TEDx Edmonton – Food For Thought

Last night, at the beautiful Mercer Warehouse, myself and my good friend Karmel made it out to the TEDx Edmonton Salon #4 on Food For Thought.  The loft setting housed hundreds of foodies awaiting to hear about the future of food.

startupedmonton

Upon arrival there were food samples provided by Pangea Deli (located north of Jasper Avenue on 104 Street) including an oat cookie sweetened with dates, pork sausage, and pearl barley salad, followed by complimentary bottles of Steam Whistle. We settled into the middle of the pack and started to recognize a number of faces.

The night included 3 short talks provided by the guest speakers with a discussion session to follow. The three guests included:

Tom Lynch-Staunton, Gentec

Tom Lynch-Staunton has a strong practical and lifetime experience in the livestock industry. Before joining Livestock Gentec, he and his brother co-managed the family-owned Antelope Butte Ranch (est. 1885), a mixed 1,000 head cow/calf operation in southern Alberta. The Antelope Butte Ranch has been genetically improving its herd for increased efficiency and profitability since the 1980s. Mr. Lynch-Staunton received a Bachelor’s in Marketing and International Business from Simon Fraser University, and completed a diploma in Spanish in Mexico.

Mr. Lynch-Staunton is Livestock Gentec’s Director of Industry Relations. His role is to work closely with the executive team to create connections with various sectors of the livestock industry for collaborative projects, two-way communications and genomics education. He is also Director of Marketing for Delta Genomics, and assists in business and market development for both Livestock Gentec and Delta.

Megan Dear, Founder, Localize

Meghan Dear is the founder of Localize, an Edmonton-based start-up that is testing ways to strengthen the relationship that consumers have with food producers through an innovative approach to grocery shelf and product labelling.  She has a degree in Biology and Agriculture, and has worked in the management of analytics research in food and agriculture for the Government of Alberta.  She has also worked for the Government of Ghana to develop and scale a unique platform to share crop market information with small scale farmers using private and public sector data, seeing first-hand that information can be a tool to empower both consumers and farmers to make better decisions. Localize’s shelf-labelling initiative is now operating in 42 Alberta grocery stores, and is expanding rapidly.

Carol Neuman, Founder, 10 Mile Meal

Carol Neuman spent her childhood on a farm near Pigeon Lake where she was immersed in the then-unglamorous local food scene: weeding her mothers’ garden, raising rabbits and, occasionally, milking cows. Today, she returns to her roots as founder of the 10 Mile Meal. Through local sourcing of ingredients and inspiration, the 10 Mile Meal celebrates the culinary and cultural traditions of farming communities in the greater Edmonton region.

Some of the most memorable discussion settled upon the differentiation of genetic or genomic selection and genetically modified organisms, which cuisines should be considered traditional in Alberta (Aboriginal vs Settler), and how to rate the level of “local” in food products.

Overall, I had a great night surrounded by like minded Edmontonian’s engaging in discussion about food.

PS. I can’t wait to check out Pangea! Small samples make it hard to form a solid opinion but they showed a lot of tasty promise.

TEDxEdmonton

Advertisements

The Dish Bistro

In the past couple of weeks I have experienced more life altering milestones than any sane person should ever submit themselves to. My dietetic internship and 5 long years of post secondary education came to a close, I packed up my life and moved from Grande Prairie back to Edmonton after living in the snowy north for four months, I moved in with my boyfriend, Alex and therefore adopted a puppy by default, and I started my first “real” job with NAIT Food Services. Needless to say I was in need of a serious catch up with my best friend, Janelle, and a soon-to-expire groupon led us to The Dish and The Runaway Spoon (which we have both lived across from for a whole year without ever making it in to). I was pleasantly surprised to see a “You’ve Gotta Eat Here” poster, as John Catucci came for a visit last May to film an episode for Season 2 of his series. It MUST be good if it’s on the food network!?

I was the first of my twosome to arrive and I was seated at a quaint table within the 40 seat bistro.

photo-2

After a lot of chatting and very little focus spent on the menu, we decided to share the Curried Turkey Burger and the Sticky Orange Chicken. The service was quite casual which worked well for the intense gossip that was going on at our table but may not be ideal for all circumstances.

Image

This curried turkey burger came with a citrus fennel and apple slaw which had the perfect balance of acidity, richness, and crisp and a side of fresh root vegetable chips that gave me the kick of salt that I look for in any meal. The burger itself was extremely flavorful and moist, but the bun seemed soggy to me (likely from the aoili). I would definitely order this again and I may have even been upset that I didn’t get to eat the whole thing by myself!

Image

The chicken came with chive and garlic mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables and it looked amazing! I’m not sure if it’s the dietitian in me but I was a tad disappointed to see chicken thighs rather than chicken breasts..I just can’t stand a soggy, fatty chicken skin. I was expecting a punch of citrus from the chicken and it left me wanting.

Still looking forward to their appearance on the next season of “You’ve Gotta Eat Here” and wouldn’t be opposed to giving it another shot, but my socks were not knocked off.