Alberta on the Plate was a success before it even began for co-owners of Lodge 43 Heather Jones and Trevor Scott.
It was an honour just to be chosen by Alberta on the Plate, said Jones.
“Each day gets more and more buzz as social media works its magic as well as we anticipate this weekend to have the highest sales out of the 10-day festival.”
Alberta on the Plate is an event where restaurants are required to use local products in order to create a special menu for the event. This year the event is running from Aug. 6 to Aug. 15.
This is the third year Alberta on the Plate has been done and over 80 establishments are participating in 25 different cities across Alberta, including Lodge 43 in Sylvan Lake, and three in Red Deer.
Alberta produces some of the highest quality ingredients in the world and not just beef, said Rheannon Green, director of finer details at Food Tourism Strategies INC.
“We produce so many different products, from milk and eggs to wheat and honey. Alberta is also the only province that produces sugar beets, making it the only 100 per cent Canadian source of sugar.”
“The pandemic has taught us that it is important to be less reliant on outside food sources, especially when incredible products are produced right here,” said Green.
“The idea of ‘supporting local’ helps to create a more sustainable local food economy by strengthening the value chain between supply and consumer. The more we buy from our neighbours, the more money stays in our communities which will help them grow and flourish.”
There are many ways to support local producers, said Green.
“From visiting restaurants that use local ingredients to shopping at the farmers market or locally-owned businesses to attending events at farms or that celebrate local food.
“The best thing to do is to learn more about the farms, producers and ingredients in your area,” said Green.
Alberta on the Plate will continue to host the annual ‘Dine Around’ each year as long as the event continues to have the support of the restaurants, business partners, and the communities.
“Throughout the rest of the year, we work to establish and strengthen relationships between chefs/restaurants and local farms/producers/processors.
“Once the pandemic is behind us, we look forward to reintroducing additional events throughout the year that further celebrate and showcase our local food community.”