Citizens of Capitol Hill: The Friendly Edit
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Last Friday, I was lucky to spend a lovely afternoon at the home of Jess Voykin, one half of the blog: The Friendly Edit. Little did I know we were neighbours on the same block! (U.K me would say street but I wanted you to get my drift!)

As well as getting a peek at her lovely home, and getting my belly filled with delicious treats (mentioned below), I got to make a new friend. And that’s what I love about this little Citizens of Capitol Hill project - I get to meet all sorts of people in our community and make connections.


What makes Capitol Hill a great place to live?

It’s awesome! There’s such a good mix of people of all ages and stages of life. I believe that’s what makes an asset to our community.


How would you describe the community of Capitol Hill and it’s people to an outsider?

It’s something you have to experience! Before we came to live here, we were invited to the Pub Night by some of our friends that live in the area. It was great seeing kids running around, how safe it was, everyone knowing each other - that has been really special. Our life has been made better by living here. We are always trying to convince our friends to move here by telling them about our experiences here.

We are so lucky, we are so close to everything and it feels like a community.


What inspired your journey to becoming a blogger and starting The Friendly Edit?

My best friend is a registered dietician and I suggested that she should start a blog. After a few glasses of wine at a Wine Festival,  she said: “I’ll only do it, if you’ll do it with me” and that’s what started it all.

Since then, I’ve found it to be a passion of mine - food has always been something that we shared within our friendship, and cooking - cooking together. We don’t live in the same place, so this was another way to keep us connected, especially at different points in our life: getting married and kids, it was nice to tie our lives together.

I don’t think I would have done this on my own but because we were doing the blog together, it pushed us forward - you’d do anything for your best friend, despite our own fears.

When driving the blog, what’s your inspiration and influence, when you’re creating a post or cooking a recipe?

I try to think of it as a family recipe. A couple of years ago, my mum and dad brought us a recipe book with all our family recipes for Christmas. It’s those things that are so good - you have to share them with your family or your friends. It’s great when you’ve made something excellent and to be able to share it. It’s not about the fanciest food, it’s about things that everyone has in their house, that’s quick and tasty!. My passion lies in making food accessible to people.


Do you have a favourite family recipe?

It’s less about the recipe and more about the time when we have it. Before Christmas morning, my family does these Overnight Cinnamon Rolls, where you put everything in the Bundt pan the night before  - it’s a wife-saver cinnamon roll. It’s super tasty and it’s become a part of the holiday for me. It’s not a fancy recipe but because I have all those Christmas morning memories tied to it, and now I have my family, that’s why that’s my favourite family recipe.

What’s a favourite memory - travel or food related?

I grew up in Medicine Hat, and at the time I grew up, there weren’t a lot of diverse restaurants for example, there wasn’t a sushi restaurant until I was in Middle school. Also, my mum didn’t love cooking - she’ll admit that she needed to cook to serve us something healthy and good. It’s funny because I’m one of three sisters and we love to cook! Food in our household wasn’t a huge emphasis  - it was more about bringing people together.

When I went travelling in Middle school, I remember not liking the food, yet when I went back as an adult (just this last year), I went to London and to Austria, I was so passionate about the food!


So the part about bringing people together is part of the force behind your blog…

Yes for sure! The way I show love and care for people is making food and feeding them, which my husband really likes - it’s one of his love languages! But yes, it’s about bringing people together.

I’ve seen a lot of healthy eating recipes on your blog, what’s one healthy eating tip you would dispense?

Full disclosure, I’m not a healthy eating expert - my blog partner is the registered dietician, so she is really good! I’m more of a “cook with butter” girl, but we try to eat less meat - that’s an easy way to cut down on less fat and calories. We did try one month without meat and what I liked about doing that was that it challenged me to try out different recipes. Before I was in a rut: meat, veggie, side. So going meat-free for a month, made me think about food differently, and it therefore expands your palette.


What’s one recommended tool everyone should have in their kitchen?

