HAG white brown   


Banner Artwork

MARCH 2012


Help us grow the Art of Social Media

Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  View our profile on LinkedIn  View our videos on YouTube 
HA Black Background 

Follow! Like! Share!

    Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  View our profile on LinkedIn

KRI Logo  

Make a Open Table Reservation TODAY! 

Raw Bar Logo White on Black 

Chef's Table Logo 



Mark Wilson


March is off to a great start with the Hotel Arts Group, particularly on the dining scene. To kick off the month, Raw Bar and Chef's Table at Kensington Riverside Inn were recipients of numerous accolades by various publications. Where Calgary Magazine named them as Best Hotel Dining Restaurants in their "Where to Dine Awards." In their 9th Annual Food Issue, Avenue Magazine listed Chef's Table as Calgary's "Best-Kept Secret" and Raw Bar as runner-up for "Best Seafood" and "Best Desserts After a Meal".  


We are most appreciative that our guests are enjoying their experiences at our restaurants and we are excited to showcase some new offerings.   Big Taste Calgary, the city's premier dining festival, is underway from March 2-12 with Chef's Table and Raw Bar featuring special 3-course tasting menus and these offerings have been very popular so far. Amidst all the activity surrounding Big Taste Calgary, Chef Ly was busy last night with Cork and Canvas - the CPO's fundraising event where he prepared a Beet Root Cured Sockeye Salmon with Goat Cheese Salad which was a popular hit among the 300 attendees.  


Earlier today, Chef Ly also partnered with Celebrity Chef Andre Carthen for a memorable lunch service in the Raw Bar where they shared nutritional ideas and innovative twists while serving up our Big Taste Calgary Menu. 


Chef Ly & Celebrity Chef Andre Carthen


While the above list is extensive, it is by no means exhaustive of the scope of activities taking place with the Hotel Arts Group. We encourage you to read on to learn more about what is taking place at our venues as well as within the community. As always, we welcome your feedback on our e-newsletter, on our offerings and your thoughts on what we can do as a hospitality company committed to making Calgary a better place to visit, live, work and play in.

Happy Reading.



Mark Wilson

VP, Hotel Arts Group



Big Taste Calgary is an annual event presenting "An 11 Day Fling of Culinary Temptations" from March 2-12. Over 50 restaurants prepare a special lunch or dinner menu for a great price. It gives Calgary's restaurants a chance to feature their new culinary creations.




Raw Bar at Hotel Arts and Chef's Table at the Kensington Riverside Inn are both delighted to be participating once again this year. Chef Duncan Ly and his Raw Bar team have prepared some memorable dishes to enjoy with pricing for 3-course lunch at $25.00 + tax per person and 3-course dinner for $35.00 + tax per person.  


The $25 Lunch Menu includes the following:

  • Course 1: Choice of Braised Brome Lake Duck Maki Roll with Shimeji Mushrooms, Sweet Soy & Wasabi Tuile or Albacore Tuna Nicoise Salad with North Paddock Farms Potatoes, Sun-Cured Olives & Sherry Vinaigrette;
  • Course 2: Pan-Seared Sockeye Salmon with Ricotta Gnocchi, Green Beans & Lemon Brown Butter or Grilled Angus Flat Iron Steak with Roasted Organic Beet Risotto, Wild Mushrooms & Blue Cheese Foam;
  • Course 3: Orange Crème Caramel with Fruit & Berries and Maple Shortbread Cookies.

 Menus can also be viewed online by clicking here      


Chef's Table at Kensington Riverside Inn, also features a special 3-course tasting menu during the Big Taste Calgary for $55.00 + tax per person. Click here to view the dinner menu.  


Don't miss out on Calgary's dining buzz and book your reservations this week! Visit http://www.downtowncalgary.com/the-big-taste  for participating restaurants.  


Raw Bar: rawbar@hotelarts.ca or 403.206.9565

Chef's Table: info@kensingtonriversideinn.com or 403.228.4442



Tourism Calgary invited Hotel Arts to participate in their YYC Steak Tour for the month of February. Five different restaurants were involved and hosted several well known bloggers and journalists on two different occasions. Tourism Calgary's goal was to pass along the message to these foodies and their fans about the culinary scene in Calgary and how it's "exploding a vibrant and independent energy". Our city isn't just preparing your typical steak and potatoes - we're doing it with a twist by utilizing fresh and modern concepts!


