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Jessica and I joined lots of Calgarians at Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown 2013. In addition to trying out 11 top chef’s creations in one stop, we went to support sustainable seafood. What a fun experience! What a great way to showcase sustainable ingredients. It sure got people talking and spreading the awareness of a more responsible way of life.
Chowder is such a comfort food especially on a cold day, or 6 months of winter in our case. We learned a few tricks from the pros as we savoured and appreciated the imagination poured into all 11 chowder creations tonight. Ready to spice up your winter?
1. Pork rind is a fantastic substitute for bread or cracker in your chowder.
2. Vegetable chips such as kale chips are also brilliant alternative to bread or cracker for your next chowder.
Chef Rebecca House of Thompsons topped her Smoked Salmon Chowder with kale chips and it won tonight’s People’s Choice title. Chef Andrew Keen of Redwater Grill added a splash of colour and texture to his Pacific Oyster & Parsnip Chowder with vegetable chips.
3. Devonshire cream can be used to add richness and flavour to your chowder.
Yes, devonshire cream commonly used with tea scones is proven to perform wonders in Chef Dustin Schafer‘s Smoked Salmon and Candied Scallop Chowder tonight. He dropped a dollop of devonshire cream mixed with roasted sweet corns in the cup before pouring over steaming hot chowder to complete the serving. I was in heaven.
4. Okra adds body to none cream based chowder.
For those who are lactose intolerant, creamy chowder can be a dangerous craving. Chef Darren Maclean‘s DTF Modern Chowder was the only chowder without cream tonight. He used okra to add body to his creation. It’s such a surprising and genius modification to a chowder. The bold and memorable flavor won tonight’s Best Chowder!
5. Cheese kills the heat.
There were a few spicy chowders tonight, mostly curry spices. A big cheese station offering generous portion of Asiago, Brie and Goat cheeses was placed half way down the lineup of chowder stations. It sure was a great relief to prepare us in challenging all of the full-flavored chowders tonight.
There is a dark secrete I’ve been keeping in my closet, and it’s coming out today. Ready? Here we go. I turn off my lights and hide in my basement from the trickle treaters on Halloween night. There I said it, feeling much relieved though My friends with kids are probably un-friending me on Facebook right now.
I have nothing against Halloween! I just want to enjoy it without getting out of my seat every 5 minutes and endure the fear of running out of candy. For those sharing the same dark secrete, you now know you are not alone. You can still have Halloween funs regardless. Get your customes before you go out there and scare people.
1. Scream Fest
It’s a 10 days event rated PG13 leading up to Halloween. It’s not intended for the faint of hearts and not recommended for young children. Be prepared to some truly scary haunted houses, carnival games, and entertainments.
You can enjoy the public walking tours all year round and learn about the spooky history of Calgary and Banff. Not only suitable for out-of-town visitors, but also entertaining for local residents. It’s a friendly tour for children as well as wheelchairs. Tour guides wear cape, so don’t forget your camera.
If you are going to miss the ever growing annual Calgary Zombie Walk (10/12 2013) because I release this blog post too late (so sorry), you are not to late to sign up and get ready for this simultaneous world wide dance event. You’ll have to learn a few easy moves, but you’ll have a chance to beat world record with Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. This is a great event to bring your relatives and children along for a physically active weekend of fun.
4. Calgary Corn Maze Flashlight Night
The flashlight night gave me a totally different perspective about this seasonal corn maze. It gets real dark inside the maze. Moonlight and flashlight are your only hope to sight. Next flashlight night is 10/18/2013. I hope you get a chance to go and nudge the staff to have more of flashlight nights! Check out our video for a little taste of thrill.
5. Sci Fi Night
University of Calgary’s observatory is throwing a party on 10/26/2013, too! $10 to this celebration of 60s science and pop culture. There will be games, trivia challenges, costume contest, music. You’ll be amongst the stars in Rothney Astrophysical Observatory.
6. Party at Home
If you are a home body, and in need of helpers to answer the door bell and handout the candies for you. Why not throw a last minute pot-luck party? You’ll only have to decorate. Here are a few last mid pumpkin hack and party decor tips I found on YouTube. Easy peachy.
7. Out and Party!
There are quite a few of them in Calgary: