Calgary’s first food treasure hunt was organized by Wade Sirois, owner of Infuse Catering, back in 2004 long before social media became so popular. These month long hunts would involve a kick-off event with clues and items being emailed weekly and last four weeks. At the end teams would assemble with their items at a wrap up party where winners were given prizes and stories shared. This treasure hunt was held annually for four years before being retired.
In 2012 a new food treasure hunt was organized by Anneke, formally with Slow Food Calgary. This food race was called the Culinary Treasure Hunt and was an all-day event involving racing around the city, solving clues to arrive at destinations and perform tasks. I was a participant in this race with my husband and we had an extraordinary time racing from one location to the next, finding new hidden food gems to love. Following the success of this event, planning started quickly for the next one.
Gail of City Palate and Slow Food Calgary reached out to Anneke to partner on the next Culinary Treasure Hunt with the intent on including it as part of the City Palate’s 20th Anniversary celebrations. Unfortunately this race never happened.
As one of the original founders of YYC Pizza Week I started thinking about how to start a new treasure hunt as I could easily pull inspiration and experience from the 2012 race. With ideas flowing and several friends in the food community, I started putting feelers out to people about organizing a new race. Feelers turned to discussions and this brought about a partner in 2015. This partnership created an exciting new vibe and Calgary food event to discover and participate in.
In 2016 it was time to form a new collaboration and start a new race with new sponsors and partners who were easy to work with. In 2016 we worked with Gail over at City Palate and Yelp Calgary and formed the Culinary Race.
Now entering year two, the Culinary Race continues to grow, create awareness in the local food community while adding a charity component to our events. We collaborated with the Calgary Food Bank in 2016 and will collaborate with them again in 2017.
We allow any food destination to participate in our events as long as they are local, and with so many gems and food destinations to explore and discover, we will never run out of great, options.
The theme for the Culinary Race 2017 is Canada 150. I hope you will join us for this epic race throughout the city.