What’s Happening in February and March

Made Foods is set to launch its winter menu, the second menu since opening in October 2015. The prepackaged food-to-go company will change up the menu to include an à-la-carte selection. Chef Andrea Harling has designed the new menu to include smaller mix-and-match items, including soups, salads and wraps. Made Foods will also launch a line of kids’ meals perfect for moms on the go! Order online www.madefoods.com

Vin Room’s Pooches ‘n’ Pinot
In support of the Calgary Humane Society, Vin Room has created a 2016 calendar of pooches. Purchase one for $20 at any Vin Room  and the proceeds go to a great cause.  Very cute pooches, good cause, buy one.

Who doesn’t love bacon?
Atco Blue Flame Kitchen offers 10 of the best bacon recipes ever that you can download free from www.atcoblueflamekitchen.com/bacon -- a digital bacon cookbook you can download for free, then make your Caramel Bacon Popcorn or Maple Bourbon Bacon Jam.  Mmmmmm, bacon!

Wednesdays Year Round
The Parkdale Farmers’ Market is open all year on Wednesdays, 2 – 6:30 p.m. at the Parkdale Community Centre, 3512 5th Ave. NW featuring more than 20 local vendors selling fresh food and produce, hand-made crafts, housewares and more. For vendor information, contact Brenda at 403-837-3640, brendalea7@yahoo.ca

Thursdays at Catch/Oyster Bar
Flight Night, a Thursday feature menu at Catch & the Oyster Bar. Look for tasting –sized wine pours and shareable plates ideal for casual and social patio-season dining to be eaten in the Oyster Bar and on the Patio. Look for the likes of crispy roasted pork belly tacos with pickled carrot and cucumber, and warm cheddar hush puppies drizzled with smoked honey. View menus at www.catchrestaurant.ca

SAIT’s Highwood Dining Room
You’ll have some of the best food you’ll eat in this culinary classroom. The Highwood serves lunch, Monday to Friday, including a Thursday lunch buffet –February 11, 25, to be booked online -- dinner is Monday to Thursday. Reservations for March and April open February 1. Thursday buffet dates – March 3, 10, 24, April 14, 21, 28.
Prices vary for the lunch menu, dinner is a set menu, $48, and is a new menu for the new year. Menus are posted on the web site. Book at www.sait.ca/highwood . To learn how SAIT creates custom culinary experiences, contact Katherine.Miles@sait.ca

Co-op Wine Spirits Beer
All kinds of tasty tastings and events at the Co-op tasting centres.  Details and tickets at www.coopwinespiritsbeer.com/events

ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen Classes
Lunch ‘n’ Learn Demonstrations, noon – 1 p.m., $20.  At ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen Learning Centre, 909 -11th Avenue S.W., 403-245-7630, www.atcoblueflamekitchen.com/classes

Bin 905 Tastings
California Love: Zinfandel, February 11, $40; Old World vs. New World, February 18, $40; Bin 905 & Ollia Macarons, February 26, $50; The Big “B’s” of Wine (Bordeaux, Burgundy, Barolo, Brunello), March 3, $40. For details, visit www.bin905.com, tickets at 403-261-1600.

Poppy Innovations Cooking/Gardening
Cook with Your Kids, A one-time class for adults and children to learn basic cooking skills while spending delicious, nutritious time together. Families can prepare a healthy dish and sit down and enjoy their meal together. Classes offered once a month. Suitable for children 6 and older. February 6, March 5, April 9, May 14.  One parent can register with up to two children. Gate to Plate, making healthy eating easier for teens and adults.  Learn cooking techniques, practice food preparation skills, and enjoy hands-on experience of making nutritious meals that taste delicious using seasonal ingredients.  Suitable for age 15 and older.  February 27, March 19, April 23. One Meal One Family, a time to connect with each other over good food. Learn to cook one meal for the entire family with a version of the same meal for kids, adults and various taste preferences. March 9, 23, April 6, 20, price includes all supplies for hands-on class preparation. Garden plots available starting February 1 at the De Winton Community Garden located south of Calgary.  Don’t have space for a vegetable garden?  Don’t know how or just want to meet other gardeners?   Poppy Innovations will help you grow your own wholesome, nutritious produce.  Fully managed garden plots are offered along with educational support to cultivate your potential!  For further information and to register for cooking classes, visit www.poppyinnovations.ca

