Holiday Guide to Local Food & Drink
On the Plate: Alberta Bison  Holiday Celebrations
Bits 'N Bites
Restaurant Spotlight: Calcutta Cricket Club (Calgary)
Chef Profile: Leovy Fadallan (Memphis Blues BBQ House, Red Deer)
Featured Recipe: Bison Wellington
Meet a Producer: Red Shed Malting
Featured Partner: Airdrie Economic Development

Celebrate the holidays with Alberta food and drink

Holiday party season is upon us, and there's no better way to make sure you've got all your bases covered than by bringing in the best Alberta food and drink.  Whether you're a host or a guest, we've got you covered to make sure your dishes are remembered for years to come.

Need a new recipe idea?
The holiday season is the perfect time to try delicious new recipes, and we've got a whole pile of great places to find them!  

Sweet: HoneySugar
Savoury: BeefChicken, Lamb
A bit of everything: EggsMilk, Pulses
Need a gift for your foodie friends? 

Born Brewing (Calgary) X COCOCO Chocolatier Beer & Chocolate Pairing. 4-pack of beer + pairing box of chocolates. $31. Available Dec 5-31.

Deane House (Calgary). Holiday Ornaments. The perfect gift for your food-loving friend! Choose from a sparkly oyster, tiered cake, tin of caviar or honey bee. Order online for pick up at Deane House.

Alberta Cares Package: Holiday Morning Breakfast. Get everything you need to make a delicious holiday breakfast featuring products from Alberta producers.  Order now so you have it in time for Christmas morning!

Gift Certificates.  Available at most local establishments, including special deals at establishments like Deane House (Calgary), and Memphis Blues BBQ House (Red Deer).
Want someone to do ALL the cooking?

5th St Food Hall (Edmonton). Pre-order your Christmas Dinner from your favourite 5th St Food Hall establishments to pick up Dec 22-24 (or even get a jump on your New Year's Eve Dinner!).  Pick from Seitans (vegan), HOM, and Meat Shack Barbecue.

Deane House (Calgary). Holiday Dinner in your home, $150 for 2 people. Featuring Beef Wellington with red wine jus, green salad, crushed potato, maple-roasted carrots, acorn squash, and sticky toffee pudding. Pre-Order for pick up on the 24th.

Forage Foods (Calgary). A la carte menu featuring holiday mains like roast turkey and tourtiere, sides, and sweets. Order by Dec 16th, pick up Dec 23 or 24. 

Memphis Blues BBQ House (Red Deer). Holiday Take-Out Meals , sold in groups of 2/4/6/8, includes smoked turkey, all the fixings, and even pecan pie for dessert. Also selling smoked whole turkeys (16lb turkey + 2x 16oz gravy), and 10lb carving hams. Call to order by Dec 17th for pick up on Dec 24th.
Need something for the office potluck? 

Blindman Brewing (Lacombe). Offering home delivery to Edmonton, Calgary, or Central Alberta for orders placed by December 13th. 

Memphis Blues BBQ House (Red Deer). Pre-order your choice of Memphis Feast, Elvis Platter, or Priscilla Platter.  Call to order.

Holiday Celebrations

The holidays provide lots of opportunities to gather with loved ones, so why not make it extra special by heading out to one of the celebrations at a local establishment? Check out these exciting events and celebrations hosted by some of our past participants:
Christmas at the Distillery 
December 10 & 11 at Eau Claire Distillery
11am to 7pm 
Tickets: $5 (under 12 free)

Join us for a weekend of cocktails, festive fun and incredible vendors at Eau Claire Distillery featuring local vendors:
  • Mighty Pines Cocktail Co.
  • Canadian Seltzer Company
  • Hub Town Brewing
  • Black Sheep Coffee Co.
  • Peggy Sue Jewelry Designs
  • Range Fuel Beef Jerky
  • The Wild Stuff & Co.
  • Queen Bee Alchemy
  • Henny's Handcrafted Preserves
  • 2 Old Birds Natural Skincare
  • Hard Knox Brewery
  • Rattlestick Shaving
There's fun for the whole family! Kids can enjoy Christmas movies in the Speakeasy, hot chocolate from Black Sheep Coffee, horse drawn wagon rides and complimentary marshmallow toasting ('Smore Kits available for purchase!) Adults can browse our Christmas Market with a cocktail in hand, and enjoy a complimentary spirits tasting station, special Eau Claire Distillery Distiller's Series Spirit and more!
Tickets can be purchased online through Eventbrite or on site at the event.
Deane House (Calgary)

Holiday Afternoon Tea. Offered every Saturday and Sunday from 2-4pm. Enjoy savoury and sweet bites such as eggnog truffles, almond and cranberry macarons, gingerbread stout cake, chicken and hazelnut tartlets. Served with TeaLeaves Organic Loose Leaf tea. $55.00 per person. Reserve the experience online. 