Rouge Restaurant, Anju, Ox & Angela, CHARCUT and Raw Bar each prepared a steak that was original and totally unique. All the Chef's culinary creations were completely different - not even a potato was the same.   


For the first of two tours, Chef Duncan Ly prepared a Soya Braised Shortrib & Herb Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Sweet Potato, Coconut Purée, Wilted Snowpeas, and Orange Teriyaki Jus.  Raw Bartender Colin Tait paired this with a wondrous cocktail - the Apple Cart Daisy (which tastes like a spiced apple pie in a drink). Chef Ly wrapped up the tour with a decadent Brulée Lemon Cheesecake that Colin Tait paired with another great dessert cocktail - the Punch Serene


For the second tour, Sous Chef Ausama Mansy prepared an Heirloom Carrot Velouté with Minted Pea Foam to whet the appetite and then prepared a Soya Braised Short Rib & Herb Crusted Tenderloin with Coconut Lime Potato Crocquettes and Caramelized Teriyaki Jus. We paired this Asian-infused steak with the Meiomi Belle Glos Pinot Noir 2009 from California which worked perfectly with the lighter flavours that accented the beef and also the hint of mint contained in the herb crust.


Each offering resulted in  a decadent dish with flavours exploding and melting in your mouth. But don't just take out work for it, read what the bloggers posted so far! 

 This month, we would like you to try a home-style version of our "New Take on Steak" recipe.  We also hope that you will let us know what you think! Surprise your friends and family with a dish that's unique and flavourful.



Soy Braised Short Rib


2 kg trimmed short rib

1 onion large diced

1 carrot peeled large diced

3 celery storks large diced

4 cloves garlic peeled

1 tablespoon ginger peeled

5 sprigs thyme

2 bay leaves

250ml soy sauce

500ml beef stock

Sear short rib in a hot pan and then transfer to a 5 litre oven-proof dish with all remaining ingredients. Ensure the short ribs are covered with liquid, add water if needed. Cover with tin foil and then bake in a 300 F oven for about 4 hours.


Asian Style Herb Crust


1 large baby bok choy   (chopped small)

1 clove of minced garlic

1 teaspoon minced ginger

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon chopped mint

Chopped jalapeño to your liking

100g softened butter

1.5 cups panko bread crumbs

Salt and pepper


Add all ingredients in a food processor. Blend until mix becomes a paste. Remove mix and lay out onto parchment paper. Place another piece of parchment on top and using a rolling pin, roll until mix is about half a centimeter thick. Place in freezer until firm. After it has frozen, take out and cut to shape of the steak. To finish, place crust on top of cooked steak and then place under a grill until golden brown.


Prepared by Raw Bar Sous Chef Ausama Mansy



Avenue Dinner Series

 On Tuesday February 28th, Chef's Table was privileged to host the last of the 2011/2012 Avenue Dinner Series and it was a memorable for guests and Avenue magazine alike!   


The menu featured winter squash soup with lobster ice cream was a favourite course and the wine pairings were impeccable.  Thanks to our wine sponsors: Select Wines, Freehouse Wines, Bon Vida, Trialto, Crush Imports and Renaissance, for providing a beautiful array of wines to compliment Chef Craig's tasting menu.  We surely gained some new patrons as guests left awed not only by the food but by the flawless service. Thanks to all the attendees who shared their experiences via social media.    


Second Annual Titanic: The Last Dinner 

If you wish you had attended, or did attend and can't wait for more, be sure to sign up for our upcoming Titanic dinner on Saturday, April 14. Experience first-class the way it was intended, like a passenger on the Titanic's Maiden Voyage.  


Join us for a 10-course dinner to celebrate the 100 Anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic at Chef's Table. There will be beautiful wine pairings as well as live entertainment for the evening... this night too will go down in history! Seating is limited so book your tickets today for at info@kensingtonriversideinn.com or 403.228.4442.  


Tickets: $250/person including wine, tax and gratuity

Attire:   Black-tie or period attire


Renovation Update

The first of our travelers have had a taste of our completely renovated guest rooms as the first two rooms are completed.  The feedback has been a resounding thumbs up, from the comfortable mattresses, warm and welcoming tones, and great showerheads!  Thanks to Ingenium Design Group for their amazing eye for detail. These are sure to be the nicest rooms in town.  Due to huge demand in the city, we have decided to move ahead and complete 2 rooms at a time, with plans to wrap up rennovations by Fall 2012. 



