Culinary Q & A with Courtenay

Courtenay2Occupation:  Speech-Language Pathologist

What did you eat today?

Breakfast: special K vanilla almond cereal with milk

Lunch: cucumber slices, sugar peas, strawberries & blueberries.  A sandwich with cream cheese, sundried tomato pesto, green olive with pimento, leftover rotisserie chicken and mixed greens on sourdough. 

Dinner: spinach-strawberry salad, slow-cooked smoked ribs with roasted potatoes and grilled asparagus.

What do you never eat?

Smoked oysters

What is your personal specialty?

Hmmm…it’s got to be something baked.  Maybe multigrain bread or chocolate cake. 

Complete this sentence: In my refrigerator, you will always find:

Olives and cheese.

What is your weekday meal standby?

Grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup (preferably homemade).

What is your favorite kitchen item?

My spiffy red KitchenAid stand mixer.  I’d be so sad without it!

World ends tomorrow. Describe your last meal.

An antipasti plate with some cured meats, cheeses and olives with some fresh chewy bread on the side, a fresh salad, delicious fresh-made pasta with mushrooms and truffle and seared fish.  Lots of delicious red wine and creamy rich tiramisu for dessert with a glass of moscato.  Perfection. 

Where do you eat out most frequently?

My favourite place is the Sugar Bowl.  It just makes me happy.  I could eat there anytime of day and I love everything (especially the cinnamon buns and the popcorn)

Where’s the best place to eat in Edmonton?

In my mind there are many “best” places, and I couldn’t narrow it down, so I’ll just list some favourites: Syphay Thai, DaDeO’s, Corso 32, Madison’s Grill, Piccolinos, Koutouki Taverna…and the waffle truck at the City Market (this is an abbreviated list but there are just so many!)

If you weren’t limited by geography, where and what would you eat? 

Okay, if there were no limits I would head back to Bangkok.  When Trevor and I were there in the fall we found this amazing little hole-in-the-wall place (that all major food critics and guide books have recommended) and it was SOOOO good.  It’s called Chote-Chitr and we let the owner order for us.  The first time we went we had sweet and sticky noodles, which are like a crispy fried rice noodle with a tangy-sour-sweet sauce and it comes with greens and herbs to mix in.  We also had red curry with river prawns – it was heaven.  I could have eaten it everyday…but instead we tried the fresh crab with yellow curry the next time we visited, also amazing.  It was one of those places that you feel fortunate to have visited…extra fortunate because we went twice.   

A close second would be Florence, Italy for zucchini flower pizza, it was two years ago, but I still think about it frequently…

Courtenay blogs at Messy Little Cook.

Culinary Q & A with Allan Suddaby

Allan SuddabyOccupation: Cook at Jack’s Grill.

What did you eat today?

Breakfast: black coffee, a stalk of rhubarb, smoked gouda.  Lunch: wheat and bean salad.

What do you never eat?

I don’t understand the question.

What is your personal specialty?

Fresh sausages.

Complete this sentence: In my refrigerator, you will always find:

Preserves: jam, pickles, mustard, and the like.

What is your weekday meal standby?

Depends on the time of year, but vegetables from Tipi Creek Farm and fried potatoes are usually involved.

What is your favourite kitchen item?

A sharp knife.  Specifically a 10” French knife.  Other items that deserve mention: stainless steel pans, food mill, stand mixer.

World ends tomorrow. Describe your last meal.

Hot dogs with mustard and relish.  I can’t decided whether the buns would be toasted or steamed.  Served with braised cabbage and a glass of whole milk.

Where do you eat out most frequently?

A collection of pizza places around the university.  Notably Campus Pizza, Avenue Pizza, and the Garneau Pub.

Where’s the best place to eat in Edmonton?

It’s a toss up between Corso 32 and The Bauernschmaus.

If you weren’t limited by geography, where and what would you eat? Kevin Kossowan’s house.  I would order pork, mushrooms, apple wine, and charcuterie from his cellar.  Also I change my answer to the previous question to Kevin Kossowan’s house.

