Why have I been MIA for so long? Because, Kitchen Collective.

January 14, 2014 - Leave a Response

I’ve been hard at work cooking up a new dining experience for #yyc:

Kitchen Collective.

KCspoons

Are you looking for a new dining experience outside of the restaurant scene? Are you sick of trying to meet new people at loud and crowded bars? If yes, then check out Kitchen Collective, the newest dining experience in Calgary. Come learn more about this new, interactive dining opportunity and meet new people that share your passion for eating delicious food!

Kitchen Collective builds friendships, one dinner party at a time. It is a platform that brings chefs, hosts, and food lovers together through personalized matching. By providing unique dining and social experiences, Kitchen Collective creates new opportunities to meet new people and eat good food. Kitchen Collective is bringing people back to something real, something tangible, offering the Calgary community real food, real conversations, and real friendships.

Kitchen Collective participants, hosts or attendees, are getting to experience a unique, interactive dining experience for less than what’s currently available on the market. Our chefs are able to flex their creativity, hone their skills, and, most importantly, share their passion for food with fellow food lovers.

Sign up for the Pre-Launch and Launch Extravaganza events to learn more about Kitchen Collective! Come chat with local chefs and learn about what makes them passionate to cook, meet awesome new people, and be the first to take part in the newest food event in Calgary.

Upcoming Events

The Kitchen Collective Pre-Launch Cocktail Night is being held on January 18th, 2014

The Kitchen Collective Launch Extravaganza is being held on January 25th, 2014

Help us spread the word!

Subscribe to our tasty newsletter HERE!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kitchncollective

Twitter: https://twitter.com/

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[Dine-Out] Calgary: Q Haute {Big Taste 2013}

July 8, 2013 - Leave a Response

Q Haute is probably my favourite restaurant in Calgary. It was a great view, classy atmosphere, and, most of all, great food. I love that the food changes and it’s not the same menu all the time. Definitely gives you an excuse to keep going back and not feel too too guilty about it.

Going there during Big Taste is definitely a fantastic deal. If you’ve never been and don’t want to drop too much dough on your first experience, this is definitely a good way to dip your toes in. For $35 you can an amazing 3-course dinner that will leave you feeling you got an awesome deal.

Even with the Big Taste menu, we were treated with an amuse-bouche of mash potato puff and some sort of madeleine cheesy cakes. Served with a side of garlic aioli.

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Kick start the meal with some potato-y goodness~

The puffs were lukewarm so they were only so-s0. Would’ve been much better if they were pipping hot. But I guess they probably made a bunch ahead of time. The garlic aioli definitely made up for it though. Love garlic-y stuff.

The starter was a chicken en croute – a chicken pistachio terrine with pickled cucumber purée with pickled garnishes. The dark red blobs are vin cotto, a cooked wine sauce.

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Gorgeous looking plate

The pasta course was a wild mushroom barley risotto with truffle essence. On top was a parmigiano crisp. The risotto had a lovely texture, and the parmigiano crisp added a perfect amount of salt.

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Yum!

I got the beef tenderloin with roasted shallots and madeira jus. This main had a side of sweet potato mash, glazed carrots, and garlic wilted spinach. I loved that there was plenty of side veg.

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Cooked perfectly~

The bf got the lamb loin roasted with herb crust served with au jus.  Same veg sides.

 

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Didn’t taste this. Looked beautifully cooked as well though.

The dessert was an extra $10 on top of the Big Taste price, but totally worth it. The menu dessert was a pear parfait coated in chocolate with coconut nitro. But I am not a big fan of chocolate, so they swapped it with some sort of panna cotta. Love. Actually, it was still pear flavoured. So it might’ve still been the pear parfait, just not dipped in chocolate. Not quite sure.

This was the plate that they bring to the table:

 

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Pre coconut nitro

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Some table-side nitrogen action

Instant Nitrogen cream! The cream is squeezed into the ladle and dipped into the liquid nitrogen, creating an instantaneous frozen scoop of deliciousness!

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Looks exactly like an ice-cream scoop~

The “ice cream” is very light and airy, not heavy like normal ice cream. Loved it.

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Cracked open with a spoon…

This obviously isn’t the most advanced molecular gastronomy, but still pretty cool for Calgary, haha.

To end the meal, a couple petit fours. On the bottom is maple syrup hazel nut macarons, and top, orange truffles rolled in coconut.

 

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Delicious end to a great meal.

