HicksBiz Blog

Get Cooking's Edmonton Food Fight V: The Taste Edition - an evening of culinary competitiveness

Get Cooking Presents Edmonton Food Fight 5: The Taste Edition It was fun, loud and hard on the feet. “Food Fight” was conceived by three foodies – chef Eric Hanson, just back from a long leisurely jaunt around southeast Asia, Get Cooking cooking school owner/hospitality activist Kathryn Joel, and, showing a human side, Greenpeace anti-oilsands spokesperson Mike Hudema. They are fans of the “gritty reality” TV cooking shows like Knife Fight or Cutthroat Kitchen. As they talked, they figured Edmontonians would pay to enjoy a good, intense, well-produced show-biz cooking competition featuring local chefs with strong personalities.  By the third Food Fight, the production was gaining credibility. Food Fight IV took place at the wildly successful Porkapalooza BBQ festival, attended by over 40,000 people at the east-end Borden Park. Food Fight V happened last Sunday, July 19, staged in the Sip ‘N’ Savour tent at Taste of Edmonton in Churchill Square. All the co ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: Edmonton business quickly moving out of North America BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, JULY 17, 2015

Toto, we’re not just in Alberta anymore. Metropolitan Edmonton’s medium-and-larger-sized companies are moving with breath-taking speed into markets outside continental North America. Figures tracked by the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation tell the story.   Excluding national gas/oil producers (but including energy sector service providers), 500 to 600 regionally-based companies are now actively selling products and services in China. Between 1,500 to 2,000 are selling in China and other countries outside Canada and the USA. We are right in the middle of “globalizing” the attitude and business practices of our small-to-medium-sized companies. About 10% of Edmonton’s smaller “export-compatible” companies are shipping containers off-shore by truck, train, boat and plane. Following the lead of Edmonton’s internationally active construction companies like PCL, Stantec and Clark Builders, service companies are sending consultants/projec ... Read the rest of entry »

Edmonton chiropractors and physiotherapists recommended by readers of my Facebook page

A week ago (July 10, 2015) on Facebook, I complained of back pain that had gone on since early April, and asked if anybody would recommend a good chiropractor.  Well the suggestions poured in.  In the interests of sharing information, here’s a list of chiropractors, physiotherapists and a few other suggestions that were recommended by those who read the Facebook post. Please do not consider this list to be any kind of endorsement from myself or Hicksbiz.com. It is merely a passing on of names of chiropractic doctors and physiotherapists as recommended by other Edmontonians from their own personal experience. This list will not be expanded. I don't want to it to become less credible through undetected manipulation.  Thanks to more visits with my physiotherapist Albert Chan at the Kinsmen Physiotherapy Clinic, and following his stretching instructions daily, I am relieved to find my own strained back is slowly beginning to heal. Chiropractors  - in alphabetical order by last name: ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Share restaurant celebrates Chef O'Flynn's talents BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: TUESDAY, JULY 14, 2015

Share Restaurant, Westin Hotel 10135 100 St. 780-493-3636 thewestinedmonton.com/Edmonton-restaurant Mon. to Thurs. 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m./ 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fri. 6 a.m. to 10 a.m./ 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sat. 7 a.m. to 11 a.m./5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sun. 7 a.m. to 12 p.m./5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Food: 4.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding drinks and tip: basic, $80; loaded, $130 Graham Hicks 780 707 6379 graham.hicks@hicksbiz.com www.hicksbiz.com @hicksonsix Winning the 2015 Gold Medal Plates Canadian Culinary Championships was no fluke. Westin Edmonton Executive Chef Ryan O’Flynn may have catapulted to culinary fame — first by winning the regional Gold Medal Plates competition last fall, then beating far-better-known Toronto/Montreal/Vancouver chefs to take the national Gold Medal competition in Kelowna last February. But he was always, from the outset, an extraordinary culinary artist. The Westin Edmonton is ce ... Read the rest of entry »

The Fairmonton Hotel Macdonald's 100th anniversary: A roll call of its general managers since 1991 re-opening, and a list of important dates in the hotel's history

A few more details to add to my Hicks on Biz column about 100 years of the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald in Edmonton, published July 10, 2015. When the Hotel Macdonald re-opned after its massive restoration by CP Hotels, it's had a strong line-up of general managers, who all made their mark as community leaders in Edmonton. The list includes:  Tony Cary-Bernard - 1990 to 1997  (over saw the reopening in 1991). Currently General Manager of the Westin Resort & Spas, Whistler, B.C.  Kevin Toth - 1997 to 1999 - re-assigned to be General Manager of the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, currently  President, Fox Harb'r Golf Resort & Spa, Fox Harbour, Nova Scota Danny Crowell - 1999-2005 - currently General Manager, Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa, Harrison Hot Springs, B.C. Johanne Johnson - 2005-2009 - currently Human Resources Manager, Nuna Logistics, Edmonton, AB Don Fennerty - 2009-2013 - current General Manager, Fairmont Empress Hotel, Victoria, B.C. Garrett Turta - 2013-present& ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: The Macdonald Hotel mirrors Edmonton's economic history by GRAHAM HICKS, first posted Edmonton Sun, Friday, July 10, 2015

