Category: Wine

Chef’s Table Experience at Ernest’s NAIT

Chef’s Table Experience at Ernest’s NAIT

I was honored to be invited to a “Chef’s Table” at Ernest’s which are put on by the NAIT Culinary Arts Program.  I was thrilled about this mostly because the Culinary Arts students are so full of enthusiasm and the most beautiful plating I have ever seen!  The thing about the Culinary “Arts” is that part of it is actually, ART!  It takes talent to feed the masses and keep everyone’s tummies happy.

The Chef’s Tables were introduced in 2017 to give guests a chance to experience unique menus created by the Executive Chef (currently Chef Rylan Krause) with the student chefs tapping in for the dessert and sorbet.  These lavish dinners are prepared right before your eyes!   Sports fans have giant events in arenas, foodies have Chef Tables!

This has mainly been an experience where you get together about 10 friends and you dedicate an evening to experiencing a decadent meal.  Beginning in January of 2020, Ernest’s will be offering the chance to purchase individual spots at the table.  Exciting news!

For only $135 per person, you get to experience a personal kitchen tour, custom wine pairing, and group dinner service.  This is with front row seats to all of the action; much like a sporting event.  You will need to set aside at least 3 hours for one of these experiences.

Please note that the ticket price does not include GST.  The “service charge” is an 18% gratuity.

Upcoming dates for these special events are as follows:

January 16th
February 27th
March 18th
April 16th

Your seating area is decadently set with an almost confusing amount of cutlery, plates and glasses.  Don’t worry, I have a few fancy military mess dinners under my belt!  Use the utensils from the outside, working your way to the inside, then from the top down.  Make sense?

Since we all eat with our eyes, be sure to check out the gallery below of the food served at my Chef’s Table.  It was beyond delicious and so beautiful. This is a perfect date night activity.

The Dark Cherry Sorbet was the most beautiful plating of the evening in my opinion.  The chocolate painted on the plate reminded me of some beautiful henna that I had done a couple of summers ago.

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Thank you to the Chefs and all of the student chefs.  It was so much food I had to tap out before the last two courses.  There was still a cheese plate and a dessert that I didn’t get the opportunity to photograph for you.

For the budget conscious, this is an amazing opportunity to have the fine dining experience at an affordable price.  For the adventurous, it’s “a la carte” but with the quality that Ernest’s students put out, you won’t be disappointed.

Amore Pasta – New Downtown Location NOW OPEN!

Amore Pasta – New Downtown Location NOW OPEN!

From the makers of Cafe Amore Bistro and the Black Pearl Seafood comes the new and improved downtown location of Amore Pasta.

Family recipes passed down from Italy will tantalize your tastebuds on this budget-friendly, build-your-own menu.  Yes, there is an Amore Pasta on the south side, but that location is just pasta and pales in comparison to the new downtown location.  They are open at 8 am for breakfast – yes, breakfast!

There is a lovely cappuccino bar to serve up some espresso and baked goods in the morning.  If you need something heartier, they have some signature omelettes available as well as the build-your-own versions.  Choose how many eggs you would like, add your choice of veggies, protein and cheese.  You can even choose to have a side of Amore hash (crumbled Italian sausage, cheddar cheese, green onions, mushrooms and peppers).  Can’t decide?  There are five signature Baked Eggs al Forno and omelettes to choose from.

Franchise? No!

The Crudo Family will have none of that!  They would love to have Amore Pasta all over the countryside, but they want to ensure quality over quantity.  They have a central “warehouse” location where the sauces etc. are made lovingly called “Papa Giuseppe’s”.   They are hoping to have more “in-house” made fresh pastas in the future.

Lunch and dinner will knock your socks off!

You can order a beer or wine to go with your dinner creation.  Make sure you try the fried lasagne bites with Papa Joe’s red sauce to start off with, they are very tasty!

This is similar to a Subway concept where you go up and order your food and bring it back to your table to enjoy.  Lunch can be quick, delicious and painless.

The “Return of the Mac” shall be triumphant.  They have 5 signature choices and the macaroni is made fresh daily.  “Pizza Me” is pictured in my slideshow; red onion, mixed peppers, crumbled Italian sausage, cheddar and mozza cheese.  This rib-sticking delight will surely satisfy.

Create Your Own Pasta starts out with the pasta and sauce, you add your choice of veggies, your protein and cheese.  Again, there are five signature pastas to choose from if you can’t decide or are in a hurry.  I couldn’t get enough of the “Sicilian”; made with homemade Strozzapreti, marsala cream sauce, green onions.  All of the flavours blend together beautifully.   It was a delight to eat.

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Where is it?

10235 101 Street, right in the Ice District.  There is a surface Impark parking lot located across the street but that can get pretty pricey during a game night.  There is also parking available in the tower which is much more reasonable.  Open at 8 am for breakfast and closes normally at 9 pm on weekdays.  Open at 11 am and close at 9 pm on weekends.  They will be adjusting hours to the crowd and are wanting to be open for food and drink after the games.

Gluten Free options available.

Since you are building your own meal, you have the option to pick items that are gluten free.  Your food is cooked right in front of you. Ask your server for details.



Privada Welcomes Back Chef Tony Krause

Privada Welcomes Back Chef Tony Krause

I have had the distinct pleasure of being able to sample Chef Tony Krause’s food several times now.  I must say, I am a fan.

