Foodies in the Park - Alice in Wonderland Pop Up Event

Calgarians tend to talk about the weather all the time. It’s an ice breaker for when you meet someone or just a topic at the watercooler. I’m not surprised because 1) it’s constantly changing – we can literally have all four seasons in a day no matter what time in the year – yes it really can snow in June. 2) winter lasts way too long – we’re pretty much guaranteed that for 8 months out of the year there will be some form of snow. Because of these things, Calgarians really look forward to the thaw.

Typically, Calgary begins to thaw out around April / May. The don’t necessary get the typical spring that other countries around the world experience however, it’s still better then minus -30ºC so I’ll take it! I know I’m excited and am already looking forward to some events in the spring. One particularly is the Foodies in the Park held at Fish Creek Park and hosted by the Bow Valley Ranch Restaurant and Great Events Catering.

It’s a popup dining event held in the park, where clear domed tents are set up featuring an Alice in Wonderland theme. Everything from the décor, plated dishes to the names of the menus. It truly sounds like a whimsical experience. I was lucky enough to get invited to participate in the menu tasting a little while back. There are 3 menu options and each option come with four courses. There’s a pescatarian (fish) option (The Fish Footman), a meat option (The White Rabbit) and a vegetarian option (Garden of Live Flowers). I really enjoy the name of menu’s because they reflect the Alice in Wonderland theme and when you choose your menu it reminds me of a choose your own adventure (not sure if anybody still remembers those books).

All three menus start similarly with Artisan Bread and Butterflies (which is a fun play on butter) I won’t completely ruin the surprises. Next is the salad course, An Invitation from the Queen, made with beets, mixed greens, goat cheese and a burnt orange dressing. It's a bit sweet and tangy, a really nice way to get the appetite going. Then it really diverts based on your selection. I got the Dodo’s Prize which is duck confit on a white bean puree with roasted onions and drizzled with a caramel citrus sauce. The second meat dish was the Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum Petit Filet. It was cooked perfectly, nice and tender and accompanied by buttered potatoes and greens in a black garlic demi glaze. All menus ended with the Who Stole the Tarts – a selection of handcrafted desserts by the chefs at Bow Valley Ranch Restaurant.

Each dish has been meticulously plated to fully capture the spirit of Alice in Wonderland. When you’re in the dome and fully submersed in the surroundings, you could almost imagine that this was what they were enjoying at the tea party during Alice’s visit with the Mad Hatter just sitting across from you. The domes were unfortunately not set up outside yet during the preview because the ground was still frozen and it was still quite chilly out. I’ll have a book a spot when the pop up occurs.

The pop up begins April 16 through May 17 daily. Talking about tea parties, there’s also an option to book an afternoon tea for those who were looking for something besides dinner. They offer the afternoon bookings on Saturday and Sunday at noon. With that experience comes a tiered display of freshly baked scones, daily crafted tea sandwiches and canapes and a signature selection of decadent French pastries and sweets along with choices of loose-leaf tea. I feel like the Mad Hatter should definitely be in attendance here.

With all these great events happening I’m truly looking forward to the weather warming up. You can bet that I’ll probably be talking about the weather just as much as the next Calgarian until the days we can soak up the sun in +20ºC and not have to lug around all our winter gear. Maybe I’ll go look at that dome booking now...

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I am not an affiliate of Foodies in the Park or Great Events Catering, this was not a paid post or an ad.


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