Last year I was, unfortunately, away for Taste of Edmonton, a foodie event that brings together restaurants, food businesses and foodies from all over the city. This year, Taste of Edmonton is being held from July 19th - 28, 2012, and is coinciding with Race Week Edmonton, and Edmonton's Capital Ex. So this is my first year of experiencing ToE!
So as you can see, Edmonton is the place to be this July and I, for one, have no intention of missing it, and was very pleased when I received an invitation to their media launch. I do adore the flexibility of my day, and have always aspired to be a lady that lunches (or gets invited to lunches, anyway) and it was great to head to the Shoctor Lobby at the Citadel Theatre, and bump into many familiar faces, including Lillian from Beyond Umami and Diane from Argenplath.
I wasn't expecting there to be actual food at the launch, as I assumed it was going to be a series of presentations, and perhaps, some tasters. So it was a pleasant surprise when there indeed was some great food on offer, and even better, these were all the new restaurants on the block.
After a few introductions and information on everything that was new at ToE 2012, we dived straight into sampling the food. Below are a selection of my highlights. For more drooly pictures, check out my Taste of Edmonton Facebook album!
I made a beeline for Guru's famous tandoori butter chicken samosas. Now if there's one thing you know about me, its that I am incredibly proud of my own butter chicken, and also that I can be a snob about Indian food. But these samosas really blew me away. I loved the generous filling, and the traditional samosa crust (filo is NOT traditional people!) The spicing was deftly done, and I really enjoyed it. I also had a lovely chat with the manager, Jeet and Deependra, the head chef, and was assured that they would even make a dosa for me when I visited them. Now that's the kind of service I adore!
My next stop was Share at the Westin Edmonton Hotel. I absolutely loved their fabulous halibut in blackened curry spices with a cucumber raita and spicy tomato chutney which I tasted when I visited them at Indulgence, earlier this month (check out the pictures from Indulgence 2012 here). They certainly didn't disappoint with this dish, dark chocolate braised ribs with a mango coleslaw with cilantro accents. I am totally in food heaven here!
For dessert, I scoffed down these delicious chocolate sandwich cookies from legendary Edmonton food truck Molly's Eats, and they were perfect, as per usual. I am really looking forward to them at ToE's new event 'Curb your Hunger', a food truck stop.
And this impressively yummy shortbread sundae from the The Fairmont Hotel MacDonald. How they got that shortbread to stay soft, but not soggy under that ice cream is a miracle in itself, and one I don't complain about.
... and all these dishes are just the starter! I cannot wait for Taste of Edmonton this year, no less because of some of their new innovations, Taste of Spirits (need anyone even ask why I am excited about this?) and Curb Your Hunger, a selection of food trucks that will be on hand on different days.
Oh, in all the excitement, I almost forgot my news.
Yours truly is one of the bloggers taking part in the ATCO Gas Cook Off (Best Food Truck Entrée sponsored by ATCO Gas provides food bloggers the chance to step out from behind their keyboard and get into the action. They will create a one-of a-kind entrée using unique Albertan products provided by Safeway) I'll be competing against my buddies Phil the Baconhound and Theresa from Dishcrawl! Frankly, I am terrified. But its all in the name of good food, friendly banter and some trash talking of the judges... right??
Come and cheer me on Sunday, July 22 11:30am-1:30pm on the ReMax Stage at Churchill Square. Do try not to make me overly nervous, what?
Check out the Taste of Edmonton website here, and see you there!