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Local restaurants preparing for upcoming farm-to-table festival

Fairmont Jasper Park Lodgewill be featured in Alberta on the Plate. | J.Stockfish photo

Jason Stockfish |

Four local eateries will be showcased next month in the fourth annual “dine around” festival known as Alberta on the Plate.

Running from Aug. 12-21, the province-wide event showcases more than 100 restaurants in 27 communities throughout Alberta and features locally-produced ingredients from over 200 farms and producers in a celebration of food and farming, with a splash of locally-brewed and distilled beer and spirits to wash it all down.

The annual festival takes place during Alberta Local Food Week and wraps up on the same weekend that Open Farm Days occurs.

“This slate of restaurants showcases the local flavours that influence each region of the province,” said Rheannon Green, director of Finer Details with Food Tourism Strategies. 

“From the Indigenous peoples who shaped our land to the immigration influences of the French, Ukrainian, Chinese and Vietnamese, the Alberta terroir is shaped by the people as much as by the land which is reflected in the diversity of the restaurants, food products and culinary creators across Alberta.”

The four Jasper businesses to be featured in the festival are Olive Bistro and Lounge, Evil Dave’s Grill, Tekarra Restaurant and Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge (JPL).

For the owners of Olive Bistro and Lounge, Steph Kalamoutsos and Darryl Huculak, the 10-day festival represents everything their restaurant looks to celebrate.

“I was actually made aware of Alberta on the Plate when they reached out to us,” Huculak said.

“We at the Olive had made it our goal to personally work with small farms that believe in the same things we do – sustainability and quality – and Alberta on the Plate just highlights what we do year-round.”

Huculak noted that the logistics were hard to manage in the beginning, but everything came together as they developed strong relationships with local farmers.

“I think our personal connections with these farms is significant, because we actually go to the farms and meet the farmers. We don’t just order our products through a corporation that says they are local.”

“Alberta has so many wonderful farms, and we are happy to be working with them because when you know your farmers, you know your food,” he added.

Long recognized for its exceptional dining experiences, JPL has a few dining establishments where visitors and residents can enjoy exquisite locally-farmed meals prepared with only the finest of ingredients.

From the Greek-inspired fare at Thompson’s Terrace on JPL’s world class golf course, to the northern-Italian cuisine at Orso Trattoria, or afternoon tea, lunch or dinner à la carte in the Great Hall, Fairmont offers something for everyone, including locally-brewed beverages in the Emerald Lounge.

The other two local eateries involved with the festival, Evil Dave’s Grill and Tekarra Restaurant, are owned by Jasperites Cyndy and Mike Day. 

“We participate to highlight Alberta producers and their wide range of food and booze,” Day said. 

Day explained that in recent years they have chosen to solely offer Alberta craft beer at their restaurants and have made a conscious effort to substantially increase their offerings of Alberta spirits. 

“The breadth and diversity of new products available to consumers is nothing short of astonishing,” Day said.

“Alberta is a prime market for farm-to-table offerings and Alberta on the Plate does a great job of increasing awareness.” 

Alberta on the Plate menu offerings will soon be available from each of these local businesses.

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