A good chef’s knife - is really key. We got given one three moves ago by our realtor. When we got it I thought: “This is such a weird gift! Why would he give us a knife?” Yet here it is, the thing that I use every day. You can do things faster and easier - I remember once thinking “This is hard on my wrists, why can’t I chop this yam?” and it was down to a bad knife! I really love Le Creuset’s spatulas and they last forever. I especially like the Spatula Spoon  - it has this cut out that makes it handy for cooking.

Tell me 3-5 things you can’t live without?

My iPhone, my Dyson, my car, Borage Seed Oil by The Ordinary - it’s made my skin so much better! And sunglasses. I’m an Optician by trade so that’s something I really value.


Name your Desert Island books and/or music?

The Acoustic Covers playlist on Spotify, it has become the soundtrack of our house. We’ve played it so much, I know every song! I sew - it promotes a busy-hands-clear-mind thing, and so I quilt specifically, so the quilt you’re sitting on, and the pillow - I made those! I also like listening to podcasts: The Stuff You Missed In History Class - that’s up my alley.


Lastly, What, as a community member, would you like to see in the future?

I think the community is heading in totally the right direction. It’s very inclusive and family-focused. The community centre is so awesome! For example on Tuesdays I was going there three times in one day: preschool, Tae kwon do and the dance classes. There are so many things happening at the centre, we’re very lucky, so adding more to the agenda would be great. I’m also excited to check out the Fibre Arts Club. Things like these are good to connect people and get you out of the house.


Now you may be curious (and hungry) about the treats Jess made prior to her interview. Thankfully, I also have the recipes courtesy of Jess and am sure you will find them amazingly tasty (the Blondies lasted two days in our household!).

Again, many thanks to Jess for inviting me in her home! If you would like to be featured in Citizen’s of Capitol Hill, contact me at: communication@capitolhillcommunity.ca




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Smoothie Bowl and Dijon and Parmesan Crusted Chicken (Stay tuned for the chicken recipe post - will be published on Friday!)






Brewfest 2019

By Jarvis Schmidt

Craft beer is exploding in Alberta.  A few short years ago, the first microbreweries were popping up and trying to make it work in a market that didn’t really know what they were offering.  Now in 2019 things are expanding at breakneck speed and it would be tough to even visit every brewer in Calgary.  

To make this experience easier for you - whether you love your beer or would like to dip your toes into the craft beer universe, Capitol Hill is hosting our first brew festival, providing a family-friendly event for people to try out some of the province’s best beer.  

More details and purchasing tickets can be found at the bottom of this page, in the meantime, please read ahead for what Brewfest 2019 will have to offer. (Details are subject to change in unforeseen events)

Introducing our brewers who will be providing at this years event:


These guys hail from Lacombe, 25km north of Red Deer, and are always on the cutting edge of new popular styles. They believe in supporting the places they live and in the people that live there, by sourcing their products locally.

My favourite beer from them is their New England Pale Ale, which is a great style that is full of citrus and hoppy notes.



The legend goes something like this: three high school friends reunite bringing their outside knowledge of chemistry, cooking and education, and join forces with a business expert. After building and nurturing their idea, The Dandy Brewing Company was born as a fully fledged company in January 2014.

Every time you walk into their tap room in Renfrew, there is always a style you haven’t heard from. They pride themselves on being unique, and do a great job at it.  Every summer I look forward to their sub-4% India Session Ale, the Cosmic Dancer.


While this brewery doesn’t appear intent on pushing the boundaries, they instead focus on a high-quality, consistent product.  And it works.  

Last summer, I took many cans of Plainsbreaker as I could - a perfect accompaniment for a trip to the cottage, as there’s nothing like a pleasant, slightly hoppy wheat beer, that can appeal to almost everyone.  

An aromatic, style bending approach to the pale ale. The PlainsBreaker is bursting with late addition hops, boasting a huge tropical flavour and aroma. Well balanced, interesting and very approachable, this beer is for every adventure.


A relative newcomer onto the scene, they have been able to impress with their ability to make craft beer lovers reach for their classic styles.  Founded in 2016 by two friends, Freehold sought to encapsulate friendship and conversation, over good food and beer.

They aim to bring pride to the province of Alberta and start the conversation #albertabychoice?

