It has been a busy past few weeks, amd last Saturday was one of those days where just one of those days where it was just packed.
In the last post, I talked about the apple tarts that I created for the Calgary Food Bloggers’ Bake Sale, which raised a whopping $1058 for local Calgary charity Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids. It was a shame I couldn’t have made it to the sale myself, but as they say, “duty calls.”
Because that same evening, after finishing up at my job at Co-op, I made my way downtown to Test Kitchen, the site of this month’s Hawkers’ Market.
For those of you who don’t know, Hawkers’ Market is a collaborative night market consisting of many up and coming chefs and food lovers, pulsating to loud house and electronic music, with beer provided by local craft breweries. First begun in Vancouver, the idea has spread across the Rockies to Alberta, with markets happening in both Edmonton and Calgary.
Working with Jay and Eats of Asia, we have found a nice home here. The crowd is friendly and receptive to our brand of Asian street food, and the atmosphere between each booth is not of stern competitors, but more of friendly, yet collaborative, rivalry. Each booth brings a different thing to the proverbial table, and you, the diner, gets to try each one — and all without the hassle of running around this city to do so! It’s kind of like speed dating, but with new cuisines. And the results are always delicious!
The evening’s atmosphere was enhanced by the phat beats coming from the DJs of Calgary’s own BassBus. I’m not a big electronic/house music kinda guy, but something about their spinning really makes me get in the mood!
Every Hawkers seems to bring in new vendors every time, and in a way Jay comes up with a new item to wow our audience. Of course there is my now seemingly legendary noodle pulling act, which always seems to draw a crowd. What will my next performance be like? You’ll have to go to the next Hawkers to find out!
As for the food, on top of the freshly hand pulled “dan dan” noodles, there is our laksa, a curry-based soup with rice noodles, tofu puffs, fish meatballs, prawns topped with cilantro. It’s proven to be quite popular!
But it’s not just us dealing in the goodness — our friends over at the Spicy Jamakin (also at the Market on Macleod), Billingsgate Fish Market, Taiko Taco and Made by Marcus Macarons were also there. I have to say I was deeply impressed by the Earl Grey chocolate ice cream sandwiches from Marcus, and the jerk chicken from Lyle. One was perfectly sweet with floral notes, while the other was fiery as the Caribbean sun.
With all this food around, it certainly doesn’t feel like what one would consider work!
A new addition this time is the collaborative dim sum cart, in the style of State Bird Provisions in San Francisco. Each vendor contributed an item onto the cart, which was rotated around the venue. To access the goodies that ranged from Electric Jelly’s donuts, to Eats of Asia’s chili wontons, to Brix and Morsel’s wonderful lamb barbacoa steamed bun — all of which I didn’t get to try, a sad indeed. But if you were in attendance and didn’t get to stop the cart — never fear, as the cart will return to YYC for the next event, which is slated for February.
Also new is Hawkers’ partnership with Mealshare, which “makes dining out into helping out”. Guests were encouraged to make a donation to the program, which brings meals to local shelters such as the Mustard Seed and the Calgary Drop-In Centre. It truly makes you feel good about what you’re eating!
There is so much more that I didn’t get to show you, like National’s oyster and whiskey bar, but below is a video put together by Jay’s sister Kristina. which showed off some of the highlights from the evening.
And with that, another night and another Hawkers Market is in the books. The market will return in 2015, bigger and better — and plus, I’ve heard a rumour that the next location will be super nice. So if you are curious, come on down and check it out!
Thank you to Bernice Hill, Adrian Hopkins and Calgary Hospitality Careers for the photos!