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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Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Coal and Canary: Lighting Up The Second Floor

We hope you like pink! Coal and Canary Candle Company is thrilled to light up the top floor of The Forks. If you don’t know already, a huge part of our brand is rhymes, puns and having fun!

We’re Tom and Amanda, the owners of Coal and Canary. Our company began the way all brilliant ideas start: over a glass of wine. We are both candle enthusiasts with backgrounds in design and décor. After noticing a gap in the market for candles catered to hip, professional twenty-somethings, we decided to take matters into our own hands. 

We wanted candles that were high quality, but also sassy and chic. Making candles started as a creative outlet — and a way to catch up and drink wine.

We got into our first store and inquired about how to get into the Academy Award swag bags — our ten-year plan. To our surprise, we were selected right away and got to work making candles with the help of our family and friends. 

We now sell in over 200 stores internationally, but we thought it was time to open our own permanent storefront. We couldn’t think of a better location than The Forks!

It’s going to be a constant test of willpower to not head down to The Common for a flight of wine, or to try all of the food. It’s just so hard to choose what to get! 

One of the many reasons we chose to make The Forks our new home is all of the possibilities for hosting new workshops. We’re not just a candle company — we’re extra like that. One of the things we like to do is offer evenings featuring other local entrepreneurs so we can learn something new, support other local and talented Manitobans, and also get to know some of the people that have supported us from the beginning. From The Common for a glass of wine and flower arranging, to gorgeous space outdoors for yoga classes, The Forks has all the space for our varying, and sometimes very random, needs. 

Our store will carry all of our current collections and limited edition candles. This is the only location that will have all of our scents for customers to browse before they buy. We also offer other Canadian brands that pair perfectly with a girls’ night in. 

Coal and Canary candles make a lasting gift for that hostess you want to impress, your BFF, or yourself — you deserve it. 

Swing by, check us out, take a selfie on our selfie wall and relax on our pink couch. We would love to have you! 

Make sure to follow us on Instagram @coalandcanary for updates on workshops, new candles, and what’s on Tom’s playlist. 

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Thursday, 26 October 2017

More Than Amore: Red Ember Common Open at The Forks

If you like pizza, you’ll love the newest addition to The Forks Market Food Hall.
Red Ember Common powered on the pizza oven this week, and is slinging ‘zas topped with fresh, local goodness. 

If the name RedEmber rings a bell, it’s because their super-popular food truck is pretty hard to miss – typically parked on Broadway between Kennedy and Memorial during the summer months for the last five years, where they’ve served something like 125,000 delicious pizzas.
Chef Steffen Zinn, Red Ember’s founder started up the food truck (he actually built the truck itself – a man of many talents) after a number of years in the fine-dining world cooking at the St. Charles and working as Executive Chef at Pine Ridge Golf and Country Clubs. Quin Fergusson, Red Ember Common’s co-owner is a four-year Red Ember food truck vet, and has also worked with some of the city's top chefs.

Red Ember pizza is, as Steffen describes, “neo-Neapolitan-style” – where they’re less strict about the dough rules than traditional Neapolitan, and they get pretty creative with the topping combos.
Steffen says anything goes – whatever a chef might like to put on a plate, they put on a pizza crust (think blue cheese and Brussels sprouts, or ratatouille, and of course the classics like pep + mush).

Speaking of toppings, Red Ember is committed to keeping everything as local and organic as possible. In fact, Steffen’s brother is a farmer in Starbuck, MB and that’s where the Berkshire pork for their pepperoni and sausage comes from.

And we have to mention the pizza oven – it’s pretty much a work of art itself. Hand-built in Italy, it’s the first and only energy-efficient, electric traditional Neapolitan Forza Forni pizza oven in Winnipeg. And it gets as hot as 850 degrees Fahrenheit, which means it only takes about 90 to cook a pizza. 

In addition to their pizza offerings, Red Ember Common will also have a number of salads and appetizers to choose from. You can eat up at the counter and watch the pizza-making process, grab a seat in the Market, or take your pie to-go. 

And maybe tied for biggest perk: being able to get Red Ember pizza any time of year / being able to pair Red Ember pizza with your favourite wine or beer on tap at The Common. 

Fun fact: Steffen’s dad had a hand in landscaping The Forks site back when it was first built in the late 80s – a true Winnipeg story if we’ve ever heard one.
Anyway, enough reading about it, get down here and try a pizza!


Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Get Going: What You Need To Know About GoManitoba

So, what is it?