Freehold is founded on the thought that Albertans choose to carve their own way. A choice made because there is a finally a place that reflects an internal resiliency and the celebration of earnest hard work. Every Albertan in their own way is in their own pursuit of building a better place. A simple question, “How do we tip our caps to this place?”, to remind us of the importance of this question.

My favourite recommendation is their Big Chutes, a beer that is rich in body and full of flavour.


I hope this has piqued your interest and look forward to welcoming you, your family (minors are welcome!) and friends to our first ever Brewfest at Capitol Hill. Until then, I leave you with this quote from Canadian essayist and professor Hugh Hood:

“Nothing ever tasted better than a cold beer on a beautiful afternoon with nothing to look forward to than more of the same.”


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Fibre Arts Club
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In case the symptom of cabin fever is wearing thin, Tricia Hamilton has come to the rescue with her bi-weekly Fibre Arts club!

Any level of expertise is welcome to join, whether you’re a novice, and expert or just wanted to try a new skill. This is also a fantastic opportunity to meet your neighbours and make some new friends.

Bring along some snacks to share and keep cosy with a warm cup of tea.

Citizens of Capitol Hill: Banzai Sushi & Teriyaki House
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by Maria Castillo Stone

For our very first “Citizens of Capitol Hill” interview, we’re featuring Banzai Sushi and Teriyaki House. If you’ve been in Calgary longer than I have (I’m still five years or so young in this sunny city), you’re probably familiar with Banzai Sushi when it was situated downtown on 4th Ave, until it’s move to Elbow Drive.

I had moved to Calgary in 2013, fresh from two years spent living and working in Tokyo. My husband and I were out and about, and craving Japanese food. He took me to Banzai and I had a hot bowl of Udon tempura that I had been missing.

Since then, Banzai Sushi has been going on strong and blessing the community of Capitol Hill with their second location since last October.

During their busy schedule, I had the privilege to meet the team, get a glimpse behind the scenes, and interview the manager Soo Cheol Jung.

Why did you choose Capitol Hill for your business?

I already have a Banzai restaurant in the SW - I used to have one downtown, so I wanted to have another one somewhere in the NW community. Capitol Hill has a great location, it’s safe, and I like the busy traffic on 10th Street and 20th Ave, which is great for me!

In the 3 months that you’ve been open, what do you like about running a business here?

Firstly, the neighbours, there are good neighbours here. Since I’ve been open, they’ve been very interested in my business, have said positive things, and given great feedback. Secondly, the commute from here is easy to travel in all directions.

For someone who’s never been to Banzai Sushi, what would you recommend for their first visit?

For their first visit, if they like sushi, I would recommend the Poke bowl. (Author’s note: Poke bowl: pronounced PO-KAY, originates from Hawaii where native Hawaiians feasted on freshly caught fish massaged with sea salt, seaweed and crushed inamona or kukui nuts. Later on, immigrants from China and Japan introduced soy sauce and sesame oil.). The great thing about our Poke bowl, is that you can customise it your own way - the base, protein, sauce, toppings, the overall taste. (Author’s note: You can also customise the bowl if you have dietary requirements)

If people don’t like the sound of raw fish, the beef or chicken-don (Japanese rice bowl topped with beef or chicken) is also good too!

How about you, what’s your favourite dish here?

My favourite dish here is the beef rice bowl.

What’s your biggest influence in running Banzai Sushi?

My inspiration are the customers - cooking for them. I’m cook for them, give them the food and to see them enjoy it, that makes me happy. It’s all about the customers.


What inspired you to get started in the food industry?

I studied Food and Science in South Korea - it’s not just about the cooking, it’s also about the ingredients, the chemical reactions, and the nutrients. Afterwards I came to Canada in 2006, and started my career as a chef in Japanese Village (10 Ave SW). After 10 years, I became the head chef, and then we had a couple of sister restaurants - Banzai Sushi and I became the General Manager and the owner.

What are your favourite ingredients to work with?

Beef. Steak! Especially good steak - makes everyone happy! Marbling and the content of fat makes good steak. More fat=more flavour.

