Food Artisans of the Okanagan: Your guide to the best locally crafted fare

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Entries in Kananaskis (1)

Thursday
Nov052015

Maclean's Magazine article: The world's finest avant-garde chefs descend on Alberta and find an underrated food wonderland

When some of the world's best chefs arrived in Alberta for Cook It Raw, the annual atelier of culinary creativity led by Alessandro Porcelli, I went along for the ride.

First there was the gathering of Alberta chefs in Lac La Biche, 2.5 hours northeast of Edmonton. There chefs who only get to interact in quasi-competition-style events and fundraisers got to camp together, fish, cook, and eat for four days without the distractions and obligations of their harried professional lives.

Connie DeSousa (co-chef / co-owner CHARCUT Roast House and Cam Dobranksi, chef, owner Brasserie Kensington, Kensington Wine Bar and Container Bar, with bison legSmoking meat and fish in Lac La Biche at Violet Cardinal's land on the Beaver Lake Cree Nation

In October, the troupe of chefs in Porcelli's orbit arrived to add some Michelin-star sparkle and international attention to the exercise. There was another camping trip, this time up in Kananaskis Country, in a WiFi free backcountry zone. It was like an episode of "So You Want to be a Canadian" (not a real show), with canoeing, fishing, moose- and bear-spotting, foraging, and lots of beers around late-night campfires. They also did some serious work, building up the seven dishes that they would reveal for a big media event on Saturday night in the SAIT professional teaching kitchens, and then again to the public on Sunday afternoon at Rouge Restaurant in Calgary.

Canoeing at Upper Kananaskis Lake, AlbertaTeam Root Vegetable presents their dish-in-progress at Mount Engadine Lodge, Kananaskis, Alberta

Team Red Fife's final dish at the Saturday night presentation at SAIT, Calgary

Honey-cured trout, Team Honey, final dish presenation at SAIT, CalgarySaskatoon dessert in a birch log, Team Saskatoon, SAIT, CalgaryL -> R Alessandro Porcelli, Blair Lebsack (RGE RD restaurant Edmonton) and Cam Dobranski, Jp McMahon, Aniar restaurant Galway, Ireland at SAIT Calgary

Here's the story (online as of October 30, 2015): http://www.macleans.ca/culture/the-worlds-finest-chefs-discover-alberta-food/

Appears in the November 9, 2015 print edition of the magazine.