Occupation: My day job is communications/media and government relations for Alberta’s dairy producers. My nights are spent on freelance writing and communications contracts. Up until a year ago, I was the editor of Vue Weekly‘s Dish section.
What did you eat today?
Breakfast was almond Oatmeal Crisp and 1%. Lunch was homemade beef stew, a tangerine and a grapefruit – supper was a Royal from Boston Pizza. I think I savoured a Granny Smith apple and a tiny package of Mini Eggs at some point as well.
What do you never eat?
I am definitely not much of a fish guy – unless it’s battered and deep fried. Bless you, Brit’s Fish and Chips.
What is your personal specialty?
I am a master at ordering the unexpected from any given menu. There is always something that I haven’t tried: something I can’t resist. The results are always unusual, and often delectable. As for the personal specialty I make myself, I make a terrific "dog’s breakfast" (that always starts off as an omelette).
Complete this sentence: In my refrigerator, you will always find:
Cheese. There is always an aged cheddar, and usually a havarti. Sometimes, on a very good day, a Sylvan Star gouda.
What is your weekday meal standby?
The beef dolsot b-bim-baab from B-Bim-Baab (formerly the Korean Gardens). I have yet to find any single dish that compares to the mix of veggies, rice, beef and fried egg served in a blistering stomeware bowl. Give it a quick mix and a brief shot of hot sauce, then take a serving. While your taste buds go into paroxysms of pleasure, the rice and veggies that remain are crisping against the sides of the bowl. The meal actually gets better as you go.
What is your favorite kitchen item?
The slow cooker. I can either have a roast ready for tomorrow night, or simply hurl in every veggie from my fridge that is threatening to spoil and come out six hours later with a killer soup.
World ends tomorrow. Describe your last meal.
Whuf. Nothing like an impending calamity to sharpen the ol’ taste buds… I would lay in a couple of bottles of wine – perhaps a Sangiovese and a Malbec, and leisurely take my time with my favourite dishes from around the city. I would start with sweet potato fries and corn fritters with jalapeno jelly from Da-De-O’s, then segue into a fresh floral salad from Inspired Market Gardens [ED: Gwen unfortunately doesn’t make salads anymore]. I would cleanse my palate with some of Leva Cafe‘s sorbet and start in on braised beef short ribs on risotto from Violino or the Manor Cafe‘s lobster thermidor. I would finish with Culina‘s cambazola toast dulce de leche and some loose white tea leaves from Steeps, and probably nibble on a white chocolate raspberry tart from Fresh Start on my way up to bed.
Where do you eat out most frequently?
I would say B-Bim-Baab, or Yeti Gourmet in Beaumont. When I have to factor in the under-five set in my family, Boston Pizza or East Side Mario‘s are safe havens.
What’s the best place to eat in Edmonton?
Culina. Yesterday, today and forever.
If you weren’t limited by geography, where and what would you eat?
I would want to try new things. I’m not talking about extreme eating or anything, but I would love to devour falafel from a street vendor in Marrakesh, try some yak’s milk cheese in the Himalayas or some suspicious-looking but divinely-smelling bowls of murky soup in a Japanese unagi-ya. That said, sipping my meal on an expanse of deserted white sand overlooking the azure Caribbean waters sounds pretty damn good as well.