Master Chef Amy challenged her team to select a piece of art that spoke to them and translate it into a culinary expression. We also welcomed a Guest Chef Ryan Sigouin (very well credentialed!) to join us for the evening. With each course, MC Amy had conversation questions including "what is the value of art", "what is your favourite type of artistic expressions"; she also pushed her chefs to create a non-culinary art project between courses.
Our experience began with Sous Chef Dallas (in-house expert on pastry and dough) and her response to the photo of Tiananmen Square Protest. We sipped on lychee martinis, dined on delicious 'pork' dumplings with dipping sauce and homemade red bean sticky rice cakes coated with toasted sesame seeds (a personal favourite of the evening).
Next up Sous Chef Abe explored both the painting Le Fils de l'Homme and the Belgian painter Magritte, as well as new culinary techniques. The pomme frites with home made aioli (fried apple with mustard mayonnaise) were a surprise but delicious! Paying homage to the painters homeland, Abe explored the elements of umami with endives au gratin with gruyere and béchamel sauce complimented by a quaff of Chimay White.
Magritte made another showing, as Guest Chef Ryan wowed us with his reinterpretation of a French 65, a deeply flavoured cocktail with Prosecco, bitters, and a splash of Cointreau in honour of 'The Treachery of Images". Not representational but very much real, we revealed in his beautiful composition of beet puree, blanched daikon and iced goat cheese.
Sous Chef Vanessa, with her always impressive attention to detail, created a culinary visual representation of her piece 'North Shore, Lake Superior' by Harris. The Canadian landscape was reinterpreted with a smooth asparagus soup, lemon cream, candied walnuts and a pastry/asparagus tree winding up to the sky. The complimenting pomegranate ginger Champagne brought the dish to new heights.
Master Chef Amy demonstrated her connection to Frida Kahlo's self portrait with a well composed mirrored dish of cheese and huitlacoche (corn smut) quesadillas (wow!), creamy guacamole, hibiscus syrup, refried beans, smoked salt and salsa. The highly flavoured hibiscus syrup also rimmed and enhanced the unibrow cocktails.
Sous Chef Leah wrapped up the evening inspired by Tissot painting 'The Letter. The ripped pieces of the letter became a remaking of mille feuille with shortbread and pastry intertwined with poached, roasted and pureed pear, topped with chopped pistachios and cream. Final sips of the evening contained a mingling of pear puree, ginger beer and sparkling wine.
Bravo to our host Master Chef Amy and all the Sous Chefs for an evening of artistic elevation!