For the Love of Food: Eat Alberta 2011

Eat Alberta Logo Last summer, Valerie approached me with the idea of organizing an Alberta-wide food conference. Given the rising interest in buying local and the burgeoning online food community, she thought it was the perfect time to arrange a more formal opportunity for people to connect with one another, and learn more about the bounty we have in Alberta.

For many reasons, the province-wide aspect was dropped in favour of focusing on what we knew – Edmonton and its surrounding areas. We also downsized our original attendee target, realizing that the quality of the conference would be most important, especially because our hope was for this event to continue on an annual basis.

In the fall, we asked several other members of the local food community to join us in this endeavour – Sherene, a food blogger, Allan, a chef and blogger, and Mack, a social media guru. We also realized that the goals of this conference very much aligned with those of Slow Food Edmonton (of which Valerie, Allan, Mack and I belonged to already), and that it made sense for the event to come under their banner of promoting good, clean and fair food.

As a result, with Valerie’s leadership and through our discussions, Eat Alberta was born.

On April 30, 2011, the inaugural Eat Alberta conference will take place in downtown Edmonton. Through a mix of hands-on and demonstration workshops, tasting sessions, and presentations from some of the leaders of our food community – farmers, chefs and local food advocates – we hope that participants will learn how to use and source local food as well as develop nurturing and ongoing relationships with one another and with those that produce our food.

Here are a sampling of the sessions participants can look forward to:

  • Wine pairing workshop with The Tomato’s Mary Bailey
  • Hands-on artisan sausage making with chef Allan Suddaby
  • Goat cheese making demonstration with Holly Gale of Smoky Valley Goat Cheese
  • Honey tasting with Patty Milligan, aka Lola Canola
  • Slow-rise pizza dough lesson with Yvan Chartrand of Tree Stone Bakery
  • Home coffee brewing tips from Josh Hockin of Transcend Coffee
  • Keynote presentations from Jennifer Berkenbosch and James Vriend of Sundog Organics and Kevin Kossowan, who will share learnings from his “From Local Farms” project

Registration for the conference opens March 14, with early bird registration closing on March 31. Conference fees will include a small continental breakfast, lunch, and a glass of wine. Be sure to register early for the best selection of sessions!

I hope to see you there!

7 thoughts on “For the Love of Food: Eat Alberta 2011

  1. Yayy, I was just looking out for an opportunity to meet up with food writers and fellow bloggers, as I am a recent import into Edmonton. I have just registered for the conference. Thanks for organising this, and I look forward to meeting you all.

  2. You are such a beautiful writer, Sharon, and I love the maintaining of the history of this event. Was it only in the summer I mentioned this to you? I guess it was May or June… I am so glad that this is what has evolved and what a dynamic exceptional brilliant team. YOU GUYS ROCK!
    I am so excited about this day and the vibrancy of our food community! The winter market in city hall is brilliant… and I am thinking of links and connections there, too – as if this continues to be “the” winter market spot – the possibilities for collaboration within the local community at this one venue alone, are endless.

  3. I’m registered! Just have to say the “Bite out of Alberta map logo” is brilliant. Kudos to whoever designed it!

  4. Kendall – Eat Alberta definitely wouldn’t be possible without Valerie’s leadership and determination. We hope it will be a successful first go around!

    Michelle – thanks for registering! I look forward to meeting you.

    Valerie – feels like it’s been a long time coming, eh? Sometimes I can’t believe how many incarnations this conference has taken, but I, too, am glad for what it is now.

    Linda – thanks for joining us! The logo is all Valerie :).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s