What’s the one essential tool everyone should have in their kitchen

A good knife. The thing to remember is: a well sharpened knife - you cannot cut your finger, yet a dull knife - you will cut your finger. A sharpened knife will cut smooth and won’t take a lot of effort to cut through ingredients, unlike with a dull knife where you’ll use more force and be more likely to injure yourself.

What was your favourite dish as a child?

Everyone always says their mum’s cooking is the best! So for me, it’s fried rice made with garlic, egg, soy sauce, ham, vegetables and green onions. I still like it!

What’s your favourite place to eat in Calgary?

I like Han Corea. I enjoy eating there as they make a pretty good stir-fry pork with spices.

Do you have a favourite movie or book that you recommend to people?

It’s a Japanese book: 400 En No Mug Cup De 4000 Man En No Mono Wo Uru Hoho (400円のマグカップで4000万円のモノを売る方法 - 高井洋子/著) by Yoko Takai (which translates as: Making 400 Million Yen From a 4000 yen cup)

What’s your favourite part of Calgary?

I like to spend time with my kids, walking in the park behind my house in Rocky Ridge.

Many thanks to Soo Cheol Jung, Yeong Gwang Kim and Yeong Ran Kim for allowing me to visit their lovely restaurant!

Banzai Sushi and Teriyaki House are open Monday - Saturday 11-9pm and Sunday 12-8pm.

 
Welcome To Capitol Hill Community!
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Welcome To Capitol Hill

from Jessica Lajoie, President of CHCA

by Jessica Lajoie.

Welcome. It’s a simple word that we use every day, but what does it mean to live in a community that is welcoming? Or to feel welcome in a given space or place? Obviously, this answer varies from person to person and is hard to describe, but most of us know it when it we see it. Or, more accurately, feel it.


I remember being new to Capitol Hill and sending an eager email to the Community Association to inquire about how to get a membership and become involved. My email went unanswered and I felt ignored. Not long after, I met one of my neighbours while our children played at the park. We both wanted to be more engaged with the CA but didn’t feel our presence was welcome. With some effort and help we eventually worked our way onto the board, however, that first impression always stayed with me. What community organization doesn’t embrace new volunteers?


My hope is that anyone reaching out to the CHCA today (or even just reading our website!) will have a very different experience. Not only will you be acknowledged, but you will find people who are welcoming of the ideas and energy you want to share. Being open to meeting new people and supporting new events are two ways our community association radiates “WELCOME!” There are also some tangible areas everyone can influence to make our neighbourhood more welcoming:


Accessibility: A couple years ago we undertook substantial renovations to the community centre, including improving access for people with mobility aids. There are still further improvements needed, but we are aware and working towards solutions. We can all do our part by keeping the sidewalks in front of our home and businesses clear of snow and ice.


Inclusion: Capitol Hill is home for many diverse people with different needs and ability to access housing. Working with both public and private developers to create a variety of housing options means that we can welcome more people into our neighbourhood. Our neighbourhood has many wonderful amenities to share and more people can support more services, benefiting everyone.

Public Spaces: Walking through our neighbourhood can provide examples of both welcoming and hostile public spaces. The mature trees everywhere are one of my favourite things about living in an older, established neighbourhood. However I find the sound walls along 14th street to be necessary, yet wholly uninspiring, pieces of infrastructure. Nothing changes overnight, but as a community we can project a clear vision of how we want to shape our public spaces and make improvements when opportunities arise.


Moving Around: It is vital for the residents and visitors of Capitol Hill to feel safe in order to feel welcome. The Community Association can be a hub and a conduit for voicing concerns and delivering messages about safety, in particular related to traffic. Whether travelling by foot, wheelchair, scooter, bus, bike, car or truck, we all have a role to play in navigating our neighbourhood safely and ensuring everyone feels welcome to use their chosen mode of transit.

The CHCA vision for Capitol Hill is to be “a connected, walkable place that is safe and welcoming.” I look forward to seeing the community grow towards this future and meeting many new friends along the way. If you are interested in volunteering in any capacity with the community association, please reach out! And remember to show your support by buying and maintaining your membership!