Hot ticket: Hundreds wait to experience coolest cuisine in Winnipeg

The wait for the coolest culinary ticket in town was decidedly warmer this year.

RAW:almond, a pop-up restaurant on the river, sold 2,000 tickets on Sunday

Hundreds of people waited at The Forks for their number to be called so they could purchase a ticket to RAW:almond. (Wendy Buelow/CBC)

The wait for the coolest culinary ticket in town was decidedly warmer this year. Hundreds of people arrived at The Forks early Sunday morning to buy tickets for RAW:almond, a pop-up restaurant on the river.

"They are chilling out. Some people are playing crib, enjoying pints from The Common and just having a good time," organizer Mandel Hitzer said.

People lined up at 7 a.m. at The Forks Market where they were given a number. At 9 a.m. organizers started calling the numbers so people could buy a ticket for the unique dining experience.

Hitzer said it was a much warmer mood this year compared to last, when the lineup was outside of the Deer + Almond restaurant.

"Last year we were going to go buy tickets and we drove by and we saw the lineup that was wrapping around the building and we were not prepared for the winter and we decided to turn around and try again this year," Tyler Machutchon said.

Tyler Machutchon and Cathy Bator sipped on beers as they waited for their number to be called Sunday morning. (Wendy Buelow/CBC)
After a breakfast of cinnamon buns and coffee, Machutchon and his wife, Cathy Bator, sipped beers waiting for their number to be called as a DJ played for the lineup. They don't mind waiting because their special dinner will mark a special day.

"Hopefully that will be freezing later in January and we will be looking forward to be going to the restaurant for our fifth year anniversary," he said.

About 2,000 tickets will be sold on Sunday and 500 will be sold online on Monday.

The tickets get people a dinner seating at the fifth annual on-ice restaurant where 25 chefs from across Canada prepare special meals for 21 days.

Restaurant designer Joe Kalturnyk said they are bringing some changes to the structure.

"This year I collaborated with Art City and the kids with Art City," he said. "[We] wanted to make it more unique and fun and different."

The structure will be made out of plywood and tarps to make a giant shell like a "big globe," he said.

"We need this kind of cold snap for the ice to freeze. Once it freezes we will be on there testing the new idea out," he said.