Introducing Guillaume Frelot, Maitre d'Hotel at Chef's Table.


Born in Lannion, Brittany (France), Guillaume's hospitality career has spanned over 16 years. While pursuing his Hospitality Management degree he worked in various Relais & Chateaux properties all over France. Upon finishing school he went on to work on a luxury yacht, taking him to various places in the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean. After this experience, Guillaume worked in Scotland, then on to Florida where he was employed with Paul Bocuse's Bistro de Paris at Epcot, Walt Disney World. After meeting a Calgary girl in Florida, Guillaume went north to Calgary in 2007, where he was hired as the Restaurant Manager of La Chaumière Restaurant. At the end of four and a half years, Guillaume decided to see what else Calgary had to offer and moved on to Blink Restaurant followed by Cassis Bistro.  


Guillaume is passionate about travelling to new places and discovering new flavours, boutique hotels, and restaurants around the world. Although there have been many great food and wine experiences, one to top his list would be last summer when he spent his birthday in Burgundy drinking great wine, meeting wonderful people, and eating in a great little restaurant called La Courtille de Solutre.  


Guillaume is very excited for his new position at Chef's Table and is also looking forward to sharing his enthusiasm for hospitality with the Hotel Arts Group.



Celebrity Guest Appearance 

Celebrity Chef Andre Carthen, brought in by our friends Susan & Scott at getreallive, joined Chef Duncan Ly and his Raw Bar team on Thursday, March 8 from 12:00pm to 2:00pm for an exciting lunch service. Chef Andre is in town for the Get Real Live Event on March 8 giving his tips and tools for healthy eating.    


Chef Andre is well known for his partnership with Kathy Ireland to find healthy food solutions for busy families, especially busy moms. Chef Andre is also known for his work with Janet Jackson on her first book and NY Times bestseller 'True You'.    


Find Chef Andre on twitter @ChefAndre.  


GVine Martini Event

G'Vine Connoisseur Program hosts the Calgary Competitions at Raw Bar on Thursday, March 22 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm for their Global Competition. Eight of Calgary's top bartenders will compete in a blind tasting for the top price. The winning bartender will go to the World Final in Cognac France. Calgary Bartenders Association will be running an event alongside featuring the differences in Botanicals (juniper, berry, milk thistle). The free event is open to the public and all fans of the Art of the Cocktail. Seating is on a first-come first-serve basis.  



$100 Film Festival: March 8 to 10  

Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers presents their 20th Annual $100 Film Festival this weekend! Hotel Arts is pleased to help sponsor this annual festival again. The festival is a forum which brings together musicians/bands and filmmakers to make a short film. Each night, a different independent short film will be presented. Tickets are still available at the CSIF office located on 12th Avenue.  


Visit www.100dollarfilmfestival.org for more information.    


Calgary Wedding Week: March 10 to 16  

Calgary Wedding Week, a Wed Studio production - is a seven day hands-on, fully interactive showcase of Calgary's top industry vendors. The week will also feature events around Calgary such as the fashion show, cake tasting and chocolate fountain. Don't miss out on another opportunity to get ideas for your special day! For more information visit http://calgaryweddingweek.com/what-is-wedding-week/.     


Possessed: Saturday, March 17

Decidedly Jazz Danceworks still has a few tickets available for their annual fundraiser! Come groove to the R&B & Funk tunes, dance by the silent auction tables and have some fun! Possessed is hosted at Hotel Arts starting at 8:00pm. 


Visit www.getpossessed.com for more details and ticket information. 


Western Cup XXX: April 5 to 7   

Western Cup is celebrating its 30th Anniversary over the Easter Long Weekend that brings together Lesbian, Gay, Bisexuals & Transgenders (LGBT) communities. The weekend event for Apollo Friends in Sports is an annual multi-sport tournament, as well as a celebration and fundraiser with over 500 attendees! 

Western Cup XXX features five sport tournaments: bowling, curling, dodgeball, squash, and volleyball. Social events include Friday's Casino Night and Saturday's unforgettable Dance - one of the largest annual LGBT dances in Alberta. Both events are hosted in our Spectrum Ballroom.    

For more information visit www.apollocalgary.com.   