Q HAUTE CUISINE
100 La Caille Place Southwest
Calgary, AB T2P 5E2
(403) 262-5554

[Dine-Out] Calgary: Bonterra Trattoria {Big Taste 2013}

March 8, 2013 - Leave a Response

In an attempt to not be a horrible blogger, here’s another post on Big Taste 2013!

I would like to preface my next sentence with the following statement: I usually don’t like Italian food, I don’t know why, I just never feel like Italian food.

I. ADORE. BONTERRA. Pretty much, it’s the only Italian restaurant that I have voluntarily gone to for the last 2 years. The food here is delicious, the atmosphere is homey and welcoming, the portions are huge, and they have an amazing patio (when the weather is nice, of course).

Go here for the Big Taste. Their $15 lunch menu is amazing. Case and point:

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Agnello e Cinghiale

The Big Taste menu’s 1st course is Agnello e Cinghiale, which literally means lamb and wild boar. It’s a gorgeous little plate of pâté (of lamb and boar) topped with micro greens, blood orange, pistachio, and sea salt.

I didn’t want to have 2 plates of the same thing, so I ordered à la carte and got the ricotta from the antipasti section as a starter.

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$11

Holy moly. This was a huge plate of ricotta. Of delicious ricotta – so not complaining. But man, I was pretty stuffed by the time I made my way through this plate. I even shared.

Locally made ricotta cheese. Cherries. Sea salt. Crostini. Lovely. Make sure that you ration the cherries though, the rich and creamy ricotta taste infinity more delicious when eaten with the sweet yet tart cherries.

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Big Taste Main – Tagliatelle Bolognese

Tagliatelle Bolognese – a delicious portion of beef, veal, wild boar, shiitake mushroom, sweet pea, and grana padano.

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Half size – $12

I got the half portion of spaghetti alla puttanesca. It comes with side stripe shrimp, bay scallop, tomato, black olive, squid, anchovy, and basil. This sounded scrumptious on the menu because of all the seafood BUUUTTT the first bite that I took must have had a lot of black olive in it annd I made the bf switch me dishes. I don’t like the taste of olives, but I thought I could handle it because of all the delicious seafood. Apparently that was just my bite though because the bf said that it wasn’t as olive-y as I made it out to be.

You can see from the picture below the difference between the half portion and the full portion. It’s pretty much exactly a half portion.

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Pasta Galore!

And for the big taste dessert - Cioccolato del Scoppio:

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Pretty much a cake pop

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Moist chocolatey cake innards

The dessert was okay, but as I might have mentioned before – I don’t really like chocolate. It was a double chocolate Nutella cake pop – the Nutella made the cake super moist though. The candy pearls were a nice touch.

Fact: I have a reservation for the Big Taste dinner at Bonterra this weekend.

You should get one too.

BONTERRA TRATTORIA
1016 8 Street Southwest
Calgary, AB T2R 0J3
(403) 262-8480

Bonterra Trattoria on Urbanspoon

 

[Dine-Out] Calgary: Ric’s Grill {Big Taste 2013}

March 4, 2013 - 2 Responses

I’ve been having a great time with the Big Taste. Always excited for this event.

Thought I’d post this before the event ends. DON’T BOTHER WITH RIC’S GRILL.

Such a mediocre restaurant. There are so many better participating restaurants to try that this one is definitely not worth your time, money, or stomach room.

I really should’ve listened to my gut (hahaha) and not bothered with this place. I always look at the menu and think about going for dinner. And every time I would decide that it wasn’t worth going to. The prices aren’t great and the menu isn’t even that exciting. But I thought, hey, for $35 – why not give it a try?

I mean, the quantity of food isn’t bad for $35, but the quality? That’s another story. And, man, the servers there do not dress appropriately. Also, service wasn’t the greatest. We had to wait upwards of 20 minutes to even get our bill, pay, and leave.

First – the bread. It totally reminds me of the bread you get when you go to Old Spaghetti Factory. Where they charge you $10 for a 3 course pasta meal. Yeah. That one.

Bah

These weren’t half bad. Toasted coconut prawns. After eating the first one did it occur to me that I don’t like coconut on my food. Haha, oops.

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Toasted Coconut Prawns

The escargot weren’t half bad either. Canned variety? They came out super hot. Super greasy and cheesy. Again, reminds me of something you could get at Old Spaghetti…

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Escargot Stuffed Mushrooms

For his main, the bf got the Salmon Florentine. “Grilled wild salmon topped with prawns, tomatoes and fresh basil in brandy cream sauce. Served with basmati rice pilaf & seasonal vegetables”. Shocking – no fresh basil anywhere. Instead of the rice pilaf, he got a double serving of vegetables.