Allan blogs at Button Soup.

Culinary Q & A with Karlynn

thekitchenmagpieOccupation: stay at home mom who gets out in the evenings/weekends once in a while to work at a hospital here in Edmonton.

What did you eat today?

Breakfast was french toast made with my homemade 8 grain bread, maple syrup and blueberry/strawberry fruit salad, A&W onion rings and a root beer for lunch, (I know, I know). For some end of the day recuperation I had a mini cupcake from Bliss (I just brought them home from Calgary) and a glass of white wine.  My late supper was spinach salad with strawberries/toasted almonds/vinaigrette and a tuna sandwich on same homemade bread, with more of that white wine.  Throw in a banana, mini carrots, cucumber..and that about covers it. I also foresee some popcorn with butter in my future tonight since it’s movie night at home with the husband.

What do you never eat? We try not to eat anything with hydrogenated oil in it, we’ve cut it out of our diets completely, even my son now reads labels to check for “the bad oil”. After cutting it out for so many years, it truly makes our stomachs ill if we eat a product containing it now.

What is your personal specialty?

Desserts, I think I am a little of a scone fanatic, actually. I must have more than a dozen recipes for scones on my site, all my favorite in some way.

Complete this sentence: In my refrigerator, you will always find:

Butter, fresh fruit and wine. What that says about me, I have yet to figure out.

What is your weekday meal standby?

Winter: spaghetti sauce with ground steak hidden in it (so my “vegetarian” son gets protein) over whole wheat pasta. Don’t worry, he doesn’t have moral issues concerning meat, just texture. He has no problem inhaling deep fried fatty chicken nuggets, but doesn’t believe me when I tell him that’s not eating vegetarian.

Summer: toasted tomato sandwiches on homemade bread with tomatoes from my garden or a simple Greek seasoned chick pea salad with same garden tomatoes,cucumbers, olive oil and feta.

What is your favorite kitchen item?

My KitchenAid mixer, hands down.It whips icing, mixes cookies, grinds meat, makes pasta….and it’s purty. It also takes up so little space compared to the return of what it does, I hate kitchen clutter, so an all-in-one works for me. Oh, wait, or my bread machine, until I am down to driving my kids once in the morning and once in the afternoon instead of three daily trips, hand made bread is not entering my food world. I love that I can set it to have hot, fresh bread done right when we wake up in the morning. You sure won’t see me up at 4 am kneading dough!

World ends tomorrow. Describe your last meal.   A make your own sundae buffet with the kids and Mr Magpie, ice cream, brownies, chocolate and sauces and whipped cream galore. Everything I don’t allow them to eat on a regular basis, because if it’s my last meal, I want to spend it with them. Maybe some duck leg confit from the Hardware Grill…it seems to be permeating my food dreams lately….

Where do you eat out most frequently?

Daawat‘s on Whyte Ave, I can’t get enough of their vegetable or chicken Korma with a side of coconut naan. Heavenly hot spicy cream sauce and sweet honey coconut flavor at the same time.

Where’s the best place to eat in Edmonton? Kevin Kossowan’s house. However, my opinion may change at any moment, Valerie hasn’t had me over yet.

If you weren’t limited by geography, where and what would you eat?

The only thing I really can bemoan in this area is the lack of fresh seafood and having it as integral a part of the markets here as it is in coastal towns. Not that it would do me any good, as I am the only seafood lover in my family.

Karlynn blogs at The Kitchen Magpie.

Culinary Q & A with Andrea

AndreaWhat did you eat today?

Gruel for breakfast 🙂 salmon w/sesame sauce for lunch and shepherd’s pie for dinner.

What do you never eat?

Blue Cheese!

What is your personal specialty?

I can make a mean pasta sauce.

Complete this sentence: In my refrigerator, you will always find:

Parmesan Cheese.

