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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.

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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.

THE COOLEST WEEKEND BRUNCH GOING IS ALMOST GONE, SO GET DOWN THERE

DON'T MISS OUT ON THE COOLEST WEEKEND BRUNCH GOING

Delicious Tansi-style breakfast corn dog on the frozen Assiniboine River.

This weekend marks the last opportunity to brunch on ice for 2014. Head on down to RAW:almond Saturday or Sunday between 9 am and 2 pm to for a multi-course brunch feast from Talia Syrie and her Tansi Restaurant team. Brunch is $22 (cash-only). This week’s menu promises new delights such as fresh cornbread and baked beans, and sweet potato blintzes with ‘slaw and pulled pork, plus the fitting return of the most apt river pop-up grub: Red River Cereal.

Check out The Manitoban’s impression of last weekend’s brunch, which includes Talia Syrie’s delicious ambition: “We tried to deep fry something in every course.” Listen to podcast featuring full length interview via Katy’s Kitchen. Super interesting window into logistics of cooking on a frozen river.

Pancakes and Poppy bacon.

Pancakes and Poppy bacon.