Eat Alberta 2013

This post comes super late after the event (2 weeks ago… sorry al!), but that wont stop me from writing about it! Eat Alberta was a wonderful day of culinary adventures! I attended the first Eat Alberta two years, but couldn’t attend last year because of the election. There was no way I was going to miss out this year, so I decided to volunteer to offset the cost of attending. It was super fun!


All of the food for the event prepared by NAIT’s culinary program. Wow. Breakfast was incredible! We were definitely well looked after that day. DSC04066

As a volunteer, I got to attend one of the hands-on classes for free! I was so lucky, I got my first choice – knife skills! Kevin Kent from Knifewears led the session, and let me borrow one of his knives – this one says “Hello Kevin” on the side. How awesome, eh?DSC04067

He had a huge knowledge base on knives – I was super impressed!DSC04076

He first showed us how to hone a knife (that means to straighten the blade so that it cuts more true). To do this – you use a steel rod and carve it like a Donair.DSC04077

Front and back. DSC04086

Next, to actually sharpen the knife, you need an abrasive surface (if I’m remembering correctly, he used leather). The concept is to remove a small layer of the knife’s surface to make the edge smoother and sharper. DSC04089

To do this, you spread the knife on the pallet like butter!DSC04095

He then showed us how to properly hold our knives. Curl your fingers on one side…DSC04096

And hold your thumb on the other to steady the knife. DSC04099

Kevin then showed us how to properly hold a potato while cutting it. Hold the end of the potato with your thumb, to steady it, then curl your fingers in so that the knife runs along the knuckles as you cut. This grasp helps you cut really fast!DSC04102

The next adventure was to learn how to perfectly cube a potato. First things first. Cut the potato into a rectangle. DSC04103

And then cut it into perfect cubes (yea, his were perfect, mine definitely were not!)DSC04104

then cube them smaller! (Mine were definitely uneven!)DSC04105

He showed us how to julienne too. DSC04106

The little pieces looked like spaghetti! DSC04108

He then chopped up the pieces super small and they looked like confetti. (I can’t really remember when you would use potato like this, other than for decorating a plate…)DSC04115

Kevin showed us how to cut carrots beautifully!DSC04124

This is how you cut pineapples, to remove the eyes, without having to waste so much fruit. DSC04129

And as a bonus, when you chop it up, it’s beautiful! DSC04133

The next session I volunteered at was a beer tasting with Niel Herbst, owner of Alley Kat brewery. It was super informative and tasty!DSC04138

My favourite taste of the day was Alley Kat’s new summer squeeze grapefruit ale. Wowza, it tasted like summer in a bottle. I can’t wait to sit on a patio this summer sipping that bad boy!DSC04143

The next session I helped out with was Ricotta Cheese making. I wasn’t there long, but it was pretty cool to see how ricotta is made!DSC04147

The next session I volunteered at was with Owen Petersen from Prairie Mill Bakery. He taught a class how to make bread using a sourdough starter. DSC04148

He named his starter Julie. How awesome!DSC04153

I got some pretty good shots of volunteers mixing their dough. DSC04158

And some great shots of Owen expertly kneading his dough. DSC04159

Look at those skilled hands!DSC04160

In the end, there was a beautiful ball of dough. I was super impressed with that session, and made me consider wanting to bake with a starter!DSC04164

At the end of the day, we were all presented with an incredible tasting board filled with local treats (Sylvan Star Gouda, Evans Cherry jello, Gold Forest Grains Wheat Berry salad… hmmmm it was so good!)

A big shout out to the organizers for putting on such a great event! I was floored at how much work must have gone into preparing for it! I had a great time, and loved the sessions! I will definitely be volunteering again next year!


3 Comments on “Eat Alberta 2013”

  1. Great recap of the knife skills class, Jacquie… I had no idea that Kevin was this creative with a knife!

  2. […] Parkallen Home Kitchen […]

  3. […] attend Eat Alberta again this year. I attended in 2011, the inaugural year, and then I volunteered in 2013. Eat Alberta teaches participants all about local food, how to cook it, where to source it and how […]

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