Last week’s 100th Anniversary Gala of the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald with 136 invited guests was an elegant, but subdued affair. Which was appropriate. The 198-room heritage hotel, the most prominent and enduring historic building in Edmonton has been a mirror of the turbulent economic history of this region since it opened for business on July 5, 1915. The original owner and builder was the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, which pushed the second trans-Canada railroad across the railway bridge now north of the Beverly Bridge into downtown Edmonton in 1909. The optimism! The excitement! The land boom! Most of Edmonton’s still-standing heritage buildings were built between 1911 and 1914. The city’s population near tripled, from 25,000 in 1911 to a peak of 72,500 in early 1914. No sooner had Grand Trunk run the rails into the city, when it announced the finest hotel in the west would be built in the heart of the booming city, with a magnificent view of the North Saskatchewan. The rail ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Urbano Pizza offers high quality, healthy fare BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: TUESDAY, JULY 07, 2015

Urbano Pizza Co. 10220 103 St. 780-705-1885 urbanopizzaco.com 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays Closed Sundays Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 3.5 of 5 Suns Two 11-inch pizzas: $11.95 each You are so busy, it doesn’t hit you until the aircraft lifts off. Yes! Your holiday is actually underway! I had a similar realization, a chill down the spine as it were, sitting at one (of two) street-side patio tables outside the new Urbano Pizza Co. The early evening July sun was easing off, yet the downtown 103 Street was still bathed in light and warmth. Just a block north, in clear view, the new arena, girder by girder, is fast realizing its fabulous promise. A couple of storefronts away, the cranes were hauling up the exterior wall panels for another new condo tower. Days later, Connor McDavid scored five goals in a scrimmage at the Oilers development camp. It hit home. In just over a year, Rogers Place will be open for bu ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: Reason VS passion in business BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, JULY 03, 2015

In the business world, reason always trumps passion. Doesn’t matter how much you love your new business idea or invention, so many factors must be carefully  assessed before any financial plunge:  The market, the competition, availability of capital and investor interest,  strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. But isn’t the final key to a successful startup also about passion? How can the entrepreneur work 24/7, against seemingly insurmountable odds, with no paycheque for months on end … without passion? How could successful entrepreneur Bob Holm have created the Strawman All-Natural Bison Farm and Mother’s Market (Edmonton’s first two-day-a-week indoor farmer’s market) without passion? Holm may look like a pint-sized biker, but he’s a bright, self-educated, experienced businessman. Having foreseen the global crash of 2008, he converted his considerable St. Albert real estate holdings into cash during the halcyon business day ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: NongBu Korean Eatery still needs work BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: TUESDAY, JUNE 30, 2015

NongBu Korean Eatery 8115 104 St. 780-989-0997 www.facebook.com/NongBuKorean Mon. to Sat. 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Closed Sundays Food: 3 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 2.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding drinks and tip: Basic, $30; loaded, $60 Graham Hicks 780 707 6379 graham.hicks@hicksbiz.com www.hicksbiz.com @hicksonsix NongBu Korean Eatery represents an ironic, yet entirely logical, evolution of ethnic-based restaurants. Until recently, most ethnic restaurants served Canadianized versions of ethnic dishes or simple “village” fare reflecting the food from back home ... 30 years ago. Hence Korean restaurants in town have traditionally featured bulgogi, kimchi and bibimbap. But for the next generation that has stayed in the hospitality biz, village and Canadianized dishes weren’t enough. Many studied food trends in their ethnic homelands or in Vegas/ New York to see what fusion was up to. And now there’s a counter-revoluti ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks on Biz: TELUS fibre-optic Internet in Edmonton really is the second coming BY GRAHAM HICKS, EDMONTON SUN FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2015

It was the TELUS publicity machine at its finest. Every heavy hitter in the city, from Mayor Don Iveson to Premier Rachel Notley, had been summoned. Huge video screens stretched across the Westin Ballroom. When TELUS executive chairman Darren Entwistle, with his movie star looks and sonorous voice, made his entrance, the music reached rock band decibels. All that was missing was a cloud of dry ice. Make no mistake. TELUS wanted to make last week’s announcement of its first big-city fibre-optic roll-out in Edmonton as big a deal as humanly possible.  Indeed, it is a big, big deal. TELUS will be the first telecommunications company in North America to make fibre-optic available to every household in a major city, the first to wire an entire city to Internet speeds and connectivity. “It’s not a question whether TELUS can afford the billion dollar investment to fully wire your city and then others,” says Canadian telecommunications analyst Mark Goldberg from Toronto. ... Read the rest of entry »
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