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ONE18 EMPIRE bring duck prosciutto to the people

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ONE18 EMPIRE is a big believer in bringing people together through sharing. That philosophy is reflected in its menu of shared plates, handcrafted cocktails, and extensive whiskey collection.

Now ONE18 EMPIRE has something new to share with its guests: the addition of its signature housemade charcuterie boards to its regular menu.

Since ONE18 EMPIRE first opened a year ago, guests who booked private group receptions and whiskey tastings got a delicious extra—the charcuterie board, an assortment of housemade charcuterie and cheeses perfect for noshing with cocktail in hand.

One reason the boards only appeared for special occasions is that the handcrafted charcuterie takes time—around two months from start to finish—and ONE18 EMPIRE simply didn’t have enough in stock to offer it regularly, according to ONE18 EMPIRE Restaurant Operations Manager Frédéric Louvet.

However, those lucky diners who had tried the charcuterie wanted more. “They loved it and they were asking for it,” said Louvet.

ONE18 EMPIRE listened to popular demand, Executive Chef Eric Larcom got to work curing, and the charcuterie will be available starting in March to anyone who has the appetite. The new offering will appear on the evening menu in two different sizes, portioned for sharing among either two or four people.

The boards feature a selection of housemade meats, including coppa, made out of pork shoulder and flavoured with cayenne; bresaola, made from beef eye of round and black pepper; duck prosciutto, with duck breast and white pepper; and a dry cured pork sausage that uses pork leftover from making the coppa.

Each type of charcuterie is hand-cured in salt and spices and aged in a dedicated room on site that is temperature-controlled to a steady 50 degrees Fahrenheit and 70% humidity for optimum drying conditions.

Along with the charcuterie, the boards also include a selection of cheeses, typically a soft, a hard, and a blue, constantly rotating according to local availability and the seasons.

An accompanying housemade jam also changes seasonally; for example, a fig jam might be offered in the fall, with berry jam in spring, and fresh, local honeycomb in summer. Housemade lavash crackers, ONE18 EMPIRE’s famous pickled vegetables, and pickled mustard complete the board for a perfect balance of textures and flavors.

The result is a sophisticated snack that is expressly designed for sharing, complements a variety of drinks, and is unfussy to eat, letting guests focus on each other’s company and conversation.

Looking forward, ONE18 EMPIRE may introduce more charcuterie options, including a classic pork prosciutto that’s a guest favorite. However, the prosciutto takes nearly a year to cure and age to perfection, so Calgary’s prosciutto-loving public may have to be patient.