Food Notes for October 12, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving to you! Mack and I were treated to a wonderful dinner at Kim and Shane’s house last night – somehow, turkey just tastes better when it’s cold out, doesn’t it? Anyway, I hope you all had a great holiday weekend as well!

  • Though the City Centre Market just celebrated its last weekend, some of the vendors will be taking part in the Olde Time Fair on the Square on October 17, along with traditional carnival games, horse and wagon rides and roving entertainment.
  • Also this weekend is the North of Nowhere Expo, which, among other social justice themes, will be examining food security. On their October 16 opening night, which happens to fall on World Food Day, head to the Stanley Milner Library for two food-themed films, a complimentary buffet and a food security and organic trade fair. More information here.
  • See Magazine had a great piece about local farms, and whether or not they would be able to feed the city. Definitely worth a read.
  • The Green & Gold Garden (which I visited back in August) was a success! The project raised over $16,000 for Tubahumurize, a non-profit organization that helps support marginalized women in Rwanda. Check the website for their plans for 2010.
  • I was sad to have missed the Slow Food Edmonton backyard apple pie party – Liane’s writeup made it look like a lot of fun.
  • I was happy to see Paula’s review of the new restaurant Urban China (in the retooled Rosie’s, 10604 101 Street) on Yelp. From the looks of it, I may want to take my parents there for dim sum some time.
  • If you’re curious about which restaurants in the city serve gluten-free dishes, check out this article in Avenue Magazine’s October issue.
  • This is neat – Canon gave 13 celebrity chefs cameras and asked them to create images around the theme of “food for thought” over a 6 month period, and as a result would donate $25,000 to Food Banks Canada. Chefs that participated included Michael Smith, Anthony Sedlak and Susur Lee.
  • Speaking of Susur Lee, Eater NY has placed Shang, what was supposed to be Lee’s divine introduction to the Manhattan hoards, on deathwatch.
  • What will Ruth Reichl do after Gourmet? Well, write a book of course.
  • The online food love the Duchess Bake Shop has been shown is unprecedented – since it opened on October 2, there have been no less than six blog posts about it: Eat My Words, Crazy White Girl with a Kitchen, Brulee Blog, Foodie Suz, Cream and Sugar and well, my own. I am happy to see a local small business get so much press, but who knew macarons could get the city’s bloggers into a tizzy? Anyway, my sister requested a banana cream pie for dessert at our family’s hot pot dinner, so I obliged, and put a pie on hold the day prior. Good thing I did – when we arrived at Duchess on Saturday afternoon, the dessert case was absolutely cleared. We asked for our triumphant hold, and brought the vanilla-bean flecked whipped cream wonder home. The pie received a mixed review though – Mack and I loved the velvety custard and my Mum commented that the sweetness was just right, but Amanda said she wished the crust had been baked a touch further, and my Dad said still preferred his pie from Bee Bell Bakery. So as with most things – you’ll just have to try one and make up your own mind.

Banana Cream Pie from Duchess ($18)

3 thoughts on “Food Notes for October 12, 2009

  1. CBC radio one’s weekend morning program, Daybreak Alberta, has started a series about places to have breakfast in at least Edmonton and Calgary. I’m not sure if they’ll venture outside of the two major cities. It started last weekend and information is already up on their website ( Thanks for continuing your great blog.

  2. Pretty sure you were just being a bit facetious, but the excitement over Duchess isn’t just about macarons. Of course, I can only speak for myself and my post in particular. So I just have to say this:

    It’s about Edmontonians coming home to roost and making it a better place in the process. It is about specializing, demanding and creating quality and becoming excellent at your one little thing in life. And especially about being excited and proud about it – rightfully so. It’s about setting your own trends, not just following them. Yeah, I’m looking at you, Fuss and Flirt.

    It’s about people giving a damn about food again, and making a store become a destination, not an afterthought. Every time I’ve been in there in the past week, there have been excited people, on both sides of the counter. Strangers give unsolicited and incredibly enthusiastic reviews of their favourite items to cautious browsers who stumbled in through the snow. That just makes my heart soar.

  3. You’re right, Edmonton doesn’t have many non-restaurant food destinations, and I am also happy to see the community-building such a place invites. I have to say I still am surprised at how much of a stir Duchess has made in such a short period of time, even with their niche and quality product. It’s something I have never seen in Edmonton, with the excitement matching some of the frenzy I only read about in places like New York. At least for the local food blogosphere, this is a first.

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