The Return of the Dishcrawl

Dishcrawl is back! YEG foodies rejoice. The next event will showcase the tasteful, the sumptuous, and the delectable of Edmonton’s 124 Street district. They’ve even opened up a second day of the event, since the first one sold out so quickly. More information on this upcoming Dishcrawl can be found here. 

Joining the Dishcrawl team as the new Edmonton Ambassador is Theresa Engel-Wood, a grade one teacher with a passion for gastronomy. I caught up with Theresa to learn a little bit about her background, her passion for food, and her plans for Dishcrawl’s future.

Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get involved with Dishcrawl?

I am a passionate eater of foods, sipper of drinks, and planner of events. I am also a devoted baker, cook, and urban gardener. These things are even better when shared with friends, family, and community! 

There is so much going on in Edmonton with our restaurants, farmer’s markets and festivals and I believe a lot of it is based on the strong foodie community in our city. As part of this and living on the cusp of downtown, so close to many new food experiences, I like to keep up on the latest innovations and discoveries in Edmonton. This led to my involvement with Dishcrawl. 

Originally, I started out as a member of the Dishcrawl community and, more recently, became the ambassador for Dishcrawl Edmonton. It has been really exciting to experience the overwhelming interest in these kinds of events!

What do you hope to bring to the Dishcrawl brand in Edmonton?

Events are only as good as the team behind them. I am a ‘details’ person and this is really important with Dishcrawl events since, in order to keep the evening running smoothly, we have to time things to the minute! I also love being on top of trends, whether it involves specific ingredients, preparation and presentation styles, or the general atmosphere and philosophy of a restaurant. This translates into some unique and delicious opportunities for Dishcrawl!

I love planning events that people remember and talk about for a long time afterwards. I want people to have a fun night and to taste foods that they might not have otherwise experienced! I love getting to know people and mingling and this is an important aspect of our events, since we are travelling as a group between restaurants. It is so gratifying when I see that I’ve helped people make new friendships and connections!

It’s also very important to me to build relationships with restaurant owners and staff. Dishcrawls are a fantastic opportunity for guests as well as for restaurants. I’m working hard to make sure that restaurant owners and chefs know just how much they can benefit from participating in our events, while at the same time growing the foodie community in Edmonton!

For those who have never been on a Dishcrawl, how would you describe it? What can they expect? 

A dishcrawl is sort of like a pubcrawl – but with food, and much better results! There will be 3 restaurants, kept a secret until the big day, with 3 delicious dishes served at each one. We get to know each other as we walk between each restaurant and enjoy the experience together. One of the best parts of a dishcrawl is hearing from the chef or owner. We get to hear the story behind the restaurant, the preparation and the ingredients. It’s not often one gets to enjoy a delicious dinner and also be educated about it in a fun way! Guests can expect to visit 3 amazing restaurants in 1 intriguing neighbourhood, eat 3 fantastic dishes and meet 39 other passionate foodies!

How often will Dishcrawl events be held?

I am aiming to hold Dishcrawl events in Edmonton every 1-2 months. You can hear about them via dishcrawl.comtwitterinstagram, or facebook, or you can sign up for our community email list!

Why should people attend Dishcrawls? What’s your elevator pitch?

Who doesn’t love a culinary adventure? Restaurant by restaurant, we introduce Edmonton’s local food scene on a neighbourhood level. Each one of our walking food tours are designed so you’ll be entertained, informed, and well fed. We’ll satisfy both your craving for good food and your curiosity about downtown Edmonton. Come hungry because on all of our food tours, you will get to try a variety of cultural foods from 3 unique establishments that showcase why Edmonton’s local food has become the NEWEST and HOTTEST culinary destination.

Are you doing anything new and innovative for the events in the future?

I have great ideas based on things like cultural/ethnic food trends as well as trends such as using local ingredients or one ingredient like…say…bacon! My next dishcrawl will be happening in the hip Whyte Ave. area!

Finally, if you had to pick one, what would you say is your favourite restaurant in Edmonton?

Agh! How can I pick just one restaurant? One that has been around for awhile would be The Marc, a newcomer would be 3 Boars Eatery, Eva Sweet food truck for authentic Liege waffles, Corso 32 for the ricotta and pasta, Remedy cafe for the extra spicy Chai, Rge Rd for the questionable bits, kitchen board and Hunter’s stew…the list goes on. Sorry – I just don’t know how to pick one!

Cover photo courtesy of Kristy L Photography.