Ciao Aug/Sep 2019 Ciao_Aug-Sep2019_Digital - Page 12

inthekitchen producer of the year: Tamarack Farms Aiming to eat local can mean missing out on the latest food fad. This seemed the case for Winnipeggers when quinoa—the protein- and nutrient-packed seed grown in Peru and other Andean regions—burst on the superfood scene in 2013. Little did we know, four years earlier Ryan Pengelly and Alexandra Lozada of Tamarack Farms had started cultivating the ancient grain, drawing on Alexandra’s Peruvian heritage to guide the venture. It was an ideal fit for their farming approach that focuses on small, rewarding crops that help preserve the aspen parklands and tamarack bogs on their property. After testing 20 different seed types, the couple landed on a variety that thrived in Manitoba’s short, hot summers and could be grown organically. This quinoa, branded “nutty brown”, has a chewier texture and an earthier flavour than other varieties, and is superb in salads, burger patties and baked goods. Since food-consciousness is what brought them to farming, it was essential to deliver a field-to-fork product. They control the entire process, from planting and harvesting to marketing and selling. “It’s extremely fulfilling to see where the fruits of your labour are headed,” says Pengelly. Sometimes local eating means rediscovering the land’s indigenous crops; other times, it means pairing inspiration and innovation to unlock this land’s potential. This intuitive approach to bringing an ancient grain to market has earned Tamarack Farms Ciao! magazine’s 2019 Good Food Manitoba award for Producer of the Year. Since the first harvest in 2014, the product line has expanded to include flour, brownie, pancake and soup mixes, found at local Red River Co-ops, and a selection of specialty food stores and restaurants.—SR 10 ciao! /aug/sep / two thousand nineteen of chefs, while maintaining an ongoing commitment to building relationships with local producers, Marion Street Eatery is Ciao! magazine’s 2019 Good Food Manitoba Restaurant of the Year. A group of strong, young women call the shots here; Smith was still in her twenties when she opened the restaurant in 2014 with close friend Chef Melissa Hyrb. A self-proclaimed opportunist, she jumped at the chance to make her dream a reality when the space inside her parents’ hotel became available. The duo brought their vision to life with a drive to be part of the St. Boniface community. Restaura nt cook ing has been a n historically male-dominated trade. But women-run kitchens are finally gaining a higher profile. Talented female chefs, cognizant of this imbalance, have the opportunity to not only make waves in the industry but help mentor other women into leadership roles. Recognizing Chef Camila Gamboa as an up and coming force, Hyrb “This is where I’ve grown.” became a mentor to her, instilling the importance of patience and teamwork. Gamboa quickly rose from line cook to sous chef before being passed the reins of head chef. “This is where I’ve grown,” she says, having been with the eatery since 2015. At just 24 years old, she has become a role model for young Winnipeg chefs— particularly young women. Last year, she visited her alma mater Red River College to speak to culinary students. Impressed by the fact that she is a woman in her early twenties running the show, the students were entranced. Gamboa hopes that hearing her story will make other young chefs think, ‘If she can do it, then there’s a chance for me too.’ The restaurant biz is tough, and it’s no secret it can be a breeding ground for harassment (remember Hell’s Kitchen?). By contrast, MSE’s kitchen is a place where