What is your weekday meal standby?

Fajita’s.

What is your favourite kitchen item?

My burr grinder, I couldn’t have a great cup of coffee without it.

World ends tomorrow. Describe your last meal.

My moms turkey dinner with all the fixings, home made buns and cheesecake for dessert.

Where do you eat out most frequently?

Teriyaki Corner.

Where’s the best place to eat in Edmonton?

Guru! It is in the west end, the best.

If you weren’t limited by geography, where and what would you eat?

Smoken Bones Cookshack in Langford B.C and I would order the beef brisket Po’ Boy with collard greens on the side. Yum!

Check out Andrea’s blog, GourmAndrea.

Culinary Q & A with Jeff Samsonow

The HatOccupation: Non-profit broadcasting coordinator/Editor-in-Chief of theedmontonian.com

What did you eat today?

For breakfast: Coffee (Some Level Ground Peruvian medium blend)
Some delicious bacon cooked in the oven, and bought at the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market from First Nature Farms. A banana.

Lunch: Minestrone and a two-cheese sandwich from Bistro 112. This is my (day-job) work coffee place and I’m grateful to have it so close. A couple of crunchy B.C. apples (forget which kind).

Dinner: At The Hat
Canadian sliders (double-smoked bacon, chedder and monteray jack cheeses, yum)
Caesar salad (with more double-smoked bacon)
Amber’s Brewing’s Australian Mountain Pepper Berry

What do you never eat?

I’m not a fan of artichoke.

What is your personal specialty?

I’m becoming fond of a 3-cheese macaroni and cheese recipe we found in a clean living magazine. I also dig roasted chicken and gravy as per Jamie Oliver’s specs.

Complete this sentence: In my refrigerator, you will always find:

Orange Juice. We love orange juice.

What is your weekday meal standby?

Chicken and rice. The chicken cut and preparation may vary, but it seems like we tend to have these two items on hand quite a lot. Bless our steamer.

What is your favourite kitchen item?

The good knife. (We have two cutting/chopping knives and one is better.)

World ends tomorrow. Describe your last meal.

It’s going to be an amazing steak, with lots of baked potatoes (and butter), peas and bacon, and a bottle of red wine. (Yes a whole bottle. The world’s ending.)

Where do you eat out most frequently?

It used to be the old Next Act. Now, we’ve been in flux. So, I’m open to people’s ideas. (Since I started writing this e-mail I’ve found we’ve been to The Pour House a handful of times – it’s the old Flavours.)

Where’s the best place to eat in Edmonton?

Madison’s Grill (I say that even though I haven’t been in some time.)

If you weren’t limited by geography, where and what would you eat?

I’m going to go with New York City. It seems like the kind of place I could actually get a taste of most of the world’s food.

As Jeff mentioned, he is the EIC of The Edmontonian – my go-to website to get a round-up of the day’s headlines.

Culinary Q & A with Kevin Kossowan

Occupation: Business Owner/Certified Financial Planner

What did you eat today?

Organic coffee, home-made organic stone-ground whole wheat bread, home-made apricot jam, goat cheese [Holly’s Valencay], vegetable soup [was harvesting veg from the back yard today – leek, beet, carrot, celery, kale, baby cabbage, swiss chard], pickled carrots [from my yard], a chocolate croissant from the Dutch Delicious Bakery, 2008 Chateau Pesquié Terasses.

What do you never eat?

I’d pass on Hakarl next time, but I still ate it, so doesn’t qualify as ‘never’. I may give it another go though over overcooked/burned/dried out processed foods from M&M Meat Shop. I remember going in there years ago thinking ‘cool, a meat shop!’. Not so much.

What is your personal specialty?

Game veal & yard food. I hunt moose and elk calves that are largely milk-fed and just starting to feed on grasses – much like Nature’s Green Acres’ Nouveau Beef which I’m a huge fan of. Yard food because I love to serve menus based on fruit, veg, wild mushrooms, and wines grown & made on my central/downtown city lot.

