Students cook up seasonal fare at RDC
That 100-mile diet is possible during a Prairie winter.
Some of it anyway.
Just ask Ezrah Quiambao, a second-year Hospitality and Tourism Management student at Red Deer College, who along with four classmates put on “a decidely Alberta menu” to about 60 people at the college’s Cornerstone Dining Room on Saturday.
Since the beginning of January, the five — Cailyn Anderson, Dan Wyering, Sean Kim, Tor Seitinger and Quiambao — began organizing their Flavours of Alberta event. Eight appetizers were be featured with ingredients from as far north as Athabasca and as far south as Calgary.
Quiambao said that not all the food could be retrieved from within Central Alberta.
After all, a lot of the food is seasonal.
Canadian couple Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon wrote the 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating (or Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally) to show what they had to do to eat locally over a year.
They relied on farmers’ markets and visits to local farms.
“Our goal was to make sure that we’re helping the community a bit,” said Quiambao, 23.
“It’s really educational for the public — that you can buy local.”
The students served roasted red pepper bisque, consisting of tomatoes and peppers from Doef’s Greenhouses in Lacombe, and wild rice and elk sausage paella, which included ingredients from Lakeland Wild Rice from Athabasca and elk sausage from E & L Ranching from Bowden. Roasted chicken quiche was made with chicken and eggs from MSW Farms of Ponoka, and Gruyere cheese from Sylvan Star Cheese west of Red Deer.
Guests also dined on an appetizer of bison sliders with heritage harvest red fife wheat, with the bison coming from MSW Farms of Ponoka, saskatoon sauce from Pearson Berry Farms at Bowden and the red fife wheat from Strathmore’s Heritage Harvest farm. Quiambao said the wild rice was their most surprising discovery when it came to homegrown ingredients.
“I never knew you could get it from Alberta,” he said. “Alberta is known for its meat and we did put a lot of meat into our appetizers.”
One of their resources was the Green Pantry, an online local food market for Central Alberta. Their instructor also helped them get in touch with producers.
“We didn’t use Alberta recipes but recipes that were already common and we tried to mix local ingredients into it,” said Quiambao.