The Offcuts 2017 calendars are in stock! We're really excited about this. Heres a little background on the charity, the photographer, and all those wonderful Offcuts men.
Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids has one goal: no hungry kids in Calgary. The organization strives toward this goal each day by providing healthy lunches directly to school kids, and by empowering communities to create lasting social change. Through the work of community groups and a small army of volunteers, Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids provides more than 2,500 lunches each day for local kids who would otherwise go without.
Jeremy Fokkens is a classically trained dancer turned professional self-taught photographer. His most recent accomplishment is the publishing of his book The Human Connection, which highlights Jeremy’s eight-month trip through Nepal and Bangladesh, and tells countless captivating stories of everyday people. Fokkens’ newest project ‘Back To The Land’ has taken him across all of Canada’s 10 provinces and three territories, capturing some of the country’s most colourful small town characters.
Kevin Kent considers his chef years as the best education for being an entrepreneur. Being a chef takes long hours, involves hard work, both mentally and physically, and chefs must be able to put out fires, both literal and figurative, with extreme competence.
Kevin started Knifewear in 2007 after becoming infatuated with handmade Japanese kitchen knives, believing both his chef colleagues and home users would also fall in love. Over the next 9 years Knifewear grew to 5 shops across Canada (Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa and Edmonton). In 2013 he opened Kent of Inglewood, Canada’s Shave Shop, also in Calgary and now those shops have spread to Ottawa and Edmonton, with Vancouver coming soon. His newest shop, From the Wild, which is dedicated to wilderness living and cooking, is set to open in Edmonton October 2016.
Kevin sees no reason to slow down, he hopes to bring his unique vision to even more locations in the future. If you think you can keep up, you should follow Kevin on Twitter at @knifenerd and find out more about the stores
Jay del Corro’s first foray into the culinary world started with his hit YouTube cooking show, The Aimless Cook. Starting in 2009, his weekly recipes slowly gathered a following until 2011 when he was the only Canadian chosen for YouTube and Google’s Next Chef program. From there, The Aimless Cook has amassed 4 million views and over 40,000 subscribers worldwide.
Fast forward to 2012 when Jay finally quit his corporate job and decided to pursue a full-time focus on food by opening Eats of Asia. Starting in a small window at Millarville Farmers Market, his signature Asian street food started a loyal following which has grown and supported the family run business, following their journey from farmers markets, night markets, and pop ups to their current location at Calgary’s Crossroads Market. Inspired by childhood memories, travel, and some happy accidents, the food of Eats of Asia is a combination of traditional cooking contrasted by creations that simply satisfy a primal urge to eat like no one’s looking.
Eats of Asia is open every weekend and features a variety of Pan Asian rice bowls, steamed bao, hand-pulled noodles, and house made ramen which offers a new flavour each day.
Eric Nathan was mistakenly conceived on July 19th, 1973 and born into a family of French urbanites and rural Mennonites, exiting the womb the very same day as Tricia Helfer; he is quite likely also a Cylon and credits this for his love/hate relationship with technology.
Eric’s father soon after escaped lifelong servitude in the Canadian Armed Forces and moved the family to Calgary during the tail end of the oil boom but soon after experienced the joys and ramifications of the National Energy Program. Incidentally, the first joke that Eric can recall learning was the baited question for the facetious definition of PETRO Canada.
Eric nearly frostbit his feet after refusing to wear winter boots during a day spent watching ski jumping at the ’88 Olympics, rather opting for a pair of top-siders. Incidentally, he still refuses to refer to Paskapoo as COP and has developed a penchant for ignoring the Olympics when they take place.
Eric often told family and friends that he would never get married nor have children, both of which he has since done and thusly claims as being the greatest things to ever happen to him. Eric is now focusing on never becoming the Canadian Oyster Shucking Champion and can be found getting high on his own supply of bi-valves whilst secretly studying the effects of light, water and magnetism on enzymatic proton-tunneling at his warehouse.
Colin Leach is the co-founder of The Silk Road Spice Merchant. He has no culinary training. Before becoming interested in spices, he was a failed academic (American lit) and a passably successful marketing writer/strategist.
In 2008, he and his partner Kelci Hind began talking about their dream shop: a spice merchant that paid tribute to the colourful history and geography behind the little jars of barks, leaves and seeds that adorn kitchens everywhere. From that inspiration was born The Silk Road Spice Merchant, a single destination for every sort of culinary spice (and spice blend) one could reasonably expect to find in Canada. Focussing on quality, selection, presentation and atmosphere, The Silk Road now has stores in Calgary and Edmonton and is in its 8th year of supplying customers across Canada, from home cooks to professional chefs.
