For the urban explorer, there’s Calgary, and for outdoor sun or snowseekers, there’s Banff National Park. But for those who love both, and want to avoid tourist-filled attractions, there’s a hidden gem of a town between the two: Canmore.
About 80 kilometres west of Calgary, the small-but-mighty Canmore is home to some of the best outdoor sports activities (from paddleboarding and caving to all the snowsports), most relaxing spas and some of the top restaurants and breweries.
For those who want to sample all of the best food and drinks that Canmore has to offer, Canmore Uncorked, an annual food festival that showcases the best local foods, producers and farmers, through a series of set-menu meals and unique experiences, is not to be missed. Where else can you enjoy brunch prepared by a selection of restaurants in Canmore, dine along to Juno-nominated classical group Quartetto Gelato, enjoy an expertly-prepared elegant meal in a redecorated double decker bus, cycle and dine with an Olympian, or sample over 80 beers from 17 breweries?
Sage Bistro and Wine Lounge, a popular restaurant in Canmore and a supporter of Canmore Uncorked is back at the event this year with its $40 set price menu, and is participating in the Mountain FM Canmore Culinary Symphony event, where Quartetto Gelato will be pairing a unique performance with each of the courses, one of which will be prepared by Sage’s head chef Luke Griffin.
“We are extremely excited about this year's Uncorked,” says Griffin. “Being a part of Uncorked, for me as a chef, is a privilege. All the collaboration and ideas that go into making it such a success is really great to see in the food and beverage industry here in Canmore.”
Sage, which has been in operation for 27 years, will be launching a menu in May and the event is the perfect kickoff to new bistro items.
Another event participant, Farm Box, which delivers local organic groceries to households, will be sponsoring the launch party to highlight local producers and farmers in the five-chef competition. Farm Box works with around 24 suppliers in central and southern Alberta and B.C. to help members make better food choices and to increase the awareness of seasonality and local foods.
It is this philosophy that makes Farm Box a great fit for Canmore Uncorked.
“Canmore has a vibrant food culture,” says Chrystel Vultier. “With the high concentration of restaurants, it’s become a destination for dining. We also have a conscious community, seeking organic and healthy choices, that is progressively-minded attitude toward wellness.”
When asked what she is looking forward to the most at Canmore Uncorked, Vultier says, “The long table event is a spectacular event, especially being outside with so many different chefs. The simple passport going from restaurant to restaurant is super fun; you get a real festival vibe.”
Canmore Uncorked runs April 6 -17, 2016 and tickets to individual events can be purchased online.