Chef Tony was at Privada in St. Albert.  He went on some adventures to further his culinary skills, including some foraging in BC.  He came back to Edmonton to open his own restaurant, “The Salt Room”, which unfortunately did not come to fruition as Mother’s Market ended up closing due to unforeseen circumstances with the building.  That didn’t stop Chef Tony!

Chef went back to Privada and met with the owners, and is now back at Privada with a new menu!

Privada has always been focused on in-house charcuterie.  Chef Tony has an incredible talent of pairing flavors to make the ultimate taste experience.  Privada also focuses on locally produced food, and as much as possible is made in house.  You will see some of the preserves displayed on the shelves and charcuterie curing in plain view. Chef Tony also adds foraged food to the repertoire with things like Untamed Feast wild mushrooms.

Kaylen was lovely enough to invite me to sample the tasting menu at Privada.  I had just been a few weeks previously for a special pop up dinner for my second wedding anniversary, which we enjoyed every second of!  I was excited to see what would be on the new menu with Chef Tony at the helm.  Privada and Chef Tony never disappoint!

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The tasting menu is a 5 course affair that will cost you $60.  It is only available Wednesday and Thursday.  Make time for a date night, I highly recommend it!  I ended up switching tables in the middle of my dinner to join some other friends and unfortunately I missed out on a course which was Corn Succotash Pasta.

What I was able to sample was obviously made with passion.  Each dish attractively plated; the pork fritter was served on a heated rock that Chef foraged from a river himself.  How cool is that?

Scallops are a hard dish to impress this BC girl with, but Privada did not disappoint.  They were cooked perfectly and the shaved truffle was delightful.  Chef Tony has worked with Oceanwise so he is aware of seafood sustainability which was also nice to hear.

Kaylen and Kaylan are wonderful hosts.  If you have ever wanted to learn more about wine, this is the place to go.  Kaylan was kind enough to show off the Coravin Argon system which basically lets you sample the wine from the bottle without actually opening it.  Pretty neat stuff!  Privada will be able to provide you with a glass of wine versus the entire bottle which is great in the books of this light weight drinker.

Privada Wine and Tapas Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mac’n at the Mac – Hotel Macdonald #YEGfoodblogs Cookoff

Mac’n at the Mac – Hotel Macdonald #YEGfoodblogs Cookoff

When I received the invitation to attend the Food Bloggers Cook-off, I was excited and intimidated at the same time.  Excited for the opportunity to spend time with Chef Jost and intimidated by his prestigious reputation.  Chef has been with the Fairmont group of hotels for over 15 years and trained in Strasbourg, France.  His cuisine is phenomenal.

The Mac sent out a tweet with a copy of this picture attached:

Fairmont Hotel Macdonald Foodbloggers Cook-off

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Decadence – The Cafvino Experience

Decadence – The Cafvino Experience

When I told my co-workers that I was going to sample a “coffee-wine” the looks on their faces were absolutely priceless. They were a mixture of disgust and curiosity.

In 2006, a lovely lady by the name of Ingrid was visiting her family in Columbia. She discovered a coffee infused wine called “Cafvino”. It was unlike anything that she had ever experienced. She wanted to share her passion with the world. Six years later, she was finally able to bring Cafvino to St. Albert, Alberta and share her treasure with Canada.

It was an honour and a pleasure to be able to share in Ingrid’s passion at the Cafvino VIP event. I was able to meet both Ingrid and Carlin and a number of Twitter folk from Edmonton and area. Great product – great company!

Cafvino Promo

The goal of the event was to show the versatility of the product. What exactly does coffee infused Cafvino pair with? Absolutely everything! Executive Chef Harjeet Mehdwan was able to strut his stuff and show off exactly what Cafvino can do to create savoury meatballs and decadent desserts.

Cafvino Nibbles

The meatballs are a customer favourite on the menu at the Ramada Kingsway.  Cafvino’s balanced flavours make it very versatile to use in savoury sauces.  The desserts are that much more decadent with the hints of coffee flavour enticing your tastebuds.  Cupcakes were made by “Cakes by Candace”.  Chocolate, wine and coffee.  Perfection.

We were also treated to three cocktails made with Cafvino; the Paralyzer, the Raspberry, Cafvino and Cola.

Cafvino Beverages

As our lovely hostess was making her rounds, she made sure that I got to try a sample straight. I may not be that educated about wine, but I do know my coffee. Even the aroma is decadent. You can smell the sweetness of the wine and the darker smells of the Colombian coffee. The taste is something that is difficult to express in words. The wine is sweet, but not overly so. It reminded me of a really good ice wine.  The coffee infusion is just right. It is a marriage made in foodie heaven. As I was chatting with Carlin later on – he asked me which of the cocktails was my favourite, I could honestly answer him with “straight”.

I was delighted to discover while doing my reading before attending the event that Cafvino is carried at my favourite liquor store – Sherbrooke. (The only liquor store in Edmonton in my opinion!) Sherbrooke was one of the very first liquor stores on board to help spread the Cafvino love!

I have a new addiction and it is called Cafvino! <3

So you need to go and visit their website, read Ingrid’s story and find out where you can purchase this decadent taste experience.  They have cocktail recipes listed on the website, but I would encourage you to use your imagination and experiment.  Cafvino truly is like nothing else.

Cafvino Official Website

Keep your eye on Schifer imports.  I know I am excited to see what they are able to tantalize us with next!