YYC Food & Drink Experience 2020: Calgary’s Banqueting Best
The 2020 YYC Food and Drink Experience has a star-studded lineup of Calgary’s favourite and best-loved restaurants. When I glance down the “who’s-who” list of restaurants I see names of places whose thresholds I can only wish to cross, let alone dine at.
To me, the 2020 YYC Food & Drink Experience is nothing short of a banqueting bonanza.
Commencing on February 28th through to March 15th, a lineup of 68 of Calgary’s favourite, top-rated restaurants will host 17 days of exquisite gastronomic repasts. Serving up prix fixe (fixed price) menu offerings that include scrumptious lunches ($20 and $30), three-course dinners ($30 and $40), and gourmet five-course masterpieces ($65), these memorable meals will be offered at very attractive price points, accessible to most of the discerning public.
So, plan, prepare and budget to dine out. A lot.
Reservations at the participating restaurants can be made here.
The table below lists the participating restaurants, all of which are worthwhile to have on your radar for significant occasions or hot date destinations. Restaurants located outside of the downtown area are donated by the quadrant of the city in which they’re located, in case you want to find one closer to home as a starting point.
|ALFORNO BAKERY & CAFE||ALLORA EVERYDAY ITALIAN (SW)|
|ALLOY (SE)||AÑEJO RESTAURANT|
|BONTERRA TRATTORIA||BOOKERS BBQ & CRAB SHACK|
|BOW VALLEY RANCHE (SE)||BRASSERIE KENSINGTON (NW)|
|BREAD & CIRCUS TRATTORIA||BRIDGETTE BAR|
|BUCHANAN’S CHOP HOUSE & WHISKY BAR||BUFFO RISTORANTE (SW)|
|CALCUTTA CRICKET CLUB||CHAIRMAN’S STEAKHOUSE (SE)|
|CHIX EGGSHOP||CIBO 17TH|
|CUCINA MARKET BISTRO||DEANE HOUSE (SE)|
|DONNA MAC||DOUBLE ZERO (SW)|
|EMBARCADERO WINE & OYSTER BAR||ESCOBA BISTRO & WINE BAR|
|FLORES & PINE GRILLROOM AND GATHERINGS (NW)||FLOWER & WOLF|
|FOREIGN CONCEPT||HAWTHORN DINING ROOM & BAR|
|MÉLO EATERY||MIDTOWN KITCHEN & BAR|
|MILL STREET CALGARY BREWPUB||MISTER CHENS ASIAN BRASSERIE|
|MODEL MILK||MODERN OCEAN|
|MODERN STEAK KENSINGTON (NW)||MODERN STEAK STEPHEN AVENUE|
|MURRIETA’S BAR & GRILL||NATIONAL 17TH|
|OXBOW (NW)||PAMPA BRAZILIAN STEAKHOUSE|
|RICARDO’S HIDEAWAY||ROCKY MOUNTAIN FLATBREAD CO. (SE)|
|ROUGE RESTAURANT INGLEWOOD (SE)||ROYALE|
|RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE||SALTLIK STEAKHOUSE|
|SELKIRK GRILLE (SW)||SHOE AND CANOE PUBLIC HOUSE|
|THE DANDY BREWING COMPANY (SE)||THE DERRICK GIN MILL & KITCHEN|
|THE GUILD RESTAURANT||THE LIVING ROOM|
|THE NASH & OFF CUT BAR||THE WEDNESDAY ROOM|
|TOWNSHIP 24 BAR AND GRILL||TWO PENNY|
|VINTAGE CHOPHOUSE AND TAVERN||WAALFLOWER KITCHEN & COCKTAILS (NE)|
|WINEBAR KENSINGTON (SW)||YELLOW DOOR BISTRO|
To-date I’ve only ever dined at nine of these locations. Clearly, I have a lot of visiting and eating to do in order to be an authority on any of them. But if those that I’ve been to are anything to measure by, the 59 other restaurants will not disappoint.
