The idea of music and food going hand in hand is seeming to catch on — everywhere we look there seems to be cool events that bring music and food together, a combo that is made all the better when there’s a great (and related) cause being supported as well. Julie and I both went to an event just outside of Calgary at the 7K Ranch this weekend where we not only got to eat food from some of the best restaurants in Calgary (I’m still dreaming about the lamb neck and sweetbread ravioli that Michael Noble from The Nash and NOtaBLE served up… as well as the corn and trout chowder from Rouge… and the cornbread from Boxwood… the bison short ribs from Meez… the cocktails from Eau Claire Distillery… I could go on), intimate performances from country star Chad Brownlee and Canadian rockers 54-40, and the chance to support the in-the-works Calgary Community Food Centre.
We don’t usually write about events that have already happened in these parts (there’s not really much point — though this is an annual event and we strongly recommend going next year) but this is a great excuse to talk about Community Food Centres, which give people who don’t otherwise have it a place to cook, grow, and learn about healthy food. CFCs are about nourishing people in need in a way that also brings dignity and empowerment for people who are just trying to get by and feed their families. The plan is to build one in Calgary in the Forest Lawn area — the space will be designed by the team at RAD Architecture (who are responsible for the interiors at Calgary favourites like Model Milk, Pigeon Hole, and Anju) and will be operated in partnership with the Alex, an important community organization that supports vulnerable Calgarians.
If you want to support this incredible initiative and don’t want to wait for Harvest Moon 2016, you’ll get another chance on October 21 with Restaurants for Change, a nation-wide program to raise money for Community Food Centres across Canada. Eleven restaurants in Calgary are participating, including many who served up food at Harvest Moon (namely, Bonterra, The Nash, NOtaBLE, River Cafe, Cibo, and Rouge).
Back to music and food. Part of what sets Harvest Moon apart from other collaborative food events is that after everyone makes their way around the food stations and fills themselves up on gourmet grub, the crowd returns to the “barn” at the 7K ranch, which is a gorgeous space (with a kitchen and chandeliers) where bands can play while fans get up close and personal. I’ve been a 54-40 fan for years (probably since “I Go Blind” came out in 1986) and got a chance to sit down with the band before the festivities kicked off.
“This is the first time we’ve played something where the food aspect is more than just eating and it’s tied in with a greater purpose and a meaning beyond sustenance,” bass player Brad Merritt said about the fundraiser for the Community Food Centre. “So it’s impressive.”
The guys didn’t have too much to say about food (guitarist Dave Genn said that he cooks in his house but only because he “enjoys it slightly more than [his] wife”) but when the subject turned to pie, their eyes lit up.
Brad Merritt: I’d have to go with cherry pie.
Dave Genn: Because you Love Warrant so much?
Brad: No, I’m more of a Winger fan. But seriously, as an eight year old I told my mother that I didn’t want cake for my birthday, I wanted pie. My mother would pit every one of the cherries and made a cherry pie. A lot of love went into that pie. But there’s not a bad pie. All the pies are good.
Matt Johnson (drummer): Apple pie. And it always has to come with ice cream.
Dave: I like pecan pie. People either love it or hate it.
And it devolved from there. Either way, food, music, pie, and food security and nutrition for all. Couldn’t ask for a better night.