Food Musings

A Winnipeg blog about the joy of preparing food for loved ones and the shared joy that travel & dining brings to life.

Winnipeg’s Culinary Arts Programs


I have a friend who is an instructor with the Winnipeg Technical College Culnary Arts Program.  On her teaching days, when her time over lunch is limited, I will meet her at the College to grab a bite together.  Not only is this time effective but I get to enjoy a delicious meal at a really reasonable cost.  The last time that we met, we missed the last portion of succulent looking chicken wings.  Instead, we opted for cheesy quesadillas.

In anticipation of our last lunch, K sent me the proposed lunch specials a week ago in a text.  A baked salmon fillet and angel hair pasta topped with a tequila lime compote.  I sent her this text in reply: “you had me at tequila”.  The fish and pasta portions were generous and although I had to add a pinch of salt, the taste was light and fresh.

I have taught blogging for the Louis Riel School Division and have had to attend meetings at their complex.  This is no hardship as they too have a Culinary Arts Program.  I have only tasted their baked goodies but I can give them high marks.  I have seen their food artistry exhibited at the food-service trade shows and they boast some very talented young chefs.

When my Mom was still able to lunch with friends, she and a couple of neighbours liked attending the monthly gourmet lunches put on by Kildonan East’s Culinary Arts Program.  Check out the menu for their next event:

Seafood Phyllo Napoleon
Saffron Cream Sauce & Tarragon Oil
Cornish Game Hen
Bulgur & Dried Fruit Stuffing
Oven Roast Root Vegetables
Luscious Berry Shortcake with Lemon Mousse

Being a foodie and an educator myself, I can’t help but boast about the culinary education programs that Winnipeg has to offer. I am sure that there are others, these are the only the ones that I am personally aware of. These schools not only provide an invaluable hands on education, but diners are treated to an affordable, nutritious and delicious culinary experience as a bonus.

Kath’s quote “I strongly believe that culinary love is not about having a French Passport, but about what you feel”-Albert Roux

Love-that is all.

News Cafe


If there was one single building where my personal worlds collide, it is at the News Cafe on Albert St.  Just this morning I was at an event hosted by the Advertising Association of Winnipeg entitled The Future of Traditional News Media according to Dan Lett.  I was interested in attending because my original and primary profession is as a Media Planner and what was said will help me make more educated choices on behalf of my clients.

But, ironically it is because of the changing face of traditional media, that I have had to reinvent myself as a blogger and social media expert.  The irony lies in the evidence that social media has had direct impact on traditional media especially because on line “news” deliverers are being provided content by “non-journalists” (of which I am one).  Just before I left my car for the presentation, I checked my email messages to find that the Huffington Post has picked up another one of my blog posts.  Much of the presentation was about the existence of platforms such as the Huffington Post and how they have developed an appetite for consumers wanting their news for “free”.  You can imagine what a challenge this is for the business model of an organization like the Winnipeg Free Press.

For me, my toast is buttered on both sides: I benefit from the good fortune that providing content for social media provides and I benefit by promoting the advantages that are delivered by traditional media to my clients. In addition, Dan Lett explained that the News Cafe is actually creating opportunities in journalism that never would have existed without the cafe, such as the inertia to build community and hear authentic anecdotes from politicians and celebrities that never would have been revealed in other realms.

AND The News Cafe serves food of course, which is another convergence of this whole scene and once again where my professions intercept.  Admission to the event included these delicious breakfasts (well at least I know that my ham and cheese omellette was delicious).  My breakfast dates let me photograph their plates too.  Imagine what it is like to dine with me…

 Kath’s quote: “All of us who professionally use the mass media are the shapers of society. We can vulgarize that society.  We can brutalize it.  Or we can help lift it to a higher level.”-William Bernbach

Love-that is all.

Chicken Paprika


There are times on Sundays when I enjoy getting supper ready in advance in case I have an afternoon commitment.  Such was the case this weekend when I was able to prepare this chicken dish right after lunch.

Just before all the kids arrived home I through the vegetables in the oven to roast and made a pot of broad egg noodles and another of brown rice.  Good thing I did, because this dish was such a big hit that even a double batch was completely consumed.  The sauce in particular was absolutely delicious when poured over the pasta or rice.

Chicken Paprika
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
When no fat sour cream is used this dish is a low fat option.
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, sliced into bite sized pieces
  • 1 T canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 T paprika
  • ½ t salt
  • 2 c chicken stock
  • 1 T flour
  • 8 oz. no fat sour cream
  1. Saute chicken in canola until pink disappears, remove from pan and set aside (about 10 mins).
  2. In the same pan, saute onion in butter until translucent (about 5 mins).
  3. Season with paprika and salt.
  4. Add chicken stock, bring to a slow boil and then reduce heat to simmer.
  5. Mix flour with sour cream and then whisk into chicken stock mixture.
  6. Add chicken back to the skillet and continue to cook until chicken is heated through and the sauce thickens slightly.