Wine-Ohs Bistro and Cellar
February 5, Rotary Park; February 6, Mitch Belot Band, Conrad Walz and Emily Triggs; T. Buckley every Tuesday; Open Mic/Drunken Promises with Lee Taylor every Wednesday; every Friday with Tom Phillips & Friends; 811 – 1st St. SW.  Visit www.wine-ohs.com for upcoming live music.

Tastings:  Visit www.metrovino.com or phone (403) 205-3356  for info or to register.

The Light Cellar
Superfood/Superherb Classes. Details and register online at at www.thelightcellar.ca/teaching-kitchen  or call 403-453-1343.  

J. Webb Wine Merchant, Glenmore Landing
Tasting details at www.jwebb.net or call 403-253-9463.

Cellar Wine Store
Wine 101, February 10, $45, introduction to the world of wine; Robert The Bruce Scotch Tasting, February 26, $75; The Ides of March Festival Tasting, March 15, $75; Pacific Northwest, March 23, $60;  Visit www.cellarwinestore.com for tastings details and to register, or phone 403-503-0730 or email rebecca@cellarwinestore.com

Hotel Arts’ Restaurants
Daily 3- and 5-course tasting menus with optional wine pairings at Yellow Door Bistro; Monday – Wednesday, 3-course tasting menu, Thursday – Saturday, 5-course tasting menu at Chef’s Table; complimentary corkage on Mondays and half-price bottles of wine every Wednesday at dinner at Chef’s Table; Every Friday at Raw Bar and Chef’s Table, happy hour specials -- $.99 oysters, $4.99 prosecco, $4.99 pints;  Live music at Hotel Arts every Thursday in Raw Bar as local artist Amy Thiessen curates weekly sets featuring Calgary-based musicians. Enjoy great tunes as you enjoy Vietmodern cuisine and award-winning cocktails. www.hotelarts.ca

Test Kitchen Restaurant and Bar “pop-up” dining series
An innovative take on dining out – each evening diners are treated to a 3-course meal created by the feature “chef of the evening” for $30, $50 with wine pairings.. Details at www.testkitchenyyc.ca and @TestKitchenYYC. Reservations at info@testkitchenyyc.ca, seating is limited.

Kensington Wine Market
Tastings details at www.kensingtonwinemarket.com 403-283-8000.

Divine Cooking at Home with Chef Darren
Curries of the World Cooking Class in February: February 12 or 17. In your home with 6 – 10 friends. Details and registration at cafedivine@hotmail.com.

At SAIT’s Downtown Culinary Campus
Classes $90 unless otherwise stated. Winter Stews, February 10; Portuguese, February 24.  At SAIT’s Main Campus, Date Night, February 12/13, March 4; Introduction to Cooking, February 3 – March 2, March 12 & 19; Buttrcream Basics, February 6; Sushi, February 19; Baking Cakes, February 20; Introduction to Baking, February 27, March 5, $500; Knife Skills, February 9; Curry, February 26; Gluten-Free Savoury, February 23; Gluten-Free Sweet, March 15; Bar Mixology, February 29 – March 17, $575; Chocolate, March 19;   Visit www.culinarycampus.ca  for details and for more courses.  

New Vendors at Market on Macleod
Saigon sugar cane juices, Burnt to Order crème brûlée, Happy Kitchen, Bauer Meats, Hipster Nonsense and a coffee and salt grinder artisan who does custom grinding.

Willow Park Wines & Spirits
Fun stuff happening. Details and tickets at www.willowparkwines.com or 403-296-1640, ext. 277. Pick up the fall calender of great events in-store at 10801 Bonaventure Dr. SE. in Willow Park Village.

