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On Set At Characters Restaurant For The Short Film “The Moustache”

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Behind the scenes here at Characters Restaurant in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada for some of the filming of the short film “The Moustache” in December 2017. An amazing production by Silverayne Productions staring Donovan Workun who started atomicimprov, and is on The CBC’s Irrelevant Show.

We’re excited to see the finished project and we had a wonderful time working with all of you. Thanks again.

Photography by Jonathan Deschenes

You Have Not Experienced Edmonton, Until You Have Experienced Characters!

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It is, sadly, a common thing for people to knock Edmonton, Alberta. Admittedly yes, ok Edmonton can be horrendous in the Winter… But what is simply untrue is that Edmonton is just a “Blue-Collar” town that really doesn’t understand about food or drink. But I would tell you that you have not experienced Edmonton for yourself then! And if you are ready to change your opinion on this town, it’s time to experience Characters Restaurant!

Characters restaurant is the brainchild of Chef Shonn Oborowsky, a world traveled, artistic genius that not only creates compelling dishes in his beautiful building in downtown Edmonton, but creates a culinary EXPERIENCE that transcends all preconceived ideas that Edmonton, has no class.

Allowing yourself to be submerged in the journey that Characters Restaurant takes you on has been a MUST for many years in the city. People from all over the world make sure to book a reservation whenever they are in Edmonton, and it is time that you do as well!

For the local Edmontonian, it is rather easy to debunk the stereotypes that are spewed unknowingly in their direction, they just look at you and say, “Clearly you have not been to Characters yet.”

Book your Characters experience with Chef Shonn Oborowsky today! 

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Characters Restaurant, The Art of Dining

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What if I told you that you have a famous artist, sports athlete, musician, downtown offering to show you what they did in an up close, personal look? You would probably love to experience that right? Well guess what, the city of Edmonton Alberta has one of today’s top chefs, creating works of art, for YOU to experience NOW. So why haven’t you left yet?

Chef Shonn Oborowsky began his culinary education at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology’s School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts. In pursuit of his culinary dreams, Shonn traveled the globe to work and study. His stops ranged from Hawaii to Switzerland, where he finished his formal education at Centre International de Glion in Bulle.

But knowing a bit of back story really does not say enough. Creativity is where this culinary experience begins, passion is where the creativity starts to form, and vision is how all of that becomes a reality. To explain the level of genius that goes into every dish at Characters restaurant could fill books, it is revolutionary, it is truly an experience.

Chef Shonn is a visionary, he sketches what his mind sees into his notebook, studying the images he looks for those ingredients, not any will do, they must fulfill his vision. Working like an artist he formulates and prepares the piece, and finally his grand reveal, it is set on the table to be enjoyed, by you.

It is time for you to have an Experience at Characters Restaurant. Be one that experiences the mind of an artist come to life before your eyes!

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From Wine Country With love

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I write today sitting in the heart of Canada’s largest wine region; Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. The amazing thing about spending time in any wine region is that it seems like wine is only made in the most beautiful places on earth, and to me that makes perfect sense. Niagara-on-the-Lake is a historic town in the far south east corner of Canada, just across the Niagara River from the U.S.A. And one of our countries warmest regions.

It benefits from some very unique and conveniently perfect geographical characteristics for growing kick-ass grapes for winemaking. Today I spent the better part of my day tasting through the barely finished fermenting 2017 wines from the ultra impressive Two Sisters Vineyards winery, with virtuoso winemaker Adam Pearce. 2017 was not necessarily what you would call a “good vintage” in Niagara, and by all accounts, I would have guessed that the red wines would be lean and light compared to last decade or so. Holy smokes was I wrong! Since the weather was cooler and much more wet than ideal this past summer in Niagara, Adam decided to pick much less fruit than usual, ending up with less wine than previous years, but the result is barely short of a miracle. When I arrived at the winery today I fully expected to hear the typical lines of “I’m really happy with how the wines are coming along, they are more elegant this year and much more approachable”… “elegant” being code word for not quite what we were hoping for and “approachable” being code word for not as exciting.

That is a bit harsh and not always true, but after a tough vintage it is unfortunately the case, but not today – not today at all! The reds of Two Sisters Vineyards for the 2017 vintage are already showing their trademark big, rich and powerful characters barely out of fermentation. What the dedication of a passionate winemaker can do when performing their art is sometimes hard to believe, but today it was on full display. It is not surprising that Two Sisters Vineyards Cabernet Franc was just awarded the best overall red wine at the Intervin International Wine Awards out of over 2000 wines from 17 countries, a feat that a Canadian wine has never achieved. So, after tasting yet another year of wildly impressive creations from one of Canada’s top wineries, it has once again cemented my confidence in the future of Canadian wines.

By: TJ Harstine/Certified Sommelier

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The YEG Wine Scene is Alive and Buzzing!

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So, I spent this past weekend pouring wine at the Rocky Mountain Food and Wine Festival at the Shaw Conference Center in Edmonton, and it was awesome! I have spent the better part of the last two years trying to explain to people from all over the globe that Edmonton, and Alberta as a whole is a wine market bursting at the seams and about to explode. If I got one thing from this past weekend, it is that I am absolutely correct, and I couldn’t be happier.

I brought in a great friend of mine from the Toronto area to help with the huge demand of pouring wine for 12,000 people, and he couldn’t stop saying how great the vibe was, how interested the guests were in what they were tasting, and not just looking to get a buzz. Many wine and food events turn in to a bit of a drinking festival, and while that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can be a bit disheartening for passionate winemakers and representatives.

The most uplifting thing about working this past weekend event, is that I lost my voice by Sunday after answering all of the questions and explaining our wines over and over again, and you will never hear me complain about that. I love wine and food so much that I decided to turn it in to a career, and I banked on the consumers of Alberta to share that passion – well this weekend proved to me that I made the right decision. What is even more exciting than that, is the fact that we are at the start of something special. The wine scene is still in its infancy here in Edmonton.

Most restaurants still do not employ a fully dedicated sommelier, or even really put a focus on the importance of pairing their food with the right wine, so it is a real treat when you find one that does. The part in all of this that I am most excited about is that the consumers of Edmonton are the real drivers of new discoveries and push the availability of great wines in the right direction, as long as they are asking for it. So, after this weekend, I am completely charged with enthusiasm knowing I am in a city full of so many wine enthusiasts that seem to be asking for more, and are willing to accept the next wave of new and exciting wines, and the Edmonton wine industry is chomping at the bit to deliver and you can find fantastic wines from all regions at Characters Restaurant to enjoy.

By: TJ Harstine/Certified Sommelier

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