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.