The Community Table Project is about sharing signature recipes from everyday folks, and creating a sense of community around food. If you make a signature dish you think is great, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s talk!
This week’s Community Table Project edition is one I ‘ve been looking forward to for a long time – dinner with the head of Edmonton’s iconic Italian Centre Shop, Teresa Spinelli.
Teresa is well known to Albertans through The Italian Centre Shop, which has been a go-to for Italian and other European products for decades. Growing up in a culture of quality food has given Teresa a real appreciation for great ingredients and delicious home cooking. Though you would probably expect a Spinelli to have a whole host of generations-old recipes from the old country at her disposal, surprisingly, Teresa credits her highly creative and talented staff as the source and inspiration for many of the dishes she serves regularly.
Italian Style Cajun Shrimp
This shrimp dish is something Teresa has been making for 18 years and is always a favourite with friends and family alike. It’s combination of bold flavour and simple preparation make it an ideal dish for those who may be short on spare time but still want to enjoy a delicious home cooked meal.
Teresa is a big proponent of easy to make recipes that encourage cooking at home. She first started making this dish at the suggestion of the south store manager Camilla, and it’s been a staple on the Spinelli table ever since.
The formula for meals at the Spinelli’s is simple – Teresa cooks, and her husband Mike cleans. Considering Teresa made a stunning 6 courses on this Thursday evening, it seems like Mike is making out like a bandit in this deal. Especially considering Teresa seemed to make far less mess accomplishing 6 courses than I do just reheating leftovers. This woman is magic.
You would think that a woman who runs a local empire would enjoy putting her feet up after a long day at work, but not Teresa, she loves to entertain. She’ll often have family and friends over to enjoy multi-course dinners like the one she made for me. Her secret is collecting recipes for dishes that are simple enough to cook on a weeknight, yet tasty enough to keep her guests happy and full. One brilliant time-saving trick she shared with me for the shrimp was to use the bruschetta she sells at the Italian Centre to save the time of cutting up tomatoes and onions. See? Brilliant!
And after enjoying 6 courses on a Thursday night, it’s also pretty clear that when you dine at the Spinelli’s, you don’t leave the table hungry.
Big thanks to Kunitz Shoes and The Italian Centre Shop for coming on board and sponsoring The Community Table Project. The support of strong community-minded companies like these help make content like this possible, so go see Kunitz Shoes next time you’re in need of quality shoes and cool socks, and The Italian Centre Shop for everything you need to make these recipes at home.