Date Night … in a lab?!

Growing up, I’d never hesitate to pass up the chemistry lab in favour of the library, and conjugating verbs was more my speed than controlling variables. If my science teacher had let me make my own ice cream, taste test top-notch tonic water, or beat my friends in a balancing contest, though, I would have been the first one in class with my lab coat on. On Beakerhead’s Late Night Labs tour, participants will have the chance to do all of this and more, and there’s no research report to hand in when it’s all over!

Pre-lab takes place at Container Bar, where Late Night Lab-ers will be treated to a mystery molecular cocktail. From Kensington, they’ll be whisked off to the University of Calgary, where they’ll put on their lab coats and get down to business, and by business I mean balancing on one foot with their eyes closed, testing their hand washing skills under black light, and making pennies into silver keepsakes. Who knew studying could be so much fun?

We all how hard it is to concentrate in class on an empty stomach, so renowned Calgary chef Nicole Gomes will be supplying dinner to go. She wowed the judges on Top Chef with her creative creations, so I’m pretty envious of the lucky crew that will be eating her gourmet treats on Thursday.

When I’m ready to rush to the lab, you know there has got to be some pretty special science going on. Sadly for me, Late Night Labs is all sold out, but those of you on the tour better get ready for the science class you always wish you had!

By Heather Gummo (Beakerhead Social Media Crew)

Eating the Periodic Table

Doing loops in this month’s Wonderment of Beakerhead 2014: Photo Recap is of course The Periodic Table.

In 2014, hundreds got to dine on the Periodic Table — Canada’s first sustainable energy ferris-wheel-turned-dining-room. It may have been snowing (remember Snowtember?!), cold or muddy, but that didn’t deter people from enjoying a multi-course meal based on the Periodic Table created by esteemed Calgary chef Nicole Gomes and the views atop a gently rotating wheel. It was both lovely and guilt-free… the ride was powered with used cooking oil from downtown restaurants using Sustainival‘s conversion technology.

Delighting diners was also a mechanical installation, entitled Invasion of the Space Ponies, by local artist, Lisa Brawn.

Thanks again to Fort Calgary for housing the ferris wheel, and Sustainival, Boom Goes the Drum, The Rocket House, Absolut Canada, Big Rock Brewery, Lisa Brawn, local Calgarian bands, like Jocelyn & Lisa, and of course, Chef Nicole Gomes (we’re still dreaming of the cotton candy desert!).

Jocelyn & Lisa and an astronaut groupie. Photo by: Curtis Anderson
Jocelyn & Lisa and an astronaut groupie. Photo by: Curtis Anderson
Hon Joan Crockett and co-founder Jay Ingram. Photo by Neil Zeller Photography
Hon Joan Crockett and co-founder Jay Ingram. Photo by Neil Zeller Photography
Chef Nicole Gomes. Photo by Neil Zeller Photography
Chef Nicole Gomes. Photo by Neil Zeller Photography
Invasion of the Space Ponies by Lisa Brawn. Photo by Kelly Hofer Photography
Invasion of the Space Ponies by Lisa Brawn. Photo by Kelly Hofer Photography

Top photo by: Life Unscripted Photography by Jackie Ho

 

Click here to see more photos

The Periodic Table

The Periodic Table is Canada’s first sustainable energy ferris-wheel-turned-dining-room. The 16-bucket wheel gently rotates while diners are treated to a multi-course molecular gastronomy meal created by esteemed Calgary chef Nicole Gomes, a contestant on Top Chef Canada.

Enjoy both a lovely view and a guilt-free conscience. This ride is powered with used cooking oil from downtown restaurants. Bon appetite!

Minimum height 36 inches with an adult or 48 inches unaccompanied on carriage.

The Periodic Table seatings are 12:00 (noon), 12:30, 1:00, 6:00, 6:30, 7:00, 7:30, 8:00 and 8:30 pm between September 11 to September 13

SOLD OUT

The Periodic Table

The Periodic Table runs September 11 to 13

Canada’s first sustainable energy ferris-wheel-turned-dining-room

Your hosts … are an astronaut and a robot.

A MENU BY AN AWARD-WINNING CHEF
Begin with a cocktail or two in the Good Chemistry Lounge – anyone for an Absolut Vodka Sno Cone or a Big Rock Beer?
Then, take in one of the most creative menus you can imagine, creatively engineered and presented by Chef Nicole Gomes, Top Chef Canada contestant. Click here for the menu

GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY
All proceeds from the Periodic Table sales go to Beakerhead, a registered charity whose mandate is to advance education at the crossroads of art, science and engineering.