Complete this sentence: In my refrigerator, you will always find:

Butter, rendered pork fat, home-made jams/syrups, eggs, organic cold-pressed canola oil, various yeasts [wine and bread], play dough. There’d also be a meat of some kind, and seasonal veg and fruit. Lately it also contains a diverse collection of artisan goat cheeses.

What is your weekday meal standby?

I don’t have one. Because I work from home, anything is fair game, any day of the week.

What is your favourite kitchen item?

A sharp knife. I avoid kitchen gadgets something fierce.

World ends tomorrow. Describe your last meal.

I’d start by doing a tasting of every bottle in my wine cellar, then base a menu around the wines. I’d also want to tie into the two large wheels of goat cheese in my cellar. With some good saucisson sec, rustic bread, fresh fruit and simply prepared veg – I’d be pretty happy. Until I got to the heavier reds – in which case I’d likely be motivated to do some herbed-up long-and-slow rotisserie meats over a wood fire. I’d pass on dessert and have more wine instead.

Where do you eat out most frequently?

For the once every month or two that we do, it would roughly be a tie: Leon’s Wonton & Noodle, and the Than Than [on 101st St]. I tend to value DIY, and eating out is rather DNY [Do Nothing Yourself], so eating out and I don’t get along very well most of the time.

Where’s the best place to eat in Edmonton?

In one’s kitchen.

If you weren’t limited by geography, where and what would you eat?

I used to think geography was a barrier to my culinary happiness – but don’t feel that way anymore. It took me 10 years of traveling and cooking in foreign countries to figure that out.

So I’m going to go with: at home, braised beef shoulder, mashed French fingerling potatoes w lots of chevre and butter, and a nice bottle of right-bank Bordeaux. Yum.

Check out Kevin’s blog here, but in particular, make sure to check out his fantastic From Local Farms series of videos.

Culinary Q & A with Bianca Osbourne

BiancaOccupation: Cook at the Common Lounge, deejay- with my 2 best girlfriends, we’re called Girls Club- and, of course, aspiring food writer!

What did you eat today?

Curried Corn soup, cucumber salad (at a candle party, no less) and grilled shrimp and tofu with rice. It was a great day for food!

What do you never eat?

Bananas, the texture and the shape conjure up dastardly images in my head. I’ll leave it at that.

What is your personal specialty?

Months ago, it would have been soup; but being the middle of summer, I am quickly becoming a salad gourmet.

Complete this sentence: In my refrigerator, you will always find:

Condiments, my roommate and best friend loves condiments. Need a sauce? Come to my place!

What is your weekday meal standby?

I eat terribly during the week, with work and dj commitments; I tend to eat on the run. So my weekday meal standby is anything fast, smoothies are a big weekday feature. I use my weekends for cooking, so leftovers also play a big role in my weekday meals.

What is your favourite kitchen item?

I don’t own a lot of kitchen gadgetry, but I would have to say the Magic Bullet. That little gem makes smoothies possible; and clean up is a breeze. And no, I wasn’t paid to say that!

World ends tomorrow. Describe your last meal.

Surf and turf with the works. Lobster, Shrimp, Halibut, Mussel Meuniere, French bread; and the juiciest T-bone steak, the size of my head. And DQ ice cream cake for dessert, but the crunchy fudge center would be half the cake, instead of the standard 1 inch thickness.

Where do you eat out most frequently?

Doan’s, my friends and I love the downtown Doan’s patio. You will find us there most Saturday’s afternoons, restoring ourselves with huge bowls of Pho, green onion cakes, spring rolls and Vietnamese coffee.

Where’s the best place to eat in Edmonton?

That’s a toughie, Edmonton has some great spots. I really like Viphalay’s Tom Yum Pho. I recently had brunch at Murrieta’s and it was amazing. I could go on forever, but those were the first to come to mind.

If you weren’t limited by geography, where and what would you eat?

