This past month the Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence hosted the Let It Snow Chef Exchange Event in coordination with Chateau Lake Louise. Two similar events occurred throughout Canada this year showcasing Canadian beef and community for Canada’s 150th Birthday. We were invited to participate in the third and final leg starting at the Canadian Beef Centre in Calgary and finishing at the Chateau Lake Louise. Each event featured a Chef representing Mexico, China and here in Calgary, Chef Anton from the Philippines.
Once the chefs, ranchers, Canadian beef team and media were gathered at the centre, we started our adventure with greetings from our host, Mairlyn Smith. We were given an overview of the next 24 hours and then shuffled into the kitchen for a cooking demonstration with a beer pairing.
Nick Fodor from The Grizzly Paw Brewing Company hosted the beer pairing section carefully detailing and explaining how the beer was chosen and paired with each beef dish as they came out.
Our first sampling by Chef Anton, Bistek on Green Onion Blini Bites paired with Grumpy Bear Honey Wheat Beer. Next up Beef Wrapped Maple Parsnip Bites accompanied by Rutting Elk Red Beer prepared by Chef Jean-Francois Fortin of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Last and the tastiest of the three in my opinion, the Beef’n Blue Wagon Wheel Bites from Canadian Beef’s own Chef Mathieu Paré paired nicely with Sleeping Buffalo Stout. The grand finale was a serving of beef and barley soup drizzled with cold-pressed organic canola oil from High River’s Highwood Crossing with a side salad to finish the demonstration leaving us all happily in a beef coma.
Hop on the bus gus. We were herded (see what I did there) onto a bus to make our way to WineGlass Ranch, a beef cattle ranch to meet Travis and Kara Eklund. These 5th generation ranchers raise healthy, high quality, hormone & antibody free, grain finished beef. We gathered to hear stories of life on the ranch, the trials and tribulations of operating a ranch through economic ups and downs and how this couple manages to do it with a smile on their face. They allowed us to wander around a little to explore some of the ranch.
Get back on the bus gus. We were on the road again only this time Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise bound. On our ride we had the pleasure of sharing company with Miriam and Donnie Wilson from the Parks Canada Historic Site – Bar U Ranch. They openly chatted about the Wildlife Corridor protection initiative as well as gave us a heritage talk about Bar U Ranch.
We arrived in Lake Louise in time for a rancher reception welcome hosted by Canada Beef Board Chair Linda Allison. Linda along with two representatives from Alberta and Saskatchewan shared stories of how the summer of 2017 wildfires affected ranches, farms and communities all over Western Canada and how communities banded together to help each other. Brew samples were provided by Grizzly Paw Brewery.
With little time to exhale, Chef Jean-Francois led us on a behind the scenes tour of the hotels large array of kitchens. We move along quite quickly in a few of his kitchens to learn its specific function while the 110 chefs he oversees busily prepare dinner for it’s patrons. Each kitchen stop features a surprise and incredibly delicious small bite for us to sample while taking it all in. We end our tour in the dining room at Lago Italian Kitchen and are seated at our assigned table for dinner.
For dinner Chef Anton and Chef Jean-Francois prepare a main dish featuring Canadian beef and sound off in an epic battle of desserts. Chef Anton delighted many with his Beef Short Ribs Sinigang served on a bed of green mango puree.
Chef Jean-Francois serves up Braised Beef Flat Iron and Seared Tenderloin with Beets and Polenta. A meal fit for a king. Or a bunch of hungry carnivores.
Following a delicious meal and equally satisfying desserts, this girl took herself for a quick breath of fresh air outside to inspect Lake Louise after dark and then down to the Alpine Social, the social hub of Lake Louise, to be social of course and for a night cap before retiring for the evening.
Chateau Lake Louise offers magical views, adventures and activities for the entire family all year round and should definitely be on your bucket list of places to visit.
This is a sponsored post. Opinions expressed are mine and based on the experience had while on this trip.