Name: Twyla Campbell
City: Edmonton, AB
1. Where are you from?
2. Where do you currently work?
I’m a freelance food and travel writer, and restaurant reviewer for CBC Edmonton AM.
3. How long have you been in the culinary industry?
I wrote my first food article in 2006 and am in my eighth year talking about food on CBC.
4. If you could work with any other Chef in the world for one night who would it be?
Anthony Bourdain because he’s a no B.S. kind of guy, and he knows that street food is the truest expression of a culture.
5. If you could visit any restaurant in the world where would it be?
There is a One Michelin Star restaurant in Singapore called Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle, where the owner Chan Hon Meng serves his chicken rice dish for about $3 a plate. One dish, that’s all, and he’s famous for it. The best part though is that it’s a street stall. Amazing.
6. Who is your mentor, if you have one?
Jannie Edwards, my poetry instructor from MacEwan. She taught me how to avoid lazy verbs, to look beyond the obvious, and to be courageous in writing.
7. Why do you feel MADE WITH LOVE, as a cocktail competition, is important for the Industry in Edmonton?
It’s a night of incredible camaraderie even though it’s a competition, and we need more events that strengthen instead of threaten the ties that bind. A strong food community benefits everyone. Plus, it gives us a chance to show off the cocktail talent we have here.
8. What is the skill you look for in a competitor when you are judging?
9. What is the most impressive thing you have ever seen a bartender do?
Stand on a fireplace mantle and pour ouzo in my mouth without spilling a drop. I don’t know who had more talent that night, him or me.
10.What’s the most frequent error competitors do in a competition?
Not tell a story about the cocktail or give it a name. Without a story, the judges have a hard time connecting to the finished product. A product that connects, stands out.
11. What’s the biggest challenge a judge has?
When two or three cocktails are really close, deciding what separates one from the other? See #10.
12. What is the most precious advice you could give to a competitor?
Relax, breathe, let your cocktail tell a story, and make sure it (the cocktail) is balanced.