There will be 14 unique events running in tandem with the Food & Drink Experience, hosted by some of the previously listed restaurants. Here, some of the chefs, sommeliers and celebrities may be making guest appearances. These limited-availability tickets sell out fast, so be sure to secure yours soon.
Below is a list of the events on offer in 2020. Text in italics provides a Google Map link to the venue’s location.
- 28th February: YYC EXP Cocktail Kickoff, Presented by Brightside @ Hotel Arts Poolside
- 1st March: A West Coast Collaboration at Lulu Bar with Vancouver’s Anna Lena @ Lulu Bar
- 4th March: Winemakers Dinner with Orofino Vineyards and RGE RD’s Blair Lebsack @ Rouge
- 5th March: A Gluten-Free Pairing Dinner @ MARKET
- 6th March: Sugar Shack: Cabane àu Sucre with Chef JC Poirier of Vancouver’s St. Lawrence @ Charbar
- 8th March: International Women’s Day Dinner @ Donna Mac
- 9th March: Pearl & Company: A Pacific Coast-Inspired Ocean Wise Dinner @ Bridgette Bar
- 10th March: Get Crafty: Artisan Pizza Making & Craft Beer Dinner @ Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co.
- 10th March: For the Love of Lobster @ Flores & Pine
- 11th March: DaiLo meets Shokunin: BINCHOTAN DINNER # 1 @ Shokunin
- 12th March: Hillside Wine Dinner @ The Guild
- 12th March: Winemaker’s Dinner with Martin’s Lane Winery @ Deane House
- 14th March: Canadian Cultural Mosaic Dinner with Chefs Alex Chen & Darren MacLean @ NUPO
- 15th March: YYC EXP Thriller Finale Dinner @ Foreign Concept
Meet the Maestros Who Make the Event
YYC Event Chefs
This lineup of food gurus are shaping Calgary’s culinary landscape and placing our city firmly on the Canadian food scene.
- Cam Dobranski – BRASSERIE KENSINGTON
- Chris Barton – DEANE HOUSE
- Connie DeSousa – CHARBAR | CHARCUT | CHIX EGG SHOP
- Darren MacLean – SHOKUNIN | NUPO
- Duncan Ly – FOREIGN CONCEPT | MELO
- Erin Pickering – EMPIRE PROVISIONS
- Evan Robertson – MARKET
- Jessica Pelland – CHARBAR
- John Jackson – CHARBAR | CHARCUT | CHIX EGG SHOP
- JP Pedhirney – CONCORDE GROUP
- Joseph Solokoff – BRIDGETTE BAR
- Katelin Bland – BRIDGETTE BAR
- Laetitia Chrapchynski – NORTH FEASTS
- Liana Robberecht WINSPORT CANADA
- Matthew Batey – TEATRO RISTORANTE
- Matthias Fong – CALGARY
- Paul Rogalski – ROUGE RESTAURANT
- Peter Paiva – RAW BAR
- Rebecca MacLeod – PIGEONHOLE
- Rory McGouran – FLORES & PINE GRILLROOM AND GATHERINGS
- Shawn Jackson – THE GUILD
These highly respected personalities are influencing culinary palates across Canada
- Ned Bell – THE VANCOUVER CLUB, VANCOUVER
- Michael Robbins – ANNALENA, VANCOUVER
- Blair Lebsack – RGE RD, EDMONTON
- JC Poirier – ST LAWRENCE, VANCOUVER
- Nick Liu – DAILO, TORONTO
- Alex Chen – BOULEVARD, VANCOUVER
Special Guests and Winemakers
- Mijune Pak – INTERNATIONAL FOOD PERSONALITY, VANCOUVER
- Shane Munn – WINEMAKER, MARTIN’S LANE WINERY
- John Gilchrist – EMCEE
- Brad Royale – SOMM YYC EXP WINE DIRECTOR
- John & Virginia Weber – WINEMAKERS, OROFINO WINES
- Kathy Malone – WINEMAKER, HILLSIDE WINERY
To work your way through the entire list of 68 restaurants you will need to hit up four locations a day for every day of the event. Good luck!
Let the feasting commence!
Featured image courtesy of Bonterra Trattoria.