Market Gypsy: What are the best things to eat in Central Alberta?

The food industry is often a difficult risk to take on. With soaring food costs, staffing issues, and a need to remain in the public eye yet most food industry leaders or entrepreneurs are passionate about what they do and why they do it. I wanted to give a nod to the small one-person farm or to a large scale, busy restaurant and thought it would be a better heartfelt ode to them if acknowledged through an interactive month of Central Albertans sharing favorite people, places and things in Central Alberta’s food scene.

Alas the idea came to me, the first Market Gypsy Eats – Central Alberta’s top 25 best things to EAT. For the love of community, making connections, and incredible food, let’s share what makes Central Alberta a hub for foodies and food artisans.

To participate and give a shout out to a CSA farm, restaurant dish, an item found only at farmer’s markets, a homemade product from a small retailer, and a snack from a food truck, whatever you want to share. DEADLINE: April 26th, 2018. The top 25 will be listed along with a beautiful photo of an item shared and in the Market Gypsy lifestyle column on May 3rd, 2018 in the Red Deer Advocate. To enter your favorite person, place, or thing, tag our accounts and use the hashtag #MarketGypsyTop25 with your photos or comments.

Don’t be shy to share where you tried a lunch and the locally produced bacon alone could be a conversation piece or to share your favorite egg producer, or gluten-free raw food cafe and what makes them the best. I am curious to know. I am asking for your recommendations of what can be called Central Alberta’s food trends or the best of the best. This Market Gypsy Eats month long nomination is to rediscover old favourites and possibly be inspired to tasty new finds.

I am enamored with the reasons we are devoted to our local food scene, knowing there is more to it than simply eating food. The reasons are vast and complex yet simple and refined, these are the reasons I believe food brings us together to share our time while making it, enjoying it or finding it. There is fresh bread, floral strung garlic, a plethora or items and incredible food artisans in our area to be celebrated. At times life and food may seem glossy and too perfect yet they can be messy and needing comfort. There is poetry in all of it. There is no facet of food and cooking that does not interest me. Being ‘mindful’ is trending amongst terms in 2018 yet if we consider it for nominating your favorite food item, we begin to apply being present and appreciating the slow food concept making moments shared with friends, family and our community. It takes a simple tomato to be viewed as a beautiful work of art again or as salt of the earth. It takes days from fluorescent lighting to more farm stand and gratefulness. It brings us back to the core of community.

That is the aim of this column to share new ideas about the food and beverage community yet to remind us of traditional concepts and places. Join me this month in sharing what you admire most Central Alberta’s food industry and connect once again or for the first time why it is important to you.

Sharlyn lives in Red Deer creating a feast, preparing for a hike, and connecting with farmers or food industry leaders. You can find more on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook as Market Gypsy.

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