Divino Wine & Cheese Bistro
Has launched a happy hour program offering a new red and white wine glass-pour selection chosen each Monday and featured all week accompanied by a feature cheese plate and small plate crafted by chef John Donovan. The wines from the copiously stocked cellar are wines you might not otherwise consider.  All wine pours during happy hour are $9, the small plates and cheese plates range from $5 to $9. Good deal!  Keep tabs on what’s happening during happy hour, 3 – 6 p.m., at #divinohappyhour

Offcuts 2016 YYC Food Crew Stripped Down Charity Calendar
That features Calgary’s food scene men who have devoted their lives to the best food and drink the world has to offer ... with their shirts off! The calendars are $20 with proceeds going to Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids. The calendar team: Aviv Fried, Sidewalk Citizen Bakery; Phil and Sebastian, Phil and Sebastian Coffee; Jean Francois Beeroo, Charcut/Charbar; Pierre Lamielle, cookbook author, illustrator, Food On Your Shirt; Jesse Willis, Vine Arts/Proof Cocktail Lounge; Michael Allemeier, chef/SAIT instructor; Cam Dobranski, Winebar Kensington/Brasserie Kensington; Kevin Kent, Knifewear/ Kent of Inglewood; Graham Sherman, Tool Shed Brewing; Duncan Ly, former chef Raw Bar/Hotel Arts; Rogelio Herrera, chef Alloy/Candela; Dwayne Ennest, chef Big Fish/Open Range. Calendars available at calendar men locations, except for Hotel Arts and SAIT.

February 1 through 7
Every year, Alberta Beer Festivals partners with the Olds College Brew Master Program to brew a beer to celebrate the upcoming beer festival season. This beer will be launched at the beginning of April and available at all Craft Beer Market and Beer Revolution locations in Calgary.  The beer will also be available to sample at the Calgary International Beerfest this coming May 6 and 7 in the BMO Centre on Stampede Park. But first we need you to help CHOOSE the style of our beer.  Go to www.albertabeerfestivals.com/contests/choose-it  and select your fave style from five varieties, enter your name to cast your vote and enter the contest.   If your name is randomly selected from everyone who votes for the style, you will win: weekend passes to all ABF events,  a white water rafting trip for 2 from Alpine Rafting,  an invitation to join ABF on March 9th for the brewing of the beer,  an invitation to the media launches for the Calgary International Beerfest and the Edmonton Craft Beer Festival

Each Friday in February
In honour of the month of romance, check into the dinner series at Catch & The Oyster Bar – Wanderlust Culinary Escapes, a new getaway-inspired menu each Friday, three courses for two and a bottle of regional wine make a great Vaneltine’s Day “escape.”
The Hyatt Regency Calgary offers award-winning dining, couples’ spa services and romantic hotel packages for unique gift ideas. Visit www.calgary.hyatt.com for details, and Thomsons restaurant offers a Valentine’s Day dinner, February 13 & 14, a special 3-course menu for $55, reservations at 403-717-1234.

February 1 - 28
Get ready for the fifth annual YYC Hot ChocolateFest in support of Calgary Meals on Wheels. YYC Hot Chocolatefest celebrates the creativity of local eateries competing to create Calgary's best hot chocolate. Throughout the festival, participating coffee shops, restaurants, chocolatiers, and hotels will feature signature hot chocolate drinks created especially for this friendly competition. Partial proceeds from each drink will benefit Calgary Meals on Wheels. Participating vendors and their unique drinks will be listed online at www.yychotchocolate.com . Customers are encouraged to vote online to help determine which vendor will win the coveted title of “Calgary’s Best Hot Chocolate” and “Calgary’s Best Spirited Hot Chocolate.” Bragging rights will also be awarded to the establishment that raises the most funds for Calgary Meals on Wheels.

Friday, February 5
Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, the fast-casual pizza concept backed by LeBron James, opened its first Calgary location by Sunridge Mall and to celebrate the restaurant offers FREE build-your-own pizzas today from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. to anyone who follows Blaze Pizza on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Visit www.blazepizza.com for details.

