Keynote Presentation

Eat Alberta is excited to announce John Schneider as the keynote speaker for our 2014 conference.  John will be speaking about ways in which we can exponentially increase the demand for local, organic food. He will give his thoughts on how to re-focus our attention on food advocacy and real-life ways to pressure law-makers to improve our food and agriculture systems. He will also offer a glimpse into life on his farm, and how he produces food for his family.

John Schneider is a sixth generation Canadian farmer. He and his family farm organic, heirloom grains and a bit of livestock just west of the town of Morinville, ten minutes north of St. Albert.  John and his wife Cindy also operate Gold Forest Grains, where they stone-mill grains into farm-fresh flour products that are sold in various retail locations in the city as well as at a permanent stall at the famous Old Strathcona Farmers Market. Well known bakeries like Dauphine and Bon Ton use Gold Forest Grains flour in many of their baked goods.  John’s interests have always included heirloom and ancient species of grains, vegetables, and livestock. The focus for him will always be the preservation of heritage varieties of food. An advocate for organic growing practices and local sustainable food production, John spends a good deal of time discussing, learning, and sharing experiences that can forward the progress of a more sustainable and healthy food system.

Alberta Fresh Water Fish Cooking Demo:  Blair Lebsack offers tips and tricks on sourcing and cooking Alberta fresh water fish.  Taste some for yourself and see why fish like pickerel and whitefish are fast becoming darlings of the culinary scene.

Basic Biscuits:  Erica Vliegenthart will teach you the mixing, shaping, and baking techniques necessary to make flaky buttermilk biscuits.  The class will start with a quick demonstration, followed by a hands-on session in which each student will make and take home some delicious buttermilk biscuits.

Beer Tasting: Neil Herbst of Alley Kat Brewery will give a brief description of the brewing process followed by a short survey of beer styles. Most importantly he will teach you how to taste beer by evaluating the colour, aroma, flavour, body, and aftertaste.

Composting: The healthy, affordable, and sustainable way to nourish your vegetable garden.  Learn the why, where, when, what, and how of composting from local expert Michael Kalmanovitch.

Cider-Making:  Cider is the most energy-efficient and most delicious way to preserve our region’s enormous quantities of apples.  Allan Suddaby will tell you everything you need to know to convert apples into hard cider, including how to collect, crush, press, and ferment the fruit.

Cheese Tasting:  Kris of Everything Cheese will present an array of Alberta cheeses and discuss how they are made, and why they taste the way they do.

Curry with Alberta Pulses:  Michelle Peters-Jones makes ethnic food local!  Learn to make simple, flavourful ethnic vegetarian food using local ingredients. You will use Alberta’s own lentils and chickpeas as the base for two classic Indian dishes, a traditional masala dal and chhole (chickpea) masala. You will also learn more about Indian food, and how to make your own spice mixes.

Fermenting Vegetables:  In this session you’ll turn some simple veggies into a delicious Latin-American twist on sauerkraut called cordito. In the process you’ll learn the principles of safe lacto-fermentation, how to adapt recipes, and why fermented foods really are that good. Megan Miller will also send you home with a jar full of cordito and the confidence to ferment at home all year long.

Jowl Bacon:  Pig face bacon: what have you been missing out on?!  Make your own bacon from the best part of the pig: the head. Become curing-salt smart, as the stuff can seriously harm folks if you mess that bit up. Never tried guanciale [dry cured pork jowl]? If not, you and Chad Moss have a date! If you ever buy bacon from a store again, Eat Alberta will eat their hat.

Nose to Tail Pork:  Do you ever feel disconnected with the food you eat?  Does all your meat come in sealed bags and plastic trays? Ever wondered why a pork chop from the front of the pig tastes different from one at the back? In this hands-on butchery class Elyse Chatterton will demonstrate nose to tail pig cutting and teach you some traditional English butchery skills.  You will learn which cuts of pork are best, why different cuts require different cooking methods, and why they can taste so different from each other.

Potato Tasting: Few ingredients are as versatile as the humble potato.  There are dozens of varieties available at our local markets: Which are best for mash?  What about French fries? Or perogies?  Chef Nigel Webber will teach you everything you need to know about the under-appreciated tuber.

Pumpkin Ravioli:  In this session Kathryn Joel will teach you how to make perfect pasta dough from scratch, with nothing but eggs and flour, and what to look for when you tackle your first batch of fresh pasta on your own.  Then you’ll be rolling out pasta dough to make your own ravioli, stuffed with a simple but delicious pumpkin filling.

Scratch Soup:  One of the few dishes that crosses cuisines and cultures, soup is found on dinner tables around the world.  From light broths to hearty chowders, it’s a delicious way to make a complete meal for a group of two or two hundred.  Though many recipes use long-simmered stocks as their base (we’ll talk about those), just as many can be made in 30 to 45 minutes with tremendous flavour.  In this class Elaine Wilson will teach you to make your choice of a Thai or TexMex broth to take home and complete with legumes, meat, seafood, grains, or vegetables.

The Whole Chicken: In this session Nevin Fenske teaches you how to properly de-bone and break down a whole chicken. From there you will learn the process of making chicken stock, as well as discuss the benefits of using a brine prior to cooking the bird.