Greece, Mediterranean food is the bee’s knees. Enjoying minted lamb, lemon-y potatoes, and a Greek salad with juicy kalamatas and fresh feta with a view of the ocean, is what I call heaven.

Bianca blogs at What’s for Dinner.

Culinary Q & A with Carol Edwards

Occupation: Event Planner   

What did you eat today?

for breakfast: a granola bar and a banana; for lunch: a big salad with lots of veggies, a can of lemon pepper tuna and a slice of whole wheat bread;  for dinner: parmesan encrusted halibut, steamed asparagus and baby potatoes with butter and chives.

What do you never eat?

Beets. I prefer not to even be at the same table as them. I really hate that they’re so popular right now. It seems they’re on every menu in town.

What is your personal specialty?

Mediterranean Stuffed Rack of Lamb; it’s stuffed with feta, kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes and basil, marinated in olive oil, garlic, lemon and basil and then baked in the oven.

Complete this sentence: In my refrigerator, you will always find:

olives, anchovy paste, capers, parmesan cheese, milk and eggs. You never know when you’ll need to make a pasta sauce.

What is your weekday meal standby?

Pasta with a sauce of whatever I can find in my fridge and cupboards.

What is your favorite kitchen item?

My green enamel coated Dutch oven. It’s great for making big meals for family and friends.

World ends tomorrow. Describe your last meal.

First, some really good blue cheese drizzled with honey, then some blue cheese wrapped in prosciutto. Then I’d move on to Finocchiona from Salumi’s in Seattle. Then salad made with ripe tomatoes warm off the vine, bocconcini and basil. For my entrée I’d have rosemary and garlic grilled lamb chops. For dessert a big bowl of salted caramel gelato and to wash it all down large amounts of fine red wine.

Where do you eat out most frequently?

Brewsters in Oliver Square. Good food, good beer, good service, sports on the tv’s and it’s close to home

Where’s the best place to eat in Edmonton?

The best place I’ve eaten in Edmonton this year was Violino. The food and the service were outstanding.

If you weren’t limited by geography, where and what would you eat?

I’d go to Italy, visit towns in each of the different regions, find a place where the locals eat and ask them to recommend their favourite dish on the menu.

Carol blogs at A Seat At My Table.

Culinary Q & A with LeQuan

Occupation: I’m a former teacher and now a stay at home mother of two.

What did you eat today?

Breakfast was just a bowl of cereal.
Lunch was two boiled eggs and a nutella and strawberry sandwich with orange juice.
Dinner was steamed salmon with sautéed garlic, ginger and green onions. Plus stir fried spinach with garlic, and white rice. Dessert was strawberries.

What do you never eat?

Snake. I have never and would never eat snake or any other reptile.

What is your personal specialty?

If you’re talking about everyday cooking then it would have to be stir fry. If you’re talking about a specific dish then I’d have to say a Vietnamese tomato based vermicelli soup called Bun Rue, which I actually blogged about here.

Complete this sentence: In my refrigerator, you will always find:

shrimp. I love shrimp.

What is your weekday meal standby?

Some kind of veggie stir fry dish, some kind of fish and white rice.

What is your favourite kitchen item?

These two white bowls from Chintz and Company. They were expensive and I was too cheap to buy more. Haha. When I went back to get more they had discontinued them. They are the perfect sized noodle bowls.

World ends tomorrow. Describe your last meal.

Definitely an abalone dish. I don’t care how it’s made cause you can’t go wrong with abalone. A nice slab of Kobe beef marinated and grilled by my Dad. Stir fried ong choy (Chinese water spinach) for a veggie plate. And for dessert it’d probably have to be crème brûlée.

Where do you eat out most frequently?

The hubby and I like to take the kiddies to Pagolac restaurant in Chinatown almost every weekend cause they like noodle soup.

Where’s the best place to eat in Edmonton?

