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It’s back!! Time for the 4th annual Ottawa Foodie Challenge.

There is nothing like this in the city. An urban foodie photo scavenger hunt that raises money for the Ottawa Food Bank. Imagine you a friend and about 49 other teams racing around the city – deciphering clues, taking pictures of you at various locations then being crowned Ottawa’s top foodie if you finish first with the most amount of clues completed. More than that there are awesome prizes to be won! Not only do you get the title, but the winner team will get a matching pair of knife sets from Wusthof Canada and a cooking class by La Bottega Nicastro. There are also prizes for good sportsmanship, best photo and more!


It takes place all over downtown so you can bike, walk or bus to most areas!

The event kicks off Sunday June 1 with breakfast provided by LUNCH at Shopify at 126 York Street. It finishes at 5pm at The Albion Rooms at 33 Nicolas downtown.

For more information on this wicked cool event or to register click here to visit the event web page !

Are you Ottawa’s Top Foodie?? I bet you are!



Last night was the African Harvest event to celebrate 35 years of Farm Radio International. Not able to make the event but still want to try some amazing African flavours and help the cause?? Well – now it’s in two steps but still totally do able!


African Harvest Chefs – Andrée Riffou and Jeff Crump

First – in recognition of 35 years, Farm Radio is hoping to get 35 new monthly donors. You could be one! Click here form more information.

Next the African flavours… this was a soup I made at Cardamom and Cloves last Saturday for my cooking demo – they happen every Saturday at 11am in store (440 Preston Street) and the first 4 to arrive are guaranteed a sample of the dish that is made.

This recipes uses berbere spice – a flavourful African spice mix of 13 ingredients including paprika, ginger, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and allspice to name a few.


Carrot and Berbere Spice Soup

2 TBSP Olive oil or butter
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
2 TBSP Berber spice
2 cups veggie stock
1.5 pounds of carrots, peeled
Sea salt
Black pepper
4 dollops of sour cream
Additional Berber spice for garnish

Heat olive oil or butter in a large pot. Gently saute onions until soft – about 4 minutes. Add carrots, garlic, Bay leaf, berbere and stock. There should be enough liquid to just cover the vegetables. If not, add water. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer until carrots are very soft, about 15 minutes.

Cool slightly. Remove bay leaf. Puree with a hand blender or in batches in a regular blender. You can reheat and season to taste now – or season it, cool it and serve cold.

Serve with a spoon full of sour cream and a sprinkle of berbere spice if you like!


Too busy to read?? Here is a clip of me on CTV making the soup!


**Update** To check out just what I’m talking about in this update scroll down!


This on the scene photography brought to you by the super duper amazing Foodie Prints – check out their other amazing foodie pictures on their Instagram account among many other places. Like here.

So of course the second I hit publish on this post I found out that there aren’t enough vendors to do the small bites alley! So while I wont be there (as a vendor) you could be (as an eater! I mean… participant!) I’ve got two tickets to give away to our city’s biggest and best cocktail party. All you need to do to enter is comment on this post about which part of Bon Appetit you would enjoy most!

To get you started here is Katy at Sheltered Girl Meets World with her top 5 reasons she is excited for May 6.

I’ll pick a winner on Thursday morning and you can come pick up your ticket in store at Cardamom and Cloves on 440 Preston Street!



This year’s Bon Appetit Ottawa is going to be bigger and better than ever before. Going into it’s 18th year – this glamorous cocktail party helps over 20 local charities and puts you in a room with over 90 restaurants, caterers, wineries and breweries… and me!! That’s right. In a classic case of me biting off more than I can chew, I have agreed to be part of the new “small bites alley” a spot to showcase smaller restaurants (less than 40 seats) and new food and beverage businesses.


The idea is that producers in the small bites alley have one bite samples and change through the night so you get to see quite a variety of the amazing food Ottawa is producing. This is all on top of the larger plates and samples offered by the larger local businesses! So who is going to be there? For a complete list click here – but here are just a few of the participating vendors:

– Angry Dragonz : love love love this food truck!
– Hooch Bourbon House: after reviews like this one from FoodiePrints, how could I not be excited?!
– Fifthtown Artisan Cheese: there was a bit of a shock when this awesome cheese maker in PEC closed down for a bit, but with new owners they are back! Can’t wait.
– Top Shelf Preserves: Like awesome things? You are going to love this
– MeNa: yes it is just down the street from me, and I could go anytime, but I can’t wait to see what they come up with for this awesome event.

But seriously – so many, many more amazing people going to be there. One of them should be you!

Here’s the nitty gritty:

Place: EY Centre, 4899 Uplands Drive, Ottawa 
Date:  Tuesday May 6, 2014
Time:  5:30 – 9:00 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased by clicking here: $85 ticket comes with a $50 tax receipt.


This has been a particularly weird winter. Say what you will… it was cold. Pretty damn cold at times. And while that hasn’t presented me with any additional challenges, it has for Barbara Schaefer and her farm full of the rare breed of pigs known as “Large Black Pig” – ok. Not the most creative name, but they are an endangered breed that Barbara is helping to bring back from the brink by farming them. As the demand for this fantastic pork – and it is fantastic – increases, she hopes more farms will want to raise the pigs and their numbers will return.

This winter has been particularly tough – with the pigs eating twice their normal amount to gain weight to deal with the cold, and the extra bedding to combat this dickish polar vortex. I’ll let Barbara tell you more about it in her own words:

Any amount you can donate will help these cute, smart and delicious animals.

Here is the link right to Barbara’s Indiegogo campaign – a very worthy foodie cause that only takes a couple dollars and a two minutes to make a big difference. Cheers!

Why do I love Ottawa so much?? Because it is a city with a big heart and an even bigger tummy!!

Case in point this amazing fundraiser called Food for Thought! It pairs real chefs with students from the Grade 10 Culinary Arts program at Longfields-Davidson Heights Secondary School. Each Chef designs a course for the evening along with a matching non-alcoholic beverage.  The Grade 10 students will be the main cooks for the evening, helping the Chefs in advance preparation of their course and plating the course on the night of the event.  The Grade 11 students will serve the meal to the guests.

This gives the kids a chance to work with real chefs and gain some experience preparing food for paying customers! It’s also a chance to raise funds to support the Parkdale Food Centre and an organization called Mary’s Meals which helps provide school lunches to children in Malawi.

Who are the participating Chefs?? I’m sure you will recognize more than a couple names:

Stev George, Olivea Restaurant, Kingston
Marc Doiron, town Restaurant, Ottawa
Christopher Lord, Union:Local 613, Ottawa
Katie Brown, Beckta Dining and Wine, Ottawa
Jonathan Korecki, Sidedoor Contemporary Kitchen, Ottawa

Here are the nitty gritty details:

Location: Longfields-Davidson Heights Secondary School (149 Berrigan Dr.)
Date:  Thursday January 30, 2014
Time:  6:00pm start
Price:  $55.00 per ticket
Attendance: 120 tickets available

Contact: Jane Lovsin (613-843-7722 ext. 2005)
You will need to provide your credit card number to reserve your ticket.

If you are attending and would like to write a guest post! I’d love to hear from you!! simplyfresh[at]live[dot]ca

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Past Foodie Adventures…