April 21, 2024

Previous Postmedia food items critic John Gilchrist explores mountain delicacies in new collection

It is possibly not the most difficult cross to bear, but 1 of the disadvantages of paying out 4 decades as a restaurant critic and food items writer is that food items mainly loses its capability to surprise.

A critic may be satisfied, or even delighted, but not often amazed.

Calgary’s John Gilchrist, who has created about and mentioned food stuff in newspaper columns, on television, on radio and in 11 best-marketing publications, has been performing exercises and refining his palate for the earlier 40 years.

But in 1 episode of Rocky Mountain Delicacies, an impending food stuff demonstrate that finds the (mostly) retired foods expert going to top rated cooks and restaurants in Canmore, Banff, Whitefish, MT, and Jasper, Gilchrist satisfies up with a chef who provides unpredicted final results.


Gilchrist is visiting Chef Blake Flann at his restaurant, 4296 — named right after the elevation of Canmore, where the restaurant is found — and experiencing some of his culinary creations that he has viewed Flann get ready.

“I have a fairly great plan what a dish is likely to flavor when we’re making ready it,” states Gilchrist. “When I’m at 4296 in Canmore with Blake Flann, I say to him ‘What excites me about your meals is I really don’t know what it’s going to taste like, but I know I want to check out it.’”

Flann’s dishes are up to date and Asian-influenced and, extra importantly, unpredictable.

“You see him putting together a dish and he is incorporating 1 point and then a different issue and you say ‘Are you going to maintain adding stuff to this?’” Gilchrist suggests.  “It’s remarkable food items. And, once more, I really do not know what it’s going to be like. But I’m seriously interested in it.”

He hopes that desire is shared by likely viewers.

Rocky Mountain Delicacies was co-developed by Gilchrist and Calgary filmmaker and producer Wendy Hill-Tout, who follows the previous food items critic to additional than a dozen places to eat. He interviews the chefs as they get ready two to a few dishes for him and speak about techniques and culinary influences.

“It’s not a levels of competition,” he suggests. “Nothing blows up, there is no foul language or anything at all like that. We’re just making an attempt to do an clever clearly show about food items and dining establishments and the Rockies. I’m ill and exhausted of all the foods competition exhibits. It’s not swift-paced, no person is jogging all over the kitchen area. This is what kitchens really are like. We’re filming in the kitchens and trying to get the chefs on their dwelling turf and permit them speak. Chefs really don’t usually get to just chat about what they do. It is fantastic to be side-by-aspect with them at the stove and inquiring them about unique substances and designs. Some cooks open up up ideal absent, other people are a little bit more hard to open up.”


Viewers can get a sneak peek of the sequence, which has not been picked up by a community still, on Friday at the World Cinema. There will be a screening of the 1st episode, which has Gilchrist and the crew checking out executive chef Andy Blanton at the Kandahar Lodge in Whitefish, MT, and Sylvain Bernard, Christian Redois and Monika Reiber at Canmore’s EPICanmore, followed by a Q&A with Gilchrist and Hill-Tout.

Hill-Tout to start with approached Gilchrist to be a expert on a collection about foods from the Rockies. At initially, he was adamant that another person else really should host: “I reported to her, correct from the get-go, ‘I must not the one particular in entrance of the camera,” he says. “‘You want any person more youthful and prettier than me. At the very least, younger.’”

But they could not obtain everyone suited, so Gilchrist at some point signed on as host as perfectly. It’s a excellent fit. As his on line bio for the collection states, Gilchrist as “eaten his way all around the entire world,” but  has generally been partial to restaurants all-around his residence and specifically people that delve in the exceptional culinary lifestyle of the mountains.

Highlights consist of Storm Mountain Lodge in Banff, to Jasper’s Fiddle River Cafe, which specializes in seafood, to Hello there Sunshine and many others in Canmore, a city that continues to impress Gilchrist with the creative imagination and vitality of its younger chefs.

What is Rocky Mountain delicacies, precisely? Very well, it’s surely not one thing. Quite a few of the cooks showcased in the eight, 50 %-hour episodes provide influences from all in excess of the globe even though dealing with the really hard-and-quickly anticipations several vacationers have for these types of places to eat.

Historically, the cuisine was primarily based on the distinctive elements obtainable in the region — elk, juniper berries, for instance — and a Swiss sensibility, Gilchrist states. Significantly, cooks are coming from all around the environment so the influences are all in excess of the map. Chefs  originally Germany, Sri Lanka, Japan and other spots are highlighted in the series.

“They carry their sensibility to the Rockies and they engage in with the foods that are all over, but they are not limited by them,” suggests Gilchrist. “They provide in their components that they want,  the flavours that they want and meld that in with what they feel the mountains and, of study course, what they experience the holidaymakers will like. We say far also commonly in the shows, when the holidaymakers occur to the mountains they have an expectation they are going to see things like elk and trout. They aren’t looking for the downtown diner kind of condition. So they can participate in with that a large amount. So if there is a topic that operates as a result of it, it is formed by a their own qualifications, it’s shaped by what the visitors want.”


John Gilchrist and Wendy Hill-Tout will be at the Globe Cinema on July 21 at 7 p.m. to kick off the sequence, Rocky Mountain Cuisine. Tickets are $20.

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