Eat Alberta 2017: Back to Basics

A focus on the cultural influences in Alberta cuisine. Each session will highlight one cuisine that contributes to Alberta's diverse culinary landscape.

Download the full program of presenters and sessions here.


Keynote

Presenter: Jon Hall

Jon Hall is an entrepreneur, community activist, and enthusiastic eater. After a career in TV production he moved into the not-for-profit sector where he worked with a wide variety of associations in youth, recreation, health, social services, and agriculture. He operated his own association management company for 14 years and was marketing manager for REALTORS® Association of Edmonton for 11 years.

As a volunteer, he chaired the Homeward Trust board, was founding chair of the REACH Coordinating Council, and served as Alberta provincial commissioner of Scouts Canada. He was also a founding director of the Edmonton Downtown Farmers’ Market Association that operates the downtown market on 104 Street.

Jon was married to Gail Hall for 34 years and shared her passion for local food and producers. Jon often washed the dishes at Gourmet Goodies and the Seasoned Solutions Cooking School, sampled the wares at 140 wineries and escorted, with Gail, over 35 culinary tours to local and international destinations in the past 20 years.

After being fed by Gail Hall for 34 years and attending hundreds of her cooking classes, Jon has just begun to cook for himself.  

Tasty tourtiere

Presenter: Steven Brochu | Cultural Influence: french canadian

French Canadian culture adds a unique flavour to Canadian cuisine that extends greatly beyond the well loved poutine. Largely based on hearty comfort foods and seasonally available ingredients French Canadian cuisine focuses heavily on readily available basic ingredients prepared in wholesome dishes that preserved the ingredients integrity. Tuck into some French Canadian dishes with Chef Steven Brochu of Chartier and learn to create a Quebecois classic. 

Steven Brochu is the head chef of Chartier in Beaumont, Alberta, where he uses locally sourced ingredients to bring French Canadian cuisine and inspiration to the community. Looking into old family recipes and stories have helped create a unique dining experience for guests at Chartier.

just like your baba used to make

presenter: Allan Suddaby | cultural influence: Ukrainian/eastern European

We have many Northern European and Slavic cultural influences that fit perfectly into our seemingly constantly frigid Alberta landscape. These cultures bring together a sense of community and a focus on preserving the bounty of a generally harsh and short growing season.  Allan Suddaby will tap into the cozy hygge cooking of Northern Europe and the rich cuisine of Eastern Europe and teach you basic preserving techniques and the secret of your baba’s kitchen favorites. 

Allan Suddaby is a chef and food educator in Edmonton, Alberta.  He is the Executive Chef of Elm Café and Catering, as well as a cooking instructor for Metro Continuing Education, and the the author of Edmonton food blog Button Soup.

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Bison, Bannock, and Beyond

presenter: shane chartrand & Cowboy smithx | Cultural Influence: Aboriginal Canadian

First Nations people lived off and understood our Canadian landscape long before Europeans settled our country.  Their understanding of surviving off their surroundings was profound and helped to support European settlers, trappers, and tradesmen find their way in this seemingly harsh landscape.  Agriculture has always played a large roll in the Canadian identity and economy. Combining the simple but hearty cooking techniques of the aboriginal communities with the golden wealth of the prairies allows us to view Canadian cuisine in a simple and stunning light. For the workshop attendees will get to create gallete (fried bannock) and bison stew.

Shane Chartrand is the executive chef at Sage Restaurant at the River Cree Casino and Resort. His drive to create and refine his progressive indigenous cuisine is inspired by what he sees trending around the world, then working to adapt those lessons molded by his indigenous culture while using local products to realize his culinary visions.

Cowboy Smithx is an Indigenous filmmaker of Blackfoot Ancestry from the Piikani and Kainai tribes of Southern Alberta, CAnada. Cowboy is the founder and curator of the highly acclaimed International Indigenous speaker series REDx Talks. Cowboy writes, directs, and produces film works in documentary, narrative, music video, and experimental. He was the youngest person to ever receive a Blackfoot Arts Award for his decades of work in the performing arts. Cowboy hosts the critically acclaimed podcast "The Silent X".

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chop suey on the prairies

Presenter: Kitty poon | Cultural influence: chinese

There is a Chinese restaurant in every town across the prairies.  The progression of these Chinese restaurants along the development of the railway has become a unique Canadian food culture on its own as traditional Asian comfort dishes were altered to suit the European palettes of the settlers. This session sponsored by Alberta Chicken Producers will focus on classic Canadian-Asian chicken dishes that settled here in the prairies. 

Kitty Poon has been around the local food scene for a while now. Born and raised in Hong Kong, she has over 30 years of experience cooking both Chinese and Western food in Edmonton. Beginning with the renowned local institution, The Creperie, for almost ten years, Walden for about two years and a few stints at various hotels around the city. She went on to NAIT Culinary School and graduated with her Journeyman Red Seal.  She eventually became a cook at the Edmonton General Hospital cafe, Rendez-Vous, for two decades, and now only works part-time in order to spend more time with family. Kitty is known for her delicious cooking and can master most dishes without a recipe. Spending time and cooking for her family brings her the most joy

Master of ceremonies

Mark COnnolly

Mark grew up in Edmonton, and in his teens actually worked at CBC Edmonton as a janitor. In this job, he gained exposure to the CBC sports department, and discovered what he felt was the perfect career - a job that appeared to involve little work and plenty of time to attend sports events. Perfect!

Mark's first full-time job was in radio in Fort McMurray Alberta, where he was the play-by-play voice of the Fort McMurray Oil Barons in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. He then worked in radio in both Red Deer and Edmonton before starting a weekend job at CBC Edmonton in December 1988, which has evolved through the years to his position today as Host of Edmonton AM.

In his decades with CBC, Mark has covered eight Olympic games including the recent Sochi Olympics, numerous world championships, and the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

Mark and his wife Alyson have two boys, Patrick and Jack.