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Foodie’s delight: Taste of Calgary now on through weekend

Taste of Calgary, the festival of all thing food and drink, is now off to a delicious start for Calgarians.

The annual celebration of Calgary’s restaurants, food trucks, breweries, and distilleries is now open for the public to enjoy.

The festival, which had in previous years been held at Eau Claire Market, moved to the west end of downtown on 4 Avenue SW and 8 Street SW in the Calgary Parking Authority’s Lot 6 for 2022.

Taste of Calgary runs from August 4 through August 7.

“To see people embracing us here has been really great,” said Taste of Calgary event producer Jennifer Rempel.

“All the vendors are set up and ready to go,” she said.

This year is a real celebration of international cuisine. And visitors to Taste of Calgary will be able to find the spices and aromas from luminary culinary destinations like Mexico, El Salvador, the Caribbean, Brazil, the Philippines, and India among others.

And for those looking for the height of local Alberta-centric food and drink, the festival has that too.

A Chunk’D Ruby cookie, with drizzled Bailey’s chocolate sauce and pistachios at Taste of Calgary on Thursday, August 4, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

Some of the must try items for 2022

Rempel said Taste of Calgary had some must try items this year.

“We have Caribbean food—jerk chicken, if you haven’t tried it from Simply Irie is just fantastic,” she said.

“Blowers and Grafton have a lobster roll from out east, and we have a Cambodian vendor, Golden Kway Teow, and they have fried quail eggs and all sorts of interesting stuff.”

Pat Bruney with Simply Irie said that he hopes people connect with the samples they have on offer, and then come to visit the restaurant.

“For our business it is very important—we need to let people know that we’re still here,” he said.

“We made it through the pandemic and we’re still doing well, but we want more to come, and you know what, we like having new people come into the restaurant.”

Bruney agreed with Rempel that the jerk chicken is a must try, but also suggested some of their other offerings, including the jerk tofu for vegetarians. He said that it was all about the spices, and the love, to make good Caribbean food.

“Scotch bonnet pepper and thyme,” laughed Bruney.

Berta Burger’s Cowbow slider at Taste of Calgary on Thursday, August 4, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

Many first time vendors for this year

Rempel said that the festival had first time vendors this year. She said it was an important opportunity to connect those vendors with new customers.

“They’ve managed to stay open or struggle during the last couple of years, and are looking to have new customers and people try their food,” she said.

Max Radford with the Berta Burgers food truck, said that it was exciting to be a first time vendor with Taste of Calgary.

“It seems like a very interesting festival to be a part of, and it gives a wide variety, a wide array of all the great options out there in Calgary,” he said.

“Anytime that we can share some of the things that we produce here with the local community is awesome.”

On offer at Berta Burgers is a Fort Mac burger that Radford said was made with local Alberta beef, and their special secret sauce.

They also have Cowboy sliders, which combine sliced prime rib with cheddar cheese, coleslaw and BBQ sauce.

“Come down and try them because they’re they’re quite unique—they’re a little spin on the what we have to offer as fresh ingredients and produce here—so fresh Alberta meat, which is always good,” said Radford.

A full menu of items is available on the Taste of Calgary website.