Friday, February 5
The Glenbow Museum’s “Schmancy” takes place at the Glenbow Museum and features local performers, good food from Hotel Arts and cutting-edge music. Dress black tie or haute couture, festive flair or cocktail chic, or impress with your unique take on style. Details and tickets at www.glenbow.org/schmancy/

Friday, February 5
Cru Juice opens a new juice bar at Chinook Centre on the main floor as you come out of the north underground parkade right in front of Abercrombie & Fitch next to the escalators. Look for the freshest blends and raw snacks. Not your average lemonade stand!

February 5 & 6
The Canadian Culinary Championships where all the winning Gold Medal Plates chefs compete takes place in Kelowna. Calgary is represented by Matt Batey from The Nash Restaurant & Off Cut Bar. Details and tickets to the event at www.goldmedalplates.com or phone 647-328-0149. IF you go to Gold Medal Plates, be sure to visit Meadow Vista Honey Wines, 3975 June Springs Rd., Kelowna, for bee pollen granola and Bee Mine with Bliss, a sparkling cherry honey wine perfect for Valentine’s Day celebrations. You can also shop online at www.meadowvista.ca/shop

Saturday, February 6
Fair Trade Wine and Chocolate Tasting event at Riverfront Wine & Spirits to support Fair Trade Calgary, 7 – 10 p.m., details at www.fairtradecalgary.com and register at www.eventbrite.com, suggested donation $10 at the door.

Yellow Door Bistro
Horizon Beer Dinner, February 9, four courses, five premium beer pairings, $60, reserve at 403-206-9585. Toast to someone special on Valentine’s Day, available Friday, Saturday and Sunday, February 12 – 14, three course dinner with a complimentary sparkling wine, $60, reserve at 403-206-9585. Details at www.yellowdoorbistro.ca

Monday, February 8
Celebrate the Lunar New Year, The Year of the Monkey, at the Hotel Arts’ Raw Bar, featuring special guest chefs, dynamic tasting stations and creative cocktails, $55. Tickets at www.eventbrite.ca, details at www.rawbaryyc.ca/events

Wednesday, February 10
The Winter Garden of Jamieson Place, 308 – 4th Ave SW, 2nd level, the farmers’ market brought to you, local food and product vendors, everything from meats, pies, baking, sweets, breads and much more, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

February 12 – 14
It’s Valentine Weekend at River Café – go for lunch, brunch or dinner, it’s just a walk in the park, Prince’s Island Park. The Valentine Tasting Menu features the best regional ingredients, sourced sustainably from the sea and land, available throughout the weekend. 3-course Valentine menu Friday & Saturday, $65; 5-course Valentine menu, Sunday, $95, optional wine pairings available. Reservations at 403-261-7670 or www.river-cafe.com/reservations

February 12 – 14
Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant invites you to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a special a la carte menu or with the four-course feast, and pair your courses with good wine. Choose from the likes of Nori-wrapped Ling Cod, Rougie Duck Breast, Lamb Sirloin or Chateaubriand for Two.  Yum! Reservations at 403-476-1310.

February 12 – 14
A memorable 6 course Valentine’s Special dinner, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and a Special Brunch, Saturday and Sunday at Vero Bistro Moderne. Reserve at 403-283-8988.

Sunday, February 14
Don’t miss That’s Amore at the Calgary Farmers’ Market, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., a transformation of the market into a romantic Valentine’s destination – red checkered tablecloths, flowers, lots of heart and lots of entertainment. Fun!  Share a romantic brunch or lunch with your special person while duelling pianos spread the love, donating all tip requests to the Calgary Food Bank. Make fruit flower Valentines with Poppy Innovations and enter the contests and giveaways. Now that’s Amore!

Sunday, February 14
Take your sweetie for a luxurious dinner at Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse for a special Valentine’s Day menu that includes limitless carvings of 11 cuts of meat plus caramelized grilled pineapple, coconut lime prawns, grilled salmon and lobster tail, $69.95. V-Day menu is available on Friday and Saturday, too. Details at www.pampasteakhouse.com, reserve at 587-354-3441. Yum!

Sunday, February 14
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with your loved one at The Lake House overlooking Lake Bonavista with a special four-course chef’s menu for $75, expertly paired with wines for an additional $50. The menu offers choices for each course that include the likes of shaved serrano ham, seafood bisque, grilled bison ribeye, finished with a chocolate chai cheesecake. Details and reservations at www.lakehousecalgary.com and reservations at 403-225-3939.