Sunday Supper Club. Enjoy Deane House’s Five Course Chef’s Tasting Menu at Sunday Supper Club pricing of $75.00. Offered every Sunday. Regular $110 per person, Wednesday through Saturday evening.
Eighty-Eight Brewing (Calgary) and Portland Street Pizza (or, for December, Little Nero's Pizza), will be co-hosting two holiday pairing dinners through the season: 
December 7th: Beer + Pizza 
December 14th: Beer + Goodies (sweets and baked goods)

On the Plate: Alberta Bison

Bison are an important part of Alberta's natural heritage. Often envisaged as the iconic wilderness animal of North America’s grasslands, the bison population has faced near extinction from a once formidable population of approximately forty million in the seventeenth century.

With a longstanding history in Canada, bison are deeply entwined in the indigenous cultures. Today, more than 95% of bison are privately owned, with over 500 farms in Alberta currently raising bison. A galloping bison can reach speeds up to 56km/hr, and is the largest North American land mammal. Alberta is home to 2 of the largest bison reserves, Elk Island National Park and Wood Buffalo National Park, with Banff National Park also having reintroduced a bison herd in 2018.

Bison in the Kitchen

Bison is incredibly nutritious (and delicious!).  Health conscious people are choosing bison as their red meat choice for it’s full bodied taste (similar to beef), but with a rich flavor that is by no means wild or "gamey". Compared to other main proteins, per 100g of cooked lean meat, bison has 2.42g of fat, 143 calories, and 3.42mg of iron, while beef has 8.09g of fat, 201 calories, and 2.99mg of iron. 

Its meat can be found in the familiar cuts of red meat such as steaks, roasts, stew meat, etc. or as ground burger. It can also be found in a variety of specialty meats such as sausages, dried jerky and even hot dogs!  Bison is naturally flavourful and tender and can be prepared much the same as beef but it is important to not overcook it. Because bison is a very lean meat, the general rule is to cook bison at a lower temperature and slower.

Looking to buy direct from a bison rancher in Alberta? Check out these farm direct locations across Alberta.

Sources: Alberta Wilderness Association, Bison Producers of Alberta

Where to find Bison in Alberta

Source: Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Northern Alberta Chapter

Bison FAQs

Q: Do bison get hormones or steroids?
A: It is an industry standard that bison are not given artificial growth hormones nor steroids. Today's bison herds are well managed and raised as naturally as possible by ranchers throughout North America.

Q: Are bison and buffalo the same?
 Both the buffalo and bison are in the Bovidae family (with other cloven-hoofed ruminants, like goats) but they are actually not closely related. While they share some similar physical traits, their appearances have significant differences, especially when looking at their horns.

Q: What do bison eat?
 Primarily they eat grasses, but also flowering plants, lichen, and woody plant leaves.

Q: Do bison moo?
A: They don't moo, but they do grunt, snort, and bellow.

Q: Are bison dangerous?
A: Bison are tough, confident animals that will often react aggressively when they sense danger. Many human activities can seem threatening to bison, and they can run up to 30mph, so it’s always important to keep plenty of distance!

Source: Bison Producers of Alberta, Modern Farmer, Smithsonian's National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute

Bison or Buffalo?