Ooh, that’s a tough one. According to price and best bang for your buck I’d have to say brunch at The Kitchen in the River Cree Casino. They are super kid friendly and have a wide array of food for
everyone. My hubby loves their lamb and can easily eat his money’s worth just on that.

If you weren’t limited by geography, where and what would you eat?

I would love to go to Japan for their fresh sashimi. I’m a huge seafood fan and I think it tastes best raw and fresh.

LeQuan blogs at luvtoeat.

Culinary Q & A with Cathy Walsh

Occupation:  The job that pays me is with the Federal Public Service. I am an Advisor, which means I provide advice, guidance and instruction to do with policy and Federal legislation. Although I never consciously thought of this as a career choice when I was growing, it made sense that I did. As a child, I converted my closet into a cubicle by putting in a desk, chair and telephone. My Dad would bring home pads of discarded forms from his office, and I would spend hours filling them out and filing them in a box.

What did you eat today?

Coffee, yogurt parfait (unsweetened yogurt, blueberries, apples, granola), apple, veggie sub, Coke Zero, roast chicken with coupe ondulée frites enrobées faites avec du sel de mer, homemade oatmeal raisin cookies, and tea.

What do you never eat? Calamari, octopus, geoduck – basically anything with a slime-factor, has the potential to suction-cup onto my face, or looks like an enormous old-man penis.

What is your personal speciality?

Bolognese sauce. It’s a rich, meaty thing that allows a lot of flexibility depending on my mood and what’s available in the apartment to put in it. I don’t mean putting in house plants or remote controls, but whatever happens to be in the fridge and pantry. When I cook this I usually go through a bottle of wine, have the tunes cranked, and sing along with the likes of Lady Ga Ga to Tom Jones. It’s very fun and relaxing. The recipe is from my Auntie Anne, but it is suspiciously similar to one found in the red and white checked Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.

Complete this sentence: In my refrigerator, you will always find:

Milk, eggs, cheese, butter, yogurt, apples, oranges, onions, bagged salad, assorted veggies in the crisper, a bottle of white wine, beer, a jug of water, a jar of mayonnaise, maple syrup, and an assortment of condiments.

What is your weekday meal standby?

Campbell’s tomato soup, and/or, broiled cheese and tomato on toast.

What is your favourite kitchen item? 

Le Creuset enamelled cast iron French oven.

World ends tomorrow. Describe your last meal.

Wine. Medium rare prime rib. Wine. Yorkshire pudding. Wine. Roast potatoes. Wine. Perogies. Wine. Nalysnyky. Vodka shots. Pizza. Wine. Gnocchi. Wine. Sashimi. Sake. Bowls of rice with an unlimited supply of Japanese Village’s steak sauce. Sake. Gooey cinnamon buns with pecans. Coffee with more Bailey’s than coffee. A wafer thin mint.

Where do you eat out most frequently?

The honest answer is the Food Court at Canada Place. When we go out for supper, we frequent Japanese Village’s sushi bar, Furusato, and Route 99.

What’s the best place to eat in Edmonton?

I tried a nibbling the corner of the Hotel McDonald once, but it made my fillings vibrate so I stopped. Where’s the best place to eat, maybe? [Ed: Sigh, you caught my poor grammar.] Haven’t found it yet. Been here for 12 years, and haven’t found THE spot yet. In Calgary, we were regulars at a place called Gaston’s. It was run by Gaston Langlois, Pat and Val Arrotta and Pierre Langlois. The food was amazing. The service second to none. The ambience was relaxed, intimate, yet social and friendly. I don’t think the place still exists. Ever since then, haven’t found anything that comes close.

If you weren’t limited by geography, where and what would you eat?

It sounds so cliché, but I’d love to be in the Italian country-side, maybe along the sea, and drink wine while watching the sun set, eating olives, prosciutto, fresh bread, fresh fruit, and different cheeses. That said, I’m happy buying this stuff from the Italian Centre Shop and sitting in the sun on our little patio at home.

Cathy blogs at Walsh Cooks.