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Media Story - Red Deer, AB | May 6, 2015
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What’s on Your Plate?

Chances are the ingredients to make the meal at your favourite city restaurant came from a Central Alberta farm. Make like a chef and go meet the farmers.

Red Deer, AB. August 18, 2014: To create the best dishes, you need super-fresh ingredients and many of Alberta’s top chefs take the time to connect with producers and source ingredients locally. “I think it’s important to support producers in your own community, but I also believe that local food tastes better,” says Andrew Winfield, Executive Chef at Calgary’s River Café. “You can taste the difference between a vine ripened vegetable or fruit and one that was picked green and ripened in a gassing room inside a truck.”

A celebrated and highly awarded chef, Winfield maintains close ties with local producers, visiting countless farms and markets to source the very best ingredients for his Canadian Seasonal Cuisine. In June, he’ll be participating in the Asparagus Festival at Edgar Farms near Innisfail and cooking up local asparagus for farm visitors to sample. Last year he made asparagus guacamole without avocados and festival attendees will be eager to see what he creates this year. 

Visiting the Asparagus festival is just one of many ways you can discover local food and meet the people who produce it. With more than 9,100farms in the region, Central Alberta has agriculture at its backbone and it’s the best place in the province to discover exactly what’s on your plate. 

Alberta’s Asparagus Festival: Alberta’s only Asparagus Festival will take place at Edgar Farms on May 31, June 7 and June 14, 2015. For six generations, the Edgars have been farming near Innisfail and today they have the largest asparagus operation in the province. The annual Asparagus Festival will feature asparagus samples, hay rides to Alberta’s largest asparagus fields, a petting zoo and kids activities, an asparagus mascot, hands-on activities, artisan booths, and the chance to learn from executive chefs preparing delicious asparagus tastings. Visitors can shop for fresh farm products like asparagus, Angus beef, homemade pies and preserves. If you want to make a day of it, spend the night in Red Deer at the Holiday Inn South and enjoy dinner at the hotel’s celebrated Boulevard Restaurant, which will feature a special asparagus-themed menu on festival days.

Divine Swine: City Palate is presenting the 5th annual Pig and Pinot Festival on Thursday, June 18 from 7-10 pm at Calgary’s Hotel Arts and fourteen chef teams will compete for the “Divine Swine” trophy. Foodies will definitely want to purchase a ticket for the event, but serious foodies will also want to visit The Farm with the Good Food, the official pork supplier for this year’s event. Located outside Red Deer, this multi-generational mixed organic farm has an onsite HolmeHus antique shop and food store where you’ll find antiques, collectibles and farm fresh beef, pork, eggs and veggies. You can also tour the gardens, visit the animals and enjoy a picnic lunch.

Fresh from the Farm Gate: Go for a Country Drive and you’ll discover a group of agri-tourism operators that welcome visitors onto their farms. Whether you’re buying fresh lamb and sheep’s wool from the onsite shop at Brown Eggs and Lamb or picking flowers and veggies at Eagle Creek Farms, you’ll discover great food and fun.

Cool Cooking Classes: The tea house at Ellis Bird Farm will be featuring several cooking workshops this season where visitors can learn charcuterie secrets, how to make a homemade cider press, pie making and pickling basics. Be sure to check out the brand new visitor’s centre while you’re there.

A Taste of Markerville: On July 25, 2015 food lovers will converge on Historic Markerville for a culinary extravaganza featuring local farmers, six of Alberta’s top chefs and amazing food. There will also be a Country Fair where you’ll find local food and handicrafts.

BRING THIS STORY ALIVE: Come discover what’s on your plate. Attend the Alberta Asparagus Festival, visit area farms and have a cooking class with a farmer. Qualified media can contact us and we’ll set it all up.   
For more info contact: Tourism Red Deer's Media & Communications Team is here to help with all your editorial needs. For more information on this story, please contact:

Debbie Olsen, Media Relations Specialist
Email: dogo@telusplanet.net
Ph: 403.391.2934 
Fax: 403.346.5081 
Liz Taylor, Executive Director
Tourism Red Deer
Email: liz@tourismreddeer.com 
Ph: 403.346.0180
Fax: 403.346.5081
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