Tips & Tricks from Past Winners

Champions should always retire on a high note. As 2016 winners of not just Culinary Race but the Culinaire Treasure Hunt, Team Statler and Waldorf (the cantankerous and opinionated Muppet critics) are doing just that, opening the door for a new champion to emerge.

Many people wondered – how can you possibly win both events? I am sharing with you tips and tricks to take our place on the podium in 2017.

First and foremost, have a game plan. The key is to have a strategist and an executor on your team. Take the time to answer all the clues at the start location. Make sure to read all the foodie publications Calgary puts out every month year round to stay on top of the food news. Put Google to work to hammer out the details and write down location addresses. Write clearly!

After your list of stops is complete, organize your destinations into segments of the city. Choose a strategy of outskirts to inner city, busy areas in the morning or whatever works for you.  Just create your own organized map and hope that all of your answers and addresses are correct! Backtracking from the far NW to the SE is like a 10 second penalty in a 100 metre sprint – it will keep you off of the podium.

The next detail is to choose who is driver and who is navigator. It will help when one of you knows faster routes in case of construction delays and good (free!) parking spots. Do not speed or perform any other illegal traffic act – the cost will negate potential earnings.

It is also prudent to point out that it helps to have no fear. Confidence and a few kitchen skills come in handy when faced with tasks.  Be aware of your team’s individual skills – who is best with a knife and who knows their booze best.

Last but most important, embrace the day and appreciate the time and effort all of the vendors have put into participating. Have fun, stop for photo ops and remember to keep supporting these businesses long after the crumbs settle.

BJ

Follow BJ on twitter: @bjoudman

Photos from the Culinary Race 2016

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Tool Shed Brewery Announced as Wrap Up Location

One of Calgary’s favourite breweries, Tool Shed Brewing Company is set to host the wrap up event for the Culinary Race participants on race day.

Registered racers will end their race day at Tool Shed Brewery at #9, 801, 30th Street NE. Culinary Racers will be able to take a peek at the brewery, sampling bar and mingle with other participants, as we prepare to announce the winners!

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Tips for Race day & how we got our groove back

IMG_8135I love a good race or scavenger hunt, ever since I was a child. So when I heard about the Culinary Race I was hooked on the idea. I was a little nervous heading into the day. My boyfriend and I are competitive and to be honest we hadn’t done anything like this in the year and a half we had been together so I wasn’t sure how this would all play out. Bill is a planner and knows the city well. I on the other hand have only been here for 5 years and can’t navigate the south part of the city very well.  We met the rest of the teams at the market and came armed with pens, extra paper, highlighters, and our phones. Butterflies in the stomach but also super excited!

Off we went on an adventure that would take us around the city to areas I had never been to, locations I had never seen and I discovered this city is always so much larger then I think it is! Each location had a challenge to be completed or sample to be tasted. Our backseat was starting to fill, full of coupons, food, and gifts from all the places we had been so far. Everything was great!
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Then bam, just like on the Amazing Race something didn’t quite go as planned. We got a clue wrong and went to the wrong place. By this point we thought maybe we aren’t going to win today. Like most couples we argued for a few minutes over whose fault it was and drove in silence to the next location. It was that next location that we realized we were having way to much fun to be mad or angry at each other. We ran into other teams having so much fun, it was contagious. We had our groove back! We still made some mistakes and had a few wrong guesses. But at the end of the day we found so many places near our neighborhood that we couldn’t wait to go back and try. A few of them we visited in the weeks following the race and they were so happy we remembered them and came back for a meal or bottle of wine.

We love food and trying new things and the race provided us with just that. But it ended up being so much more. We learned so much about each other and how we operate as a unit. For us this race was a day of team building for our relationship. With full bellies and countless coupons we arrived at the finish line!

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To this day we still talk about how much fun we had and how we couldn’t wait for next year!

Tips for the day:
I am not going to give away our strategy (did I mention we are competitive?) but I will give you some tips!

– Bring extra devices besides your phone, like a tablet, just in case your phones dies while you are looking up the clues

– Make sure you have a charger in the car and plenty of data to use the maps app!

-Plan before you leave the first location, and don’t be afraid to take a break in the car and re group if you don’t know what to do next

-Bring extra pens and paper so you can keep track of where you have been where you are going

-Fill your tank full of gas before the race. Nothing more frustrating then stopping the momentum for gas

-Bring water you’ll be snacking and drinking most of the day but we found ourselves running a few times

-Wear a comfy costume (again we ran a lot)

-Remember the day is about discovering new places and making a fool out yourself while you do an espresso shot and jumping on one foot.

-Kate

 

What’s In A Name

Plans are made and you have decided to join the adventure that is the Culinary Race. Next comes one of the most daunting tasks, what to name your team?

Coming up with a creative name for your team is completely personal but here are a few tip that might help set you on the path:

  • Don’t be afraid to do an Internet search to see what interesting team names people have used and use those as a starting point,
  • Use something you really like as your name base (a hotel, a drink, a movie, foods etc.) and manipulate it to include something culinary (think, May The Fork Be With You),
  • Rattle through your kitchen for strange or interesting utensils that you could base a name from,
  • Don’t be afraid that the name you are thinking of will be too silly, the funnier the better,
  • If the name makes you laugh it will most likely make other people laugh too, after all we are all fun like-minded people racing together.

There are so many fun options out there. Talk with your family and friends about it, having a brain storm session can produce great ideas you may never have thought of. Be creative and remember that a great team name can make you stand out during the race and can be the starting point for great race day costumes!

As a side note, last year we were team Tequila Mockingbird and this year plan to be team Half Corked!

Sending out creative juices to all the racers this year I am,

Your Everyday Foodie

 

What’s In A Race?

You have seen the posts and the tweets and maybe now you are wondering what exactly this Culinary Race thing is? Or maybe you are curious but think you don’t know enough about Calgary’s culinary scene to get involved? That’s the best thing about this race, there is no experience required!

I signed my husband and I up for this race for the first time last year when I was just starting to get involved in Calgary’s food scene. After signing up I started to re-think and worry……oh no what have I done? We don’t know anything about Calgary’s food scene……what kind of crazy things are we going to have to do….is this really a good idea…but race day came and we were off on a great adventure.

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Ready for our adventure

We arrived at registration along with the many other excited teams, and with our clue list in hand we were off to discover new and interesting local businesses across the city.

We experienced things like shucking an oyster and identifying the sex of a lobster.

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Identifying the sex of a lobster

We tossed pizza dough

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Tossing pizza dough

and made a water jug sing.

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Making a water jug sing

We found the cities smallest coffee shop, identified what fruit was in a drink

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Identifying what fruit is in a drink

and learned to fill gourmet chocolates! 

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Filling gourmet chocolates

Without a doubt when you choose to run this race you will taste all manner of great food and drinks as well as discover all sorts of culinary delights.  You will find fantastic local businesses while searching across the city making great memories, new friends and taking home all kinds of delicious treats.

Since we ran the race last year we have returned to and visited many of the locations we discovered including new restaurants, shops and liquor stores! Regardless if you are new to the city or have been in the City forever this race is for you.

So what do you need in order to run this race?

A sense of fun & adventure, a phone, a car and of course your tickets (which I would buy right now before they are all gone)!

Keep watching here for more posts and ideas for the race like coming up with a team name, creating a costume, what to bring on the race and more!

Looking forward to racing with you all this year. I am,

Your Everyday Foodie!

http://www.youreverydayfoodie.com

Twitter @foodie4everyone

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