breweries. The event introduces farmers to chefs and raises money for The Junior League of Edmonton and the NAIT Indulgence/Slow Food Edmonton student bursary. Tickets May 1,

Seasoned Solutions has several culinary tours planned: Kitskoty, June 20-21;
Medicine Hat, August 16-17; and Piedmont/Burgundy, October 11-22. Trips in 2015 include Peru and Portugal. Visit for information.

Keep your eyes peeled for the inaugural Relish Film Fest in early November, at Metro Cinema and select restaurants.

Restaurant buzz

La Ronde in the Chateau Lacombe (10111 Bellamy Hill, 780-428-6611) is now open for lunch. Experience their contemporary menu with spectacular views, Tuesday-Friday, 11am-2pm.

Corso (10345 Jasper Avenue, 780-421-4622) is closed February 17- March 2, but Bar Bricco two doors down should be open by then. We can’t wait!

Brava! One of Canada’s, no scratch that, North America’s best chefs, Lynn Crawford, is NAIT’s Hokanson Chef in Residence, March 10-14.

Knifewear, chefs’ favourite place to buy Japanese knives, is now open at 10818 82 Avenue.

District Coffee Company Café & Bakery opens early March (10011 109 Street, next to Allegro restaurant). Not only will District have the Nate Box/Elm Café savoir faire, it will offer Phil & Sebastian coffee from Calgary. There is talk of a summer patio.

Ryan Arcand’s Iconoclast Koffie Huis (11807B 105 Avenue, opens in March with an espresso bar and bean-to-bar chocolate making by Sjoukje Bouma’s Pinto Chocolate. The additional 150-seat event space will be catered by Culina’s Brad Lazarenko and Revel Events.

Sue Kiernan and chef Shane Loiselle have opened Daravara (10713 124 Street, 587-520-4980). Expect toothsome pub food with a Cajun twist – barbecued pork belly with black-eyed peas, hush puppies, of course, and hearty brunch dishes.

We’re thrilled about the April opening of Farrow, the new sandwich shop by the Three Boars’ dudes right next door (8422 109 Street). Expect daily sandwiches and coffee by Laine Cherkewick and Justin Benson, described as big time sandwich and coffee nerds. There may be pop-ups before opening – we can’t wait.

Cooking classes

The next Tomato Test Kitchen is Thursday, March 23 with Tomato editor Mary Bailey, chef Brad Smoliak, and special guests. The evening is a hands-on preparation and cooking class with wine, prizes and giveaways, tickets $125/pp at

Spring line up at Seasoned Solutions Cooking Classes: Saturday March 29, Portugal; Saturday April 26, Vietnam and Cambodia, $175 plus GST. Visit for information.