GoManitoba is a network of people who need to get placed and help each other get there.

It is a ride-sharing app that connects you with people who take similar commutes as you – whether that be by bike, foot, transit, car, or other, so you can ride together for a whole list of really good reasons. 

This way, we can all work together to create a more sustainable way to get where we're going and meet some cool people along the way.

How do I use it?

Go to the GoManitoba app or on your browser, and start a profile. It will ask you for the usuals – email, phone, etc. – and then it will prompt you to start entering trips you make often and how you get there. You can use the app to enter places you're going, how, and when to find people doing the same.

Follow the steps and explore a little. 

Why should I use it?

We have a long list of reasons why this is awesome, but here's the highlight reel...

Bye bye rush hour madness 
By carpooling, you're taking at least one more car off the road. So, every person that jumps in the car with you – that's one less car in front of you while you're trying to get to work on time. Less cars = less traffic = more smiles. Biking and transit will get even more cars off the road!

Easy breezy parking
Less cars on the road also means less competition for the primo parking spots. Find some people in the area that are also coming to The Forks on a busy Sunday, home games for all the Winnipeg teams, downtown for a concert (you get the idea), and hop in with them.

Shrink that footprint

You don't need us to tell you that biking, taking public transit, and carpooling reduce greenhouse gases, and make our planet happier. 

Save some $$$
Trade gas for leg-power. Split gas and parking. The app will track just how much money you're saving along the way. Money you can use treat yourself to a pizza from Red Ember Common opening SO soon. 😉

What if I'm not comfortable taking my bike or public transit?

On the app, you can find your bike or transit sensei. OR – be the sensei by clicking on the graduation cap icon when selecting ride methods.

Want to know how to be someone with those huge bike tires showing the snowy roads who's boss? You can find someone on GoManitoba who can show you all the tips, tricks, and best routes. 

Want to start taking the bus to work but nervous about having to switch buses half-way through? You can find someone to give you all the Winnipeg Transit pointers, including etiquette like leaving the front seats open for those who need it, and waiting until the green light comes on above before trying to open the back door.

Where can I read more?

To get to know everything and anything about GoManitoba, peruse these links:

Monday, 16 October 2017

Getting Cozy: Winter Prep in The Forks Market

We saw it. It's real. It's coming. ❄️

Soon there will be many more mornings where we wake up and look out the window to find everything blanketed in a fresh layer of snow. That means it's time to face the chilly reality and get prepped for the season ahead. 

We've scoured The Forks Market for every scarf, mitt, toque, and sweater we can hide ourselves in to master the "I'm not cold" look us Winnipeggers are so good at.

Here's what you need, folks:


This hat takes us back to the days of the Canadian fur trade – a lot of which happened right here at The Forks from 1738 to 1880 thanks to our might rivers. Imagine skating on those very rivers with this warming your noggin. It's pretty much time travel.

Teekca's has moccasins and mukluks for every size foot, even the tiniest ones. This is how Indigenous peoples have kept their toes warm for thousands of years, so it's safe to say they'll do the same for you.

Forks Trading Co.

Okay, how great are these? They're almost so good we want to wear these long johns over our jeans and hoodies.

If you didn't find the right moccasin at Teekca's, Forks Trading Co. also has a full stock of colours and sizes to find the pair that fits both your feet and personality.

Stop stealing your dad's garbage mits. We know – they're the best, which is why you should give him back the pair he's had for 32 years and get a pair of your own. They're super warm and last forever.

Lorac Designs has a pile of knit wonderfulness we want to wear all the time – especially this thick, cowl scarf. Everything is knit right here in Winnipeg, so you know it's made for the weather.

SF Imports

If you want something a little more chic, these hats scream luxury. They're made right here in Winnipeg by a Ukrainian gentleman who has mastered the craft after creating fur hats and gloves for years.

And don't forget the gloves to match!

Two Rivers

Two Rivers has the shmorgishborg (yes, that's how you spell it) of Canadiana – toques, mitts, scarves, knit sweaters, socks. 

This mitts are especially good for cradling Fools & Horses' current feature latte – salted caramel. 

We are proud to be Canadian, and we're going to do the equivalent of screaming it from the Market Tower by donning all the maple leaves.

Gilbert's Stones

"Ouh la-la," we thought when seeing the new scarf-ponchos at Gilbert's Stones. We're thinking black jeans, leather boots, and one of these beauties. We also love the idea of having the fur peek through the top of a buttoned up peacoat.


Bundle up & keep warm, Winnipeg!

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