This time of year I find there are two kinds of people I meet: those who are just starting their festivus-for-the-rest-of-us party circuit or or those who are winding down their winter fun. Because of geography and the my bi-provincial existence, I sit squarely in the former category. We’ve been catching up with friends, attending Sagittarius birthday dinners or Christmasy work functions here in Edmonton. Next week we’ll be eating, laughing and kitchen dancing with more family back in British Columbia.
Throughout all of this I’ve realized just how important it is to keep things simple when it comes to preparing festive foods. Whether you are going to a potluck, hosting a pre-Christmas dinner with the in-laws or just chilling with your family or friends, it makes sense to stay on the easy train, rather than the mega-intricate (and stressful). So grab a glass of your fave festive nog, sit down, peruse and choose a recipe (or seven) from my mini round up below.
To say that Robin Wasicuna is passionate about his craft could be an understatement. Other possible descriptors could include: serious, dedicated or ebullient. As one of the Northwest Territories’ most outspoken and publicly praised chefs, Wasicuna is a boon to both Yellowknife and to the northern food scene in general.
Wasicuna is the owner of Wiseguy Foods, no-nonsense food truck in Yellowknife that serves up fantastic, fresh nosh that never stagnates in flavour nor quality. He’s also run a pop-up restaurant called Numbers at Bayside, hosted underground dinners (think Cinco de Mayo-themed with lots of pork and peppers) and is about to venture into an eatery sans wheels: the Twin Pine Diner at the Arnica Inn. A former Chopped Canada competitor and NWT food ambassador, Wasicuna’s cooked in Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Yellowknife and even in my tiny, Vancouver apartment kitchen. He’s a proud dad and a big softie of a husband.
If Wasicuna were a dessert, he’d be a bourbon and bacon sundae: strong, salty and sweet. Like the sundae ingredients, his booming voice, tattoos and confident demeanor are layered over top of a genuinely delightful personality. Just ask him about northern food, and you see a big serious dude beam from inside out. Read more to find out about his f*#king awesome job after the jump. Read more