California Wine Fair: Friday, April 20  

The Calgary Opera presents the 2012 California Wine Fair, to be held at Hotel Arts. It is a night filled with culinary delights prepared by Chef Duncan Ly paired with great wines and features a fabulous silent auction that will include private cellar and hard-to-find wines, personal wine tastings and other unique items!  


For more information visit http://www.calgaryopera.com/performancesandevents/wine.php. We hope to see you there!  



Hotel Arts was thrilled to help sponsor the Bill Brooks Prostate Cancer Benefit's "Bill in Wonderland" in our Spectrum Ballroom this past January. The annual Bill Brooks Prostate Cancer Benefit has raised more than $4 million for prostate cancer research, education and treatment over the past 13 years. Deluxe Design Group posted a video showcasing highlights of this amazing event.


Congratulations as well to Bill Brooks who was named "Man of the Year" by Consumer Choice Awards for his long-standing coverage of the social scene and support of philanthropic events, including the Safe Haven Foundation and the Bill Brooks Prostate Cancer Benefit. Past recipients include Cirque du Soleil's Guy Lalibertè, Skeleton Gold Medalist Jon Montgomery and Canadian Astronaut Julie Payette.  



Avenue Magazine's fabulous food edition hit the newstands this week with arguably the best cover they've ever featured. Head Judge John Gilchrist is flanked with Calgary's Top Chefs (including Chef Duncan Ly from the Hotel Arts Group) for the 9th Annual Food Issue and their takes on "Their Last Supper". Chef Ly's last meal would be something his mom used to prepare: shrimp and pork salad rolls served with a tangy and spicy hoisin sauce and topped with crunchy peanuts followed by his mom's homemade pho with braised beef shank, thin slices of raw beef, onions, tripe, lots of fresh crunchy bean sprouts and chillies. Then he'd top it all off with her coconut rice pudding made with coconut milk, rice, coconut syrup and a shaved coconut garnish.


Other Notables:

Raw Bar Talent: Chef de Partie Jin Hee Lee 

Chef de Partie Jin Hee Lee from Raw Bar at Hotel Arts was featured in Swerve Magazine's profile on some of Calgary's top sous chefs. Click to see her profile as well as some other amazing talent working hard to make Calgary a great dining destination.


TravelAge West: Things to Do in Calgary 

Hotel Arts is featured as one of the boutique hotels to stay at during a visit to Calgary in Deanne Ting's article in TravelAge West. Among the dining and shopping features, Deanna highlights Canada Olympic Park, Heritage Park, Spark - the New Telus Science Centre and the Calgary Tower as attractions to visit during a visit to Calgary before experiencing the wonder of the Canadian Rockies. Of course, we always have a host more offerings for visitors to experience to extend your trip to Calgary...just ask our friendly staff as we're happy to help.


CBC EyeOpener & Stampede Occupancy 

Fraser Abbott, our Director of Business Development, dropped in for a chat with David Gray & Angela Knight at the CBC EyeOpener to discuss Stampede occupancy and the factors at play that are helping to build demand for attending the Stampede Centennial Celebrations. While we're extremely busy with group room demand for the first weekend and midweek, there are still pockets of availability... at both Hotel Arts & Kensington Riverside Inn which you can book on-line at our sites: www.hotelarts.ca or www.kensingtonriversideinn.com. Travelers can also book on Tourism Calgary's website: www.visitcalgary.com.

During the interview, Fraser brought along some of Chef Duncan Ly's Chocolate Truffle Pop Rocks which Angela enjoyed on-air. "Chocolate: The New Breakfast" could be a new delicious trend.


Calgary's Poet Laureate 

Hotel Arts sponsored the Calgary Poet Laureate Showcase which was held in our Spectrum Ballroom on the evening of March 1st with over 250 people attending to watch the short list of six nominees perform highlights of their work and participate in a Q&A session. Calgary's Poet Laureate will be announced at a City Council Meeting on March 19th. Visit the Calgary Arts Development Authority's website to learn more about the nominees and to stay tuned about who will emerge as Calgary's Poet Laureate.


