Food Notes for February 18, 2019

“Restaurant Realities” Campaign Backlash

Last Tuesday, Restaurants Canada, led by Board Chair Patrick Saurette (from The Marc), held a media conference to launch their Restaurant Realities campaign. Speakers shared statistics about the loss of hospitality jobs, increase in operational costs, and decline in foodservice sales in Alberta, attributing these to some of the policy changes made by the current provincial government, such as minimum wage and holiday pay increases, and the carbon tax. They released a promotional video featuring many local restaurant operators who share the hardships they have faced. Italian Centre Shop President Teresa Spinelli, who mentions in the video how challenging it is to employ people with disabilities with the current minimum wage, faced immediate criticism on social media, and has since tried to clarify her company’s stance on fair and equal pay.

Restaurants Canada

The event was further politicized when United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney delivered a policy statement about decreasing the minimum wage for youth workers and alcohol servers should he win the election. Garner Beggs, co-owner of Duchess Bakeshop and Cafe Linnea, publicly stated that he would support a reduction in pay for younger staff. However, two days later, the company posted a statement clarifying that Garner was not speaking on behalf of the businesses.


  • Congratulations to Brio Bakery for the opening of their brick and mortar location in Oliver Exchange (12021 – 102 Avenue) last week!
  • The latest type of plant-based establishment to open is the Sly Fox Vegan Butcher at 10722 124 Street, offering plant-based meat alternatives. The business is run by the same folks behind The Clever Rabbit (and is in the same divided space).
  • A new butcher shop called Meat Head is on the verge of opening, located at 7664 156 Street.

Upcoming Events

  • Aditya (Addie) Raghavan is back from India! He will be sharing many of the delicious flavours and foods he discovered through his extensive travels in India at a pop-up dinner at Get Cooking on March 4, 2019. Tickets for the 8-course meal are $90.
  • The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Taste of the Chamber on March 6, 2019 at the Jubilee Auditorium. General admission tickets are $30, and sampling tickets are $1 each.
  • The Roundhouse is hosting a free information and networking session for those running food businesses that “address food security, income, and other social issues". It is taking place on March 6, 2019.
  • The next Prairie on a Plate dinner will be held at Cafe Linnea on March 7, 2019. Tickets for the 3-course dinner are $55.
  • The Canadian Agri-Marketing Association is sponsoring a free movie screening on March 11, 2019 of Before the Plate, a 2016 production that captures 8 different farm operations to showcase how food is produced. Pre-registration for the event at MacEwan University is required.
  • Save the date: the annual Culinary Cook-off at Mount Royal is taking place on April 13, 2019.


Local News

  • Have Mercy’s revamped menu features dishes that are all priced at $7.95.
  • Liane shared the sad news that Bistro Praha co-owner Sharka Svajgr has passed away from cancer.
  • The Cove Tea is hoping to crowdfund $5,000 through ATB BoostR to help open a tea shop.
  • Hansen Distillery has started their one year countdown to the end of the three-year aging process required for whisky. It will be the first Canadian whisky made in Edmonton.
  • Chartier is recruiting a new head chef to replace the departing Steven Brochu. They have put together a beautiful recruitment video.
  • Sharman recaps the recent Swine and Dine dinner held at Salz.
  • Inspired by Sugared and Spiced’s popular Cake Club, Culina is offering a Catering Club. It includes three 4-course dinners for 8 people. It is priced at $999, with 30 memberships available.
  • The local bloggers behind Sugar Loves Spices offer private cooking classes.

What I Ate

  • My first day back at work after my maternity leave coincided nicely with a team lunch at The Moth. I tried their tofu clubhouse and enjoyed it well enough; I found the avocado to be a nice addition.

The Moth

Tofu clubhouse and garlic hash from The Moth

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