Manitoba’s icy dining rooms a draw-card for Aussie foodies


Manitoba’s icy dining rooms a draw-card for Aussie foodies

Manitoba’s icy dining rooms a draw-card for Aussie foodies

Aussie foodies scouring the globe for the ‘next big thing’ have found it in Canada’s central province of Manitoba, with RAW:almond, taking place from 24 January to 13 February 2018.

Manitoba’s capital city of Winnipeg, launched the concept in 2013 as the only pop-up restaurant of its kind in North America, where guests feast on multi-course meals, prepared by some of Canada’s finest chefs, served up in an elaborate tent perched on the fork of the frozen Assiniboine and Red rivers.

The event grew wildly popular, with foodies flocking to experience this unique gastronomic adventure, and top chefs vying for a chance to showcase their edible works, created in the make-shift kitchen adjacent to the dining room.

The 2018 RAW:almond features a large dining tent with seating for 30, where top chefs from Winnipeg, Canada and the US will take the helm in the kitchen for two nights each, with a weekend brunch also served.

The evening’s menu is always a surprise, with each guest chef setting the gastronomic theme for the evening, according to his or her own passions, heritage and experience.

Now, Aussie travellers seeking to combine this unique foodie experience with the spectacular northern lights can participate in RAW:churchill from 2 – 10 March 2018.

At 58° North latitude near Churchill, Manitoba, dinner is served by a leading Canadian chef, Mandel Hitzer, inside the walls of a 300-year-old fort under the dancing northern lights. Hitzer was the founding chef for RAW:almond and owns the celebrated Winnipeg restaurant, Deer + Almond.

For the first time, the RAW concept is being launched on the shores of Lake Winnipeg at Gimli township 90 kilometres north of Winnipeg. This one-time dining event will take place from 29 December to 7 January 2018 in a wooden structure designed by RAW architect Joe Kalturnyk.

More about RAW:almond

The RAW:almond outdoor dining room pops up at the junction of the Assiniboine and Red rivers at the heart of Manitoba’s capital city of Winnipeg. Known as The Forks, the area is a popular destination for locals, visitors and urban explorers. Indoor venues like The Forks market and Johnston Terminal house restaurants, gift shops, galleries, cappuccino bars, and specialty food and wine purveyors. The area is a must-see for visitors and a favourite haunt for locals who stream to The Forks year- round for open-air recreational activities.

The Red River Mutual Trail is a seasonal hub for authentic Canadian winter culture. Once ice conditions permit, a double-wide skating, sledding and walking trail is cleared on the rivers. Rinks are also created along the trail where impromptu games of hockey, spongee, broomball and curling break out among families and friends.

This frozen highway holds the Guinness World Record for longest naturally frozen skating trail, stretching for nearly 6 kilometres up the Assiniboine and Red Rivers, converging at The Forks.

Architecturally stunning warming huts, chosen during an international design competition, are also erected along the Red River Mutual Trail. The competition has become world-renowned, with famed architects like Frank Gehry constructing a humble winter shelter.

The skating trails, the warming huts and the return of RAW:almond boosts Manitoba’s reputation as a top winter destination in North America. One of the key missions of RAW:almond is to build community. This gastronomic experience brings strangers around a table to enjoy a meal and conversation in a one-of-a-kind setting.

For more information about Winnipeg, Manitoba and its winter attractions, visit  and

Getting there

Air Canada has daily direct flights from Sydney and Brisbane to Vancouver, with connecting services to Winnipeg. Alternatively, VIA Rail, the national Canadian rail service runs from Vancouver to Winnipeg. The two-day journey spans British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan before reaching the Manitoba, the heart of Canada.

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