Sunday, January 23, 2011

Canada's celebrity chefs are coming to the NAC!

Canadian celebrity chefs Michael Howell (left) of Tempest and Norm Aitken of Juniper.

Tomorrow is going to be so exciting! I've been invited, along with several other Ottawa food bloggers, to shadow the chefs at the first-ever Canadian Celebrity Chefs Event at the National Arts Centre, and guest blog about the proceedings.

This event is a Canadian first and the brainchild of Michael Blackie, executive chef of Le Café at the NAC. The premise is really clever: A visiting chef from elsewhere in Canada is paired up with a local Ottawa chef to collaborate and produce a main that showcases the best of Canadian flavours.

Each blogger has been assigned to a chef pair and I'm happy to introduce my talented duo as Norm Aitken of Ottawa's Juniper restaurant and Michael Howell of Tempest in Wolfville, N.S.

They are making a crispy-seared transverse Nova Scotian sea bass with a cool fennel and citrus salad, warm gold-beet puree and hay brown butter, dulse and beetroot coulis, and an applewood smoked mussel bridge.

I'm a big fish fan and this sounds absolutely amazing! I can only hope I'll have the pleasure of tasting it on top of seeing how it's made :)

Here's the lineup of all the delicious demonstrations:

Transverse Nova Scotia sea bass crispy seared | citrus cured cool fennel and citrus salad | warm gold beet puree and hay brown butter | dulse and beetroot coulis | applewood smoked mussel bridge by Norm Aitken (Juniper) and Michael Howell (Tempest).

Oyster | honey flavour roasted foie gras terrine | marrow bones and Chardonnay vinaigrette | bacon foam by Marc Lepine (Atelier) and Mathieu Cloutier (Kitchen Galerie).

Shiitake poached pickerel | beurre noissette | dressed grains and greens | crispy crème fraiche oyster by Charlotte Langley (Whalesbone) and Brad Long (Café Belong).

Sweet grass cold smoked Charlevoix veal | crisp potato girdle | Clarmell on the Rideau feta + sage infused retention firecracker spotted prawn crisp | Cloud Horse mead-lychee sting by Michael Blackie (NAC's Le Café) and Michael Lyon (Hotel Eldorado).

Poached Atlantic lobster | Bridge sparkling wine beurre blanc | Le Coprin mushrooms | sweetbreads with candied fennel corn flan, water cress sprouts | black olive purée by Clifford Lyness (Perspectives) and Ray Bear (MIX).

Drunken squab and Newfie screech | tatin of sunchokes | foie gras crepinette by Michael Moffatt (Beckta) and Anthony Walsh (Canoe).

Beet risotto | crispy pig cheek | seared Qualicum beach scallop | Granny smith slaw by Cesare Santaguida (Vittoria Trattoria) and David Rocco (Dolce Vita).

North country bison hash | Quebec goat cheese and cauliflower ravioli | preserved lemon and rendered bacon hollandaise | ancho chili plum gastrique by Robyn Bowen (Empire Grill) and Paul Rogalski (ROUGE).

There will also be a food and wine tasting and reception in the evening. You can buy tickets for the demos and the reception through the NAC's webpage. You can also follow the day's events on Twitter at celebchefott and on Facebook.


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