Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Pizza Magic: An Afternoon with Franco Pepe

Who is Franco Pepe?

Franco Pepe is where old school methods and modern vision meet to create magic – pizza magic.

He is a world-class pizzaiolo who comes from generations of master bakers in the little Italian town of Caiazzo.

He's turned this town of 6,000 residents into an international pizza hot-spot with his restaurant, Pepe in Grani. Every night, 400 people fill the restaurant to try his world-class pizza pie, and that's a LOT considering the tiny population of the town.

Why is his pizza so good?

For Pepe, it's all about the dough and the ingredients. In Italy, he focuses on sourcing from local farmers – oil made with the olives from Caiazzo, cured meats from black pigs bred in the area, the chickpeas from the hills surrounding Caiazzo, and onions from Alife.

The right stove is also essential to creating the signature Pepe flavour. That's why he's here – to test out Red Ember's Forza Forni oven, which was hand-built in Italy, of course, and is the only one of its kind in Winnipeg.

His pizza making is one part intuition and three parts research. Pepe investigates combinations of flour to make the perfect dough for the humidity and temperature of the environment. Then, once he has that perfect combination, he searches again through ancient and modern techniques of mixing, tossing, and kneading to make it even more delicious.

Can I try it?

You bet! On Saturday, November 18 from 2-4PM, Franco Pepe and a shipment of exclusive, high-quality ingredients direct from Italy, will be at The Forks Market, christening Red Ember's stunning pizza oven with his world-class pizza! Tickets include two slices of pizza and a glass of wine from the same region, paired by the folks at The Common.

(They're going quick!)

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Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Not So Common: New Beer List in The Forks Market

The Common jazzed up its beer list just in time for winter wanders. There's a few eclectic additions, but we're loving it! Each beer has a reason why it deserves a sip – so grab a note pad, jot down some favourites, and have a test flight in The Forks Market.

N°5 – Monk's Indiscredtion

Made by: Sound Brewery
Where: Poulsbo, Washington
Beer type: Belgian specialty ale

Okay, we're starting out strong – literally. Sound Brewery specializes in beer that has much more of a kick than normal brews. While having a well-balanced, smooth taste, this guy's ABV marks 10%. This one ain't for the faint of heart.

N°7 – Humulo Nimbus

Made by: Sound Brewing
Where: Poulsbo, Washington
Beer type: Double IPA

Another kicker from Sound Brewing, this IPA sits a tad lower on the ABV scale at 8.5% but still stronger than the typical beer. It's crisp, clean, hoppy, and a little tropical. We highly recommend you try it with some spicy roti from Taste of Sri Lanka for the best kind of flavour overload.

N°8 – Blood Orange Gose

Made by: Anderson Valley Brewing Co.
Where: Boonville, California
Beer type: Sour

Gose or gueuze beers are more acidic than usual, making them taste sour. Creating this kind of beer is a very specialized process that has been mastered over centuries. The ale Jon Snow and crew spills over their glasses when they cheers may very likely have been some form of sour. The Blood Orange Gose is a modern take on the medieval classic by changing the taste of the acidity slightly by brewing with blood oranges, sea salt, and coriander.

N°10 – Peanut Butter Milk Stout

Made by: Belching Beaver Brewery
Where: San Diego, California
Beer type: Stout

Yup. Peanut Butter. No joke here. Bring this beer up to your nose, and you will immediately think you're standing beside the chocolate river from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Take a sip, and you'll be pretty convinced you're drinking liquid REESE'S Peanut Butter Cups. This beer is dessert, and really, you have to try it.

N°12 – Saint of Circumstance

Made by: Collective Arts Brewing
Where: Hamilton, Ontario

Beer type: Citrus blonde ale

This is the perfect pizza pairing. Red Ember Common is now cooking up pizza in the Food Hall, and this beer is the one to wash it down. It's citrusy flavour is just zesty enough to be refreshing yet balanced enough that it doesn't overwhelm your palate. 

