Food History

Back to Basics and Loving It!

Back to Basics and Loving It!

On April 23, we hosted Eat Alberta 2017: Back to Basics at the NAIT Hokasan Centre for Culinary Arts. So much good food was made, shared and enjoyed, while attendees learned more about the history of Alberta foods.

Since we were coming back after taking a year off with a new format, we were hoping to return stronger than ever, so it was so encouraging to see so many people looking forward to our sixth conference. However, we were most proud to see how full everyone’s tote bags were at the end of the day and we hope that everyone enjoyed what they made at Eat Alberta 2017.

Eat Alberta 2017 Session – Chop Suey on the Prairies

Next up for our Eat Alberta 2017 session blog entries is “Chop Suey on the Prairies” and we are excited to announce that our session presenter will be Kitty Poon.

Kitty has over 30 years of experience cooking Chinese and Western food in Edmonton and attained her Journeyman Red Seal from NAIT Culinary School. She has cooked at The Creperie, Walden, various hotel restaurants and the Edmonton General Hospital café, Rendez-Vous.

Chinese restaurants have a strong presence in Alberta and the food has a very interesting history spanning all the way back to the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. At the session, participants will learn how a couple of Canadian-Asian favourites, Kung Pao Chicken and Chicken Spring Rolls.

Session participants will also get something a little extra, thanks to session sponsor Alberta Chicken Producers, as at the end of the session, each participant will get a cookbook and recipe card.

To take advantage of this great opportunity to learn more about Chinese food in Alberta, while getting some free stuff, make sure to pick “Chop Suey on the Prairies” as one of your sessions when you register for Eat Alberta 2017: Back to Basics.

Register Now>>


Once you’re done, check out our recent blog post about the history of Chinese Food in Alberta, Early Chinese Settlement in Alberta and How Chinese Restaurants Helped Establish Community>>

Eat Alberta 2017 Session – Indigenous Workshop

This week, we are highlighting our “Indigenous Workshop” session, which is presented by Shane Chartrand.

Agriculture and food are a key part of Alberta’s history and economy. For the First Nations, their cuisine heavily relies on resourcefulness and creativity to make hearty dishes that are still enjoyed today. As the Executive chef at Sage Restaurant at the River Cree Casino and Resort, Shane creates dishes that refines indigenous cuisine through local foods and using food trends from around the world.

However, while First Nations are an important part of Alberta’s history, indigenous foods are not as prevalent in Alberta restaurants compared to other types of cuisines. Therefore, Shane’s vast knowledge and passion about indigenous foods provides a great opportunity for participants to learn more about the history and secrets behind this culture’s unique dishes.

If that sounds like something you would be interested in, then make sure to mark “Indigenous Workshop” as one of your preferred sessions when you register for Eat Alberta 2017: Back to Basics.

Register Now>>


Still not convinced? Then we encourage you to check out, “The Food of Our Land,” a recent article by Avenue Magazine that interviews multiple local chefs, including Shane Chartrand, about what indigenous cuisine is and the importance of keeping these foods relevant in Edmonton.

Eat Alberta 2017 Keynote – Jon Hall

An entrepreneur, community activist and enthusiastic eater are a few ways to describe Jon Hall, our keynote speaker for Eat Alberta 2017: Back to Basics. With his wide involvement in the provincial food community and the passion shown to multiple organizations, we thought his expertise was a perfect fit for celebrating the history and culture behind some of Alberta’s favourite foods.

Alongside his wife of 34 years, chef Gail Hall, Jon supported local food and producers through his role as a founding director of the Edmonton Downtown Farmers’ Market Association and helping out at Gourmet Goodies and Seasoned Solutions Cooking School.

That experience has filled him with knowledge that he is excited to share with Eat Alberta 2017 participants, so we encourage you to register now so you don’t to miss out on Jon’s keynote address.

Also, don’t forget that Eat Alberta 2017: Back to Basics is the perfect hands-on opportunity to learn about the history of various cuisines in Alberta. Check out our Sessions & Presenters webpage to learn more about Jon Hall and our session presenters, or our FAQ page if you have any questions.

Register Now>>

Eat Alberta 2017 Session – Just Like Your Baba Used to Make

First, we are so grateful for the support Eat Alberta 2017: Back to Basics has received leading up to our ticket release a few days ago. With over 40% tickets sold already, we are thrilled that people are excited for this year’s conference.

For the next few weeks, the Eat Alberta blog will highlight our conference’s session presenters and keynote speaker.

First up is Allan Suddaby, who will help people make food “just like baba used to make.” A very involved chef in the Edmonton community, Allan Suddaby provides creations as the Executive Chef of Elm Café and Catering and educates people through classes and his food blog, Button Soup. We are excited to bring him back for Eat Alberta 2017, as he will explore the rich history of Northern European and Ukrainian foods in Alberta and teach participants valuable skills and secrets to cook these dishes.

Interested? Then don’t miss your chance for “Just Like Your Baba Used to Make” to be one of your preferred sessions at Eat Alberta 2017: Back to Basics.

Register Now>>

Early Chinese Settlement in Alberta and how Chinese Restaurants Helped Establish Community

Early Chinese Settlement in Alberta and how Chinese Restaurants Helped Establish Community

Almost everyone’s had it. Western Chinese food – lemon chicken, ginger beef, green onion cakes and chop suey, to name a few. Almost every small town rural Alberta has a Chinese restaurant. Growing up in Alberta, you or your family must have grown up at least going to a Chinese restaurant for dinner or ordering take out on a somewhat regular basis.

This month, in lead up to our event on April 23, 2017, we would like to go back to basics and learn what has made the Alberta food community to what it is now. So there’s no better time to introduce how the establishment of Chinese restaurants in the Alberta prairies came to be, than now. Chinese New Year – the Year of the Rooster to be exact – is just around the corner on Saturday, January 28, 2017. Let’s celebrate by taking a mini-history lesson.