Here in Alberta eating out means something different to most parts of the world. In our beloved prairie province, it’s all about barbecuing and eating al fresco as opposed to hiding indoors from winter’s cold.
Summer cookouts are inherently festive, a chance to eat casually and enjoy the spirit of the season. With summer officially underway, Sturgeon County invites the entire family to Cardiff Park on Friday, Aug. 9 for the 2019 Culinary Cookout.
Although it is one of the smaller food festivals scattered throughout the region, it is stocked with food trucks, live entertainment, a kids’ zone, a petting zoo, a producer lane and an artist alley.
Namao’s iconic 101-year old Johnny’s Store is also stopping by with a pop-up artisan market while ATCO’s Blue Flame Kitchen whips up a how-to demo on cooking Ukrainian-style green onion cakes.
Anchoring the cookout are five varied food trucks using fresh produce and protein from Sturgeon County producers.
Jack’s Burger Shack, a popular St. Albert business with a reputation for some of the city’s tastiest and innovative eats, is back.
“They’ve been here since the beginning. That’s five years ago. Their food is so fresh and they use beef raised in Sturgeon County. It’s so fresh and flavourful,” said Leanne McBean, Sturgeon County's economic development coordinator.
Streetside Celebrations, a food catering business, also returns serving sandwiches, Mexi fries, poutine, barbecued pork sandwiches and buffalo-chicken on a multi-grain waffle.
For those who like to nosh on more adventurous foods, Edmonton’s New Deli adds diversity with beef bulgogi sandwiches, dill pickle soup and saskatoon craft soda. The Purple Perogi also returns with its very adaptive Ukrainian food and Go Nuts is serving its addictive mini donuts.
In addition to the food trucks, a brother-sister duo from Morinville, Nate, 12, and Kamea Chauvet, 9, are introducing the inaugural Cream-Cycle. The young entrepreneurs will serve a mix of 10 different types of ice cream from their stand.
A party is not a party without live entertainment and Shaguar, a rockabilly-surf-country band will whoop it up with danceable mashups of radio friendly music.
Dallas Arcand Sr. from Alexander First Nation, also makes an appearance.
“He’ll be storytelling and hoop dancing, and using music he has made.”
Artists Alley pulls together sculptor Leo Arcand, illustrator Dolly Boland, as well as painters Judy Schafers, Mona Bouchard, Alan Ander and Frances Pelletier.
Some of the more interesting products available at Producer Lane are honey, freezer packs of pork, metal work and alpaca dryer balls.
A new venture this year is a 50/50 draw for the Jessica Martel Foundation, a dedicated group building an emergency shelter for victims of violence.
"The cookout is going rain or shine. We will be providing tents, however this is Alberta. So bring an umbrella or sunscreen – whatever you might need in one day."
The cookout runs from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Cardiff Park. Dallas Arcand performs at 5 p.m. followed by Shaguar at 6 p.m. Cardiff Park is located in the hamlet of Cardiff directly south of Morinville.