Food Notes for March 11, 2019

My partner Mack’s startup Taproot Edmonton is doing local beat reporting in a variety of subjects, including technology, health innovation, music, and media. Subscribers can get these topical roundups delivered straight to their inbox, and starting this month, my Food Notes will appear as a food roundup! Taproot will be compensating me for this, but it won’t change the fact that Food Notes will continue to be published on my blog. Also, if you have subscribed to receive my blog posts through the Feedburner link, those e-mails will keep coming. Thanks for your ongoing support!

Chef Has the Chance to Become the First Edmonton-based Top Chef Canada Contestant

The new season of Top Chef Canada debuts on Food Network Canada on April 1, 2019, and Edmonton might finally have some local content to cheer for. Chef Alexei Boldireff of Baijiu will be competing alongside two other chefs for the chance to join the 11 other finalists. In the six previous seasons of the show, there has never been any Edmonton-based chefs selected for the program.

It’s also interesting to note that many of the competitors over the last few seasons have represented some of the same restaurants: Ayden Kitchen & Bar in Saskatoon, Fable in Vancouver, and Richmond Station in Toronto (opened by a previous Top Chef Canada champion). I’m sure the pool is limited to those who apply, but I’d like to think the talent in this country is deeper than the show has portrayed.


Upcoming Events

  • Food4Good announced the dates of their next several discounted Fruit & Veggie Sales: March 28, April 25, and May 16.
  • To commemorate Earth Hour on March 30, seven local restaurants have developed climate-friendly menus (read: vegetarian and locally-sourced options).
  • This year’s Chef in Residence at NAIT will be hosting a lunch on April 11, 2019. Enter here for your chance to win tickets.


  • Gangnam Street Food received a mostly positive review from the Journal, who praised its value and portion sizes.
  • Rat Creek Press reviewed La Bodeguita de Cuba, the restaurant that moved into the Alberta Avenue space formerly occupied by El Rancho.
  • Graham revisited 104 Street gem Tzin, and finds that the excellent food and service has not changed.

Local News

  • Frozen dumplings by Mai Nguyen (she has held several dumpling pop-ups at Prairie Noodle in the past) are now available at the restaurant.
  • People seem to love lists, and this one from Big Seven Travel on the 50 Best Burgers in Canada features 4 local entries: YEG Burger, 1st RND, Burger Baron, and The Burger Joint.
  • The latest Fast Food webisode features Langano Skies chef/co-owner Amsale Sumamo’s recipe for fül, a fava bean-based breakfast dish.
  • Linda shares a sponsored post on how to have a date night at The Rec Room.

Urban Agriculture and Farming

What I Ate

  • I definitely need a pick-me-up over the weekend, and Mack had great timing when he was able to snag the last two donuts from Farrow that day. The cereal milk icing paired nicely with a coffee from DOSC.


Cereal milk glazed Lucky Charms donut from Farrow

  • I was fortunate to attend the kick-off to the 15th annual Downtown Dining Week last week. This year, they have a record 50 participating restaurants (14 of them new), and for the first time, are offering weekend brunch menus alongside the lunch and dinner offerings. The event runs March 8-17, 2019. The best bite we ate that evening was the poached pear and lemon ricotta cake from the Hotel Macdonald – beautiful presentation and just the right amount of sweet.

Hotel MacDonald

Dessert from Hotel Macdonald’s Downtown Dining Week menu

  • My friend Su and I also met up for a Downtown Dining Week brunch at Central Social Hall. Neither of us had been for brunch before, and agreed that the ample windows made it an ideal daytime space. I enjoyed their take on a breakfast poutine (the kitchen was very generous with the cheese curds), but had only wished that the eggs had been soft poached. The doughnuts, on the other hand, had a great chew and subtle cinnamon flavour. For more brunch options during Downtown Dining Week, check out Andrea’s sponsored post.

Central Social Hall

The Cure from Central Social Hall

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