SURROUNDED BY MUSIC AND RIVER
You’ll enjoy a gentle ride on the ferris wheel for the main course.

TAKE IN A TOUR
of Sustainival’s Flower Power that converts used cooking oil from downtown Calgary restaurants to biodiesel to fun the ferris wheel.

INTERACT WITH ART
at Lisa Brawn’s mechanical horses art installation, Invasion of the Space Ponies.

CUDDLE UP
The weather will be gorgeous.
And if it’s not, we have blankets and patio heaters to keep you toasty.

The Periodic Table seatings are 12:00 (noon), 12:30, 1:00, 6:00, 6:30, 7:00, 7:30, 8:00 and 8:30 pm between September 11 to September 13 – Lunch duration is 1 hour and dinner duration is 1 1/2 hours.

Minimum height 36 inches with an adult or 48 inches unaccompanied on carriage.

Ladies and Gentleman, step right up!

Downtown Calgary will be little brighter, certainly taller and way yummier come September as The Periodic Table takes its very first turn. Dubbed Canada’s first ferris-wheel-dining-room, this 16-bucket wheel will be serving its guests on a rotating schedule during Beakerhead between September 11th and 13th from noon to 8:30 p.m.

Afraid of heights? Not after renowned chef Nicole Gomes (of Top Chef fame) leads your carnival-come-culinary experience – you won’t even notice you’re dangling 100+ metres off the ground. The most interesting bit is trying to figure how they are going to serve you as the ride is moving throughout the meal. And to add to your foodie bucket list, this diner is powered by used cooking oil from downtown Calgary restaurants – put that in your bowl and eat it! Seats go for $90.00 per person and the full experience lasts about 1 1/2 hours both on and off the ferris wheel. With local entertainment, interactive art installations and an Absolut drinks garden, this would make the most memorable date night EVER!

You can buy them here.

Do you need a crash course on the Periodic Table? Then let They Might Be Giants help…

Meet the Chef behind the Periodic Table

Girls just want to have fun. And for Nicole Gomes, fun is knife wielding, frying, braising and competing in one of the most fast-paced cooking competitions on television—Top Chef Canada — [and leading the creative culinary experiment, known as The Periodic Table, the first ferris-wheel-turned-dining-room in Canada.]

This caterer and owner of Nicole Gourmet Catering in Calgary, Alta. is determined to show the rest of the country that she’s a force to be reckoned with. Sharp-witted but bluntly honest, Gomes not only proves that she can run with the boys, but also that caterers are just as skilled as restaurant chefs, if not more.

When asked about the challenges of being a woman in the kitchen, Gomes acknowledges the obstacles, but powers through them by staying on course in her approach to food and letting the results speak for themselves.

 [WestJet’s Up magazine sat with Nicole Gomes earlier this year…] 

How would you describe your cooking style?

My cooking style is all over the place. I travel so much, so I believe cooks are only as good as their eating experiences. I’m trained French classically, Italian is my specialty and I know a ton about Asian and other cuisines, like Lebanese. I think that’s from me having the experience to teach. I think that’s why on the show, I was a little bit different: I wasn’t just a caterer. I’ve done the restaurant thing, I’ve done fine dining, I’ve worked in a cafe; I’ve done all those things.

Do you think owning a catering business, compared to working in a restaurant, changed your game on the show?

I think I had a little bit of an advantage, actually. All the restaurant chefs probably dismissed me as, “Oh, the caterer.” But I don’t think they understood that I’m actually a really good line chef. I started the catering company to own my own business. I think I have an advantage as caterer because I’m put in so many different situations. I can modify to certain environments.

Where do you think the next major food hub in Canada is?

I think Calgary is amazing and is being underestimated by the rest of Canada. I think people in Calgary are more cosmopolitan than people think. But maybe one thing the city is missing are more culturally diverse or Asian restaurants. That’s why Anju is so amazing. I think Calgary is definitely being underestimated.

What do you want people to remember about Nicole from Top Chef Canada?

That I love cooking; that they learned something; that I evoked the motivation for them to do more in their own careers. When people watch a caterer go on a show like Top Chef, I hope someone says, “Oh man, I can do it too; this is totally possible.” I’m very collaborative. I’m honest. If I don’t like something, you’ll know. It’s just the way I am.

Reprinted in shorter version with permission of upmagazine.com