Taste Alberta Launch

On December 1, 2010, the Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald launched Taste Alberta, a series to be featured in both papers on a weekly basis. Journal staff, local foodies, and area farmers were invited to the Shaw Conference Centre’s beautiful River Valley Room that evening to help celebrate the launch of the series.

Taste Alberta

Taste Alberta

Taste Alberta has been designed to become a central gathering place for those in the province who are interested in local food – reading about the food that is grown and processed in Alberta, where such products are available, and how best to prepare it. The series will run for thirty weeks.

Taste Alberta

Journal Food Editor Kerry Powell welcomes the hungry crowd

Based on their first few articles – featuring turducken, local company Mighty Trio Organics, and Bernard Callebaut’s new company, Papa Chocolat, to list a few – I can see the potential; there are so many stories that need to be told.

But content alone isn’t what sets it apart, nor could it – stories featuring Alberta producers are the core of the weekly Food section regardless. Taste Alberta seeks to be more than that: a go-to online resource that amalgamates everything food. They have links to local food and drink blogs, an event calendar, and a Twitter widget that imports food-related tweets. I know from Mack’s experience developing ShareEdmonton, it will be a challenge for them to collect everything – there is just too much information out there. That said, it’s great that the Journal and the Herald are attempting this Herculean task, and with their reach (and requests for reader submissions), it may be easier to do so.

Kerry acknowledged that they series would not have gone forward without the support from the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA), as well as Save on Foods. While ALMA makes sense as a sponsor (given the number of livestock producers in this province), I’m still not sure where Save on Foods comes in. Great on them for supporting this initiative, but I hope it means that they are also working on bringing in more locally-sourced product in their stores too.

The night really was a celebration of local food though, with stations around the periphery of the room offering hot and cold dishes prepared using ingredients sourced from area farmers. Several of my food blogging colleagues (Evonne, Karlynn and Chris, among them) did a better job of capturing the food than me, as I didn’t get to all of the stations, but here are a few highlights:

Taste Alberta

The miniature Lola Canola honey crème brulee, with a Berry Ridge Orchard Saskatoon berry compote set the bar pretty high – silky texture with a perfect balance between tart and sweet, it was the best (or worst) way to start off the sampling.

Taste Alberta

Thankfully, the Big Rock braised Sunterra bison short rib could handle the pressure – a knife would have made eating it slightly easier (it wasn’t quite fork tender), but the meat was nicely cooked. And the potatoes underneath? Creamy, garlicky goodness.

Taste Alberta

The mini Ardrossan free-range chicken burgers with roasted garlic mayonnaise weren’t bad either. The patty was moist and flavourful, and really could have been served on its own for that reason.

Taste Alberta

We are rarely without Irvings Farm Fresh pork products in our freezer, so there was no doubt we would enjoy their sausage, served with a barley risotto.

Thanks to the Journal for hosting the launch, and treating us to some great local food! I am looking forward to seeing what else Taste Alberta has in store for us in the coming weeks.

4 thoughts on “Taste Alberta Launch

  1. Thanks for the post and for coming to the party, Sharon. You’re right about this being a Herculean task! We’ll forge away and hopefully, over time, Taste Alberta will become the resource I imagine it could be.

  2. I noticed there was a new restaurant on Jasper, somewhere between 105 street and 103 street – it starts with ‘C’ – any idea if it’s open or what it’s name is?

  3. Kerry – thanks for the invitation! It was a great shindig. Best of luck with Taste Alberta – I am sure it will be very successful.

    Mmmelissa – yes, it is open!

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