What started as a community investment program we designed for the Italian Centre Shop’s expansion into the Calgary market has evolved into a company-wide initiative to support local charities with a money-can’t-buy culinary experience and we couldn’t be more proud.  It’s been a real joy to share the shop’s brand story while engaging a Canadian chef from out of province with introductions to the Alberta’s culinary scene and the latest instalment of what’s become a live auction hot ticket was no exception.

In 2018, the Italian Centre Shop Edmonton selected Ronald McDonald House of Alberta as the recipient of this unique culinary experience to auction off at their inaugural Taste of Home Gala. This year’s event raised over $700,000 for the House and Top Chef Canada season six winner Chef Ross Larkin from award winning Raymonds in St. John’s, NFLD didn’t hesitate for a moment when we asked him to join us. The bidding war that occurred at the event was one of the most memorable moments of the evening.


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During Chef Ross’ 2 1/2 days in the City of Champions – we toured him through some of the city’s most popular eateries including RGE RD, Uccellino, Bodega Tapas and Wine Bar, ONO Poke Co., Duchess Bake Shop and Filistix and visits to the City Market 104 and Old Strathcona Farmers Market to visit our friends from Gold Forest Grains.

One of the highlights of his time with us was a tour of the Ronald McDonald House with Marketing Director Suzanne Pescod when we were shown the many amenities and offerings the non-profit offers to families with kids being treated at the Stollery Children’s Hospital and the Cross Cancer Institute.

Chef Ross Larkin brought fresh scallops and halibut from Newfoundland while selecting the remainder of the ingredients for dinner from the Italian Centre Shop’s shelves. Leila Cook of Lifford Wines and Rivera Wines from Puglia, Italy provided the wines for the luxurious multi-course feast and Chef Blair Lebsack of RGE RD was kind enough to act as our host local chef and sous chef for the evening.

We continue to support this exciting initiative and look forward to adding to the $30,000 tally we’ve helped Alberta charities raise with our partners at the Italian Centre Shop.



Parmigiano reggiano tasting

Scallop Crudo
Bombino Bianco

Capellaccio Aglianico Riserva


Piedmontese Ribeye
Puer Apuliae



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