Jennifer Cockrall-King | News
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Three-ring Meal By JENNIFER COCKRALL-KING I sat frozen, wanting to reach for my wine. My extremities had long ago been numbed by the cold but the syrah was icing over. With two layers of thermal underwear, a parka, and wearing my puffiest down-filled winter mittens, every manoeuver required precision. I reached out, formed my hand into a claw, advanced it to-ward the glass. It was like dining using the Canadarm. I slowly brought it back towards me towards my lips, tipped it up, and took a generous glug. Mission accomplished. There we were, a collection of extreme diners, doing our best to manipulate knives and forks in sub- zero weather. It was January and we were in a farmer’s field, hours away from any city, near the aptly named town of Viking, Alberta. (Those who weren’t dressed in Everest-mountaineer outfits were swaddled in animal pelts.) Here, Blair Lebsack of Edmonton’s RGE RD restaurant had built a walled enclosure with giant hay bales and was serving a six-course meal of hay-smoked pork hocks, beet “caviar” and local whisky hot toddies. We dined away under a Ted Harrison sky while coyotes yipped in the distance. Dining outdoors in January on the Canadian prairies might be carrying...

The world’s finest avant-garde chefs descend on Alberta And find an underrated food wonderland   Jennifer Cockrall-King Cook It Raw Alberta chefs share an afternoon picnic lunch of roast duck and charcuterie with founder and director, Alessandro Porcelli at Upper Kananaskis Lake. Chefs L to R: Magnus Ek (Oaxen Krog & Slip, Stockholm), Cam Dobranski (Brasserie Kensington, Calgary), Duncan Ly (Calgary), (kneeling) Darren MacLean (Shokunin, Calgary. SAIT culinary instructor Scott Pohorelic and me in the middle background. Photo by Mark Mahaney (for Maclean's magazine). Published on Maclean's online October 30, 2015; in November 7, 2015 print issue. On a cloudless October afternoon, Albert Adrià—chef sibling of Ferran Adrià, and his partner in the game-changing elBulli (closed now, but, for over a decade the world’s most famously inventive restaurant)—was in Calgary creating ethereal perfection on a waffle iron that looked straight out of a Holiday Inn Express. One by one, he handed off waffles to Calgary chefs John Michael MacNeil and Scott Pohorelic, who smeared them with thick, snow-white yogourt, purple saskatoon-berry purée and crumbled almond spongecake. They scooped smoked ice milk drizzled with birch syrup into cups as giddy guests waited. #TeamSaskatoon, as they became known on Twitter, weren’t just making waffles; they were making the...