Friday, August 12, 2011


All too quickly the Festival has come and gone. This year I had lots of time to enjoy the show, the food, the beer and the people - and it was amazing. Here are some of the highlights music and food wise.

The Music

Without a doubt Brandi Carlile and Matt Anderson were it for me this year. On Saturday evening Brandi Carlile closed the show with lots of Edmonton love and the audience gave it right back. So glad she made it back this year. I saw Matt Anderson in Calgary, but his session with Blackie and the Rodeo Kings on Sunday was fantastic. Some amazing blues along with Sunday dinner.

Friday at Stage 2

Brandi Carlile

Cheers to all the volunteers!

The Food

As per usual the Festival Kitchen provided thousands of excellent plates throughout the weekend. Friday was Thai curry with cod, Saturday Bulgogi Beef and Sunday was salmon or a squash pecan loaf with quinoa (I went for the latter and it was my favourite of the weekend). The salads also shined all weekend - my favourites were a lentil cucumber and a pear salad.

Green Tea ice cream with ginger snaps

Stephane (the kitchen manager) has slowly been trying to introduce more local product into the kitchen where possible. This year Mighty Trio's oil was used in many of the salads, as were Mona's mushrooms.

Concession wise there were a couple newbies including Elm Café, Eva Sweet and the Onigiri Co. I had a couple different options from the Onigiri Co., which made great mid-day or late evening snacks. My favourite was the 'Yam n' Salmon' - baked salmon, caramelized yam, ginger, soy sauce and white rice. Though they weren't wrapped in the exciting packaging shown on their website, they were certainly tasty.

I haven't made it to the market in nearly a month, so a waffle on Saturday morning was a nice treat on the way to stage 2. Saturday's lunch was skipped for a pulled pork sandwich from Elm's schmancy booth. I also tried to stop by for the 'roasted beet' sandwich on Sunday afternoon, but long lines throughout the weekend saw them sold out. However, we did manage to score some Duchess cookies that lasted us through the evening.

And finally, I can't say enough about the chai that comes out of Nomad's Kitchen. Made in a large pot each day, they make it just sweet enough and use whole spices that really shine. I've already been down to the Fringe to satisfy my addiction.

Lining up for chai

Though my weekend wasn't as stressful as years past, late nights prior to the Festival - and during - have left me with a nice post-Fest head cold. Here's hoping it clears up over the weekend. 

In the mean time, we're gearing up for Portland - and Seattle for a few days after that - in a month or so. There were some excellent articles on Portland in both the Journal and Avenue recently. Lots of people have been asking us, "Why Portland?" But I think the question should really be, "Why not Portland!?" The place sounds amazing!

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