Sunday, February 14
There’s no better seduction than Cheese, Chocolate and Champagne at Janice Beaton Fine Cheese in the evening, including luxurious pairings the softest bries and richest bleus, 6:30 – 8 p.m., $80.15 at www.eventbrite.ca. Special prix fixe menu on Valentine’s Day at FARM restaurant, four courses with an amuse-bouche and sparkling wine to start, $75, reserve at 403-245-2276.

Sunday, February 14
Hotel Arts invites you to celebrate your love with one of Hotel Arts’ Valentine’s Packages to stay the night at Hotel Arts or at Kensington Riverside Inn after a perfect meal at Raw Bar, Yellow Door Bistro or Chef’s Table where you’ll enjoy special tantalizing Valentine’s Day menus. Visit www.hotelartsgroup.com and www.kensingtonriversideinn.com for all the romantic details.

Sunday, February 14
Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to say “You know how much I love you” with Jelly Modern Dougnuts. Check out what’s going on at www.jellymoderndoughnuts.com

February 13 & 14
Celebrate your love with Toscana Italian Grill and a special four-course menu with premium Italian wine and candle light. Saturday’s dinner will be accompanied by guitarist Jason Delaney for a special romantic Valentine’s session.  Reserve at 403-255-1212 or email info@toscanagrill.ca

Monday, February 15
The application deadline for applying to Chopped Canada.  Chopped Canada is looking for culinary champions to compete, course by course, until one remains the winner and takes home $10,000.  Do you have the skills to survive the chopping block? Apply at www.choppedcanadacasting.ca

Wednesday, February 17
The second installment of the Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant Cork & Cuisine supper club. A new theme is featured each month that pairs the world’s wines with chef Jenny Kang’s delicious dishes, this night is a celebration of modern French cuisine, 6:30 p.m., $70. Tickets and details at 403-476-1310, www.bvrrestaurant.com

February 19 & 20
Winefest is back to spoil your senses!  Try before you buy, at Stampede Park, BMO Centre, Hall E. Visit www.celebratewinefest.com/calgary.html for more information and to buy tickets. All attendees are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item or monetary donation for the Calgary Food Bank.

February 25 - 28
The Calgary Home + Garden Show, no-nonesense advice from Canada’s favourite home, horticulture and landscaping specialists, including HGTV’s Carson Arthur and Andree Chevigny, lifestyle expert Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault and designer Amanada Forrest. More than 650 exhibitors. BMO Centre & Corral, Stampede Park. Buy tickets online and save $3 at www.calgaryhgs.com

Saturday, February 27
The Friends of Fish Creek invite you to the 3rd annual Fish Creek Community Fair at Fish Creek Park, details at www.friendsoffishcreek.org

Monday, February 29
Celebrate the art of vegetarian cuisine with Anahata Foods and Kawa Wine & Espresso Bar at Global Vegetarian Night, the last Monday of every month at Kawa, 1333 – 8th St. SW. Tonight is An Indian Feast, 5 -  9 p.m., $30, reservations essential at 403-452-5233.

Until February 29
The Cheesecake Café is giving away free coffee to all members of its Great Rewards loyalty program, 2 – 4 p.m. and 8 – 10 p.m. if the members will donate to the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter.  Sounds like a darn good deal – a good cup of coffee and all you have to do is support a great cause.

Wednesday, March 16
Tango Bistro hosts a Wine Dinner featuring Yalumba Vineyards, Australia’s oldest family-owned winery. Enjoy a specially prepared 5-course Wine Paired Dinner. The event starts at 6:30. Tickets are $70 including tax and gratuity. Phone 403 252 4365  or email rich@tangobistro.com for tickets

March 18 & 19
Don’t miss Calgary Co-op Wine Spirits Beer’s anticipated yearly Grape Escape, Wine, Spirits & Beer Festival, always a fun event at the BMO Centre, Stampede Park, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m., $65, tickets at all Co-op Wine Spirits Beer locations.