Apart from spices, Colin’s obsession with flavours also extends to ice cream, tea, candy and alcoholic beverages of every kind (but mostly whiskey and cocktails. Some beer. Not so much wine.).
Robert was born and raised in Edmonton Alberta. After graduating high-school and feeling the city wasn’t quite the right fit for him, he sought his future in Calgary. His first year there he worked many random jobs, every-thing from airline ground crew to building office furniture, but Robert still hadn’t found something that struck the right chord.
After responding to an ad in the Herald for a dishwasher position at Teatro restaurant, Robert met the well respected and admired chef Michael Allemeier. After almost a year washing dishes for Michael, Robert was asked if he would like to join the brigade on the line and start to learn how to cook professionally. This ignited Roberts passion for discovery, learning and accomplishment. His infatuation with the culinary world continued to grow and expand with knowledge he gained from many great chefs he worked under. By the age of 25 Robert was made an executive chef.
Robert is now the brand executive chef for Concorde Entertainment Group’s Double Zero Pizza. He also is the host of the original cooking series on Gusto TV, A is For Apple, the first season is currently airing, and the second season is now in production.
Way back in 1985 J. Webb Wine Merchant was started as a foray into private wine sales. It was an “experiment gone right” and helped set the stage for private booze sales throughout Alberta. Kevin got his start here in 1997, taking the role as head wine forager, a job that was too good to pass up. Like a lot of wine guys, Kevin started out serving tables and eventually taking over the wine program at the legendary 4th St Rose. From there, he moved to the Napa Valley where he learned to stain his hands red and finally made the move from enthusiastic amateur to professional drinker.
Originally he planned on staying in Napa and continuing to make wine, but the lure of running Calgary’s original wine boutique was too strong.
Since taking the reins at J. Webb, Kevin’s spit wine in every corner of the world, ever looking to expand his family of wine producers. His mission remains the same; seek out the small, the family run, the sustainable, the creative and the authentic. Just not the boring or predictable. For him, wine is important - too important to be left to big business or the corporate world.
He believes everybody deserves great wine, and finding it and bringing it to J. Webb is what gets him out of bedin the morning.
Today J. Webb has three stores including the building featured in this picture at the Calgary Farmer’s Market. You can usually find Kevin at one of these spots, tasting wine and sharing stories with anyone fool enough to listen.
Chef McGreevy vividly recalls harvesting vegetables from his family garden at a very young age, wiping off the dirt and eating them in place; his love of food and passion for local products stems from these very memories. It wasn’t until he decided to turn his love of food into a career that he flourished in an academic setting. He graduated from SAIT Professional Cooking Program and then started to travel abroad to gain some necessary experience in the ‘real world’. The next couple of years were spent in Ireland, France and Italy where he worked at Michelin starred restaurants, bakeries, cafes and hotels.
In the following years, Paul took on several other Executive Chef positions in fine dining settings before challenging himself with the Corporate Chef position with CRAFT Beer Market. After opening 3 locations and establishing the food program at CRAFT, Paul felt it was to move onto his next challenge. Paul is currently working to build a new restaurant in Calgary which will be opening in early 2017.
He is dedicated to supporting sustainable seafood, supporting local farmers and suppliers, educating both aspiring chefs and food-lovers alike – as well as sharing his extensive food knowledge and love of the industry with anyone keen to learn. He continually works with suppliers to ensure both side’s needs are being fulfilled and continually create initiatives within his restaurants to ensure that happens.
John Wildenborg started at Master Meats in1990 and quickly worked his way to the top. It didn’t hurt that he married the boss’s daughter in 1991. Master Meats which was founded in 1976, was mostly a wholesale supplier of meat to some of the finest dining establishments in Calgary. In 1999 John purchased the business from his father-in-law and over the years the vision of Master Meats slowly changed to make what was usually only available to high end restaurants available to the general public. Master Meats is a cut to order butcher shop that sells only the finest AAA Alberta Beef that is aged to perfection, along with succulent pork, farm raised chicken, and exotic meats. After 40 years in the same location, Master Meats relocated to a brand new facility in 2016, at 4127 6th Str. NE to handle the increased demand for their products. John, along with Marie, Mario, Daniel, Justin, Robin, and Cole, take pride in what they do. At Master Meats, they like to consider themselves artisans not just butchers.
