Guild Annual Gala

January 18th, 2014

Reported by Malcolm Rose

On January 18, 2014, the Guild hosted the Holiday Gala at the National Arts Centre with Chef John Morris and his staff doing the honours by preparing an outstanding five course meal.

As a fun twist this year, Chef Morris opted to prepare portions of each course in front of the guests in attendance. He invited diners to come to the front of the room and watch him and his team cook and plate the different courses. Feedback from all those in attendance was overwhelmingly positive as it gave our members and guests an opportunity to see how the professionals put it all together.

Each course was paired with different wines and again, the overall consensus was that the selected wines were very well matched with the complexity of flavours of the different dishes that Chef Morris prepared.

Cooking for the crowd at the Annual Gala
Henry of Pelham Cuve?e Catherine Brut Rose? N/V, VQA Niagara Peninsula

“One of the classiest pint bubblies from Ontario shows a subtle nose of fresh raspberry, icing sugar and fresh bread-altogether like a delicate raspberry pastry. It?s light to mid- weight and vaguely sweet, with a fine, racy effervescence and a drier, bracing finish. Very good length.” (David Lawrason-90 points)

First Course
Pin the Tail on the Ox
oxtail consommee? with Madeira, saute?ed le coprin mushrooms, fried salsify ribbon
Emilio Lustau Los Arcos Solera Reserva Dry Amontillado Sherry N/ V, Jerez, Spain

A textbook Amontillado of great maturity. Naturally dry and soft, its palate gives a hint of wood and smoky raisins. A powerful and distinctive nutty bouquet. (Wine Advocate-93 points)

Second Course
Deep Purple Salmon
beetroot cured pink salmon, horseradish cre?me, yuzu pearl, fennel dill slaw
Domaine Congy Cuve?e Les Galfins Pouilly Fume? 2012, Loire Valley, France

Great interplay of the aromas here, with fresh garden herbs, grilled asparagus, lemon, lime and sweetgrass all richly represented. Juicy, layered and bright. Nice mineral note emerges. Tangy with lively acidity on the lime and green apple finish. (Silver Medal, Paris 2013)

Deep Purple Salmon

Third Course
Melts on the Tongue
veal tongue pastrami, foie gras crostinis, pickled radish, red wine “kraut”
Chateau Gaudrelle Bru Cremant de Loire N/V, Vouvray, France

Honey, pear and lemon-scented with a blend of equal parts Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay. On the palate,the acidity of the Chenin Blanc; the Chardonnay helped to round it out with flavours of apple and pear. (Robert Parker Jr.-92 points)

Melts on the Tongue

Fourth Course
Rooting for the Elk
cocoa roasted striploin of elk, confit carrot puree, baby turnips, wild lingonberry jus
Zenato Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico, 2009, Veneto, Italy

This big and powerful Amarone is rich and plush-textured with luscious blackberry, dried fruit and chocolate flavours. Ruby red in color, intoxicating aromas of dried black cherries, cassis, truffles and chocolate fudge. The wine is silky, luscious and complex, with a lingering finish. (Wine Enthuiast-93 points)

Rooting for the Elk

Fifth Course
PB & J
peanut butter cheesecake, toasted fluff, concord grape gel, crumbled salted peanuts, milk chocolate sauce
Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Old Tawny Port N/V, Douro, Portugal

PB & J

This well-aged Tawny features rich apricot, dried fruit, praline and roasted nut flavours. Intense amber tawny colour. Opulent and voluptuous nose of complex spicy, jammy and nutty aromas, hints of orange flower and a fine oakiness coming from the long period of aging in cask. The palate is full of very rich and concentrated flavour and has a long mellow finish. (Wine Align 4.8/10 points)

This year, the Guild had the good fortune to have 14 door prizes donated by our sponsors including Zen Kitchen, Back Lane Cafe?, Stoneriver Fine Dining, Algonquin College’s Restaurant International, Ottawa Wine Cellar Solutions, Jabulani Vineyard and Winery and the Niagara Teaching College. The Guild wishes to express our appreciation to all of our sponsors.

All in all, the evening was another resounding success and we are looking forward to next year?s Gala.