MANDEL HITZER’S GREAT CANADIAN SLEEPOUT – NIGHT TWENTY-ONE

Tucking in for his final night sleeping on the frozen Assiniboine River Mandel Hitzer reflects on creation and the inevitability of letting go. And, surprise! Chantal is back to spend another night with Mandel for the newlyweds’ one month anniversary.

LAST SUPPER

LAST SUPPER

Glass noodles and anchovy by Aron Epp and Ben Kramer. Photo by Jacqueline Young.

Well we made it, almost. Tonight will bring the final service at RAW:almond 2014, with chefs Ryan Lachaine and Jason Barton-Browne joining Mandel Hitzer to heat up the kitchen-on-ice one last time. See you on the river, Winnipeg!

LOVE ON ICE – GREAT CANADIAN SLEEPOUT COCOONED COUPLE SPECIAL: Chantal + Mandel = <3

Saturday, February 8 marked the sixteenth night of Mandel Hitzer’s Great Canadian Sleepout. It was also the first night newlyweds Chantal Dick and Mandel Hitzer spent together in fifteen days. These beautiful lovers had been married just over a week when Mandel moved into his temporary home in a tent on the frozen Assiniboine River. Aptly, the community-minded chef’s 21 night saga wraps up tomorrow, landing Mandel back in his marriage bed for Valentine’s Day.

Chantal Dick and Mandel Hitzer dance at their  wedding in Mexico January 13, 2014.

Chantal Dick and Mandel Hitzer dance at their wedding in Mexico January 13, 2014.

Thank you to MEC for loaning the extra cold climate sleeping bag. And thank you to Chantal for loaning the community your man, he’s certainly not the only one with a huge, giving heart!

SPIRITED ENERGY SPIRIT ANIMALS

SPIRITED ENERGY

Much love for this capture of a tender, Canadian moment shared between Chefs Ryan Lachaine and Mandel Hitzer last night on the ice. Is Ryan wearing The Warden’s chapeau? These two will be back in action (posing and cooking) tonight for the second last evening of RAW:almond 2014.

RAW:ALMOND NIGHT SIXTEEN – RIVER REPORT FEAT. CHEF ERIC LEE

Chef Eric Lee of Pizzeria Gusto talks #riverpopup. He’s a fan of the restaurant’s 2014 luxury kitchen set up complete with three-sink system (thanks Joe Kalturnyk!).

BIKES ON ICE! WINTER CYCLING CONGRESS STOPS TO FEAST AT RAW:ALMOND

RAW:almond 2014. Photo by Jacqueline Young.

RAW:almond 2014. Photo by Jacqueline Young.

RAW:almond is thrilled to be the first stop on Thursday’s cycling and restaurant tour, A Feast for the Winter Brave, mounted by the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ as part of 2nd International Winter Cycling Congress.

The event will see a group of 40 cyclists tour Winnipeg’s core, after eating at RAW:almond the pack will stop for further sustenance at East India Company Pub & Eatery, Thom Bargen Coffee & Tea, Jane’s Restaurant and Promenade Cafe and Wine.

Diners at Moveable Feast summer 2013. Photo courtesy the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ.

Diners at Moveable Feast summer 2013. Photo courtesy the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ.

A similar dine-and-dash event, Moveable Feast 2013, was a summer success. However, it wasn’t possible for those fair weather diners to have the RAW:almond experience — by mid-June the temporary restaurant’s solid ice foundation has long melted into rushing waters.

The aim of the Winter Cycling Congress is ‘to create, promote, maintain and sustain vibrant bike-friendly cities through out the year’. Last year, the inaugural event took place in Oulu, Finland, a city we could perhaps take winter cycling style notes from as illustrated in Conference Director (and Winnipegger) Anders Swanson’s beautiful flickr set.

Follow along with WinterBikeConference on Twitter.

Cyclist on ice passes RAW:almond 2014. Photo courtesy of Anders Swanson.

Cyclist on ice passes RAW:almond 2014. Photo courtesy of Anders Swanson.

On a semi-related note, cooking for the great hall at RAW:almond February 12 and 13 is Calgarian Jason Barton-Browne. The chef is himself an avid cyclist who once peddled from Calgary to Thunder Bay in support of Camp Quality. Check him out on Twitter @therealJBB.

And, on a less related but equally neat note, Chef Ryan Lachaine comes home from Houston, TX to heat up the tasting lounge at RAW:almond February 12 and 13. His #riverpopup tweets are already quite entertaining.

RAW:ALMOND NIGHT FIFTEEN – RIVER REPORT FEAT. MANDEL HITZER AND OUTDOOR EDUCATOR SLEEPOVER PALS

Mandel is joined by four Winnipeg teachers for a night camped on the frozen Assiniboine River.