To start off the night, Sous Chef Abe was inspired by the season and served up an Octoberfest style appetizer with old potato skins filled with caramelized onions and bratwurst sausage, topped with a fermented cabbage cream. The skins were washed down with a tasty fermented tea (komboucha) gin cocktail. Tasty start to the evening!
Guest chef Kate Bell led us to the table with ‘It ain't bad 'til it's mouldy’ dish which was a salad using stale/old pita bread as croutons, pickled onions and discounted baby spinach that's 50% off (but still good!). The salad was washed down with a C.C.L.A (Cool Cantaloupe Liquid Amusement) included the leftover cantaloupe from a couple work functions she had in the week prior. The melon was grated and enhanced with a splash of gin and sprig of mint. A few chefs were wooed into a second round of the refreshing delicious drink later on in the evening!
Sous Chef Christine served up a beautiful display of “I didn’t know you could eat that”. The dish elements included a pesto of fermented garlic, old parmesan cheese, and radish leaves, capicollo ham, home pickled peaches, crostini of stale baguette, and a salad of celery leaves and carrot tops with maple balsamic and pickling juice dressing. The drink “Oh I forgot that was there” was an Italian white wine SC Christine was given as a gift by one of the lawyer partners last Christmas and forgotten about, and found covered in dust behind a garbage can a couple of weeks before the dinner. Still good!
Sous Chef Amy prepared a delicious composed dish with dusty, 2-year-old dried shitake mushroom schmear, butter-poached maple turnip cubes, pig parts (sausage) crumble, truffled discount potato mash, and house pickled garbage celery relish. So savory! The dish was served with a fresh vegetal Compostpolitan with home-flavoured coriander vodka, wheatgrass juice and a kale greens syrup.
Master Chef Leah framed her dish around the discount vegetable shelf from a nearby grocery. Pork and bruised apple skewers were marinated in fermented beans and served with a sauce made from old chicken backs. A stack of (otherwise discarded) eggplant, potato, sweet potato, apple and a side of sauted discount cauliflower with the left over potato from SC Abe’s skins rounded out the dish. A fall spiced cocktail made with fermented apples, nutmeg, spiced rum heighted the overall apple flavour.
To end the evening, Sous Chef Vanessa fully embraced the theme with her preparation of a pear and olive oil cake topped with coconut whipped cream. Drink was decaf earl grey tea, mixed with kosher sparkling grape juice (usually reserved for Passover) and homemade vanilla vodka from a previous gourmet dinner (worst meals ever).
The olive oil, canned pears, coconut syrup (which was opened the night of, with an unexpected texture), teabags and juice were all cast-offs from her sisters move to Europe. To further enhance her dish, SC Vanessa went thru the MCs fridge and other chef's contents to find more garnish but ended up only using Kate's mint.
A lovely evening with surprisingly lovely food, given many elements would otherwise be in a landfill. Many thanks to the chefs and for guest chef Kate in accepting our invitation to join us!