Food Notes for March 9, 2020

Planet Organic Closing Down

Two weeks after grocery store Planet Organic abruptly shut down one of its five Calgary-based locations, they announced they will be permanently closing all 11 of its stores.

In a memo to all employees, CEO Alan Thompson wrote, “We have tried to find a solution for the company but now it has come the time to recognize that despite the best efforts to restructure the business we are at an end."

The Edmonton area was home to four Planet Organic stores: in Oliver, Old Strathcona, Ellerslie, and Sherwood Park. Back in January, some vendors voiced their frustrations about the unpaid bills Planet Organic had failed to reconcile.


  • Links Woodfire Sausage Co. opened in early January in St. Albert (275 Carnegie Drive), offering wood-fire grilled sausage creations.
  • Wing Snob, an American-based chain, opened its first Canadian location in the Brewery District (11988 104 Avenue).
  • South African restaurant The Curry Bowl is now open on the south side, 3311 34 Street.
  • Nosh and Quaff, opened by the fine folks behind Mojo JoJo Pickles, kept their doors open at Kingsway Mall beyond the Christmas season. They stock many locally-made brands in addition to their own products. Find them by entrance 3.


  • The End Zone Pub, across the street from Commonwealth Stadium, is now closed.

Upcoming Events

  • Filistix is organizing the fourth Bayanihan Dinner Series, their multi-course meals involving a number of local Filipino chefs, on March 18, 2020. Tickets are $103.53 per person.
  • The City of Edmonton will be hosting a free workshop about the process and permits relating to opening food-related businesses like a restaurant or a coffee shop on March 31, 2020.
  • Hot Chefs Cool Beats, an interactive food and drink event benefiting the High School Culinary Challenge, returns to The Mosaic Centre on April 23, 2020. Tickets are $125 each.
  • From May to September, Kevin Kossowan will be leading foraging walks. Learn about edible plants that can be found along the river and in the forest. Tickets are $72 per person.


Local News

Urban Agriculture and Farming

  • Riverbend Gardens is taking a break from the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market until May 9 because they sold out of their storage crops.

What I Ate

  • Some Chinatown businesses seem to be struggling right now, due to a combination of factors including the economic climate and unfounded coronavirus fears. There’s a social media campaign using the hashtag #IWillEatWithYou as a means of combating these fears. If you are dining out – consider choosing Chinatown! I enjoyed pho with some colleagues over lunch last week at Pho Tau Bay.

Pho Tau Bay

My usual at Pho Tau Bay

  • Thanks to the High School Culinary Challenge for inviting me for their awards dinner on Monday night! This year, 57 students from 20 schools participated in the competition. Congratulations to the winners from St. Joseph, ME LaZerte and Archbishop Jordan High Schools on capturing gold, silver, and bronze, respectively. The chefs from the Edmonton Convention Centre prepared the 3-course meal, with their own interpretation of the competition parameters. The most interesting was a deconstructed minestrone soup, featuring a berlotti bean puree, satchetti, and a tomato bisque guests poured themselves.

High School Culinary Challenge

Deconstructed minestrone soup at the High School Culinary Challenge Awards Dinner

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