Monday, April 19, 2010

Taste For Life

What are you doing next Wednesday? Maybe you should eat out!!

April 28th is Taste for Life.
Selected restaurants donate 25% of the bill to support the HIV/AIDS organization in your community - well worth eating out with friends! What a great opportunity to try out new restaurants...

We had the great pleasure of hosting the media launch yesterday, look at these beautiful bites from participating venues:

Lovely vegan bites from Zen Kitchen, the first being a crispy lotus root chip with sauteed mushroom, carrot and pineapple glaze (Opening picture for this blog post) and a very precious edamame bite, so pretty!

Lapointe obviously showcased what they do best, fish! A gigantic piece of tuna was coated in sesame seeds and served with a spicy mayo and roe.

And last but not least, delicious fluffy marsmallows. These had me dreaming. Go to Thyme and Again and buy some, buy a ton, they are perfect little host gifts. Or a caring thought to brighten up a day!


Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Mediterranean Diet

Like a little mouse, I stayed hidden behind the class and listened to what Chef Larissa Beznaczuk-Smyrnew had to say about the powers of the mediterranean diet.

She started by declaring her love of wine and cheese, but... all in moderation. This is one of the secrets behind the Mediterranean Diet. Not holding back from all that seems forbidden, but rather eating small portions of it.

Slowly, we should all shift our mindsets to the Europeen way of eating, smaller portions, quality ingredients in their most natural form. Raw vegetables and fruit more often. Natural fats. Incorporating more nuts and grains into our meals.

By now, we should all know to stay away from processed foods and be aware of what processed foods are! Some say that all your food items your grandparents and great grandparents should be able to identify, so they should be wholesome, in their most basic form.

This class has been such a success that we will run a 4th quite soon, we'll keep you posted!

...wishing you all a food-filled weekend!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

byow dinner: chef michael moffat, beckta

mike moffat, executive chef at beckta with chef de cuisine, dirk mccabe, put on a spectacular dinner of all things "wild and raw" - this was our first ever bring your own wine dinner and it proved to be a huge hit with all 18 guests. we started in the kitchen and spent some time oohing and ahhing over the bison amuse: the dish was served "new style sashimi" with pickled shallots, fresh wasabi and the showstopper - fingerlime - which gave the dish an incredible lift.

i snapped a few shots from the event and have included the ostrich tartare (above) accompanied by a sous-vide poached egg, Parmesan wafer and root cellar chips. this dish, as chef moffat explained, starts off arranged in typical tartare style on the plate, but he encouraged diners to break it down with their fork and mix all the flavours together to incorporate the egg and the chips so that a variety of taste and textures collide in the mouth - very effective for this dish.a gamay or chianti was the wine of choice for this course.

not included in the photos was a magret duck breast course: house cured duck ham with fig mostarda, bitter greens and cranberry cumberland sauce. most guests chose an off-dry riesling or a sparkling wine with this dish and from what we heard, it was a perfect match.

the entree was wild turkey - sourced from mirabel, quebec. it was cooked sous-vide for 24 hours and served with a "stuffing" rosti (reminiscent of thanksgiving dinner), with caramelized brussel sprouts and bourbon jus. in the photo above, chef moffat managed to sneak in a bit of wild turkey confit which was so sumptuous! most of the table enjoyed pinot noir with this dish.

of course, this early spring dinner would not be complete without maple. and the chef's outdid themselves with "maple 5 ways": coffee cake, toffee, gelato, cotton candy and preserved strawberry maple jam. this dish got two thumbs up and no crumbs were left on the plate.

chef moffat joins us again in august for his next "byow" dinner. reservations are limited to 18 guests so if you are interested, please call in early to reserve your spot.