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written by: sabrina doyle

Feed mind and belly at new dark sky festival event: Food Lab

Photo Credit: Celina Frisson/ Tourism Jasper

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Gourmet meals meet fascinating science demos at Food Lab, a delicious new event presented by Jasper Food Tours and Olive Bistro.

It might not be what first comes to mind while chowing down on a platter of delicious grub, but food — and by extension cooking — is as much a science as it is an art. A brand new event at the Jasper Dark Sky Festival aims to celebrate culinary experimentation by combining an inventive three-course set menu with cooking demos that show how a series of fascinating scientific processes work to cook the food on your plate.

Presented by Jasper Food Tours and Olive Bistro, Food Lab will include a cocktail, appetizer, main dish and dessert. “It’s going to be out of this world,” says Jasper Food Tours owner Estelle Blanchette, who will be on hand alongside Olive Bistro sous-chef Wes Clare to explain the techniques throughout the two-hour dining event.

Photo Credit: Celina Frisson/ Tourism Jasper

Among the culinary processes on display will be a fascinating technique called spherification, whereby liquids are transformed into small balls that can have a caviar-like appearance and pop open in your mouth. First documented in the 1950’s, this technique is gaining popularity within molecular gastronomy and will help give some of the Food Lab dishes an otherworldly feel.

Other cooking techniques that will be explored, like fermentation, date their origins to the beginning of food processing. Though it will be explained and certain fermenting steps shown, this is one technique that won’t be demonstrated in full since it can take days and even weeks. 

Photo Credit: Celina Frisson/ Tourism Jasper

“Science transforms flavours. We’ll be showcasing seasonal food in ways that you’re not used to seeing and tasting.”  – Olive Bistro chef Darryl Huculak

The Olive Bistro & Lounge, conveniently located in downtown Jasper on Pyramid Lake Rd., offers a unique and memorable dining experience in a casual yet elegant setting. Enjoy contemporary and classic cuisine with flavors from France, Greece, Spain and Italy combining perfectly with a touch of Canadian Flare.

Jasper Food Tours offers daily, year-round food tours that tell the story of Jasper’s unique culinary scene. Their Downtown Foodie Tour is a three hour guided walk through town that visits four mystery restaurants in town and includes hearty servings each paired with a wine and/or cocktail.

Running from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on both Saturdays of the festival (Oct. 13 and 20, 2018), Food Lab will include cooking demonstrations, a 3-course meal and cocktail for $99 per person + tax.