Food Notes for November 14, 2011

Edmonton finally gets its first snow (I’m not counting the bit that fell on Friday), and it was a pretty gorgeous snowfall to boot. On to this week’s food notes:

  • Not food related, but the snow is making me think about Christmas. Two great shopping opportunities this weekend – Handmade Mafia on November 19 at Orange Hall, and Make It, from November 17-20 at the Alberta Aviation Museum.
  • In the mood for chocolate? Then take advantage of the opportunity on November 19, 2011 from 1-5pm to sample a trio of chocolate flights at Kerstin’s Chocolates for just $5.
  • You can cook, but how are you with your partner in the kitchen? Chef Andrew Parker is hosting a couples cook-off for ten pairs on November 22, 2011.
  • Liane wrote about Smoky Valley Goat Cheese having changed hands. Glad to hear that Holly Gale is staying on to mentor the new owners to ensure a more seamless transition.
  • Liane also posted that the Taste of Ukraine has reopened in St. Albert (#40, 516 St. Albert Trail).
  • Lillian reviewed Mirabelle Macarons. Though several small macaron-oriented businesses have popped up over the year, they still haven’t become “mainstream”. What will it take?
  • It was nice to read about the Tea and Coffee Company last week – I have seen their coffee on the shelves at the Italian Bakery, but didn’t really know much about them at all.
  • I failed to link to this earlier – Yvonne discovered a McCafe in Commerce Place (on the second floor, in a renovated kiosk next to the existing McDonald’s). I’d be interested to put their espresso-based drinks up against Tim Horton’s new line of coffees.
  • Speaking of Tim Horton’s – their storefronts will be going the white collar way of Starbucks too. Expect softer lighting, wi-fi, and new menu additions. What say you?
  • I wasn’t able to make it out to the Chili Cook-off this year, so was happy Karlynn shared photos of the event.
  • Great piece in Vue Weekly about the development of the local food scene, featuring interviews with Blair Lebsack and Kevin Kossowan.
  • A similar article in the November issue of TechLife (NAIT’s monthly publication) on Blair’s quest to make local food mainstream in Alberta. I love this quote from instructor Hong Chew: “‘When we put a certain product on the menu, there has to be a story behind the product. That’s how you educate the consumer about where the food comes from.’”
  • This is the outcome of an economic downturn: a rap about “going dutch”.

6 thoughts on “Food Notes for November 14, 2011

  1. Check this article in The Globe and Mail about the coffee wars. Of course, it only makes reference to chains/restaurants but excludes places like Second Cup. As for myself, “Earl Grey, tea, hot!” 🙂

    While I wish Connie the best in her business, the thing with macarons is that it does not have an appeal for everybody, the same way cupcakes do not appeal to everybody (read: men). That’s one issue that was brought in a recent episode of Recipe to Riches when a chocolate banana bread was transformed into cupcakes.

    When I visited Latin America a couple of years ago, they already had McCafe’s (please keep in mind coffee culture over there is different from here, specially considering coffee is grown there). People didn’t look at it as a coffee shop, as much as an extension of McDonald’s. In fact, some people looked at me weird because I ordered a coffee plus a pastry and sat there for 30+ minutes…

  2. I just entered the Couples Cook Off! with my husband. It’s going to be awesome and imo, time to put my money where my mouth is 🙂

    Are you and Mack entering Sharon?

  3. Valerie – The Art of Macarons was another that started this summer. I’m sure there are others who have incorporated macarons into their repetoire as well.

    Kim – thanks for the link to the article. I think it will be interesting to see how McCafe encroaches on the business of Tim Hortons. I also remember some sort of cafe at a McDonald’s in Rome, though I can’t remember if it was under the “McCafe” brand. Cafe culture can be specific to the country, so no doubt these branded enterprises are designed with that in mind. But I agree with you – the McCafe does seem to be an extension of McDonald’s…at least until they open free-standing cafes. On macarons – I know I love seeing if they will “overtake” other baked goods as much as the next person (the other battle being when pies will become the new doughnut), but as a whole, can’t they just all coexist? I think there is room for all sweets :).

    Eva – thanks for that link! Sorry I missed it.

    Michelle – great to hear! No, we won’t be entering (I think we’d be better spectators than competitors anyway). Good luck to you and your husband!

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