Fanning the Embers in November
When the weather turns cold, nothing is better than slipping into something simmering with spices. And, when those spices are fused with filling, comforting dishes, it’s nothing short of satisfying.
This month we asked Alberta chefs for their take on heating things up. From roasted peppers in savoury breads, to hearty stews infused with curry, to international takes on the humble potato, there’s no shortage of what a little spice, and a lot of love, can do to get your inner furnace flaring as we head into another Alberta winter.
At Canmore’s änkôr, owner and head chef Danny Beaulieu marries contemporary Canadian cuisine with knowledge and excitement. From serving in Canadian restaurants to bartending in Japan, Beaulieu soon found the kitchen calling his name. “The restaurant industry has always been my passion,” he explains. “I made sure to collect as much knowledge as possible by working in different fine dining establishments before finally taking the leap and opening my own.”
He prides himself on sourcing products that most guests won’t encounter anywhere else and taking advantage of one or two ingredients that are currently in season. “We often create dishes that focus on one ingredient, transforming it in a way that will wow our guests.”
Beaulieu’s other source of inspiration is his team at änkôr. “I have a vision of what we are working towards, but the technique and flavours in the dishes are created as a team.” It’s rather fitting then, that this Poblano Cornbread recipe is one Beaulieu got from änkôr’s pastry chef and baker, Jo-Annie Deschamp. “It reminds me of every holiday that I shared with friends and family,” says Beaulieu. “It’s comforting and perfect for the cold season coming ahead.”
Find Chef Danny Beaulieu's recipe for Poblano Cornbread here.
Chef Nitin Jadhav has honed his culinary skills in hotels of the Taj, Marriot, and Fairmont groups, from India to Jasper. For more than a decade, he’s been the Executive Chef at the Courtyard & Residence Inn by Marriot at the Calgary Airport. It’s an experience he describes as both memorable and flavourful. “I’m enjoying every moment of it,” he adds.
“Happy, satisfied guests influence my cooking,” he continues, saying that there’s no specific cuisine he prefers to cook. Guest cravings help shape Chef Jadhav’s menu, but there’s also underlying inspiration courtesy his mother. “Her food was and still is a topic of discussion in our family,” he says. “Our friends and family always had a memorable meal at our home, so those memories always inspire me. I like for my guests to have the same memories with my food.”
Vada (potato ball) Pav (bread roll) is a dish that Chef Jadhav says is close to his heart, and resonates his home in Mumbai: “As a kid, I remember devouring this with my brother until we could not move an inch,” he recalls. “It’s a dish that takes me for a walk through my beautiful childhood memories.” Best served on rainy or cold days, Chef Jadhav advises to not rush the process. “Good food takes time and lots of love!”
Find Chef Nitin Jadhav's recipe for Vada Pav here.
After working in Hawaii, Spain, London, and France, Calgary-born Chef Lancelot Monteiro came home once again and was the overseeing chef for Cilantro, Bar C, and Urban Butcher. Taking a year off in 2019 after Cilantro closed, he seized the opportunity to move to Banff where he is Chef at The Prow at Buffalo Mountain Lodge.
“I always like to make people happy,” Chef Monteiro explains, “and what better way to explore new foods and different tastes.” His mother is Ukrainian, and exposed him to different styles and flavours of European cooking, while his father is from the Middle East, and introduced him to a world of curries and spices.
He shares a recipe based on his grandmother’s curry lentil soup, one that enjoyed as a child. “My grandmother would always tell us kids, ‘Eat more ginger and garlic and turmeric! It’s good for your blood!’” Today, he makes this stew for his kids on a cold day, or when they’re under the weather. “The smell of it cooking is one of my wife’s faves.”
Cooking low and slow makes all the difference in this dish, says Chef Monteiro, but more importantly cook with love and good energy. “When people ask why my food tastes great, my answer has always been love and care!”
Find Chef Lancelot Monteiro's recipe for Lentil and Sweet Potato stew here.