ICYMI: Okanagan chefs create chocolate formula, a Canadian food festival serves up garbage, new liquor laws for B.C. go into effect, and more

Canadian food news round-up for January 2017

There never seems to be a dull moment in our lively food scene here in Canada. From North America's first chocolate formula created by a post-secondary institution in Kelowna and a famous Winnipeg eatery announcing its sale, to a food festival centring around garbage and leftover food, here are some of the most interesting Canadian food news stories from the past week or so.

Toronto's trashiest food festival to date gets a lot of buzz


No jornal de hoje, mais uma notícia boa. Toronto vai ter um festival gastronômico, chamado Trashed and Wssted, todo servindo comidas e bebidas feitas com ingredientes que iriam para o lixo. Não basta você querer colar seu nome a esta causa com um discurso ali, outro aqui. A cidade abraça a causa da reciclagem e do lixo zero. E isso é muito legal de ver. In today's newspaper, another good news. Toronto will host a food festival called Trashed and Wasted, where all foods and drinks they serve are made out of edible stuff that would go to the trash pile. It's not only sticking your nane to a cause with a speech or other. The whole city embrace the recycling and zero waste causes. And that is so nice to watch! #lixozero #zerowaste #trashedandwasted2017

A photo posted by Fred Neumann (@fredneumann) on

With food waste continuing to be ever the hot topic, Trashed and Wasted will be the first official food and drink festival (happening on March 1st) in the country to serve up items made solely out of discarded food products. The one-day festival sees a mix of chefs, producers and distillers coming together and getting creative with all sorts of ingredients past their due date, produce and meat odds and ends and more. Organizer Brock Shepard tells Metro Toronto that the aim goal here is food waste awareness.

We're excited for this initiative that will see proceeds going towards Second Harvest.

Get the full scoop from Metro News here.

Winnipeg's Blondie's Burgers plans to shut its doors

After 26 years, a Winnipeg institution, Blondie's, is looking to sell. The diner has been featured on a mix of television shows and newscasts and is well-known in the city for its $100 gigantic cheeseburger, quirky atmosphere and interior walls covered in old photos, scribbles and doodles.

Read the full story on owner Sandy Doyle and her plans to close Blondie's in this CBC News story.

Okanagan chefs spend time in France perfecting formula for unique chocolate


#OkanaganCollege #OCpastryarts #occhocolate

A photo posted by Okanagan College (@okanagancollege) on

Two chefs of Kelowna's Okanagan College culinary department have recently developed a formula for two new types of chocolate after spending time in Cacao Berry's labratory in France. The two types of chocolate (a 69.8% dark and a 45.1% milk chocolate) have been named after interior B.C. lakes, Okanagan Noir and Kalamalka Caramel respectively. This is the first post-secondary institute in North America to develop signature chocolate formulas.

Chefs Bernard Casavant and Chef Danny Capadouca plan to eventually offer the chocolate in a retail bulk format in the next month or so.

Read about this new chocolatey goodness in this CBC News piece.

El Cortez adds third concept to its resume

Popular tequila bar, El Cortez and its Southern-inspired cocktail spot, Have Mercy are expecting a new addition to its restaurant family come summertime. There's not a ton of information on what's planned for the new space owners, but owners Bill Graham, Melanie Swerdan and Michael Maxxis say it will offer a "straight-up dining experience in a cool space) in Liane Fauldner's Edmonton Journal article.

Alberta restaurateurs seem to have a penchant for owning multiple concepts in one building with Daniel Costa's three Italian eateries all attached to eachother on Jasper Avenue and Justin Leboe's Model Milk, Pigeonhole and Model Citizen housed together on 17th Avenue in Calgary.

McDonald's and A&W announce all-day breakfast menu to roll-out in February


Tastes just like home.#AWCanada

A photo posted by A&W Canada (@awcanada) on

After immense buzz from their preliminary launch of all-day breakfast, McDonald's announced this week that the 24 hour offerings will be available across the country in February. A&W has also jumped on the breakfast bandwagon as well. Breakfast for all, whenever you want, I suppose!

Read the full CBC News story here.

Cranbrook chef and partner take 2nd place in international ice carving competition

After a successful fundraiser in Edmonton a couple of months ago to help get them overseas, Cranbrook chef, Rusty Cox and Edmonton chef, Steve Buzak, have returned home after winning second place at the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in China. The two self-taught ice sculptors created a beautiful honey bee-inspired structure completed with intricate honeycomb segments. Congratulations gentlemen!

To hear about the competition and inspiration behind the design, read the full CBC News story here.

New (improved) B.C. liquor laws are now in effect

Drinking in B.C. is about to get more dynamic. New liquor laws have recently come into effect that allow all types of businesses (think: barbershops, clothing stores, etc...) to apply for liquor licences. Fun, right? You'll also be able to order a drink at a hotel bar and carry around the hotel with you, well, basically just back to your room. At any rate, it will be interesting to see which small businesses opt-in for this new level of service in the west coast city.

Read more or watch the Global BC news segment here.