For Alberta food lovers, Eat Alberta 2018: More with Less provided an opportunity to meet and work with Alberta chefs and entrepreneurs, smell vegan barbecue and even experience a bidding war over a silent auction item. From the stimulating keynote presentations to the tasty foods enjoyed at Ernest's and created in the kitchen sessions, we hope that our attendees had as much fun as we did.
Believe it or not, the story of how Sarah Louise Foster fell in love with cooking started at a truck stop diner in Strathmore. Not because of the food, but because the owners were her parents. Sarah now runs a vegan baking business and teaches vegan food classes in Edmonton, but for this self-taught cook, that experience helped inspire many important decisions in her life.
While we are thrilled people took advantage of our early bird promotion, we understand that others prefer to wait for us to announce our program. If you're one of those people, then we appreciate your patience, as it took some time, but we are now ready to announce not only our Eat Alberta 2018 program, but also when general tickets will be going on sale!
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.
Our final entry for the Eat Alberta 2017 session blog entries is “Tasty Tourtière.” When we decided to highlight French Canadian food for this year’s conference, we initially called this session “Pass the Poutine.” However, Steven Brochu, the head chef of Chartier was quick to help us look past the poutine when it came to this kind of cuisine.
If you visit Chartier in Beaumont, you will find poutine on their menu, but you will also find many French Canadian favourites that have been modified for modern food lovers. This includes tourtière, beef bourguignon and a smoked meat sandwich that made the Tomato’s 5th Annual Top 100 Best Things to Eat or Drink in Edmonton (check out #36)!
However, the principles behind the dishes remain the same, as they are still inspired by the combination of local seasonal ingredients to make hearty meals. For Eat Alberta 2017, we are excited to have Steven come to teach session participants about how to use Alberta ingredients to make tourtière.
There are still a couple of slots open for this session, so act now to ensure your attendance to “Tasty Tourtière” for Eat Alberta 2017: Back to Basics.
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.
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>>
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mountain View County is a rural municipality located between Calgary and Red Deer. Nestled against the picturesque foothills of the Canadian Rockies, Mountain View County is a mix of magnificent vistas, and some of the finest agricultural land in all of Canada.
Much like the county it is named for the Mountain View track is a mix Alberta's finest bounty. From learning to cook with rose hips, to preparing and cooking offal, the sessions in this track will expose to you to the best of Alberta food and take you on a wild ride!
Session 1: Cooking With Wild Rose.
Debra Krause and Molly MacDougall will be teaching you the whens and hows for foraging wild rose petals and hips, how to prep them for use in the kitchen, and some recipes you can make! Of course, there will be some wild rose goodies to sample as well!
Session 2: Offal Doesn't Taste Awful.
Elyse Chatterton will show you how to give a little love to these under appreciated animal parts. She will discuss how to select it, trim, and prepare it, and she will be cooking some fabulous Offal Tapas. Time for you to see if this old school ingredient deserves a place on your dinner table. If you'd like a preview of this class Elyse has a great introduction on her blog Life Without Lemons.
Session 3: Cooking From Your Root Cellar.
Kathryn Joel returns this year to teach Eat Alberta participants about using seasonal vegetables in early spring. This time of year in Alberta is the time to draw on the Root Cellar and the Greenhouse when it comes to eating local, so Kathryn will be using a selection from both in this class on eating local in early May. Expect a mezze selection of appetizers from the roots available at Old Strathcona, including Carrots, Beets, Sunchokes - and a smattering of produce from our local greenhouses too.
Session 4: Cheese Education and Tasting.
Addie Raghavan will guide you through a journey of aromas, flavours, and textures from cheeses that are young and fresh to those that are nutty and old. He will lead you through the science of cheese making, while talking about the cultural influences of cheeses from around the world. As the class winds down, the focus will shift towards Alberta cheeses and understanding the essence of terroir. You will leave the class equipped with ideas of how to prepare a cheese board, how to pair cheese and beer, and innovative ideas of employing cheese in the kitchen.
If you want to join in this wild Alberta adventure, tickets for the Mountain View track are available from yeglive.ca
Eat Alberta is pleased to announce we will be hosting our fifth hands-on food conference on May 2, 2015 in Edmonton, Alberta at NAIT (Main Campus).
Tickets for Eat Alberta 2015 will go on sale March 31st at 10:00 am. Tickets can be purchased from YEG Live. There are a limited number of tickets, be sure to buy early to avoid disappointment!
First up we would like to announce our keynote speaker this year - Takota Coen of Grass Roots Family Farm. Takota will be sharing his unique insight into how permaculture design can save the family farm. He will provide practical examples of how family farms everywhere can use the principles and design methodologies of permaculture to strengthen our local food systems, restore the environment, and ensure profitability. It will be a motivating and insightful start to the conference!
Following the morning keynote, you will be spoiled for choice with a fantastic line up of sessions hosted by local producers, chefs and food advocates. The full listing of sessions is available on our website, which, as fellow food lovers, we hope will excite you! There is truly something for everyone, from pie making to ramen, and cheese education to wild food, we have a diverse and unique collection of sessions that capture the spirit of Alberta’s food community.
We look forward to seeing you at Eat Alberta 2015 conference this year! If you have any questions about the event, please feel free to leave a comment below or via our social media accounts.