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Salmon Florentine

I got the 6 oz Sterling Silver Filet Mignon served with chef’s roasted potatoes, seasonal vegetables & cognac cream sauce. The beef wasn’t good. You would like it’d be good since Ric’s is a steakhouseAnd, it was wrapped in bacon. Buuuut, not good beef. It had a not pleasing texture. Also, I got the chef’s roasted potatoes, which the server described as “covered in an artichoke cream sauce”. Nope. No sauce. No hint of artichoke. No hint of cream. Pretty much I just got a side of potato hash that you could get anywhere at brunch. Also the bok choy was bitter. Like super bitter. Bitter to the point that I complained and got a new side of veggies.

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Filet Mignon Wrapped in Bacon

For dessert I got the vanilla bean creme brûlée. Pretty sure it was just vanilla extract. There was none of the vanilla specks you would expect to get from actual vanilla bean. Also the texture of the brûlée was more of an egg custard texture. I didn’t mind it.

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Vanilla Bean Creme Brûlée

The bf got the goat cheese cheesecake with fresh berry compote.

Goooat

Goooat

Pretty much this was the reason that swayed me to come. I mean I <3 goat cheese cheesecake. I had an awesome one at Open Range over the holiday and thought I’d see if this one would stack up. Not much goat cheese flavour, but overall not too too bad.

Again, the food isn’t bad per se…but it’s not good either. Very run of the mil. Nothing fancy. Pretty much like a more expensive Moxie’s but even less exciting. If that’s possible.

RIC’S GRILL
1436 8th Street Southwest
Calgary, AB T2R 1R7
(403) 269-7427
Ric's Grill - Steak & Seafood on Urbanspoon

[Quick Bite] Banff: The Fudgery

February 19, 2013 - One Response

The Fudgery is usually the place I go to in Banff to get some sweets. I remember once I got an ice-cream cone here, and the guy behind the counter made me gigantic, baseball sized scoops. Best memory ever.

Rows of sweets~

The bf got some sort of oat ball:

Sunflower seeds and dried cranberries?

Looks healthy, but it’s probably stuck together with mass amounts of sugar.

I got a good ‘ol caramel apple:

Ask them to cut it for you!

I know it doesn’t look too appetizing in a plastic bag, but soooooo much more convenient when they cut it for you. Not as messy too!

THE FUDGERY
215 Banff Avenue
Banff, AB T1L 1B4
(403) 762-3003

The Fudgery on Urbanspoon

[Dine-Out] Calgary: Manuel Latruwe Belgian Patisserie & Bread Shop

February 18, 2013 - Leave a Response

First thing first: I NEED to go back and have some of the baked goodies. I can’t believe I didn’t order any when I was there…what was I thinking?

Ok, on to lunch:

What could be hiding under all the greens?!

I got the ham and spinach quiche with a side of fresh garden salad.

Small Quiche $11.50

I don’t think I like quiches. The foamy eggy texture just doesn’t do it for me. Not that this one was bad or anything, I just don’t think I enjoy consuming quiches…

The bf got a baguette sandwich, which, by the way, is a way better deal than the quiche.

Baguette Sandwich $7.62

He got the Sourdough Baguette, which comes with Calabrese salami, aged Gruyere cheese, tomato confit, and black olives. Pretty decent sized sandwich for eight bucks, also, fresh baked bread!

Lovely salads though.

MANUEL LATRUWE BELGIAN PATISSERIE AND BREAD SHOP
1333 1 Street Southeast
Calgary, AB T2G 5L1
(403) 261-1092

Manuel Latruwe Belgian Patisserie & Bread Shop on Urbanspoon

[Dine-Out] Calgary: Escoba Bistro & Wine Bar

February 17, 2013 - Leave a Response

I think Escoba has one of the better value charcuterie boards in Calgary. I love coming here just for a light meal. The bf and I usually share a charcuterie plate and a cheese plate, have some drinks, and have a relaxing night out. I also love the window seating the restaurants offer. In the summer time (or whenever its nice out), the windows are open and it’s just a great feeling!

Cheese Plate $18

For the cheese plate, $18 gets you a selection of five cheeses or $14 for three cheeses. In hindsight, since the charcuterie board also comes with some cheeses, the selection of three would’ve been sufficient. If you’re getting both boards, make sure to ask the server not to double up on the cheeses (unless you want to, of course). So making sure whatever cheeses come on the charcuterie board aren’t the same ones on your cheese board.

