Dan Clapson | Calgary’s Food & Hospitality Game-Changers 2024

The food writer and cookbook author builds community through creative events in Calgary.

Photo by Jared Sych.

Food is supposed to be fun. As seriously as chefs (and, admittedly, food writers) tend to take the culinary industry, at the end of the day, delicious food is meant to be shared and celebrated. That social element of food — the gathering, the collaboration, the community — has driven food writer, event organizer and unabashed prairie food enthusiast Dan Clapson since he started holding cooking classes for university students nearly 15 years ago.

Clapson is often most categorized as a food writer — in addition to writing for numerous publications, he’s a co-founder of the Eat North website and co-author of the recently released Prairie cookbook. But his skill in building community within the food world has most often come in the form of creative events. From his Prairie Grid dinners, featuring chefs and ingredients from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, to the Pride-themed Shake, Stir & Strainbow! cocktail fundraiser, actually bringing people together — with an emphasis on those who are underrepresented in culinary circles — has become Clapson’s raison d’être.

This year, Clapson is looking forward to putting more focus on amplifying 2SLGBTQIA+ voices in food communities, running the Prairie Emporium events space and continuing to build his presence in the music community with his Blue Jay Sessions concerts. The most consistent factor in his career has been a dedication to doing things his own way.

“I attribute a lot of what I do to my ability to come up with a creative idea and then execute it,” Clapson says. “For better or worse, my mantra always is: ‘How hard can it be?’”

Get a weekly serving of suggestions for how to experience Calgary's restaurants, bars and markets by signing up for Avenue’s Food & Drink Newsletter.

This article appears in the March 2024 issue of Avenue Calgary.

Related posts

How Pizzaface Makes its Mike’s Pickle Pizza

Chris Landry

This New Pizzeria and Bar Serves Up Roman-Style Pizza with Casual Flair

Chris Landry

5 Things We’re Excited to Eat and Drink in June

Alana Willerton

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Privacy Policy

Privacy & Cookies Policy
Avenue Calgary