In no particular order, here are the people and places that left a lasting impression on me.
1 Pitched in and helped with the Eau Claire Distillery’s fall harvest at Bar U Ranch.
2. Took the long way home from Calgary to Edmonton via Drumheller.
3. Dined at PD3 in Canmore. It may not be a restaurant, but in my opinion, it’s one of the best new restaurant openings of 2015.
4. Invited to Cook it Raw retreat in Lac La Biche. As food writer Jennifer Cockrall-King describes in her Maclean’s magazine post, “In May, the Alberta chefs were told to detach from family, work and WiFi for a four-day, zero-frills quasi-survivalist experience on Cucumber Island, a sandspit in Lac La Biche, 245 km northeast of Edmonton. By day, they roasted in a late spring heatwave. By night, they slept in canvas tents. They built their own cob oven for cooking. Moose wandered within metres of their tents, and northern pike seemed to bite with each cast.”
5. Listening to local bands at Edmonton’s Cask and Barrel on Saturday afternoons. Friend, their kids and great music.
6. Attended Gerry Rasmussen’s art show at Modern Painters Gallery on Fort Road in Edmonton.
7. Roadtrippin’ with close friends to Lethbridge. So many moments we could talk about but the best was our sushi crawl.
8. Surfing at West Edmonton Mall.
9. Participated in a restaurant crawl of downtown Medicine Hat. A highlight of the tour was drinks and dinner at the Cypress Club, Medicine Hat’s private member’s club.
10. Attended Medicine Hat’s Sunshine Skillet’s al fresco dinner under the world’s largest teepee. Got to really know chef Shane Chartrand of Sage restaurant. I’m a huge fan of tartare and had my best tartare of the year, Shane’s elk tartare.