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Chorney-Sales space: Alberta’s beloved Blue Flame Kitchen continues to serve with frozen meals, a bustling café, and vacation dinners

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There are a number of tried-and-true Alberta-based manufacturers which have turn into synonymous with the fundamentals of house cooking right here within the Prairies. We’ve bought Firm’s Coming and Better of Bridge cookbooks and, since 1929, the Blue Flame Kitchen. Initially devised by Canadian Western Pure Fuel Firm Restricted (CWNG) to assist house cooks navigate their new gas-powered stoves, it continued being a supply of recipes and recommendation after ATCO bought CWNG within the early Nineteen Eighties.

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Whereas it’s consistently altering, the BFK model exhibits no indicators of slowing down and could also be within the midst of a golden age.

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By a long time value of cookbooks and courses, BFK has taught many people the way to cook dinner, however because it strikes into the longer term, it has turn into more and more fascinated about additionally cooking for us. The BFK web site continues to be filled with a mind-boggling variety of easy-to-follow recipes, how-to articles, and meal plans however in recent times, the kitchen has launched some new ventures.

BFK, like everybody else, discovered itself scrambling when the pandemic hit in 2020, which led to the event of grab-and-go meals designed to make sure prospects had a handy and wholesome supply of comforting issues to eat. That led to the brand new BFK Specific line of frozen meals: think about a model of these frozen containers of lasagna or mac and cheese which have been ubiquitous in grocery shops for the reason that ‘80s, although made by Pink Seal cooks with contemporary elements that truly style good and appear to be actual meals. The meals can be found all through Canada at shops like Circle Ok, Calgary Co-op, and Blush Lane, and thru the Spud supply service.

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J.P. Gerritsen, supervisor of culinary packages at ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen, was photographed with the corporate’s new line of microwavable meals on Oct. 12, 2023. Gavin Younger/Postmedia Gavin Younger/Postmedia

Despite the fact that coming into the frozen meal market might sound counter-intuitive to the mandate of educating Albertans the way to cook dinner for themselves, BFK’s supervisor of culinary packages J.P. Gerritsen, says the healthful nature of the frozen meals matches completely throughout the firm’s targets.

“BFK has all the time been about taking care of individuals,” Gerritsen says. “We’re in your house – we’re like your grandma or your mother’s cooking. We needed to offer straightforward, snug, relatable meals that may remind individuals of an excellent home-cooked meal.”

This mindset has prolonged to the cafe at ATCO Park, the corporate’s fashionable campus positioned on the south finish of Crowchild Path, which opened in 2018. The advanced options a big, light-filled frequent space that not solely serves ATCO’s workers however can also be open to individuals from the area people in search of a spot to satisfy to have espresso, play bridge or Mahjong, or simply have lunch outdoors of their very own house.

The meals follows the identical rules because the BFK Specific meals: it’s contemporary and wholesome and whereas the cooks get to practise their abilities, they aren’t attempting to reinvent the wheel. The menu modifications seasonally, however guests can anticipate day by day cream and broth soups ($7), a variation on a burrito bowl ($15), and sturdy sandwiches with fillings like bulgogi beef with jalapeño aioli ($15) or turkey with cranberry and brie ($15). The concept right here is to have sufficient selection and wholesome choices to maintain ATCO workers completely happy whereas nonetheless engaging neighbours to pop in for a fast lunch.

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Traditional lasagna is one among ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen’s new line of microwavable meals. Gavin Younger/Postmedia Gavin Younger/Postmedia

Whereas ATCO Park and the cafe present a service to the area people, one among BFK’s largest acts of group service nowadays is its more and more fashionable vacation to-go meals. Obtainable at Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas (mark your calendars: pre-orders begin on Nov. 12), the kitchen prepares full dinners with turkeys and different proteins in addition to the entire sides (potatoes, greens, stuffing, and maybe most significantly, gravy), which can be found a la carte for patrons who must take somewhat strain off of their vacation meal prep or don’t need to cook dinner their contribution to a potluck dinner themselves.

It’s turn into extremely fashionable. When this system launched 5 years in the past they began with about 40 turkeys – this 12 months they’ll promote properly over 500. For anybody who has come to detest having to arrange their household’s Christmas dinner, this can be a game-changer and undoubtedly spares many a house cook dinner from a full holiday-related breakdown.

“I need you to be snug in your individual house and have a glass of wine or go to with individuals and never stress out,” Gerritsen says. “It’s a few clicks on the pc and you then simply must drive up and we put it in your trunk. There’s even a video on the way to carve your turkey and what goes into your oven at what time and on which shelf. We’re attempting to make life as straightforward as humanly doable on these busy holidays.”

That is precisely what Blue Flame Kitchen has been doing this entire time: we’re simply seeing it evolve and modernize. So many of those sensible sources have been misplaced through the years — as Albertans, we must always depend ourselves fortunate that the good-natured values of this service, operated by a utility firm of all issues, live on. For recipes, meals orders, and extra data, go to

Elizabeth Chorney-Sales space will be reached at [email protected]. Observe her on Instagram at @elizabooth or join her publication at

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