Prairie Food Bytes
Editor: CJ Katz
Wednesday, July 9, 2003
New Bistro Fires Up
At just 25, owner and head chef Jesse Hoffert has already banked up plenty of expertise managing restaurants and working in kitchens. Hoffert has led an eclectic food career, getting first started with the Mighty Thomas Carnival when he was just 13 years old. Working the concession stands for at least one full year and every summer during his teenage years, Hoffert travelled across Saskatchewan and down through the American mid-west serving up tacos, burgers and fries. By the time he was 18, he had gained enough experience and knowledge to manage the entire food operation of the carnival.
Upon graduating from high school, Hoffert enrolled in college in Medicine Hat and by 1997 had earned his diploma in hotel and restaurant management. He soon began working in the kitchen at Danbrys learning how to prepare more refined upscale dining dishes under the tutelage of Paul Howden, Jody Wolfard and the team of chefs there. Three years later, he moved to Vic's Steakhouse and Botanica in the Regina Inn to assist in the kitchen during the opening of these restaurants. When Pasta Prima opened, Hoffert was there helping to work out the kinks. Before long, he was head chef at Johnny Fox's when the Travellodge transformed Oscar's into their banquet facility.
Asked why he decided to take on ownership of a restaurant, "I started to ask myself, if I'm putting in so many hours at other restaurants, why not do it for myself." And so far, business has been good and increasing every day. This time of year, the patio is full, and says Hoffert, this past weekend we had customers still enjoying the patio at 2:30 in the morning.
The menu features soups, salads, sandwiches and burgers, pizza and pasta and a large selection main-course entrees. Be sure to try Hoffert's signature dishes such as his Absolut Citron Vodka Chicken Roulade,the Smoked Gouda Chicken Sandwich and the Fireside Veg-Apalooza Pizza prepared with Hoffert's own barbeque sauce - a mixture of Babe's Fireweed Honey from B.C., fresh rosemary and spices. A complete vegetarian menu is also available and portabello mushrooms can be substituted at no extra charge in any meat dish off the regular menu. All lunch items are under $10.
Fireside seats 126 guests with another 35 seats on the patio. As well, the restaurant includes a private meeting room on the second floor large enough to seat 25 people.
The Fireside Bistro opens Monday to Friday at 11 am and on Saturday and Sunday at 4 pm. For reservations call: 761-2305. The restaurant is located at 2305 Smith St. at the corner of 15th Ave.
Owner Jesse Hoffert on the patio of his new restaurant, The Fireside Bistro
Daneilsen Cooks Up Katz' Recipes at Calgary Stampede
Vic's Steakhouse Menu Gets Overhaul, Features Only Canadian
"There's a lot of added value on this menu," says Vic's Steakhouse manager Simon Dujardin. "The presentation will be quite different, something very noticeable especially with the appetizers and desserts. As well, every plate will be garnish with a unique signature item - a sprig of fresh herb sandwiched between two crisp potato rounds."
Executive Chef Thomas Rush is a fan of French-style cooking and loves creating dishes that have a lot of height on the plate, so expect to see some appetizers and desserts that not only taste wonderful but will be a feast for the eyes too. And like many other chefs, Rush is a believer in serving vegetables in season which means no vegetables will be served out of the season in which they are grown and harvested.
Chef Rush and his team have also created some additional sauces to marry with the steaks such as Blue Cheese Horseradish, Smoked Chipotle BBQ and Port Mushroom. Some new sides have also been added including grilled asparagus, steakhouse fries and Colossal PEI Baked Potato.
The wine list will very soon be featuring almost exclusively Canadian wines. The house red and white wine starting this week is Mission Hill's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. As the restaurant depletes its stock of wines from around the world, Old and New World wines will still be available but the majority served will be Canadian including some wines not available at the SLGA. And as an added bonus, guests will soon be able to purchase these specialty wines to take home. For reservations, call 525-7556.
Fast Track Sommelier Program Starts in September
One of the exciting aspects is the instructor. Rod Phillips, managing editor of Vines magazine, author of A Short History of Wine, and wine columnist for the Ottawa Citizen will teach the course. Rod has travelled extensively around the world visiting just about every wine region. Voted Wine Person of the Year, 2000 by the National Capital Sommelier Guild, Rod brings a wealth of experience to the program.
Enrolment forms and information packages are now available by contacting CJ Katz at (306) 761-2032 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bushwakker Features Premium Wines; New Beer
New Summer Menu at Danbry's
On the dinner menu, try their warm spinach and crap dip served with tomato tortilla crisps. For those hot summer nights Executive Chef Chris Trehearne is topping the grilled snapper with jumbo prawns and a light lemon and white wine butter sauce. Yum!
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