Plains Bison (Bison bison) and Wood Bison (Bison athabascae)
  • Found in North America & Europe
  • Distinctive large hump on back
  • Thick, woolly fur to handle colder climates, including a shaggy unkempt beard
  • Weigh 1500-2500 lbs full grown; 30-50 lbs as calves
  • Horns are small, sharp, and point upward
Cape Buffalo (Syncerus caffer) and Water Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis)
  • Found in Africa & Asia
  • No hump
  • Thin fur to handle warm climates, and no beard
  • Weigh 1800-2600 lbs
  • Horns can span up to 6ft tip to tip, and have a more distinct curve like a handlebar moustache

Bits 'N Bites

Banff Christmas Market is here for one more weekend

Experience the magic! With over 100 artisanal vendors, live music, an outdoor fire lounge, Santa’s House & Reindeer Stables, Christmas treats & warm drinks there is something for the whole family!  Christmas comes but once a year, so make the most of it and join us at Warner Stables for what will quickly become a family tradition. Pre-purchased tickets only for a specific timeslot.  Learn more...
Beer & Chocolate Pairing with Born Brewing & COCOCO Chocolatier

Move over wine and cheese, there's a new dream pairing!  From December 5th to 31st, Born Brewing has teamed up with COCOCO Chocolatier for the ultimate chocolate and beer flight containing four brews paired expertly with four chocolates.  You can also get the 4-pack and chocolates to go - making it the perfect host gift for all your holiday parties.  Learn more...
Eighty-Eight Brewing transforms into Home Alone for Christmas
The Eighty-Eight taproom is turning back into Home Alone this Christmas, complete with Home Alone 2: Lost in New York taking over the downstairs taproom. Like any good sequel, there will be a cast of returning favourites, the Home Alone scavenger hunt and Harry and Marv feature flights, plus there will be new flourishes. Portland Street Pizza, the in-house Sicilian-style pizza joint, will also be transforming into Little Nero’s Pizza for the Holidays. So yes, there will finally be a lovely cheese pizza just for you! Learn more...
JustCook Kitchens launch Season's Eatings campaign
Season's Eatings! Get ready for a fun month of December with JustCook's Advent Calendar, filled with giveaways, drink and food specials at 5th St food hall, and other fun activities to celebrate the holidays!

Follow JustCook on Instagram (@justcookkitchens) to stay up-to-date and participate.

Calcutta Cricket Club (Calgary)

340 - 17 Street SW, Calgary  |  403.719.1555  |

Calcutta Cricket Club is a fun & lively Indian restaurant and bar that draws inspiration from the cosmopolitan nature & cuisine of West Bengal. Past our doors you’ll find a quirky & colourful decor cheekily described by our designer as a 1960’s Indian social club meets The Golden Girls.


MEET A CHEF: Leovy Fadallan
(Memphis Blues BBQ House, Red Deer)

A graduate of hotel and restaurant management, Chef Leovy Fadallan started in the culinary industry in 2000 and studied the different concepts in cooking such as Western cooking and Asian cooking. As a culinary student, he completed practicum training and cooking in Bario Fiesta and Hyatt Regency Manilla. Since then, he has shared his talent many places around the world, such as Pasay City, Dubai, Qatar; before a long journey to Settle in Alberta.  Keep reading...

Bison Wellington

 Wow your guests this holiday season with this showstopping Bison Wellington from Rangeland Canadian Bison & Elk.  

Get the recipe

Red Shed Malting (Penhold)

For the avid craft beer lover in Alberta, Red Shed Malting is a name that you often come across.  Whether it’s on a brewery posting about their latest collaboration, the side of a can as part of the ingredients or accumulating yet another Community Builder Industry Award at the Alberta Beer Awards, Red Shed Malting seems to be everywhere. That’s no coincidence – with multiple generations of the Hamill family running all sides of the operation, there is no way you can enjoy craft beer in Alberta without hearing the name.

Keep reading...

Airdrie Economic Development

Whether you perceive it as a ‘small town feel’ or ‘small city attitude’, Airdrie is filled with rustic charm and authentic appeal, farm fresh experiences, innovative technologies, urban design, neighbourly sentiment and family-focused events that draws visitors in.

Just a quick 15-minute drive from the Calgary International Airport, we offer a wide range of accommodations, dining establishments, attractions, and experiences with both a small town feel and big city amenities.

Airdrie’s Urban Agriculture Program has moved the city towards more health-conscious and sustainable community values. In 2018, the City piloted an urban beekeeping program, the inaugural year on public lands, and the second year moving onto private land.  Airdrie is officially recognized as a Bee City for the work done to support healthy pollinator populations by preserving and promoting pollinator habitats. Airdrie is the 23rd city in Canada and the 2nd in Alberta to become part of the pollinator movement.

Airdrie’s hasn’t entirely gone to the bee’s. As of April 2021, Council approved a backyard hen pilot into a permanent program for Airdrie residents for a maximum of four (4) hens on a on single family lot.

Learn more...

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