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What do you say when a friend offers you two tickets to a pop-up dinner on the 27th floor of a newly opened high rise tower? Yes, emphatically YES. That’s exactly how I found myself at the second Culinary Lab Series atop the Edmonton Tower with my handsome man friend. What a delicious time that was! To celebrate Canada’s 150th, 5 chefs from across the nation were brought together to experiment with Canadian sourced ingredients to make a one off menu for an evening. Sounds pretty rad, right? It was. Our seats were at Chef Mandel Hitzer from the Deer + Almond in Winnipeg. Keep scrolling for some delectable dishes.

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Our first course was titled “Manitoba in 3 Bites” which turned out to be more than three bites for me but were all spectacular in their own way and paired with Prospect Sauvignon Blanc. Starting with the front moving clockwise:

  • Elk, buckwheat, pickled blueberries
  • Wild rice, pickerel, flowers
  • Trappist cheese, grilled chantrelles, apples.
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I kept it casual wearing a full look from Frank & Oak because that’s apparently how I roll these days… light cotton top and a pair of high waisted mom jeans. Side note – the top is currently on sale here and basically my favourite thing to wear every. single. day. I could live in light weight cotton!

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The second course was a spin on a classic beat and goat cheese salad with the addition of Artic Char, carrots and sea buckthorn. Fun fact – I use sea buckthorn oil on my face as it is super nourishing for your skin!

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Chef Mendel Hitzer taking the mic

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This soup. There are no words for how ridiculously good this soup was! It included smoked goldeye, gnocchi, whitefish roe, and a crayfish broth. That broth though, it was creamy and salty, but not too salty. I will have dreams about it for years to come. This was paired with Main Squeeze, an Alley Kat beer.

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This was supposed to be a short rib but apparently they did not materialize so this piece of magic pork arrived instead. I was not disappointed in the least. The peas, kennebec potatoes, and swiss chard were a perfect combination of vegetables to accompany it.

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Dessert is always my favourite course without a doubt. Tonight was no exception. We were treated to Manitoba blueberries with sourdough panna cotta and sunflower seeds. This was paired with a sparking wine, Stoneboat Piano Brut. I have recently become quite enamored with panna cotta, the consistency is so interesting – not quite yogurt, not quite jello; just a quiet perfection, much like this whole experience.

Many thanks to Danny Ross of General Concern for creating the space as well as having us!

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