I’m awesome with cheeses (I pretty much only eat brie), so I can’t tell you what they are. But I think they usually have the same selection of 5 anyways. One will be a blue, one will be a brie, one will be a cheddar…so on, so on. I love the fruit preserve it comes with. I slathered it all over my garlic baguette.

Charcuterie Plate  $24

This is probably one of the most reasonably priced charcuterie boards ever. I love all the variety that comes on it and for not that expensive either! In the back right is a grilled chorizo sausage, going clockwise, there are some olives, prosciutto, pickled green beans, some sort of veined cheese, garlic flatbread. Going on the inside, the yellow-y mound in the middle is hummus, to its left - smoked duck and to its right – salmon gravlax. I think I’m especially enamoured with the grilled chorizo sausage – it’s nice to have something warm on what’s usually a cold appetizer.

ESCOBA BISTRO AND WINE BAR
624 8 Avenue Southwest
Calgary, AB T2P 1G4
(403) 543-8911

Escoba Bistro & Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

[Quick Bite] Calgary: Sidewalk Citizen Bakery

February 16, 2013 - One Response

Oh. My. God. Just had the best sandwich of my life. I usually ignore all things that says “Veggie” or “Vegetarian”, because, damn it, I like meat. BUT the veggie sandwich today at SCB had egg, and that’s protein, so not veggie (according to me).

So I bought it.

And it was delicious.

Glorious glorious sandwich

Glorious glorious sandwich

It was such a fantastic day when I found out that SCB was opening a location in Kensington. Fresh baked goodies? Walking distance from my house? OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD YESSSSS!

I’ve been in about 4 times now and each time they’ve had different sandwiches for sale. Definitely lots of delicious delicious variety.

Today’s veggie sandwich was an egg salad sandwich of sorts. It had perfect medium poached eggs, goat cheese, roasted organic mushrooms, purple kale, and, I believe, a pesto mayo. All sandwiched between a baguette. The baguette was probably the size of my forearm.

I ate these baby on the way home and I dropped a hunk of goat cheese…or maybe…poached egg. Sad. I don’t know what I’d be more sad about. Losing goat cheese or losing egg…ah well…it’s gone, and next to a curb in Kensington. Maybe some bird got a tasty lunch.

Anyways, the only thing I wish SCB would have would be like half a sandwich for $5.00. I would totally buy that instead of a full sandwich for $8.50.

I ate too much.

SIDEWALK CITIZEN BAKERY
#10, 338 10 Street Northwest
Calgary, AB T2N 1V8
(403) 457-2245

Sidewalk Citizen Bakery on Urbanspoon

[Dine-Out] Canmore: Mountain Mercato

February 16, 2013 - Leave a Response

Mountain Mercato is probably one of the best places in Canmore to grab a quick bite to eat. There are lots of pubs and more expensive restaurants in Calgary, so MM is a nice option for someone that doesn’t want greasy pub food but also don’t want to fork out an arm and a leg.

For my main, I got a large portion of its feature soup for $7.25:

Crazy big portions!

This was such a HUGE bowl of soup. It was some sort of chunky chicken and tomato soup.  I love me some tomato soup, but I definitely could not finish this. The bowl was probably the size of my head (and I have a huge head). Next time, I would definitely get the small portion…

The bf got the Italiano panini for $10:

Who doesn’t love a panini?

The Italiano comes stuffed with salumi, provolone, and balsamic peppers. Bf said it was delicious.

We also got an aperitivo to share:

Salumi and Olives $11

This was such a great portion for the price. I wish there was somewhere to get quality meat boards for this price in Calgary…

Can’t quite recall what all the meats were, but there is some housemade pate and a variety of salumi in there…just some yummy cured meats is all you need to know!

Mmm…this makes me want to go back to Canmore. Maybe a weekend hike is in order.

MOUNTAIN MERCATO
817 8 Street
Canmore, AB T1W 2B3
(403) 609-6631
Mountain Mercato on Urbanspoon

[Quick Bite] Calgary: Crepe Avenue

February 15, 2013 - Leave a Response

Speaking of me being an awful blogger. Crepe avenue is also now closed. But I’m pretty sure this place just recently closed down. So, not that bad (so I tell myself). The windows are now plastered with images of sandwiches. So new restaurant coming soon.

I like crepes just okay. They’re kind of good, sometimes. Depends on my mood. On this occasion, I got the sweet custard with blueberries. I’m a sucker for custard.

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Custard with Blueberries

At the end, it was too sweet.

CREPE AVENUE
Suite 103, 330 10 Street Northwest
Calgary, AB T2N 1V8
(403) 452-6160
Crepe Avenue on Urbanspoon

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