HicksBiz Blog

Category: food

food

Vive Cibo! Graham Hicks' Weekly Dish review of Cibo Bistro, first published in the Edmonton Sun, Wed. March 28, 2012

Imitation is the highest form of flattery. A standing Edmonton restaurant joke has to do with the weeks, if not months, one must wait for a reservation at Corso 32, Jasper Avenue’s tiny, contemporary Italian restaurant that earned a five out of five rating from this column. Three months ago, Cibo opened in the off-downtown Oliver Square (close to Hudson’s Pub). Obviously cousins Mike Giampa and Rosario Caputo were inspired by what  Daniel Costa was doing at Corso. They’re young, like Daniel, but hospitality veterans – Rosario as a NAIT-trained chef, Mike as a long-time server and maître d’. They grew up, like Daniel, in Edmonton’s thriving Italian culture, where good food is a way of life. Cibo (meaning food or nourishment in Italian)  is not only good. It’s excellent. It’s almost – almost – as good as Corso. Given how foodies genuflect at the mere mention of Corso, this is high praise. Cibo is most pleasing atmospherically. ... Read the rest of entry »

Top chef puts mark on Murrieta's - Graham Hicks' Weekly Dish review of Murrieta's West Coast Bar + Grill, originally published in the Edmonton Sun, March 14, 2012

Shane Chartrand is newly arrived as the executive chef of Murrieta’s West Coast Bar + Grill on Whyte Avenue. The Fantasyland Hotel’s L2 Grill, under Shane’s direction, was named in  this column  as the city’s top restaurant in 2011. New management at the hotel led to a change in culinary philosophy not compatible with Shane’s talent. Fortunately, the executive chef job at Murrieta’s came vacant. Shane was head-hunted for the position. While Murrieta’s is part of a three-restaurant group – with Murrieta’s in Calgary and Canmore – the owner believes each chef should have full rein over his or her kitchen. The Weekly Dish went to dine at the “new” Murrieta’s last weekend, not realizing Chartrand’s spring menu, his first, was still weeks away. Not to worry, we were offered a “sneak peek” at the menu to come, with pricing comparable to the current offerings. Oh boy … a w ... Read the rest of entry »

Little Turkish Delight: Graham Hicks' Weekly Dish review of Sofra Restaurant originally published in the Edmonton Sun, March 7, 2012

After a string of superlative Edmonton dining spot reviews, of East, Corso 32, Culina Mill Creek and Cafe Amore, the Weekly Dish has run into a major disappointment.Sofra, the much-praised, cute but elegant Turkish restaurant just south of MacEwan University, is not what it is cracked up to be.On a Saturday, before the 50-seat restaurant had filled, service was slow and somewhat shoddy.The food was OK, but by no means lip-smacking. The bill reflected champagne prices ($25 to $30 for the fish/meat entrees) for beer food.I was surprised, given this restaurant’s good reputation, from both word-of-mouth and on the Urban Spoon website.Sofra sits in a storefront unit within one of the city’s first downtown condo complexes, on 106 Street south of 104 Avenue.It’s actually a dull building, but to walk into Sofra is to be transported into a pleasant, lofty, bi-level bistro — with hardwood floors, a burnt apricot colour scheme and a balcony with private dining spaces.In the middle, guarding the stairs to basement washro ... Read the rest of entry »

Genetics' role in over-eating far more powerful than previously known: Dr. David Macklin at the X-Weighted Connection

I learned a very important lesson at X-Weighted Connection, the all-day health/weight management workshop on Sunday, March 4, 2012 at Edmonton's Fantasyland Hotel, put together by Anaid Productions' Margaret Mardirossian.(After producing five seasons of the popular Gemini award-winning X-Weighted reality show, after having a front-row seat on the enormous challenges some people face in losing weight, Margaret saw the dire public need to put together such workshops for those looking for answers and seeking a healthy lifestyle. Despite the show no longer being aired in Canada, Margaret put together the workshop, for Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg this year, as a public service.)I'd always assumed obesity is far more about 'nurture' than 'nature', that extraordinary weight gain was simply the result of lack of discipline and bad eating habits. That you, dear chubby one, had just as much choice as the rest of us on your overweight condition, but you always chose to have that extra bag, or two, or three, of Dorito ... Read the rest of entry »
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