A hint of Hell's Kitchen

It's an old saying that still rings true: the best way to someone's heart is through his or her stomach.

There's something intimate about creating a meal from scratch and sharing it with someone you care about.

Then there is something terrifyingly exhilarating about creating a meal to be judged by some of Edmonton's finest culinary experts.

Couples Cook Off is taking place tonight at the Pourhouse Bistro (10354 82 Avenue), and it's not too late to enter your culinary creation.

There are a couple of catches though. For starters, you can only have a maximum of four main ingredients (not including spices) and you have to be partnered up with a significant other, friend or family member.

Each couple will be judged according to taste and presentation by renowned local Chef Andrew Parker.

In fact, the concept of the event is credited to Chef Parker, who enrolled event planner Shannon Berry after his solo event planning didn't turn out the way he had hoped it would.

"He's a chef, not a planner," says Berry with a chuckle.

"But, I knew he had something here and we could make something great out of it."

Berry quickly put her 10 years of event planning to work.

"Tonight is going to be light-hearted and fun," she says after emphasizing how she and Andrew hope to reach new clientele through the event in a memorable and engaging way.

She knows firsthand what a difference it can make to their ventures.

As the owner of Capital Concierge, Berry somewhat fell into the event planning business after a career in the HR industry.

"It seemed that bosses and managers thought if you didn't deal with numbers then you could plan a party," she says of the path that took her to opening her own business.

Tonight, Berry's combined the best of the best from her Rolodex to present a one-of-a-kind culinary social experience with just a hint of Hell's Kitchen.

To get in on the action, head down to the Pourhouse for 6 p.m.

Competitors have a $10 entry fee and general guests are $5.

For more information, visit

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