Kath’s quote: “Its all about quality of life and finding a healthy balance between work and friends and family.” -Phillip Green

Love-that is all.

Saigon Jon’s Vietnamese Kitchen


As we arrived at Saigon Jon’s, after a considerable drive to south Pembina (2696), I had a “deja vu” feeling but could not put my finger on the familarity.  After some time, I realized that it felt like walking into Unburger in the village but instead of burger and fry choices, the selection was grilled meat and rice noodles.  What is consistent to both restaurants is their commitment to quality and freshness.

The concept is simple, but brilliant, as the most successful restaurant concepts are.  You decide if you would like a noodle or rice bowl, salad or Vietnamese sandwich (Banh Mi) and then which protein from the list that includes a variety of steak, fresh chicken, pork, patties or tofu.

We also love Vietnamese Pho (soup) and so found it hard to choose.  In the end we opted for the widest variety and shared. Their Pho starts with a house made broth that is complex and satisfying and could be eaten all by itself.  The bowl arrives with rice noodles and flour kinds of beef swimming in the heavenly broth.  On the side are bean sprouts and a wedge of lime to enhance the meal-we threw everything in including the abundant and fresh Thai basil leaves.

D selected a toasted 6 inch multi-grain baguette with Vietnamese veggies, Thai basil aioli and charbroiled pork.  After one bite, he wondered out loud, why anyone would ever go to Subway again?

Now I love Vietnamese Noodle Bowls and have long enjoyed them at Viva and Little Saigon, two of our favourite Winnipeg Vietnamese spots, so my standard is admittedly very, very high.  Saigon Jon’s bowl is right up there with its plethora of tastes and such plentiful meat that you can have a spear of hot honey hoisin chicken with every chopstick full.

The restaurant itself is sparkling clean and well laid out for comfortable eating (I wouldn’t call it dining). The huge white bowls that hold the delicious meals are cheerfully brought to your table as they come hot off the grill. You can see the preparations unfold in front of you as you order.  In fact, there is nothing to hide here.  You can see right to the back wall of the kitchen where an unusual light source is growing the fresh herbs that are used by the kitchen.

The restaurant was full with many U of M students from nearby enjoying a Saturday night dinner out as well as a number of empty nesters from the neighbourhood.  Once the new stadium opens, they will be jammed.  I am sure that their choice of location is not by accident. We had the pleasure of meeting Sheraz and his business partner Jon when we were at the restaurant.  They are representative of the new generation of restaurant owners in Winnipeg with a clear vision, an excellent marketing network and a commitment to the hard work ahead.  They will succeed, there is no doubt in our minds.

Saigon Jon's Vietnamese Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “Happy and successful cooking doesn’t rely only on know-how; it comes from the heart, makes great demands on the palate and needs enthusiasm and a deep love of food to bring it to life.”-Georges Blanc

Love-that is all.

Corrientes Argentine Pizza


The owners of the ever-popular Hermanos Restaurant and Wine Bar have graced Winnipeg with another South American inspired restaurant:  Corrientes Argentine Pizza.  Situated at 137 Bannatyne Ave, near Waterfront Drive, it is the perfect meeting place for the condo dwellers, business and arts people who have resurrected the neighbourhood.  I am guessing this is what inspired the name of the restaurant because Corrientes Ave. in Buenos Aires is home to a similar demographic.

I hope that the owners know that the space with its exposed brick walls and cozy furniture will promote lingering.  I was sat in this back room and when I found out that my lunch date was running late, I didn’t mind in the least.  Our table was tucked into the right hand corner and made for a perfect place for us to quietly get caught up on life and then business.

This light filled front room was jammed with diners when I arrived at noon but had cleared out by the time we made our way back to our cars (parking was tricky).

But to the food. I am always so appreciative when my friends are willing to order in tandem because a couple of slices of pizza and half of this gorgeous salad made for an explosion of textures and flavours.

My lunch date choose the Olmedo Salad whereby heaps of chopped romaine lettuce were adorned with sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced Buffalo mozarella and soft croutons.  The entire surface was then playfully, zig zagged with balsamic dressing creating this checkered-board effect.  The result was lovely for the eyes and the taste buds.

I chose a thin crust “Manitoba ” Pizza topped with pesto (pungent with garlic), bacon, goat cheese, arugula, orange zest and more sun-dried tomatoes.  The pickerel cheeks made it Manitoban but unfortunately their subtle flavour was overpowered by the other ingredients.  Orange zest on pizza was new to me but tasted exactly right in this combination.

Corrientes delivers pizza and is open from breakfast until late to accommodate the after theatre crowd.

Buenos Airies is one of the world’s great cities that I would love to visit but in the mean time, Winnipeg has its own taste of life on Corrientes St.

Corrientes Argentine Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “Prepared and fast foods have given us the time and freedom to see cooking as an art form – a form of creative expression.”-Jeff Smith

Love-that is all.

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