Avenue Magazine's Best Restaurants 2012 

Raw Bar at Hotel Arts and Chef's Table at Kensington Riverside Inn were featured in Avenue Magazine's 9th Annual Food Issue where they list Calgary's Best Restaurants. Highlights of Avenue's commentary about these awards include the following: Raw Bar was the runner-up in two categories: Best Seafood and Best Desserts After a Meal. Raw Bar's Oceanwise Seafood is prominent in innovative dishes li...ke crab & mango rolls, tuna tataki & miso black cod donburi. Raw Bar Pastry Chef Leticia Larose-Chevalier's warm apple cake with smoked-bacon caramel sauce to a cinnamon bun creme brulee were highlighted as unique and luscious. Chef's Table was named Best Kept Secret for its intimate setting reflective of the upscale boutique hotel as a dining destination within our own city. With only 40 seats, every table is at the perfect vantage point from the open kitchen, where Chef de Cuisine Craig Boje and his team prepare plates as elegant and sumptuous as the room itself.

Attracting Guests with Art 

Hotel Arts & Kensington Riverside Inn are mentioned in an article by Chris McBeath "Attracting Guests With Arts" in the Winter 2011 Edition of InnFocus, a publication by the BC Hotel Association. Our properties have made a significant investment in memorable artwork as we feel that "art...appeals to the senses and imagination and evokes an emotional response that set us apart" from other hotels. Our extensive art collections help differentiate our hotels in a very competitive marketplace. Drop by to see some of our collection that includes works by Richard Halliday, Chris Cran, Bruce Pashak, Barry Fairburn, among others. (Article starts on Page 10)


TripAdvisor's Trendiest Hotels in Canada 

Hotel Arts was listed in TripAdvisor's Trendiest Hotels in Canada and was one of only three hotels in Calgary.    


Village Brewery's Blacksmith Ale on tap at Raw Bar 

Raw Bar at Hotel Arts is pleased to announce that we are one of a select few establishments pouring the Village Blacksmith from Calgary's own Village Brewery. This India Black Ale is already a popular pour in the Raw Bar as it tastes great.   Many Calgarians are also becoming quick converts to this local brew as they, like us at Hotel Arts, appreciate the business philosophies that underpin Village Brewery. Their unofficial mission statement is that "it takes a village to raise a brewery" but they also do their part to raise a village too as ten per cent of the business's earnings will be donated to community projects, particularly the Arts. Cheers to Jim Button, Tom Stuart and the hard-working owners of Village Brewery for the launch of your new venture. We'll raise a glass to toast your ongoing success.



Hotel Arts Group is actively involved in the neighbourhood around us.  Every month, we are dedicated to giving back to the community that supports our businesses and helps to make Calgary such a great place to live, work and play.    

Here are a few highlights of some of the groups we assist with donations:  

  • getrealliveGet Real Live hosts a weekday online radio show as well as several live events within the community. Through these channels, they promote and encourage healthy families, relationships and strong community. On March 8, 2012 they hosted an event based around healthy eating and celebrity guest Chef Andre Carthen provided his expertise knowledge. For more information visit http://www.getreallive.com/get-real-live-presents-chef-andre/  or find them on twitter @realliveshow.       
  • The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of CanadaRalf Aggarwal is part of LLSC's Team In Training where the group will go to Madrid, Spain to participate in a full marathon. If you would like to connect with Ralf and his team to help support, visit http://my.e2rm.com/personalPage.aspx?SID=3218307&langPref=en-CA.   

Thank you for taking the time to read about the Hotel Arts Group.  We invite you to create your own experiences at our properties that we hope will be source of your own memorable stories.


Thank you for supporting the Hotel Arts Group and best wishes for a great March.



Mark Wilson
VP, Hotel Arts Group

Contributing Editors: Katie Mayer and Fraser Abbott 


Along with the Hotel Arts Group Newsletter comes a chance to win Monthly Prizes and enjoy the many aspects of our properties, whether it be luxurious stays at the Hotel Arts or the Kensington Riverside Inn, or unforgettable dining experiences at Raw Bar and Chef's Table! 


This month's prize is:

EXPERIENCE POSSESSED - DECIDEDLY JAZZ DANCEWORKS ANNUAL FUNDRAISER - One night stay in a Luxury Suite at Hotel Arts and two tickets to the event on March 17, 2012 


To enter in to win the prize above, please send kmayer@hotelarts.ca an email with the answer to this question: Name of the celebrity chef at the Get Real Live Event? 


If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions, please email Katie Mayer at kmayer@hotelarts.ca.  


*Please respond by Wednesday, March 14, 2012