As the crisp leaves fall from the trees and the brisk air nips at my neck, my thoughts turn to food. I love cold weather because it provides the perfect excuse for eating hot, hearty meals. I love turning on the oven and baking carrots and onions until they caramelize, or throwing together a wholesome, delicious soup with whatever I’ve got left in the fridge. Don’t even get me started on baking cookies and how amazing your home will smell after you make a batch. It’s too good for words.
If your mouth is watering, you’re in luck! This whole edition of the griff is dedicated to the simplest, most universal pleasure there is: food. To start, we’ve shed some light on the history of the best restaurants on campus. Anna McMillan sat down for a Q&A with Ariel del Rosario, one of the two cousins who run Filistix in the Robbins building. The restaurateur and MacEwan graduate describes how the duo helped encourage a street food culture in Edmonton, and explains the distinction between a cook and a chef.
On the other side of City Centre Campus, you can find the best red curry stew I’ve ever tried — though it won’t be back on the menu until winter — at Lan’s Asian Grill in Building 6. Stephan Boissonneault chatted with Tom Lim, half of the brother-sister pair that heads up Lan’s, which we discovered is named after Tom and Monica’s mother. Lim explains why the siblings turned down an offer from the University of Alberta in favour of starting an eatery at MacEwan, and emphasizes their philosophy of serving only the best food to their customers.
Of course, students can’t afford to eat out all the time. Much of the time, we have to prepare our own meals, so we also wrote about that in this edition. Want to know where to find the cheapest groceries near campus? We compared the prices at Safeway and Save-On-Foods, and we’ve provided a grocery list that you can pull right out of the magazine when you go shopping. Once you get your groceries home, try a recipe from Leanne Brown’s Good and Cheap, a free PDF cookbook with recipes for tasty, nutritious meals that cost just $4 per day. We’ve tested out a handful of Brown’s recipes, so check out our reviews and tips on page 8.
Don’t know how to cook? We have professional cooking classes on campus! They’re a bit pricey for a student budget, but each class includes four hours of instruction, a meal, wine, and a recipe package. If you’re feeling fancy, it might be a great birthday gift for someone special. Anna McMillan joined Get Cooking’s chef Kathryn Joel for a Thai cooking class; she describes her failed attempts at making fish cakes on page 18.
Unfortunately, food is simply another worry for many people. No one should have to wonder when they’ll be able to eat their next meal. If you’re having trouble making ends meet, you’re not alone. Ana Holleman reports that our Student Food Bank has experienced a 47 per cent increase in access over the past year (page 22).
While some Edmontonians go hungry, fresh food goes to waste in our own backyards. Luckily, Fruits of Sherbrooke collects local fruit that would otherwise be wasted and makes it into tasty jams that benefit our community. The not-for-profit organization sells its jarred preserves at City Market on 104 Street, among other venues, and partners with local agencies to give back to hungry citizens in our city. Marc Kitteringham went fruit picking with Fruits of Sherbrooke to learn more about how the group does its wonderful work.
Of course, food is so good that it can sometimes be addictive. In this month’s Final Thoughts, Madison Kerr describes her experience of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and her road to recovering from sugar addiction.
Photo by Madison Kerr.