Chef Michael Allemeier has traveled the world and Canada learning his craft. Prior to joining SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) as a Culinary Instructor, Chef Allemeier ran some of Western Canada’s most recognised kitchens. While in Vancouver BC, Chef Allemeier was Executive Chef at Bishops Restaurant, then Teatro Restaurant in Calgary, AB. Allemeier’s passion for food and wine pairing was realised with the call to lead the stoves at Mission Hill Family Estate in the Okanagan Valley, BC.
During his career, Chef Allemeier has received many awards and accolades the most notable occurring while he was Executive Winery Chef at Mission Hill Family Estate, when Travel and Leisure Magazine awarded him the honour of leading one of the “Top Five Winery Restaurants in the World”.
Currently Chef Allemeier is a CMC Candidate and is working on achieving this designation. The CMC (Certified Master Chef) is the toughest, rarest and highest culinary designation in Canada and is internationally recognised in the industry as a Master of the Craft.
Tony Marshall is both a serial entrepreneur and a cereal entrepreneur.
He has a varied and successful business background spanning more than five decades – most recently, as the president and co-founder, with his wife Penny, of Highwood Crossing Foods. Tony and Penny also own and operate Highwood Crossing Farm – a certified organic heritage farm that has been stewarded by his family for over 120 years.
Tony is a strong community supporter and volunteer having served nationally on the board of directors for The Canadian Organic Growers Association and is a past member of the Canadian Expert Committee on Organic Agriculture. He is also an active member and past president of the Rotary Club of High River. He is the recipient of a Growing Forward – Innovation in Agriculture Award and was a nominee for the Ernst & Young 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year. Tony and Penny were recently named Canadian Food Heroes by Slow Food Canada.
Kitchen duties began with washing dishes and eventually cooking at a seafood restaurant in Victoria BC in 1998. After working my way around the restaurants of Vancouver Island for 10 years, I made the move to Vancouver to see some professional kitchens. In 2010 I arrived in Calgary to cook at “Rush”.
It was after a good 3 years at Rush I had the opportunity to open the restaurant Market, on the hip and trendy Calgary strip of 17th Avenue. That is where I was able to cook the food that I really wanted too make for our guests. I was fortunate to be able to work with a team that I had assembled over the last couple of years at the aforementioned restaurant. It was at Market where I was able to travel around the world to cook at exclusive events. I battled my way into the Culinary Championships of Canada by winning the Calgary division in 2014. Although I didn’t end up on the podium for the finals in Kelowna, I came away with another great experience.
My roots are on the East Coast of Canada in Cape Breton. I love watching people’s eyes light up at my uniqueness in growing up on one of the world’s best islands. New Waterford is my hometown, a coal min-ing community, which is rich in heritage, warmness and old fashioned family values. My strong roots and family have led me to the many successes that I have had and it is in my culinary artistry that I put value, love, and passion. I grew up in a loving family with a mom, dad, and sister that all shared my strong work ethic.
My journey through life has influenced the flavours that I add to my recipes. Upon graduation from high school, I was accepted into the Culinary Arts Program at Holland College on Prince Edward Island. It was at Holland that my gifted teachers molded this interest into a passion and cultivated my eagerness to learn everything there was about the world of food. I remember seeing a video on Chef Ferran Adria where he was doing things with food that I would have never believed was possible, through his molecular cooking style. It is through his silent mentoring that I always try to integrate molecular/ avant garde cooking in my menus. Holland College allowed me to spread my wings from an island boy to the Rocky Mountains in beautiful Banff where I cooked at Buffalo Mountain Lodge from 2001- 2002. I also worked at the prestigious Belvedere in beautiful downtown Calgary, where I added to my love of the fine dining world.
Bored with the corporate world Andy was looking for a new challenge. While sitting in a coffee shop drinking hot chocolate and contemplating his next steps in life, Andy decided to work on the concept of a European style café that not only offered coffee but alcohol too. Andy had never even tasted a cup of coffee before he came up with the idea of Gravity but now with two young kids and a thriving community based business, he drinks plenty!
If you want to talk to Andy about grind settings, extraction rates or the tasting notes of coffee then you will probably receive a blank stare. Want to talk to him about your family, job or life in general? If so, you won’t be able to get rid of him.