Chef shows how to make Mediterranean tzatziki using Manitoba ingredients

Downtown Farmers' Market shoppers were treated to a cooking demonstration by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's school head chef, Wayne Aastrom, Thursday afternoon.

Cooking demonstrations took places at Downtown Farmers' Market

Downtown Farmers' Market shoppers were treated to a cooking demonstration by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's school head chef, Wayne Aastrom, Thursday afternoon. 

Aastrom was inspired to create a recipe for shoppers that had flavoyrs from the Mediterranean coast but ingredients with roots in Manitoba soil.

He showed how to carefully prepare a tzatziki sauce and put together a marinade for chicken souvlaki. All of his ingredients could be purchased on site from local vendors.

"The base for our tzatziki is made up of sour cream and yogurt, which you can pick up from the folks at Dairy Fairy," said Chef Aastrom.

"It's a beautiful product that is made right on campus at the University of Manitoba."

The Manitoba-dill flavoured Tzatziki sauce can be added to summer burgers made of any variety of meat including tofu, bison and chicken. Also, Tzatziki makes a nice dip to go with vegetable platters.

While shoppers were grabbing their groceries and watching cooking demonstrations, they listened to local band, Naysa who performed over the lunch hour.

Next week's crowds can expect to test out a roasted ratatouille with spinach and feta recipe by Colin Fraser, head chef at 529 Wellington.

Recipe demonstrations are at 11:50 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at the CBC Manitoba tent. Lindsey White, local rocker and CBC Manitoba Future 40 2015 recipient, will perform as well.

CBC Manitoba's Music for Lunch series is served up every Thursday in August.

CBC Manitoba partners with the Childhood Nutrition Council and the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ to bring recipe demonstrations to highlight local ingredients and the local shop owners who harvest and make them.

All of the bands performing are selected by CBC Manitoba and Manitoba Music.

Aastrom's chicken souvlaki: 


2                  chicken breasts from Graze Meat Co.
1 Tbsp        EVOO - Frescolio
1                  garlic clove, minced
3                  fresh basil leaves, chopped -God's Acres
1 tsp             fresh oregano, chopped - God's Acres
1                  fresh lemon, zested and juiced
2                  fresh mint leaves, chopped - God's Acres


Dice chicken into 1"x 1"pieces. Next, zest lemons and squeeze juice into a bowl and after, whisk in olive oil. Chop fresh herbs and mince garlic and lightly stir the mixture into the bowl. Add chicken and let sit overnight. Load your skewers with chicken and grill until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Tzatziki Sauce:


2 cups        yogurt - Dairy Fairy (ryazhenka)
2 cups        sour cream - Dairy Fairy
1                  large cucumber, grated - God's Acres
3                  garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp            kosher salt
1                  lemon, juiced
1/4 cup        fresh dill, chopped - God's Acres
1/4 cup        EVOO—Frescolio (not market but local)
1/2 tsp        kosher salt


Combine the first five ingredients and stir well. Line a bowl or strainer with one package of cheesecloth, folded over two or three times. Next, pour yogurt/cucumber mix into the cheesecloth and tie it into a nice little package with some string. If you have space in your fridge, hang the package over a bowl to catch the water that separates. A weighted plate on top of the package in a strainer also works.

The next day, unwrap your cheesecloth package and you should be left with a thick, rich tasty base for your Tzatziki. Finally, stir in lemon juice, dill, olive oil and season with salt to taste.

Pro tip:  The water that ran out overnight is a great base for gazpacho! Add a fresh tomato, a red pepper and a fistful of fresh basil and purée it all together.