The penultimate episode of CTV’s The Launch Season 2 took place this week and Maddie Storvold has emerged as the fifth chosen artist. After an unforgettable audition that featured an inspirational duet with music legend Bryan Adams, her final performance of the single, “Don’t Say You Love Me” was enough to propel her past the competition and have her song launched across Canada and the world.
Storvold’s passion for poetry along with her bachelor of arts degree in English are overtly evident in both her songwriting and in her poignant portrayal of her love for food. Cooking and eating, much like writing and singing music, comes directly from her heart and each component is a harmonious expression of who Storvold truly is.
Although Storvold was born in Dubai and spends the majority of her time touring, the food-loving vegetarian calls Edmonton her home base and today she’s taking us on a tour of her favourite veggie spots in the Wild Rose capital. The multicultural nature of her life has given her a unique outlook on food that is symphonic with the fusion of Canadian culinary culture. For Storvold, food is a vessel for confluence with community, friendship, and family.
Favourite Canadian Food
I actually grew up overseas so there were a couple of things that would come around only when my dad--my dad’s a pilot, so when he had flights to Toronto, he would bring back certain things--so one of those things was really good maple syrup. So I can tell the difference immediately between true maple syrup and things like Aunt Jemima.
The other one that my mom would always make was homemade Nanaimo bars at Christmas. I would wait for her to make those and then I would rip off the top layer (I didn’t like the top layer of chocolate), so two-thirds of a Nanaimo bar is my favourite Canadian food, I would say. We need to start a revolution and overthrow that top layer.
Family food tradition
My dad used to make a really good risotto; just delicious mushroom risotto and he’s obsessed with cheese. Actually, it’s funny because our family went through a real food evolution. Our family really loves food. A lot of our social interactions are based around loving food and sharing food and music connections. We went from being a family who ate macaroni and cheese basically every night because we were not doing well financially. My parents would turn it into a bit of a race. They’d make it something fun and someone would say, "Stop"; someone would say, "Go"; someone would say “Spoons up the ready”; someone would say “Drink your milk”. So we all kind of had a role and we made it something really fun.
We went from being a mac 'n’ cheese family to being a family that could afford to eat a little better so we definitely indulge in that now and one of my favourite things is my dad’s mushroom risotto.
I always request Jim Beam Black Label bourbon. I love bourbon and I love Jim Beam Black Label. It’s got a creaminess to it. It’s so well-balanced but there’s almost like a creamy texture to the whisky, which is just beautiful. I also really love Maltesers. I eat them in a weird way: I’ll take the one candy and I’ll bite all the chocolate off of it and then I’ll eat the malt part after. It makes it an event, you know? I’m a bit of a sugar fiend.
Breakfast and brunch
I love this little café called The Nook Café. It’s super community-oriented. It’s kind of down in an area where there’s a little bit of a homelessness crisis, and they do a lot to take care of that population and give them coffee every day and give them a warm place to sit. So I love that community aspect of it. There’s also poetry and live music and art displayed on the walls and ethical third wave coffee. It’s super cool and the woman who runs it is amazing. I really like their tomato soup and they have are a really good vegan B.L.T. that I crush like a champion.
There’s another vegan café called the Moth Café. It’s owned by a really lovely family. They have a really interesting menu and this huge tea menu, which is lovely because I love tea and drink it all times of the day. The space is just gorgeous. They have all these plants and clean lines and high shelving and a big mural of a moth on the wall. It’s just so lovely and oh man, the Moth Spaghetti. The Moth Spaghetti is exactly what it sounds like. The meatballs are made out of facon and mushrooms and they’re just so good. They come with an avocado toast on the side. It’s so delicious.
This is a tough one. There are so many places. I really like Padmanadi. It’s also a vegetarian restaurant with Vietnamese food. It’s rated number one, not only for vegetarian and vegan spots, but in all of Edmonton. It has great food and it’s run by this super cool family. When they moved from this little hole in the wall that they started in, they had a professional photographer photograph all of their regulars and now, all the regulars are up on the walls. It’s just so awesome. For me, food is about community as well, and all of these places that I’ve mentioned are definitely community-oriented.
Drinks and live music
I’m really into cocktails. I love this spot called Three Boars. They have beautiful cocktails and great bartenders. I just love it.
For live music, there is a venue in town, again, run by this really community-oriented guy named Phil. The venue is called The Aviary. It’s kind of just like a juncture for many artists to come together and play music and celebrate art, and they have cheap local beer. You can’t get any better than that. I love an Aviation. It’s like a gin-based lavender cocktail. It’s so good. I could drink 40 of them, but I won’t. And I like Sipsmith Gin, in case you were wondering.