Every February over the last three decades, Edmonton’s scenic river valley has transformed into a winter wonderland for Edmontonians to celebrate recreation, art and culture. What began as a small weekend skating event at Hawrelak Park has since become the city’s largest and longest winter festival, and this year, a new signature event has been added to the docket, aimed at highlighting the region’s incredible food scene.
Silver Skate Festival’s Long Table Dinner Series will see some of Western Canada’s most notable chefs come together to create multi-course menus using locally-sourced ingredients. Each night, 24 guests will be treated to a special dinner service in a vintage Trapper’s Tent, provided by either one or two special guest chefs from Edmonton, Calgary, and Saskatoon.
Hometown chefs account for 12 of the 17 participants, including Christine Sandford (Biera), Richard Toll (Under the High Wheel), Roger Letourneau (Meuwly’s), Ellen Mitchell (Baijiu), and Riley Aitkens (Smokey Bear).
“After doing events like Prairie Grid, Raw:almond and other collaborations, I realized how important it is for chefs to come together and collaborate for the community,” says chef Sandford. “It's a great way for guests to experience a unique testing menu by some of Canada's top chefs, and a great way for the chefs to create a personalized menu showcasing their own personal style.”
Calgary-based chefs Douglas King (Bar Von Der Fels), Garrett Martin (Bridgette Bar) and Blair Clemis (Model Milk, Pigeonhole) will join chef Sandford and the Edmonton lineup, along with Edmonton’s David Leeder (who frequently works abroad) and fellow Prairie Grid alumni Christie Peters (The Hollows).
“We often have so many summer festivals, but I think winter is a time when we really need to embrace the weather and create unique experiences!,” Sandford continues. “It's also an interesting way to show guests what you can do with very limited winter produce.”
Silver Skate Festival’s inaugural Long Table Dinner Series takes place from February 7 to 17. Limited reservations are available online.