Chevrolet's Positivity Pump Experience at Chinook Honey!

>> Tuesday, August 29, 2017


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It’s been an amazing summer so far and I’m fully capitalizing on it by spending as much time as I can on our patio. Even my son is growing an affinity for the outdoors. He just started walking not too long along ago and every day he stumbles towards his shoes, points at them, sits down and tries to shove them on his feet. Of course, he misses his feet 100% of the time and the shoe never actually goes on, but it’s cute and we get the hint. So outside we go.

While outside we walk around our garden and point out all the flowers, vegetables and rocks (kid loves rocks). If we’re lucky there will be butterflies and lots of bumblebees as well as honeybees. He doesn’t quite understand what everything is just yet, but it’s exciting for him to see all the colors and hear the different sounds. For me, I love watching him discover this new world to him. It also reminds me of the amazing opportunity last year when I got to discover all about the honeybees myself when I was lucky enough to be a part of the Chevrolet Positivity Pump Campaign.


As part of that experience I got to visit Chinook Honey farms and spend a day bee keeping and learning how to make honey. I’ve been reading up on the extinction of honeybees here in Canada so it truly was amazing to learn all about them first hand. I truly did luck out because it wasn’t up to me. People have been asking me how it all came about and well it just so happened that my blog popped up when they were looking for someone who would fit the role for Chevrolet’s Positivity Pump Campaign. However, I didn’t know where I was headed and what I’d be doing for the day. What is the Positivity Pump all about? It’s to celebrate positivity and to get people talking about how to be positive as part of Chevrolet’s Fueling Possibilities campaign.


When the time came, I drove up to the gas station which rated my positivity score, allowed me to ‘pump’ gas (hence positivity pump) and told me where I was headed for the day as part of the experience. When I looked down it told me that I was going to be making honey for the day and I couldn’t believe it! How exciting!!

After my drive, down to Okotoks, I pulled in to the Chinook Honey farm and met my film crew. It’s not every day I can say that I met my film crew (I'm also not used to seeing myself on screen...photos included). I got suited up in my bee keeper outfit and off we went to spend a day with the bees!


We drove out to the fields where all some of the beehives are located. There are several different places to allow the bees the best movement between their hive and where they go to collect their nectar. First off, we had to smoke them a bit, by using a bee smoker. The smoke makes them less aggressive which makes it easier for us to retrieve the honey. Then we remove the lid on the stacks and remove the honeycombs. It was majestic hearing all the humming of the bees and I found it strangely tranquil. After that I got to use a leaf blower essentially to remove the remaining bees from the honeycomb. All the while trying not to injure any of the bees, maybe that’s why I didn’t get stung!

After all the honeycombs were removed from the hives it was time to retrieve the honey! We drove back to the processing facility onsite and moved all the honeycomb inside. It’s amazing what a great workout it is to lift the honeycombs. It’s like they can start a honey workout session. =) To extract the honey we needed to scrap off all the wax that covers the honey before putting in to in a spinner that uses centrifugal force to extract all the honey. Then the honey is strained to remove any wax and other particles. The pure honey is then bottled and ta da…you get the delicious honey that we all enjoy!


Writing it now it seems simple, but the process is a lengthy one because the bees need to collect their nectar and slowly form each and every honeycomb. Then us humans get the pleasure of collecting and enjoying the fruits of their labour. It truly made me appreciate every step that went in to a jar of honey and reminded me the importance of bees not just for honey but for pollination. Here in Canada, our bees are becoming extinct. My husband and I always talked about starting our own colony because every little step counts right? Every year we plant bee friendly plants to draw in pollinators and hope to help support the bee population.


Athough our son isn’t quite old enough now, I can’t wait to teach my son about the importance of the bees. Therefore, this has been an amazing experience for me and thank you so much to Chevrolet for allowing me to do so and hopefully I have shared a bit about supporting our local establishments like Chinook Honey Company and help spread the word about the importance of our bees! Check out the video and I would love to know your thoughts on how to save the bees!

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Restaurant Review: Foreign Concept

>> Friday, August 11, 2017


My cousin moved downtown a little while ago and we were discussing how its’ so hard for her to cook for one when there were so many delicious eateries around. It must be extremely difficult to resist all the amazing new places opening up around the beltline, especially when they’re all within walking distance. One of those places opened up in the old Vicious Circle location (who still remembers that?? Yes I am dating myself). We were all curious about the new space and when we heard it was Duncan Ly and his team opening up a new Asian concept restaurant, we were all excited. So how could I not visit Foreign Concept?

Atmosphere: A beautiful dining space where east meets west. The d├ęcor definitely speaks to the menu that is served at Foreign Concept.

Price Range: Mid $10s - $30+


Food and Drinks: I was extremely lucky to be dining with a foodie who has been here before many many times. After chatting we decided to get some of her fave dishes along with something new that she has yet to try. We started with the Gochujang Tuna Poke, served with crunchy nori tapioca crackers. The layers of flavours and textures all worked together very well. It was refreshing and a great way to start our meal.

We also requested the Honey Butter Chips which is normally a lunch item since it came highly recommended and it definitely did not disappoint. Served with preserved lemon aioli the chips were just that…sweet and buttery. I could probably eat these every day! Here’s hoping that it becomes a staple on both the lunch and dinner menus! Alongside the chips we also got to sample a new cocktail that’s currently in the works so new that the drink itself is still in the naming process. Made with Eau Claire gin, yuzu sake along with salt cured egg yolk, simple syrup, cream and a dash of lemon, the drink was amazingly refreshing. I’m not usually a fan of creamy drinks, but this one wasn’t at all! Very pleasantly surprised and hoping to sample more from their cocktail list.


Next we had the Charsiu Pork & Foie Gras Steamed Buns served with samjang sauce. Who doesn’t love a fluffy steamed bun with fatty pork goodness? The dish comes deconstructed so you can adjust the filling based on what you’d prefer. I’m normally a huge fan of foie gras, but in this case since the pork and the samjang sauce are already quite rich, I was quite light handed with the foie or even kept it off sometimes. That’s the beauty of having the ability to control how the bun gets assembled. It really gave me the ability to play with all the different flavours. Plus the pork was full of flavour and the bun was super soft. You really can’t go wrong with this dish.

Our main was the Vietnamese Fisherman’s Stew with a mix of octopus, prawns, mussel, clams and a side of Chinese doughnut made with squid ink. It reminded me of a Thai influenced spicy and sour hotpot that we make at home. All the seafood was cooked very nicely and the Chinese doughnut was a nice addition for sopping up the broth. It was perfect for sharing and we both really enjoyed how light and refreshing. It was a nice contrast to our other dishes that evening.


My Picks: Honey Butter Chips, Vietnamese Fisherman’s Stew

Overall: If you were a fan of Raw Bar when Duncan was head chef, you’ll definitely enjoy the food at Foreign Concept. Here they’ve expanded their menu further to include dishes inspired by local Southeast Asian favorites. As for my cousin she’s definitely going to have a hard time resisting the urges to eat out, with amazing restaurants like this..she likely won’t be cooking for a while.

Foreign Concept
1101 1 St SE
Calgary, AB
(403) 719-7288
Website: foreignconcept.ca

Foreign Concept Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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