Wednesday, 27 February 2013 09:55

March 1 is the last day for southeast Alberta foodies to enter their tasty rays of sunshine

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While it’s not happening until April 13-14, the inaugural Sunshine Skillet and Food Fair organizers need to know how many are coming to a professional celebration of food from southern Alberta and southwest Sask.

The two-day premiere of the Sunshine Skillet and Food Fair will be held at the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede Cypress Centre Auditorium. The deadline for entering was extended to March 1.
The Sunshine Skillet and Food Fair will have both a culinary competition and a “farmer’s market style” food fair which offer a variety of beverages and food items.
Elisha Ammann, the executive director of the Medicine Hat Accommodation Association and one of the main organizers of the Sunshine Skillet and Food Fair, said the main goal of the event is to showcase not only those in southeast food preparation, but also local vendors.
She hopes for 18 competitors and 18 food vendors.
“We’ve got the full support of Travel Alberta and the Alberta Culinary Tourism Alliance,” explained Ammann who noted they want as a professional and top-quality event as possible. “We’d like to be able to provide a sample of a variety of food vendors, baked goods from restaurants, appetizers etc. We’d also take and promote competition challenges within the culinary competition. For example,
say you have cooking schools in both Lethbridge and Maple Creek challenging each other.”
All competitors are eligible for trophies, cash prizes and recognition by the Alberta Culinary Tourism Alliance.
Last year, the Savour the Southeast initiative, which was launched by the Economic Development Alliance of Southeast Alberta, held the initial pilot project event which turned out to be a massive success.
Organizers of this year’s Sunshine Skillet and Food Fair event are hoping to not only replicate that, but surpass it.
This year, the event is being put on by the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede and
Last year’s chef’s competition included Darcy Bolger (Desert Blume), Jason Vearncombe (Paradise Valley), Jordan Abbott (Tumbleweeds Grill) and Logan Otte (Deerview Meats). The Iron Chef-style competition used local ingredients.
They had 15 minutes to decide what dish they were going to prepare. Bolger ended up victorious with his final creation — a ground venison hash with seared eggplant and a fried egg.
Ammann said this year’s event has been buoyed by the EDA’s effort last year and are getting a decent number of competitors. She is just hoping to nudge up the food vendors’ totals.
She said it was well-advertised and hope everyone has just been waiting for the last minute. It’s $50 for competitors, $150 for a 6x6 table and $3 for client tickets.

Saturday, April 13
• 1-8 p.m. Food Fair
• 2 p.m. First Amateur Competition
• 4 p.m. Second Amateur Competition
• 6 p.m. Third Amateur Competition
• 7 p.m. Amateur Award Ceremony

Sunday, April 14
• 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Food Fair
• 11 a.m. First Chef Competition
• 1 p.m. Second Chef Competition
• 3 p.m. Third Chef Competition
• 4 p.m. Chef Award Ceremony

For more details, visit:; phone Elisha Ammann at 403-581-5002 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Ryan Dahlman

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