Gourmet meals at city attractions
SELKIRK GRILLE AT HERITAGE PARK
Open year-round just steps in front of the gate to Heritage Park Historical Village (page 31) is a restaurant that chef de cuisine Tobias Larcher says he hopes inspires “a Canadian feeling.” This fall, the all-Canadian menu includes housecured and brined brisket, a campfire s’mores cake, perogies, bannock, homemade beef jerky, elk bolognaise, and a proud favourite of Larcher’s: Caesar crab cakes. Larcher says the kitchen tries to incorporate at least one ingredient from the four on-site gardens in every dish, such as handpicked strawberries in the berry crumble, or fresh honey for a crème brûlée, to “bring the park back to its roots.” Austrianborn Larcher says travelling the world has shaped his values as a chef, including a passion to push for locally-grown product. “This is what we are,” he says. “I’ve learned that when you live in one place, don’t try to get items from elsewhere. Canada is so big, and it has so much. We take things that are traditional and put a spin on it.”
SKY 360 IN THE CALGARY TOWER
At a staggering 155-metres above street-level, this landmark’s restaurant truly offers a view from the top. Sky 360 (page 49) makes a full rotation every 45 minutes during lunch service and every hour at dinner to show off views of the city and Rocky Mountains. Though it used to be known as a fine dining staple, general manager Nasser Awada says the restaurant has changed its approach. “While the menu can appeal to many foodies in the city, it is also comfortable and accommodating. We want it to be a more relaxed, fine-casual approach. We’re even appealing to families a lot more by bringing in a kids’ menu.” A lot of the cuisine draws from Canadian techniques, with everything made in-house and a focus on local products. “We’re such an iconic piece of the city,” says Awada. “It makes sense to offer as much local support as we can. Sky 360 is a Canadian atmosphere.”
THE SOCIAL EATERY BY ROGER MOOKING AT TELUS SPARK
Foodies may recognize the charismatic celebrity chef Roger Mooking from Food Network Canada, but his most recent endeavour takes him back to his Alberta roots. Mooking says his challenge was to circumvent the deep-fried, carnival-style stigma that many highvolume environments are posed with. He created The Social Eatery at Telus Spark (page 32), which caters to all dietary restrictions and diverse demographics. Everything is house-made, including the chimichurri and Japanese furikake dust. Mooking encourages guests to add a twist to their meal via their unique condiment selection. “Whether you like tamarind and hot sauce, or ketchup and mustard, you can do that,” he says. The food puts a global twist on home cooking with dishes like the pull-apart chicken paratha and the ham and cheese sandwich made with prosciutto and Spanish manchego.
Clockwise from right: The Calgary Tower; Chef Mooking and the Social Eatery; the Selkirk Grille; eggs Benedict at Sky 360.