N°16 – Api-Hop

Made by: Les Verges de la Colline (Cidrerie Milton)
Where: Sainte-Cécile-de-Milton, Québec

Beer type: Cider

This is where cider meets beer. The apples are brewed with hops and fermented on lees (yeast left over after previous fermentation), to create a mature yet refreshing cider. 

N°17 – Bourbon Blood Orange

Made by: Bridge Brewing Company
Where: North Shore, Vancouver
Beer type: Wheat ale

Here we go again with the blood oranges, but this is a very different take on the citrus. The bourbon balances out the acidity to make it crisp, refreshing, and great to pair with nearly any food in The Market. We'd highly recommend the Shichimi fries from Kyu Grill to accompany this brew.

N°19 – O'Hara's Irish Stout

Made by: Carlow Brewing Company
Where: Carlow, Ireland
Beer type: Stout

What would winter beer drinking be without a classic stout? And this one is about as classic as it gets – smooth and full-bodied with subtle notes of coffee. Sip this Irish brew after a skate down the Red River Mutual Trail.

We think these few highlights of The Common's list of 20 beers might bring you a little extra winter cheer. Our beer list is curated by a contracted sommelier to have a great balance of brews. We aim to change up our five dedicated local taps monthly to feature the world-class brews coming out of the 'Peg, amongst the best of the rest nationally and internationally that you might not be able to find elsewhere in the city.  

Cheers! 🍻

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Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Shoulder Season Solutions: Three Ways to be Active at the Forks This Month

November. The Thursday of winter. The colourful leaves of fall have left and the waiting game for real winter begins. It can be a challenge to find motivation to go outside and be active this month.

I work with all kinds of people with all kinds of challenges doing their best to make time and find a workout they actually enjoy doing. With that in mind, I’ve put together three different workouts for you to try this month to get you outside and moving (and training for skating season!).    

Sally from St Vital says, “working out isn’t fun and I’m too busy anyway.”

1. The November Project

This is one big workout party. I love this workout because it uses the urban space around The Forks as its gym. Climbing, lunging, jumping—it’s always fun and always different. The leaders are incredibly motivating in a positive shout-y way. 

It’s no wonder they have a core dedicated following that keeps coming back. And, the best/worst part? It’s only on Wednesdays at 6:14am. There’s not much conflict at that time other than sleep. 

Fun fact: morning worker-outers are more likely to stick to a program.  

It’s really quite fun: I did a workout last year, which can read about here.

George from Garden City thinks, “meh, I’m so bored of the gym and I’m a lone wolf.”  

2. 20 minute Forks Workout

If giant workout groups and early mornings aren’t your thing, I have a great workout for you to do on your own, on your own time and at your own pace. It’s a great full-body workout that takes you on a tour around The Forks. I put it together as a spring workout, but (surprise!) you can do it year-round. It’s multi-level and a can be scaled up or down based on your fitness level. 

Then, post workout, head on in to The Common for a glass of red wine while you stretch it out. Win-win!  Bonus for parents of MTYP and Dance Conservatory students: you can do this workout and STILL have time for that glass of wine while your child is singing, dancing and acting! 

Check out the full workout here.

Patty from Point Douglas feels, “my schedule is bananas and I don’t even have time to see my friends or family” workout.

3. Walk/Run the Forks Loop date

I am a big fan of making my workout time multipurpose. It becomes much more than a workout, because it’s also valuable time I spend with people I like. My biggest tip to being consistent with your workout: have a buddy. I run outside year-round with my running pal. It’s invigorating and powerful to bundle up and go. Then, post loop, keep the conversation going and head on into The Common for a snack and a drink! There is no shame in motivational wine.

Try running and walking The Forks loop.

Still not convinced? I get it. Nothing is fun when you’re cold. Here’s a little song and dance reminder on how to start layering up for the cooler season.

Sound good? See you outside guys! Smile and say hi! ;)


Lindsay Somers is a Lifestyle Health Coach. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

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